Picks and Pans Main: Movies
updated 09/06/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/06/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
The highest highs! The most pitiful lows! Here are the summer's attention grabbers
• BEST TEARJERKER
Toy Story 3
If the ruminations on childhood didn't reduce you to a simpering lump, the toys' fierce loyalty to each other certainly did.
• BEST ACTION STAR
Angelina Jolie in Salt
Angie deftly filled the void in a Bond-and Bourne-free summer, even if I didn't always buy her as a brawler.
Was it real? All a dream? Who knows, and it's still keeping me up nights.
• BEST COUPLE
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
A beautifully acted pair with a marriage you root for, even after all the pain.
• OSCAR-WORTHIEST VET
Robert Duvall in Get Low
It's not the secret Duvall's tortured hermit has to tell that draws us in-it's the telling.
• OSCAR-WORTHIEST NEWBIE
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone
Lawrence mesmerizes as a dirt-poor teen fighting to save her family home.
• BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Not into gaming, martial arts, comics or indie rock? Neither am I, but Pilgrim is nerdy-cool fun for all.
• WORST COMIC BOOK MOVIE
Eighty-one minutes never felt so long.
• BIGGEST SCENE STEALER
Sean Combs in Get Him to the Greek
Who knew Diddy was funny? (Besides him.)
• UGLIEST AMERICANS
The women of Sex and the City 2 Nasty and entitled at home and abroad: Ladies, consider your passports revoked.
A DANCER'S DRAMA
Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin's controversial past inspired the new movie Mao's Last Dancer
When you ask ballet dancer Li Cunxin about his favorite movies, Dirty Dancing isn't on the list. "That's not real dancing!" says Cunxin, 49. For that, you'll need to watch Mao's Last Dancer, based on Cunxin's 2003 autobiography. The son of Chinese peasants, Cunxin trained at the Beijing Dance Academy from age 11 and came as an exchange student to Texas, where he sparked an international standoff when Chinese officials tried to have him deported. "Four guys came and locked me up in a room-I thought that was the end of me," says Cunxin, now a stockbroker in Australia with three kids. "The film really stayed true to my story."