Friday night at the movies


Your best bets on the big screen this weekend:


THE COVE: This documentary about the slaughter of dolphins in the cove of a remote Japanese fishing village has won nearly universal praise from critics. (Edina Cinema) City Pages: "The forthrightly activist but fun-loving documentary is a rousing blend of faux-thriller, horror movie, and farce. The Cove is enchanting, horrifying, and rousing." Star Tribune: 4 stars Pioneer Press: 2.5 stars Rotten 93% positive

THE END OF THE LINE: Yes, another documentary on the dangers of overfishing--and almost as well-reviewed as The Cove, though a bit drier. (Lagoon Cinema) City Pages: "This convincing and emotive adjunct to the doomsday documentary genre posits that seafood will be extinct by 2048. Narrated by Ted Danson, it's a free-form splash of jaw-dropping graphs, impressively accredited talking heads, and sumptuously shot portraits of natural beauty and decay." Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 3 stars Rotten 75% positive

JULIE & JULIA: Worth seeing--and only worth seeing--for Meryl Streep's joyful and lusty performance as chef and bon vivant Julia Child. (area theaters) City Pages: "There's half of a great movie here--the one featuring Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Not in forever has a movie character been this joyful, this playful, this much fun to be around." Star Tribune: 2 stars Pioneer Press: 3.5 stars Rotten 68% positive

PAPER HEART: This odd amalgam of documentary and mockumentary won't be everyone's cup of tea, but Charlyne Yi delivers a fey and funny performance. (area theaters) City Pages: "It's all kinds of adorable and heartbreaking-the doc part, at least, in which Yi sets out to cross the country and find the meaning of True Love." Star Tribune: 1 star Pioneer Press: 3 stars Rotten 66% positive


THE HURT LOCKER: A full-throttle body shock of a movie. It gets inside you like a virus, puts your nerves in a blender, and twists your guts into a Gordian knot. Set during the last month in the yearlong rotation of a three-man U.S. Army bomb squad stationed in Baghdad, it may be the only film made about Iraq that gives us a true sense of what it feels like to be on the front lines. (area theaters)

IN THE LOOP: A deliriously foul-mouthed political satire about the U.S. and U.K. gearing up for an unnamed war in the the Middle East. It hasn't any real plot--it plays like a rather brilliant Brit-com stretched over 100 minutes. (Uptown Theatre)


HAROLD AND MAUDE: A black comedy cult classic about two social outcasts--a batty old woman and a death-obsessed teenager--who find each other. (Riverview Theater, tonight and Saturday at 11:30 p.m.)

THE HUSTLER: One of Paul Newman's best, in which he plays a small-time pool shark, "Fast" Eddie Felson, who brashly challenges the world's best pool player, Minnesota Fats. (Loring Park, Monday at dusk. Free.)

OFFICE SPACE: This first feature from Beavis and Butt-head creator Mike Judge isn't exactly brilliant, but it's full of great characters having great moments satirizing (sometimes quite tastelessly) the 9-to-5 drudgery that too many of us have come to know and tolerate. (Uptown Theatre, Saturday at midnight)

JUNO: If you can squeeze yourself into the rooftop patio of the Solera, you can enjoy once again this funny and charming film from hometown hero Diablo Cody. (Solera Restaurant, Tuesday at dusk)

For more film ideas, capsule reviews, and showtimes, click here.