Movies

Opening Friday

Easy Virtue

Cultures clash when a young Englishman brings home his glamorous new American wife to meet his parents. Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, and Kristin Scott Thomas star.

The Hangover Three groomsmen lose their buddy, the groom, during a pre-wedding-night drinking binge.

Il Divo This biopic looks at Giulio Andreotti (Toni Servillo), Italy's seven-time prime minister. Italian with subtitles.

Land of the Lost The '70s TV show hits the big screen with Will Ferrell starring as a paleontologist who gets sucked back in time with his assistant and a macho tour guide to a prehistoric land of dinosaurs and monkey people. OK, so it didn't really happen.

The Merry Gentleman A woman (Kelly Macdonald) leaves her abusive marriage for a fresh start in a new city and forms an unlikely relationship with a stranger (Michael Keaton) who has his own distrubing secrets.

My Life in Ruins A tour guide gains a new sense of self-awareness while leading a ragtag tour group through Greece. Starring Nia Vardalos, who wrote and starred in the 2002 hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Tennessee Two brothers (Ethan Peck, Adam Rothenberg) take a road trip to their childhood home in search of their father and pick up an aspiring singer (Mariah Carey) along the way.

Excellent (****)

Reviewed by critics Carrie Rickey (C.R.), Steven Rea (S.R.), and Dan DeLuca (D.D.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.

Goodbye Solo Director Ramin Bahrani's film is a wise and soulful study of two very different men - a resilient Senegalese cabbie and a crusty white Southerner nearing life's end. Set in Winston-Salem, N.C., and full of quietly revealing performances, this is beautiful, powerful stuff that speaks to the human condition. 1 hr. 31 No MPAA rating (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Sugar Half Nelson filmmakers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck follow a young Dominican pitcher as he joins a single-A team and dreams of playing in the majors. A baseball movie, a stranger-in-a-strange-land movie, a movie about real people facing real challenges in the real world, this is a modest, masterful gem. 1 hr. 54 R (drugs, adult themes) - S.R.

Up Buoyant Pixar film about a childless grouch (voice of Ed Asner) and a fatherless boy (Jordan Nagai) who float off to the wilds of Venezuela in a house lashed to helium-filled balloons. It darts unpredictably between comedy and adventure, defying gravity and age. 1 hr. 36 PG (perilous situations, appropriate for those five to 105) - C.R.

Very Good (***1/2)

Star Trek J.J. Abrams' enjoyable reboot of the sci-fi saga takes a refreshing chug from the fountain of youth, imagining what happened When Kirk Met Spock. With Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and Leonard Nimoy. 2 hrs. 06 PG-13 (brief sexuality, action violence) - C.R.

State of Play A journalist (Russell Crowe) and a politician (Ben Affleck), once college roommates, play hide-and-seek in this enthralling thriller where murder, mystery, and political scandal intersect. With Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, and the ever-resourceful Jason Bateman. 2 hrs. 07 PG-13 (violence, profanity) - C.R.

Summer Hours Olivier Assayas' achingly beautiful meditation on inheritance and generational change is wildly different in scope and tone from the French director's recent genre trilogy and Boarding Gate. A mature and ultimately moving look at how three siblings (Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jeremie Renier) come together for the imminent death of their mother. 1 hr. 43 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

Also on Screens

Angels & Demons **1/2

Ron Howard's trimmer follow-up to his bulky

The Da Vinci Code

is a ticking-bomb thriller tightly wrapped in a papal plot and cinched in the ribbons of religion and science. With Tom Hanks as the symbologist teamed with a fetching physicist (Ayelet Zurer) to save the Vatican. 2 hrs. 18

PG-13

(graphic, bloodcurdling, and gut-wrenching killings) -

C.R.

Dance Flick **1/2 The Wayans siblings pass the whoopee cushion to their spawn in this spoof of teen musicals that might be called Step Up to Get Served at the Save the Last Dance High School Musical Roll Bounce. 1 hr. 23 PG-13 (crude humor, sexual content) - C.R.

Drag Me to Hell *** Sam Raimi returns to the low-budget gore and gleefully twisted comedy of his Evil Dead days, with Alison Lohman starring as a loan officer who gets a curse put on her by an old hag late with her house payments. Finally, a horror movie about the mortgage crisis! 1 hr. 39 PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ** Ben Stiller returns in this knee-jerk sequel to the surprise 2006 family-friendly smash. A super-size rehash - transplanted from New York's Museum of Natural History to the sprawling Smithsonian in Washington - with lots of running around and CG effects. Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson are among the gang of museum figures come to life. 1 hr. 45 PG (action, comic mayhem) - S.R.

Terminator Salvation **1/2 Man and machine can't seem to get along in this sci-fi shoot-'em-up, the fourth installment in the Terminator series. The year is 2018, and the mood is postapocalyptic, with Christian Bale as John Connor, the resistance fighter leading the battle against the evil Skynet and its relentless robot army. A few moments of self-referential humor, but generally the tone is solemn, severe, sermonistic. 1 hr. 55 PG-13 (violence, profanity, postapocalyptic despair, adult themes) - S.R.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine ** Hugh Jackman revisits his X-Men role to show how Wolverine came into being in this meaningless mishmash of combat sequences, passable visual effects, Marvel Comics backstory, and goofy Liev Schreiber-as-a-villain thespianizing. 1 hr. 47 PG-13 (violence, intense action, adult themes) - S.R.

Theater

Reviewed by critics Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Howard Shapiro (H.S.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

New This Week

Avenue X

(11th Hour Theatre Company) A doo-wop musical about race and aspiration in 1963 Brooklyn. Previews today, Thursday, opens Friday.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre) Lots of Bard, real fast. Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

Doubt: A Parable (People's Light & Theatre Company) Nun and priest face off. Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier (White Pines Productions) Love looks at deployment. Opens Thursday.

Little Lamb (InterAct Theatre Company) Faith, race, and gay adoption. Previews today, Tuesday, opens Wednesday.

Oklahoma (New Candlelight Theatre) Yee-haw! Opens Saturday.

Continuing

Altar Boyz

(Bristol Riverside Theatre) The spoof of a Christian boy-band is played like a cartoon rather than for real, which would yield deeper laughs, but the singing and dancing from a talented cast make it work. Ends today.

- H.S.

The Brothers Size & Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet (McCarter Theatre) Two of bold new playwright Terrell Alvin McCraney's "Brother/Sister Plays," both directed and acted with the passion they deserve. They play at McCarter concurrently with the third fine play "In the Red and Brown Water," but can stand alone. Through June 14. - H.S.

Camelot (Plays and Players) Wonder what the king is doing tonight? Find out. Ends Saturday.

Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits (Walnut's Independence Studio) Four talented performers mock Broadway's greatest hits: If you know your shows, you'll have a hugely entertaining evening. Through June 28. - T.Z.

Grey Gardens (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Based on the true story of "Little Edie" and "Big Edie," reclusive eccentrics who were related to the Kennedys, PTC's lifeless production of this musical hardly fulfills the expectations created by the wildly praised Broadway production. Through June 28. - T.Z.

Hysteria (Wilma Theater) This imaginary meeting of Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dali, and a mysterious girl is less sparkling than it could be, but still intrigues. Through June 14. - W.R.

Let's Pretend We're Married (1812 Productions) Jennifer Childs and Tony Braithwaite are perfect in a charming, fresh revue that bounces marriage up and down the aisle. Through June 14. - H.S.

The Meatpackers Book Club (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop) Talk about literary deconstruction! Through june 14.

The Odd Couple (Devon Theatre) It's a timeworn formula - persnickety Felix moves in with messy Oscar - whose ingredients here are not quite as fresh as they should be. Ends today. - W.R.

The Producers (Walnut Street Theatre) A jolly if tame revival of Mel Brooks' outrageous show about two guys trying to produce a Broadway flop. The actors in minor roles provide the most fun. Through July 17. - T.Z.

Quixote (Broad Street Ministry) There's so much crammed into this creative reimagining of Cervantes' classic - puppets, a gypsy-punk band, 30 actors - you'll hardly notice when it gets messy. Through next Sunday. - W.R.

Respect: A Musical Journey of Women (Act II Playhouse) Women's 20th-century trials and tribulations get little respect in this slapdash revue notable only for Danielle G. Herbert's performance. Through June 28. - W.R.

Say Goodnight Gracie (Society Hill Playhouse) Sweet and sentimental, this one-man biodrama about the careers of George Burns and Gracie Allen is a trip down memory lane for those who remember these show-biz greats. Ends today. - T.Z.

The Seafarer (Arden Theatre) A ghostly, boozy Christmas Present in Dublin isn't quite boozy, Irish, and slam-bang intense enough to serve Conor McPherson's inventive play. Through June 14. - H.S.

Something Intangible (Arden Theatre) Bruce Graham's world premiere fictionalizes the lives of Roy and Walt Disney in an animated portrayal of entanglements among brothers, commerce, and art. Through next Sunday. - W.R.

Thoroughly Modern Millie (Media Theatre) The costumes and choreography say "flapper" all the way in this brightly performed musical about a '20s gal from Kansas who yearns to be a liberated New York woman. Through next Sunday. - H.S.

Video

He's Just Not That Into You **1/2

Diverting dating comedy inspired by the self-help book. With an A-list cast that includes Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, and Scarlett Johansson. 2 hrs. 09

PG-13

(sexual candor, profanity) -

C.R.