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Review: 'Noise'

This black comedy's a one-note movie – but it's a resonant one.

The black comedy "Noise" may be a one-joke movie but it's a resonant one. Tim Robbins plays David Owen, a New York lawyer who reaches the breaking point when he can no longer abide the constant cacophony of car alarms, sirens, jackhammers – you name it. The symphony of the city has never gotten such a bum rap as it does here. The film – from writer-director Henry Bean – is sharply funny as long as it sticks with David's haywire attempts at vengeance. He becomes the vigilante "The Rectifier" and wreaks havoc on car alarms. When it attempts to become a Parable for Our Times, it loses all credibility. Robbins is funny-scary throughout, though, while William Hurt, playing the mayor, gives a performance inscrutable even for him. Grade: B. (Not rated.)