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 Duval, 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.

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.

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 reconciling their feelings for each other, they were involved in the trial of a brutal murder case, the outcome of which Benjamin still 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 do this one.

2 shells

Takers (PG-13)

Both the bad guys and good guys have problems, relationship issues, life complications. A successful bank robbery, but a former gang member shows up to be given his due, while compulsive L.A. cop (Matt Dillon) and his protege (Jay Hernandez) hunt them down. Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba, Tip “T.I.” Harris, and Zoe Saldana.

2.5 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 shells.