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Movie Guide: New in theaters

Zoe R. Cassavetes's Broken English' and John Dahl's hit-man comedy You Kill Me' both arrive in theaters this week.

New in theaters You Kill Me (R)

Director: John Dahl. With Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Dennis Farina. (92 min.)

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As comedy-dramas about hit men go, John Dahl's "You Kill Me" isn't a match for "Grosse Point Blank." Still, it has its amusements. Ben Kingsley plays Frank Falenczyk, a hit man for a Polish mob family in Buffalo who is sent by his mob boss uncle (Philip Baker Hall) to San Francisco to clean up his drinking problem. Why San Francisco? Well, why not? Frank has no qualms about his line of work – he joins AA because he wants to be more reliable plugging people. He takes a job at a mortuary and falls into a relationship with a no-nonsense careerwoman (Téa Leoni), who gets the prize for Most Understanding Girlfriend. The acting is fine – and so is the moody-blues direction – but, given the subject matter, the movie should be blacker and more disturbing. Grade: B
– Peter Rainer

Broken English (PG-13)

Director: Zoe R. Cassavetes. With Drea de Matteo, Gena Rowlands, Parker Posey, Griffin Dunne. (97 min.)

This first feature by writer-director Zoe Cassavetes – daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands – is a pleasantly disposable romantic comedy starring the once and future indie-queen Parker Posey as Nora Wilder, a lovelorn New Yorker who works in a swank downtown hotel. We are given a quick tour of the disastrous, 30-something single-woman dating scene before Nora at last finds a seemingly ideal mate in visiting Frenchman Julien (Melvil Poupaud). We can see where this is going a lot sooner than Nora, but Posey has the spunk of a superannuated gamine, and Rowlands and Drea de Matteo are lively in supporting roles. Grade: B
– P.R.

Still in theaters Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG)

Director: Tim Story. With Ioan Gruffud, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis. (92 min.)

The Silver Surfer, one of the great Marvel comics creations, looks like one of the Spartans from "300" dipped in a vat of silver paint. As the emissary of übervillain Galactus, he's on the lookout for new planets to conquer. Like, for example, Earth. The Fantastic Four are on the front lines. The target audience is teenage boys, but I appreciated the occasional attempt by director Tim Story and screenwriter Don Payne to reach out to adults. If I had to choose between this one and the new Spider-Man movie, I'd probably go with the Four. Grade: B–
– P.R.


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