Top Films At The Box Office

August 14, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra

** ( 2 STARS)

$54.7 million

$54.7 million

1 week

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 118 minutes

What it's about: Team leader Duke (Channing Tatum, above) and his elite force must save the world from metal hungry robots.

Our take: G.I. Joe may not be beefier, but it's cheesier and less aggravating than "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the summer '09 headbanger it most resembles.

Julie & Julia

*** ( 3 STARS)

$9.8

million

$86.1 million

3 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 123 minutes

What it's about: Meryl Streep (above) plays Julia Child when she was first mastering the art of French cooking.

Our take: Twinning Child's story with that of a contemporary blogger, Julie Powell (Amy Adams), makes for uneven but also wacky and engaging entertainment.

G-Force

** ( 2 STARS)

$9.8

million

$86.1 million

3 weeks

Rated: PG

Running time: 89 minutes

What it's about: A group of guinea pigs (including Tracy Morgan's Blaster, above) are transformed into superspies.

Our take: Loud and crass, this PG animated action picture has the vibe of a typical R-rated Jerry Bruckheimer headbanger.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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

$8.9

million

$ 273.8 million

4.5 weeks

Rated: PG

Running time: 153 minutes

What it's about: Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe, above) must persuade an eccentric potions professor to reveal one source of Voldemort's power.

Our take: As Harry enters the thick of adolescence, the filmmakers reward him with a movie that bubbles and pops with humor and feeling.

Funny People

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

$7.9

million

$40.5 million

2 weeks

Rated: R

Running time: 146 minutes

What it's about: Adam Sandler (above) plays a comic much like himself who contracts leukemia and confronts the emptiness of his life.

Our take: It has a smattering of hearty laughs and a never-better Sandler, but it's as weepy and interminable as "Terms of Endearment."

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