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Angels & Demons is only slightly better than The Da Vinci Code and as a film, that's not saying much.

Tom Hanks returns as the skeptical scholar called by The Vatican to help an investigation. The Pope has died, and those next in line have been kidnapped. In these movies, good guys are usually bad guys, and bad guys are highly devoted.

Angels & Demons is also more violent than the original, as priests are killed one by one in public, and always with Hanks and the authorities one step behind. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad film, but an average film directed by Ron Howard.

Angels & Demons is rated PG-13, runs just over two hours, and yes, the books are much better than the films. Tom Hanks is a terrific actor but in these movies he serves as a spiritual tour guide, narrating every step, solving every riddle, and leading the audience to a heavy handed, predictable finale.

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