Movie Guide

New in Theaters
Catch and Release (PG-13)

Director: Susannah Grant. With Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis. (124 min.)

A groom's accidental drowning at the bachelor party leaves his bride (Garner) and three best friends to cope with grief and some revelations that come to light, such as the single mother he was secretly supporting. With this premise, the director has a challenging time making this story into a romantic comedy. Viewers may find its mix of pathos and humor loose and lumpy, but then isn't that how life is? Juliette Lewis stands out in the watchable cast as the other woman, a flaky massage therapist who is trying so hard to be a good mom that she abbreviates her swear words. Grade: B–
– M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 12 scenes, including implied sex and innuendo. Violence: 4 mild scenes. Profanity: 45 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 8 scenes with drinking, 1 scene with abuse of prescription medecine.

Smokin' Aces (R)

Director: Joe Carnahan. With Jeremy Piven, Common, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia. (105 min.)

With a gangland don's million-dollar contract out to anyone who'll bring him the heart of Buddy "Aces" Israel (Piven), professional killers and FBI agents by the dozen converge on Buddy's Lake Tahoe penthouse. The hit men (and women) figure the don wants Buddy, a Las Vegas magician, snuffed because of his ties to the mob. The FBI may have something else in mind. This dark action comedy – with its shades of Tarantino – is plenty dark and full of action. As for comedy, it depends on how much audiences will laugh at mayhem, drug abuse, and the waste of a great cast. Grade: C–
– M.K.T.

Still in Release
Stomp the Yard (PG-13)

Director: Sylvain White. With Columbus Short, Ne-Yo, Meagan Good. (115 min.)

Step dancing has been a traditional source of pride and identity for African-American college fraternities and sororities since at least the 1920s. When DJ (Short), a hip-hop dancer from Los Angeles, goes to college in Atlanta, his skills soon attract attention from rival frats hoping to compete for the national championship. Groan-inducing plot twists and unnecessarily jazzed-up editing aside, this movie will serve as a rousing primer for a previously little known art form that's going mainstream at schools across the country. Grade: C+
– M.K.T.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (R)

Director: Tom Twyker. With Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Hurd-Wood. (147 min.)

Jean-Baptiste (Whishaw) grows up with a preternatural sense of smell after being retrieved from a garbage heap as a newborn and enslaved as a child. Escaping his masters, he finds work inventing new scents for a merchant (Hoffman), whose forgotten perfumery is soon the most fashionable in town. But Jean-Baptiste, longing for the odor of a flower girl he accidentally killed, hopes to synthesize it from a series of murder victims. Tykwer's fans will find this film's grisly lyricism in stark contrast to the rock 'n' roll visual style and soundtrack of his earlier hit, "Run Lola Run," but no less original. Grade: C+
– M.K.T.

Babel (R)

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu. With Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett. (142 min.)

"Babel" has four separate narratives that are supposed to interlock, but never really do. The odyssey begins when a Moroccan goat herder buys a hunting rifle and leaves it with his two sons. One of the boys unthinkingly fires on a tour bus and hits a tourist (Blanchett), vacationing with her husband (Pitt). Meanwhile, the couple's children in Los Angeles are being cared for by their Mexican nanny, who transports them across the border to attend her son's wedding. The conclusion doesn't justify all the heavy lifting it takes to get there. Grade: B
Peter Rainer

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