Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in The VowTHE VOW

Even though I'm frequently annoyed, if not downright appalled, by them, I really don't ask a lot from traditional romantic weepies. If the actors involved share more-than-sufficient chemistry, and the film provides at least a decent amount of legitimate passion and pathos - with a few good jokes thrown in to keep the proceedings human - I'll generally feel that I've gotten my money's worth. And happily, I got my money's worth at The Vow. I'd hardly argue that director Michael Sucsy's love-among-the-mental-ruins effort is a good movie, but despite never being as interesting as it keeps threatening to be, this audience-friendly drama fulfills its basic requirements with the utmost sincerity and even something approaching wit.

Jeffrey Wright in Cadillac RecordsCADILLAC RECORDS

At roughly 105 minutes, writer/director Darnell Martin's Cadillac Records is so jam-packed with character, story, incident, and musical interludes that it sometimes feels as though six or seven movies are being projected on the screen simultaneously. This is not meant as an insult. Films that overreach oftentimes give audiences too much of a fine thing, yet Cadillac Records is just enough of a really fine thing - a soulful, impassioned, beautifully enacted drama that delivers all the pleasures of the musical-bio-pic genre without the obviousness and sanctimony.

Daniel Craig in Quantum of SolaceQUANTUM OF SOLACE

As much as I enjoyed James Bond's re-invention in Casino Royale, I'll admit I was psyched to learn that the new Bond thriller, Quantum of Solace, was about 40 minutes shorter than its predecessor, which I felt was about 40 minutes too long. (The movie was great fun, but also proof that there can be too much of a good thing.) I presumed that this film's condensed running length would've led to an adventure that was even leaner, speedier, and livelier than director Martin Campbell's 2006 endeavor. So how, despite some fantastic set pieces and the continuing pleasure that is Daniel Craig, does Quantum of Solace wind up feeling about twice as long as Casino Royale?

Angelina Jolie in ChangelingCHANGELING

Clint Eastwood's Changeling finds John Malkovich giving a thoughtful, restrained performance as a righteous pastor, and Michael Kelly giving an exceptional one as a dogged detective. Oh, and the period design for the film's 1928 Los Angeles setting is quite good. Having gotten that out of the way, the rest of the movie is so awful - so maddeningly phony and contrived - that I wanted to hurl things at the screen.

Josh Brolin in W.W.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of movie Oliver Stone's W. is trying to be, but that just makes it easier to appreciate it for what it is: A terrifically entertaining political comedy (with tragic undertones) that plays a bit like a sequel to Hal Ashby's 1979 Being There, in which a series of borderline-ludicrous circumstances find a friendly, well-meaning simpleton elected commander-in-chief. Now what?

Nicolas Cage and Shahkrit Yamnarm in Bangkok DangerousBANGKOK DANGEROUS

There are a handful of motion-picture elements that are all but guaranteed to make my eyelids droop, including (a) mopey, droning voice-over narration by a film's tough-guy protagonist, (b) a color palette composed almost entirely of steely grays and blues, the traditional template for the "serious" action thriller, and (c) Nicolas Cage. Consequently, I hit the narcoleptic's jackpot with Bangkok Dangerous, a determinedly, even absurdly solemn outing by directing brothers Danny and Oxide Pang. The film is a remake of the siblings' 1999 Thai-language release of the same name, but not having seen it, I can't imagine that the Pangs' original endeavor could be more glum and exhausting than this revamp; I'm pretty certain it was only my constant head-shaking, at the continued waste that has become Cage's career, that kept me awake.

Jason Statham in Death RaceDEATH RACE

Inspired by the 1975 thriller Death Race 2000, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson's Death Race isn't much of a movie. But you don't go to it expecting a movie; you go expecting a bone-crunching, brain-splattering, ass-kicking cinematic video game, and that's exactly what you get.

Will Smith in HancockHANCOCK

It's been a couple of days now, and I find that my feelings toward the Will Smith blockbuster Hancock remain naggingly unresolved. And unfortunately, those feelings aren't going to be resolved through writing a review, because most of what I find troubling is troubling because of a mid-film plot development that I wouldn't dream of giving away. In the end, I found Hancock to be funny, smart, silly, exciting, preposterous, maddening, and unexpectedly haunting, but until it becomes safe to discuss the movie in full, it'll be tough to explain exactly why.

WALL•EWALL•E

Pixar's WALL•E is the best 100 minutes I've spent at the movies this year. It may wind up being the best 100 I'll have spent at the movies all year. (The first half seems perfect, and the second half seems merely to be Pixar working at full inspiration, which is the closest thing to perfect.) Prior to WALL•E, I found it impossible to decide whether Toy Story 2 or Finding Nemo or The Incredibles was my favorite of the studio's features. Now they're all fighting for second.

Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci in Speed RacerSPEED RACER

In future years, when I'm wondering exactly when it was that I turned into a very old man, I'm hoping I'll remember the date of May 9, 2008, when I fell asleep some 45 minutes into the onslaught of candy-colored incoherence called Speed Racer. And when, after returning to consciousness a minute or so later, I made it through another couple of scenes before falling asleep again.

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