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NEW MOVIES THIS WEEK

Pain & Gain

The gist: A trio of 'roidheads decide to kidnap a businessman to force him to sign over all his wealth. Of course it's based on a true story, and of course it happened in Florida. Michael Bay is directing, so they'd better get a cast to fit the mold. R

The cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Bar Paly and Tony Shalhoub.

The buzz: Bay and his crew are trying for biting, ironic satire here, but when your last movie set in Miami was Bad Boys II, you can't set the bar too high. " 'Unfortunately, this is a true story,' the narration brightly begins," the Hollywood Reporter says. "Equally unfortunately, however, the story is told in a hammer-on-anvil manner that evinces no gift for social satire or sharp cultural insight."

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The Company You Keep

The gist: A former member of the Weather Underground has to hit the road when a journalist exposes his past and ruins his life. Well, your mom was right about falling in with the wrong crowd would ruin your life. R

The cast: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte and Chris Cooper.

The buzz: Redford tries his best to make a good vanity project, but it's not his best effort. "This earnest, well-intentioned movie elicits frustration that its story had to be packaged as a conventional, not very suspenseful fugitive thriller with a bogus Hollywood ending," the New York Times says.

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The Big Wedding

The gist: Imagine Meet the Parents, if the parents were divorced and their adopted son's wacky biological mother was coming to town for his wedding. That's what the trailers look like, anyway. R

The cast: Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams.

The buzz: There are not many reviews about this one out there, perhaps because the producers know they'd likely be better off just showing Meet the Parents again.

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Arthur Newman

The gist: A divorced social misfit buys a new identity and pretends to be a golf pro at a country club, but he meets a runaway kleptomaniac half his age who changes his whole life - honestly this time. And he woulda gotten away with it if he hadn't kept updating his Facebook page. R

The cast: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Anne Heche, David Andrews and Sterling Beaumon.

The buzz: It's about as convincing as it sounds. "As lovers go, Firth and Blunt make a strange couple, and (Dante) Ariola a music video helmer making his feature debut, should have devoted more time to making the chemistry work than to sustaining the melancholy mood," Variety says.

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The Numbers Station

The gist: John Cusack plays a government assassin protecting a code encryption specialist. Because all assassins moonlight as bodyguards. Wait, isn't this just Grosse Pointe Blank if Cusack never went back to Michigan to hook up with Minnie Driver? R

The cast: Cusack, Malin Akerman, Liam Cunningham, Lucy Griffiths and Hannah Murray.

The buzz: No reviews yet. You don't have to be a CIA analyst to see that doesn't bode well.

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Mud

The gist: Matthew McConaughey continues his streak of odd indie movies starring as a weird homeless guy who befriends two boys named Ellis and Neckbone. This really sounds like something that could get him arrested. PG-13

The cast: Mac, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard and Michael Shannon.

The buzz: If you haven't heard, Mac's new shtick works well for him. "The story of a sympathetic fugitive who forges a bond with two teenage boys near a mighty river down south, Mud is shot through with traditional qualities of American literature and drama," the Hollywood Reporter raves.

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Upcoming releases

May 3: Iron Man 3; King's Faith

May 10: The Great Gatsby; Peeples; Aftershock

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