A big, loud, summer action movie masquerading as a cautionary tale with social and political relevance. The film’s cataclysm of climatological chaos turns the Northern Hemisphere into tundra more frozen than Lambeau Field. Yet it also manages to bring people together – the right people, namely the film’s stars – and enlighten them at just the right moments. Director and co-writer Roland Emmerich, who blew up the White House in “Independence Day,” seems to want it all here. He wants to preach environmentalism, yet pummel his audience with dizzying sight and sound. Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sela Ward and Emmy Rossum play just some of the characters scurrying to survive floods, tornadoes, hail and freezing temperatures. Rated: PG-13 for intense situations of peril. Running time: 122 min. Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.

– Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer
‘Raising Helen’

Get ready for a tour of the Comedy Cliche Museum. We have a spunky, beautiful young career woman (Kate Hudson) who’s darn good at what she does (in this case, she’s a rising manager at a modeling agency). But something’s missing. … Remember when Reese Witherspoon played that gal in “Sweet Home Alabama”? Or Jennifer Lopez in “The Wedding Planner”? She has a sister and brother-in-law who conveniently exit the picture (they die) – leaving the unprepared newcomer three troubled young children to raise. Sounds like a job for John Candy’s “Uncle Buck”! We know that by the end, Helen will have not only successfully become a “good mom” she will also have learned a little something about responsibility. You know, like Jack Black in “School of Rock.” Rated: PG-13 for brief language and sex-related discussion. Running time: 119 min. Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.

– Anthony Breznican, AP Entertainment Writer


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