Ben Affleck and Diane Lane in HollywoodlandHOLLYWOODLAND

Against all expectation, the most touching performance in current releases is probably Ben Affleck's turn as George Reeves in the Tinseltown drama Hollywoodland. Director Allen Coulter's work centers around the mysterious shooting death of the famed Superman star of '50s television, and Affleck is just about perfect here. Seen in flashbacks, he plays Reeves' heartrending rise and fall with the abashed sweetness of a man who knows his good looks and moderate talent will only carry him so far, and Affleck's strong, subtle turn is effortlessly moving. And as trophy wife Tony Mannix, Diane Lane nearly matches him, suggesting entire generations of women carelessly tossed away by Hollywood's obsession with youth and beauty; Hollywoodland's tragedy is hers as much as Reeves', and the emotionally naked Lane turns in a fierce, brave portrayal.

The Hills Have EyesTHE HILLS HAVE EYES

The setup for The Hills Have Eyes - Alexandre Aja's remake of Wes Craven's 1977 horror classic, with Craven himself on board as a producer - couldn't be simpler. A vacationing family, headed for California, stops for gas at a filling station near an abandoned nuclear-testing site in New Mexico. The station's gnarled and suspiciously friendly attendant guides them to a shortcut. The shortcut is a trap, set by the attendant and a family of horribly mutated, not-entirely-inhuman cannibals. And from there on, the plot boils down to three words: Us Against Them.

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.

Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler in Jersey GirlJERSEY GIRL

Theoretically, there's nothing wrong with Kevin Smith momentarily eschewing his predilection for what he terms "dick and fart jokes" in favor of more honest, heartwarming fare, but good God, don't we Smith fans deserve better than Jersey Girl? In previous films, Smith presented us with a woman who screws a dead man, the Almighty in the personage of Alanis Morissette, and a lesbian who switches teams for Ben Affleck, yet I found his latest work the least believable in his oeuvre, a movie so brazenly phony and audience-pandering that I wanted to hide my face.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in Freaky FridayFREAKY FRIDAY

Everyone I know has enormous fondness for the 1976 Disney comedy Freaky Friday, wherein mother Barbara Harris and daughter Jodie Foster switched bodies and discovered, on one very strange day, how the other half lived.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys IIBAD BOYS II

Near the climax of Bad Boys II, Detective Mike Lowrey (Will Smith), leading a high-speed chase involving dope-runners and the Cuban military, turns to his car's passengers and barks, "Everybody start shooting somebody!" One can imagine the same command being issued from the mouths of director Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Jim Carrey in Bruce AlmightyBRUCE ALMIGHTY

It's been almost 18 months since Jim Carrey last graced the cineplex, but that was in the schmaltzy piece of doggerel The Majestic, so it barely counts. For full-out, Carrey-sized insanity, you have to go back to 2000's Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but that barely counts either, as he was buried beneath pounds of latex and inevitably forced to water down his act for kiddie consumption.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in DaredevilDAREDEVIL

Though he tries mighty hard, Ben Affleck isn't quite able to ruin Daredevil, Mark Steven Johnson's screen adaptation of the Marvel comic. Among comic-book fans, the news that Affleck would be portraying the tortured hero - an angry, despressed, and, oh yeah, blind lawyer who, when not losing cases in court, dons leather and kicks bad-guy ass - was met with a collective rolling of the eyes; a friend of mine, upon hearing about the casting, put it succinctly: "Oh great. It's gonna suck."

Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, and Candice Bergen in Sweet Home AlabamaSWEET HOME ALABAMA

Just how much goodwill are audiences willing to extend to Reese Witherspoon? Quite a lot, actually, if their response to Sweet Home Alabama is any indication.

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