Reel Picks


Bad Teacher (R)

Cameron Diaz is the nasty Elizabeth, a teacher only until she can marry the egotistical and wealthy Scott (Justin Timberlake) — nevermind poor schlub Russell (Jason Segel), her unrelenting suitor. Elizabeth’s rival Amy (Lucy Punch), a bitchy social studies teacher, is hatching plots of her own.

Beginners (R)

Both amusing and touching, this drama uses small moments to make its points about living, dying, and loving. It begins at the end as the introspective Oliver (Ewan McGregor) packs up Hal’s house, his late but still larger-than-life father. Hal (Christopher Plummer) admitted he was gay after his wife’s death, and lived with joyful abandon. When Oliver meets the fetching Anna (Mélanie Laurent), it’s his turn to figure out how to begin again. Superbly acted.

Bridesmaids (R)

Despite one gross-out scene, a very funny comedy with heart that gives insight to the push-pull mechanics of women’s friendships. SNL’s Kristen Wiig as bad-luck Annie, whose competitive nature is heightened by the impending wedding of her best friend (Maya Rudolph). With Jon Hamm. Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne.

Cars 2 (G)

When Lightning is invited to compete in the World Grand Prix, he brings his slow-shifting buddy, tow truck Mater, who gets mistaken for a spy and becomes the center of an international conspiracy to sabotage the race. Honk if you love Pixar.

Green Lantern (PG-13)

When Earth is threatened, the Green Lantern Corps, super hero guardians of intergalactic peace and justice, turn to cocky test pilot Hal (Ryan Reynolds), their first human recruit.

Midnight in Paris (PG-13)

Woody Allen’s new film is sweet and mellow. Successful screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) decides to become a Left Bank novelist despite objections from his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams). Gil takes a late-night walk in Paris and is classically transported. With Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, and Adrien Brody.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (PG-13)

Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) is back, a bit tired, as he gets caught up in the search for the Fountain of Youth. With Ian McShane, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, and — as a carnivorous mermaid — Astrid Berges-Frisbey.

Super 8 (PG-13)

Producer Steven Spielberg’s a conspicuous presence in this science fiction story of small town kids in 1979, who set out to make a monster movie and wind up discovering extraterrestrial secrets being covered up by the government.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13)

A mysterious event from the past threatens an all-out war that could destroy Earth despite the Transformers’ efforts to save it. Mayhem, brutality, and prolonged sequences of sci-fi violence. With Shia LaBeouf, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, John Turturro, Frances McDormand.