New in theaters My Kid Could Paint That (NR)
Director: Amir Bar-Lev. With Anthony Brunelli, Stuart Simpson. (82 min.)
When the parents of 4-year-old upstate New York resident Marla Olmstead exhibited her artwork, critics and the public took notice. She was compared to Jackson Pollock and Picasso. She sold over $300,000 worth of paintings. But then CBS's "60 Minutes" aired an exposé suggesting that Marla's father, an amateur painter, was the true auteur, and her fame capsized. Amir Bar-Lev's documentary is fascinating on all kinds of levels: as a movie about the nature of art, the lure and pitfalls of celebrity, and the complicated conundrums of parenting.
Grade: A – Peter Rainer
Directors: John Jeffcoat, Karan Johar. With Larry Pine, Asif Basra. (103 min.)
This smart and charming romantic comedy directed and co-written by John Jeffcoat is about the effect that India has on Todd (Josh Hamilton), a Seattle call-center manager who is sent to that country to train his replacement (Asif Basra). There he meets Asha, a call-center employee who is primed for a serious dalliance with him. It's sometimes obvious, and the film owes more than a bit to Bill Forsyth's similarly themed "Local Hero," but most of it is like nothing you've ever seen before. Grade: A– – P.R.
The Seeker (PG)
Director: David Cunningham. With Ian McShane, Alexander Ludwig. (94 min.)
Walden Media's success at making the worlds of Narnia and Terabithia feel real on screen does not translate into the same magic in adapting Susan Cooper's series of young-adult fantasy novels. The result is a somewhat silly pre-Potter dissertation on "Light" versus "Dark" through the quest of a teen boy of prophecy whose powers, apparently, do not extend to defeating the evils of on-the-nose writing and acting. Grade: C– – Robert Newton
Still in theaters The Rape of Europa (NR)
Directors: Bonni Cohen, Nicole Newnham, Richard Berge. (117 min.)
Hitler's methodical plan to plunder and destroy Europe's great works of art gets lush treatment in this comprehensive documentary. The most compelling yarn spotlights the US Army's "Monuments Men," whose task was to safeguard irreplaceable gems from an unmerciful German retreat. The detailed account makes heroes of these soldiers as well as museum employees who risked death by saving art pieces from becoming asterisks in a catalog. Grade: A– – R.N.