Every week in Friday's Weekend Ticket section, I review new movies and I recommend previously released ones. Can't wait? Well, this feature now appears at 21Q each Thursday afternoon.
My picks among recently released movies:
Armin Mueller-Stahl plays his character, a restaurateur and mob godfather, as the warm host who visits each table to ensure his borscht suits patronsí tastes. But if you look carefully, the manner seems too studied and the eyes too intense. His offer to interpret the Russian-language diary of a dead 14-year-old girl doesnít stem from altruism.
In the Valley of Elah
Former MP Hank (Tommy Lee Jones, pictured with Susan Sarandon) left the Army years ago, but he still shines his shoes each day
and makes up his motel-room bed with hospital corners. Yet Jones lets the cracks show right away. Upon hearing that his soldier son has returned to the U.S. from Iraq and promptly gone AWOL, he leaves a message on the sonís cell phone that seems a bit too polite. Assuming the young man is on a well-earned bender, Hank doesnít admonish him for failing to contact his family. Thereís love in this gesture but also a hint of emotional distance.
3 1/2 stars
Shia LaBeouf is one of todayís most promising young stars. So why not see him (and a bunch of alien robots) in Imax?