Capsule reviews, by Standard-Examiner movie critic Steve Salles, of next Tuesday's releases:
FLIPPED ***1/2 (PG) Language and some thematic material. I was completely caught off guard by this adorable movie about first loves set in the late '50s and '60s. It's a simple tale about a boy and a girl who have lived across from each other for years. She's been crazy about him since the second grade. He's avoided her. But now, in the eighth grade, the tables have turned. What a beautiful story about first loves that's not hokey or melodramatic. It's a great little story. 90 minutes.
COUNTDOWN TO ZERO *** (PG) Thematic material, images of destruction and incidental smoking. The aim of this eye-opening documentary is to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the planet. However, telling the "bad guys" where to find them, how to make them or how to deliver them seems like misguided thinking. It's pretty scary stuff. 91 minutes.
EAT PRAY LOVE *** (PG-13) Brief strong language, some sexual references and male rear nudity. Julia Roberts goes on a journey of self-discovery that feels a bit too tidy by the story's end. It's definitely a female fantasy adventure and could be a sturdy husband's nightmare, as comparisons could follow. Good luck. 133 minutes.
THE EXPENDABLES **1/2 (R) Strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language. Sly Stallone persuades a bunch of his Hollywood heavyweight pals to make a bombs & bullets action adventure like they did 30 years ago. He somewhat succeeds. 103 minutes.
* * *
Also being released:
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED (R) Profanity, violence, nudity, sexual situations) An abduction takes a number of unexpected turns in this independent thriller from Britain. 100 minutes.
I'M STILL HERE (R) Sexual situations, adult humor, adult situations, scatological humor, profanity, nudity, drug content. Joaquin Phoenix announces that he's retiring from acting to launch a hip-hop career as his brother-in-law Casey Affleck captures the curious transition on camera in the film some are labeling an elaborate Andy Kaufman-style prank. 108 minutes.
TWELVE MEN OF CHRISTMAS (Not rated) When dynamic publicist and life-long New Yorker E. J. Baxter (Kristin Chenoweth) loses both her fiancee and her job on the night of her holiday work party, she retreats to Kalispell, Mont., to get her life back on track and hatches an ingenious plan to put the small town on the map. 95 minutes.
TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY (Not rated) When her five grown-up children fail to answer her call for a family gathering, mother Shirley calls on outspoken force of nature Madea to see that everyone comes together to discuss some rather important issues in this filmed stage play written and directed by Tyler Perry.
THE WINNING SEASON (PG-13) Profanity, smoking, substance abuse, adult situations. This comedy drama follows an alcoholic ex-basketball star (Sam Rockwell) who gets a second chance at success on the court when recruited by a local high school principal to coach the girl's varsity team. 119 minutes.
Steve Salles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.