Report Card

June 14, 2007

What it's about: Kevin Costner plays Mr. Brooks, the successful owner of a chic Portland, Ore., box company, with a comely wife (Marg Helgenberger), a smart, pretty daughter (Danielle Panabaker) and a compulsion to kill.

Rated: R

The Scoop: Mr. Brooks has a walking, talking id named Marshall (William Hurt), but it's hard to dramatize a split personality when you start with zero personality.

Grade: C

The Valet

What it's about: Daniel Auteuil plays a married captain of industry who thinks the only way he can hang on to his business position and his supermodel mistress is to have her pose as the live-in lover of a fellow who parks cars at a restaurant.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: Nothing new here, but writer-director Francis Veber makes the unlikely both credible and amusing. He's a master of economy, and his female stars are delightful, especially Alice Taglioni, who brings a voluptuous sympathy and ease to the cover girl, and Kristin Scott Thomas, who imbues the surprisingly sly wife with divine intelligence.

Grade: B

Disturbia

What it's about: When a disgruntled adolescent (Shia LaBeouf), under house arrest for hitting a teacher, cracks open a missing-person case with his binoculars, The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: On its own teen-horror terms, it has the cozy delectability of a flapjack flipped just right; the result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school.

Grade: B+

Ocean's Thirteen What It's About: A group of high-class thieves and con men get together in Vegas to enact revenge on the high-profile casino owner who double-crossed one of their friends.

Rated: PG-13 The Scoop: Fans of Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve know what to expect. The rest of us, except for those blinded by the collective star power onscreen, may want to pass. Grade: C+ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

What it's about: Here's what reviewers are not supposed to give away: How and why Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner and many others betray one another.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: This series has become so bloated and laborious that the plot - and subplots - puncture any enjoyment you may have in this movie's daft slapstick and bold visual coups.

Grade: D+

Shrek the Third

What it's about: Prince Charming persuades oversized bad guys from Captain Hook to the Cyclops that they must rewrite their fables, seize the Land of Far Far Away and compose a happy ending.

Rated: PG

The scoop: Eddie Murphy's lovable, febrile Donkey hasn't lost his kick, and Antonio Banderas' debonair Puss in Boots overflows with a ticklish feline unpredictability.

Grade: A-

Spider-Man 3

What it's about: Spidey, Black Spidey, Venom, the New Goblin, the Old Goblin, the Sandman, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: Harmonic convergence is one thing, but this is ridiculous. This jam-packed saga, more hyped-up parade than adventure, is a crash-and-bawl movie.

Grade: B-

Surf's UpWhat It's About: A surfing penguin learns there's more to the lifestyle than just catching a wave.

Rated: PG

The Scoop: Beautifully animated, this faux documentary pokes fun at enough pop culture to keep adults happy, while staying just silly enough to keep the kids laughing.

GRADE: B+

28 Weeks Later

What it's about: The virus that was turning Brits into zombies in 2002's 28 Days Later has been eradicated ... or has it?

Rated: R

The Scoop: Still exciting but lacks the innovation and ingenuity of its predecessor.

Grade: C+

Waitress

What it's about: The unhappily married Jenna (Keri Russell) is a working woman with a baby on the way and a genius for making pies.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: It's an inspired comedy-drama about artistic temperament. Jenna sees the structure of her baked goods whole, the way Einstein would envision his theories.

Grade: A-

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