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NEW FILMS FRIDAY

2046 — ** 1/2 — The cast (especially Ziyi Zhang) redeems this sometimes muddled and confusing but beautiful-looking romantic drama. Chinese with subtitles. Complete review on Page W4. Running time: 123 minutes. R (sex, violence, vulgarity, brief gore).

THE BEST OF YOUTH — *** 1/2 — Originally made as a miniseries for Italian television, this sprawling drama is as engrossing as a grand 19th-century novel. Italian with subtitles. Complete review on Page W6. Running time: 366 minutes. R (profanity, brief nudity). — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

FLIGHTPLAN — * 1/2 — This kidnapping thriller completely falls apart in the final third, as it jettisons reason and logic. Jodie Foster stars. Complete review on Page W4. Running time: 93 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, brief drugs, vulgarity, racial epithets).

MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION: WALKING ON THE MOON 3D — *** 1/2 — This IMAX mini-feature on manned space missions is as entertaining as it is educational. Narrated by Tom Hanks. Complete review on Page W4. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive).

ROLL BOUNCE — ** — Bow Wow stars in this ambitious but unsuccessful roller-disco drama, which tries to do too many different things at the same time. Complete review on Page W5. Running time: 107 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence, racial epithets).

SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL: THE JOURNEY OF ROMEO DALLAIRE — *** 1/2 — Riveting documentary about the former U.N. commander who spearheaded peacekeeping efforts in Rwanda. Complete review on Page W5. Running time: 90 minutes. Not rated, probable R (violence, profanity, gore, racial epithets, brief drugs).

SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE — * 1/2 — Judging by this reprehensible revenge-thriller, you have to wonder if South Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park has some serious issues with women and children. Korean with subtitles. Complete review on Page W6. Running time: 121 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, sex, torture, nudity, vulgarity, brief drugs).

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE — *** 1/2 — At times this stop-motion animated feature is grotesque, but it's just as often achingly sweet. Johnny Depp stars as one of the voices. Complete review on Page W4. Running time: 78 minutes. PG (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity).

SNEAK PREVIEWS

IN HER SHOES — Curtis Hanson's adaptation of the best-selling novel stars Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine as daughter and mother. To be reviewed when it opens Oct. 4. PG-13 (profanity, sex). (Saturday: Century, Megaplex 17.)

MIDNIGHT MOVIES

SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT— ** — This 1999 feature is amusing at times, but eventually, hearing animated characters constantly swearing gets wearying. Running time: 81 minutes. R (profanity, vulgarity, violence, gore, drug use, sex, nudity). (Tonight and Saturday, Tower.)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

THE FILMS OF THE JIM HENSON COMPANY — In conjunction with a film "residency" with Brian Henson, the Salt Lake Film Center is showing some of the Henson company's works, including "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Labyrinth." All screenings are free to the public. A schedule is available online at www.slcfilmcenter.org. Most of the films are rated PG. (Wednesday, noon -5 p.m.; Thursday, 2 p.m. -9 p.m.; Salt Lake City Library.)

FUNNY FACE — *** 1/2 — Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire charm — as always — in this 1957 romantic comedy/musical. Running time: 103 minutes. Made before ratings, probable G (nothing offensive). (Tuesday, 10 a.m., SCERA, Orem, for seniors only.)

THE GREAT K&A TRAIN ROBBERY — Western hero Tom Mix and his wonder horse Tony foil bandits in this 1926 western-adventure. Black and white. Running time: 53 minutes. Live musical accompaniment. Made before ratings, probable G (violence). (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Organ Loft.)

SENORITA EXTRAVIADA — ** 1/2 — A superficial feature-length documentary looking into the disappearance of hundreds of female factory workers in Mexico. Spanish with subtitles. Not rated, probable R (adult themes, mild profanity, brief drugs, nude artwork). (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Olpin Union, University of Utah.)

WELL-ROUNDED FEAR — Produced for the public television "POV" program, this documentary follows Immigration and Naturalization Service officers. This program is not rated but may contain some PG-13 rated content. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Salt Lake City Library.)

LARGE-FORMAT FILMS

ALIENS OF THE DEEP — ** 1/2 — James Cameron's latest 3-D IMAX extravaganza about undersea exploration could do with less of him on camera. Running time: 47 minutes. G (nothing offensive). — Christy Lemire, Associated Press

BATMAN BEGINS — *** — Director Christopher Nolan's involving but darker superhero remake is the best of the big-screen adventures featuring the Caped Crusader (Christian Bale). Running time: 140 minutes. PG-13 (violence, drugs, profanity).

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY — *** 1/2 — In many respects, Tim Burton's inventive, visually rich fantasy about a tour of a mysterious candy factory is faithful to Roald Dahl's source material. Johnny Depp stars. Running time: 110 minutes. PG (slapstick violence, vulgarity, mild profanity).

INTO THE DEEP —*** —One of the first IMAX films, this underwater documentary is a visual treat, stunningly photographed and always entertaining. Running time: 35 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive).— Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

THE LIVING SEA — *** — Even for the landlocked, this large-screen documentary about the ocean resonates, reminding us that we're like so many fish in a school. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive). — Diane Urbani

WILD SAFARI 3D: A SOUTH AFRICAN ADVENTURE — *** — This cinematic safari's simple pleasures are best experienced with the littlest ticket-holders, who get a thrill ride and a sense of a wider world. Running time: 45 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive).— Ned Martel, New York Times News Service

CONTINUING FILMS

THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN — *** 1/2 — It's extremely raunchy and crude, but this Steve Carell vehicle just might be the funniest movie since "There's Something About Mary." Running time: 116 minutes. R (vulgarity, profanity, sex, nudity, slapstick violence, drugs, brief gore, racial epithets).

THE ARISTOCRATS — ** 1/2 — This sexually profane documentary about the so-called "dirtiest joke ever" is only for those with extremely open minds. Running time: 86 minutes. Not rated, probable NC-17 (profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs).

BATMAN BEGINS — See "Large-Format Films."

BEWITCHED — ** —The clever clips from the 1960s TV sitcom used here only remind us of how disappointing this film is. Running time: 105 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, slapstick violence, brief drugs, veiled nudity).

BROKEN FLOWERS — *** 1/2 — Bill Murray shines in this quirky, comedic voyage of self-discovery, which also provides some real food for thought. Running time: 105 minutes. R (profanity, drugs, brief nudity, violence, vulgarity).

THE BROTHERS GRIMM — ** 1/2 — Terry Gilliam's darkly comic fantasy has its share of good and bad moments.Heath Ledger and Matt Damon star. Running time: 118 minutes. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity, torture, gore).

THE CAVE — * 1/2 — This cheesy, watery rip-off of "Alien" takes itself too seriously for its own good. Running time: 97 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, brief drugs).

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY — See listing under "Large-Format Films."

CINDERELLA MAN — *** — Ron Howard's film about Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) is a rousing and effective human drama. Running time: 138 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, brief gore, vulgarity, ethnic slurs).

THE CONSTANT GARDENER — ** 1/2 —The chemistry between Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz salvages this muddled dramatic thriller, based on the best-seller by John Le Carre. Running time: 129 minutes. R (profanity, violence, drugs, nudity, sex, vulgarity).

CRY WOLF — * — Hardened fans of movie splatter may be tossing their drinks at the screen in contempt for this botched, PG-13 slasher film. Running time: 90 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, sex, brief drugs). — Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

DEUCE BIGALOW: EUROPEAN GIGOLO — * — Rob Schneider's painfully unfunny sequel to "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" almost makes the first film look competent by comparison. Running time: 83 minutes. R (vulgarity, profanity, violence, drugs, sex, nudity).

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD — ** 1/2 — This comedy is a lot like the television show that inspired it: silly, big, loud, dumb . . . and guilty-pleasure fun. Running time: 106 minutes. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, drugs, brief sex, brief partial nudity).

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE — ** — More boring than it is scary, this demonic possession thriller wastes the talents of Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. Running time: 116 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, drugs, brief gore).

FANTASTIC FOUR —** — Not as horrid as the trailers make it appear, but this superhero adventure is more of a "Mediocre Four." Running time: 110 minutes. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, brief gore).

FOUR BROTHERS — * 1/2 —The most deadly flaw of this vicious revenge-thriller is that it only occasionally has a sense of humor. Mark Wahlberg stars. Running time: 108 minutes. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, racial epithets, brief nudity, brief sex, torture).

THE GREAT RAID — ** 1/2 —Too much of this World War II rescue tale is build-up. Still, the raid scenes are pretty riveting. Running time: 133 minutes. R (violence, profanity, gore, drugs, racial epithets, torture, vulgarity).

HERBIE: FULLY LOADED — ** — The addition of some sexually suggestive humor ruins Herbie the Love Bug's return. Lindsay Lohan stars. Running time: 95 minutes. G (vulgarity, slapstick violence, mild profanity).

THE ISLAND — ** 1/2 — If you can turn off your brain, Michael Bay's science-fiction thriller about clones in a futuristic society is somewhat enjoyable. Running time: 134 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, drugs, brief gore, vulgarity, brief sex, nude artwork).

JUNEBUG — *** — This comedy-drama actually manages to say a few things about the peculiar charms of the South without becoming too patronizing. Running time: 106 minutes. R (profanity, sex, nudity, vulgarity, violence, racial epithets, brief drugs).

JUST LIKE HEAVEN — ** 1/2 — It isn't nearly as funny as it should be, but this comedy-fantasy gets by on the charms of stars Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. Running time: 102 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, brief drugs, brief partial nudity, vulgarity, violence).

THE LONGEST YARD — ** — Adam Sandler's remake of the 1974 football-in-prison comedy is not quite as awful as his inexplicable 1998 hit "The Waterboy." Running time: 114 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, racial epithets, drugs, brief partial nudity).

LORD OF WAR — ** — There are times when this satire, starring Nicolas Cage as a gun-runner, almost tops Michael Moore's documentaries for sheer heavy-handedness. Running time: 122 minutes. R (violence, profanity, drugs, gore, sex, brief partial nudity, ethnic slurs, vulgarity).

MADAGASCAR — ** 1/2 — Heavy on jokes and light on story, DreamWorks' latest computer-animated comedy about zoo animals who escape does fly by quickly. Running time: 86 minutes. PG (slapstick violence, vulgarity, brief drugs, mild profanity).

THE MAN — * — Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy are relegated to one-note roles in this buddy comedy that strains desperately for wacky laughs. Running time: 83 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence). — Christy Lemire, Associated Press

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS—*** 1/2 — The acclaimed penguin documentary features a life-and-death struggle that's much more compelling than any similar story line in any film so far this year. Running time: 80 minutes. G (animal violence).

ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW — ** 1/2 — This urban romantic comedy is oddly affecting, but it does contain some surprisingly frank sexual material that may be off-putting. Running time: 90 minutes. R (vulgarity, profanity, brief sex, nude artwork).

MOBSTERS AND MORMONS — ** 1/2 — There are a few laughs in this silly, locally made comedy about a Mafia family sent to Utah as part of the Witness Protection Program. Running time: 98 minutes. PG (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity, brief drugs, ethnic slurs).

MR. & MRS. SMITH — *** — Celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie amuse in Doug Liman's violent, action-packed comedy-thriller. Running time: 115 minutes. PG-13 (violence, sex, vulgarity, profanity).

MUST LOVE DOGS —** 1/2 — It feels like a sitcom, but this romantic comedy starring Diane Lane and John Cusack works as cinematic comfort food. Running time: 98 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, brief sex, slapstick violence).

RED EYE — *** — Wes Craven's air-travel thriller moves so quickly it covers up some of the bigger plot holes. Rachel McAdams stars. Running time: 85 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, brief gore).

THE SKELETON KEY — ** —This supernatural suspense-thriller starring Kate Hudson offers fewer scares than it does tiresome Southern stereotypes. Running time: 104 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, drugs, racial epithets, brief partial nudity).

SKY HIGH —*** — The charm eventually wears off of this superhero spoof, but there are a few funny gags. Running time: 98 minutes. PG (violence, mild profanity, mild vulgarity).

STAR WARS: EPISODE III — REVENGE OF THE SITH — *** — The best and darkest of George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels is not without its problems, but has many thrilling moments, ending the series on a high note. Running time: 140 minutes. PG-13 (violence, brief gore, brief drugs).

STEALTH —* 1/2 — Idiotic thriller about a robot-controlled fighter plane that develops a mind of its own. Running time: 121 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs, brief gore).

TRANSPORTER 2 — * — The first "Transporter" was no great prize, yet it looks like "The French Connection" compared to this laughably awful action-thriller. Running time: 88 minutes. PG-13 (violence, sex, partial nudity, profanity). — David Germain, Associated Press

AN UNFINISHED LIFE — ** 1/2 — Every time this drama focuses on Jennifer Lopez, you'll find yourself wishing it would focus on Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman instead. Running time: 107 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, brief drugs, vulgarity, brief sex).

VALIANT — ** — The laughs are scarce in this winged action comedy and little of the activity on-screen resonates. Running time: 80 minutes. G (slapstick violence, vulgarity). — David Germain, Associated Press

VENOM — * — This poorly timed, Bayou-bound horror movie about a supernatural serial killer won't even allow us to laugh it off the screen. Running time: 85 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity).

WEDDING CRASHERS —** 1/2 — Mixing sappy sentiment with crude sexual material makes this Owen Wilson-Vince Vaughn vehicle about womanizing buddies a sweet-and-salty movie snack. Running time: 119 minutes. R (profanity, vulgarity, sex, violence, nudity, drugs).


Past movie reviews are available online; search for MOVIES at deseretnews.com