New movies this week
The gist: Robert De Niro goes on a road trip across the country to visit his grown children and learns that their lives are far from perfect. How ridiculous can you get? Like a crusty old widower played by De Niro wouldn't be pointing out faults the whole time. PG-13
Starring: De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell.
The buzz: Reviews are decidedly split, but Variety takes the middle road: "Though a bit too artful to merit the pejorative 'tearjerker' label, the film is rigorously streamlined to deliver a good emotional uppercut by the end, and purely on the strength of its craft, it connects."
The gist: In a remake of a Danish film, a soldier's younger brother takes over his elder's family after he's thought to be killed at war, only to have the presumably dead character come home one day and start a frightfully surreal case of sibling rivalry. Take away the helicopters and the Internet, and it sounds like a Civil War story, don't it? R
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Bailee Madison, Taylor Geare, Patrick Flueger, Sam Shepard, Mare Winningham, Clifton Collins Jr. and Josh Berry.
The buzz: Another split-decision by critics. "Brothers isn't badly acted, but as directed by the increasingly impersonal Jim Sheridan, it's lumbering and heavy-handed, a film that piles on overwrought dramatic twists until it begins to creak under the weight of its presumed significance," Entertainment Weekly cautions.
The gist: A quickie action flick about a rookie guard tricked into helping his coworkers steal an armored car. You'll enjoy watching it on Spike TV about 50 times in 2011. PG-13
Starring: Christopher Short, Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno and Skeet Ulrich.
The buzz: Maybe you should rent it at Redbox first, with that awesome cast of B-list heroes. No reviews to be found, but really, all you have to do is look at who's in it to know what you're getting into.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org