A Nightmare on Elm Street (R)
From his first appearance in 1984, Freddy Krueger has become the quintessential bump in the night, terriorizing suburban teenagers. In this latest version Freddy (Jackie Earle Haley), an accused pedophile, is even darker and more ghoulish, tormenting the dreams of a group of small-town students until they are afraid to fall asleep. Still, between screams, it has become a familiar, even predictable formula.
Iron Man 2 (PG-13)
High energy, high-tech sequel to the first blockbuster has billionaire inventor (Robert Downey Jr.) being pressured to share his technology with the military. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and a wonderously evil Mickey Rourke.
Letters to Juliet (PG)
While her Italian recipe-obsessed fiancé (Gael Garcia Bernal) ignores her on their Tuscan holiday, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finds a 50-year-old letter Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) wrote to Shakespeare’s Juliet, and following local custom, posted on a wall in Verona. With Claire’s grandson (Christopher Egan), Sophie helps her find her great lost love (Franco Nero). Main ingredient — schmaltz.
Robin Hood (PG-13)
Ridley Scott’s too serious take on 12th Century history and politics in the grim, humorless prequel version of Robin Hood (Russell Crowe). Even teamed with a feisty feminist Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), there is more intellectualizing than action. With Max von Sydow, Eileen Atkins.
2 ½; shells
Sex and the City 2 (R)
Sex, shoes, flash, fashion, a free luxury vacation in Abu Dhabi, and Liza Minnelli. Poor married Carrie, mother Charlotte, career-driven Miranda, and menopausal Samantha having to deal with the trials of the privileged, gifted, and fair.
Shrek Forever After (PG)
In this fourth version, Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) has an animated, 3-D midlife crisis. Shrek has become more friendly than fierce, and domestic life is mundane. When Shrek makes a deal with the devil, Rumpelstiltskin, borrowing from Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life,” we see things as they might have been if everyone’s favorite ogres never existed. All the original characters show up. Fun, funny, and touching.