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On Demand movie highlights

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES ½

(Comcast Movie Collections: Just In) Oh, right, this is what a

superhero movie is supposed to look like. Christopher Nolan brings his Batman trilogy to a close with a majestic crash. It’s overlong and more than a little crazy but made with a pop-

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Wagnerian conviction and undeniable moviemaking skill. Also, Anne Hathaway is the best Catwoman since Julie Newmar.

(PG-13; runs through May 4)

MONA LISA SMILE

(Starz on Comcast) Guided by Julia Roberts, we’re transported to the Wellesley of a half-century ago for a message that no longer needs mongering: Hey, girls, marriage is not all there is. Despite its needless lessons, Mike Newell’s movie is fiercely performed — Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal are some of the students — and usually entertaining. Hands down, the weirdest commercial film of 2003. (PG-13; runs through

Jan. 7)

THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS

(Starz on Comcast) The animators at Aardman (“Wallace & Gromit”) have a knack for leaving us smiling almost as goofily as one of their claymation creations. They do it yet again with this

genial, 3-D genre sendup, featuring Hugh Grant as a swashbuckler informed by Darwin (David Tennant) that his “parrot” is a dodo, and their ticket to glory. Maybe even, yes, Pirate of the Year honors. (PG; runs through Jan. 9)

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