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Published Jul. 2, 2010

The Last Airbender

The gist: M. Night Shyamalan returns to theaters by directing a live-action adaptation of a popular Nickelodeon series about a juvenile kung fu prodigy who can manipulate the elements. What could go wrong? PG

Starring: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Jessica Jade Andres, Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub, Cliff Curtis and Keong Sim

The buzz: A lot of things, apparently. Boy, Shyamalan probably wishes they'd kept the Avatar in the title right about now. "The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert condemns. "The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that." So, it could have turned out better.

Also in theaters

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The gist: Even more of everyone's favorite abstinence parable opened Wednesday, this time forcing Bella to finally choose whether she doesn't want to have sex with a vampire or doesn't want to have sex with a werewolf. Hey, since when did vampires and werewolves hate each other so much? Underworld ruined everything. PG-13

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ashley Greene, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli and Dakota Fanning.

The buzz: At least there's a lot of killin' in this version. Bella survives, unfortch. Oops, spoiler alert. "The truth is, almost everyone planning to see Eclipse will know how things end before the opening credits even appear. So Slade and his cast can be proud that they consistently keep us involved anyway," the New York Daily News reasons. Hey, it made $68.5 million in one day alone, so who are we to judge?

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Upcoming releases

July 9: Despicable Me; Predators; Nora's Will

July 16: Inception; The Sorcerer's Apprentice; Winter's Bone; Cyrus; Micmacs