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May 04, 2007|By Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach | Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critics

Capsules by film critics Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach unless noted. Full reviews are at

Blades of Glory -- stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as figure skating's first all-male pairs team. It shouldn't take much to figure where the laughs in this film will come from: lots of groin jokes, lots of fey asides. Even figure-skating fans have to admit the sport leaves itself open to parody. And everything you'd expect from a figure-skating parody is there. Although the relentless crudity wears thin after a while, much of the movie, thankfully, is pretty funny. (C.K.) PG-13 93 minutes B-

Disturbia -- is a cheeky thriller about what happens when a disgruntled adolescent (Shia LaBeouf) under house arrest for popping his Spanish teacher cracks open a missing-person case by training his binoculars on a neighbor. In other words, The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window. On its own teen-horror terms, it has the cozy delectability of a flapjack flipped just right; the result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school. (M.S.) PG-13 104 minutes B+

Fracture -- is a competent-enough thriller saved by the virtuoso acting and riveting screen presence of its stars, Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. Every time the film strays into cliche, every time it throws in an extraneous scene, every time its plot makes leaps the audience isn't prepared to go along with, Hopkins or Gosling emerges to render all other concerns about the film secondary. Gosling plays Willy Beachum, a cocksure prosecutor whose last case before joining a big-bucks law firm is going after Ted Crawford (Hopkins), a seemingly innocuous airplane designer and inveterate tinkerer who has tried to murder his much-younger wife. (C.K.) R 104 minutes B-

The Hoax -- is a first-rate fictional movie about an epochal real-life sham: In 1971, Clifford Irving (Richard Gere), a novelist and nonfiction writer with delusions of literary grandeur, sold his publisher, McGraw-Hill, on the idea that the mysterious tycoon Howard Hughes had authorized Irving to interview him and compile a Q&A autobiography. At once a caper film and a comic-dramatic investigation of the performance aspect of writing and the criminal side of reporting, this movie is also, thanks to director Lasse Hallstrom's slaphappy artistry and a sparkling ensemble (especially Gere), an outright, upright hoot. (M.S.) R 116 minutes A-

Hot Fuzz, -- from the same warped Brit minds that gave us Shaun of the Dead, pricelessly skewers big-budget Hollywood blow-'em-ups. Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) was once the finest police officer in London: colorful, dedicated, efficient. He was so good that the police chief transferred him, lest he make his fellow officers look bad by comparison, to the pastoral village of Sandford, where a missing swan constitutes a crime wave. But with Angel on the case, havoc -- in the form of bombs, machine guns and other instruments of mayhem -- is sure to follow. Very funny, in that understated British way that Americans love. (C.K.) R 121 minutes B+

Meet the Robinsons -- exhibits a manic energy that suggests an effort to compensate for something (in this case, the lack of a compelling story or standout characters). But the characters are enjoyable if not always memorable and there's enough wit to keep audiences of whatever age happy. The plot centers on Lewis, an unwanted orphan who finds himself transported to the future, where he encounters a family (the Robinsons) weirder than he could ever hope to be. And whaddya know, he fits in! (C.K.) G 102 minutes B

Year of the Dog, -- a comedy starring Molly Shannon as an introverted dog owner who is turned into a radicalized animal-rights activist, reinforces what dog owners already know: In a world where things are not always what they seem, the love of a good pooch is one of the few things we can count on. It's also a film about how pets bring out the unexpected in all of us, a notion riffed on by writer-director Mike White to comically poignant effect. (C.K.) PG-13 97 minutes B-

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