Ed Helms stars in Cedar Rapids, a tale about a fateful insurance salespeople convention. Helms proves he has what it takes to be the leading comedic man, but it’s his supporting cast that nearly steals the show. John C. Reilly is outrageously funny as the irreverent Dean; Anne Heche is the sweet yet sassy Joan; and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. plays the cool and collected Ronald. Reilly’s dialogue is sure to be oft-quoted and his comedic antics long-remembered. But it’s his ability to infuse his performance with genuine emotion and sentiment that makes his character so likeable and memorable. Cedar Rapids pairs quirky humor with raunchy comedy in one of the best comedies this year. Read the full review here.
Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron star in I Am Number Four, based on the young adult novel of the same name. Pettyfer plays alien “John,” one of nine remaining Loriens. The evil Mogadorians are hunting and killing the last of the Loriens; they’ve killed three and John is number four on their list. The movie progresses in a fashion similar to about a dozen stories of the same genre. The love story between Agron and Pettyfer is unbearably overwrought, despite a valiant effort on the actors’ part. Timothy Olyphant and relative newcomer Callan McAuliffe round out the talented cast. The movie’s final act doesn’t quite make up for the preceding muck, but comes close – Teresa Palmer appears as the bad-ass Number Six, making you wish the movie had been about her instead. If Number Six is in the sequel, I’ll watch it. Read the full review here.
Liam Neeson returns to his action roots with Unknown, a story about an amnesiatic man on a quest to find his true identity. Unknown manages to be original, despite the genre’s tendencies toward cliche. The action keeps you on the edge of your seat and the story keeps you guessing. Plus, Bruno Ganz delivers a venerable performance as an ex-spy and unlikely ally. Some pacing hiccups, a rushed ending and a horrid performance by January Jones mars this otherwise outstanding action/thriller. Read the full review here.