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The Switch

Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman | PG-13 |


This only looks like a Jennifer Aniston movie. Aniston is charming as Kassie, a singleton taking the sperm-donor route to Momville, but The Switch is more invested in her neurotic best pal, Wally (Bateman, a fine actor in a creepy role), who’s secretly in love with her. One drunken night he won’t recall, he spills her donor’s baby-making ingredients and substitutes his own. Years later, he bonds like no one else with her high-strung son Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), who’s such a mini Wally even strangers know who the kid’s dad is. So why doesn’t Kassie? Partially because logic isn’t a priority here, but then, neither is Aniston’s barely sketched character. We don’t even know why Kassie is friends with Wally, as he belittles her, keeps secrets from her, and tries to control her. In fact, more than a happily-ever-after, maybe what Kassie really needs is a restraining order.

Nanny McPhee Returns

Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans | PG |


Spoonful of sugar? Not for her. Nanny McPhee is still fond of her magical cane and twisted wit when it comes to giving naughty tots a bit of their own medicine. This time she’s teaching the Greens to coexist with their spoiled visiting relatives (Eros Vlahos shines as cousin Cyril), while mum Isabel (Gyllenhaal, sweetly nailing a British accent) awaits her husband (Ewan McGregor), who’s at war. The effects are cute-kids will chatter for days about the swimming pigs-but one wishes McPhee would delight more in the magic of childhood than in CGI. We could also use a bit more of Nanny herself, as she fades a bit by the silly ending (not that it ruins the film’s charm). But as she says, when we want her but no longer need her, she must go.

Lottery Ticket

Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Loretta Devine | PG-13 |


Sign the ticket. We all know that rule-all of us, that is, except Kevin (Bow Wow), setting off 95 minutes of inanity as thugs scheme to split him from his $370 million winnings before he can cash in. Lottery never even tries to make sense, but it does have appealing performances from Jackson and Natari Naughton as Kevin’s pals and Ice Cube as a cranky old guy-plus a solid message about giving back.

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