Reel Picks

The American (R)

Weary but effective American assassin (George Clooney) retreats to a small Italian village and finds romance and friendship — a risk for someone in his line of work.

3 shells

Get Low (PG-13)

Sensitive, funny down-home tale. Stunning portrayal by Robert Duvall, as a hermit who comes out of hiding after 40 years and learns what townsfolk think of him by staging his own funeral. Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek. Brilliant.

5 shells

The Girl Who Played with Fire (R)

Goth computer hacker Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) seeks revenge in Stieg Larsson’s second in unrelentingly grisly Swedish trilogy. Too over-the-top to be affecting.

2.5 shells

The Kids Are All Right (R)

Teenagers (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) find their biological father Paul (Mark Ruffalo) — the sperm donor used by lesbian couple Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) — and everyone is affected.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (PG)

A visually spectacular 3-D battle to rescue all owls from genocide by the evil Arians, the “Pure Ones.” Mythical gladiator-costumed owls take on a violent, terror-filled struggle to survive, and face throat slashings, impalements, enslavement, and electromagnetic weapons. We don’t know about the kids, but we’re covering our eyes.

1.5 shells

Machete (R)

Against all odds and common sense, this over-the-top mish-mash of every schlock action movie is actually kinda fun. Machete (Danny Trejo), a Mexican federale, is left for dead, and his family murdered by drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal). He becomes an illegal laborer, working in Austin, Texas, but gets involved in political intrigue and winds up exacting revenge. Guns, bombs, blood-letting. With Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, and Lindsay Lohan.

3.5 shells

The Secret in Their Eyes (R)

Winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Retired criminal investigator Benjamin (Ricardo Darin) and judge Irene (Soledad Villamil) meet again, and through flashbacks, their history is revealed. In addition to their feelings for each other, they were involved in the trial of a brutal murder case, the outcome of which Benjamin questions.

4.5 shells

The Switch (PG-13)

Nothing to do? Have an insemination party. And it gets weirder. A drunken buddy, Wally (Jason Bateman), replaces Mr. Perfect’s (Patrick Wilson) sperm with his own. Six years later, when Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) shows up with her son Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) to embark on a courtship with the boy’s assumed father, his real dad winds up being the babysitter. Only Aniston would dare doing this one.

2 shells

The Town (R)

Ben Affleck (bank robber). Jon Hamm (FBI). Boston (the tightly knit ‘hood of Charlestown). Romance (Rebecca Hall). Loyalty and betrayal. Powerful.

4.5 shells.