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Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

Riverwalk Theatre, Edwards

THE KITE RUNNER

This film, an epic tale charting Afghanistan’s history from the end of the monarchy through the brutal Taliban rule, is a house divided against itself. The Marc Forster-directed version of the Khaled Hosseini novel does one part of its Afghanistan story ” childhood sequences in a peaceful Kabul ” so well that its success underlines what’s lacking in what remains. (2:02) PG-13 for strong thematic material including the sexual assault of a child, violence and brief strong language.

JUNO

Ellen Page plays a pregnant teen who tries to find the right set of adoptive parents for her unborn baby in this seriocomic tale from writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman. With Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner and Allison Janney. PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS

Don’t call it a comeback. The Chipmunks, those high-frequency crooners of yore, hardly ever went away ” they released music and videos right up through 2004. Now the rambunctious rodents are the latest franchise to get a reboot, bouncing and warbling through multiplexes in “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” a live-action/computer-generated holiday movie aimed straight at kids. And, dang it, the little animated rodents are cute. Not as cute as the uber-rendered daemons of “The Golden Compass,” but they’ll do. (1:31) PG for some mild rude humor.

NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS

Nicolas Cage is back as freewheeling fortune hunter Benjamin Gates as a resurfaced page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth sets him on a globe-trotting adventure in this sequel to the 2004 hit. With Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Ed Harris and Helen Mirren. Directed by Jon Turteltaub.

CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR

Tom Hanks leads an all-star cast in this fact-based drama, written by “The West Wing’s” Aaron Sorkin and directed by Mike Nichols, about one Texas congressman’s efforts to turn the tide against the Soviets in 1980s Afghanistan. With Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Ned Beatty. Based on the book by George Crile.

Capitol Theatre, Eagle

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS

NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS

THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP

This enchanting tale of friendship and evolving relationships engagingly grafts coming-of-age movie chestnuts onto a Scottish folk tale. Though most of the narrative won’t surprise anyone who has seen “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” or numerous similar stories, director Jay Russell and screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs create a realistic world where the fantastical is credible. Alex Etel and Emily Watson star. (1:51) PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.

THE BUCKET LIST

This travelogue of triteness is the story of two older men with terminal medical conditions. It arrived on Christmas Day to remind us to live life to its fullest and leave no cliche unturned. Its watchability almost entirely depends on your tolerance of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson doing the things that made them stars and won them Oscars, only much more so. (1:37) PG-13 for language, including a sexual reference.

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team for the sixth time in an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical about a murderous London barber. R for graphic bloody violence.


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