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box office

October 17, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

* 1/2 ( 1 1/2)

$17.5

million

$52.5 million

2 weeks

Rated: PG

Running time: 91 minutes

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

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

Quarantine

** ( 2 STARS)

$14.2

million

$14.2 million

1 week

Rated: R

Running time: 89 minutes

What it's about: A TV reporter (Jennifer Carpenter, above) and her cameraman are trapped in a CDC lockdown when a virus strikes residents of an L.A. apartment building.

Our take: There's no ground broken here and the dialogue is not memorable, but once the fur and fluids start flying, it does achieve a video-game-like enjoyability.

Body of Lies

*** ( 3 STARS)

$12.8

million

$12.8 million

1 week

Rated: R

Running time: 128 minutes

What it's about: Leonardo DiCaprio's (above) deceptively rugged CIA agent masterminds the capture of a new world-class terrorist (Alon Abutbul) despite the bungling and interference of his Langley, Va.-based boss (Russell Crowe).

Our take: DiCaprio's Roger Ferris is an existential juggler throwing a fistful of knives up in midair - and DiCaprio doesn't drop a single blade. The movie is emotionally as well as intellectually gripping.

Eagle Eye

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

$10.9

million

$70.4 million

3 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)

$6.4

million

$20.7 million

2 weeks

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.

The Express

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

$4.6

million

$4.6 million

1 week

Rated: PG

Running time: 129 minutes

What it's about: Ernie Davis (Rob Brown, above), the first African-American winner of the Heisman Trophy.

Our take: Many inspirational sports movies provide only junk food for thought; this one contains some authentic reflections on sport in the civil rights era, as well as flesh-thwacking game footage that for once conveys what a coach means when he looks at a runner and declares him "a thoroughbred."

Nights in Rodanthe

* 1/2 ( 1 1/2)

$4.5

million

$32.3 million

3 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)

$3.3

million

$10.9 million

4 weeks (2 weeks 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.

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