by INLANDER STAFF & r & & r & THE COUNTERFEITERS & r & & r & A hell of a true story: After being arrested in Germany and put in a concentration camp, Jew and master counterfeiter Salomon Sorowitsch is asked to help fund the Nazi war machine by cranking out counterfeit dollars, pounds and the like. Offered a chance of life if they cooperated, Sorowitsch and his team nonetheless contemplate sabotage, perhaps saving their countrymen but undoubtedly losing their own lives. In German with subtitles. (LB) Rated R
Al Pacino has done such a good job for so many years of playing compelling badass after compelling badass (even in Scent of a Woman), can he ever play anything but? 88 Minutes is a good test of that. Portraying a forensic psychologist terrorized by a serial killer, he's a wonk and a professor, nothing badass about that. But then he gets his hand on a gun and, from the looks of it, old Al gets his thousand-yard stare back. (LB) Rated R
An American-made wire-fu epic starring Jet Li, Jackie Chan and some white kid, Forbidden Kingdom is long on wu-xia (a kind of Chinese martial arts soap opera) stereotypes (a drunken master, a taciturn warrior, an immortal weapon, a hot girl). Only time will tell if it's long on fantasy action as well. (LB) Rated PG-13
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
Boy meets girl, loses girl, gets girl. Sad Peter (Jason Segel) loses his girlfriend Sarah (Kristen Bell) to a ridiculous Brit rock star (Russell Brand), then goes to Hawaii to forget her -- only to find the happy couple staying at the same hotel. Judd Apatow produced, so there's plenty of raunchy humor (some wild nude scenes with Segel), and a real sweetness. I'm not sure if it's a good date movie, but it sure made me laugh. (ES) Rated R
EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED
In this documentary, Ben Stein weighs in on the intelligent design side of the evolution-vs.-intelligent design debate. Or rather, he weighs in on the wolf-in-sheep's-clothing/snake-in-the-grass side, arguing that the scientific method requires that we follow the evidence where it leads. Like, uh, right to intelligent design. It's "teach the controversy" all over again. (LB) Rated PG.
FOUR MONTHS, THREE WEEKS, TWO DAYS
Though it's centered on oppression and abortion in 1980s Romania, director Cristian Mungiu's film is also about keeping secrets. Under autocrat Nicolae Ceausescu, an already dictatorial regime had become worse. Mungiu's great triumph here is that he doesn't show us Ceausescu or his police. What he shows us instead are sidelong glances from transit authorities and intrusive questions from hotel clerks. Four Months is the most quietly horrifying film I've seen in years. (LB) Not Rated
Following 2003's Elephant, his typical-day-at-high-school film, Gus Van Sant now delivers a skater movie filled with emo and Portland grit. A skate kid may have witnessed an accidental death. Or maybe there's more to it. Sometimes out on the streets, it's hard to tell what's true and what isn't. (MB) Rated R
Director Ira Sachs jumbles together melodrama, comedy, noir and character-driven drama in this set-in-the-1940s look at what happens when Chris Cooper's character wants a divorce from his wife (Patricia Clarkson) but decides to let her off easy instead -- by killing her slowly. Pierce Brosnan and Rachel McAdams (as the ing & eacute;nue) also star. (MB) Rated PG-13
UNDER THE SAME MOON
The immigration wars have been giving Lou Dobbs plenty to talk about lately, and now we have the dramatization, which played Sundance in 2007. It's about both sides of the fence, with scenes in Los Angeles and Mexico, and how one family walks the line for love and money. Critics say director Patricia Riggen handled potentially sentimental stuff with style, telling a family story rather than creating a political diatribe. America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) makes an appearance in a taut border crossing scene. (TSM) Rated PG-13
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.