Billy (Mark Wahlberg) is a disgraced former cop turned private eye who is hired by the mayor of New York (Russell Crowe) to tail his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), whom he suspects of having an affair. Billy finds some evidence all right, but that’s when the script goes a little nuts with coincidence and improbability. Crowe is a great shady mayor, and the scenes in which he growls back and forth with his rival played by a masterful Jeffrey Wright are worth the price of admission. All in all, it’s entertaining, if a little too convoluted. R (pervasive language, sexual content and violence).
‘BULLET TO THE HEAD’
In this pretty cliche, grungy, uber-violent action flick, hit man Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone) partners up with a crusading police detective played by Sung Kang, and the two get swept up in something to do with police corruption, skeezy development deals and an incriminating flash drive. Stallone is riveting in his way, and director Walter Hill (”48 Hrs.”) harkens back to action movies of old. It’s gory, brutal and you’ve seen it all before, but it’s not the worst movie ever. R (strong violence, bloody images, language, some nudity and brief drug use).
Quentin Tarantino returns to the big screen with his long-anticipated and extremely controversial slave revenge western film. Jamie Foxx plays Django, a freed slave who teams up with his bounty hunter savior (Christoph Waltz) to rescue Django’s wife (Kerry Washington) from a venal plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). It’s a mashup of Tarantino’s favorite old movies and songs, and it’s brutally violent in action and language. A lot of it is engaging and typical Tarantino style, but after the second hour, it gets a bit stale. R (strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language and some nudity).