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updated 04/25/2011 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/25/2011 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Scream 4

Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette | R |

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They could have titled this one Scream: We All Have Cell Phones Now. Technology has come a long way in the 11 years since the last installment-this time, the villain who calls before he kills makes a mobile ringtone sound as ominous as a jingling landline. Woodsboro's teens even have a Ghostface app that gives them that distinctive gravelly tone. But, in horror movies as in life, technology doesn't always make things better. Sidney (Campbell) is now an author, returning home on her book tour and meeting up with her teenage niece (Emma Roberts)-perfect timing for a new killer to stage a murder spree. This Scream is a lot bloodier than the last three, and while horror fans will enjoy the twisted ride, 4 could use more of that in-on-the-joke comedy that made the original great.


Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez | G |

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At the end of what has felt like the longest winter ever, it's a relief to take a cinematic journey to sunny Brazil, complete with bumping samba music and a visit to Carnival. When Blu (Eisenberg in Mark Zuckerberg mode but more cuddly) is taken from Minnesota to meet the world's only other blue macaw, free-spirited Jewel (Hathaway), in Rio, they must work together with their feathered friends (Lopez, Jamie Foxx and will.i.am) to escape bird smugglers. The characters could use more depth, and the film just glosses over the environmental issues it brings up, but Tracy Morgan's take on an attention-loving bulldog is hilarious, and kids and adults will be dazzled by the 3-D aerial acrobatics.

The Conspirator

James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline | PG-13 |

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The shotgun military trial of Mary Surratt (Wright), owner of the boarding house where the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln was hatched, is fascinating history but here makes for plodding drama. By hewing to the historical record, director Robert Redford limits the screen time of his film's chief asset: Wright's searing, unapologetic performance. Even in this starring role, she's criminally underutilized.

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