Now Playing At The Box Office

August 28, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

* 1/2 ( 1 1/2 STARS)

$38

million

$38 million

1 week

Rated: R

Running time: 2:33

What it's about: A band of Jewish-American commandos (including Brad Pitt, above) bedevil the German army, and a French Jew seeks justice for the Nazi slaughter of her family.

Our take: It's so hollow and protracted that it transforms mayhem into monotony.

District 9

** ( 2 STARS)

$18.2

million

$72.8 million

2 weeks

Rated: R

Running time: 1:52

What it's about: A government agent comes to the aid of an alien race (above) forced to live in slumlike conditions on Earth.

Our take: It's mainly a compost of other sci-fi movies, some as old as "RoboCop" and "Aliens," and some as recent as "Cloverfield."

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

** ( 2 STARS)

$12.2

million

$120.2 million

3 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 1:58

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" might not be beefier, but it's cheesier and less aggravating than "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the summer '09 release it most resembles.

The Time Traveler's Wife

** ( 2 STARS)

$9.7

million

$37.1 million

2 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 1:47

What it's about: A Chicago librarian (Eric Bana, above) travels involuntarily through time, complicating his marriage.

Our take: The moviemakers fail to turn their plucky, attractive stars into even a reasonable facsimile of true lovers. They're too busy uncoiling the complicated plot.

Julie & Julia

*** ( 3 STARS)

$8.8

million

$59 million

3 weeks

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 2:03

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.

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