Director: Noah Baumbach. With Laura Linney, Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin. (80 min.)
Writer-director Noah Baumbach's squiggly semiautobiographical comedy "The Squid and the Whale" has the freshness of firsthand observation. It's about the break-up of a marriage between a self-infatuated novelist (a bearded Jeff Daniels) and his headstrong wife (Laura Linney) as seen through the eyes of their two sons, 16-year-old Walt (Jesse Eisenberg, the nephew from "Roger Dodger") and his younger brother Frank (the precociously gifted Owen Kline). Baumbach captures the ways in which children takes sides in a war they can't even begin to comprehend. Grade: A-
- Peter Rainer
Director: D.J. Caruso. With Al Pacino, Rene Russo, Matthew McConaughey. (122 min.)
A hotshot quarterback (McConaughey) wins a big bowl game, but injury ends his hopes of going pro. However, his knowledge of the game begins to earn him fame and fortune as a prognosticator for a New York betting service - until he becomes so full of himself that he loses his touch. You know the filmmakers are manipulating the viewer when they intercut game footage with big dramatic scenes, but the acting (especially Pacino as the boss and Russo as his wife) is good enough that you don't mind too much. Grade: B-
- M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 9 instances, including sex scene. Violence: 2 scenes, including a fight. Profanity: 123 harsh profanities. Drugs: 17 scenes with smoking. 7 scenes with alcohol.
Director: Rob McKittrich. With Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Dane Cook.(80 min.)