Knocked Up ( MA15+): Writer- director Judd Apatow ( The 40- Year- Old Virgin ) casts a shrewd eye on issues of gender, class and generational difference in this crisp and perceptive Hollywood sex comedy, though a 20- minute trim would have improved it. Shambolic loser Ben Stone ( Seth Rogen) finds himself facing the prospect of fatherhood after a drunken tumble with a beautiful television interviewer ( Katherine Heigl). — Evan Williams
Black Book ( Zwartboek) ( MA15+): Paul Verhoeven returns to his native Netherlands with this lavish, largescale wartime drama about the activities of the Resistance. Carice van Houten is magnificent as a Jewish woman who sleeps with a German officer to infiltrate the Gestapo. — David Stratton
Change of Address ( PG): This French romantic comedy from writerdirector Emmanuel Mouret is so light and airy that it feels more like a random collection of encounters than a story, but it works through its many permutations on love and folly with wit and delicacy. The likable young cast includes Mouret as a moody young musician. — E. W.
West ( MA15+): Daniel Krige’s examination of the lives of some young people from Sydney’s western suburbs is very well acted ( Khan Chittenden especially), directed and photographed, and doubtless authentic, but this depiction of drug dealing, violence and joyless sex becomes deeply depressing after a while. — D. S.
Clubland ( M): Brenda Blethyn plays a possessive mother and failed club entertainer in this engaging comedydrama. But the focus of attention falls on Khan Chittenden as her shy, withdrawn son and the much more forceful young woman ( Emma Booth) who falls in love with him. A feel- good movie with sharply etched characters. — D. S.
Transformers ( M): Michael Bay has delivered the year’s noisiest and silliest blockbuster, in which aliens disguised as vehicles transform into killing machines. Spectacular orgies of destruction replace plot, but the film is partly redeemed by its boofish humour and Shia LaBeouf’s amiable car- crazy teenager. — E. W.
Four Minutes ( Vier Minuten) ( MA15+): Superb performances from veteran Monica Bleibtreu and newcomer Hannah Herzsprung illuminate this grim prison drama about an elderly music teacher and a gifted but violent young prisoner. A downbeat film from German director Chris Kraus. — D. S.
OUR CRITICS AVOID
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ( PG): The special effects are impressive but the characters and the plotting leave a lot to be desired. This is a superhero franchise that’s strictly for preteens, even though themes of terrorism and torture emerge amid all the comicbook fantasy. — D. S.
Crisp sex comedy: Knocked Up