In theaters now

Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by The Commercial Appeal movie writer John Beifuss.

OPENING TODAY

Brick Lane (PG-13, 102 min.) See review on this page.

Ridgeway Four.

Encounters at the End of the World (G, 99 min.) Filmmaker Werner Herzog documents the forbidding beauty of Antarctica. See a review Sunday at GoMemphis.com.

Ridgeway Four.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (R, 118 min.) See review on Page 20.

Studio on the Square.

OPENING WEDNESDAY

Tropic Thunder (R, 107 min.) Ben Stiller in camo and Robert Downey Jr. in blackface head the cast of this comedy about a troupe of actors cast in a war movie who are forced to become real-life soldiers.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, CinePlanet 16.

SPECIAL MOVIES

Beautiful Losers (Not rated, 90 min.) This new documentary by Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard examines the ideas and achievements of a collective of D.I.Y. (do it yourself) artists -- including filmmaker Harmony Korine, painter Barry McGee and photographer Deanna Templeton -- that emerged in the 1990s out of the worlds of skateboarding, graffiti, hip-hop and other urban pursuits.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Admission: $7, or $5 for museum members. Cash bar opens at 6:30 p.m. Visit brooksmuseum.org or call 544-6208.

Ben-Hur (G, 214 min.) The late Charlton Heston returns to thunder through ancient Rome in the 1959 biblical epic that won 11 Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Picture.

7:15 p.m. today at the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Admission: $5 per adult, $4 per child age 12 and younger. Call 525-3000.

Elvis Film Fest 5: Five fit-for-a-King feature films will be screened Tuesday. Tickets are $5 each, with proceeds benefiting the Todd Morgan Sound Fuzion Performance Enrichment Fund at the University of Memphis. The lineup includes "King Creole" (1958), at 9:30 and 11:45 a.m.; "G.I. Blues" (1960), at 9:45 a.m.; "Blue Hawaii" (1961), at 10 a.m.; "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" (1966), at 11:55 a.m.; and "Girls! Girls! Girls!" (1962), at noon.

Studio on the Square. Visit malco.com.

Indie Memphis Micro Cinema Club No. 43: Five intricately designed, darkly humorous short films by Canada's Jamie Travis will be screened, including "Why the Anderson Children Didn't Come to Dinner," in which "three 7-year-olds endure the culinary abuses of their mother."

7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Power House, 45 G.E. Patterson. Admission is free; popcorn and beverages are available. Donations are appreciated.

Roving Mars: The in-depth IMAX adventure follows the "careers" of Spirit and Opportunity, NASA's robotic Exploration Rovers, from their development to their manufacture to their six-month flight through cold space to their landing on the surface of Mars, where they gathered information to help pave the way for future visits by man. Runs through Nov. 14. Tickets are $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children 3-12; children under 3 are free. Call for show times.

Crew Training International IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 763-IMAX for general information or 320-6362 for reservations.

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure: Narrated by Liev Schreiber, National Geographic's film takes audiences on a journey into the relatively unexplored world of the "other dinosaurs," those reptiles that lived beneath the water. The film plays through March 6, 2009. Tickets: $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 are free. Call for show times.

Crew Training International IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 763-IMAX for general information or 320-6362 for reservations.

NOW SHOWING

Brideshead Revisited (PG-13, 135 min.) Fans of Evelyn Waugh's 1945 novel and the famous 659-minute 1981 British miniseries it inspired won't be pleased with the compromises of this feature-length condensation; Anglophiles, however, may be willing to accept director Julian Jarrold's adaptation for the Merchant-Ivory-style pleasures it offers, including period English decor, the precise diction of classically trained actors (Emma Thompson is tyrannical Lady Marchmain), the imposing presence of Yorkshire's 400-year-old Castle Howard as the title manor and such sights as steam locomotives, cloche hats, a frock decorated with the stylized silhouettes of golden swallows and a tortoise with a jewel-encrusted shell. Matthew Goode is the young Oxford student who learns about class envy and Catholic guilt when he is befriended by the "sodomite" Sebastian (Ben Whishaw), a fey aristocrat with a striking sister (Hayley Atwell); unfortunately, when the increasingly dissolute Sebastian exits the film, he takes much of our interest with him.

Ridgeway Four.

College Road Trip (G, 83 min.) A talented pet pig and a showtune-belting Donny Osmond steal the spotlight from the ever-mugging Martin Lawrence in this running-on-empty road comedy (notable only for its G rating) about a cop who accompanies his college-bound daughter (Raven-Symoné) on a tour of university campuses. The intended show-stopper: a singalong of "Double Dutch Bus" with a busload of Japanese tourists.

Bartlett 10.

The Dark Knight (PG-13, 152 min.) A lavishly produced drama about hard moral choices, "The Dark Knight" is "The Godfather" of superhero movies -- or, at least, "The Departed." Director Christopher Nolan's ambitious, superior follow-up to "Batman Begins" makes a grim joke out of the idea that it was inspired by a series of so-called "comic" books. The only laughter in the film is the halting, psychopathic chuckle of the Joker, and our pleasurable reaction to his histrionic, terroristic glee is tempered by our awareness that we are watching the last complete screen performance of the late Heath Ledger, who spends at least one moment in the film in a body bag. Occupied by gangsters, thugs, cops, politicians, lawyers and two opposed, outrageous obsessives ("You complete me," the Joker tells Batman, in a parody of romantic confession), this is an epic crime film that has more in common with the gangster movies, noirs and gritty police thrillers of decades past than with the typical DC or Marvel adaptation of today.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Forbidden Kingdom (PG-13, 113 min.) Jackie Chan and Jet Li team (and battle) onscreen for the first time in this kid-friendly story about a kung fu-obsessed South Boston teen (Michael Angarano) who's transported by a "divine staff of legend" to ancient China, where he becomes involved in (what else?) an ancient struggle between good and evil. Director Rob Minkoff (" Stuart Little") seems more influenced by "The NeverEnding Story," "The Karate Kid" and especially "The Wizard of Oz" than the Hong Kong heroic-fantasy epics that are the film's supposed inspirations, but he and fight choreographer Woo-Ping Yuen create plenty of fun action sequences.

Bartlett 10.

Get Smart (PG-13, 110 min.) Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway are perfectly cast as CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart and his love-interest colleague, Agent 99, but this update of the classic Mel Brooks-Buck Henry 1960s spy-spoof sitcom is a movie without a context -- as useless as a shoe phone in an iPhone era. The tired jokes emphasize the project's irrelevance in an age when the Cold War has been replaced by a "War on Terror"; worse, director Peter Segal eschews the snappy Pop design of the original series, delivering a murky, unattractive film that's as gray as the post-Soviet Russian setting of much of its action.

Collierville Towne 16.

Hancock (PG-13, 93 min.) Will Smith is the reluctant title "superhero," a surly and seemingly homeless drunken amnesiac whose destructive heroics make him a pariah until an eager public relations professional (Jason Bateman) tries to rehab his image. Ambitious, clever and peculiar, the film is compromised by low comedy, a pandering soundtrack and the timidity of a studio unwilling to transform the most bankable star in movies into a morally bankrupt character. As food for thought, however, "Hancock" is a banquet: Is the movie a narcissistic celebrity makeover metaphor? A dissection of the humiliating mistrust with which majority America treats even those black men who have "earned" admiration for their athletic ability and other talents? Or a saga about America, alone and unloved despite its great power?

Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.

The Happening (R, 91 min.) After the diminishing returns of "Signs" and "The Village" and the loony, self-indulgent misfire of "Lady in the Water," M. Night Shyamalan retrenches, to demonstrate he still can write and direct a relatively low-cost chiller in the manner of his breakout success, "The Sixth Sense" (1999). The result is a 1970s-style eco-thriller in the tradition of "Frogs" and "Day of the Animals" that undercuts its moments of suggestive horror (a menacing wind blows spookily through the tall grass) by revealing the source of its title disaster way too early, leaving audiences poised for a trademark Shyamalan twist that never arrives. Mark Wahlberg stars as a high-school science teacher; bug-eyed Zooey Deschanel is miscast as his wife.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (PG-13, 120 min.) Adapted from the comic books by Mike Mignola, the first "Hellboy" barely broke even at the box office in 2004. But thanks to that film's growing cult and the success of the acclaimed "Pan's Labyrinth," Guillermo del Toro -- probably the most imaginative popular director in movies today -- is Satan-hot, and he was able to use his clout to revisit the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense and create what may be the most entertaining movie of the summer. This time, the cigar-chomping heroic title demon (Ron Perlman) -- irreverent and as red as a King Cotton hot dog -- has to save humanity from a planned invasion of mythological beings. Hellboy's colleagues include inflammable love interest Liz (Selma Blair), aquatic empath Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) and Teutonic newcomer Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), a being of gaseous ectoplasm contained within a deep-sea-diver's suit.

Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Horton Hears a Who! (G, 87 min.) This beautifully animated Blue Sky Studios ("Ice Age") CGI makeover of a 1954 children's book by Dr. Seuss respects, to some extent, the economy of line -- in both rhyme and drawing -- that was Theodor Geisel's trademark; at least it avoids the bloat and chaos that transformed such recent live-action Seussafilms as "The Grinch" into utter abominations. Jim Carrey provides the voice of the title elephant, who rocks the dogma of the jungle when he discovers that a speck of dust contains an entire civilized world; Carol Burnett is the self-righteous kangaroo (she "pouch-schools" her child) whose reactionary assertions (Horton is a "menace" because he causes people to "question authority") detract from the story's original message that "a person's a person, no matter how small."

Bartlett 10.

The Incredible Hulk (PG-13, 114 min.) A sort of CGI "War of the Gargantuas," this reboot of Ang Lee's thoughtful but underwhelming "Hulk" (2003) delivers enough monster mayhem and Marvel Universe insider info to satisfy the fanboys who rejected the earlier film. Edward Norton replaces Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, the gamma ray-infected scientist who morphs into an unjolly green giant when he becomes angry or excited. (In other words, no sex for Banner, as girlfriend Liv Tyler learns in one of the few scenes that realistically dramatizes the cost of Banner's curse.) Tim Roth is the evil mercenary whose transformation into "The Abomination" enables director Louis Leterrier ("Transporter 2") to stage a property-damaging clash-of-the-titans free-for-all of such intensity that in the precomputer effects era it could have been visualized only in a cartoon or a comic book. To sum up: Hulk smash good.

Bartlett 10.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (PG-13, 122 min.) If previous Indiana Jones movies were tributes to the serials, war films, colonial adventure epics ("Gunga Din") and even Hollywood musicals that were popular during the years in which the films take place, "Crystal Skull" takes much of its inspiration from the science-fiction cycle of the 1950s. Those movies exorcised Red Scare paranoia through metaphorical stories about body-snatching aliens and high-tech extraterrestrial invaders; "Skull" replaces the Nazis of the earlier Indy movies with Communists who really do want to conquer the U.S. with the aid of alien technology. This time, the bullwhip-wielding archeologist (an older and grumpier Harrison Ford) is searching for a lost city in the Amazon, aided by a "Wild One"-aping youth (Shia LaBeouf) and old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen); he is opposed by Cate Blanchett, a scene-stealing psychic "Communatrix" in jodhpurs and leather boots.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Iron Man (PG-13, 126 min.) Zillionaire playboy arms manufacturer Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) -- dubbed "the merchant of death" by haters -- experiences an almost literal change of heart after he's wounded by one of his own bombs in Afghanistan. Giving up on munitions, he uses "repulsor technology" to create a stylish, high-tech "gold titanium alloy" suit, and the superhero Iron Man is born. Jon Favreau ("Swingers," "Elf") remains an indifferent director (the most dynamic sequences here are the ones that probably were story-boarded by the special-effects teams), but "Iron Man" ranks with the best "X-Men" films and just below the first two "Spider-Man" movies as the most successful translation of a Marvel comic book to the screen. The real hero here is the insouciant Downey, who delivers the script's many witty lines with ease; he's almost matched by Gwyneth Paltrow as his loyal Girl Friday, Pepper Potts.

Bartlett 10.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (PG, 93 min.) As a traditional "flat" film, this Jules Verne-inspired spelunkfest is an implausible, amusing and somewhat old-fashioned Saturday matinee-style, kid-friendly adventure. But in 3D, even a sink drain's point-of-view shot of Brendan Fraser brushing his teeth is a knockout. Fraser plays a volcanologist who -- accompanied by his teen nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and a pretty mountain guide (Anita Briem) -- discovers that Verne's 1864 novel isn't science fiction but a fact-based guide to a subterranean world-within-a-world of carnivorous plants, prehistoric monsters, bioluminescent birds, giant mushrooms and other objects that look cool when they're made to appear three-dimensional onscreen. The movie is projected in 3-D at the Paradiso, the DeSoto Cinema 16 and the CinePlanet 16.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (G, 94 min.) Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine" herself) is part Shirley Temple, part Nancy Drew and part Eleanor Roosevelt in this earnest family film, inspired by the phenomenally successful line of "historical" American Girl dolls and their "lifestyle" accessories. A would-be reporter battling anti-hobo prejudice and economic hard times during the Great Depression, Kit is a resourceful and intelligent heroine who should appeal to girls while also reassuring a demographic that's equally hungry for positive female pop-culture role models: girls' parents.

Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16.

Kung Fu Panda (PG, 88 min.) From its stylized opening dream sequence to its beautifully rendered if more familiar-looking CGI animal characters, this parable about a dream-chasing panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black) is the most visually stunning cartoon yet from DreamWorks Animation (home of the "Shrek" franchise). It's also the studio's most consistently entertaining release, functioning as an affectionate homage to classic Hong Kong martial-arts cinema as well as a fuzzy-wuzzy comedy-with-uplift for small fry. The Zoo's Who supporting cast of warriors includes Tigress (Angelina Jolie); Mantis (Seth Rogen); Viper (Lucy Liu); and Monkey (Jackie Chan). Opposing these warriors is a snow leopard named Tai Lung (Ian McShane), who may be the scariest cartoon villain since the George Sanders-voiced Shere Khan in Disney's "The Jungle Book."

Stage Cinema, Majestic, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Mamma Mia! (PG-13, 109 min.) Director Phyllida Lloyd's frenetic adaptation of the ABBA-inspired stage musical was shot on location in Greece, but the way Meryl Streep tears through the scenery, you'd think she was in a giant reptile suit on the back lot at Toho Studios. Pulling wacky faces to match her oh-so-adorable overalls, Streep plays air guitar, bounces on a bed, jumps cannonball-style off a dock and otherwise acts like a person yet to recover from a juvenile head injury; at least she can sing, which is more than can be said for male co-stars Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgrd and Pierce Brosnan (whose croaked crooning might as well be emanating from the throat of Christian Bale's Batman). As Streep's ingenue daughter, Amanda Seyfried is easy on the eyes; Christine Baranski steals the show with the only number worthy of a pre-1970 musical ("Does Your Mother Know?"); the love/marriage/old-flames plot is slight but agreeable; and the ABBA songs remain insidiously catchy. But the cast apparently was instructed to maintain a pitch of hysterical frenzy whenever on camera; the squealing loss of control suggests the behavior of preteen girls who have encountered a spider during a slumber party.

Ridgeway Four, Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Meet Dave (PG, 91 min.) A crew of miniature aliens on Earth operate a spaceship shaped like Eddie Murphy. Really.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema.

The Midnight Meat Train (R, 100 min.) The prerelease buzz on this Clive Barker-inspired gorefest from cult director Ryuhei Kitamura ("Versus") was so bad that Lionsgate quietly dumped the movie into a handful of second-run theaters nationwide; yet this same studio will loudly unleash "Saw V" in a couple of thousand auditoriums in October. Bradley Cooper stars as a photographer whose desire to find the dark "heart" of the city pulls him into the orbit of a quiet, meat-mallet-wielding killer (Vinnie Jones) who (intentionally) resembles Forrest Gump and who regularly turns a late-night subway car into a movable feast of human cadavers. The movie is more interesting than most of the torture-porn or Asian-inspired horror thrillers that make it to theaters these days, but its tired combination of incongruously pretty fashion-mag photography and outrageously gruesome digital effects is dead on arrival. With former Memphian and mixed martial arts champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as an ill-fated Guardian Angel.

Bartlett 10.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (PG-13, 112 min.) Like its predecessors (1999's "The Mummy" and 2001's "The Mummy Returns"), this noisy Brendan Fraser fantasy adventure owes more to Indiana Jones than to Boris Karloff, while failing to be a credit to either inspiration. Rob Cohen ("Dragonheart," "The Fast and the Furious") replaces Stephen Sommers as director and Maria Bello replaces Rachel Weisz as Fraser's wife, but the crazy-quilt comic-book formula remains the same, as explorer Rick O'Connell (Fraser) -- now saddled with a grown son who appears to be as old as he is (in fact, actor Luke Ford is barely 12 years younger than Fraser) -- finds himself battling a 2,000-year-old shape-shifting emperor (Jet Li) and his army of living terracotta warriors. With Michelle Yeoh as a sorceress, a tribe of Abominable Snowmen, an attack of skeletons, a visit to Shangri-La, a three-headed dragon, and Hong Kong's most honored actor, Anthony Wong, as a Fascist general. Kids should love it.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Pineapple Express (R, 112 min.) See review on Page 23. Opened Wednesday.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Sex and the City (R, 145 min.) Fans get to see their old friends -- Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha -- backon the big screen, which makes it easier to ogle their outfits.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (PG-13, 120 min.) A nonthreatening date movie for mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters and BFF's who enjoy a group smile and cry, this sequel reunites the four young women of the 2005 magical-britches opus for what narrator Carmen (America Ferrara) describes as another round of "stories, secrets, laughter (and) broken hearts" -- plus, ethnically diverse hunks; the mandatory sound of Cyndi Lauper singing "Girls Just Want To Have Fun"; a trip to the Greek island of Santorini; and plugs for FedEx that begin less than one minute into the run time. (The movie is the latest from FedEx founder Fred Smith's Alcon Entertainment company.) Designed for women by women (the director is Sanaa Hamri, the screenwriter is Elizabeth Chandler), the movie celebrates friendship and responsible behavior -- it offers the cinematic equivalent of comfort food, for "Facts of Life" fans of all ages. Native Memphian Lucy Hale co-stars as "Effie," the beautiful younger sister of the Alexis Bledel character.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema 12, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Space Chimps (G, 81 min.) Monkeyshines and NASA heroics go hand-in-foot in this CG film from Vanguard Animation.

Forest Hill 8, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.

Step Brothers (R, 98 min.) Will Ferrell isn't yet as irrelevant as Mike "The Love Guru" Myers or Eddie "Meet Dave" Murphy, but it's telling that when Seth Rogen makes a brief cameo appearance here, the "Knocked Up" actor seems to be doing the much more famous Ferrell a favor. The premise is promising: Perennial man-child Ferrell and "serious" actor-turned-Pete Puma human stand-in John C. Reilly star as a pair of jobless, still-living-at-home 40-year-olds whose self-centered, arrested-adolescent existences are threatened when they're forced to move in together after Reilly's dad (Richard Jenkins) marries Ferrell's mom (Mary Steenburgen). Unfortunately, uninspired slapstick (destructive "sleepwalking" scenes) and exceedingly coarse language result in a mirthless, even ugly noncomedy.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Swing Vote (PG-13, 120 min.) The idea that every vote counts inspired this political satire, in which Kevin Costner plays an apathetic loser with the power to cast the deciding final vote in a deadlocked presidential election.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

WALL-E (G, 103 min.) WALL-E the robot may be battered and obsolete, but "WALL-E" the movie is a marvel of state-of-the-art technology -- perhaps the most brilliantly designed, beautifully executed and technically accomplished feature yet from Pixar Animation Studios. The company's boldness has advanced with its achievements in special effects: Director Andrew Stanton's film asks viewers to find enjoyment in a story that spends its first half hour on an all but dead and silent future Earth that apparently is inhabited only by a cockroach and the lonely 700-year-old title robot, who continues to perform programmed duties that are futile and pointless. The first act of "WALL-E" is as melancholy as a Ray Bradbury short story or an eco-disaster science-fiction film from the 1970s; although the robot's Chaplinesque pantomime continues, the noisier second half of the film is a more traditional Pixar action-comedy, as WALL-E returns with a "female" space probe robot, EVE, to a mothership of blobby, consumption-obsessed Earth refugees.

Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Wanted (R, 110 min.) Criticizing Russian director Timur Bekmambetov ("Night Watch") for overkill is like dismissing Alfred Hitchcock for being fat. In fact, overkill is an understatement when applied to this outrageously stylish and utterly implausible comic-book adaptation about a secret society of assassins whose members blithely refuse to recognize not just the legal niceties of Miranda and habeas corpus but the less arguable laws of gravity, motion and the conservation of energy. James McAvoy is the milquetoast account manager whose transformation from, essentially, Jerry Lewis to James Bond provides a morally specious wish-fulfillment fantasy that should have fanboys drooling; so should the presence of Angelina Jolie, cast as a killer named (what else?) Fox.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (PG-13, 105 min.) The paranormal's answer to Spin and Marty, Scully and Mulder return from TV limbo to probe another uncanny mystery.

Forest Hill 8, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema.

© 2008 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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