Movie studios are still afraid to release a potential moneymaker when someone as unpredictable as Mother Nature is involved (plus it's Sundance weekend), which means your new "wide release" options are a new Ivan Reitman comedy, which is allegedly romantic in nature and offers the unlikely pairing of Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman ... and that's about it. "Limited" options include a new Peter Weir film, an ensemble about corporate downsizing, and a kooky-fun action sequel found only at the video stores. (Or VOD.)
'No Strings Attached' -- "Very few romantic comedies manage to subvert the formula -- if ever a genre was akin to comfort food, it's the rom-com -- but that's fine so long as the ingredients are somewhat fresh or charming. 'No Strings Attached' is bland even for comfort food: occasionally pleasing but mostly flat." -- William Goss (full review)
'The Way Back' -- "'The Way Back' brings a lot of talent and a tremendous amount of craft to a movie that will be too painful for most people to endure. There is nothing reassuring about it; no triumph-of-the-human-spirit comfort." -- Eugene Novikov (full review) 'The Company Men' -- "Veteran TV writer-director-producer John Wells makes his feature directional debut here, and he does a solid enough job painting this seriously bleak film with enough heart and humor to keep you "in it" through the end credit scroll. Is there anything new to discover here? No. Will you find it hard to relate to the poor six-figure suits who have to sell their Porsche's in order to get by? Yes." -- Erik Davis (full review)
'Death Race 2' -- "Despite its World Premiere on DVD and Blu-ray, it not only looks and sounds leagues better than most of its STV brethren, but it even has better production values than some recent theatrical action extravaganzas (that means you, 'Expendables')." -- Peter Hall (full review)
Next week: CBS Films gets 'Mechanic'al and Warner Bros. hopes the teens say "Oh, Rite!" Yay for January!