Recently reviewed films now playing in metro area theaters:

· American Teen (PG-13) Suggesting "The Breakfast Club" by way of "The Hills," filmmaker Nanette Burstein's almost-too-slick documentary chronicles a year in the lives of five Warsaw, Ind., high-school seniors. Burstein cleverly captures the fishbowl mentality and often petty politics of teens and their various cliques, which is both disturbing and uplifting. 3 stars

· Bottle Shock (PG-13) Take "Sideways," toss in some late period hippie idealism and the blue-collar uplift of "Rocky" and you'll get "Bottle Shock." Set in 1976, it is a fact-based account of the birth of the multi-billion-dollar Napa Valley wine industry. The semi-black comedy and stiffly delivered melodrama is held together with an eclectic '70s era Rock soundtrack. 2 stars

· Hell Ride (R) At the urging of producer Quentin Tarantino, filmmaker/actor Larry Bishop threw together this Grindhouse homage to cheap biker flicks which is long on style and totally devoid of anything resembling coherent content. Co-starring Michael Madsen with cameos from Dennis Hopper and David Carradine, Bishop's gore/skin-fest is a B-movie guilty pleasure. 2 stars

· Man on Wire (PG-13) Director James Marsh's mesmerizing and inspirational accounting of the infamous tightrope walk by French daredevil Philippe Petit across the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in 1974 is equal parts heist thriller and documentary. For 48 hours, it was all the world could talk about until the resignation of U.S. president Richard Nixon two days later. 3 stars

· Pineapple Express (R) The formerly infallible Judd Apatow comedy juggernaut shows signs of losing steam with this often uneven stoner comedy/violent action hybrid. Apatow regular Seth Rogen co-wrote and takes the lead as process server Dale who, after witnessing a gruesome mob murder, goes on the run with his affable dealer/friend Saul (James Franco). 2 stars

· The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (PG-13) This largely uneventful, overlong and pointless follow-up to the surprise 2005 hit lacks the original's spunk and verve. Instead of innocent puppy love, the four leads grapple with headier, adult issues and the often racy content might not be the right material for the target young adolescent female audience. 2 stars