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Killers Lacks Any Instincts—Acting or Otherwise

Ashton Kutcher may be the second most popular person on Twitter, but Killers is truly a movie only his mother could love. Not only is the flick sorely lacking instincts of any kind, but the only chuckle in this nearly plot-free endeavor is a wisecrack about his character learning his mad gun skills in 4-H.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 07, 2010 |
  • comments
Marmaduke is a Barkin' Good Time for Kids Only

Filled with madcap action and a happy ending you'll see coming from a mile away (this ain't Old Yeller, after all), Marmaduke is a movie your kids will probably love, but you'll barely suffer through, thanks to a slew of corny jokes and lame pop culture references.

Oh Baby, This Back-up Plan is Bad

Even if someone manages to suspend disbelief and buy into this lamely conceived plotline, there's nothing about The Back-up Plan that has any resonance in the real world. Not only is the dialogue unbelievable from the get-go, but the characters are just plain kooky.

The Last Song Has a Familiar Refrain

The Last Song, written for the screen by novelist Nicholas Sparks and starring Miley Cyrus, is treacly, preposterous and full of clichés. It's also moving and, for the most part, family-friendly, focusing on themes of human failure and forgiveness.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 17, 2010 |
  • comments
Furry Vengeance Shamelessly Attacks Good Taste

Consider yourself warned: Furry Vengeance is truly the worst movie I've screened this year. And trust me, I've already reviewed some doozies (Tooth Fairy, Cop Out and The Bounty Hunter, for starters).

Letters to God Something to Write Home About

Letters to God might not be the most cinematic film viewers will see this year, but it's a faith-affirming story competently told. Viewers tired of having their beliefs assaulted whenever they watch a movie will take comfort in this production, which, for a change, affirms what they believe and demonstrates the power of their shared faith.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 10, 2010 |
  • comments
Even Comedy's Dynamic Duo Can't Save Date Night

Somehow in the midst of bad writing and a hackneyed case of missing identity that grows increasingly sillier as Date Night goes on, Steve Carell and Tina Fey still shine as two suburbanites trying to keep their marital spark alive with a little night-on-the-town spontaneity.

Death and Dark Comedy Collide in Death at a Funeral

Other than giving Luke Wilson an opportunity to star in something other than those annoying AT&T commercials, there was really no need to revisit the story of a family funeral gone seriously awry in Neil LaBute's remake of Death at a Funeral.

Believers Enlist Hollywood Pros To Save a Life

If you're a serious evangelical filmmaker, there's one response you do not want to hear: "For a Christian movie, that was pretty good." Yet when it comes to the more impressive motion pictures produced by churches and ministries, this backhanded compliment remains the most ubiquitous—and often, the most deserved.

  • Jay Swartzendruber |
  • August 03, 2010 |
  • comments
Inner Beauty Question Answered in VeggieTales' Sweetpea Beauty

Sweetpea Beauty is the first VeggieTales production created specifically for girls. Answering the question, "What is true beauty?", the veggies teach biblical truth and entertain with the creativity and hilarity we've come to expect.

Futile Clash Leaves Titanic Sense of Disappointment

The ads for Clash of the Titans suggest epic entertainment, superb special effects and the catch phrase of the year so far—"Release the Kraken!"—but there's nothing epic about Titans other than the sense of disappointment it leaves in viewers.

Moral Lessons Found Lacking in Well-Acted Runaways

If The Runaways is nothing we haven't seen before in terms of its story arc, it's also notable for strong performances from Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon. However, the debauchery and hedonism on display make the film difficult to watch.

Cop Out Wears Its Juvenile Humor Like a Badge of Honor

In what's supposed to be a cheeky homage to '80s crime-fighting fare like Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and of course, Die Hard, Cop Out is nothing more than a 107-minute string of bad jokes without the benefit of a punch line.

The Losers Lacks Passion and a Point

Written by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt and based on a series of comic books, The Losers wants to pay homage to its comic roots but never gives us a reason to care about its characters or to believe this story needed a big-screen adaptation.

Mutiny Should be Declared on the Joyless Bounty Hunter

These days, getting the girl looks a little different with Gerard Butler on the scene. Officially kicking Mr. Sensitive to the curb, his character's idea of a fun night involves throwing his ex in the trunk and carting her off to jail for a cool 20k in The Bounty Hunter.

Flimsy Finale, Depraved Behavior Doom Brooklyn's Finest

Brooklyn's Finest is tough going. Its solid performances (Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes) and hints of redemption make it better than many bad-cop dramas. But it spends too long wallowing in depraved behavior to qualify as recommended viewing.

Mythology Gets a Fun, Modern Spin in Percy Jackson & the Olympians

At first blush, it's probably tempting to simply dismiss Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief as a poor man's Harry Potter. But the story, which is based on the first of author Rick Riordan's best-selling books for kids, definitely has its own action-adventure thing going on.

Green Zone Might Make You See Red

Before Green Zone, Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon teamed for two of the Jason Bourne films to much better effect. Although the third Bourne film revolved around issues, its main concern was a character. Green Zone is about an issue—the Iraq War—rather than about its characters.

Lack of Surprises Withstanding, When in Rome Still Plays Cute

While the movie's trailer definitely had that lackluster, made-for-TV feel, perhaps it's the presence of fresh faces Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, not to mention their winsome chemistry, that caused When in Rome to surpass my expectations.

Michael Cera Shines in Twisted Youth in Revolt

Michael Cera is a star. If you didn’t know it after his role on Arrested Development, or his turns in Juno and Superbad, or after he shared top billing with Jack Black in Year One, you’ll know it after Youth in Revolt.

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