New movies this week
The gist: A soldier is quantum-leaped into a dead guy to relive the last eight minutes of his life over and over to try to stop a train bombing. We're sure that'll work out peachy the very first try. PG-13
The cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Arden and Cas Anvar.
The buzz: A sci-fi movie with a decent budget and a couple of decent actors? It just may work. In fact, most critics say it works quite well. "Intriguing if unbelievable sci-fi piece that quickens the pulse even if you don't completely buy into the set-up," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: The guys who made Saw decide to make a more restrained haunted-house picture, this time about a family who moves into a spooky new place and promptly moves out (for a change). Not that it does them any good. PG-13
The cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey and Andrew Astor.
The buzz: Sure, it's just channeling Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror, but it does it in high fashion. "No blood, no gore, no hacked-off arms and legs, but plenty of creepy set pieces, quick cuts and blasts of music that will have you both squirming in your seat and jumping out of it," the Arizona Republic says.
The gist: An independent young woman grows up and begins to think perhaps her male-dominated Victorian society is keeping her down for no good reason. This is the Charlotte Brontë one, not any of the Jane Austen ones (those are set much earlier). PG-13
The cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Holliday Grainger and Sally Hawkins.
The buzz: It's a period piece from a classic novel, so you'll be hard-pressed to find a critic who doesn't ooze all over it. "In its superbly spare execution, the newest adaptation of Jane Eyre is both faithful to Charlotte Brontë's classic and distinctively original," USA Today lauds.
The gist: In an attempt to make Easter as coarsely commercial as Christmas, here we have a bunny who shirks his responsibilities to make it big in Hollywood. The fact that Russell Brand is the rabbit's voice makes it instantly annoying. PG
The cast: Brand, James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Elizabeth Perkins, Cary Cole, Tiffany Espensen and Hugh Laurie.
The buzz: Why does it look like all the almost-funny jokes are in the trailer? "It's Alvin and the Chipmunks with only one chipmunk, and (if possible) even less fun," Entertainment Weekly warns.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org