Craig Brewer's neo-blaxploitation potboiler Black Snake Moan (Paramount) never generated the firestorm of controversy that its racially loaded premise about a white nymphomaniac tamed by a tormented black bluesman seemed to promise, probably due to its unabashed sweetness and sentimentality. A moralist masquerading as a B-movie provocateur, Brewer (Hustle & Flow) invests his tawdry tale with an abundance of sun-baked drive-in atmosphere and gets scarily committed performances from Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as a funny little cameo from Everybody Hates Chris cut-up/scene-stealer Tyler James Williams…

A Charles Bronson movie that thinks it's The Parallax View, Shooter (Paramount) occupies a strange intersection between extreme left-wing paranoia and the sort of anti-government fervor that leads heavily armed militiamen to declare their own state out of a few acres in Montana. Based on a piece of beach reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Stephen Hunter, the film combines the presidential assassination intrigue of In The Line Of Fire with a Fugitive-style tracking of an innocent man. Only here, there are long pauses to fetishize guns and wax conspiratorial before getting to the obligatory headshots…

The producers of the New Age inspirational film Peaceful Warrior (Universal) were so determined to find an audience that they released it twice, once in a regular theatrical run and months later, when they invited moviegoers to see it for free. Both times, they found few takers, but maybe the third time will be a charm on DVD. The film tells the tale of a college gymnast in California who overcomes personal injury through philosophical fortitude, which amounts to a load of sloganeering hooey…

The writer-director team behind the original Saw attempted to branch out with another twisty, puppet-related, Rube-Goldberg-contraption-filled scarefest in Dead Silence (Universal), but came up snake eyes this time around. Ironically, they've made a better acted and more technically assured film than Saw, but there was no convincing jaded teenagers that an evil ventriloquist's dummy could be as menacing as a gimmicky serial killer…

Terrence Howard stars in Pride (Lions Gate), the corny but-kind-of-winning-anyway story of a swimming coach working in inner-city Philadelphia in the early '70s. It's uplift-by-the-numbers, but at least it features Howard's charisma and a winning Philly soul soundtrack.