An all-star comedy that leans on its stars to conjure laughs out of thin air, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" is about veteran magicians who find themselves suddenly less relevant when Mr. New and Edgy shows up and upstages them on the Vegas Strip.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" aims for nostalgia in older viewers who grew up on "The Wizard of Oz" and still hold the classic dear, while simultaneously enchanting a newer, younger audience. It never really accomplishes either successfully.
Michael Haneke takes a subject you don't often see in movies and probably don't even want to see -- the slow, steady deterioration of an elderly woman -- and handles it with great grace in "Amour."
Imagine a "Twilight" where the panting, flirting teens were in on the joke, where the gulf between them was more about communication skills than supernatural schisms.
Zany, rambunctious and visually stunning, "Wreck-It Ralph" plunders the world of arcade video games to create a fantasy / comedy where onscreen avatars party like merry hell after the playland closes. Think "Tron" with belly laughs. Or "Night at the Museum" with any laughs.
Movies often tend to fulfill the destiny of their main characters. Some are made to be loved, others are made to be cursed. With a title that evokes imagery of some rapper's rise to fame rather than a foolish comedy about a cursed dog, director Lee Tian-jue (李天爵) really endeavors to disappoint.
The writer-director of "In Bruges," the playwright turned filmmaker Martin McDonagh, sells out and makes his first Hollywood film, "Seven Psychopaths," a commentary on selling out. Well, that and Hollywood's obsession with psychopaths. And his own.
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, two comedians who couldn't find the word subtle in the dictionary if you spotted them the first five letters, have come together to take a shot at politics. Ferrell plays ineffective North Carolina Congressman Cam Brady, who appears headed toward another term unopposed until Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) throws his knitted sweater into the ring.
Suburban paranoia can be as funny as it can be dangerous. But in "The Watch," which was renamed from "Neighborhood Watch" to distance itself from the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida, the threat to an ordered Ohio town isn't anything with contemporary resonance. It's just aliens.
In analyzing Sacha Baron Cohen and the array of offbeat characters he's created, it's clear that it's become a matter of diminishing returns.