Angelina Jolie in 'Salt'This weekend at the multiplex, it's all about girl power, from Angelina Jolie's action heroics to an adaptation of a beloved children's book about two sisters, starring a Disney tween titan.

Best Bet: 'Salt'

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andre Braugher
Directed by: Phillip Noyce

What It's About: Jolie is veteran CIA agent Evelyn Salt. While she's debriefing a Russian defector, the man names her as a sleeper KGB agent who's plotting to commit a political assassination in New York. Salt flees and finds herself pursued by both Russians and CIA colleagues (led by Schreiber and Ejiofor), who wonder whether she really is a mole or just a loyal Company woman out to clear her name.

Why Should You See It?
Who doesn't enjoy watching the always fascinating and ferocious Jolie kick butt and take names? (Imagine how much less intriguing the movie would have been with its original intended star, Tom Cruise.) Her Evelyn Salt is Lara Croft, Mrs. Smith, and Fox (from 'Wanted') all in one wiry, athletic package. Director Noyce knows from old-school spy thrillers, having directed Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in two Tom Clancy adaptations. Plus, Russian sleeper spies are a hot topic these days.

You Might Like It If You Like: 'Wanted,' 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith,' 'The Bourne Identity,' 'Patriot Games' Angelina Jolie in 'Salt'This weekend at the multiplex, it's all about girl power, from Angelina Jolie's action heroics to an adaptation of a beloved children's book about two sisters, starring a Disney tween titan.

Best Bet: 'Salt'

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andre Braugher
Directed by: Phillip Noyce

What It's About: Jolie is veteran CIA agent Evelyn Salt. While debriefing a Russian defector, the man fingers her as a sleeper KGB agent who's plotting to commit a political assassination in New York. Salt flees and finds herself pursued by both Russians and CIA colleagues (led by Schreiber and Ejiofor), who wonder whether she really is a mole or just a loyal Company woman out to clear her name.

Why Should You See It?
Who doesn't enjoy watching the always fascinating and ferocious Jolie kick butt and take names? (Imagine how much less intriguing the movie would have been with its original star, Tom Cruise.) Her Evelyn Salt is Lara Croft, Mrs. Smith, and Fox (from 'Wanted') all in one wiry, athletic package. Director Noyce knows from old-school spy thrillers, having directed Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in two Tom Clancy adaptations. Plus, Russian sleeper spies are a hot topic these days.

You Might Like It If You Like:
'Wanted,' 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith,' 'The Bourne Identity,' 'Patriot Games'

'Salt' Showtimes & Tickets
Angelina Jolie, 'Salt' Stars and CIA Experts Give Us the Scoop on Real Spies and Paranoia
Moviefone Minute: Live From the 'Salt' Premiere
Survival Handbook for Agents on the Run
Do A-Listers Still Matter at the Summer Box Office?
• Reviews: IndieWire | Boston Phoenix | More Critics' Reviews

Trailer No. 1 for 'Salt'


Ramona and BeezusAlso New This Weekend: 'Ramona and Beezus'

Starring: Joey King, Selena Gomez, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Ginnifer Goodwin
Directed by: Elizabeth Allen
What It's About: In this adaptation of Beverly Cleary's classic children's novels, trouble-prone imp Ramona (King) and her strait-laced teen sister Beezus ('Wizards of Waverly Place' star Gomez) are forced to mature quickly when their dad (Corbett) loses his job.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid,' 'Aquamarine,' 'Harriet the Spy,' 'The Baby-Sitters Club'
Showtimes & Tickets | Two Exclusive Clips | Critics' Reviews

In Limited Release
'Countdown to Zero' posterTwo movies opening this weekend touch on themes related to 'Salt.' The documentary 'Countdown to Zero,' made by some of the same folks who made 'An Inconvenient Truth,' reminds us that there are still a lot of nuclear weapons out there, not very well secured, making the threat of rogue groups getting a hold of one (as suggested in 'Salt') frighteningly real. (Showtimes & Tickets) And the drama 'Farewell,' whose international cast includes Fred Ward and Willem Dafoe, recounts a real-life Cold War spy drama involving a renegade KGB agent and stolen information. (Showtimes & Tickets)

Still in Theaters, Still Awesome

Ellen Page and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Inception''Inception' - You know you want to see it again, just in case it makes more sense the second time around. Showtimes & Tickets

'Cyrus' - This indie comedy hit, which is gradually expanding to theaters around the country, offers a sweet romance between John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei that's complicated by an unlikely third wheel: her resentful grown son (Jonah Hill). Showtimes & Tickets

'The Kids Are All Right' - In a summer in which family values are defined by a loving clan of vampires and a supervillain who adopts three little girls, the family in Lisa Cholodenko's witty comedy -- two lesbian moms (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening), their teenage kids, and their rediscovered biological dad (Mark Ruffalo) -- may be the most refreshingly normal. Showtimes & Tickets

Staying in This Weekend?

New on DVD This Week: 'The Runaways' stars 'Twilight'-ers Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, leaders of the legendary 1970s all-teen-girl rock band. More | Buy or rent the DVD
Also out this week: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's classic, lush, dreamlike Technicolor 1940s melodramas 'Black Narcissus' and 'The Red Shoes'; 2010 action comedies 'Cop Out' and 'The Losers.'

Movie Homework: 'Salt's' tale of an American pursuing a KGB mole who may be none other than herself recalls such old-school Cold War thrillers as Kevin Costner's 'No Way Out.' (Buy or rent the DVD) Of course, such identity puzzlers -- how can you prove you're who you think you are? Can you overcome your own programmed responses and allegiances? -- work especially well in a sci-fi context. In the 'Salt'-y 'Impostor,' Gary Sinise is either a good-guy lawman or that lawman's ticking time-bomb clone, but even he can't tell which. (Buy or rent the DVD) In 'Minority Report,' future cop Tom Cruise is told he will murder a man he's never met and goes on the run to prove or disprove the prophecy. (Buy or rent the DVD) Both movies, of course, are based on stories by mind-bending author Philip K. Dick.

On My Netflix Queue: A kick-ass heroine of a different sort is hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) in the Swedish thriller 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' based on the first novel in Stieg Larsson's worldwide bestselling trilogy. Watch and ponder the question of who should play Lisbeth in the forthcoming American version that David Fincher is directing. Buy or rent the DVD

•Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.