Movies Opening 7/23/2010

Salt: Angelina Jolie stars as a CIA operative on the run in the spy thriller Salt, a Columbia Pictures production from writer Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium). Director Phillip Noyce helms the picture, which focuses on the plight of a government agent who’s been wrongly accused of being a Russian assassin out to take down the U.S. president. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor head up the rest of the cast. – Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide

Ramona and Beezus: Award-winning short filmmaker Elizabeth Allen follows up her debut feature, Aquamarine, with this adaptation of the Newbury Award-winning children’s book series by author Beverly Cleary. Scribe Laurie Craig steps in to assume screenwriting duties for the live-action feature centering on the adventures of mischievous youngster Ramona Quimby. – Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

‘Countdown to Zero’ traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. Written and directed by acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker (‘The Devil’s Playground’, ‘Blindsight’), the film features an array of important international statesmen, including President Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair. It makes a compelling case for worldwide nuclear disarmament, an issue more topical than ever with the Obama administration working to revive this goal today.

Life During Wartime: Ten years have passed since shocking revelations shattered the world of the Jordan family, and now sisters Joy (Shirley Henderson), Trish (Allison Janney), and Helen (Ally Sheedy), each embroiled in their own unique dilemmas, struggle to find their place in an unpredictable and volatile world. The past now haunts their family both literally and otherwise, and jeopardizes the future. Alternately hilarious and tragic, outrageous and poignant, ‘Life During Wartime’ is an audacious comedy with unexpected resonance.

Farewell: Engaging, emotional and riveting, ‘Farewell’ is an intricate and highly intelligent thriller pulled from the pages of history–about an ordinary man thrust into the biggest theft of Soviet information of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan called this piece of history — largely unknown until now, “one of the most important espionage cases of the 20th century.

Valhala Rising: A man with a remarkable talent for violence must fight to survive when he sets out on an extraordinary journey in this fantasy from director Nicolas Winding Refn.

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