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Green Zone

The audience at the local preview for Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone this week may be a harbinger. Or rather, the lack of an audience. The room in the multiplex was barely half full, a rare occurrence. The movie’s title refers to the fortified American enclave established in Baghdad after invading US forces reached that city in April 2003. For several years, American moviegoers have persuasively communicated their uninterest in, and antipathy to, films about the war in Iraq. Also this week, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, about an Army bomb disposal unit in Iraq in 2004, won the Oscar for best picture, but as the awards ceremony got underway Sunday night, this winner had brought in less than $14 million domestically after seven months.

Alice in Wonderland

One of the oddest things about Tim Burton’s odd new movie take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is that it seems to be pitched at many of the same “tween” and early adolescent girls as the two romantic Twilight movies. This is not a market segment Burton has strenuously courted during his 20-odd-year career. Of course, he’s at something of a disadvantage in this. His movie lacks the other films’ two male leads, the soulfully suffering Robert Pattinson and the glisteningly buff Taylor Lautner. But that’s okay; this Alice is supposed to be about feminist empowerment. Who needs cute boys?


Argentina’s official submission for the Academy Awards two years ago, XXY is a an alternately dreamy and schematic film that can’t help but make you feel like a bit of a voyeur, a tactic that is at least occasionally intentional. It is set on a sparsely inhabited island near the border of Argentina and Uruguay. This is where Kraken, a marine biologist (Ricardo Darín, star of Son of the Bride and Nine Queens) and his wife have chosen to raise their daughter Alex (Inés Efron). Now 15 years old, Alex is being pressured to confront her true nature: she was born with the sexual characteristics of both male and female. Hormone treatments have tipped the balance to her female side, but her mother wants her to consider going all the way with surgery. To this end she invites a surgeon to visit, along with his wife and teenaged son Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky).

She's Out of My League

If you recognize his face, it’s probably because 20ish actor Jay Baruchel has been a peripheral member of the ensemble that populates a lot of Judd Apatow projects. She’s Out of My League has no connection to Aptow but is clearly going for his audience with its mix of sweet-natured characters and raunchy comedy.

Our Family Wedding

With the prospect of a ton of raunchy comedies to be hitting theaters in the wake of The Hangover, you have to respect a movie like Our Family Wedding, which believes that there’s still a viable market for gentler humor.

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