Brad and George 'Burn After Reading,' while Jason Statham just burns foul-smelling rubber.

Where does 'Burn After Reading' rank in the Coen brothers' oeuvre? It's no 'No Country for Old Men,' but at least Brad Pitt's wavey 'do competes with Javier Bardem's freakish bowl cut.

Jason Statham takes a painstaking 105 minutes to get to the finish line in 'Death Race.'

And the documentary 'American Teen' is a purely joyful portrayal of the horrors of contemporary high school.

a href="">'Burn After Reading'
What It's About: Two bumbling gym employees (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand) attempt to blackmail a bumbling ex-spy (John Malkovich) when they find a lost disc. A bumbling George Clooney co-stars.

Awards & Nominations: The film scored two Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.

What We Say: As far as the Coen brothers oeuvre goes, it falls somewhere smack dab in the middle of 'Fargo' (being their best) and 'Ladykillers' (being their worst), but is worth watching for Pitt's wavey 'do alone (not to mention a sublimely goofy performance).

Best of 2008? 'Burn' just made the cut in our list of The 50 Best Movies of 2008, ranking at #49.

Add to your Netflix queue | Read Coen brothers Q&A

'Death Race'
What It's About:Jason Statham gives hand-to-hand combat a rest to kick ass auto as a falsely accused prison inmate forced to partake in a drive-or-die car race. Joan Allen inexplicably co-stars.

What We Say: For anyone but action junkies, the film's 105-minute runtime will be akin to dying a slow, slow death.

Recommended If You Liked:'The Fast and the Furious'; 'Transporter' and/or 'Crank'; 'Rollerball' (the 2002 version)

Add to your Netflix queue | Read Q&A with Jason Statham

'American Teen'
What It's About: Documentarian Nanette Burnstein follows five high school seniors in a tiny Indiana town -- and each fits perfectly into a classic high school stereotype (heartthrob, princess, jock, rebel, geek).

What We Say: How this project didn't turn into a glorified MTV is beyond us. Instead it's an amusing, heartfelt, incredibly entertaining portrait of Middle America High, complete with heroes (we love you, Hannah!) and villains (damn you, Megan Krizmanich).

Best of 2008? 'American Teen' just ranked #33 on our list of 2008's top 50 movies.

Add to your Netflix queue | Watch exclusive DVD clip

Other New Releases This Week:
'Hamlet 2'
'Savage Grace'
'Beethoven's Big Break'

Recent DVD Highlights

    'The Dark Knight'
    Release Date: Dec. 9
    What It's About: You already know. But just for fun: A vigilante dresses up like a flying rodent (Christian Bale) and battles a man even crazier, the Joker (Heath Ledger).
    What We Say: There's a reason this baby made $530 million at the box office, second only to 'Titanic' all time: It rocks. Now bring on the posthumous Oscar for Heath.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch exclusive DVD clip

    Warner Bros.

    'Horton Hears a Who'
    Release Date: Dec. 9
    What It's About: The unlikely relationship between an elephant (voiced by Jim Carrey) and the specks of dust on his back.
    What We Say: Thank you Hollywood for finally animating Dr. Seuss! (Anyone else still suffer bad 'Cat in the Hat' flashbacks?). 'Horton' is sweet, charming and a treat to watch.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch Carrey-Carell Unscripted


    'Man on Wire'
    Release Date: Dec. 9
    What It's About: The amazing story of Frenchman Philippe Petit, who tightrope-walked between World Trade Center towers in 1974.
    What We Say: The best-reviewed film of all time, according to, this doc combines interviews and actual footage with impressively non-corny reenactments, and is 100% breathtaking.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch trailer & clips


    Release Date: Dec. 2
    What It's About: An everyday Joe (James McAvoy) is recruited by a secret society of assassins who kill to orchestrate fate ... which is determined by a loom.
    What We Say: It's all style, no brains (see Loom of Fate); both ridiculously cool and just-plain ridiculous. Those with a low threshold for nonsensical plots be warned. The rest of us can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
    Add to Netflix queue | Read James McAvoy Q&A


    'Step Brothers'
    Release Date: Dec. 2
    What It's About: Two 40-something man-children (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) become siblings first, enemies second, and finally, BFFs.
    What We Say: This proudly vulgar comedy doesn't always work, but there are enough moments of hilarity to recommend a DVD viewing. (Warning: Contains disturbing images of Will Ferrell's bits.)
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch Ferrell-Reilly Unscripted


    Release Date: Nov. 18
    What It's About: A post-apocalyptic tale for families! Only Pixar could pull off the touching story of a robot left to clean up an uninhabitable, abandoned Earth.
    What We Say: The film's strong eco-messages may go over kiddies' heads, but grown-up viewers have hailed it a masterpiece. It's no doubt Pixar's most ambitious and unique movie to date.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch the trailer


    'Tropic Thunder'
    Release Date: Nov. 18
    What It's About: Spoiled actors (including Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black) shooting a war movie find themselves in an actual battle.
    What We Say: When was the last time there were so many brilliant performances in a comedy? Tom Cruise and others kill in cameos, but this movie belongs to a black Robert Downey Jr.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch exclusive DVD clip


    'Kung Fu Panda'
    Release Date: Nov. 9
    What It's About: A roly-poly panda (Jack Black) inadvertently becomes the Kung Fu Master chosen to save the Valley of Peace.
    What We Say: Jungle animals doing martial arts? Sounds like it could be cute and funny ... for a few minutes, at least. But 'Panda' is heartfelt and hilarious, and one of the year's best surprises.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch trailer & clips


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