Capsule reviews of new releases.
New in theatres
Director: Katherine Dieckmann. With Paul Rudd, Ron Eldard, Sarah Paulson, Maura Tierney. (96 min.)
Paul Rudd heads the cast of this movie, set in the 1970s, about the travails of clam diggers whose territory is being bought up by corporate interests. Hunt (Rudd) is also a sometime photographer who is looking to leave the profession, and a dreary one it is. There are some nice moments, including one where Hunt shows a visiting city girl how to eat clams. (Although what's so mysterious about the process?) Overall, "Diggers" is like an Ed Burns movie – but with fishing gear. Grade: C+
– Peter Rainer
Director: Lee Tamahori. With Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann. (96 min.)
Within the first five minutes of "Next" we learn that Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) has an extraordinary talent: He can see two minutes into his own future. That comes in handy for Johnson's abortive career as a professional Las Vegas gambler/huckster. So it's no wonder he resists when FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) recruits him to sniff out a strange menagerie of European terrorists who are inexplicably trying to detonate a stolen nuclear bomb in downtown Los Angeles. As Moore's FBI femme harrumphs through the film's predictable dialogue, her face is so serious, it's laughable. And while Johnson's soothsaying turns "Next" into a sci-fi film with minimal exposition, next to the fortuitous plot twists and implausible fight scenes, the ability to see into the future seems almost mundane. Grade: D–
– Matt Bradley
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of implied sex. Violence: 19 scenes, including mild torture and shootings. Profanity: 18 expressions, mostly strong. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 4 scenes with alcohol; 4 with tobacco.
Poison Friends (Not Rated)
Director: Emmanuel Bourdieu. With Malik Zidi, Thibault Vinçon, Alexandre Steiger, Thomas Blanchard. (100 min.)
Writer-director Emmanuel Bourdieu's psychological drama is set inside the heady environment of the young Parisian intelligentisa. And you know what that means – lots of heavy-duty philosophizing beclouded by billows of cigarette smoke. Four university students band together under the obnoxious mentorship of Andre (Thibault Vinçon), who is meant to be brilliant but, to me at least, seemed all too obviously a poseur. His betrayal of his friends deepens the movie. Grade: B