Combine technophobia, torture porn, and a healthy dose of hypocritical moralizing, and you've got Untraceable (Sony), in which Special Agent Diane Lane tries to stop a sicko killer who uses the hit count of his website to determine the speed at which his victims die. Damn you, Internet! When will you stop destroying America with your predators and your MySpace and your firewalls?
The story of Wiley College's stereotype-shattering all-black debate team is no doubt worth telling, but don't look for that story in The Great Debaters (Genius), a fact-fudging drama filled with phony uplift, easy good feelings, and a coasty lead performance from star Denzel Washington. Decided: skip it!
Unemployment, heist, male rear nudity, interracial friendship, Kansas City, twist in the end: Sometimes a movie is nothing more than the sum of its IMDB keywords. Such a film is Mad Money (Anchor Bay)…
For his first feature in a decade, Francis Ford Coppola decided to bypass the studio system and shake the rust off with the self-financed, densely philosophical time-traveling drama Youth Without Youth (Sony), and critics were by and large extremely unkind. There's a good reason for that: It's pretty much a fiasco, an awkward, impenetrable muddle on the nature of consciousness that never finds a way to communicate its ideas. And yet, like many fiascos, it also bears the nakedly personal stamp of its creator, revealing Coppola as still the restless, ambitious artist he's been all along. His future may be brighter than the naysayers think…
Poor Paul Rudd. He barely disguises his suffering in the dismal romantic comedy Over Her Dead Body (Warner Bros.), especially when sharing scenes with the honey-glazed Eva Longoria, insufferable as a jealous fiancée who haunts him from beyond the grave. And yet Rudd, ever the professional, still mumbles off some hilarious lines whenever he's onscreen and perhaps rescues the film from worst- of-the-year status. Too bad about the scene where he has to stand there with his back turned, accompanied by a full minute of farting noises added in post.