Recently reviewed films now playing in theaters:

· Amelia (PG-13) Director Mira Nair's beautifully framed bio-flick about icon Amelia Earhart might be nice to look at but is devoid of any engaging content. As the title character, Hilary Swank is a dead ringer for the real Earhart but delivers none of her pluck or verve. 2 stars - Michael Clark

· Astro Boy (PG) This endlessly entertaining and whip-smart animated adventure might be a little too somber and intense in spots for toddlers, but anyone over the age of 7 will be immediately hooked and riveted for the duration. 3 stars - MC

· Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (PG-13) This bloodless and unintentionally camp vampire flick tries to ride in on the coattails of "Twilight" but shoots itself in the foot by looking forward to future sequels and ignoring a cohesive first installment. 1 star - MC

· Coco Before Chanel (NR) This visually pleasing and proficient drama about the early years of the legendary French designer (portrayed by Audrey Tautou) plays it a little too safe for its targeted fashionista audience who probably wanted a bit more dirt and scandal. 2 stars - MC

· A Serious Man (R) This near masterpiece from the Coen Brothers mixes elements of faith and the metaphysical in a '60s period piece serio-comedy populated with mostly no-name actors. 3 stars - MC

· New York, I Love You (R) This second in a series of world city anthology movies breaks a lot of genre rules and plays out more like a feature film than a collection of unrelated shorts. 3 stars - MC

· Where the Wild Things Are (PG) Director Spike Jonze's long-anticipated adaptation of the landmark book by Maurice Sendak is too downbeat and cerebral for kids and not involving enough for adults. 2 stars - MC

· Couples Retreat (PG-13) The once hip, ultra-cool Vince Vaughn and his "Swingers" co-star Jon Favreau play two regular Joes that are duped into a taking a tropical vacation with their wives that is a long series of unfunny skits, new-age therapy and bad bathroom humor. 1/2 of a star - MC