X-Men: The Last Stand (Fox) contains seeds for about eight reasonably diverting superhero action movies, but it wastes them all on a perfunctory, rushed story that crams far too many subplots and characters into a small space. None of them have room to breathe, and most of them barely get enough screen time to register. For this third installment in the X-Men movie franchise, Rush Hour 2 director Brett Ratner took the reins from Bryan Singer, who was off directing Superman Returns, a much more compelling superhero flick that has the sense to focus on one hero instead of jumping randomly between 20…

One of the summer's more pleasant surprises, The Lake House (Warner Bros.) reunites Speed duo Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock for a gimmicky romance in which the gimmick actually enhances the romance instead of distracting from it. Playing a couple living two years apart from each other, Reeves and Bullock aren't the most brilliant pair, but they're relaxed and charming together, and the 12 years since Speed have aged them nicely…

Christopher Buckley's wide-ranging political satire Thank You For Smoking (Fox) gets the broadly funny cinematic treatment it deserves from first-time director Jason Reitman, who's apparently never met a joke he didn't like. The film's devil-may-care gag-spinning occasionally lacks purpose, but it's mostly a savage attack on political gamesmanship and its consequences, anchored by Aaron Eckhart at his most charismatically sleazy…

Gretchen Mol's uncanny approximation of '50s pin-up queen Bettie Page highlights The Notorious Bettie Page (HBO), an account of Page's ascent to cheesecake superstardom, and the accompanying scandal. Though written by Guinevere Turner and directed by Mary Harron (the team behind American Psycho), it's a pretty standard-issue biopic, but the depth of Mol's performance makes it worth a look…

The final entry in Park Chan-wook's revenge trilogy, following Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy, Lady Vengeance (Tartan) would make a fine supplement to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. Both films center on a wronged woman who enacts a bloody revenge plot after years of confinement, and both have been stylized within an inch of their lives. Lady Vengeance's shocking final 20 minutes offer plenty of fodder for discussion on victims' rights and capital punishment, but it mostly succeeds in keeping jaws glued to the floor.