The stand-out among animated movies this year is Gore Verbinski's quirky "Rango," an adult-skewing western featuring Johnny Depp.
Its animal kingdom of western types is headed by Johnny Depp as a fearful lizard impersonating a tough-guy sheriff, investigating the strange goings-on in a water-starved frontier town. The animation is outstanding, the characters amusing, but the real fun for movie lovers is charting the movie references -- "Chinatown," "Son of Paleface," "The Shakiest Gun in the West," Sergio Leone, and a dozen more.
Layfayette Hill native Brad Furman directed "The Lincoln Lawyer," a movie that's rejuvenated the career of Matthew McConaughey, who's unusually focused in the title role here as a defense attorney and courtoom hustler whose first big-money client (Ryan Phillippe) ensnares him in a knotty, deadly ethical conundrum. With William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei.
"Insidious" is a old-school haunted house/possession movie from the guys who made "Saw," looking to prove they can scare people the old fashioned way. They can. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are parents of a boy pursued in his subconscious by demons. Good, clean, scary fun.