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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/09/2012

New movies: ‘John Carter,’ ‘Silent House’

Seriously, though — what is “John Carter” about? Critic Ann Hornaday is left scratching her head. (Frank Connor - AP)
In this week’s new movies, a film touted as the year’s first blockbuster winds up boring and nonsensical and Elizabeth Olson stars in an outside-the-box horror flick. Here’s what the Post critics had to say:

John Carter” (PG-13) “What's ‘John Carter’ about? That's not a rhetorical question: Seriously, what the heck is going on in this movie? ... Narratively stilted, visually ugly and imaginatively bankrupt, ‘John Carter’ just sits there, and sits there, and sits there, forcing the audience to sit right along with it.” — Ann Hornaday

Silent House” (R) “Likely to disappoint fans of old-school bogeymen as well as aficionados of jokily self-referential meta-horror (think ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’), it might just find an audience that is able to appreciate it for what it is: a scary, yet thoughtful — some might even say deep — art-house frightfest.” — Michael O’Sullivan

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” (PG-13) “‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ is ridiculously plotty and forced. But as conceived for the screen by writer Simon Beaufoy and director Lasse Hallstrom, this adaptation of Paul Torday's novel turns out to be a surprisingly lush, endearing little film...” — Ann Hornaday

Being Flynn” (R) “At times, [Paul] Weitz leans a little too heavily on the obvious theme: like father, like son. A little more nuance would benefit the film, which eventually starts to feel belabored, even bleak.” — Michael O’Sullivan

Friends With Kids” (R) “‘Friends With Kids’ stars Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott, but more important, it co-stars Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd. Any resemblance to last year's breakout comedy hit ‘Bridesmaids’ is purely intended in a film that seeks the same kind of liberated raunch but too often succumbs to talky, edgy-for-its-own sake glibness.” — Ann Hornaday

The Forgiveness of Blood” (Unrated) “Paradoxically, ‘Forgiveness’ manages to be both highly personal and universal. It's [protagonist] Nik's story, to be sure, along with Albania's, but it's also a larger look at any culture — including our own — in which perceived acts of disrespect are met with brutality.” — Michael O’Sullivan

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” (Unrated) “‘The Pruitt-Igoe Myth’ unfolds like a Greek tragedy. Hindsight affords a dramatic irony so that viewers know how this story ends, and it's not well. But tragedies are still worth watching for the intricacies of the story, not to mention the case study of cause and effect.” — Stephanie Merry

A Thousand Words” (PG-13) “More bland than actively bad, ‘A Thousand Words’ has a few nice moments. Curtis, Washington and Clark Duke (as Jack's wanna-be assistant and, later, surrogate mouth) do what they can with the sit-com script. Sure, there are cheap sex gags and broad slapstick routines, but the movie seems sincere about its self-help-book moral.” — Mark Jenkins

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