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Jenny Lewis Acid Tongue; out now Teed up for a solo breakthrough, the ex--child actress and Rilo Kiley singer delivers a dud. Lewis' singing is as lean as ever, but her songs--once models of dramatic efficiency--sprawl with misplaced ambition; more adventurous (with themes, tempos, minutes per track) does not necessarily translate into more meaningful. Only the title cut, with Lewis singing gently over a guitar about a performer's life and lies, sticks. C


Obscene Directed by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor; not rated; in limited release For publishing many of the past century's landmark works, including Howl, Naked Lunch, Lady Chatterley's Lover and Tropic of Cancer, Barney Rosset's Grove Press earned the U.S. government's highest tribute: prosecution for obscenity. This zippy documentary distills all the zest and pain of Rosset's career. Like the man and his imprint, it's sensational. A-

The Lucky Ones Directed by Neil Burger; rated R; out now Back from Iraq, three soldiers--a career Army man (Tim Robbins), a cute hillbilly (Rachel McAdams) and a guy made impotent by shrapnel (Michael Peña)--take the life lessons all road movies must provide. Each plot turn is predictable, but this awful film still has secrets: Why was it made? Why is it played as comedy? And who'd benefit from seeing it? D


The Given Day By Dennis Lehane; out now Wait, what is Lehane's name doing on a 700-page epic about union politics, a flu epidemic, immigration, baseball, an Irish cop and a black fugitive in Boston in 1919? He's gone big and literary on us, and the results are part home run and part homework. But he hasn't forgotten where he came from: there's great pulp storytelling in here too. B

Sarah By Kaylene Johnson; out now This surprise best seller about the Republican Veep candidate, which rocketed from 10,000 copies to 350,000 copies in a matter of weeks, is a blend of annoying hagiography ("It is a political Cinderella tale") and revealing detail (she shot her first rabbit at 10). Amid all the fluff, a portrait of a sharp-elbowed politico emerges. C+

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Quotes of the Day »

STEPHEN BUSER, retired Ohio State University professor, on the purchase of Washington Mutual by JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion. It is the largest bank failure in U.S. history

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