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The Baltimore Sun

Capsules by film critics Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies.

Are We Done Yet?, -- with Ice Cube as the leader of a city family that moves into a country fixer-upper that refuses to be fixed, has some possibilities but consistently mistakes annoying for funny. Most of the laughs are handed to John C. McGinley as Chuck, the unctuous real-estate agent who's also the only licensed home improvement contractor in town, not to mention the building inspector. But McGinley oversells his character, playing Chuck so broadly that watching him is exhausting, soon reaching the point where the audience is no happier to see him than the new owners are. (C.K.) PG 92 minutes C+

Away From Her -- As his wife's Alzheimer's worsens, a husband struggles over just how hard he should fight to retain the life they once had. Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent are wonderful in this quiet, comtemplative study of love and loss. (C.K.) PG-13 110 minutes B+

Black Book -- is Paul Verhoeven's best in years, an exhilarating thriller of broad scope and even broader appeal. Its heroine, Rachel Stein (Carice van Houten) is beautiful, resourceful, moral but unapologetically opportunistic. She has to be. As a Jewish woman living in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, she has little choice, if she wants to stay alive. The movie plays out as a prolonged, high-stakes chess match, as Stein's colleagues in the resistance try to stay one step ahead of both the Nazis and the traitor they soon realize is somewhere in their midst. The movie suffers never a dull moment, and van Houten is a revelation in a performance of profound depth and careful modulation. (C.K.) R 145 minutes A

Blades of Glory -- stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as figure skating's first all-male pairs team. It shouldn't take much to figure where the laughs in this film will come from: lots of groin jokes, lots of fey asides. Even figure-skating fans have to admit the sport leaves itself wide open to parody. And everything you'd expect from a figure-skating parody is there. (C.K.) PG-13 93 minutes B-

Disturbia -- is a cheeky thriller about what happens when a disgruntled adolescent (Shia LaBeouf) under house arrest for popping his Spanish teacher cracks open a missing-person case by training his binoculars on a neighbor. In other words, The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window. On its own teen-horror terms, it has the cozy delectability of a flapjack flipped just right; the result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school. (M.S.) PG-13 104 minutes B+

Fracture -- is a competent-enough thriller saved by the virtuoso acting and riveting screen presence of its stars, Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. Every time the film strays into cliche, every time it throws in an extraneous scene, every time its plot makes leaps the audience isn't prepared to go along with, Hopkins or Gosling emerges to render all other concerns about the film secondary. Gosling plays Willy Beachum, a cocksure prosecutor whose last case before joining a big-bucks law firm is going after Ted Crawford (Hopkins), a seemingly innocuous airplane designer and inveterate tinkerer who has tried to murder his much-younger wife. But there's more to Crawford than everyone suspects; he's a wiley old coot, just as cocksure as Beachum, but with a lot more experience to back it up. (C.K.) R 104 minutes B-

Georgia Rule -- follows three generations of a messed-up family: Georgia (Jane Fonda), a righteous Idaho matriarch, her granddaughter Rachel (Lindsay Lohan), and Rachel's equally troubled mother, Lily (Felicity Huffman). Georgia proves to be a pious bore from start to finish. (M.S.) R. 113 minutes D-

Hot Fuzz -- from the same warped Brit minds that gave us Shaun of the Dead, pricelessly skewers big-budget Hollywood blow-'em-ups. Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), the finest police officer in London: colorful, dedicated, efficient. He was so good that the police chief transferred him, lest he make his fellow officers look bad by comparison, to the pastoral village of Sandford, where a missing swan constitutes a crime wave. Very funny, in that understated British way that Americans love. (C.K.) R 121 minutes B+

Next -- may be the silliest movie of 2007, as well as further proof that Nicolas Cage is often his own worst enemy when it comes to choosing movie roles. The film's plot centers on a guy (Cage) who can see two minutes into his future and efforts by the FBI to enlist his aid in the search for an atomic bomb buried somewhere near L.A. (C.K.) PG-13 96 minutes C

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End -- Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a new Chinese pirate from Singapore, Sao Feng (Chow-Yun Fat), and many others betray each other in this bloated wrapup to a series that has become so laborious that the plot - and its subplots and countersubplots - puncture any enjoyment you may have in daft slapstick and bold visual coups. (M.S.) PG-13 170 minutes D+

Shrek the Third -- tells what happens when Prince Charming persuades oversized bad guys to seize the Land of Far Far Away and compose a happy ending for themselves. Eddie Murphy's lovable, febrile Donkey hasn't lost his kick, and Antonio Banderas' debonair Puss in Boots overflows with a ticklish feline unpredictability. But Mike Myers' Shrek and Cameron Diaz's Fiona supply the comic heart that turns the film into a genuine slapstick fairy tale as they defend the kingdom while grappling with impending parenthood. (M.S.) PG 87 minutes A-

Spider-Man 3 -- is a jam-packed saga, more hyped-up parade than adventure, a crash-and-bawl movie, a four-hankie demolition derby. But director Sam Raimi does deliver a dozen moments of looniness and grandeur. (M.S.) PG-13 140 minutes B-

28 Weeks Later -- doesn't match the impact of its predecessor, 28 Days Later. The new film chronicles the tragically premature attempts to recolonize England after the zombie virus that ravaged the country in the earlier film appears to have died off. (C.K.) R 99 minutes C+

Waitress -- celebrates the unhappily married Jenna (Keri Russell), a working woman with a baby on the way and a genius for making pies. It's partly a romantic comedy-drama (Nathan Fillion is a hoot as her gynecologist lover) and partly an inspired riff on artistic temperament; Jenna sees the structure of her baked goods whole, the way Einstein would envision his theories or Picasso his paintings. And Russell is magical in the role. (M.S.) PG-13 104 minutes A-

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