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Playing at local movie theaters

NEW FILMS FRIDAY

30 DAYS OF NIGHT — **This comics-based vampire yarn is a real mess — both literally and figuratively. Running time: 110 minutes, R (violence, gore, profanity, drugs, vulgarity)

THE COMEBACKS — Real-life NFL stars are featured in this spoof of various sports films.To be reviewed next week, running time: 84 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, sex, violence, drugs)

FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO — ***This documentary about religious beliefs regarding homosexuality allows each side of the debate to make points. Running time: 97 minutes, not rated, probable PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, slurs, mild profanity)

GONE BABY GONE — *** 1/2This well-acted thriller based on the best-selling novel is an assured and confident directorial debut for Ben Affleck. Running time: 114 minutes, R (profanity, drugs, violence, vulgarity, slurs, brief gore)

INTO THE WILD — ****Sean Penn's adaptation of the best-selling Jon Krakauer book is touching, thoughtful, sad, funny, sweet and ultimately redemptive — all at once. Running time: 149 minutes, R (violence, profanity, nudity, gore, brief sex, vulgarity, brief drugs)

LUST, CAUTION — **Despite all the early furor about its graphic sex scenes, Ang Lee's latest is curiously sedate and unexciting. Mandarin with subtitles, running time: 157 minutes, NC-17 (sex, violence, nudity, gore, profanity, slurs, vulgarity, brief drugs)

MOONDANCE ALEXANDER — ** 1/2A rather familiar girl-and-her-horse drama. Stars Kay Panabaker and Don Johnson are good, though. Running time: 93 minutes, G (violence)

RENDITION — **Even this political thriller's top-notch cast doesn't seem too excited about it. With subtitles, running time: 120 minutes, R (violence, torture, profanity, nudity, gore, brief sex)

SARAH LANDON AND THE PARANORMAL HOUR — Supernatural thriller about a teen (newcomer Rissa Walters) investigating strange occurrences in her hometown. To be reviewed next week, running time: 81 minutes, PG (violence, profanity)

THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE — ****Halle Berry redeems herself in this aching drama, giving a performance of depth, power and vulnerability. Running time: 119 minutes, R (drugs, profanity) —Robert W. Butler, McClatchy Newspapers

RE-RELEASES

TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS — *** 1/2This wonderfully bizarre 1993 animated fantasy-musical is a little dark but the songs (by Danny Elfman) are terrific. Shown in the 3-D format, running time: 76 minutes, PG (animated violence, disturbing imagery)

SNEAK PREVIEW

DAN IN REAL LIFE — Romantic comedy starring Steve Carell as a widower who falls for his brother's girlfriend (Juliette Binoche). To be reviewed when it opens next week, running time: 95 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, mild profanity, violence, brief partial nudity) (Saturday: Gateway, Jordan Commons)

MIDNIGHT MOVIE

PSYCHO — ****Alfred Hitchcock's classic, 1960 murder tale (starring Anthony Perkins) might be even more effective today. Black and white, running time: 109 minutes, R (violence) (Tonight and Saturday: Tower)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

ALTICITY 7: UP YOURS! — Feature-length documentary about snowmobiling. Not rated, probable PG (sports-related violence) (Thursday, 7 p.m.: Brewvies, must be 21 or older)

THE BIG FRIENDLY GIANT — Animated 1989 musical based on the Roald Dahl book. Running time: 87 minutes, not rated, probable G (nothing offensive) (Tonight and Monday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.: SCERA, Orem)

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL — ****Steven Spielberg's beloved 1981 science-fiction tale about the friendship between a young boy (Henry Thomas) and an alien visitor. Running time: 120 minutes, PG (profanity, vulgarity) (Saturday, 1 p.m.: Peery's Egyptian Theater, Ogden)

GHOSTLY GUARDIANS — Locally produced documentary about paranormal sightings at Fort Douglas. (Thursday, 7 p.m.: Draper Library)

PARIS, JE T'AIME — ***A hit-and-miss series of cinematic "postcards" that celebrate the City of Light. With English subtitles. Running time: 120 minutes, R (profanity, violence, gore, vulgarity, drugs, slurs, brief sex, nude artwork) (Tonight and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m.: Park City Library)

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA— ****One of the all-time great horror films, this 1925 silent version stars Man of a Thousand Faces Lon Chaney in the title role. Black and white (with color sequences), live musical accompaniment, running time: 79 minutes, made before ratings, probable PG (violence) (Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 p.m.: Organ Loft)

SALT LAKE FILM CENTER SCREENINGS — This week's films include "Devdas," documentaries spotlighting immigration issues and several Taiwanese features. A monthly schedule is available at www.slcfilmcenter.org. (Salt Lake City Library)

THE THREE MUSKETEERS — A double-feature, with the 1948 (Gene Kelly, Lana Turner) and 1993 (Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen) versions of the much-filmed Alexandre Dumas tale. (Wednesday, 7 p.m.: Broadway)

WARREN MILLER'S PLAYGROUND — The latest ski film from Warren Miller Productions features such spotlighted athletes as Johnny Moseley. Not rated, probable G (sports-related violence) (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.: SCERA, Orem; Thursday, 6 and 9 p.m.: Abravanel Hall)

WESTERNS OF THE WORLD FILM SERIES — This week's selection is the Mexican feature "Cananea" (1978). Spanish with subtitles, running time: 123 minutes, not rated, probable R (violence) (Tuesday, 7 p.m.: Broadway)

LARGE-FORMAT FILMS

ANTARCTICA — The 1991 IMAX documentary explores one of the most remote places on Earth. Running time: 40 minutes, not rated, probable G (nothing offensive)

DEEP SEA 3-D — *** — This entertaining documentary is an up-close look at various forms of aquatic life. Running time: 40 minutes, G (animal violence)

DINOSAURS 3-D: GIANTS OF PATAGONIA — *** — The makers of this IMAX science film get us about as close as we'd ever want to be to these enormous creatures. Running time: 48 minutes, not rated, probable PG (violence) —Jeff Strickler, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)

DINOSAURS ALIVE! — Large-screen documentary featuring computerized re-creations of Jurassic-era carnivores and other creatures. Running time: 40 minutes, not rated, probable PG (violence)

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX 3-D — The new film in the large-screen format, with a handful of 3-D sequences.

SEA MONSTERS: A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE — *** —What makes this IMAX mini-feature stand out from the pack is its eye-popping visuals. Running time: 40 minutes, not rated, probable PG (violence) —John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press

TRANSFORMERS: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE — The summer blockbuster, converted to the large-screen format.

CONTINUING FILMS

3:10 TO YUMA — ***The acting duel between Christian Bale and Russell Crowe is the highlight of this remake of the classic 1957 western. Running time: 117 minutes, R (violence, gore, profanity, slurs, vulgarity, nude art, torture)

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE — **The Beatles song covers are the highlight of this muddled, overlong musical fantasy/romance. Running time: 134 minutes, PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, drugs, nudity, brief sex, slurs, brief gore)

ARCTIC TALE — ** 1/2At times this watchable wildlife documentary seems obsessed with the bodily functions of Arctic beasts. Running time: 84 minutes, G (violence, vulgarity, gore)

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD — ***This "Assassination" offers enough in the way of performance and mood to earn itself a solid place in the ranks of Jesse James movies. Running time: 160 minutes, R (violence, profanity, vulgarity) —Mary F. Pols, Contra Costa Times

BALLS OF FURY — *A table-tennis spoof that's considerably dumber than it is funny. Running time: 90 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, slurs, brief drugs, brief sex)

BECOMING JANE — ***This fictionalized drama about author Jane Austen is well-acted. Running time: 113 minutes, PG (vulgarity, violence, brief nudity, mild profanity, brief sex, slurs)

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM — ***The third Bourne film begins with an exciting foot-chase scene and doesn't let up. Running time: 111 minutes, PG-13 (violence, drugs, profanity, torture, brief gore)

DECEMBER BOYS — **The photography is the best thing about this conflicted but well-acted '60s-period drama about Australian orphans. Running time: 105 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, nudity, profanity, brief sex, violence, drugs)

EASTERN PROMISES — ***Some particularly graphic violence and sexuality will probably keep some away from this well-acted mystery/mob thriller. With subtitles, running time: 96 minutes, R (violence, gore, profanity, nudity, vulgarity, sex, drugs, slurs)

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE — **There is little in this "Golden Age'" to distinguish it from other filmed royal soap operas. Cate Blanchett stars. Running time: 114 minutes, PG-13 (violence, sex, nudity) —Eleanor O'Sullivan, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press

EVAN ALMIGHTY — **The sequel to "Bruce Almighty" isn't much funnier than its predecessor. Running time: 93 minutes, PG (vulgarity, violence, mild profanity, brief drugs)

THE FINAL SEASON — **Well-staged baseball action scenes nearly redeem this slow-to-develop sports drama. Running time: 117 minutes, PG (profanity, vulgarity, violence, brief drugs)

THE GAME PLAN — **This attempt to make Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson "cute and cuddly" is not horrible. But it is overly familiar and too long. Running time: 110 minutes, PG (violence, vulgarity, brief drugs)

GOOD LUCK CHUCK —* 1/2 — This Dane Cook vehicle unsuccessfully tries to duplicate the salty-sweet comic mix of "Knocked Up." Running time: 96 minutes, R (vulgarity, sex, nudity, profanity, violence, drugs, slurs)

HAIRSPRAY — ***John Travolta's turn is the one sore-thumb element in this musical comedy. Running time: 107 minutes, PG (vulgarity, profanity, racial epithets, violence)

HALLOWEEN — ** 1/2Adding sex, nudity, blood and a lame back story does not make a better "Halloween" movie. Running time: 109 minutes, R (violence, gore, profanity, nudity, vulgarity, sex, slurs)

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX — ** 1/2For diehard Potter-philes only. Running time: 138 minutes, PG-13 (violence, mild profanity, vulgarity)

THE HEARTBREAK KID — * 1/2The Farrelly brothers' latest comedy reunites them with Ben Stiller and is so raunchy it's grotesque. Running time: 114 minutes, R (vulgarity, profanity, sex, nudity, drugs, violence, slurs)

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY — * 1/2The usual tasteless humor we've come to expect from an Adam Sandler movie. Running time: 115 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, nudity, slurs, brief sex, brief drugs)

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON — *** 1/2A dream come true for space aficionados. Running time: 100 minutes, PG (violence, mild profanity, vulgarity)

IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH — ***The performances (especially by Tommy Lee Jones) redeem Paul Haggis' Iraq war mystery/drama. Running time: 121 minutes, R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, nudity, drugs, brief sex, slurs)

THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB — **The big-screen adaptation of the "chick-lit" best-seller is too talky. Running time: 105 minutes, PG-13 (sex, vulgarity, profanity, drugs)

KING OF CALIFORNIA — ** 1/2Michael Douglas has fun playing a treasure-seeking lunatic in this father-daughter relationship comedy. running time: 92 minutes, PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, drugs, violence, brief sex)

THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS — ****This documentary about video arcade games is entertaining. Running time: 79 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence)

THE KINGDOM — **Jamie Foxx stars in this heavy-handed counterpoint to the nightly news. With subtitles, running time: 110 minutes, R (violence, profanity, gore, torture, vulgarity, slurs)

MICHAEL CLAYTON — ***Taut, well-written and directed thriller. Running time: 119 minutes, R (profanity, drugs, violence, vulgarity)

MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY — **The second big-screen Mr. Bean adventure is a slight improvement over its predecessor. Running time: 84 minutes, G (violence, vulgarity)

MR. WOODCOCK — * 1/2A painfully unfunny, mean-spirited comedy that feels like a series of mismatched parts. Running time: 87 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, sex, slurs, brief drugs)

NO RESERVATIONS — ***Cinematic comfort food. Running time: 104 minutes, PG (vulgarity, mild profanity)

ONCE — *** 1/2Occasional R-rated dialogue may discourage some from seeing this charming musical drama. Running time: 88 minutes, R (profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs)

PASSAGE TO ZARAHEMLA — *This locally produced adventure-fantasy is laughably awful at times. Running time: 107 minutes, PG-13 (violence, gore, brief drugs, slurs)

RATATOUILLE — *** 1/2The newest Pixar animated comedy lets the humor flow naturally. Running time: 110 minutes, G (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity)

RESCUE DAWN — *** 1/2A smart, involving war movie. Running time: 126 minutes, PG-13 (violence, torture, profanity, vulgarity, slurs, brief drugs, brief gore)

RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION — *Cut-rate Laura Croft Milla Jovovich hasn't had much luck turning this hit Z-movie franchise into a career renewal.Running time: 95 minutes, R (violence, gore, nudity) —Roger Moore, The Orlando Sentinel

RETURN WITH HONOR: A MISSIONARY HOMECOMING — * 1/2An earnest but misguided fantasy-drama that takes itself too seriously. Running time: 103 minutes, PG (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity)

THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING — * 1/2Some well-done computer-graphic effects are all this unexciting fantasy has going for it. Running time: 99 minutes, PG (violence)

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE — *** 1/2This film spin-off of the irreverent TV cartoon has big action and bigger laughs. Running time: 87 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, nudity, brief drugs)

STARDUST — ** 1/2The amusing supporting cast helps save this less-than-magical fantasy. Running time: 128 minutes, PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity, brief gore)

SUPERBAD — ***The preoccupation with teen sex will turn off many. Running time: 113 minutes, R (vulgarity, profanity, nudity, sex, violence, drugs, slurs)

SYDNEY WHITE — ** 1/2This cutesy, collegiate "Snow White" tale has some charm. Running time: 95 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, drugs)

TRANSFORMERS — ** 1/2This sometimes rewarding science-fiction thriller's problems are story-related. Running time: 144 minutes, PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, drug use)

TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED? — * 1/2 The characters become one-liner cartoons in writer-director-actor Perry's latest. Reviewed Monday, running time: 113 minutes, PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity) —Roger Moore, The Orlando Sentinel

WE OWN THE NIGHT — **James Gray's crime thriller squanders a lot of opportunities, as well as a first-rate cast. Running time: 116 minutes, R (violence, profanity, drugs, sex, gore, vulgarity, nudity, slurs, torture)