Other movies out this weekend

By Owen GleibermanLisa SchwarzbaumAdam MarkovitzChris Nashawaty and Melissa Maerz
March 15, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Dead Man Down
R, 1 HR., 58 MINS.

Niels Arden Oplev must have been flooded with Hollywood offers after directing the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He should’ve held out longer. This bullet-riddled mess of a thriller about a pair of haunted loners (Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace) gunning for vengeance is crammed with forehead-smacking plot holes, questionable accents, and one honey of a torture scene involving rats. Isabelle Huppert drops by to hint at the more interesting film this might have been. CChris Nashawaty

Identity Thief
R, 1 HR., 47 MINS.

The divine Melissa McCarthy is defeated by hectic madcappery about a scam artist and her victim on a road trip. B-Lisa Schwarzbaum

If I Were You
R, 1 HR., 55 MINS.

A career woman (Marcia Gay Harden) befriends her husband’s mistress (Leonor Watling) without revealing who she really is. The ladies agree to make all important life decisions for each other, which somehow leads to such tragedies as Harden starring in a gender-reversed King Lear. Her kingdom for a decent screenplay. (Also available on VOD) DAdam Markovitz

Jack the Giant Slayer
PG-13, 1 HR., 55 MINS.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult) joins a fellowship to climb a beanstalk and defeat a tribe of giants. C+Owen Gleiberman

Oz the Great and Powerful
PG, 2 HRS., 7 MINS.

Neither great nor particularly powerful, Sam Raimi’s 3-D fairy tale takes us back over the rainbow. And while the film looks terrific (it’s retinal crack), James Franco is all wrong as the charlatan magician of the title. C+Chris Nashawaty


Matteo Garrone’s first movie since Gomorrah has some of that old, classic Fellini insanity in its overheated blood. It’s about a Naples fish seller (Aniello Arena) who auditions for the Italian version of Big Brother. We see bits and pieces of the show, and it makes Jersey Shore look like a play by Eugene O’Neill, yet Garrone’s audacious conceit is that his hero doesn’t just want to join this Andy Warhol zombie-fame zone for the purposes of celebrity. He wants to cross over to a place more ”real” than reality itself. B+Owen Gleiberman

R, 1 HR., 36 MINS.

Snoop Dogg is searching for enlightenment. Also: weed. Either way, he’s getting high in this doc, which is very hard to take seriously. It finds him in Jamaica, converting to Rastafarianism just in time to record a new album as ”Snoop Lion.” After renouncing his gangbanger ways, Snoop claims he’s a reggae artist now — which might be admirable if he hadn’t already reinvented himself as a porno director, reality TV star, and WWE host. So what has he learned from Jah here? ”I want to baptize myself in the spirit.” Well, and: ”The right buds [will] get you high as f—.” (Available on VOD 3/15) C-Melissa Maerz

The Silence

An innocent 11-year-old girl is brutally murdered in a remote wheat field in the summer of 1986. The case is never solved. Twenty-three years later, the same sickening scenario plays out again. In director Baran bo Odar’s harrowing and humane German-language whodunit, we know right off the bat who did it. The real drama here is in the peripheral lives that are shattered as a result — the victims’ parents, the detectives, even the killers themselves. B+Chris Nashawaty

Spring Breakers
R, 1 HR., 32 MINS.

Harmony Korine’s first ”mainstream” movie is by far the best thing he’s ever done. It’s an outlaw fantasia about four college women (led by Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez) who go on a psychotic spring-break bender and are sprung from jail by a drawling gangsta badass (James Franco in a hypnotic performance). A-Owen Gleiberman

The We and the I

True, Michel Gondry cast some charming Bronx teens in this well-intentioned film, which shows them improvising their way through a long bus ride. But do you really want to watch those kids get loud, fight about last night’s drama, and stick gum on strangers’ backs when you can see that on any real-life Greyhound? If not, then The We and the I isn’t for the you or the us. C+Melissa Maerz