500 Days of Summer
In the 500 days this film spans, a familiar arc is described: Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) date; Tom gets too attached; Summer breaks it off; and Tom lapses into the sort of melodramatic, self-pitying behavior that seems utterly ridiculous when engaged in by anyone but oneself. But wait. Problem: Breakups are depressing, and Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel are far too adorable to squander on melodrama. So first-time director Marc Webb skirts the bummer factor by shuffling his story's chronology, splicing together out-of-order scenes from their relationship to chart its dissolution. Other gags further cushion the film's potential emotional impact: There's split-screen, a totally superfluous narrator, a musical number, and, as always, Deschanel's inability to register emotional depth—all of which collude to render a gut-ripping breakup as mild indie entertainment. ALISON HALLETT Century Clackamas Town Center, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema.

recommended Adventureland
Set in 1987, there's a sense of bittersweet nostalgia throughout Adventureland. It's a film that's witty and dark enough to distance itself from the sappy clichés of the coming-of-age genre, but heartfelt enough to be more genuine and insightful than the usual comedy where someone shouting "Boner!" counts as a punchline. (That said, someone does shout "Boner!" in Adventureland, and it's really funny when he does.) ERIK HENRIKSEN Laurelhurst Theater.

Aliens in the Attic
A children's film in which "a group of kids must protect their vacation home from invading aliens." Starring High School Musical's Ashley Tisdale and—goddammit—Andy Richter. Various Theaters.

recommended Away We Go
"I think we might be fuckups," Verona (Maya Rudolph) admits to Burt (John Krasinski). At 34 and 33, Verona and Burt are unsure of where to go or what to do—so they travel from Arizona to Wisconsin to Montreal to Miami, reconnecting with family members, college friends, and employers to try and figure out where (and how) to grow up. There are a bunch of really excellent things about Away We Go, from Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida's script to Krasinski and Rudolph's performances, but director Sam Mendes can't quite stick the landing: About 500 times during the film, the emo strumming of singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch swells on the soundtrack, making Away We Go briefly feel like (A) an episode of The O.C., and (B) way too precious. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre.

The Bicycle Film Festival
See preview. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended The Brothers Bloom
Describing a movie as "quirky" more or less amounts to a critical bitch-slap these days, right up there with calling something "precious" or "twee." But it wasn't always so, and with the fantastic The Brothers Bloom, writer/director Rian Johnson (who previously helmed 2005's creepily original noir Brick) revisits an earlier cinematic era—one in which eccentricity is interesting and quirkiness has yet to become synonymous with Natalie Portman in a helmet. ALISON HALLETT Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Brüno
It'd do a hilarious film a disservice to ruin any of the jokes here. Suffice to say that Brüno will definitely surprise you, possibly offend you, and certainly make you wonder if you and the guy behind you are laughing at the same punch line. And if that ain't good comedy, I don't know what is. ALISON HALLETT Broadway Metroplex, Movies on TV.

Cut and Run
A "showcase of experimental cinema spanning from 1933 to 2009." The Waypost.

Departures
Much like its American contemporary Sunshine Cleaning, Yôjirô Takita's Departures uses the death-care industry as framework for a transformative discovery of self. But while Sunshine Cleaning had its protagonists scrubbing grimy death scenes, Departures' Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) finds his identity through the elegant, serene Japanese nokan ceremony of "encoffinment." A failed professional cellist, Daigo learns the careful art of washing, dressing, and decorating bodies for burial or cremation. While moving and carefully done, Departures is hardly revelatory—it sticks to tear-jerking iterations on circle-of-life themes. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.

recommended Drag Me to Hell
Having momentarily freed himself from Spidey's web, director Sam Raimi has reclaimed his bloodied seat of horror honor. Drag Me to Hell is about as close to Evil Dead 4 as you're ever likely to see, chockfull of enough spooky-as-fuck noises, swooshing camera angles, and gross-out sight gags to make you wonder what happened to those 17 long years between Army of Darkness and now. In other words, YAY! COURTNEY FERGUSON Laurelhurst Theater.

Earthquake
It's Charlton Heston vs. shifting tectonic plates in this 1974 disaster pic. Bagdad Theater.

Every Little Step
As anyone with a passing familiarity with American musical theater can tell you, A Chorus Line is a story of the audition process—which means that Every Little Step, which documents the audition process for A Chorus Line's 2006 Broadway revival, is a retelling within a retelling. Directors Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern's real coup is the access they were given to the revival's casting process, giving the audience a bird's eye view of the months of debating and vetting involved in whittling down several thousand hopefuls to 30 hired performers. The editing is coy, never giving it away when one performer shines at a first call back, only to fall flat at the second. This noncommittal flitting from subject to subject, though, makes it difficult to become attached to anyone. MARJORIE SKINNER Hollywood Theatre.

Fierce Light
After friend and fellow activist Brad Hill is murdered, improbably named filmmaker Velcrow Ripper goes on a spiritual quest around the globe. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended Food, Inc.
By far the most impressive in a rash of documentaries addressing food industry corruption in America. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Funny People
See review. Various Theaters.

G-Force
It's probably not surprising to learn that G-Force, the new 3D half-animated/half-real-life kids movie from Disney and über-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, isn't very good. It's noisy, crude, and nonsensical—none of which is bad in and of itself, but it's also insultingly stupid and not nearly funny enough. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.

Get Pixelated
An evening of lo-fi TV rarities that also features live music from CJ and the Dolls. This month's theme is "Bea Arthur"—and yes, there will be footage from the Star Wars Holiday Special. Pix Patisserie (North).

The Girl From Monaco
The Girl from Monaco is many things: a love triangle, a buddy film, a sex comedy, a trial drama, and a thriller. Unfolding on the picturesque backdrop of Monaco, it centers around a lawyer, Bertrand (Fabrice Luchini), in from Paris to defend in a high-profile murder case. Christophe (Roschdy Zem) is his comically dedicated bodyguard, and Audrey (Louise Bourgoin) is a sexually liberated gold-digger who works as an erotically charged weather girl for the local television station. The perfect weather, nice hotels, and skimpy outfits are nice enough to watch, but the here-nor-there of the plot is ultimately just kind of boring. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.

recommended The Gleaners and I
Agnès Varda's most well-known documentary (her classification "essay" is more apt), inspired by old paintings of the peasant "gleaners" who would sweep the fields, post-harvest, for free food, a practice still legal under French law. A tradition carried on in the present day by gypsies as well as fun-seekers, and extended into urban life in the form of scavenging the remains of markets and dumpster diving, Varda's full tour into this world reveals insights with social, environmental, self-reflective, and artistic relevance that are, as is characteristic of her work, ahead of her time. MARJORIE SKINNER Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

The Hangover
If one good thing comes out of The Hangover, it'll be turning comedians Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms into viable movie stars. They're both very funny guys, and here they do their best with a not-particularly-good script from the screenwriters of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Four Christmases. The problem with The Hangover is that it peaks too soon; early on, it succumbs to over-the-top ridiculousness, then keeps trying to top itself. About halfway through, it becomes repetitive, and then it just slides into monotony. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.

recommended Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Like the flat, uninvolving Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is directed by David Yates, but this time around, he's far more assured and inspired—Half-Blood Prince moves briskly and confidently, has moments of genuine delight and creepiness, is gorgeously shot by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, and juggles its preposterously gargantuan cast and nuanced plot with as much grace as can be expected. There is darkness here, and regret, and the sense that for this series' once-naïve characters, the stakes are significantly higher. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Humpday
See review. Fox Tower 10.

recommended The Hurt Locker
It's easy to say The Hurt Locker is gonna be one of the best movies of this year, because... well, it is. But that doesn't convey what a brutal, intense, challenging experience it is to watch Kathryn Bigelow's thriller about a bomb squad stationed in Baghdad in 2004, led by Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner). You will feel fine going in to The Hurt Locker. You will walk out feeling like you lost a fistfight. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
This Ice Age—the third in the series—is well paced, and the addition of 3D visuals is fine. It's not clever like a Pixar joint, but I get the sense that it was supposed to be touching. (I might not be the best judge of such things—during the movie's birth scene, a small boy in the theater cried tenderly, and I found myself unaffected.) You don't have to have seen the first two Ice Age movies to follow this one, but if you're older than seven, you might need to see them in order to care. JANE CARLEN Various Theaters.

Jacquot de Nantes
Agnès Varda's "tender valentine" fashioned for her husband Jacques Demy after his death. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Kung Fu Master
Agnès Varda's 1987 film about "a 40-year-old divorced woman who falls in love with her teenage daughter's videogame-obsessed friend." Nice, kid! Nice. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
This 1981 flick, about a teen girl band making it big, was buried upon release, and for good reason—it's kind of terrible, latching onto the then-subsiding punk wave with an illogical, cliché-ridden script. Diane Lane is something approximating badass as the Stains' snotty lead singer, and there's a really uncomfortable sex scene with the then-15-year-old actress and an unrecognizably lean, young Ray Winstone. The movie found life after death on late-night cable and became a touchstone of the riot grrrl movement, so it'll be campy fun to watch it as part of the Top Down series, preceded by live music from the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. NED LANNAMANN Hotel deLuxe.

recommended Land of the Lost
There's a special place in hell reserved for those who remake old TV shows into feature films. While there are certainly a few excellent exceptions (The Addams Family, The Fugitive, and The Brady Bunch), there are so many more that should have been smothered in their sleep (The Beverly Hillbillies, Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched... shall I go on?). When approaching such a project, the question should be: How does one capture the tone of the original without kissing its ass? In the case of the updated Land of the Lost (starring Will Ferrell and Danny McBride), the producers correctly said, "Screw the original! We've got Will Ferrell and Danny McBride! Just let them stand around making jerk-off jokes, because it's gonna be hilarious." And they were right. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Avalon, Kennedy School, Milwaukie Cinemas, Valley Theater.

Late Night Double Feature Picture Show
See My, What a Busy Week! Boxxes.

Michele Russo, Louis Bunce, and Jack McLarty
Three short films about three Oregon painters: Michele Russo, Louis Bunce, and Jack McLarty. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Moon
The best way to see Duncan Jones' excellent Moon is to go in blank: no expectations, no preconceptions, and no suspicions. But here you are, still reading, so I guess you need some convincing. Fine. The basics: Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is stationed, alone, on the Moon. Nearing the end of his multi-year contract to man a largely automated mining facility, Sam works as a glorified handyman, wanders the base's empty hallways, watches videos of his wife and daughter back on Earth (Dominique McElligott and Kaya Scodelario), and talks with the base's kinda-sweet, kinda-creepy computer, GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Rockwell's Sam is a likeable, blue-collar guy with a lonely, shitty job, and in Moon's opening scenes, Jones gracefully captures the guy's weary isolation. You feel for Sam—which makes it all the more messed up when things, well, start to get all weird. ERIK HENRIKSEN Cinemagic, City Center 12, Fox Tower 10.

Orphan
Yet another horror flick about yet another creepy kid. Various Theaters.

The Proposal
Like any PG-13 erotica should, The Proposal hits a few of its marks, and you may find yourself torn between your own intelligence and the twinkle in Ryan Reynolds' eye. There's no real shame in this—during illness, say, or drinking alone—but this is one film that's best left for such weaker moments. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.

recommended Public Enemies
Public Enemies takes a while to get going, but once it does, it's a hell of a reminder why Michael Mann is one of the best directors working today. Almost certainly, he's the best at action—from the way Mann splits your eardrums with the sudden explosion of gunfire to how his handheld digital cinematography rushes you along in an exhilarating immediacy, watching the guy work when he's in the zone is pretty incomparable. Mann can make desensitized audiences wince at the sight of a fist smashing into a face, yet he can also capture vistas and portraits with stunning grace and precision—and with Public Enemies, he gets the chance to do both, after he wades through an uneven script. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Rashevski's Tango
For the Rashevski clan, dancing the tango is a metaphor for negotiating the existential ambiguities of living as secular Jews in modern Belgium. Helmed by insouciant great-uncle Dolfo (Nathan Cogan)—a death-camp survivor who dismisses the ritual formalities of Passover, can't remember the words to prayers, and is unable to define "mensch"—the film sees three generations of Rashevskis explore the nuances of semi-Jewishness via romantic pursuits which are continually frustrated by, well, their own semi-Jewishness. It's an epic family saga bound by the confines of a romantic dramedy, and it's this bursting-at-the-seams quality renders Rashevski's Tango irresistible. If the postmortem reunion at the end of Titanic didn't strike you as unacceptable, you will likely not be bothered by the titular tango motif that awkwardly punctuates the film. HANNAH FRANKLIN Living Room Theaters.

recommended Repo! The Genetic Opera
The blood-feud operatics of director Darren Lynn Bousman's self-described cult film, Repo! The Genetic Opera, are ambitious indeed. With nary a spoken word in sight, nearly two hours of dubious "rock" could make even the gnarliest of theater kids throw up their jazz hands in disgust. But what Repo! lacks in chops, it makes up for in bloody gusto. Taking a cue from Dario Argento, Repo! shows that combining blood 'n' guts with opera can make for all manner of fun. COURTNEY FERGUSON Clinton Street Theater.

Summer Hours
France has churned out some decent dramas lately—I've Loved You So Long and A Christmas Tale both offered honest, sophisticated versions of contemporary family life. Summer Hours, a new film by writer/director Olivier Assayas, aims for a little honesty and sophistication of its own, but ultimately, it mines the deep vein of family dysfunction far less successfully than its predecessors. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.

Terminator Salvation
It's not that Salvation is terrible—there have been worse movies this summer, and there'll certainly be more—but it is clunky and depressingly underwhelming. The lousiest part is that it's also full of good ideas: Set the story in the future, in the midst of humanity's war against hyper-advanced machines? Good idea! (Too bad the war turns out to be totally lame.) Cast Christian Bale as John Connor, "the prophesized leader of the resistance"? Good idea! (Alas, prophecy or no, it turns out future John Connor just isn't a very cool character.) Hire a supporting cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Anton Yelchin, and Helena Bonham Carter? Good idea! (The number of interesting things these actors are allowed to do? Zero!) Give some terminators wheels and turn 'em into badass robo-motorcycles? Good idea! (But brace yourself for stupid "hydro-terminators" that slither around underwater, and a giant, lumbering mecha-terminator that looks like it accidentally wandered over from the set of Transformers.) ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Tetro
Unlike in Tetro, there's no singing fat lady in Francis Ford Coppola's immediate future, as evidenced by his first true directorial return to form in years. Starring an off-balance Vincent Gallo as the titular main character, the film explores the familial secrets and relationship between Tetro and his much-younger brother, Bennie (the excellent, and visually immaculate, Alden Ehrenreich), who both leave home to escape their domineering celebrity of a father. Set in Buenos Aires, Coppola's black-and-white vision of the city's old neighborhoods is stunning, as is his trademark operatic style—and while the melodramatic Tetro never completely lives up to its potential, it's filled with genuinely funny, awkward, and heartfelt moments. COURTNEY FERGUSON Living Room Theaters.

Three Monkeys
See review. Living Room Theaters.

Throw Down Your Heart
A Béla Fleck documentary. Shudder. Hollywood Theatre.

Tough Stuff from the Buff
A collection of "underground and defiantly independent" videos from Buffalo, New York. The Waypost.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Michael Bay has chosen not to merely make a summer blockbuster, but to evolve the art form into something daringly abstract and avant-garde. Here, Bay achieves surreal moments the likes of which Buñuel and Dalí could only dream, and spits in the face of convention, offering a meta-commentary on cinema as a whole—note, if you will, the scene in which John Turturro berates an elderly, farting robot for not telling a story with a "beginning, middle, [and] end." When Turturro demands "plot!" from this flatulent colossus, he is denied—for Bay knows what wondrous visions thrive in the absence of story. In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, we are granted majestic sights: We see a comely co-ed with a whip-like tongue that first grasps, then throws Shia LaBeouf around his dorm room. We see Turturro rip away his pants to reveal a thong. We see Transformer Heaven, and Transformer angels. We see a dangling pair of robot testicles. We see a midget. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

U2 3D
Bono in 3D... AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE! (But don't worry, he's still a douchebag.) Living Room Theaters.

The Ugly Truth
It'd certainly be possible to write a panty-wadded screed on how offensive The Ugly Truth is, but anyone who's seen the previews knows exactly what they're in for: a feminist setback of a romantic comedy in which Katherine Heigl gets a makeover from Gerard Butler. It makes no sense, it's sexist, and worst of all, it's not even a little bit funny. But really... What'd you expect? alison hallett Various Theaters.

recommended Up
At this point, squealing "Pixar has done it again!" is a cliché too weary for even my lazy ass to use—and worse, it's not even true. 'Cause actually, Pixar just keeps getting better. Exhibit A: The first half-hour of Up, which boasts more heartfelt emotion and subtle nuance than most films hold in their entire runtime. Exhibit B: What happens after those 30 minutes—Up keeps going, and the places it goes are nothing short of astounding. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Valentino: The Last Emperor
The grandiosity of this relatively modestly budgeted documentary is entirely appropriate when you consider that its subject is one of the most legendary couturiers on the planet. Italian designer Valentino and Giancarlo Giametti have been inseparable as lovers and business partners for over a half-century, pooling the beauty-obsessed Valentino's design prowess with the business smarts of Giametti to create a business worth hundreds of millions. Valentino is focused on the two years prior to the designer's retirement after 45 years—an anniversary celebrated with a panoply of excess verging on the absurd. By turns endearing (director Matt Tyrnauer's camera is as interested in the designers' adorable pack of pugs as he is in Valentino's bitchy quips and tantrums) and gluttonous, the less glamorous footage of seamstresses carrying out their master's orders with intricate hand stitching offers an all-too-brief glance at a disappearing tradition that could make for a more substantial documentary of its own. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.

Whatever Works
Whatever Works could well be the title of Woody Allen's current cinematic style. Like many of his recent films, it feels muted, minimalist, and sometimes downright lazy: the camera stays static, the lines are read, and boom, we're on to the next scene. I've always had the feeling that Allen's best films were a matter of luck; his writing and directorial approach is almost always the same, whether the movie is good or bad. It's a journeyman quality that has resulted in a few wonderful films, and a huge amount of okay ones. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.

The Windmill Movie
Unable to complete his autobiographical documentary after decades of collecting footage, filmmaker Richard P. Rogers died from melanoma in 2001, leaving Alexander Olch, a student of Rogers' at Harvard, to finish the project. Reading from Rogers' diary, Olch narrates, "I knew and I believe now, still, that the summer is incredibly important, that incredibly important things happen to people in the summer." Largely constructed from uncannily arresting footage of Rogers' home in the Hamptons—sand-caked thighs, pink fingernails clutching glasses of bourbon, listless children, blond hair matted with saltwater, windmills pulsing over tennis courts—the film is as untidy and urgent as the summers, and the life, it documents, drowsily careening toward an end that everyone anticipated and that no one is ready for. HANNAH FRANKLIN Hollywood Theatre.

The Wiz
Ease on down the road in the 1978 African American version of The Wizard of Oz with Diana Ross as Dorothy, Richard Pryor as the Wizard, and some kid named Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. Whatever happened to that guy? Hollywood Theatre.

Year One
I can't think of any book less funny than the Old Testament. Maybe that's the point. In Year One, writer/director Harold Ramis plays it for laughs, with generally uncomfortable results. We see Cain (a disappointing David Cross) killing golden boy Abel (an un-credited Paul Rudd) in cold blood; Abraham (an admittedly amusing Hank Azaria) nearly sacrificing Isaac (the kid who played McLovin) to the almighty, then deciding to simply snip off the end of the boy's penis instead; and numerous virgins sacrificed to a flaming pit in the decadent city of Sodom. All of which are funnier than Jack Black putting poo in his mouth, which also happens in Year One. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.