New movies this week
The gist: A biopic about Jackie Robinson breaking the major-league baseball color barrier with the Dodgers, with a stodgy old Harrison Ford chewing the scenery as GM Branch Rickey. Given how much praise Ford has gotten for daring to be old and fat, it's difficult to tell from the hype how much of the movie is actually about Robinson. PG-13
The cast: Ford, Chaswick Boseman, Jon Bernthal, Christopher Meloni, Jud Tylor and Nicole Beharie.
The buzz: It's a sepia-toned movie about a legendary event in American history, so it's doing its job. "42 is competent, occasionally rousing and historically respectful — but it rarely rises above standard, old-fashioned biography fare," the Chicago Sun-Times says. "It's a mostly unexceptional film about an exceptional man."
The gist: An art auctioneer helps steal a Goya painting, then gets bonked on the head and forgot where he put it. That means Rosario Dawson has to hypnotize him to find out where it is, which doesn't sound anything like any kind of torture we've ever heard of. R
The cast: Dawson, James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Matt Cross, Wahab Sheikh and Danny Sapani.
The buzz: It doesn't make a ton of sense, but it's not supposed to. If your favorite critic liked Inception, they will like this one. "This exhilarating brain-twister is a nonstop visual, aural and intellectual delight, steeped in movie conventions and yet fizzing with freshness," the New York Post offers. "It's what happens when film noir goes out to a rave."
Scary Movie V
The gist: A fifth round of pop-culture references masquerading as satirical jokemaking. It's got Lindsay Lohan in it, for crying out loud. PG-13
The cast: Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Katt Williams, Chris Elliot and Lohan.
The buzz: There are no reviews, because the Wayans brothers don't dare waste the time, money or effort on trying to show it to anyone beforehand.
The Place Beyond the Pines
The gist: Some guy commits a crime to feed his kid, and a cop with a chip on his shoulder spends an inordinate amount of time trying to make him pay for it, causing repercussions for years. Do us a favor and leave Ryan Gosling alone and go after the real crooks. Like the ones in the Capitol, say … R
The cast: Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Ben Mendelsohn.
The buzz: Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance has a knack for making the plight of normal people seem extraordinary. "As the sum of some admittedly imperfect parts, The Place Beyond the Pines still manages to cast its own haunting, sorrowful spell," the Washington Post says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org