by Inlander Staff & r & Capote -- Philip Seymour Hoffman owns this film. As Truman Capote, he deftly manages one of the most complicated egos I've ever seen on screen. Capote was a braggart, an egomaniac, a hedonist, an exploiter of people and, perhaps above it all, an incredibly insecure human being. Hoffman makes sure all these things are on display. The film itself takes place during the writing of In Cold Blood, about a quadruple homicide in Kansas. The book made him America's most famous living writer, and also, the story goes, broke him. (LB) Rated R
Chicken Little -- Disney's first attempt at in-house CGI animation in the Pixar mold sometimes feels less like a movie than part of a strategy to get back together with Pixar. The film begins with a lively pop as a re-imagining of the storybook tale about the tiny fowl (voiced by Zach Braff) who caused a panic by screaming that the sky was falling. But the sky really is falling, and Chicken Little gets faster, louder and scarier -- feeling more and more like something trying to out-Pixar Pixar. (Scott Renshaw) Rated G
Derailed -- Don't cheat on your spouse! That's the message in this tale of two people (Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston) who do, and then pay the consequences when their tryst is interrupted by a vicious criminal (Vincent Cassel) who is out for both blood and money. Plot twists come roaring through, right up to the end. (ES) Rated R
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story -- The title is too long and the film is too packed with cliches. Failed horse owner Kurt Russell acquires a badly injured filly and intends to nurse her back to health, coached along by his precocious daughter Dakota Fanning (who talks too fast and garbles her words). Well-intentioned and big-hearted, the film nevertheless has ridiculous plot switches -- the girl becomes majority owner of the horse -- and is utterly predictable every furlong of the way. (ES) Rated PG
Fighter Pilot -- As we follow Capt. Jack Stratton, an F-15 eagle pilot, battling 125 pilots from six nations in the world's largest air war games, the realization settles in that Fighter Pilot works neither as you-are-there documentary, Air Force recruiting video nor Top Gun razzle-dazzle. (MB) Not Rated.
Get Rich or Die Tryin' -- At first glance, this seems like the most honestly titled film ever. The producers are being so forthright about this shameless product tie-in that they've put one of their core corporate values right in the title. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, former thug and dealer turned platinum-selling rap star, plays Marcus, thug and drug dealer who might someday become a platinum-selling rap star? Pretty much screams "let's piggy back on Fiddy's album sales." But GRoDT is directed by Jim Sheridan, a six-time Oscar nominee who helmed 2003's In America. So it might be well received and still score billions of dollars in merchandising. Probably not though. (LB) Rated R
Good Night, and Good Luck -- An elegant scolding frames George Clooney's meticulous and stirring account of the duel between broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Red-baiter Senator Joseph McCarthy (played by himself, via archival news footage). Celebrated at a fete in 1958 for his career achievements, Murrow turns on the network-news broadcasters honoring him. "This will probably do no one any good," he begins, and concludes by condemning the new medium for selling out its potential and folding to political and commercial pressure. (Peter Keough) Rated PG.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- Harry and friends return for another term at Hogwarts, and Harry somehow becomes a contestant in the dangerous and exciting Triwizard Tournament. Director Mike Newell and entire-series writer Steve Kloves add new dimensions to the story, with more emotional punch and some maturing (sexual awakening?) of the young wizards. This fourth installment is the most fun and the scariest. Brendan Gleeson steals the show as "Mad-Eye." (ES) Rated PG-13
Jarhead -- Spend some time in hot Middle Eastern sand with the Marines during Operation Desert Shield. Under the direction of Sam Mendes (American Beauty), it was funny and harrowing and boring and could drive a guy nuts. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a Marine who goes through tough emotional times with his fellow soldiers. The film concentrates more on them than on the politics of the time. Gyllenhaal, as Swoff, and Peter Sarsgaard, as Troy, are terrific. (ES) Rated R
Legend of Zorro -- "People still need Zorro!" Columbia Pictures is trying so hard to believe that, they went so far as to write it into the movie itself. Not merely content to let him be Zorro the swashbuckler, Legend of Zorro offers us Zorro the husband, Zorro the father, and -- God bless him -- Zorro the Savior of America. Nobody around here has seen it yet, but the stench Zorro has generated in larger movie markets is already wafting in. God Bless the Internet. Rated PG
Magnificent Desolation -- Only 12 people have walked on the moon, but now IMAX is proclaiming that you'll be number 13. All of you. Don't be fooled! You won't really be on the moon, just leaning back a little in your chair, gazing up at the moon's desolate vistas projected on a massive format screen. This is bound to be good. Tom Hanks produced it, and he doesn't put his name on bad movies. Except The Terminal... and Ladykillers. Unrated
Saw II -- Wasn't it enough to see Saw the first time? Do we really need a whole other movie about Seesaw, the homicidal cancer patient? Yes? All right, but if the first was a pretty blatant rip off of Se7en and Rube Goldberg's Inventions!, and this is a rehash of that, then we all know what to expect. Is knowing what to expect scary? We'd say no, but thousands upon thousands of horror flick sequels would beg to differ. Rated R
Walk the Line -- Biopics come in two distinct flavors, good and bad. There's very little in between. The good are measured and unsensationalized, focusing on the person more than his or her celebrity and public persona, engaging and salacious as those might be. They help us make sense of the person behind the image. Let's hope that Walk The Line - directed by James Mangold and starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash - is one of those biopics. (LB) Rated PG-13
Yours, Mine and Ours -- In its never-ending quest to remake every film and TV show of note, Hollywood may have actually stumbled on a winner -- 1968's Yours, Mine and Ours, which starred Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. In the remake, it's Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo who fall in love with tons of baggage -- 18 children between them, that is. The kids join forces to break up the happy couple. (TSM) Rated PG
Zathura -- Zathura equals Jumanjii minus Robin Williams plus outer space. Two brothers demonstrate their sibling rivalry, then discover a mysterious box down in their scary basement. Next thing you know, they're fighting off meteor showers and robots, then freezing their sister cryogenically. Director Jon Favreau delivers a familiar but still entertaining story -- until his romp runs out of ideas. Watch out for the Zorgons! Keep watching out for them! Those Zorgons are still coming! (LB) Rated PG
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.