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box office

October 10, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

* 1/2 ( 1 1/2 STARS)

$29.3

million

$29.3 million

1 week

Rated: PG

Running time: 91 minutes

What it's about: A spoiled Chihuahua named Chloe (Drew Barrymore) gets dognapped and taken to Mexico City, where some newfound friends (including a German shepherd named Delagado) try to help her and her million-dollar Harry Winston collar get home.

Our take: Lots of talking dogs, little of anything else.

Eagle Eye

** 1/2 ( 2 1/2 STARS)

$17.7

million

$54.6 million

2 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 118 minutes

What it's about: A mysterious woman who seems able to control any electronic device coerces an aimless slacker (Shia LaBeouf, above) and a single mother (Michelle Monaghan) into implementing a plot that may bring down the U.S. as we know it.

Our take: It's moderately gripping, but, too often, watching this movie is like seeing someone else crack a jigsaw puzzle.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

** 1/2 ( 2 1/2 STARS)

$11.3

million

$11.3 million

1 week

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 90 minutes

What it's about: Two high school seniors (Michael Cera and Kat Dennings, above), who are meant for each other but don't know it, spend a long night searching for a cult band and stumbling into romance.

Our take: It contains some intelligent humor and high-SAT comedy as well as high jinks so crude they're really low jinks.

Nights in Rodanthe

* 1/2 ( 1 1/2 STARS)

$7.4

million

$25.1 million

2 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 97 minutes

What it's about: Based on a Nicholas Sparks best-seller, the film is about an emotionally bruised woman (Diane Lane, above) who finds love while running a hotel in a coastal North Carolina town.

Our take: It should be a surefire weepie, but not even Lane can push this soggy mass uphill.

Appaloosa

*** 1/2 ( 3 1/2 STARS)

$5.0

million

$5.6 million

3 weeks (1 week here)

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 90 minutes

What it's about: A taciturn marshal (Ed Harris) and deputy (Viggo Mortensen, above) tame the title town and rule supreme - until the love of a gal (Renee Zellweger) complicates law and order.

Our take: Harris and Mortensen deliver virtuoso understatement; this old-fashioned Western goes down like a single malt aged for 25 years.

Lakeview Terrace

* 1/2 ( 1 1/2 STARS)

$4.6

million

$32.2 million

3 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 110 minutes

What it's about: An interracial couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington, above) move to an L.A. suburb and almost immediately suspect their neighbor, a veteran black cop (Samuel L. Jackson), of plotting to drive them out of the neighborhood.

Our take: It's one more failed thriller about men behaving badly - and stupidly.

Burn After Reading

** 1/2 ( 2 1/2 STARS)

$4.1

million

$51.7 million

4 weeks

Rated: R

Running time: 96 minutes

What it's about: Espionage gets mixed up with a gym worker's desire to get a Hollywood body, a CIA wife's move to get a divorce and a U.S. Treasury agent's propensity to get some thrills.

Our take: You can't fault the ensemble, which includes George Clooney (above), but the movie lacks internal combustion. It's more like a lava lamp than lava.

Fireproof

** ( 2 STARS)

$4.0

million

$12.4 million

2 weeks

Rated: PG

Running time: 124 minutes

What it's about: A firefighter named Caleb (Kirk Cameron, above) whose loveless marriage is headed for divorce court tries a 40-day caring-for-marriage regimen with a Christian underpinning.

Our take: The story may be a bit gimmicky and the central couple is thinly drawn, but the cast of mostly amateurs is surprisingly good.

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