Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the DeadSHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE GRUDGE, and SAW

Halloween has come and gone, but three horror flicks are currently in theaters and - surprise! - two of them are actually good.

Zach Braff in Garden StateGARDEN STATE

Zach Braff's indie comedy Garden State is something rare: a homecoming tale told with a clear eye and, more often than not, a refreshing lack of sentimentality.

Hugh Jackman in Van HelsingVAN HELSING

Stephen Sommers' action thriller Van Helsing, the first of 2004's torrent of summer blockbusters, is big, loud, frenetic, and almost no fun at all. For those who've missed the omnipresent previews, the film is a special-effects bonanza featuring Hugh Jackman as the titular character, a taciturn growler who spends 130 minutes attempting to rid his corner of Europe from a series of CGI-created monsters, and it's all treated with such solemnity that I wouldn't have been surprised to see Henrik Ibsen listed as a screenwriter.

The AlamoTHE ALAMO

The Alamo is surprisingly not-bad. John Lee Hancock's long-delayed drama is by no means a great movie, but it's a pretty darned good audience movie, a middlebrow weeper like A Beautiful Mind or Titanic that, despite its flaws (and against your better judgment), you can find yourself really falling for.

Johnny Depp in Secret WindowSECRET WINDOW

Even though the movie isn't all that good, Secret Window is one of those thrillers that you want to watch again immediately after your first viewing. But unlike, say, The Sixth Sense or Fight Club, where you're curious to see exactly how The Twist was pulled off, your desire to return to this Stephen King adaptation is based solely on one thing: the performance of Johnny Depp.

Viggo Mortensen in HidalgoHIDALGO

As family-friendly adventures go, the Disney-produced western Hidalgo isn't all that bad, but it sure could have used a feistier directorial spirit, something like what Gore Verbinski brought to last summer's Pirates of the Caribbean.

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Starsky & HutchSTARSKY & HUTCH

In various projects over the years, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have repeatedly proven their talents in writing, directing, and performing, yet if they were to trash all their other aspirations and simply make one deliriously dumbass comedy together per year, I, for one, wouldn't mind in the slightest.

The Passion of the ChristTHE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

Leaving a screening of The Passion of the Christ, I felt pummeled, confused, and very, very angry, feelings I can't imagine director Mel Gibson wanting to inspire with his cinematic take on Jesus Christ's last 12 hours on earth.

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates50 FIRST DATES

Adam Sandler's 50 First Dates is about a man who falls in love with a woman suffering from short-term memory loss, a condition the filmmakers must think afflicts their audience as well.

Christina Ricci and Charlize Theron in MonsterMONSTER

In all honesty, I was rather dreading Patty Jenkins' Monster, the much-lauded drama that has received nearly universal acclaim (and a Best Actress Golden Globe) for star Charlize Theron.

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