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April 2011
Add Arthur to the List of Needless Remakes

This time around the titular role is played by none other than Russell Brand, who’s really more of an acquired taste than the lovable everyman that Dudley Moore ever was.

 
Hanna’s Fairy Tale is Violent and Grimm

Saoirse Ronan portrays a young girl in training to be the perfect assassin, honing her skills in order to kill one woman.

 
Love Takes Center Stage in Born to Be Wild

Baby animals are nothing short of pure adorableness—something the documentary filmmakers definitely use to full crowd-pleasing effect in Born to Be Wild.

 
The 5th Quarter Fumbles Attempt to Inspire

This could have been a touching tribute. Instead, The 5th Quarter is like one of those “issue of the week” TV movies.

 
Clever Premise Dumbed Down in Source Code

Complex layers and multiple realities pose tough ethical questions in Source Code, but its clever premise is dumbed down.

 
Colorful Hop Exceeds Low Expectations

What Hop lacks in originality it makes up for in high energy, bright and colorful imagery and a lively and talented cast led by James Marsden.

March 2011
Wimpy Kid Sequel Suffers from Stunted Growth

Like the transitional adolescent phase the story depicts, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, based on the book series by Jeff Kinney, is a bit awkward and unsettled.

 
Of Gods and Men a Stirring Profession of Faith

With war breaking out around them, a small band of monks in 1990s Algeria have to decide whether to stay or flee—a question that takes up most of this movie which is based on a true story.

 
Limitless Doesn't Break the Mold

Part anti-drug message movie, part paranoid thriller and part star vehicle, Limitless is only partly enjoyable.

 
Courtroom Thriller Rebooted in Lincoln Lawyer

Stellar casting, an intriguing setting, a well-chosen soundtrack and a compelling debate elevate The Lincoln Lawyer.

March 2011
Jane Eyre Sometimes Gloomy, Sometimes Lively

Dark in the beginning, Jane Eyre catches fire with its introduction of Rochester and his verbal sparring with Jane.

 
Win Win Engages As a Slice-of-Life Dramedy

Win Win is an engaging slice-of-life dramedy about compromises and sacrifices, and how the former can compromise the latter.

 
Mars Needs Moms and Some Love

“My life would be so much better if I didn’t have a mom!” Martians see to it that this boy's "wish" comes true.

 
No Surprises in Big-Budget Battle: Los Angeles

This big-budget invasion flick offers no surprises. But if you’re into this sort of thing, Battle: Los Angeles provides exactly what you’re looking for.

 
The Scariest Part of Red Riding Hood is the Script

Apparently “the next big thing” is modernizing fairy tales. But not only is Red Riding Hood’s script virtually devoid of any charm, it’s wildly unfocused to boot.

 
Crudity and Cliché Found in Cedar Rapids

Striving to be a raunchy comedy with a heart of gold and despite sincere attempts at character development, Cedar Rapids ultimately undercuts its own potential and resorts to crudity and cliché.

 
Fate Goes Nowhere in The Adjustment Bureau

On the poster, it suggests that you should “fight for your fate.” That eventually sets the stage for a lively debate about fate and free will that never happens.

 
Rango More a Cinephile’s Dream

With striking framing and imagery, Rango will stir the souls of cinephiles with its visual references to the likes of Sergio Leone and John Ford, as well as non-Western films like Chinatown.

 
Beastly: A Tale as Old as Time, Updated

Beastly, a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast, is a mostly sweet story in a prickly shell.

 
Grace Card Succeeds When Relationships in Focus

With noteworthy cinematography and acting, The Grace Card is a thought-provoking examination of faith and redemption.

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