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Weekend Movie Guide: One diamond, much coal...

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With one very notable exception, it's a fairly dull weekend in the movie world. That exception, of course, is the sterling No Country for Old Men. After several misfires (Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers, The Man Who Wasn't There), the Coen Brothers are back with their best film since The Big Lebowski. Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones all give superb performances in this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name. Simply put, this is the one and only movie that you have to see this weekend.

Anyone looking for a realpolitik vision of the world will be sorely disappointed by Lions for Lambs. While I've enjoyed Redford's directorial work in the past, Lions is the sort of simple-minded polemic that you expect from a college student. Tom Cruise is, officially, no longer Tom Cruise. His public collapse over the last two years has made it impossible to watch him without sniggering a little. Not even the presence of the divine Meryl Streep can save a movie that critics have absolutely savaged with phrases like "preachy, tedious and obvious." Ouch.

The movie to definitely skip this weekend is the terrible Fred Claus. Of course, no amount of warning will stop hordes of parents from dragging their children into this dark, cruel mess. I have a great deal of good will towards Vince Vaughn, but Fred Claus certainly tests it. Do yourself a favor: if you want to see a Christmas movie this weekend, just rent Elf. You'll save yourself plenty of money and, most importantly, several hours out of your life. Come back to us, Paul Giamatti. Come back to the light!

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Reviews, Previews, Showtimes & Tickets after the jump!