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What do we talk about when we talk about Oscar bait? We may fixate on accuracy in based-on-a-true-story showcases, be wowed over the physical transformations of actors, and measure the pandering and positioning of films with these characteristics as contenders
Do you like movies about gladiators? Well, lend me your ears: The Eagle will more than gratify your sword-and-sandal cravings. Roman centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum, whose abs are as adoringly key-lit as Joan Crawford’s peepers) is sent to the British boondocks to command a corps
Take Me Home Tonight
You remember the ’80s, right? So, like, totally kitschy! Don’t worry, if you’re drawing a blank regarding the decade’s fashion faux pas—or are simply too young to have experienced these stylistic crimes—this throwback comedy will remind you ad infinitum of the era’s eyesores
Easily the most gracefully performed grief-porn you’ll see this season, John Cameron Mitchell’s adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s play trades in the sort of tragedy that all but guarantees mountains of tissues on multiplex floors
No Strings Attached
Remember the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and Elaine try to become friends with benefits, and set up unsustainable ground rules for their new arrangement?
There’s really no focking place for the franchise to go anymore, having exhausted its original scary-dad anxieties (Meet the Parents) and subsequent rude-baby mania (Meet the Fockers).
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Bieber mania reaches its zenith! Pessimists will liken Jon Chu’s polished and proficient all-access documentary to an apocalyptic sign of the times. (An adolescent phenom gets a triumphalist big-screen biography?
I Am Number Four
Melding the seeming influence of DreamWorks overlord Steven Spielberg and the stylistic supergloss of producer Michael Bay to material that could barely sustain an afternoon of CW Network reruns, this would-be franchise-launcher boasts a range of influences more interesting than the movie itself
Gnomeo & Juliet
A Disney toon seemingly born solely from a bad pun, this computer-animated trifle pieces together its Bard adaptation from the spare parts of superior Shakespeare-for-kids predecessors
We’ve seen Nicolas Cage when he’s angry—and we like him when he’s angry. So why does this painfully loud revenge movie skimp on the Cage rage?