Film Capsules

Know before you go, or see, or something

Buried (R) — What do you get when you give an artful director 95 minutes of real time, one actor, a coffin, and a handful of props? The answer is a mostly realistic, mostly engrossing art-thriller that zeroes in on Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), an American truck driver doing contract work in Iraq. At best, Buried may end up a forerunner of minimalist thrillers. At worst, it's a pretty cool experiment. (Jonah Furman)

Case 39 (R) — Scary movie starring Renée Zellweger as a case worker involved with an abused girl.

Catfish (PG-13) — Documentary about a 24-year-old photographer and his friendship with an eight-year-old girl he meets on Facebook.

It's Kind of a Funny Story (PG-13) — Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is a reluctant overachieving high school student in love with his best friend's girl. Casual monthly therapy sessions are doing nothing for him. When it all gets to be too much for him, he rides his bike to the emergency room and ends up in the adult mental ward because the juvenile one is undergoing renovations. He instantly realizes his mistake, but a doctor makes him give it five days to see if he's stable enough to leave. By following up The Hangover's wackadoodle brother-in-law with a mental patient, co-star Zach Galifianakis succeeds where many comedy stars haven't: by transforming from the funny dude to the serious actor. (Wendy Ward)

Jackass 3D (R) — It's been a decade since ringleader Johnny Knoxville and his Jackass crew introduced us to their decidedly bizarre world of backyard stunts and public pranks. Since then, they've turned their scatological humor into decent box-office business leading up to this third sequel. The film is more of the same (except, of course, this time around the vomit and other bodily projectiles can be seen streaming through the air in digital 3-D). (Jeff Niesel)

Let Me In (R) – It's always risky when filmmakers remake beloved movies. It's even riskier when they do it so soon after the original — especially when the original is one of the best movies of the past 10 years and the greatest film of its genre. But Let Me In — an indie-budgeted U.S. version of 2008's Swedish Let the Right One In, the best vampire movie ever — doesn't disappoint. (Michael Gallucci)

Life as We Know It (PG-13) — There aren't too many things less inspiring than a movie trailer where the biggest laugh comes from a shot of baby poop smeared on a woman's cheek. But trailers can be misleading. Life as We Know It, starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as a mismatched couple entrusted to care for their deceased friends' infant daughter, is a breezy and likable romantic comedy. (Zoslov)

My Soul to Take (R) — Wes Craven's latest shocker (in 3-D), about a vengeful serial killer.

Never Let Me Go (R) — It's best if you know a thing or two about Never Let Me Go before you see it. First of all, it's based on an acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro about three kids raised in a boarding school. Second, it's a science-fiction story. The film is slow-moving at times, but it's a smart, fascinating, and methodical story; a subtle work, but also a lingering one. (Gallucci)

Nowhere Boy (R) — Biopic about John Lennon's childhood.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (R) — Milla Jovovich kicks zombie ass in the third sequel based on the hit video game. This time she does it in 3-D.

Secretariat (PG) — True story about the Triple Crown-winning racehorse.

The Social Network (PG-13) — David Fincher's latest movie is firmly rooted in reality, even though almost all of the characters live in a fantasy world of their own making. The true story is based on the rise of Facebook — in particular, the struggle between creator Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and the people around him who want a piece of the action. By the time Justin Timberlake, as Napster founder Sean Parker, enters the picture, you'll be hooked on Eisenberg's great performance, the thrilling narrative, and the movie's nonstop momentum. (Gallucci)

The Town (R) — Ben Affleck proves that Gone Baby Gone, his sensational 2007 directorial debut, wasn't a fluke with this equally impressive follow-up. Based on an acclaimed crime novel by Chuck Hogan, the film examines what happens when Beantown bank robber Doug MacRay (Affleck, very good here) falls for his former hostage (Rebecca Hall).

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (PG-13) — This sequel to the 1987 hit pretty much plays like director Oliver Stone's strained attempt to personalize the stock market crash of 2008. (Niesel)

Waiting for 'Superman' (PG) — A documentary filmmaker puts public education on trial.

You Again (PG) — The notion, as stated by You Again's protagonist, that "who you are in high school determines who you are for the rest of your life" is hardly a new one. But it's seldom been as clumsily dramatized as it is in this woeful comedy about teen rivalries revived among several generations of a California family. (Zoslov)

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (R) — Woody Allen on autopilot can at least offer a witty moment or two in 98 minutes, and his 43rd feature delivers a few. Thank Lucy Punch and Josh Brolin for most of those. Punch delivers a chauv-tastic take on an Allen regular — an older man's younger sexpot — and Brolin once again proves he has an agile gift for twisting his all-American handsomeness into being part total heel, part charming cad. (Bret McCabe)

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