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On the Screen

****: Excellent

***: Good

**: Average

*: Poor

** The 40-Year Old Virgin

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is the consummate dork who collects action figures, bikes to work, and stays far away from women. Without any friends, there’s no one to tell him what he’s missing. The generally artificial scenes and outrageously unbelievable characters are not noticed much because the movie makes you laugh so hard that you can barely put more popcorn in your mouth. (Yong-yi Zhu)

**A History of Violence

After killing two men in his diner out of self defense, Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is forced by the mob to confront his past. There is a moment during the film when you wonder what it’s all about, not because it’s too deep, but because too many things are happening, and nothing seems to come together. (Yong-yi Zhu)

* The Aristocrats

This film features Hollywood notables delivering and analyzing what co-creator Penn Jilette touts as “the dirtiest joke you will ever hear.” And with the rabid incest, bestiality, child rape, and bodily fluids (and solids), hopefully it is. The joke — too vulgar to repeat in any form here — isn’t even funny. (Kathy Lin)

**Broken Flowers

Bill Murray is Don Johnston, a modern-day Don Juan who one day discovers an unsigned letter in a pink envelope — one of his relationships 20 years ago apparently yielded a son. He embarks on a cross-country journey to visit four former girlfriends and hopefully find the anonymous mother. The lack of a convincing plot, and more importantly, a point, means that those two hours of your life are better spent elsewhere. (Kelley Rivoire)

*** The Brothers Grimm

The movie follows the adventures of the brothers Grimm, the fairy tale authors who go around French-occupied Germany at the end of the 18th century ridding villages of evil that their buddies are cooking up. But their adventures take a turn for the worse when the French government summons them to investigate what appears to be genuine witchcrafty evilness. Humor, adventure, and crazy violence ensue. (Bill Andrews)

*** The Constant Gardener

Though this may appear to be a film about the drug companies taking advantage of Africans, it is in fact a story about what a man will do for a woman he loves with every ounce of his strength. If you want a smart film that’s not only well done but is also pleasing to watch, this is a must. (Yong-yi Zhu)

*** Corpse Bride

Tim Burton’s latest feature is a dark-hued romantic fantasy, which combines an unconventional story with subtle satire and unusual cinematographic techniques to deliver a truly delectable treat. Factor in the vocal talents of a remarkable cast and Danny Elfman’s sparkling music, and you have a masterpiece you won’t regret watching over and over again. (Bogdan Fedeles)

***Good Night, and Good Luck

In the era of McCarthyism, one reporter from CBS, Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn), went on the air to take down Senator McCarthy and his fire-and-brimstone tactics. The gaudiness and questionable quality of current national news networks contrasts with the work done by Murrow in this film. It represents a quick break from the onslaught of violent images and biased reporting, providing a model for the highest level in TV broadcasting. (Kapil Amarnath)

** The Greatest Game Ever Played

Think “Cinderella Man” with golf clubs instead of boxing gloves. This movie easily falls short of the greatest golf movie ever made, but it will satisfy your appetite for a feel-good entertaining movie for the better portion of the two hours. (Yong-yi Zhu)

* Into the Blue

Hollywood frequently brings us thrillers that fail to weave action and story together into an entertaining film. It’s been a while, however, since I’ve seen one with so little meaning in its story. With shots of treasure hunters swimming around in the Caribbean stumbling across some mystery, this movie is crammed full of cheesy drama and lacks quality action scenes. (Nikhil Nadkarni)

****March of the Penguins

Capturing a range of stunning images from the lighthearted, with penguins coasting along the ice on their bellies, to the majestic, with a seemingly infinite line of penguins marching to the sea and jagged walls of ice, this documentary surely pulls at the heartstrings of all who watch it. (Kelley Rivoire)

*** Murderball

Murderball, the original name of quadriplegic rugby, was invented in Canada in 1979. The movie excels most when it relates the lives of its players to ours through familiar activities. Moreover, it gracefully portrays the impact of the sport on the journey quadriplegics travel, from coping with their condition to parenthood. (Kapil Amarnath)

*** Oliver Twist

Roman Polanski recreates this classic tale with sympathy and tenderness born of a childhood not unlike Oliver’s own. For all but the most hardened realists, the resulting fairy tale journey is a delight. (Rosa Cao)

***Proof

Hollywood once again successfully brings together mathematical genius and mental illness. For the first time on the big screen is a woman whose experiences highlight important challenges facing women in math and science today. (Kathy Lin)

*** Serenity

This film, an adaptation of the TV show “Firefly,” is both a fanatic-pleasing romp and an action-packed introduction to a fabulous new world. See it because you’ll experience adventure, laughter, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and damn good storytelling. (Nivair H. Gabriel)

* Two for the Money

This drama about high stakes sports gambling examines a failed football star drawn into the sports betting business. The lack of development leaves the audience feeling cheated and empty, which makes the movie nice to look at but not so wonderful to think about. (Yong-yi Zhu)

** Wedding Crashers

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn never seem to do their real jobs as divorce mediators; instead they crash weddings on a regular basis (going to weddings uninvited, drinking free booze, and meeting, then sleeping with girls there). If you’re looking for a lighthearted summer comedy with some stupid humor and superfluous sex, then “Wedding Crashers” may be the perfect movie for you. (Yong-yi Zhu)

Compiled by Kevin Der