Avatar Special Edition 3-D (PG-13) — There's less than ten minutes of new footage added to this "special edition" of last year's money-hogging sci-fi epic. At least the new scenes include creatures and action, so your $15 won't be a total waste.
Cairo Time (PG) — Patricia Clarkson plays a married woman who falls for her husband's friend while she's hanging out in Egypt. You know what they say: What happens in Cairo ...
Charlie St. Cloud (PG-13) — After his 11-year-old brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) dies in a car accident, Stanford-bound sailing aspirant Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron) becomes unglued. Consumed with grief and guilt — he was behind the wheel at the time of the smash-up — Charlie soon abandons his dreams and takes a job as caretaker at the cemetery where his brother is buried. Soon he's playing catch in the woods with Sam's ghost every night (can you say Field of Dreams?) and even reconnecting with old schoolmates who died in the war. It's not until he meets Tess (Amanda Crew) that Charlie begins to question the wisdom of holding onto the past at the expense of, well, living. Based on a novel by Ben Sherwood, this second collaboration between High School Musical alum Efron and director Burr Steers might sound like an icky Nicholas Sparks knockoff, but it's actually a good deal better and considerably more restrained. (Milan Paurich)
Eat Pray Love (PG-13) — It is what it is, goes the cliché. And given that this is an adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling new-age chick-lit memoir starring Julia Roberts, it's about as good as could reasonably be expected. Faithful to Gilbert's intelligent confessional prose, Eat Pray Love finds our materially successful but spiritually empty N.Y.C. writer/heroine ditching her unfulfilling marriage and passionate rebound affair to undertake a yearlong odyssey living abroad and alone to find her "balance" via food (in Italy), ashram meditation (India), and true love (Bali). If you can avoid the fact that it all adds up to a story about a chic Manhattan woman who learns to reconcile her flaws only after she realizes that she is indeed the center of the universe, you'll discover a sweet, well-acted armchair travelogue and treatise about inner forgiveness. (Charles Cassady)
Inception (PG-13) — Christopher Nolan has already directed one unquestionable mind-fuck masterpiece: 2000's Memento. He can now add a second to his résumé. Inception goes so deep, so often, you'll want to watch it again immediately just to see if all the pieces add up. Even if they don't (but I bet they do), it's a visual feast of dreamlike splendor. Think too hard about what you're seeing and you'll likely burn out your brain — but that's exactly what Nolan wants. (Michael Gallucci)
The Last Exorcism (R) — Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) is a former evangelist who used to perform phony exorcisms, but now he wants to expose the ritual as a potentially dangerous sham. So he and a film crew visit a rural family that's looking for some divine intervention. Cotton expects something he's seen dozens of times, but he winds up with a lot more than he bargained for. Even when the spooky stuff starts, The Last Exorcism (shot documentary style with handheld cameras and iffy lighting) keeps the audience guessing: Are demonic forces really at work? Or is it just the dark side of human nature taking over? Director Daniel Stamm slowly builds dread while maintaining suspense and actually taking time to develop characters. The Last Exorcism's influences are obvious, but there's enough here to keep it from being just another pea-soup-spewing rip-off. For one thing, Cotton would make a great subject for a real documentary. (Bob Ignizio)
Lottery Ticket (PG-13) — If you're holding a ticket to this movie — about a kid in the projects (played by rapper Bow Wow) who has a winning lottery ticket — you've already lost.
Nanny McPhee Returns (PG) — This sequel to the minor 2005 hit based on Christiana Brand's kid-lit series — about a Mary Poppins-like nanny who looks more like one of Macbeth's witches — is mildly charming and passably entertaining. But instead of taking place in Victorian England, like the previous movie, the action here picks up in World War II-era Blighty, where the title character (again played by the redoubtable Emma Thompson, who also penned the screenplay) goes to work for the stressed-out Isabel (Maggie Gyllenhaal with a British accent as counterfeit as her bogus southern twang in Crazy Heart), whose husband (Ewan McGregor) is off fighting the war. McPhee's charges include her employer's three rambunctious tykes and two miscreant houseguests (scene-stealers Eros Vlahos and Rosie Taylor-Ritson as Isabel's horrid nephew and niece). Once again, the crone-like nanny transforms into, well, the perfectly lovely Thompson after teaching her unruly brood five invaluable life lessons. (Paurich)
The Other Guys (PG-13) — "Will Ferrell is back and Mark Wahlberg's got him" could be the tagline for this amiably goofy buddy-cop bromance by frequent Ferrell helmer Adam McKay (Talladega Nights, Anchorman, Step Brothers). Ferrell and Wahlberg play a pair of temperamentally mismatched NYPD doofuses who finally get the chance to prove themselves when the top dogs in their department (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) get temporarily sidelined. The über-intense Wahlberg displays an agreeable knack for mocking his own patented alpha-male image, and the first half consistently delivers more big laughs than just about any studio comedy this season. (Paurich)
Piranha 3-D (R) — Killer fish jump in your lap, steal your popcorn, and nibble on your flesh.
Predators (R) — Screenwriter Robert Rodriguez conceived Predators as a sequel to the first two Predator movies. So it's more about man vs. Predator than Predator vs. Alien this time around. The plot centers on a group of soldiers trapped in a foreign jungle where the sun never sets. At first they fight among themselves, but they soon realize something is hunting them and they're better off putting aside their differences. So they rally around Royce (a beefed-up Adrien Brody), who establishes himself as the pack's leader. The first half of the movie is fairly suspenseful, but once the Predators show up, the whole thing goes to hell. (Jeff Niesel)
The Switch (PG-13) — This disappointing, tonally discordant artificial insemination romantic comedy by the Blades of Glory directing team of Josh Gordon and Will Speck shoots more blanks than laughs. Jason Bateman plays a neurotic, self-absorbed Manhattanite (is there any other kind?) whose life is turned upside down when he discovers that he's the biological dad of platonic BFF Jennifer Aniston's chip-off-the-old-block six-year-old son (scene-stealer Thomas Robinson). Based on a 1996 New Yorker short story by Pulitzer-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides, the film squanders the charm of its two appealing leads by forcing them to behave in the most obtuse, off-putting fashion imaginable. You know that a rom-com is in serious trouble when the audience doesn't care whether the central couple ever gets together or not. (Paurich)
Takers (PG-13) — The "Takers" are a group of criminals who drive Porsches and live in high-rise condos. They pick and choose heists with discretion. So when old pal Ghost (played by ex-con rapper T.I.) returns from prison with a plan to hijack an armored truck, they're a bit suspicious. But because Ghost used to be part of their crew before he got nabbed during a bank robbery, they decide to go along with him. Not so surprisingly, things don't go exactly as planned — especially since a relentless cop with anger-management issues (Matt Dillon) is hot on their tail. Dillon gives the only credible performance in Takers, but even he has trouble breaking his character from stereotype. (Niesel)
Vampires Suck (PG-13) — You know what else sucks? This spoof of blockbuster bloodsucker movies like Twilight.