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November 29, 2009

Capsule reviews are by Kenneth Turan (K.Tu.), Betsy Sharkey (B.S.) and other reviewers. Compiled by Anthony Miller.



Armored A crew at an armored transport security firm risk their lives when they embark on a heist against their own company. With Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne, Skeet Ulrich, Milo Ventimiglia, Fred Ward and Columbus Short. Written by James V. Simpson and Chris Parker. Directed by Nimrod Antal. (1:25) PG-13.

Breaking Point One man must overcome a deep-rooted conspiracy and his own dark past to gain redemption. With Tom Berenger, Busta Rhymes, Armand Assante and Kirk Jones. Directed by Jeff Celentano. (1:37) R.

Brothers When a decorated Marine goes missing in Afghanistan, his black-sheep younger brother cares for his wife and children at home. Starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Sam Shepard, Clifton Collins, Jr. and Mare Winningham. Written by David Benioff. Directed by Jim Sheridan. (1:50) R.

Everybody's Fine In this remake of Giuseppe Tornatore's "Stanno Tutti Bene," a widower embarks on an impromptu road trip to reconnect with each of his grown children. With Robert DeNiro, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell. Written and directed by Kirk Jones. (1:35) PG-13.

Fifty Dead Men Walking Inspired by a true story, a young small-time Belfast hustler is recruited by a wily British intelligence agent to infiltrate the IRA. With Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley. Written and directed by Kari Skogland. (1:59) R.

The Last Station After 50 years of marriage, Countess Sofya, the wife of Leo Tolstoy, finds herself living in poverty after the Russian novelist renounced his noble title, his property and his family. With Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon, John Sessions and James McAvoy. Based on the novel by Jay Parini. Written and directed by Michael Hoffman. (1:42) NR.

Paa A story about a relationship between a politician and his 13-year-old son who suffers from a progeria-like syndrome that causes accelerated aging. With Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Paresh Rawal. Directed by R. Balakrishnan. In Hindi with English subtitles. (2:13) NR.

Serious Moonlight A Manhattan lawyer holds her husband captive when she arrives at her upstate country home to find him expecting a romantic weekend with his mistress. With Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell and Justin Long. Written by Adrienne Shelly. Directed by Cheryl Hines. (1:24) R.

The Strip The employees of a low-end electronics store find creative ways to stave of boredom and their impending adulthood. With Dave Foley, Rodney Scott, Billy Aaron Brown, Federico Dordei and Jenny Wade. Written and directed by Jameel Khan. (1:31) PG-13.

Transylmania In this vampire movie spoof, a group of college students embark on a semester abroad at Razvan University, located deep in the heart of Transylvania. With Patrick Cavanaugh, James DeBello, Tony Denman, Paul H. Kim and Jennifer Lyons. Screenplay by script by Patrick Casey and Worm Miller. Directed by David and Scott Hillenbrand. (1:32) R.

Up In the Air A corporate downsizing expert who cherishes his life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching 10 million frequent flier miles and after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams. With George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner. Directed by Reitman. (1:49) R. Story on Page D1

Critics' Choices

An Education Invariably funny and inexpressibly moving in the way it looks at a young girl's journey from innocence to experience, this film does so many things so well, it's difficult to know where to begin cataloging its virtues. What's easy is knowing where you'll end up, which is marveling like everyone else at the performance by Carey Mulligan that is the film's irreplaceable centerpiece. (K.Tu., Oct. 16) (1:35) NR.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Cold-blooded reptiles are lurking everywhere in this slick new noir, with snakes, iguanas, gators and especially Nicolas Cage at their slithering and cynical best. Cage is the bad cop who director Werner Herzog pushes into the deep bayou muck, human and otherwise, that Hurricane Katrina has left behind. The filmmaker has done well by noir too, giving us exactly what he should -- crime, corruption, sarcasm, sex, sleaze and shadows all through the glass darkly. (B.S., Nov. 20) (2:01) R.

The Damned United Starring Michael Sheen as legendary British soccer coach Brian Clough, this is a compelling sports film because on one level it doesn't seem to be about sports at all. It's about ambition, betrayal and moral blindness, the tale of a complicated, driven, gifted man whose flaws are so striking they flirt with raising his story to the level of tragedy. (K.Tu., Oct. 16) (1:37) R.

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