"The Ant Bully" (PG). Engaging animated comedy about a small-for-his-age suburban kid who is given a magic potion and transformed into an ant-sized kid who literally gets to see things from a different perspective. Vocal talent includes Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin and Paul Giamatti. Grade: B Opens July 28.
"John Tucker Must Die" (PG-13). When several high school girls discover that they've been dating the same conceited guy, they decide to get their revenge on him. This superficial comedy aimed at teen girls offers just enough laughs to make for affable summer viewing. Grade: C+ Opens July 28.
"Miami Vice" (R). Not reviewed. Michael Mann directs a big-screen adaptation of the popular and stylish 1980s-era police drama. Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell star. Opens July 28.
"Cars" (G). Amusing if overlong animated comedy about a flashy race car (voiced by Owen Wilson) that gets lost at a Route 66 desert town and learns valuable automotive life lessons from its old car inhabitants about friendship counting for more than NASCAR-style fame and fortune. Vocal talent includes Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub and George Carlin. Grade: B Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"Clerks II" (R). The profanely expressed slacker philosophy remains intact in this sequel to the movie that made writer-director Kevin Smith's reputation 12 years ago. That attitude won't be to all tastes, but it's certainly conveyed with lazy conviction by a cast including Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson and Jason Mewes. The silliness culminates in a surprisingly mature final section. Grade: B- Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"Click" (PG-13). You may want to hit the off button while watching this Adam Sandler comedy in which he plays a married guy who is given a magical universal remote control that allows him to move around in time. The movie wants to be a 21st-century take on "It's a Wonderful Life," but let's just say Adam Sandler is not Jimmy Stewart. With Christopher Walken, Kate Beckinsale, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner, David Hasselhoff, Sean Astin and Jennifer Coolidge. Grade: C+ Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"Lady in the Water" (PG-13). Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan may be the only person who takes this nonsense seriously. The story about a sea nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is sheltered by a harried building superintendent (Paul Giamatti) seeks to establish some sort of mystical mood, but seems more likely to generate unintended laughs. Grade: C Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"Little Man" (PG-13). The jokes are even lower than the vertically challenged title character, played by the head of Marlon Wayans placed via special effects on a small person's body. This little guy is a big thief, and he disguises himself as an abandoned infant in order to retrieve a diamond stashed away in the home of a childless young couple (Kerry Washington and Shawn Wayans). Director Keenan Ivory Wayans oversees a plot in which bathroom and bedroom humor is the norm. Grade: C Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"Monster House" (PG). Three suburban kids investigate a haunted house in their neighborhood in a motion-capture animation comedy whose mild scares will amuse small viewers. If anything, there is such a relentless succession of noisy horror movie effects that some adult viewers may go from smile to headache. Grade: B- Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" (PG-13). The plot about a normal guy (Luke Wilson) who goes out with a girl who turns out to be a superhero (Uma Thurman) sounds like it has the makings of a child-friendly comedy, but much of the humor is more adult in nature. In any event, the superhero gets off the ground more often than the movie does. Grade: C Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (PG-13). Johnny Depp vamps his way through what could have been an enjoyable sequel, but the movie is so long, loud and lacking in narrative form that it's a big mess. Although some of Depp's vamping is amusing and some sequences have nifty makeup and special effects, you're likely to have a sinking feeling about this noisy spectacle. With Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Stellan Skarsgard and Bill Nighy. Grade: C Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
"You, Me and Dupree" (PG-13). Well-organized newlyweds Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson allow his slacker best friend, Owen Wilson, to stay as a houseguest. The ensuing domestic disaster is mildly funny, but the slapstick eventually turns sentimental and isn't entirely convincing in the final scenes. Grade: B- Snowden Square 14, AMC Columbia Mall 14, Muvico Egyptian 24
All capsule reviews and grades by Mike Giuliano unless otherwise noted. Bookings change on Friday. For showtimes and to confirm listings, call the phone-in number in Screen Scene or follow the local movie prompts at www.howardcountytimes.com.
AMC Columbia Mall 14 Columbia Town Center, Columbia, 410-423-0520
Snowden Square Stadium 14 9161 Commerce Center Drive, Columbia, 410-872-0670
Charles Theatre 1711 N. Charles St., Baltimore, 410-727-FILM
Maryland Science Center IMAX Theater 601 Light St., Baltimore, 410-685-5225
Muvico Egyptian 24 Arundel Mills Boulevard at Route 100, Hanover, 443-755-8992
West Nursery 14 1591 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum, 410-850-8999