Toy Story 3

Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty | G |

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ANIMATION

Sorry, no, Toy Story 3 does not live up to its predecessors. It surpasses them. Without a single whiz-bang 3-D innovation or catchy new song, the geniuses at Pixar bring us the funniest, smartest, most unabashedly emotional film in the franchise. The key, as always, is a story beautifully told: Andy (John Morris), like many of the kids who grew up with Woody (Hanks) and Buzz (Allen), is heading off to college. A packing snafu sends his toys out with the trash, so the toys, over Woody's objection, escape to Sunnyside day care for nonstop playtime. Only the Sunnysiders, including the grandfatherly Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (Beatty), preening Ken (Michael Keaton) and deeply creepy Big Baby, are secretly sinister, sending Woody into prison-break mode. The pacing is as taut as the best thrillers, with amusing new characters, clever details everywhere and an ending so satisfying, you'll wonder why every movie can't be this good.

Cyrus

John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill| R |

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COMEDY

You know a guy's hit some bad road when he likens himself to Shrek. Luckily for divorced, sad John (the fantastic Reilly), new love Molly (Tomei) digs his raw self-exposure. So do I. Cyrus is the rare comedy made for adults, blossoming from drily amusing into complex and hilarious when John meets Molly's son, Cyrus (Hill). At 21, Cyrus lives at home, clings fiercely to Mommy and is so threatened by John that he commits petty acts of psychological warfare, like hiding John's shoes. The fellas' battle is delicious and finally shows that range Hill's been hiding. But as darkly funny as it is, Cyrus is also the most honest film about deception in years.

Back as Toy Story's cowgirl, Joan Cusack shares some fave films.

MOVIE THAT INSPIRED ME

What's Up, Doc? Barbra Streisand was so funny and different in it.

MOVIE I WATCH WITH MY KIDS

Step Brothers. I love when Will Ferrell is trying to understand the name "Pam."

MOVIE THAT FREAKS ME

OUT The Exorcist. Enough said.

The Oscar winner, 49, revels in romance-and great food-in the Italian drama I Am Love.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN FLUENT IN ITALIAN?

I had a certain amount of Italian, but I had to learn to sound like a Russian who lived in Italy for years. Now my Italian is exclusively with a Russian accent!

FOOD PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE FILM. YOU COOK?

When I go home, the first thing I want to do is cook for my family. My specialty is fish pies. It's a Scottish thing. It's delicious-so I hear from my kids (twins Xavier and Honor, 12).

WILL YOUR KIDS FOLLOW YOU INTO ACTING?

I doubt it. For now, it's Lego designer and writer. We're not so much into growing up at my house. Even I have yet to decide what I want to be.

Assassin George Clooney gets dangerously steamy in the thriller The American, out Sept. 1.

Playing a professional killer on one last assignment, Clooney got to film in one of his favorite places-Italy. Mobbed by local fans while shooting in a small town in the Abruzzo region, "he signed a lot of autographs and took a lot of pictures," says costar Violante Placido, 34, an Italian actress who plays a prostitute he falls for. Clooney upheld his reputation as a prankster on-set. "He jokes up until the minute before they say, 'Action,'" says Placido. As for that kissing scene with George? "I just knew at that moment I was being envied by a lot of women."

>Back as Toy Story's cowgirl, Joan Cusack shares some fave films.

MOVIE THAT INSPIRED ME

What's Up, Doc? Barbra Streisand was so funny and different in it.

MOVIE I WATCH WITH MY KIDS

Step Brothers. I love when Will Ferrell is trying to understand the name "Pam."

MOVIE THAT FREAKS ME

OUT The Exorcist. Enough said.

>• The Oscar winner, 49, revels in romance—and great food—in the Italian drama I Am Love.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN FLUENT IN ITALIAN?

I had a certain amount of Italian, but I had to learn to sound like a Russian who lived in Italy for years. Now my Italian is exclusively with a Russian accent!

FOOD PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE FILM. YOU COOK?

When I go home, the first thing I want to do is cook for my family. My specialty is fish pies. It's a Scottish thing. It's delicious—so I hear from my kids [twins Xavier and Honor, 12].

WILL YOUR KIDS FOLLOW YOU INTO ACTING?

I doubt it. For now, it's Lego designer and writer. We're not so much into growing up at my house. Even I have yet to decide what I want to be.

>• Assassin George Clooney gets dangerously steamy in the thriller The American, out Sept. 1.

Playing a professional killer on one last assignment, Clooney got to film in one of his favorite places—Italy. Mobbed by local fans while shooting in a small town in the Abruzzo region, "he signed a lot of autographs and took a lot of pictures," says costar Violante Placido, 34, an Italian actress who plays a prostitute he falls for. Clooney upheld his reputation as a prankster on-set. "He jokes up until the minute before they say, 'Action,'" says Placido. As for that kissing scene with George? "I just knew at that moment I was being envied by a lot of women."