Last week we brought you the best and funniest thoughts on Creation, The Lovely Bones, The Girl on the Train, and Tooth Fairy. New week, new reviews: here, again, we present the most entertaining takes on in-theater entertainment. For more serious fare, check out the Wire's coverage of another movie matter: "Are Mel Gibson's films un-Christian?"
- Edge of Darkness, reviewed by A. O. Scott: In this film, Mel Gibson plays a father trying to solve his daughter's murder. According to the New York Times reviewer, "this involves showing up at various people’s houses and places of work, accosting them with brusque questions and, when all else fails, punching them in the face. All else fails quite a bit, which is of course why people buy tickets to a movie like this one." Though Scott, too, seems to have enjoyed himself to some extent, his review consists mainly of griping about the incessant Boston accents, which has apparently been a sore spot for him ever since The Departed: "If I had a dollar for every dropped 'r' in 'Edge of Darkness,' I could finance a sequel."
- When in Rome, reviewed by Rick Groen: The "lads" chasing Kristen Bell in this "slap-happy" romcom, says Groen for The Globe and Mail, are always "always crashing through coffee tables, or walking into telephone poles, or falling into open manholes." Not wanting to "dissuade" readers from the film's "potential delights," he writes: "I can only speak for myself, and so say this. In the case of When in Rome, oh to do what the Romans used to do: Toss the bloody thing to the lions."
- North Face, reviewed by James Christopher and V. A. Musetto: In this fictionalized account of an actual 1936 expedition, director Philipp Stölzl "captures the period idealism and propaganda perfectly," decided James Christopher for the London Times upon the movie's debut in the U.K. The German-language film is just now opening in the U.S. "The terrific footage of the climb is an almost unendurably tense watch. Meanwhile the filthy rich and scheming journalists exchange sour innuendos about the ambitions of the Third Reich over black-tie suppers in hotels at the foot of the mountain. It’s a melancholic slow burn," Christopher concludes. Of course, Musetto adds for the New York Post, "unfortunately, somebody decided to insert a superfluous love story involving a completely fabricated female photojournalist."