Reel Picks

Reel Picks

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Black Swan (R)

There’s innocence and madness as the dance-obsessed ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman), competes with Lily (Mila Kunis) for the lead role in “Swan Lake.” Nina succeeds, but at a cost to mind and body that borders on gothic as she strives for perfection. Barbara Hershey as her overly protective mother.

Blue Valentine (R)

It’s no Hallmark card watching this once-happy couple struggle in and out of love and eventually, even like. It’s a sad back and forth saga as their 6-year marriage becomes tragic. Ryan Gosling is Dean, a good-is-good-enough housepainter, and Michelle Williams as Cindy, a nurse with aspirations. Faith Wladyka plays their 6-year-old daughter.

The Fighter (R)

Welterweight Micky Ward’s (Mark Wahlberg) gripping, true-life story. The battles include town expectations, a troubled half-brother Dicky (Christian Bale), and a domineering mother (Melissa Leo).

The Green Hornet (PG-13)

Actor Seth Rogen co-wrote this cluttered story, creating a hero in his own klutzy screen image. As Britt Reid, he and Kato (Jay Chou) become a bungling crime-fighting duo battling for the attention of Lenore (Cameron Diaz) and against the villainous Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz).

Gulliver’s Travels (PG)

Jack Black as Gulliver, the travel writer captured by the tiny Lilliputians, making him a giant among men. Predictable jokes and bawdy sight gags. A pompous general (Chris O’Dowd) is determined to bring an end to Gulliver. We wish him luck.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (G)

The (3-D) documentary of 16-year-old pop phenomenon Justin Bieber, an ambitious kid from Stratford, Ontario, who went from 12-year-old street singer to internet sensation, and after being discovered in 2008 on YouTube by manager Scooter Braun, to global super star. Home movies and performance clips show a meteoric launch that winds up at a Madison Square Garden concert.

The King’s Speech (R)

The struggle of King George VI (an absolutely brilliant Colin Firth), with his stammer and his speech therapist Lionel (Geoffrey Rush). Stellar cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, and Guy Pearce as his brother, King Edward VIII, whose abdication forced him to ascend the throne and offer a speech that inspired.

No Strings Attached (R)

There’s best friends and there’s sex friends. Writer Adam (Ashton Kutcher) and doctor Emma (Natalie Portman) as long-time friends trying a no-commitment, no-emotion sexual relationship. With Kevin Kline.

Rabbit Hole (PG-13)

Based on David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. It shows the different ways grieving parents, Howie (Aaron Eckhart) and Becca (Nicole Kidman), cope eight months after their four-year-old son is accidentally killed by a car in front of their suburban home.

The Social Network (PG-13)

Compelling award-winning film. The fascinating inside story of Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) who created Facebook in 2003. Justin Timberlake is perfect as Sean Parker, the flash-and-dash Napster creator who burrows in on Zuckerberg’s success.

True Grit (PG-13)

The Coen brothers’ version of this classic western with Jeff Bridges as the drunken Rooster Cogburn, Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie, the scrappy girl out for revenge on her father’s murderer. Matt Damon as the Texas Ranger, Josh Brolin, the bad guy.

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