The Ice Harvest (R) John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Platt, Randy Quaid. Film noir, more or less. The latest from Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Analyze This) is seamy and sleazy and tough-as-nails, the type of movie where everybody says "fuck" a lot and strippers flash their breasts - no, make that titties - so that you'll understand that this is an R-rated movie and they aren't fucking around. The story of a lawyer (Cusack) and a bar manager (Thornton) who steal $2 million from a mob boss (Quaid) on Christmas Eve wants to be an edgy, sardonic, take-no-prisoners crime story with twists and turns along with a pitch black wit. But the movie is too reserved for its own good. Perhaps I got spoiled by Bad Santa, but if you intend to serve me up a buffet of human ugliness, then it needs to be in considerably worse taste than this. 90 minutes. - EJO
In the Mix (PG-13) Usher Raymond, Chazz Palminteri, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Anthony Fazio, Matt Gerald. Hoping to safeguard his daughter, a mafia don assigns his loyal right-hand man, Darrell, to act as his daughter's bodyguard. Little does he realize that his daughter and Darrell have been sweet on each other for a long time, and now, things are really going to heat up. 95 minutes.
Just Friends (PG-13) Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Christopher Marquette, Chris Klein. Comedy. When Chris, a likable, high school loser, finally gathers the courage to reveal his love to Jamie - the girl of his dreams - she rejects him, saying she just wants to be friends. So, he moves across the country and transforms himself into a selfish, womanizing and successful music executive. Ten years later, circumstances bring him back to his home town and fate reconnects him with Jamie. Can one escape the clutches of the "friend zone"? Is it possible to go from "just friend" to boyfriend? 88 minutes.
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience (G) Tom Hanks, Michael Jeter, Chris Coppola, Josh Hutcherson, Peter Scolari. The computer-animated holiday film returns, digitally remastered into 3D. Of the tale of a young boy's magical trip to the North Pole, Entertainment Weekly's Ty Burr says, "The world, it turns out, is divided into two kinds of people: Those who think The Polar Express is an instant Yuletide classic that utilizes groundbreaking computer technologies to create enchanting and timeless visual marvels, and those who think the movie's just creepy as hell." 97 minutes. At the IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum.
Rent (PG-13) Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel. Yes, they sing. In fact, they sing a lot. This will be the hardest thing to accept for many movie-goers. Rent, the 1996 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, remains intact here, with almost all of the music and dialogue untouched. The cast is amazing, and director Chris Columbus deserves high praise for taking a chance by allowing the musical to remain a musical. 135 minutes. - Lisa Gauthier
Yours, Mine and Ours (PG) Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, James "Lil'JJ" Lewis, Linda Hunt, Rip Torn, George Lopez. Unfunny remake of the 1968 comedy, both of which were made because of both Cheaper By The Dozen films. Quaid and Russo are high school sweethearts. He's a widower, she's a widow and between them they have 18 kids. Alleged kid-friendly wackiness ensues. What would you expect from the director of both Scooby-Doo films? Kids who liked Cheaper and can't wait for Cheaper 2 will probably like this. Parents, you're on your own. Hopefully Quaid and Russo will appear in a film where they do Big Easy/Thomas Crown Affair things with each other. 90 minutes - Matthew Socey
Good Night and Good Luck (PG) David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson. The second film directed by George Clooney is about facing up to a bully. The bully in this instance is Joe McCarthy, a political thug on a power trip. The person standing up to the bully is Edward R. Murrow, a highly-respected television reporter for CBS. Don't come to the theater expected a sprawling, richly textured film like All the President's Men. At just 90 minutes, Good Night and Good Luck is a taut, focused look at one pivotal moment. The film is in black and white and it looks absolutely great. The cast is outstanding, particularly David Strathairn as Murrow. Joe McCarthy appears as himself in perfectly integrated film clips. 90 minutes. At Key Cinemas through Nov. 30. - EJO
Paradise Now (PG-13) Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hiam Abbass, Amer Hlehel. Two youths from the Gaza strip are just 48 hours away from becoming the latest suicide bombers. Two young Palestinian men, Khaled and Said, are both recruited to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The two men are allowed to spend what is presumably their last night alive with their families. However, since absolute secrecy must be maintained and they can tell nobody of their mission, theirs can be no proper farewell. The next morning, the men are brought to the border. The bombs have been attached to their bodies in such a way as to make them completely hidden from view. However, the operation does not go according to plan and the two friends lose sight of each other. Separated from each other and left to their own devices, it's up to them to face their destiny and stand up for their convictions ... 90 minutes. At Key Cinemas through Nov. 30.
Aliens of the Deep (G) A follow up to James Cameron's IMAX Titanic documentary. Cameron is again ensconced in an underwater exploration vehicle. This time, he and his crew of marine biologists and NASA researchers are taking a look at the ocean floor in order to examine life that thrives without the benefit of the sun. Ploddingly slow at times, the pretty pictures are too few and too far between. - Lisa Gauthier
Capote (R) Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Bob Balaban, Mark Pellegrino, Amy Ryan. Capote focuses on the years Truman Capote spent writing his greatest book, In Cold Blood, the story of a murdered family in Kansas. Here we get to see the minutiae that made the man Capote a real piece of work. Philip Seymour Hoffman's Capote is as big a queen as Elizabeth II without any of the grace. As much of a character, even caricature, as Hoffman is in this movie, he somehow remains believable. Director Bennett Miller keeps scenes intense, slow and detailed, which balances out the large and sudden jumps in time. 98 minutes. - Lisa Gauthier
Chicken Little (G) Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Joan Cusack, Steve Zahn, Amy Sedaris. Disney's first in-house all-CG animated feature since splitting with Pixar is a let-down. The cartoon about a young chick (Braff), a belief that the sky is falling and an alien invasion has some clever moments, but most of its 81 minutes are terribly, terribly ordinary. Chicken Little strains to appear bright, zippy and irreverent - parts of it are positively frantic - but the result feels more desperate than fun. This is strictly formula fare, with an anemic script filled with stereotypical characters and based on some very tired ideas. 81 minutes. - EJO
Derailed (R) Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Melissa George, Vincent Cassel, Robert "The RZA" Diggs. Suspense thriller about a successful ad exec and loyal family man (Owen) who meets an alluring and sexy woman (Aniston) on his morning commute. Flirtation quickly escalates into passion. But this casual fling quickly turns dangerous when a violent criminal pulls them into a dangerous plot. 110 minutes.
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (PG) Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Freddy Rodriguez, Kris Kristofferson, Elisabeth Shue. No surprises in this family story, but the performances are good and the filmmakers know what they're doing. Fanning plays a young horse fancier who dreams of winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. Clearly hers is but a foolish dream ... or could she have the mix of pluck and determination required to make the impossible happen? Gulp! 98 minutes. - EJO
Elizabethtown (PG-13) Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel, Paul Schneider. Bloom comes to Elizabethtown, Ky., to collect the body of his father and must deal with family, friends and kooky flight attendant Dunst. The latest from writer/director Cameron Crowe (Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) has everything you would expect from the filmmaker: colorful characters, engaging conversations, bold gestures, laughter and tears, great music ... you get the idea. Unfortunately, the good stuff is contained within an awkwardly constructed, self-indulgent film that moves with the speed and finesse of an iceberg. 120 minutes. - EJO
Flightplan (PG-13) Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean, Marlene Lawston. The premise of this short, snappy Panic Room-style Jodie Foster thriller goes like this: During a flight from Berlin to New York, a mother claims that her young daughter has disappeared. But no one on the plane has actually seen the child. So did the girl ever get on the plane in the first place, or is everyone being drawn into the one woman's delusion? Foster is very good, no surprise there, and Flightplan works, even if the last few minutes are less like Alfred Hitchcock and more like Jerry Bruckheimer. Don't try subjecting logic to the premise, because that way lies madness. 88 minutes. - EJO
G (R) Richard T. Jones, Blair Underwood, Chenoa Maxwell, Andre Royo. A hip-hop re-imagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. A young Great Gatsby-ish hip-hopper named Summer G (Jones) falls for a middle to upper class woman while in college. After she rejects him for a fellow social climber, Summer G spends 10 years building a hip-hop empire, then moves to the Hamptons where he finds the object of his affections. 97 minutes.
Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (R) Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Joy Bryant, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Bill Duke. First there was director Curtis Hanson and Eminem in 8 Mile, now there's Irish director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name Of The Father, In America) with 50 Cent in a film that's more Scarface with a dash of 8 Mile and Hustle and Flow. Jackson's acting range is limited and everybody knows it. Fortunately, he's surrounded by superior talent like Howard and Duke and an excellent director. At least this wasn't directed by a fellow rapper and released straight to video and/or the record store. 134 minutes. - Matthew Socey
Good Night and Good Luck (PG) David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson. Good Night and Good Luck, the second film directed by George Clooney, is about facing up to a bully. The bully in this instance is Joe McCarthy, a political thug on a power trip. The person standing up to the bully is Edward R. Murrow, a highly-respected television reporter for CBS. Don't come to the theater expecting a sprawling, richly textured film like All the President's Men. At just 90 minutes, Good Night and Good Luck is a taut, focused look at one pivotal moment. The film is in black and white and it looks absolutely great. The cast is outstanding, particularly David Strathairn as Murrow. Joe McCarthy appears as himself in perfectly integrated film clips. 90 minutes. - EJO
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PG-13) Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes. The fourth entry in the Harry Potter film series is an entertaining film on its own, but something of a failure as an adaptation of the fourth novel. The plot concerns Harry's unexpected entry into the Triwizard Tournament, with a face-to-face showdown at last with ultravillain Voldemort (played with slimy panache by Ralph Fiennes). Fans have long wondered how the film would handle cutting the thick, exposition-heavy book into a movie, and the answer is: awkwardly. This Cliff's Notes version of the tale is heavy on the atmosphere and action, but if you haven't read the book, you'll be missing out on at least another hour's worth of backstory that ties it all together. Most of the adult cast members are relegated to the sidelines here, though Michael Gambon's hardass-masquerading-as-hippie rendition of Dumbledore remains the heart of the series. Brendan Gleeson as paranoid professor Mad-Eye Moody runs away with the show and steals every scene he's in. 150 minutes. - Paul Pogue
Jarhead (R) Jake Gyllenhall, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx. This is a war movie that takes a bold approach: It doesn't have a lot of action. Instead, it focuses on examining the characters of a small group of Marines who spend most of their time waiting around for something that never happens. Based on a best-selling memoir from 2003, the movie feels like the truth. But don't expect it to uncover big secrets about the first Gulf War. What it does well is give the viewer a real idea of what it is like to be a Marine and to experience disappointment at its most devastating. Gyllenhall and Sarsgaard carry a tale that is both funny and heartbreaking. - Jim Walker
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (R) Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen. Funny tale of a New York criminal (Downey) who gets a screen test in L.A. He teams up with a gay detective (Kilmer) on a case involving everyone in the film. The best performances by Downey and Kilmer (who are very funny together) in a long time. Writer/director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) pokes fun at detective stories and to a certain degree action films, and most of the time it works. Black still has a long way to go to redeem himself for writing The Last Action Hero, The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. 102 minutes. - Matthew Socey
The Legend of Zorro (PG) Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Adrian Alonso, Rufus Sewell. Sequel to the 1998 smash, there are wildly unrealistic and beautifully choreographed action scenes all over the place that are great fun to watch. My theory is that the stunts were created first and then the writers were given a few minutes to whip up a story to tie them together. The production moves along smoothly, there are many humorous moments and the new cast members are well-chosen. Banderas and Zeta-Jones remain appealing, though the screenplay keeps them apart for most of the movie. Though the film is too long by at least 20 minutes (as was the original), it offers fun for the whole family. Heck, Zorro and the missus even have a feisty 10-year-old son (Alonso). I guess I just wasn't prepared to see the rich, smart, sexy characters from the original movie plopped into a toothless family-friendly action comedy. 129 minutes.
Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (G) Narrated by Tom Hanks. Hanks' IMAX 3D love letter to the space program has a clear agenda. He aims to create the kind of enthusiasm that was shown for the Apollo program back in the '60s, especially with young people. To that end, Hanks and company have crafted an impressive 40-minute feature centered on a series of walks across the lunar surface. Special effects, the IMAX cameras and a very effective 3D process combine to work magic; the moon walks are strikingly realistic. Throughout the production, imaginatively presented 2D footage covers the history of the Apollo program. The film wraps up with a tantalizing look at the future of space expeditions, including a lunar outpost. 40 minutes. At the IMAX Theater in the State Museum. - EJO
North Country (R) Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean. North Country, based-on-true-life story, has all the makings of a made-for-TV movie. But its strong cast, historical approach to the important issue of women's rights, excellent non-tearjerker soundtrack loaded with Bob Dylan songs and beautifully shot exteriors of the bleak mining region of northern Minnesota lift North Country above the Lifetime Network fray. 123 minutes. - Jim Walker
Pride and Prejudice (PG) Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFayden, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone. Delightful new adaptation of the Jane Austin novel geared towards the mall crowd who don't watch Masterpiece Theatre. Five sisters are used as bride bait by their mother and 18th century society. Will they all get married? Will they all be happy? Will their mother sit down and give it a rest? Knightley and MacFayden have nice chemistry together as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, aka The Couple Who Don't Like Each Other. Major kudos to Sutherland as the daughters' father, and he's not playing a villain. 127 minutes. - Matthew Socey
Prime (PG-13) Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg, Annie Parisse, Ato Essandoh. Romantic comedy about mismatched lovers set in contemporary Manhattan. Thurman stars as Rafi, a 37-year-old photography producer reeling from a recent divorce, who meets David (Greenberg), a 23-year-old painter recently out of college. The film explores what happens when love at first sight meets the day-to-day realities of an adult relationship. Meryl Streep plays Rafi's therapist, Dr. Lisa Metzger. Lisa, who is working to help Rafi overcome her fears of intimacy, finds out that Rafi's new lover is - unfortunately for Lisa - her only son, David. Yikes. 106 minutes
Saw II (R) Donnie Wahlberg, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Shawnee Smith. Jigsaw is back. The twisted mastermind who wreaked havoc in the first film is back for another round of horrifying life-or-death games. When a new murder victim is discovered with all the signs of Jigsaw's hand, Detective Eric Mason (Wahlberg) begins a full investigation and apprehends Jigsaw with little effort. But for Jigsaw, getting caught is just another part of his nefarious plan. Eight more of his victims are already fighting for their lives - and now it's time for Mason to join the game. 91 minutes.
Shopgirl (R) Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Bridgette Wilson, Frances Conroy. Excellent screwball comedy about a starving artist (Danes) working at a department store torn between a scruffy slacker (Schwartzman) and an older, wealthy businessman (Martin). Standout performances from Danes and Martin. In the same league as Rushmore and Lost In Translation. 104 minutes. - MS
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (G) Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, John Thomson, Peter Kay. For those of us spoiled by the likes of Toy Story, Monsters Inc. or The Incredibles, Wallace and Gromit is just too tame, lacking any layer targeted at adults. Throwing in a couple of double entendres about boobs and nuts doesn't cut it. And attempts at referencing other movies - like Harvey and King Kong - felt clichéd and fell flat. 94 minutes. - Jim Walker
The Weatherman (R) Nicolas Cage, Hope Davis, Michael Caine, Gemmenne de la Pena, Nicholas Hoult. A good experience whose humor doesn't come cheap. Its philosophy isn't condescending and it is fittingly filled with beautiful shots of Chicago in winter. Cage shines in a role that would have been perfect for a younger Bill Murray. And Michael Caine is especially powerful as his ailing father. While The Weatherman doesn't venture into the absurd or the surreal to make its philosophical points, it is still full of very fun real-world oddities. 105 minutes. - Jim Walker
Zathura (PG) Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart. Director Jon Favreau (Elf) works wonders with this fantasy feature, from the author of Jumanji, about two young brothers who play a magical board game that sends them into outer space. The movie has a great retro look, the special effects - costumes and models mostly instead of computer graphics - are cool, the music is effective and the cast is talented. Unfortunately, Favreau's best efforts can't disguise the fundamental passivity of the story. A big part of the appeal of tales like this is experiencing the adventure vicariously through the lead players, but because of the way the story is structured, the boys don't do much of anything. You can't have a real adventure without derring-do and Zathura derring-doesn't. 95 minutes. - EJO