Reel Picks

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The American (R)

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

3 shells

Cairo Time (PG)

A beautiful, nuanced character study of what does and doesn’t happen when a lonely wife, Juliette (Patricia Clarkson), goes to Cairo to meet her husband for a vacation, and finds herself seeing the city with his friend Tareq (Alexander Siddig).

4.5 shells

Eat Pray Love (PG-13)

Julia Roberts — in close ups. Perfect woman leaves perfect marriage and embarks on perfect world quest for self-discovery. With Javier Bardem, Billy Crudup.

3 shells

The Expendables (R)

A low-tech, high body-count action flick about South American drug lords, mercenaries, and a corrupt CIA agent (Eric Roberts). Directed, co-written and co-starring Sylvester Stallone. With brief appearances by Bruce Willis, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (no, really), Mickey Rourke and others.

2.5 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 third in this unrelentingly grisly Swedish trilogy. Way too over-the-top to be affecting.

2.5 shells

Going the Distance (R)

A raunchy comedy about a contemporary couple (Drew Barrymore and Justin Long) trying to sustain their romance while living on different coasts. Appealing stars, but loaded with clichés and contrivances.

1.5 shells

Inception (PG-13)

Complicated, sci-fi thriller. A corporate espionage team travels across multiple levels of dreamscape realities to steal ideas by entering a person’s brain during the dream state. With Leonardo DiCaprio.

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.

5 shells

Last Exorcism (PG-13)

Something’s phony, but is it the preacher, Marcus (Patrick Fabian), or the belief that the devil can make you do it? Showman Marcus films his exorcism theatrics on Nell (Ashley Bell), the knife-wielding daughter of widowed farmer (Louis Herthum). But is she possessed or crazy? Either way, it’s a dark and gory tale.

3 shells

Nanny McPhee Returns (PG)

The magical Nanny — a perfect Emma Thompson — comes to a 1940s English farm to rescue a harried mom (Maggie Gyllenhaal) trying to cope with her three kids and their rotten city-bred cousins. Fine cast — Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Smith, Rhys Ifans.

4 shells

Ramona and Beezus (G)

A family film with a dose of economic reality. Financial setbacks create problems for Dad (John Corbett) and Mom (Bridget Moynahan) that affect everyone. Joey King as Ramona, and Selena Gomez as Beezus.

2.5 shells.