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Posted at 07:43 PM ET, 08/16/2012

‘Paranorman,’ ‘Sparkle’ and other new movies

ParaNorman is one for the kids — and the adults. The 3D stop-motion comedy thriller opens today. (LAIKA, Inc.)
A couple new family-friendly options hit theaters this week, thanks to the spooky, funny “ParaNorman” and “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” Also on the big screen: Whitney Houston’s final role, in “Sparkle.”

ParaNorman”(PG) “ParaNorman” [is] a colorfully macabre stop-motion animation comedy that embraces the sociopolitical allegories of George A. Romero’s zombie pictures and reworks them into a feature-length episode of ‘Scooby-Doo.’” — Sean O’Connell

Sparkle” (PG) A re-make of the beloved 1976 musical starring Irene Cara (and, not incidentally, featuring the music of Curtis Mayfield), the updated version will forever be known as the final screen appearance of Whitney Houston, who died in February during post-production.” — Ann Hornaday

The Odd Life of Timothy Green” (PG) “Directed with an appropriately light touch by Peter (‘Pieces of April’) Hedges — who also wrote the screenplay, based on a story idea by producer Ahmet Zappa — the movie goes down easily enough, considering its far-fetched premise.” — Michael O’Sullivan

Dark Horse” (PG) “For its welcome whiffs of poignancy and compassion, there’s an inescapable sense in ‘Dark Horse’ that Solondz is as arrested as his protagonist, going back to the same well — of middle-class entitlement, artifice and pathology — and bringing back the same bitter water.” — Ann Hornaday

2 Days in New York” (R) “Take ‘2 Days in Paris,’ swap Goldberg for Chris Rock, corral the whole clan in New York instead of Paris and you’ve essentially got the formula for ‘2 Days in New York,’ a manic and funny, if ultimately frustrating, sequel.” — Jess Righthand

Oslo, August 31st” (Not rated) “‘Oslo, August 31st’ manages to thread that slim needle, as both a minimalist, small-canvas study and a broader portrait of a city and culture in the throes of a transition every bit as tumultuous as the lead character’s.” — Ann Hornaday

The Awakening” (R) “‘The Awakening’ is nonsense, but with its posh British cast and colors drained to near-gray, it’s very solemn nonsense.” — Mark Jenkins

Supercapitalist” (Not rated) “How much subtlety can one expect from a movie that spells its title with a dollar sign in place of the capital S? The corporate thriller ‘Supercapitalist’ (or ‘$upercapitalist,’ for purists) has the answer. Plagued by caricatures and culminating in a Scooby-Doo-caliber finale, the film lands in theaters with all of the nuance of an Acme anvil.” — Stephanie Merry

By  |  07:43 PM ET, 08/16/2012

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