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‘The Hobbit’ stays atop box office for third week

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This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a scene from the fantasy adventure "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Filmmaker Peter Jackson's decision to shoot his epic three-part J.R.R. Tolkien prequel in the super-clear format that boosts the number of frames per second to 48 from the current standard, 24, has some unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher, File)

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” continues to rule them all at the box office, staying on top for a third-straight week with nearly $33 million.

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AP critics pick the year’s best movies

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This image released by Warner Bros shows Alan Arkin, left, and actor-director Ben Affleck on the set of "Argo." Affleck was nominated Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 for a Golden Globe for best director for the film. The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Jan. 13. AP Photo/Warner Bros., Claire Folger

“Argo” — Directing just his third feature, Ben Affleck has come up with a seamless blend of detailed international drama and breathtaking suspense, with just the right amount of dry humor to provide context and levity. He shows a deft handling of tone, especially in making difficult transitions between scenes in Tehran, Washington and Hollywood, but also gives one of his strongest performances yet in front of the camera. The story of a rescue during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis sounds like eat-your-vegetables cinema, and mixing it with an inside-Hollywood comedy sounds impossible, but Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio pull it all off.

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Review: ‘Central Park Five’ sets record straight

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This film image released by Sundance Selects shows accused rapist Yusef Salaam being escorted by police in New York in 1990. Salaam is the subject of the documentary, "The Central Park Five," about the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. AP/Sundance Selects, NY Daily News

“The Central Park Five” takes an emotionally charged subject — the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of five black and Hispanic teenage boys for the rape of a white female jogger — and makes its case in a straightforward, detached manner.

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Review: Bond is better than ever in ‘Skyfall’

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This film image released by Columbia Pictures shows Daniel Craig as James Bond in the action adventure film, "Skyfall." AP/Sony Pictures, Francois Duhamel

To borrow a line from Depeche Mode, death is everywhere in “Skyfall.” James Bond’s mortality has never been in such prominent focus, but the demise of the entire British spy game as we know it seems imminent, as well.

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George Lucas’ filmmaking rooted in rebellion

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In this Oct. 15, 2011 file photo, "Darth Vader" accepts the Ultimate Villain award from "Star Wars" creator George Lucas during the 2011 Scream Awards, in Los Angeles. A decade after George Lucas said "Star Wars" was finished on the big screen, a new trilogy is destined for theaters after The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, that it was buying Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion.  AP/Chris Pizzello, File

There’s no mistaking the similarities. A childhood on a dusty farm, a love of fast vehicles, a rebel who battles an overpowering empire — George Lucas is the hero he created, Luke Skywalker.

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‘Avengers’ hits big screen with a blast

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The hype has been building for years and it couldn’t possibly be more deafening at this point. After a series of summer blockbusters that individually introduced Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America, all these characters come together alongside several other friends and foes in “Marvel’s The Avengers.” And with director and co-writer [...]

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Review: Nothing special about ‘Killer Elite’

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DE NIRO HAS NOTHING TO PROVE.  In this film image released by Open Road Films, Robert De Niro , left, and Jason Statham are shown in a scene from "Killer Elite." (AP Photo/Open Road Films, Dan Smith)

Head butts would seem to hurt, right? That’s clearly the point of them, but it would seem to be just as painful to be the butter as the buttee. In “Killer Elite,” this is probably the most primal method of attack on display, but even the noisy intensity and frequency of the skull bashings — [...]

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‘Captain America’ is solid, old-fashioned

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Let Tony Stark make the wisecracks and Nick Fury give the intimidating commands. As Steve Rogers, Chris Evans brings an earnest dignity and intelligence to “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the final Marvel Comics set-up for next summer’s all-star blockbuster “The Avengers.” There’s little humor here outside a few moments in which this superhero discovers [...]

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Final ‘Potter’ film is sad and satisfying

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British author JK Rowling, second left, joins actors, left to right, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in Trafalgar Square, central London, for the World Premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" the last film in the series, Thursday, July 7, 2011. Harry Potter's saga is ending, but his magic spell remains. Thousands of fans from around the world massed in London Thursday for the premiere of the final film in the magical adventure series. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

If last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ marked the beginning of the end with a gripping feeling of doom and gloom, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ wraps things up once and for all on a note of melancholy. Oh, it’s dramatic, to be sure: gorgeous, somber and startling [...]

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5 best wedding movies

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LOS ANGELES— There’s no shortage of movies about weddings, and most of them are pretty lame. They usually feature the most stereotypical depictions of women being neurotic, naggy, insecure or all of the above, they’re crammed with corny slapstick, and they frequently culminate with a mad dash to an airport or train station for some [...]

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