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New movies for Nov. 20

New movies this week

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The gist: Bella has to decide between the impossibly beautiful and inaccessible vampire and the impossibly beautiful and inaccessible werewolf. Where are the impossibly beautiful and inaccessible zombies? PG-13

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Rachelle Lefevre, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning.

The buzz: Let's face it, you know what you're getting into. "Let's just say it: It's great there's a movie that makes teenage girls scream," the San Francisco Chronicle says. "Half the movies Hollywood makes are designed to make teenage boys scream, and those boy movies are just as ridiculous and a lot nastier than New Moon."

The Blind Side

The gist: The true story of Michael Oher, a giant young man who is stuck on the streets but gets help from a tiny white woman who decides to make him a star lineman on the Baltimore Ravens. We wouldn't believe it, either. PG-13

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, Quinton Aaron, Lily Collins and Jae Head.

The buzz: When this kind of fantastical source material isn't made up, can it really be too schmaltzy? "Grounded in the direct, disarming truth of their experience, the movie has a straightforward lack of cheap sentiment that saves it from being either too maudlin or saccharine-sweet," the Washington Post says.

Planet 51

The gist: An animated fable about a bunch of passive consumerists from the 'burbs whose world is turned upside down by the arrival of an alien — who is actually a human astronaut. Oooohhhh, we see what they did there. PG

Starring: The voices of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson , Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott and John Cleese.

The buzz: Apparently our synopsis is about as deep as the themes go. "This movie, which was made by an animation studio in Spain, isn't trying to make a social statement; it speaks in the international language of lightweight comedy," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says.


The gist: Oscar bait about an overweight, illiterate, abused, teen incest-victim mother who wants to go to an alternative school to change her life around. A real Thanksgiving-season kinda movie. R

Starring: Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd and Lenny Kravitz.

The buzz: We think it's against the law to give this movie a bad review. "Nothing quite prepares you for the rough-cut diamond that is Precious," the L.A. Times raves. "A rare blend of pure entertainment and dark social commentary, this shockingly raw, surprisingly irreverent and absolutely unforgettable story."

An Education

The gist: A teen girl in post-war London has to choose between going to Oxford and running off with an older man. Oooohhhh, we see what they did there. PG-13

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson, Cara Seymour, Matthew Beard and Sally Hawkins.

The buzz: The Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert sure likes it: "This happens in 1961, when 16-year-old girls were a great deal less knowing than they are now. Yet the movie isn't shabby or painful, but romantic and wonderfully entertaining."

— Joshua Gillin

Upcoming releases

Wednesday: The Road; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Old Dogs

Dec. 4: Everybody's Fine; Armored; Brothers

New movies for Nov. 20 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 6:58pm]
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