The gist: Remember that news story about the guy who went hiking and ended up with his arm pinned by a boulder and he could only get away by deciding to cut off his own arm? Yeah, try this one before dinner. R
The cast: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Clemence Poesy, Kate Burton and Lizzy Caplan.
The buzz: This one is getting almost universal acclaim, if you can stomach it. "The most transformative movie-going experience of 2010," the Sarasota Herald-Tribune raves. "127 Hours is not about a man who cuts off his own arm, but one who discovers a reason for living that is far more important to him than a mere limb."
The gist: The Rock finally gives up on all that family-friendly stuff and makes an action-packed, R-rated revenge picture. This guy's career is like Schwarzenegger's in reverse. R
The cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino, Moon Bloodgood and Maggie Grace.
The buzz: Pretty terrible, but we don't go see wronged ex-cons bashing drug dealers for a mental workout. "A throwback to the '70s — straight action with a few clever twists, all anchored by solid character actors," the Hollywood Reporter notes. That's all we ask.
Love & Other Drugs
The gist: There's some sort of storyline about Viagra-like sex drugs, but the only thing people are talking about is how the two leads get naked. A lot. R
The cast: Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria and Josh Gad.
The buzz: The nudity is nice and all, but we want at least a little story for our $10. "At just about the time Hathaway drops her garments, the movie begins to lose focus, unsure of what really matters to the filmmakers," Entertainment Weekly says.
The gist: Xtina stars in a very warmed-over plot that crosses Showgirls with Chicago, minus the whole killing-your-husband theme. Maybe it will distract people from the fact that Bionic sank faster than the Titanic. PG-13
The cast: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci and Kristen Bell.
The buzz: Unfortunately for audiences, the show must go on. "An overwrought, underwritten hootchy-kootchy tuner that desperately wants to be Cabaret, but lacks the edge and historical context to pull it off," Variety complains.
The gist: It sorta looks like Rapunzel, but it's a musical and has way too many wry references to adult jokes to be a traditional fairy tale. The kids gotta watch something. PG
The cast: The voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor and Paul F. Tompkins.
The buzz: It's lucky No. 50 for Disney's movie animators. "The team at Disney has taken a deep breath and tried to be all things to all animation-loving people," the L.A. Times concedes. "There are some hiccups along the way, but by the end there is success."
The gist: Imagine Barbershop, except it has The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi instead of Ice Cube, and the business is an Indian restaurant in New York instead of a haircut joint in Chicago. Too bad Aasif's character wanted to be a famous French chef instead of stocking a buffet in Jackson Heights. R
The cast: Aasif Mandvi, Dean Winters, Kevin Corrigan, Jess Weixler, Ajay Naidu and Naseeruddin Shah.
The buzz: "As predictable as the outcome is, you really want chefs and restaurants to make it," the Boston Globe reasons. "If you see a good meal in a movie, it makes you hungry more than good screen sex makes you horny."
— Joshua Gillin email@example.com