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Movies today

April 11, 2008

Capsules by Michael Sragow or Chris Kaltenbach, unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies.

The Bank Job -- In swinging England 1971, a slick British secret agent coerces a Cockney beauty in a jam to get a crew of her old friends and local "villains" to rob a Lloyd's Bank. Because the bank has been the repository of dirty secrets held by crooked cops, gangsters and whore-mongering ministers and aristocrats, the story is a gift that keeps giving. (M.S.) R 110 minutes A-

Drillbit Taylor -- Owen Wilson is Drillbit, a homeless, good-natured opportunist who answers an ad from three kids looking for protection from the high school bully. The movie strains - for laughs, for credibility, for continuity. But it also has a made-to-order audience in the millions of us who identify with the geeky outcasts in high school. (M.S.) PG-13 102 minutes C-

Horton Hears a Who! -- Blue Sky Studios' ebullient full-length feature from Dr. Seuss' slender comic verse narrative is about an elephant whose big ears detect a whole world on a dust-speck. The movie brings you the rare feeling of reconnecting with a childhood friend who in some essential way has stayed the same. (M.S.) G 88 minutes A-

Leatherheads -- George Clooney plays a grizzled football player in the early years of pro ball who revives his bankrupt team by signing a college phenom and World War I hero (John Krasinski). As a director, Clooney's knack for masculine silliness makes this film the kind of manly brew that's fun from the foam down. (M.S.) PG-13 114 minutes B

Never Back Down -- Sean Faris stars as a brainy, fight-prone high school football star who becomes involved with a crowd devoted to practicing mixed-martial arts in their clubs, schools and McMansions. (M.S.) PG-13 106 minutes D

Nim's Island -- Abigail Breslin plays Nim, the daughter of biologist Jack (Gerard Butler); Jodie Foster plays the agoraphobic adventure novelist who tries to come to the rescue when Jack is stranded. The human elements that should make the comedy and drama cohere remain isolated like splotches of finger paint on an unfinished first-grade mural. (M.S.) PG 95 minutes C-

Run Fat Boy Run -- A man (Simon Pegg) leaves his pregnant girlfriend at the altar and later tries to win her back by competing in a marathon. The movie overexerts its sentimental side, but Pegg still rocks as a comedic presence. (M.S.) PG-13 100 minutes B-

Shine a Light -- In a concert film, director Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones put on a display of showmanship that erases the line between art and entertainment. Scorsese captures how Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company have aged with undiminished energy, an air of defiance and an uncanny shared instinct. (M.S.) PG-13 122 minutes A-

Stop-Loss -- After a soldier comes home from war, he is "stop-lossed" - forced by a phrase in his Army contract to stay in the fight - so he hits the road. His rural Texas hometown seems only marginally more civilized than the war zone he left. (M.S.) R 113 minutes B+

21 -- An M.I.T. math whiz desperate to raise tuition for medical school gets recruited to a team of gifted students who spend their weekends winning money by counting cards in Vegas. The student's ostensible transformation from timid kid to big player fails to produce much of a rush. (M.S.) PG-13 123 minutes C

Vantage Point -- Audiences get to watch the same political assassination from what seems like a hundred different vantage points (the actual number is closer to a half-dozen). The cast of big-name actors (Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker and William Hurt) makes as much of an impression as it can in all the tumult. (M.S.) PG-13 90 minutes C-

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