"An Education"

Star Carey Mulligan earns her Oscar buzz in screenwriter Nick Hornby's excellent adaptation of British journalist Lynn Barber's coming-of-age memoir. Grade: A-


Lars von Trier's portrait of shattering grief is thoroughly remarkable for the first two-thirds, before giving in to flat-out, graphically violent, stomach-churning insanity. Tread carefully. Grade: B-

"The Blind Side"

An inspirational true sports story becomes a Sandra Bullock vehicle that's both shamelessly manipulative and disturbingly simplistic in its view of race relations. Grade: D

"Everybody's Fine"

In this dysfunctional family saga disingenuously marketed as a holiday movie, Robert De Niro and an all-star supporting cast go through a cycle of emotional separation, comforting lies and related guilt, experiences that some can get just fine from their own relatives. Grade: C

"Fantastic Mr. Fox"

Working in stop-motion animation for the first time, and from a book by Roald Dahl, Wes Anderson makes a family-friendly film that's distinctly and beautifully his own, and likely to leave a wide smile on your face. Grade: A

"Ninja Assassin"

Fans of the blood-soaked side of the martial arts genre should get a kick out of James McTeigue's well-choreographed action epic, despite its afterthought of a plot. Grade: C

"Old Dogs"

If you snicker at jokes surrounding the excretory systems of humans and animals, then Robin Williams, John Travolta and the director of Wild Hogs have got a movie for you. Grade: C-


Good intentions don't entirely redeem Lee Daniels' blunt-trauma approach to Sapphire's novel about a horribly troubled teen. It's a good thing star Gabourey Sidibe and Oscar nominee-to-be Mo'Nique back him up with genuine performances. Grade: B-

"The Room"

This cult hit from low-budget auteur Tommy Wiseau is so uniquely, passionately awful, you really have to experience it for yourself. (Drexel) Grade: B+

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon"

You could open a liquor store with all the six-packs on display, but for those not sent into a prolonged swoon by the Tiger Beat softcore of shirtless supernatural teens, the second part of the Twilight saga is a really long, occasionally laughable night at the movies. Grade: C