Picks and Pans Main: Movies

updated 09/06/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/06/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

SUMMER MOVIE AWARDS

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.

•Biggest brainteaser

Inception

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

Jonah Hex

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.

REAL-LIFE STORY

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."

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