New movies this week
The Men Who Stare at Goats
The gist: A partially true yarn (we're told) about an Army experiment to use psychics as some kind of special forces platoon. It seems they are taking a page from the chiefs of staff and are trying to bore us to death. R
Starring: George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, Rebecca Mader and Terry Serpico.
The buzz: The story could use some work, but the actors are appropriately distracted. "The writing is haphazard at times, though the situations are funny enough in themselves to sustain our interest," the Charlotte Observer says.
The gist: Another Richard Matheson tale gets turned into a movie. This time, a 30-minute story about a button that nets $1 million but kills a stranger gets the feature-length treatment. R
Starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella.
The buzz: It's bad, but perhaps delightfully so. "An artistic fiasco that cuts across genre lines and all logic to become, perhaps, an instant midnight movie," the Hollywood Reporter suggests.
The Fourth Kind
The gist: Apparently, close encounters of the fourth kind is alien abduction, which morphs into some weird Exorcist-style possession sequences, for some reason. It's got to be a winner, right? The trailers are kinda scary. PG-13
Starring: Milla Jovovich and a bunch of people you don't know.
The buzz: No, not scary, just bad. "Even the most gullible auds will be challenged to buy into the picture, billed as 'based on the actual case studies' and, in any case, rendered rather boring," Variety warns.
Coco Before Chanel
The gist: Audrey Tautou plays the fashion icon in her youth, moving up through poverty to one of the biggest names in extravagance, thanks to a little sex appeal. Wait, the girl from Amelie? PG-13
Starring: Tautou, Benoit Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain and Emmanuelle Devos.
The buzz: A pretty creative costume biopic about a pretty, creative, costumed person. "A superior filmed biography that brings intelligence, restraint and style to what could have been a more standard treatment," the L.A. Times raves.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org