Movie guide

Reviews of 'Once,' 'Even Money,' and 'Georgia Rule.'

New in theaters Once (R)

Director: John Carney. With Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova, Hugh Walsh, Gerry Hendrick, Alastair Foley. (98 min.)

Director John Carney's Sundance hit is a lackadaisically crafted romance about a Dublin street musician (Glen Hansard) who pairs up with a Czech immigrant pianist (Marketa Irglova). It features lots of songs and recording sessions and yet still manages to seem slightly otherworldly, as if the two moonstruck musicians were acting out their own fantasies of success and heartbreak. The film drags a bit and Irglova's inexperience as an actor sometimes leaves her costars in the lurch. But it's a sweet little film just the same. Grade: B+
– Peter Rainer

Even Money (R)

Director: Mark Rydell. With Danny DeVito, Kim Basinger, Nick Cannon, Forest Whitaker, Carla Gugino. (113 min.)

Hot on the heels of "Lucky You," we have another movie about gambling addiction, and it's even less successful. Director Mark Rydell, who has seen better days with films like "The Rose," wants to make an existential thriller about lost souls panting for another turn of the wheel. But everyone in the movie, including Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammar, Tim Roth, and Forest Whitaker, looks as if they just emerged from watching a film noir marathon on TCM. As the gambler who needs his basketball phenom brother to shave points, Whitaker has some expressive scenes, and Roth knows how to make malice gleam. But almost nothing else in this movie does. Grade: C-
– P.R.

Still in theaters Georgia Rule (R)

Director: Garry Marshall. With Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Huffman, Dermot Mulroney, Garrett Hedlund. (109 min.)

Three generations of rebellious women fall apart and come together in "Georgia Rule." Since the women are played by Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman, and Lindsay Lohan, I was looking forward to the ride but soon found myself staring bug-eyed at the screen: There's enough family dysfunction here to fill out a dozen soppy soap operas. "Georgia Rule" is the kind of small-town movie that looks as if it was made by people who never set foot outside Hollywood. (Needless to say, the movie was shot in and around Los Angeles.) Lohan is a gifted actress, but here she's flailing in a vacuum. Grade: C-
– P.R.

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