Box Office

December 04, 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

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

$42.8

million

$230.9 million

2 weeks

Rated : PG-13

Running time : 2:10

What it's about : Bella (Kristen Stewart, above) is drawn into the world of werewolves after the departure of her vampire love.

Our take : Constrained by the plot of the novel, the film keeps the two lovers apart for quite a spell, robbing the project of the crazy-in-love energy that made "Twilight," the first entry in the series, such a guilty pleasure.

The Blind Side

*** ( 3 STARS)

$40.1

million

$100.2 million

2 weeks

Rated : PG-13

Running time : 2:08

What it's about : A well-to-do white Christian family in Memphis champions - and loves - an inarticulate black scholarship student at an evangelical school: Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron, above) .

Our take : Without subtlety but with a lot of heart, the movie tells a real-life tall tale - make that Big and Tall - and fleshes out the inspiring idea that a young man from a destructive environment can bloom in a caring one.

2012

*** ( 3 STARS)

$17.6

million

$138.4 million

3 weeks

Rated : PG-13

Running time : 2:38

What it's about : Director Roland Emmerich wipes out an entire planet via tsunami, earthquake, volcano and risible dialogue, and John Cusack, above, Amanda Peet and Chiwetel Ejiofor fight, valiantly, for their lives.

Our take : The over-the-top effects are quite enjoyable. At least the first five or six hours of them.

Old Dogs

* ( 1 STAR)

$16.8

million

$24.2 million

1 week

Rated : PG

Running time : 1:39

What it's about : John Travolta (above) and Robin Williams star as best pals baby-sitting a couple of preteens (the Williams character's progeny) for two weeks.

Our take : Strained doesn't begin to describe this groin-pull of a slapstick outing (with pathos).

: A Christmas Carol

* ( 1 STAR)

$15.7

million

$104.9 million

4 weeks

Rated : PG

Running time : 1:36

What it's about : Director Robert Zemeckis reimagines the Dickens classic as a 3-D action-thriller zooming through Victorian London.

Our take : By the time the film finishes piling its many shiny presents with their many bells and whistles under the tree, there's no room left for tears for Tiny Tim. Bah humbug, indeed.

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