directed by Billy Ray
As if the government doesn’t have it bad enough already, the makers of Breach had to go and dramatize the story of one of the biggest security breaches in American history. FBI agent Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) is suspected of being a Russian spy, and new recruit Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) is tasked with catching him in the act. The movie is slick, with a Bourne Identity feel and a healthy dose of paranoia. But since the real Hanssen was indeed a spy, and was indeed found out, the narrative tension is somewhat muted. Also starring Laura Linney, Gary Cole and Dennis Haysbert.
Bridge to Terabithia
directed by Gabor Csupo
Katherine Paterson’s The Bridge to Terabithia, about kids discovering a mystical kingdom deep in the woods, gets the faux-Lord of the Rings treatment in this Disney film. The fantastical world dubbed “Terabithia” by the kids is populated by giant walking trees, warrior insects, armies of small, furry animals and wall-to-wall adventure. As family entertainment, it’s better than some nefarious, double-entendre-laden animated animal movie. Starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick.
Daddy’s Little Girls
directed by Tyler Perry
Normally, an overwrought social drama mash-up of Kramer vs. Kramer and any number of romantic dramedies would be unbearable. Being Valentine’s Day weekend, a little leeway can be granted to Tyler Perry’s (Diary of a Mad Black Woman) latest, Daddy’s Little Girls. Monty (Idris Elba) is fighting for custody of his three daughters, and along the way falls in love with Julia (Gabrielle Union), a hot-shot lawyer who’s becoming fickle about love. Moving from beginning to end, every important cliche is hit: The sleazy ex, the wary kids, class war, shortsighted friends… and on and on and on. Also starring Louis Gossett Jr., Tasha Smith and Gary Anthony Sturgis.
directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Leather, skulls, bones, fire and whips made of chain-link are abundant as Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage), bound by a deal with the devil gone wrong (is there any other kind?), transforms into the motorcycle-riding, flaming-skulled demon of vengeance, Ghost Rider. Consider this the comic book adaptation appetizer meant to tide you over before the summer smorgasbord of Spider-Man 3. As long as you like a side of fetishism with your artichoke dip, Ghost Rider should satisfy. Also starring Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Donal Logue, Peter Fonda and Sam Elliott.
Music and Lyrics
directed by Marc Lawrence
Who needs a box of chocolates when something as syrupy sweet as Music and Lyrics is at hand? Alex Fletcher (dreamboat Hugh Grant) is a has-been ’80s pop star toiling at the edge of musical oblivion. Sophie Fisher (cute-as-a-button Drew Barrymore) is his plant lady who has more to offer than a discount on de-grubbing the garden. Turns out she’s quite the little wordsmith, and she crafts a song that could rescue Alex’s career. And wouldn’t you know it, they make sweet music together!