'Harry Potter' roars back, Rihanna gets 'Loud' and more in this week's 10spot

1. 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1'
If you say you're not going to see this or aren't even remotely interested in seeing this, then you, sir/ma'am, are a dirty liar. Wizardry! Owls! Teachers with strange names! I will be present with a box of Kleenex to watch the beginning of the end. Opens Friday. MARISSA GALLO, B

2. Carrie Underwood

Pop-country is not my thing, but Carrie, you are the exception. I'm not missing my chance to hear her magnificent voice. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. 1st Mariner Arena. $33.50-$53.50. baltimorearena.com BRIAN KRISTA, B

3. Ravens at Panthers

The Panthers are bad, but knowing these Ravens, they'll probably find a way to make this one interesting on Sunday. 1 p.m., WJZ/CBS and 98 Rock. MATT VENSEL, B

4. Bill Maher
Maher is good for more than just trotting out footage of Christine O'Donnell prattling on about witchcraft or chastity. He's funny, too, and he's coming here. 8 p.m. Friday, Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St., Downtown. $45-$85. ticketmaster.com ANNE TALLENT, B

5. 'Donkey Kong Country Returns'
The tons-of-fun side-scrolling platformer series finally makes the jump from the Super NES (and the '90s) to the Wii, with the addition of a simultaneous co-op mode for two players. These bananas are the s---. Available Sunday. ADAM SAPIRO, B

6. Rihanna, Loud
RiRi, I have a love/hate relationship with you. About 90 percent of the time I hate you, but then you release a catchy song for me to plot revenge on the ex. And I admit, I love you when I'm breaking dishes. All right, girl, bring it on. It's a recession, and I know a girl's got to eat. Loud drops Tuesday. JASMINE WIGGINS, B

7. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Flames, fog machines, big hair and music that sounds like a mash-up of Kiss and Bach. Add special lighting effects and you've got a pretty sweet Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Verizon Center. $28-$59. verizoncenter.com DANIELLE KEES, B

8. Future Islands
One of Baltimore's best bands (with one of the best live shows to boot) hits the Ottobar stage Saturday. While you're there, pick up their new split 7" with opening act Lonnie Walker. Doors open at 10 p.m, and it's only $7.  2549 N. Howard St. theottobar.com. WESLEY CASE, B

9. Kathy Griffin
She may not be to everyone's liking, but Griffin is great live, riffing quickly on bizarre celeb run-ins (Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you've been warned) and the awesomeness that is her mother, Maggie. 8 p.m. Thursday. Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $32-$72. lyricoperahouse.com JORDAN BARTEL, B

10. '127 Hours'
Because James Franco (below) has proven himself a quality actor. Because everyone needs some adventure in life. And because it's damn hard to get a 93 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Opens Friday. LUKE BROADWATER, B

Images: "Harry Potter" (Warner Bros.); Rihanna (Getty)

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