“AFTER THE SUNSET” H½ — 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”-type 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.
“ALEXANDER” H — Oliver Stone’s overheated stew of paganism and Freudianism stars Colin Farrell, in blond mullet and toga miniskirt, as the conqueror dude known as Alexander the Great. Angelina Jolie, with a Transylvanian accent, pet pythons and Medusa hair, plays his mother, Olympias; Val Kilmer, resembling a debauched Cyclops, is his father, Philip. R (violent battle scenes, nudity, sex). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Carmike 8, Palladium, West End, Carmike 10, Wynnsong.
“ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR BLOOD ORCHID” H — A lower-budget, no-star (save Morris Chestnut) sequel to the 1997 giant snake scare pic, this one takes place in the jungles of Borneo, where an expedition in search of a rare flower meets up with many large and famished reptiles. PG-13 (violence, profanity, giant snakes). Sedgefield.
“BEING JULIA” HH½ — Annette Bening bewitches in this diversion about a ’30s theater queen who rules the West End stage as Victoria did her Empire. With Jeremy Irons and Bruce Greenwood. R (sexual situations, profanity). Opens Friday at Carousel.
“BLADE: TRINITY” — Wesley Snipes’ vampire-fighting hero returns, teaming up with Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds to stave off the latest bloodsucker threat. R. Carmike 18, The Grande, Brassfield, Carmike 8, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
“THE BOURNE SUPREMACY” HH½ — 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” HH — Exactly-what-you’d-expect sequel to the hit adaptation of the Brit-chick-lit book about a wee-bit chubby, esteem-challenged single gal, her calamitous love life and her wardrobe choices. 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, Palladium, West End, Wynnsong.
“CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS” H — 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. PG (profanity, adult themes). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Palladium, Oak Hollow, Countryside, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
“CLOSER” — Director Mike Nichols 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). Carousel, Carmike 18.
“COLLATERAL” HHH — Jamie Foxx stars as an L.A. cabbie who takes on a passenger — a hit man 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” HHH½ — 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). 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. R (scares, profanity, violence). Carousel, Carmike 18, Carmike 8, West End.
“I HEART HUCKABEES” HH — 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” HHHH — A movie with the sweet soul of “Toy Story” and the boisterous spirit of “Spy Kids,” Brad Bird’s eye-popping cartoon boasts a pro-family, pro-tort-reform agenda and a witty, atomic-modern style. It resembles the way the future looked circa 1963 if pop artist Roy Lichtenstein had designed rocketships for NASA and ranchers for suburban developers. 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” HH — 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 MACHINIST” HHH — Director Brad Anderson’s elegant and shatteringly creepy portrait of an insomniac stars a skeletal Christian Bale, haunted and haunting. R (violence, profanity, horror imagery, nudity, sexual candor). Opens Friday at Carousel.
“MOTORCYCLE DIARIES” HHH½ — 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. R (profanity, adult themes). Carousel.
“MR. 3000” HH½ — Fantasy-camp inspirational about a retired first baseman (Bernie Mac) who gets a second chance at being a team player. With Angela Bassett. 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 who’s really just trying to understand his life while living with his uncle, whose shady business deals are just some of the things that make his social life all the more difficult. PG (thematic elements and language). Carousel, Graham.
“NATIONAL TREASURE” — Action movies are never out of fashion, even during Oscar season. 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.
“OCEAN’S TWELVE” — George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and the rest of the “Ocean’s Eleven” gang returns for more high-tech caper fun, this time thieving their way around the world, for director Steven Soderbergh. Catherine Zeta-Jones joins the star-studded party as Pitt’s ex-flame. PG-13 (language). Opens Friday at The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Palladium, Carmike 8, Countryside, Randolph, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
“THE POLAR EXPRESS” HH½ — 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. It’s about a boy in the throes of a Santa credibility crisis who takes a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. G (vertiginous train ride). Carousel, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Oak Hollow, Palladium, Countryside, Randolph, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
“RAY” HH½ — Jamie Foxx shines in an otherwise depressingly conventional music biopic of the late, great Ray Charles. The film genericizes the extraordinary events — and resilience — of the singer/composer/keyboardist’s life, forsaking nuance and sophistication for cheesy sentimentalism. PG-13 (language, sex, drugs, adult themes). The Grande, Carmike 18, Brassfield, Palladium, Rockingham, West End, Wynnsong, Carmike 10.
“SAW” HH — 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). Carmike 18, West End, Wynnsong.
“SEED 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). Carmike 18, Carmike 8, West End.
“SHALL WE DANCE?” HHH — Touching American remake of the rapturous 1996 Japanese film about the depressed businessman with two lead feet who walks into a dance academy and then waltzes out of his midlife funk. With Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez. PG-13. The Grande, Carmike 18, Oak Hollow, Randolph, West End, Carmike 10.
“SHREK 2” HHH½ — “Shrek 2” carries the standard for self-esteem while spoofing showbiz, fairy tales, self-help books and every other cultural phenom, including animal testing and the Oscars. The movie is a dream, a sequel as exhilarating and riotously funny as 2001’s top-grossing original. PG (brief drug reference, crude humor, discreet sexual humor). Sedgefield.
“SIDEWAYS” HHHH — Alexander Payne’s exhilarating, edgy and wryly comic buddy film about 40-ish guys, a depressed intellectual and an affable lightweight who embark on a bachelor debauch to the California wine country before the latter’s marriage. R (sexual candor, profanity, brief drugs). Opens Friday at The Grande.
“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.” So mindless you’ll lose yours wondering, “”What were they thinking?” 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 in this remake of the giant 1998 French hit. PG-13 (language, sensuality and brief violence). Sedgefield.
“WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW?” HHH — A film 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.