New in theaters Beowulf (PG-13)
Director: Robert Zemeckis. With Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins. (113 min.)
In "Annie Hall," Diane Keaton tells Woody Allen she's thinking of enrolling in college classes and he tells her, "Just don't take any course where you have to read 'Beowulf'. " Robert Zemeckis's 3-D "Beowulf" seems designed for all those audiences who would rather not dip into Old English. Zemeckis has converted the epic poem about the warrior who slays the monster Grendel into a species of computer game. He employs the same motion-capture technology that he first used in "The Polar Express," to slightly better effect. Grade: B – Peter Rainer
Director: Brian DePalma. With Ty Jones, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz. (90 min.)
Brian DePalma's experimental war docudrama juxtaposes footage of US soldiers stationed at a checkpoint with scenes of Iraqis in the region. He intercuts documentary sequences from a French news crew and also includes Arab website footage of insurgents and YouTube confessions from soldiers who witnessed a barbarous act, which we also see, involving the platoon and a young Iraqi girl. The concept is audacious but the actors are too theatrical. Grade: B – P.R.