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box office

November 28, 2008

Twilight

**(2 STARS)

$69.6

million

$69.6 million

1 week

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 121 minutes

What it's about: Good-guy vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart, above with Cam Gigandet as James) fall into a love that's immediate and absolute and not to be consummated - unless Edward decides to let himself go wild and drink her blood.

Our take: This flesh-biter of a movie never turns into a nail-biter. The emphasis is on swooning, and even the amorous thrills fade away.

Quantum of Solace

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

$26.7

million

$108.8 million

2 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 106 minutes

What it's about: 007 avenges the death of his true love while obliterating a crooked international green-industry syndicate.

Our take: Daniel Craig (above), the most Byronic of all James Bonds, manages the astonishing task of rooting an outlandish yet sober-sided movie in reality and bringing it an air of wicked amusement, too.

Bolt

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

$26.2

million

$26.2 million

1 week

Rated: PG

Running time: 121 minutes

What it's about: A dog who plays a superhero on TV thinks he is one in real life, which presents all sorts of problems when he unexpectedly finds himself in New York, a continent away from his beloved owner, Penny.

Our take: The script is smart, its conceit a heart-tugger in the finest of senses, and it's the first Disney effort in way too long to be more concerned with being a movie than with being a breeding ground for product tie-ins.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

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

$15.7

million

$137.1 million

3 weeks

Rated: G

Running time: 89 minutes

What it's about: Alex the dancing lion (Ben Stiller) and his fellow expatriates on the island of Madagascar head back to New York on Air Penguin but crash-land in another part of Africa.

Our take: This uproarious cartoon suggests what would happen if Comedy Central and Animal Planet co-produced Roots III. Menageries of characters trace loony curlicues in and around the narrative.

Role Models

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

$7.3

million

$48.1 million

3 weeks

Rated: R

Running time: 99 minutes

What it's about: Paul Rudd (above) and Seann William Scott play energy-drink salesmen who become mentors in the Sturdy Wings program for maladjusted kids.

Our take: Rudd and Scott, Jane Lynch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb'e J. Thompson give the movie plenty of pungent moments before it dissolves into a sea of goo.

Changeling

** ( 2 STARS)

$2.7

million

$31.7 million

5 weeks (4 weeks here)

Rated: R

Running time: 141 minutes

What it's about: Angelina Jolie (above) plays a mother whose missing son is returned to her. But the boy is not her son, and when she tries telling that to the police, she gets thrown into a psychiatric ward.

Our take: Director Clint Eastwood is more interested in stoking his audience's sense of outrage than telling a nuanced story.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

** ( 2 STARS)

$2.0

million

$86.9 million

5 weeks

Rated: G

Running time: 113 minutes

What it's about: High school sweethearts Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens, above) struggle with the idea of being separated as college approaches.

Our take: It contains high-energy singing and dancing, and it's refreshing to see a high school movie that eschews gross-out gags and elevates romantic courtship rites.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

* ( 1 STAR)

$1.6

million

$29.3 million

4 weeks

Rated: R

Running time: 101 minutes

What it's about: Two childhood friends, Zack (Seth Rogen, above) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks), can't pay bills; then Zack gets the big idea of creating a porn movie.

Our take: This movie is so amateurish, there's no suspense about whether Zack and Miri will make their porno; the real excitement would come if director Kevin Smith finally made a real live movie.

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