Tim Burton’s fabulist story about the colorfully fantasist father (Albert Finney) of a grimly realist son (Billy Crudup) is a lush fairytale that will appeal to the fantasists among us. With Ewan McGregor and Jessica Lange. Rated: PG-13 (brief nudity, mild violence) Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

‘Cold Mountain’

Atwang with mountain music and actors stretching their vowels in long, loping cadences, this romantic odyssey set during the Civil War is the equivalent of comfort food: old-fashioned, earthy (lots of root vegetables), satisfying. Jude Law and Nicole Kidman star as lovers separated by conflict, carnage and hundreds and hundreds of miles. Rated: (violence, profanity, nudity, adult themes) Rating: 3 stars

‘Something’s Gotta Give’

Nancy Meyers’ bedroom farce teams Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton as an unlikely twosome dealing with conflicting issues of commitment, vulnerability and attraction to much younger members of the opposite sex. With Amanda Peet and Keanu Reeves. Rated: PG-13 (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) Rating: 3 stars

‘The Last Samurai’

Tom Cruise is a hardbitten Civil War vet who goes to Japan to teach the military a thing or two, and learns a bit himself when he is captured by the samurai wise in the ways of the warrior.

Epic battle scenes and great costumes, but a hollow movie star and stereotyping screenplay are at its core. Rated: R (violence, adult themes) Rating: 2 1/2 stars

‘Calendar Girls’

Inspired by the true-life British matrons who bared (almost) all for a charity calendar, this convivial movie starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters is more involving than its glib premise suggests. Rated:PG-13 (discreet nudity, brief profanity) Rating: 3 stars.

‘Cheaper by the Dozen’

A family slapstick that young kids will love for the food fights, older kids will like for TV stars Hilary Duff and Ashton Kutcher, and adults will endure for Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. “Cheaper by the Dozen” purports to be based on the memoir by the children of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. The new movie and the wryly funny memoir are alike in name only. Rated: PG (flatulence and poop humor) Rating: 2 stars.


4 stars: Excellent; 3 stars: Good; 2 stars: Fair; 1 star: Poor

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