New movies this week
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
The gist: Oliver Stone's antihero Gordon Gekko is out of prison and doling out advice to another young trader, this time to warn America of coming doom on the financial front. If 2008 is any indication, Gekko was unsuccessful. PG-13
The cast: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella and Josh Brolin.
The buzz: A fairly uneven follow-up that will sate fans but leave many wanting. Hey, just like Wall Street! "Money Never Sleeps is never boring, even as its plot descends into cheap melodrama and the script runs out of banter about the NINJA generation — no income, no job, no assets," the Orlando Sentinel says.
The gist: A girl is gobsmacked that her brother is marrying her high-school rival, then finds out that the other girl's mom is her own mother's high-school rival. Most of us grow out of this six months after graduation, folks. PG
The cast: Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kristin Chenowith and Betty White.
The buzz: Even a first-rate cast can't save a D-list movie. "The movie is so laboriously contrived in every atom of its being that the only interest is in seeing if the characters can avoid the destinies decreed for them by ancient formulas," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert complains.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
The gist: Another kids' book series gets the animation treatment, this time one about owls who have to find a giant tree with benevolent protectors in it, directed by the guy who did 300 and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. In 3D, natch. PG
The cast: Voices of Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving, Emily Barclay, Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham and Abbie Cornish.
The buzz: It's a visual feast, all right, but people are split on whether it's worth the trouble. "Director Zack Snyder attempts to shoehorn his heavily art-directed mayhem into a kiddie-pic mold with predictably ill-fitting results," Variety notes.
The gist: The youngest son in an Aussie crime family is targeted by his older siblings and the local police to do their bidding. Who knew Melbourne had such a violent underworld? R
The cast: James Frecheville, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver.
The buzz: The first effort by writer/director David Michôd wins almost universal acclaim. "This strong, assured Australian crime tragedy takes the time to dig into characters who would race past us like blurs in a stock thriller, endowing them with a rare depth and emotional truth," the Minneapolis Star Tribune raves.
Bran Nue Dae
The gist: And if Australian crime isn't your thing, try this musical rom-com from Down Under about an aboriginal couple hitting the road. PG-13
The cast: Geoffrey Rush, Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Missy Higgins, Ernie Dingo and Tom Budge.
The buzz: Reviews are a little more uneven for this one, but that's what happens when you lighten the mood. "The story sails by, mostly unimpeded, toward its feel-good conclusion and is likely to be forgotten even before the final credits have faded from the screen," the Washington Post says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org