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'Sanctum' stars Alice ParkinsIoan Gruffudd.  |  Phocourtesy Universal Pictures

"Sanctum" stars Alice Parkinson and Ioan Gruffudd. | Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

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Updated: February 12, 2011 2:06AM



Wondering whether to see a movie?

Then check out what film critics have to say about some of the box office’s top flicks.

‘SANCTUM’

★★

This is a run-of-the-mill disaster movie. I found myself not caring much about who made it out alive and who didn’t. And if audiences don’t care about what happens, what difference does it make whether everything is in 3-D? (Rated R)

Michael Drakulich

‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’

★★

With a film that has Ivan Reitman as director and a cast with Kevin Kline and Natalie Portman, chances are better than average it will be a decent film. So I am baffled why they didn’t push harder to make this romantic comedy more unique. (Rated R)

Michael Drakulich

‘THE KING’S SPEECH’

★★★★

As good a story as this is, it goes nowhere without someone to play George VI convincingly. I suspect Colin Firth, who plays King George with such skill, will win a slew of awards and is already the likely choice for best actor. It would be well-deserved. (Rated R)

Michael Drakulich

‘THE GREEN HORNET’

★½

Director Michel Gondry is known for telling imaginative stories with inspired visuals. Here, he has come up with a surprisingly generic, bombastic action movie starring Seth Rogen. Except for a few sequences with a bit of Gondry’s flair, this could have been made by anyone. (Rated PG-13)

Christy Lemire, AP

‘THE RITE’

★★½

Anthony Hopkins classes up “The Rite,” as you can imagine he would most every situation. But even his otherworldly powers can only make this overly familiar demonic possession thriller engaging for so long. (Rated PG-13)

Christy Lemire, AP

‘THE MECHANIC’

★★½

I wasn’t annoyed with this remake of a 1972 film starring Charles Bronson. Much of that has to do with Jason Statham himself. He’s quiet and subtle without being boring. And when the action ratchets up, well, that’s his forte. (Rated R)

Michael Drakulich

‘TRUE GRIT’

★★½

I suspect there will be a division among the original “True Grit” fans who are curious enough to buy a ticket for the Coen brothers’ take with Jeff Bridges. Some will like this new version for its harder edge. Some will never be convinced there is another Rooster Cogburn other than the Duke, John Wayne. (Rated PG-13)

Michael Drakulich

‘BLACK SWAN’

★★★½

Natalie Portman leads the cast of this drama, which is at once gorgeous and gloriously nutso — a trippy, twisted fantasy that delights and disturbs in equal measure. There are plenty of intimate, behind-the-scenes moments as well. (R)

Christy Lemire, AP

‘THE DILEMMA’

★½

This Chicago-shot film, starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, becomes a dark comedy but leaves out most of the comedy. As if that weren’t dreadful enough, director Ron Howard introduces nonsensical story elements out of the blue. (Rated PG-13)

Michael Drakulich

‘THE FIGHTER’

★★★

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale star in this punch-drunk tale. The fitful ramble from Jerry Springer-style family seaminess to “Rocky”-like triumph is elevated enormously by knockout performances. (Rated R)

David Germain, AP

‘127 HOURS’

★★★½

A one-man James Franco show, “127 Hours” features the photogenic actor giving a tour-de-force performance in a movie based on a true story. He’s essentially on screen by himself the entire time. (Rated R)

Christy Lemire, AP

‘YOGI BEAR’

★★

The title character always had an intelligence that surpassed that of your typical clawed Mammalia. He finally got his own movie — in 3-D, no less — so it comes with little surprise but still some disappointment that “Yogi Bear” is a bland pic-a-nic, indeed. (Rated PG)

Jake Coyle, AP

‘TANGLED’

★★½

If producers were aiming to set this flick apart from run-of-the-mill animated features, they couldn’t because “Tangled” lacked a certain punch and energy. The movie is fun but not the kind of film you will remember after long. (PG)

Michael Drakulich

‘LITTLE FOCKERS’

★½

You’ll have to grit your teeth through the fairly short though agonizing duration of the latest in Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller’s comedy franchise. (Rated PG-13)

David Germain, AP

‘THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER’

★★

The latest film in this franchise comes closest to the spirit of the original, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which is arguably the most fun of C.S. Lewis’ seven Narnia tales. (Rated PG)

Jake Coyle, AP

‘HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1’

★★

Perhaps the final film set for release in July will redeem this beginning of the end for the franchise, but I feel the series’ vitality waning with each successive sequel. It would be a shame to see such a phenomenon go out with a whimper. (PG-13)

Michael Drakulich

‘MEGAMIND’

★★½

The action comedy from DreamWorks Animation features dazzling computer-animated design and action. Yet, despite a clever hook — what’s a villain to do when he manages to defeat his superhero nemesis — it’s a thin story that feels familiar. (Rated PG)

David Germain, AP

‘GULLIVER’S TRAVELS’

★★½

The really annoying thing about Jack Black’s “Gulliver’s Travels” is not so much that it’s a bad movie — it is bad, but only run-of-the-mill bad, not epic-misfire bad. The movie sullies a piece of literature that has endured for nearly 300 years for the sake of a cheap kiddie flick that’ll be forgotten in a month. (Rated PG)

David Germain, AP

‘UNSTOPPABLE’

★★★

Director Tony Scott takes a classic mentor-pupil story, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, and makes an ordinary thriller about a runaway train into more than it would be at the hands of less-skilled directors. (Rated PG-13)

Michael Drakulich

‘RED’

★★

Once you get past the oddity of a woman as glamorous as Helen Mirren firing hundreds of rounds from a .50-caliber tripod-mounted machine gun that probably should be mounted on the side of a Black Hawk helicopter, there isn’t much else to get excited about. (Rated PG-13)

Michael Drakulich



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