"AFTER THE SUNSET" * 1/2 - Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek are a pair of retired thieves whiling away the days on a Bahama beach in this charmless stab at "To Catch a Thief"-style insouciance. The glossy, Hollywood-forged waste of time also stars Woody Harrelson and Don Cheadle. PG-13 (nudity, sex, violence, profanity, adult themes). Carousel, Carmike 18, Oak Hollow, Palladium, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"ALEXANDER" - Oliver Stone's $150 million epic stars Colin Farrell as the legendary Alexander the Great, who had conquered most of the known world by age 27. Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and Val Kilmer co-star in what is sure to be a gigantic spectacle. R (violence and some sexuality/nudity). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Carmike 8, Palladium, West End, Carmike 10, Wynnsong."ALFIE" ** - Jude Law stars in this misguided remake of the Michael Caine '60s classic about a cad and a charmer. Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon, Sienna Miller and Nia Long are a few of the "birds" in the bloke's life. R (language, sex, nudity, adult themes). The Grande.
"ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR BLOOD ORCHID" ** - A lower-budget, no-star (save Morris Chestnut) sequel to the 1997 giant snake-scare pic. PG-13 (violence, profanity, giant snakes). Sedgefield.
"BLADE: TRINITY" - Wesley Snipes' vampire-fighting hero returns, teaming up with Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds to stave off the latest bloodsucker threat. R. Opens Wednesday at The Grande, Carmike 8, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"THE BOURNE SUPREMACY" ** 1/2 - The thrill-ride sequel picks up its amnesiac hero (Matt Damon) two years later, when he eludes the crossfire of double-crossing CIA and KGB agents and remains one car chase ahead of formidable intelligence op Pamela Landy (Joan Allen). PG-13 (intense violence). Sedgefield.
"BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON" ** - Exactly-what-you'd-expect sequel to the hit adaptation of the book about an esteem-challenged single gal's calamitous love life. Plucky Yank Renee Zellweger once again stars as the plucky heroine. With Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. R (profanity, sex, adult themes). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Carmike 8, Palladium, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS" * - Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star in this brutally boring family farce about a couple who decide to forgo the usual yuletide rituals, thereby alienating their neighbors and friends. Adapted from John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas." PG (profanity, adult themes). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Palladium, Oak Hollow, Countryside, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"CLOSER" - Director Mike Nichols ("Carnal Knowledge," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") returns to the arena of male-female relations with this adaptation of Patrick Marber's play about four people (Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen) playing nice - and dirty - with each other. R (sequences of graphic sexual dialogue, nudity/sexuality and language). Opens Friday at Carousel.
"COLLATERAL" *** - Jamie Foxx stars as an L.A. cabbie who takes on a passenger - a hitman played by Tom Cruise - and gets taken for a ride. Michael Mann directs this sleek, modern noir. With Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo. R (violence, language, adult themes). Sedgefield.
"FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS" *** 1/2 - Billy Bob Thornton stars as the high school coach of a winning Texas football team in this smart, sharp, stirring adaptation of the nonfiction best-seller. A great football movie that examines the ferocious subculture of high school athletics and how a community measures itself on the performance of its beloved team. PG-13 (profanity, violence, sex, adult themes). The Grande, Carmike 18, Sedgefield.
"THE GRUDGE" HH - Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as an exchange student in Tokyo, where people start dying, thanks to a creepy ghost in a curse-plagued house. Not scary at all. R (scares, profanity, violence). Carousel, Carmike 18, Carmike 8, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong.
"I HEART HUCKABEES" ** - David O. Russell's head-scratcher about big-box stores and the meaning of life stars Jason Schwartzman as a community activist furious at a superstore chain and its sunny sellout corporate spokesman, Jude Law. With Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin as the "existential detectives" who help the idealist sort out his life. R (profanity, sex). Carousel.
"THE INCREDIBLES" **** - A movie with the sweet soul of "Toy Story" and the boisterous spirit of "Spy Kids," Brad Bird's eye-popping cartoon resembles the way the future was envisioned circa 1963. PG (animated violence, suspense, suitable for children 4 and older). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Carmike 8, Palladium, Countryside, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"LADDER 49" ** - This heartfelt tribute to firefighters fails as a drama but succeeds as a "When bad things happen to good firemen" procedural. With Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. PG-13 (intense fire and rescue scenes, profanity). Carousel.
"THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE" *** - Denzel Washington stars in Jonathan Demme's remake of the 1962 Cold War political thriller. It's a satisfyingly sinister update, with Meryl Streep, Jon Voight and Liev Schreiber on board for a wild tale of brainwashing, assassination and a presidential power grab. R (violence, profanity, adult themes). Graham.
"MOTORCYCLE DIARIES" *** 1/2 - Walter Salles' soulful, stunningly picturesque account of the young Ernesto "Che" Guevara's life-changing odyssey across 8,000 miles of South America, in the company of a joyfully reckless friend. It begins as a series of offbeat encounters but takes on gravitas and focus as the two travelers face the hard realities of rural life. R (profanity, adult themes). Carousel.
"MR. 3000" ** 1/2 - Fantasy-camp inspirational about a retired first baseman (Bernie Mac) who gets a second chance at being a team player. PG-13 (sexual content, profanity). Sedgefield.
"NAPOLEON DYNAMITE" - With a love for dancing and the way of the ninja, Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is a quirky teenager growing up in small-town Idaho. PG (thematic elements and language). Carousel.
"NATIONAL TREASURE" - Nicolas Cage reunites with producer Jerry Bruckheimer ("Con Air," "The Rock") for this stunt-filled extravaganza about an archaeologist who discovers a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. PG (action violence and some scary images). Carousel, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Oak Hollow, Palladium, Countryside, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"THE POLAR EXPRESS" ** 1/2 - Tom Hanks provides the voice and movements for five characters, including the boy hero, in this visually lavish computer animated adaptation of the Chris Van Allsburg picture book. G (vertiginous train ride). Carousel, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Oak Hollow, Palladium, Countryside, Rockingham, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT" ** - The pleasant sequel to the 2001 hit stars gallant Julie Andrews as Clarisse, queen of Genovia, and fetching Anne Hathaway as her granddaughter Mia. G. Sedgefield.
"RAY" ** 1/2 - Jamie Foxx shines in an otherwise depressingly conventional music biopic of the late, great Ray Charles. The film genericizes the extraordinary events of the singer/composer/keyboardist's life, forsaking nuance and sophistication for cheesy sentimentality. PG-13 (language, sex, drugs, adult themes). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Carmike 8, Palladium, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"SAW" ** - In this harrowing and hermetic horror film, two men are chained in a room, the helpless victims of a sadistic fiend. Even the stout of heart may have trouble sitting through this nightmare. R (extreme violence, profanity). The Grande, Carmike 18, West End, Wynnsong.
"SEED OF CHUCKY" - After tying the knot in "Bride of Chucky," the killer doll (voiced by Brad Dourif) and his squeeze (Jennifer Tilly) set out to start a family. R (strong horror violence/gore, sexual content and language). The Grande, Carmike 18, Carmike 8, West End, Wynnsong.
"SHALL WE DANCE?" *** - Touching American remake of the rapturous 1996 Japanese film about a depressed businessman with two left feet who walks into a dance academy and waltzes out of his midlife funk. With Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon amd Jennifer Lopez. PG-13. The Grande, Carmike 18, Oak Hollow, Randolph, West End, Carmike 10.
"SHARK TALE" ** - Where "Finding Nemo" suggested that under-the-waves adventure was limitless, "Shark Tale" suggests that this sea is over-fished. PG (crude humor, double entendres). PG (some mild language and crude humor). Carousel, Carmike 18, Carmike 8.
"SHREK 2" *** 1/2 - A sequel as exhilarating and riotously funny as 2001's top-grossing original. PG (brief drug reference, crude humor, discreet sexual humor). Sedgefield.
"THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE" - Feature-length version of the popular animated television program. PG (some mild crude humor). Carousel, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Carmike 8, Palladium, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
"SURVIVING CHRISTMAS" - How bad is this black comedy with Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini? So bad you're nostalgic for "Gigli." PG-13 (sexual content, profanity, drug reference). Sedgefield.
"TAXI" - A cab driver (Queen Latifah) helps a cop (Jimmy Fallon) chase down a gang of bank-robbing supermodels. PG-13 (language, sensuality and brief violence). Sedgefield.
"WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW?" *** - A filmic handbook on heightened consciousness and, in the words of one of its talking heads, "the weird, wacky world of quantum possibility," this mix of documentary and fiction explores the realms where science and spiritualism meet. No rating (adult themes, cosmic stuff). Carousel.
"ZELERY" - In 1940s Nazi occupied Czechoslavakia, a young woman (Anna Geislerova) with aspirations to become a doctor must leave the resistance group she is part of, that includes her lover, and flee to a remote mountain village to pose as the wife of a simple farmer whose life she saved. R (violence and some sexual content). Opens Friday at Carousel.