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Local critics embrace 'Jack Reacher,' 'This is 40'

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A new action thriller starring Tom Cruise and the latest laugh fest from crude comedy creator Judd Apatow are two of the major films debuting in theaters as audiences get ready to break for the long Christmas holiday weekend.

Chris Hewitt praises Cruise in his Pioneer Press review of "Jack Reacher," a whodunit crime thriller based on the author Lee Child's bestseller "One Shot."

Hewitt calls the film "a smart, exciting thriller that has a sense of humor" and adds, "It's easy to see why Tom Cruise was attracted to this super cool character, even if it's not quite as clear why the movie wanted him."

Kristin Tillotson in her Star Tribune review notes the chemistry between Cruise and writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (who also wrote Cruise's "Valkyrie"), pointing out how McQuarrie "knows how to get the best from the star, taking him to the edge of over-the-top."

Tillotson also notes how Cruise improves the material, "tossing off understated one-liners that elevate the otherwise standard dialogue."

See the trailer for "Jack Reacher" below.

Apatow writes and directs "This is 40," which he has described as the "sort of sequel" to his 2007 smash "Knocked Up."

A mid-life comedy, "This is 40" finds two of "Knocked Up's" supporting characters, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Apatow's real-life wife Leslie Mann), married and denying the fact that they're each about to turn 40.

Hewitt in the Pioneer Press says the film isn't perfect, but it's "Apatow's most consistently funny script since 'The 40 Year Old Virgin.'" He added that the real-life basis of "This Is 40" also "makes for dialogue that instantly rings funny and true."

Colin Covert takes virtually the same stance in his Star Tribune review, saying "This is 40" is "wise and satisfying, and often sharp and hilarious."

See the trailer for "This is 40" below.

Bring Me The News news curator Tim Lammers is also a nationally-syndicated movie journalist whose work appears on more than 50 TV affiliate websites in the U.S. Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career, and locally, he reviews films on "KARE 11 Today" and WCCO Radio. Tim's work is also featured on his website, StrictlyCinema.com.

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