2010-04-08 / Scene

Film Clips

(M.P. —- Michael Phillips; B.S. — Betsy Sharkey; K.T. — Kenneth Turan; R.M. -—Roger Moore; R.A. — Robert Abele)

The Bounty Hunter

Jennifer Aniston stars as a reporter on the trail of a police corruption scandal. She skips a court hearing to meet up with a snitch, and her ex-husband, a bounty hunter played by Gerard Butler, thrilled to be the one bringing her in. But he owes some loan sharks, so everyone's trying to kill them, and they bicker and bicker and chase and chase and are chased and chased again. Butler grates in this cringe-worthy romantic comedy, and Aniston's script karma continues its vengeful post-"Friends" rampage. PG-13 (sexual content including suggestive comments, language, and some violence). 1:51. 1-1/2 stars. — M.P.

Brooklyn’s Finest

This film lays out a big spread of law enforcement corruption, intertwining the tales of three cops in crisis. One (Ethan Hawke) has a plan to buy a better future. Another (Richard Gere) is a suicidally inclined alcoholic just days from retirement. The third and most interesting (Don Cheadle, one of the best actors alive) is an undercover detective in trouble every which way. With so much complication and woe jammed into 125 minutes, credibility is in short supply. R (bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language). 2:05. 2 stars. — M.P.

Clash of the Titans

"Clash of the Titans" could be the first film to actually be made worse by being in 3-D. The third dimension, especially in the action scenes, is more of a distraction than an enhancement. This remake of the creaky 1981 original is also hampered by a numbskull plot and plodding dialogue. Sam Worthington of "Avatar" stars as Perseus, the demigod who leads a group of warriors an entire Noah's ark of inhuman adversaries, including the dreaded Kraken. PG-13 (fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality). 1:58. 1 star. — K.T.

Cop Out

Tracy Morgan plays the motor-mouth NYPD detective partner of Bruce Willis, and there's no reason these two couldn't headline a perfectly proficient action comedy. But this is a lousy, invention-free script, and Kevin Smith -- an interesting and valuable filmmaker doing directiononly work for hire -- cannot do anything to save it. His directorial personality is not to be found. This clunker makes you appreciate well-made buddy cop films such as "48 HRS." and "Beverly Hills Cop" all the more. R (pervasive language including sexual references, violence and brief sexuality). 1:50. 1 star. — M.P.

The Crazies

One of the year's nicest bloody surprises, the remake of the 1973 George A. Romero virus thriller "The Crazies" must be approached with the proper expectations. It should not be judged for what it is not. But nearly everything about it works. The good people of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, turn into murderous lunatics, owing to a nearby downed plane carrying germwarfare viral nastiness leaking straight into the town's water supply As in Romero's Vietnam-era original, the real adversary is the U.S. government, which, after the craziness starts, launches "containment protocol." R (bloody violence and language). 1:41. 3-1/2 stars. — M.P.

Green Zone

Director Paul Greengrass delivers a skillfully made package, but this feels like a too-soon proposition. "Green Zone" is partly real and partly outlandish in its wishful thinking. An Army officer hunting for WMDs in 2003, the fictional Miller (Matt Damon) knocks heads with everyone in Baghdad, from a neocon Pentagon huckster (Greg Kinnear) to a scary Special Forces op (Jason Isaacs). Everyone's after one of Saddam's top military figureheads (Khalid Abdalla), who has gone underground and who knows what Miller wants to learn. R (violence and language). 1:55. 2-1/2 stars. — M.P.

Hot Tub Time Machine

A chlorinated, R-rated "Back to the Future," "Hot Tub Time Machine" accomplishes what "Snakes on a Plane" did not: It offers a merrily idiotic movie to go with its willfully idiotic title. Three semiestranged friends (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson) reunite for a skiing-and-drinking weekend at the mountain lodge they frequented back in the day. Turns out the hot tub's a time machine. That's the premise, and the movie sticks to it. This picture knows no finesse but plenty of exuberant low-comic spirit. R (strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language). 1:33. 3-1/2 stars. — M.P.

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