Recently reviewed films now playing in metro area theaters.

· Earth (G) The awe-inspiring visuals are frequently offset by the sanitizing of the animal kingdom in this first of annual nature documentaries from Disney. Even if you're familiar with the six-hour BBC mini-series from which it was culled, it's well worth your time. 3 stars - Michael Clark

· The Informers (R) Nearly cut in half by a replacement director, Bret Easton Ellis' adaptation of his own collection of satirical short stories reflecting '80 indulgence is a narrative disaster but still manages to present a handful of watchable performances. 2 stars - MC

· The Soloist (PG-13) In spite of gallant efforts from co-leads Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., this faux-uplift drama about a mentally disabled musical genius and the newspaper columnist telling his story never gets off the ground or fully engages the audience. 1 star - MC

· American Violet (PG-13) A fact-based story of a single mother from rural Texas who was unjustly charged with drug crimes in 2000 and with some help from the ACLU, sued the local DA for racial profiling. Well intended, the movie suffers from made-for-TV mediocrity. 2 stars - MC

· 17 Again (PG-13) Heartthrob Zac Efron proved there's life after "High School Musical" in this weak comedy fantasy retread. Efron and Matthew Perry play young and old versions of the same guy trying to repair a crumbling marriage and righting the course of two teens. 2 stars - MC

· State of Play (PG-13) As much a commentary on the current condition of the newspaper industry as a political thriller, director Kevin MacDonald's slick but earthy drama delivers a huge plot gaffe in the third act but is saved by crack performances from its all-star cast. 3 stars - MC

· Observe and Report (R) The officially overexposed Seth Rogen breaks bad as a psychotic mall cop obsessed with stuck up girls, guns and his own easily-bruised ego. Filmmaker Jody Hill tries to mix pitch-black comedy with traditional romantic devices, which results in a train

wreck. 2 stars - MC

· Hannah Montana: The Movie (G) Pop sensation Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, produces a live-action venture as thin and unimaginative as you might expect. But it's what her fan-base wants. 2 stars - MC