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Capsules by Michael Sragow or Chris Kaltenbach, unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimore

Be Kind Rewind -- In this combination of Dada farce and daddy comedy, Jack Black and Mos Def carve out a cult of no-budget, handmade short films to save the small business -- and ultimately the neighborhood -- of their father figure (Danny Glover), the owner of the Be Kind Rewind video store. This movie doesn't have a mean bone in its body; the problem is, it doesn't have any bone in its body. It's a gross combination of hipness and sentimentality. (M.S.) PG-13 101 minutes C-


Definitely, Maybe -- imagines a world where happy endings are de rigueur, but getting there is no picnic. As romantic comedies go, that may not qualify as a revelation, but in the hands of writer-director Adam Brooks and his uniformly charming cast -- including Ryan Reynolds as the poor guy whose heart belongs to either Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher or Rachel Weisz -- it's a welcome wrinkle in a genre that rarely ventures beyond the predictable. Abigail Breslin is the young girl transfixed by her father's tale and anxious to find out which of based-on-fact girlfriends he's telling her about is her mother. (C.K.) PG-13 111 minutes B

Diary of the Dead -- A film student decides to record his and his pals' efforts to escape the undead. Too much hand-held camera and not enough of a fresh take on the whole zombie scene suggests writer-director George Romero may have gone to the zombie well once too often. (C.K.) R 95 minutes C+


Fool's Gold -- An undersea-treasure hunter and his ex-wife renew their love connection over the prospective bounty from a sunken Spanish fleet. Formulaic and cliched, but Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson have a winning chemistry. (C.K.) PG-13 110 minutes B-

4 Months, 3 Weeks, Two Days -- The exploitation of a strong woman by a needy one proves as tense a subject as the tyranny of a communist dictatorship in this engrossing story of a thoughtless college girl's illegal abortion in 1987 Romania. The movie fills us with high anxiety and terror, and Anamaria Marinca, as the pregnant girl's sturdy friend, is the rarest kind of heartbreaker. You never see her ask for the audience's sympathy. She creates a character on the run -- and allows the film to zip down intriguing side roads in a largely straightaway narrative. (M.S.) Unrated 113 minutes A

Jumper -- has enough kinetic energy to light a thousand houses. Unfortunately, there's no one home in any of them. Hayden Christensen plays the title character, a selfish, amoral 20-something able to teleport himself instantly to anyplace he can visualize. We're never clued in on such trivial matters as how and why. Worse, the filmmakers compound the offense by inventing the rules of this new world as they go along. With Rachel Bilson as the childhood sweetie who, maybe too late, gives him someone to live for, and Samuel L. Jackson as a jumper-hunter with murder on his mind. (C.K.) PG-13 92 minutes C

No Country for Old Men -- A still-young good old boy (Josh Brolin) chances on $2 million; chasing it and him are a chilling sociopath and an old-school West Texas sheriff. It deserves not merely a rave review but a Johnny Cash song about matter-of-fact killings in shady hotels and sun-scoured landscapes. It's a tragic melodrama without tears but with surprising amounts of heart: a hard-boiled requiem for dead souls in a harrowed and harrowing country. (M.S.) R 103 minutes A

The Spiderwick Chronicles -- With character names like Hogsqueal, Mulgarath and Thimbletack, it's got to be derivative. So it's not altogether surprising that Mark Waters' adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles feels slightly not-so-fresh. Based on the children's fantasy series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, it's the story of what happens to a trio of kids in trouble when their newly single mom moves them from New York to a crumbling, fairy-infested Victorian mansion in the country -- where they soon run afoul of the local ogre. It lacks the imagination and energy of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter pictures. (From wire reports) PG 90 minutes B+

Step Up 2 the Streets -- scores some serious points for its dance moves but does a lousy job of remembering there's a lot more to this big old world than moving your feet. A sequel to 2006's surprise shot-in-Baltimore hit Step Up, it posits a world (set and filmed again in Charm City) where the only thing of any importance is winning the local underground dance competition -- in this case, an on-the-sly showdown between warring crews dubbed The Streets. Not that we should expect measured social commentary, or even attempted realism, from dance movies. But the original Step Up at least suggested that these teens had other issues to deal with. Not so here, as smoldering newcomer Briana Evigan is underserved by the flimsiest and most cliched of story lines. The result is undeniably energetic and viscerally satisfying, but emotionally hollow. (C.K.) PG-13 97 minutes C+

There Will Be Blood -- From 1898 through the Roaring '20s, a monomaniacal California oil baron (Daniel Day-Lewis) achieves towering financial success -- but morally scrapes the bottom of the barrel. (M.S.) R 158 minutes C-

27 Dresses -- Katherine Heigl is Jane, an eternal bridesmaid (literally) who finds herself at odds with James Marsden's Kevin, a cynical wedding reporter. The film is a romantic comedy, so you can probably guess where this is headed. Predictable but utterly charming, especially when Heigl is onscreen. (C.K.) PG-13 107 minutes B


Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, -- starring Martin Lawrence and Mo'Nique, sets out to prove that you can go home again, but the lesson apparently is that it's going to be painful for everyone involved (audiences included). Drawn in extremely broad strokes with an enthusiastic cast vying for most over-the-top honors, this rude family comedy throws so many jokes and gags at the screen, a few are bound to stick. The film, by writer-director Malcolm D. Lee, is a near continuous assault of cliches. It attempts to wring unearned sentiment from the inevitable, awkwardly staged family rapprochement. But why does it have to take Roscoe almost two hours to come to realize what is obvious to the audience in the first 10 minutes? (Los Angeles Times) PG-13 114 minutes. C