Mission: Impossible III (Paramount) combines the sensibility of director J.J. Abrams (who essentially makes the movie into a feature-length version of Alias, right down to the flashback structure and loved ones in peril) with the sensibility of star Tom Cruise (who turns the whole shebang into a love story, as a way of expressing where he's at in his life right now). The result is a clean-running thrill ride with lots of cool setpieces and minimal silliness, and with a real beating heart. But it's strictly small-time, more a two-hour TV show than a blockbuster movie…

Jared Hess' Nacho Libre (Paramount) boasts a seemingly irresistible premise: Jack Black in tights as a monk wrasslin' for the Lord. Unfortunately, neither the director nor Hess' co-screenwriters seem to have thought through the script beyond that tempting outline, and the middle-school Jarmusch-ian minimalism that made Hess' Napoleon Dynamite such a bewildering left-field smash proves disastrous to the film's pacing, which has all the momentum of a thousand-pound man trying to run a marathon…

One of the few non-Pixar films to stretch the boundaries of computer animation, Monster House (Sony) sets a spooky, touching ghost story in the middle of a suburban Anywheretown. The mood of pre-adolescent wonder bears the unmistakable influence of Steven Spielberg (who produced the film) but the smart film finds its own kind of magic and digitized thrills…

It seems like every half-witted J-horror remake, neo-slasher film, and death-by-Rube-Goldberg-contraption that comes down the pike opens at number one at the box office, but when a truly clever, entertaining genre item like Slither (Sony) comes out, it can't gain any traction. In the tradition of horror-comedy goofs like Tremors, Dead/Alive, and Shaun Of The Dead, the film concerns otherworldly slugs that quickly turn a small town into a zombie apocalypse. Serenity's Nathan Fillion makes a perfectly unflappable hero, while poor Michael Rooker slowly turns into a giant squid-like creature…

An unusual and intermittently powerful documentary that relies extensively on filmed recreations, Michael Winterbottom's The Road To Guantanamo (Sony) tells the stories of three young British Muslims who were captured as enemy combatants in Afghanistan and detained without cause at Guantanamo Bay. Though their reasons for crossing over into Afghanistan from Pakistan still sound suspect, their account of the inhumane conditions at Guantanamo is credible and sobering.