Staff ** Glover is remarkably consistent as the stonefaced new hire in a public-records office, who "would prefer not" to do anything but filing, and then not to do anything at all, even leave after he's fired. This snide commentary on government work is perfectly cast with Paymer as the frustrated boss of an office full of kooks. But it runs out of gas as it moves faithful to its source, Herman Melville's 1853 "Bartleby the Scrivener" to a sad conclusion. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 5 instances, mostly innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: 5 mild expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes with drinking.
Director: Doug Liman. With Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox. (113 min.)
Sterritt ** Damon plays a spy so afflicted by amnesia that he doesn't know his name, much less the assignment he's supposed to carry out. The movie has director Liman's distinctive stamp, with fidgety camera work and flashes of lightning-quick editing. But he hasn't so much transformed the espionage thriller as submitted to its conventions. A truly fresh treatment of Robert Ludlum's novel wouldn't rely so heavily on shootouts, car chases, and boy-meets-girl clichés we've seen a zillion times before.
Staff *** Fresh, entertaining, great casting, good action.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance implied sex. Violence: 11 scenes, including shooting. Profanity: 6 strong expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes drinking, smoking.
Director: Finn Taylor. With Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Priestley, Lindsay Crouse. (99 min.)
Staff **1/2 After a few drinks too many, Zoe Adler (Tunney) tries to call a cab on her cellphone, but a carjacker forces her to drive. He flees after she runs over a police officer and crashes, leaving her to face the music. The film's first few minutes throw an annoying array of cinematic distraction at the audience, but a witty little thriller emerges as Zoe, under house arrest, resourcefully stretches her electronic anklet's restrictions. Then, aided by a smitten watchdog deputy, she tries to clear her name by ferreting out her abductor before he can kill her. By M.K. Terrell