VALENTINE’S DAY

As mechanical as an artificial heart, as predictable as SoCal weather,
as forced as the Bataan march, as unfunny as a mass layoff,
VALENTINE'S DAY wastes talent like a canary wastes seed. Ashton
Kutcher and Taylor Swift give it a go, but the rest of the something-
for-everyone cast is barely there. This isn't a movie, it's a business
deal. — Jeff Schultz

THE STEPFATHER

An underappreciated gem, THE STEPFATHER is not a remake but the latest
iteration of the boogeyman classic. Remarkably nuanced in its journey
from “normal” to psycho, the characters are both interesting and well-
acted. Penn Badgely is too old for the part but has the makings of a
movie star. And though Dylan Walsh doesn't top Terry O'Quinn, his
quiet menace is quite creepy. — JEFF SCHULTZ

THE GHOST WRITER

When you think of great political thrillers THE GHOST WRITER must be
included in any list. Ewan McGregor's “Ghost” spends the movie trying
to figure out the world he's been dropped in the middle of. And
learning it all with him is a wonderfully satisfying ride. Brosnan is
wonderful as a mix of Tony Blair & Bill Clinton. The whole cast is
great. Say what you will about Polanski the man. Polanski the director
is a genius. — Alan Yudman

BLACK DYNAMITE

Michael Jai White IS Black Dynamite! This comedy hits all the right
notes for any and all movie buffs. Continuity, stray boom mics, awful
dialogue, these
intentional goofs turn this sendup of 70's blaxploitation flicks into
the comic stratosphere. Dynamite will have you exploding with
laughter! — Stormy Curry

THE BOOK OF ELI

I feel like I have already read THE BOOK OF ELI…a movie that is
passable fare. Denzel plays Wesley Snipes…I mean Eli, a mysterious
guy wandering across a post apocalyptic earth on a mission that is
also “mysterious”. A neat twist in the final few minutes is a nice “Ah
ha” moment but not enough to make this a must see. More of a “if you
must see”. A rental. — Stormy Curry

THE LOVELY BONES

No meat on these Lovely Bones. This mess of a movie is all over place.
Tucci is a great creep and Wahlberg is effective as a grieving father.
But Susan Sarandon feels like she wandered in off thee set of some
lame comedy and Rachel Weisz makes her Mummy acting look Oscar worthy.
Peter Jackson helped adapt the screenplay which tells me either the
book was awful or Peter thought “adapt” meant “butcher”. One of the
years worst. — Stormy Curry

IT’S COMPLICATED

IT'S COMPLICATED, but it's not entirely convincing, and it's much too
long. The latest movie for the over-50 set (paging About Schmidt, hi
there, Something's Gotta Give) has high-gloss performances from its
three leads, especially Baldwin. But only of John Krasinski can it be
said that every scene he's in he made me laugh out loud. It's not what
you'd call deep, but, reservations aside, I suspect it might seem
richer on second viewing. — Jeff Schultz

PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF

15-year-olds who fantasize that their adolescent minds and
underdeveloped bodies are more than a match for Greek gods and hot
mortals will love PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS (which sounds like a
50's doo-wop group). The rest of us will find THE LIGHTNING THIEF time
stolen. The effects and monsters are fun in a Ray Harryhausen way. But
these Olympians aren't taking home any gold. — Jeff Schultz