The gist: Another Chuck Palahniuk creation. This one, about a sex addict who keeps his mother in a nursing home by bilking rich people who "save" him from self-induced choking fits in restaurants, is a bit more complicated than we like our fiction. R
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Brad William Henke and Kelly Macdonald.
The buzz: Apparently it's a bit too complicated for others, too. "Palahniuk's antic absurdism is duly present, but the hurtling pace and barely-underlying nihilism that transferred to screen so vividly in Fight Club aren't much in evidence here," Variety says.
Miracle in St. Anna
The gist: Spike Lee counters his argument that Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers had no black soldiers with this translation of James McBride's novel of a black division in WWII Italy. R
Starring: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Pierfrancesco Favino and Valentina Cervi.
The buzz: That sword cuts both ways, Spike. "Odd too, for a film that wants to correct impressions anyone had as to the abilities of black U.S. soldiers in combat, are the ethnic cliches about Italians and Germans, to say nothing of rednecks," the Hollywood Reporter bemoans.
The gist: Two strangers are forced by a faceless woman on a cell phone to do her bidding. No, they're not trying to navigate the city's automated bill-pay line. PG-13
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie and Billy Bob Thornton.
The buzz: Boy, the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert didn't like it, and he watches everything. "The word preposterous is too moderate to describe Eagle Eye. ... It's an assault on consciousness." Ouch.
Nights in Rodanthe
The gist: A jilted woman watches a friend's inn for the weekend, when who should walk in as a guest but lonely Richard Gere. Dum-dum-DUUUUUM. PG-13
Starring: Gere, Diane Lane, Scott Glenn, Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis, James Franco, Mae Whitman and Pablo Schreiber.
The buzz: Pretty mechanical passion, you got there. "Lane and Gere mime adult courtship with the efficiency of synchronized swimmers. Yet in this ocean of emotion, they look like they're drowning," Entertainment Weekly says.
The Lucky Ones
The gist: Three Iraq vets go on some sort of cross-country marathon of discovery when they meet in an airport and decide to share a van to go to their various destinations. R
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, Michael Pena, Molly Hagan, Mark L. Young, Howard Platt, Arden Myrin and Coburn Goss.
The buzz: Remember how we lamented over-complexity? "The film itself... comes down to a battle between the interpreters and a screenplay riddled with convenience, cliche and well-meaning contrivance," the Chicago Tribune says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org