I Don't Know How She Does It

Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn | PG-13 |

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REVIEWED BY CHARLOTTE TRIGGS

COMEDY

Kate Reddy (Parker) pretty much has it all: two cute kids, an adoring husband (Kinnear), a high-powered finance job and a chic Boston brownstone. She's just too busy to enjoy it. Based on the novel by Allison Pearson, the film is fluffy and fun when it's making light of a working mom's juggling act (Kate tries to fake a homemade pie for her daughter's bake sale) but gets bogged down taking on more serious issues that only get simplistic solutions. (Marriage problems get swept under the rug. A flirtation with a coworker played by Brosnan is all but forgotten.) Munn, as Kate's driven colleague, provides a touching storyline, while Busy Philipps, as a judgmental stay-at-home domestic diva, offers welcome moments of comic relief. Parker, herself a mom of three, clearly knows how to play spastic and stressed out, but at a certain point, you wish her character would just learn to chill.

Drive

Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan R |

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THRILLER

I haven't been this excited about a movie this violent since Pulp Fiction. Stylish and intense, with riveting performances, Drive is a great piece of Los Angeles noir about an icily controlled stunt/getaway driver (Gosling), whose name we never learn, and his love for Irene (Mulligan), a woman he can never deserve. The plot tightens when the driver helps rob a pawn shop, then slingshots when the job ends badly, setting off a bloody chain reaction. Gosling and Mulligan are magnetic, even in the film's many silences, as is the rest of the cast, including a stunningly brutal Albert Brooks. (Who knew?) Director Nicolas Winding Refn won the Cannes director's award for Drive. That shouldn't be the film's only trophy.

Restless

Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska PG-13 |

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DRAMA

Rarely has a movie been so desperate to sell itself as quirky and heartbreaking. Start with the romance: Death-obsessed Enoch (Hopper, son of the late Dennis) falls for lovely Annabel (Wasikowska), who-irony alert!-is dying. Don't worry, Annabel has one of those magical movie cancers that never leaves her tired, sad or disheveled. Then there's Enoch's pal Hiroshi (Ryo Kase), the ghost of a WWII kamikaze pilot who dispenses wisdom over games of Battleship. It's meant to be profound, and heaven knows the actors try, but Restless is a maudlin mess.

THE LION KING

1 IT STILL MAKES ME CRY

At age 7, I bawled through it three times in theaters. 3-D glasses will hide your tears when it returns to the big screen on Sept. 16.

2 CLASSIC TUNES

The opening notes of "The Circle of Life" still give me goose bumps, and I dare you not to sing along to "Hakuna Matata."

3 THREE LETTERS: JTT

Cub Simba's voice, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, was the Justin Bieber of the '90s-my first celebrity crush.

LILY COLLINS

SHE SIZZLES WITH TAYLOR LAUTNER

"Taylor made it very comfortable," Collins, 22, says of smooching in the thriller Abduction, out Sept. 23. "I was extra cautious not to have any food with garlic!"

SHE'S ROCK ROYALTY

Her dad is that Phil Collins.

SHE'S PLAYED SANDRA'S KID-AND JULIA'S ENEMY

She made her movie debut as Sandra Bullock's daughter in The Blind Side. Now she's filming Snow White, battling Julia Roberts's Evil Queen. "Once they yelled, 'Cut,' Julia would say, 'I'm sorry. I hate being mean to you.'"

Eddie's Oscar Gig

Lord knows why Eddie Murphy wants to host next year's Oscars. Ask James Franco-three hours is torture when you're dying (live!) in front of a global audience. In many ways, Murphy, 50-who hasn't done stand-up on camera since 1987's Raw-is a bigger wild card than Franco was. Let's hope he's still hilarious, impish and a little raw: an unpredictable superstar who's still a tad miffed about not winning for Dreamgirls. And that he doesn't Klump it up.

JOHNNY CARSON

With his split-second timing and friendships with half the room, Carson landed zingers with class.

BOB HOPE

The record 18-time Oscar host skewered himself as much as he did the swells, poking fun at his never having won the gold.

BILLY CRYSTAL

Fabulous openers, tireless showmanship and jokes that weren't mean: Let's hope that, as rumored, he'll make a cameo next February.