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Capsule reviews of continuing films:

2012 The end is not near enough for this latest nihilistic disaster flick, directed by end-of-the-world specialist Roland Emmerich. PG-13 for intense disaster sequences and some language. 158 minutes.

1/2

THE BLIND SIDE This redemption-minded sports flick serves its inspiration straight-up with no twist. Writer-director John Lee Hancock wisely lets the true story of Michael Oher — the African-American teen who found a home and, eventually, football stardom, after adoption by a wealthy Memphis family — speak for itself. PG-13 for brief violence, drug and sexual references. 128 minutes.

1/2

BOONDOCK SAINTS: ALL SAINTS DAY — Writer-director Troy Duffy has returned with exactly the same vigilante shlock he produced a decade ago in the original “Boondock Saints,” a ridiculously over-the-top action film about a pair of Irish-American twins who set out with guns, recklessness and boozy bravado to rid Boston of criminals and mafia. R for bloody violence, language and some nudity. 117 minutes. Half a star out of four.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL When Charles Dickens wrote his classic story, it was a cautionary tale to greedy capitalists of the 19th century. Dickens’ story is about as sturdy a one as we have. Unfortunately, our 2009 version is defined only by its technology. PG for scary sequences and images. 95 minutes.

COUPLES RETREAT Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn reteam for this broad comedy about four couples who go on a tropical vacation together and get sucked into therapy. PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language. 110 minutes.

1/2

FANTASTIC MR. FOX – Here we have the playfulness of children’s author Roald Dahl mixed with the quirky warmth of filmmaker Wes Anderson. In this story of a fox (voiced by George Clooney) who settles down and has a cub (with wife Meryl Streep), Clooney’s character misses living his previous life and reverts back to a life of stealing, mostly from farmers. This results in an all-out war with the farmers, all the foxes and every other animal. PG for action, smoking and slang humor. 87 minutes.

THE FOURTH KIND Milla Jovovich plays an actress re-enacting an Alaska psychologist’s research into patients’ reports of strange phenomena. Olatunde Osunsanmi invests so much time and energy trying to convince the audience of the events’ veracity he forgets to create even rudimentary tension. PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, terror, theme and brief sexuality. 98 minutes.

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS A fun tone is undermined by disjointed storytelling in George Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov’s romp based on Jon Ronson’s amusing nonfiction book about the U.S. military’s research into psychic warfare and espionage. R for language, some drug content and brief nudity. 93 minutes.

1/2

MICHAEL JACKSON’S THIS IS IT – In this behind-the-scenes look at the pop star’s life, the film chronicles the Jackson’s moments between April and June as he prepared to tour. Fans can watch as he practices his “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” dance steps. Even the most casual of Jackson fans will appreciate what the artist once was by watching. PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images. 111 minutes.

NINJA ASSASSIN— Director James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta”) is clearly more interested in spraying geysers of digital blood than in establishing the ninja as a foe to be taken seriously in this run-of-the-mill Hollywood ninja movie with “Matrix” ties. Another problem: Since the movie’s ninjas only come out in the dark, the fight scenes are murky and almost impossible to follow. No worthy adversaries in this film, which centers on a rogue hit man who betrays his clan of assassins. R for strong, bloody violence throughout and language. 99 minutes.

1/2

OLD DOGS — The audience can be sure to cackle at an old dog, reacting with grunts of canine confusion or curiosity over the antics of Robin Williams and John Travolta, in this comedy which centers around the characters played by Travolta and Williams. The characters are lifelong friends and business partners, but also polar opposites. The movie stumbles from one clumsy anecdotal sketch to the next and also stars Travolta’s real-life wife Kelly Preston, as a former lover of Williams’. A real family affair for Travolta, but not for the rest of us. PG for some mild, rude humor. 89 minutes.

1/2

PLANET 51 This sci-fi family tale offers passable computer imagery but is an aborted liftoff when it comes to the lame story of a human astronaut among little green aliens who, for some uninspired reason, are living the serene “Ozzie and Harriet” life of 1950s America. PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor. 91 minutes.

1/2

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON As every Stephenie Meyer fan knows, this is the one where studly vampire Edward Cullen dumps human girlfriend Bella Swan for her own safety, and she turns to old chum Jacob Black for solace, unaware he’s a werewolf, and therefore Edward’s sworn enemy. Fans will turn out in legions, but many things are wrong with director Chris Weitz’s adaptation. PG-13 for some violence and action. 130 minutes.

1/2

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