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NEW MOVIES

"Burn After Reading" (R). Not reviewed. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen wrote and directed this comedy about a CIA disc that falls in the wrong hands. Brad Pitt and George Clooney star. Opens Friday, Sept. 12.

"Righteous Kill" (R). Not reviewed. Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino star in this crime drama playing veteran police detectives on the trail of a vigilante serial killer. Jon Avnet directs. Opens Friday, Sept. 12.

"The Women" (PG-13). This glossy remake of the 1939 movie has such a starry cast that it's fun getting immersed in its light-hearted feminist update of a melodramatic story. With Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher and Debi Mazar. Grade: B Opens Friday, Sept. 12.

NOW PLAYING

"Babylon A.D." (PG-13). Vin Diesel is as monosyllabic and dull as ever in a futuristic, mysticism-tinged action movie that amounts to noisy nonsense. Among the actors wasted are Michelle Yeoh, Gerard Depardieu and Charlotte Rampling. Grade: D TownMall Regal Cinemas, Carrolltown 6 Cinemas

"Bangkok Dangerous" (R). Nicolas Cage continues his career decline with a movie so dimly lit and plotted that you really don't care how the assassin played by Cage relates to the other characters riding motorcycles and shooting guns in Thailand. Grade: D TownMall Regal Cinemas

"The Dark Knight" (PG-13). The late Heath Ledger as the volatile Joker steals the movie from its star, Christian Bale as a brooding Bruce Wayne/Batman. With Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. Grade: B- Town Hall Regal Cinemas, Carrolltown 6 Cinemas

"Death Race" (R). Updating the 1975 cult item "Death Race 2000," this knowingly inane action picture features Jason Statham as a prisoner who becomes a race car driver in the corporate-run facility's pay-per-view races. Fast wheels and rough behavior are the norm here. As the prison warden, Joan Allen is the queen of mean. Grade: C TownMall Regal Cinemas

"Disaster Movie" (PG-13). It's a disaster, that's for sure. The satirical targets are so random and the movie so virtually plotless that the most you'll do is have smiles of recognition at the movies spoofed. Grade: C- TownMall Regal Cinemas, Carrolltown 6 Cinemas

"Hamlet 2" (R). Steve Coogan plays a failed actor who becomes a high school drama teacher and then decides to write a sequel to "Hamlet" for his students to perform. There isn't much Shakespeare in this spoof, which resorts to overplayed scenes and the assumption that profanity is automatically amusing. With Catherine Keener, David Arquette, Amy Poehler and Elisabeth Shue. Grade: C+ TownMall Regal Cinemas

"Mamma Mia!" (PG-13). You'd better love the silly pop songs by the '70s group ABBA if you attend this adaptation of the Broadway musical about a young woman's search for the identity of her father. With Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard. Grade: B+ TownMall Regal Cinemas, Carrolltown 6 Cinemas

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (PG). George Lucas cashes in with this so-so animated feature. Familiar "Star Wars" characters engage in so many battles in the fast-paced story that at least the fan base will be satisfied. Grade: B- TownMall Regal Cinemas, Carrolltown 6 Cinemas

"Tropic Thunder" (R). This boisterous movie industry satire becomes desperately zany and even mildly grating. With Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Brandon T. Jackson, Jack Black, Steve Coogan, Nick Nolte, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise. Grade: B TownMall Regal Cinemas, Carrolltown 6 Cinemas

All capsule reviews and grades are by Mike Giuliano unless otherwise noted. Bookings change on Friday. For showtimes and to confirm listings, call the phone-in number in Screen Scene.

SCREEN SCENE

Carrolltown 6 Cinemas
6405 West Hemlock Road, Eldersburg
410-795-7890

TownMall Regal Cinemas
400 Center St., Westminster
410-857-1410


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