The Messengers
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

In their English-language debut, Danny and Oxide Pang, the Hong Kong-bred film editors, take every haunted-house and dead-little-kid convention they can find and cook up soft horror for preteens. Seems a long way to travel to cough up such shit.

Because I Said So
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

The dude responsible for that flick where Josh Hartnett couldn’t dick around for 40 days brings us, obviously, the story of a middle-aged mother (Diane Keaton) who bitches at her daughters ’cause she’s getting old. Mandy Moore’s in it, too. Creepy.

Stomp the Yard
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

An all-black university. Rival fraternities. Many, many men getting served. It’s all here, and it’s all precisely what you’d expect from a move called “Stomp the Yard.” In other words: a sublime Saturday at the movies.

Pan’s Labrynth
At the Quality 16 and Showcase, opens tomorrow at the State Theater
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Guillermo del Toro’s lush and complex masterpiece fiercely articulates the evils of fascism with a gorgeous fantasy outfit, including fauns, fairies and the whole bit. But be advised: the year’s most uncompromised vision is also one of its most violent.

Smokin’ Aces
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Basically an intermediate between “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” with fetishistic lesbians, graphic violence and washed-up celebrities in place of the A-listers, it’s a shoot-’em-up that does everything in its power to get you to stop paying attention.

The Painted Veil
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The adaptation is customarily faithful, the actors are customarily strong and the scenery is customarily fetching. All is well in “Painted Veil” land, but sometimes doing everything just fine yields a movie no one will want to see.

Night at the Museum
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 2 and 1/2 out of 5 stars

Finally a history lesson that doesn’t lull you to sleep. Well, sort of. Ben Stiller, living dioramas and some cheerfully ignorant history make for a charming live-action version of “Toy Story” that isn’t especially funny but provides a solid diversion all the same.

Notes on a Scandal
At the Quality 16 and Showcase
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Some elegantly packaged homophobia, a little faux-thriller pretense and two of the best actresses at work today make for a creepy-in-a-way-it-shouldn’t-be awards-season misfire.

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