(Photo by Tracy Bennett/©Columbia Pictures)
The critics haven’t always been kind to Adam Sandler over the course of his film career, but box office receipts don’t lie — his detractors have been handily outnumbered by his many ardent fans, many of whom have been laughing it up over the SNL vet’s shtick for decades. His filmography’s certainly had its share of ups and downs, but it includes some of the biggest — and most eminently quotable — comedy hits in recent memory, from Billy Madison to Happy Gilmore, as well as a number of beloved rom-coms like The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, and indie gems in the form of The Meyerowitz Stories and Punch-Drunk Love. In fact, one of his latest was exactly that: 2019’s Uncut Gems, the intense crime thriller from the Safdie bros, drew some of the highest critical acclaim of Sandler’s career. And he pulls a repeat with 2022’s Netflix basketball dramedy Hustle.
Watch out for hired goons, giant penguins, and, of course, Bob Barker, and let’s take a look at his entire filmography, from the best Adam Sandler movies to the worst, ranked by Tomatometer!
March Madness hits the North American box office as three new releases hit the multiplexes hoping to take down the reigning Dr. Suess toon. Tyler Perry returns with his latest comedic drama Meet the Browns, Owen Wilson makes a return of his own in the comedy Drillbit Taylor, and Joshua Jackson jets off to Japan for his horror flick Shutter. The Good Friday holiday will help boost weekend numbers since the majority of students and many adults have the day off. But the start of the NCAA college basketball tournament will keep many male moviegoers and sports fans glued to their flat-screens watching the endless string of games all day everyday over the weekend. Fox meanwhile will try to repeat at number one with its animated hit Horton Hears A Who which could become the top-grossing film of 2008 after only ten days.
Shooting for his fourth $20M+ opener, filmmaker Tyler Perry goes hunting for elephants at the box office with his latest work Meet the Browns. The PG-13 pic stars Angela Bassett as a Chicago single mother down on her luck who travels down to Georgia after the death of her father to meet the family she never knew. Starpower will come primarily from Bassett and from Perry himself who in addition to writing and directing brings the wildly popular Madea character back to the big screen after a two-year absence. The role is small but the marketing has made it known that the outlandish law-breaking matriarch is back for some laughs. Former basketball star Rick Fox also has a major role and could be useful in drawing hoops fans.
Perry has been a dependable box office sensation for over three years now drawing in sizable African American moviegoers with stories that skew a bit female. There’s no reason to believe that Browns will fail to reach the heights of his last film Why Did I Get Married? which opened to $21.4M in October. Good Friday and Easter should help boost the numbers too. Hollywood routinely underestimates Perry’s power so expect a sizzling average here. Hitting his top debut, $30M for Madea’s Family Reunion, may not be in the works, but a strong second place showing is a virtual guarantee. Lionsgate will open Meet the Browns in 2,006 theaters and may find itself with around $23M this weekend.
10,000 BC should stabilize after its 53% plunge last weekend. A fall of 45% seems likely giving Warner Bros. $9M for the weekend and $76M after 17 days. A similar decline could await Never Back Down putting it at $4.5M for a ten-day sum of $16M for Summit. Martin Lawrence hasn’t exactly been setting the box office on fire with his latest comedy College Road Trip. The Disney title might drop by 30% to roughly $5.5M and lift its cume to $33M.
LAST YEAR: A six-pack of new releases cleaned house in the top ten led by the animated actioner TMNT which still had turtle power with a $24.3M debut. Warner Bros. went on to bank $54.1M with the toon which had weak legs. The studio followed in second with its Spartan blockbuster 300 which collected $19.9M in its third fight. Modern-day action was at the center of Mark Wahlberg‘s Shooter which opened in third with $14.5M on its way to a solid $47M for Paramount. Disney’s Wild Hogs followed with $13.9M. New Line’s The Last Mimzy bowed in fifth with $10M while the horror sequel The Hills Have Eyes 2 debuted close behind with $9.7M. Final grosses reached $21.5M and $20.8M, respectively. Adam Sandler‘s dramatic turn in Reign Over Me led to a $7.5M launch before a $19.7M finish. Lionsgate suffered the worst opening among the new titles with just $3.5M for the swimming drama Pride which ended with a $7.1M take.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Horror fans are in luck, since a
number of new DVD releases this week (28 Weeks Later,
Black Sheep) offer
critically acclaimed thrills and chills — and we know how rarely that
happens. Thankfully, we’ve also got new fare for the kiddies (Surf’s Up), the indie-minded (Reign Over Me,
East of Bucharest), and reality TV-loving
couch potatoes (Meerkat
In this sequel to
breakout hit, 28 Days Later, the Rage Virus has been contained in Britain — or
has it? Director
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo does a decent job building atmosphere
and thrills, even if Weeks falls short of the modern-classic achievement of its
predecessor. The disc is loaded with featurettes, including director commentary
for the film and two deleted scenes and multiple making-of videos.
Adam Sandler fans who’ve been
tracking the former SNLer’s career departures into drama (like the excellent
Punch-Drunk Love) should take note of this character-driven
writer-director Mike Binder. Charlie (Sandler) and Alan (Don Cheadle) are former
friends who reconnect in New York City five years after the 9/11 attacks, in
which Charlie lost his family — a tragedy that has turned him into a shell of
his former self. The bonus menu features an unusual treat: a jam session between
the two stars.
Featuring the vocal talents of
Jeff Bridges, and
Zooey Deschanel, this animated pic about a
talking penguin — one who lives to surf, not to tap-dance — scored pretty well
with the critics for top notch visuals and charming mockumentary style. The DVD
release is packed with behind-the-scenes featurettes, including a nice glimpse
into the recording studio, where cast members were encouraged to interact with
each other. Sony’s also been generous with interactive games for the kiddies and
animation instructionals for the nerds, so there really is something for
Seeing as New Zealand’s most
famous filmmaker (Peter Jackson) started his career with gross-out comic gore
(Bad Taste), it’s appropriate that his fellow countryman
Jonathan King follow
suit with this tale of bloodthirsty mutant sheep run amok. (Special effects
courtesy of Jackson’s WETA Workshop.) With a tagline like “Get ready for the
Violence of the Lambs,” who can resist?
Other Safe Bets
East of Bucharest
16 years after the Romanian
Revolution of 1989, a local television station gathers guests to revisit the
historic moment when their city hosted a key protest so many years ago. But did
it really happen? This overwhelmingly critic-approved import earned the Camera
d’Or at Cannes — worth your time if you don’t mind the subtitles.
Ben Kingsley stars as an
alcoholic hitman sent to dry out in San Francisco by the mafia, where he gets a
job at a mortuary and goes to AA meetings.
Tea Leoni co-stars, with direction by
John Dahl (Rounders).
25th Anniversary Edition
Rebuffed for its quarter
Tobe Hooper‘s 1982 suburban horror classic is back looking
quite nice thanks to a new anamorphic transfer. That said, Poltergeist fans,
beware: besides a single two-part documentary (They Are Here: The Real World of
Poltergeist Revealed) featuring paranormal experts and cast and crewmembers,
the disc is conspicuously free of bonus features.
Manor: Season One
Danger, incest, and intrigue — daytime television’s got nothing on a day in the
life of a meerkat. The Animal Planet show, narrated stateside by
Sean “Samwise Gamgee” Astin, has been tracking the lives and loves of the Whiskers clan in the
Kalahari Desert for three seasons. Season one brings us back to the beginning,
when family matriarch Flower ruled her roost with an iron paw, evicting her own
daughter Mozart for getting pregnant and leading the Whisker’s first turf wars
against rival gang the Lazuli.
Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You
This sequel to the
hit was one of the most notorious flops of the year, mostly because an estimated
$175 million budget made it the costliest comedy film ever. So if you were one
of those "I’ll wait for DVD" types, now’s your chance to see
Steve Carell‘s turn
as a modern-day Noah figure. Or you can wait for cable TV.
Lucy Liu stars as a recently
undead reporter who vows revenge on the vampires who killed her. With a 121
minute runtime, this one’s better off dead last on your rental list — unless
you’ve already seen the week’s more worthy horror releases and are still hungry
Until next week, happy renting!
She’s been spending more time singing than acting lately, but Jada Pinkett Smith hasn’t lost her passion for making movies — in fact, for her next project, she’s going to write and direct one.
According to FilmJerk, the actress and singer — most recently seen with Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler in this year’s Reign Over Me — has signed on as writer-director for The Human Contract. Keeping things in the family, Will Smith is listed as a producer; his company, Overbrook Entertainment, is helping finance the production, which has not announced any studio or distributor involvement.
The synopsis, from the article:
Julian Wright, a charming and mega-successful businessman…hides a secret from the rest of the world which tears his soul apart every day. With his personal life in shambles, Julian will find himself willing to travel down the rabbit hole, as it were, when he meets Michael Reed, a gorgeous stranger who entices Julian to forget his rigid corporate world and try a more bohemian lifestyle, a decision that will not only affect his own life but those of his boss and co-workers, as well as inspire his half-sister Rita to re-examine her life with her abusive husband.
Filming is scheduled to begin November 12 in Los Angeles.
Will Ferrell scored the gold medal at the North American box office with his latest comedy "Blades of Glory" which skated to a top spot bow. Disney settled for a silver for its new animated kids offering "Meet the Robinsons" which debuted impressively as well.
Each film had room to connect with its target audience without eating into the other’s business. Holdovers saw mixed results with some seeing moderate declines while others tumbled.
Grossing an estimated $33M in its first weekend, the Paramount release "Blades of Glory" easily led the frame during the final weekend of a robust March box office. The PG-13 film averaged a stellar $9,786 from 3,372 locations. Studio research indicated that the audience was split evenly between males and females and that 74% of the crowd was under 35. Blades was produced for just over $60M and was the fifth film of the first quarter to open above $30M – a new industry record.
Opening in second with a strong showing of its own was "Meet the Robinsons" with an estimated $25.1M from 3,413 locations for a $7,341 average. The CG toon was Disney’s third consecutive bow north of $20M following "Bridge to Terabithia" and "Wild Hogs." Robinsons carries a G rating and played to a family audience.
After leading the charts last weekend with the top two films, Warner Bros dropped to third and fourth, respectively. with "300" and "TMNT." The Spartan epic dropped 44% to an estimated $11.2M and pushed its remarkable cume to $179.7M. The Ninja Turtles pic saw a direct hit from rival toon "Meet the Robinsons" and tumbled 62% to an estimated $9.2M giving the crime fighters $38.4M in ten days.
The motorcycle comedy "Wild Hogs" followed in fifth with an estimated $8.4M, off 39%, for a total of $135.4M for Buena Vista. Paramount’s Mark Wahlberg actioner "Shooter" dropped 45% to an estimated $8M giving the sniper flick $27.2M after ten days. Sandra Bullock‘s suspense flick "Premonition" scared up an estimated $5.1M, down 47%, putting Sony’s cume at $39.3M.
Three sophomores rounded out the top ten and lifted their mediocre cumes into the teens. The New Line sci-fi film "The Last Mimzy" crumbled 60% to an estimated $4M for a sum of $16.2M. Taking in an estimated $3.9M was the horror sequel "The Hills Have Eyes 2" which fell 60% as well and has grossed $15.8M to date. Adam Sandler‘s latest money-losing stab at drama "Reign Over Me" collected an estimated $3.7M, down 50%, for a $13.3M total.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $111.5M which was down 12% from last year when "Ice Age: The Meltdown" opened at number one with $68M; but up 19% from 2005 when "Sin City" debuted on top with $29.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
A crowded box office saw six new films shove their way into the multiplexes this weekend, but it was the Warner Bros. animated film "TMNT" that led the way knocking the studio’s own historical battle film "300" from the number one spot.
Mark Wahlberg‘s new sniper pic "Shooter" enjoyed a decent opening in third place while the rest of the debuting films saw more modest results. Overall, the box office was vibrant with seven different pictures hitting double digit millions.
Turtle power conquered North America as "TMNT" ruled the weekend with an opening of $25.5M, according to estimates. The PG-rated toon averaged a powerful $8,183 from 3,110 theaters and collected an amount that was almost identical to the record $25.4M debut of the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from March 1990. However, ticket prices were much lower 17 years ago and films played in fewer theaters so that hit’s $12,661 average from 2,006 locations was more impressive. With few new choices for kids in recent weeks, "TMNT" was able to corner the market for young ones. However, long term success could be challenging as Disney will unleash its rival animated entry "Meet the Robinsons" this Friday.
After two weeks on top of the charts, the Spartan war epic "300" dropped to second place but still held up well despite the onslaught of new films. The Warner Bros. blockbuster fell by only 38% to an estimated $20.5M and lifted its cume to a staggering $162.4M after 17 days. The R-rated smash now looks likely to reach the $200M mark domestically — a level no March film has ever reached before.
Overseas, "300" dominated the marketplace with its invasion of the U.K. and several key European countries with a colossal $48M from 33 markets with 5,000 prints. That pushed the international total to $79M and the global gross to $241M. 300 should dominate the spring box office worldwide and could go on to surpass $500M.
Mark Wahlberg‘s new action thriller "Shooter" opened in third place with an estimated $14.5M from 2,806 locations. The Paramount release averaged a good $5,168 per theater and played to an adult aduience. Studio research showed that two-thirds of the crowd for the R-rated film was age 25 or older. "Shooter" finds the recent Oscar nominee playing a former marine wrongly accused of trying to kill the U.S. President. The budget was just over $60M.
With no new comedies opening among the half-dozen new releases, Buena Vista’s motorcycle laugher "Wild Hogs" held strong once again and slipped only 25% to an estimated $14.4M. The Tim Allen–John Travolta pic has upped its cume to $123.8M to date making it 2007’s second biggest blockbuster trailing only the Spartan tale. "Hogs" is also the top-grossing release for Disney since Johnny Depp‘s pirate smash from last summer.
Three films claimed estimates near the $10M mark and could see their rankings get shuffled when final numbers are reported on Monday. New Line opened its kids adventure "The Last Mimzy" with an estimated $10.2M from 3,017 theaters for a mild $3,381 average. The sci-fi tale earned mixed reviews and faced stiff competition for children from "TMNT."
After enjoying a career-high opening, Sandra Bullock saw her critically-panned suspense thriller "Premonition" fall by a reasonable 43% in its second weekend to an estimated $10.1M. Sony has scared up a solid $32.2M in ten days for the $20M production and should conclude with $55-60M.
Fox Atomic, the studio’s division that targets teens and young adults, bowed its horror sequel "The Hills Have Eyes II" to the tune of $10M, according to estimates. Averaging a mediocre $4,087 from 2,447 locations, the R-rated zombie flick opened 54 weeks after its predecessor which itself was a remake. The first "Hills" performed better and opened to $15.7M and a $5,996 average last March on its way to $41.8M. Eyes 2 cost $15M to produce and played mostly to an under-25 audience. Males and females were almost equally represented.
The Adam Sandler drama "Reign Over Me" debuted in eighth place with an estimated $8M from 1,671 sites for a commendable $4,788 average per theater. The R-rated film about a man who loses his way in life after his family is killed on September 11 earned good marks from critics. Given the difference in subject matter, "Reign" played primarily to adult women and not to the young male crowd that the funnyman usually attracts with his comedies. Studio research showed that 59% of the audience was female and 60% was 25 or older. The $20M production co-stars Don Cheadle and Jada Pinkett Smith and opened a bit below Sandler’s mature pic "Spanglish" which bowed to only $8.8M in 2004.
Lionsgate’s swim team drama "Pride" tanked in its opening weekend diving into just $4M, according to estimates. Starring Cheadle’s "Crash" co-star Terrence Howard, the PG-rated film averaged a weak $2,655 from 1,518 locations and earned mixed reviews from critics. Rounding out the top ten was the killer doll flick "Dead Silence" with an estimated $3.5M in its second weekend. Off a steep 55%, the Universal release has grossed $13.3M in ten days and should finish with just under $20M.
With all the new faces, six films tumbled out of the top ten over the weekend with declines of more than 50% each. Chris Rock‘s latest film "I Think I Love My Wife" fell 51% in its second weekend to an estimated $2.8M for a ten-day cume of only $10M. A final gross of about $15M seems likely. Disney’s fantasy drama "Bridge to Terabithia" dropped 55% to an estimated $2.3M in its sixth frame. With a strong $78.9M in the bank, Bridge looks to end its run with $82-84M.
Sony’s "Ghost Rider" took in an estimated $1.7M, down 59%, for a $113.2M cume. The Nicolas Cage actioner should finish with roughly $116M. Paramount’s serial killer drama "Zodiac" has been one of the year’s big underperformers and crumbled 63% to an estimated $1.2M. The $65M film has collected only $31.7M thus far and looks to end with a disappointing $34M.
The Eddie Murphy hit "Norbit" has performed much better for Paramount and grossed an estimated $1M this weekend, off 63%, pushing the total to $94.1M. A $96M final is likely. Hugh Grant‘s latest comedy has made half as much. "Music and Lyrics," co-starring Drew Barrymore, fell 60% to an estimated $920,000 pushing the total to $49.2M. Look for a $51M final.
Fox Searchlight once again generated the best per-theater average in the Top 20 with Mira Nair‘s "The Namesake" which expanded from 41 to 117 theaters and grossed an estimated $1.4M. Averaging a sturdy $11,581 per site, the PG-13 pic upped its total to $2.7M and will add another 125 theaters this Friday.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
A half-dozen new soldiers enter the marketplace this weekend trying to topple the kingdom of "300" which has reigned supreme at the box office for the past two weeks.
Mark Wahlberg toplines the sniper thriller "Shooter," animated ninja turtles fight crime in "TMNT," and mutated zombies attack in "The Hills Have Eyes 2." In addition, moviegoers will get to choose from the kids adventure "The Last Mimzy," the sports saga "Pride," and the Adam Sandler drama "Reign Over Me." Holdovers should witness some large declines as these new pics all fight over the time and attention of ticket buyers. The box office may not have room for all to survive.
Seventeen years after shocking the film industry with a record March opening, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back but in animated form in "TMNT." The Warner Bros. toon features the voices of Patrick Stewart, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ziyi Zhang and carries a PG rating that is friendly for kids. Given the violence, "TMNT" should skew more to boys and might even pull in those who grew up with the characters in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With all the R-rated films recently, there have not been too many choices for kids this spring. "The Last Mimzy" is the only new release that will provide direct competition for that audience. Bringing its turtle power to 3,110 theaters, "TMNT" may generate a bow of roughly $16M this weekend.
Hot off his recent Oscar nomination, Mark Wahlberg hits the big screen in the action thriller "Shooter" playing a former Marine sniper trying to clear his name after being wrongly accused of trying to assassinate the U.S. President. The R-rated film comes from "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua and co-stars Danny Glover and Michael Peña. The film is banking on the starpower of Wahlberg who has been able to anchor hits in recent years. Late summer pics like last year’s "Invincible" and 2005’s "Four Brothers" opened to $17M and $21.2M, respectively, and brought in solid sales overall. "Shooter" is targeting the adult action crowd with appeal that will reach both men and women. Certainly "300" will play to much of the same audience and be a factor. Though no Damon or Cruise, Wahlberg has indeed become a believable action hero and is in a role that audiences will buy him in. Plus his Academy nod for "The Departed" has only increased audience respect for the former rapper. Opening in 2,600 theaters, "Shooter" might take in about $16M for the weekend.
Last March, Fox Searchlight hit gold with the horror remake "The Hills Have Eyes" which bowed to $15.7M and grossed $41.8M overall. A year later, the sequel is born this time coming out through Fox Atomic, the studio’s new division geared towards young adult audiences with genre fare. "Eyes 2" once again is targeting the horror crowd with slick marketing hoping to lure in those seeking R-rated gore and violence. Plus the distributor is premiering the trailer to the upcoming fright sequel "28 Weeks Later" with the new "Hills" installment to help give moviegoers more for their money. Much of the audience for the first pic will probably return, although the sequel will face more competition as "300" and "Shooter" will both be drawing in young men. Attacking 2,500 theaters, "The Hills Have Eyes 2" could open to around $13M this weekend.
New Line studio chief Bob Shaye steps back into the director’s chair with the family adventure "The Last Mimzy" based on a popular short story. The "E.T."-like film about a boy and a girl who find a mysterious animal with mystical powers hopes to attract an audience of kids and parents, but will have to face some stiff competition from its studio’s former heroes, the Ninja Turtles. That toon should take away more boys than girls so "Mimzy" may end up skewing a bit more female. New Line hopes that much of the crowd that spent $75M and counting on "Bridge to Terabithia" will take a spin with this new effects-filled fantasy so sneak previews were held to help raise awareness and get buzz spreading. Still, a competitive environment will probably cut into its potential. Landing in over 3,000 sites, "The Last Mimzy" might gross about $12M this weekend.
Targeting the African American audience this weekend is Lionsgate with its swim team drama "Pride" starring Terrence Howard. The PG-rated film will try to appeal to males with the sports saga and females with its human drama and half-nude muscular men. But Howard has not yet proven that he can open a picture on his own and "Pride" may not be the one to increase his future salary demands. "Remember the Titans" and "Coach Carter" both opened north of $20M and much of that was due to starpower. Plus Chris Rock found out last week that African Americans will not just show up for any film with a predominantly black cast. Diving into 1,518 theaters, "Pride" could swim to a weekend gross of about $7M.
Adam Sandler goes back to serious territory with the R-rated drama "Reign Over Me" playing a man whose life fell apart after his wife and kids were killed on 9/11. It’s no surprise Sony is releasing the film given all the cash the comedian has made for the studio over the years. Don Cheadle and Jada Pinkett Smith co-star. Given the subject matter, the rating, and Sandler’s Bob Dylan haircut, the actor’s core audience of immature young males will not be lining up this time. Remember "Spanglish‘"s $8.8M bow? Well, it could get worse for "Reign." After "United 93" and "World Trade Center," demand isn’t very high for yet another look at September 11. Given all the choices in the marketplace, adult audiences will be divided between many films so only a small slice might go this way. Debuting in 1,671 venues, "Reign Over Me" could open with about $6M.
The mighty King Leonidas barely broke a sweat over the last two weeks in his box office victories. But the invading armies this weekend will pose a great threat to "300"’s rule. "Shooter" and "Hills" will provide the most direct competition. A 50% drop may be in order which would leave the Warner Bros. epic with roughly $16.5M for the frame and an impressive $157M in 17 days.
LAST YEAR: Spike Lee and Denzel Washington joined forces for the heist thriller "Inside Man" and found themselves at number one with a potent $29M opening. Universal went on to collect $88.5M domestically and $183M worldwide. The competing actioner "V for Vendetta" dropped from first to second with $12.3M falling 52% in its second weekend. Debuting in third was the horror flick "Stay Alive" with $10.7M on its way to $23.1M for Buena Vista. Rounding out the top five were "Failure to Launch" with $10.5M and "The Shaggy Dog" with $9M, both in their third weekends. Bowing in seventh place was the blue collar comedy "Larry the Cable Guy" with $6.9M leading to a $15.7M final.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies we’ve got turtle power ("TMNT"), whimsy ("The Last Mimzy," starring Timothy Hutton), conspiracies ("Shooter," starring Mark Wahlberg), buddies ("Reign Over Me," starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle), swimmers ("Pride," starring Terrence Howard), and cannibals ("The Hills Have Eyes 2"). What do the critics have to say?
"TMNT" marks a CG return for the pizza-loving, sewer-dwelling 1980s icons. However, to paraphrase the theme song, it appears movie critics are unwilling to cut "TMNT" any slack. The film details the turtles’ attempt to defeat an army of ancient warriors and the Foot Clan, despite dissention in the ranks. Critics say the CG animation looks fine, but the story is lacking, and "TMNT" lacks the goofy charm of its lower-fidelity predecessors. At 20 percent on the Tomatometer, this one appears to be a bit short on turtle power.
Based upon a short story by Lewis Padgett, "The Last Mimzy" tells the fanciful tale of two siblings who, after discovering a box of discarded toys, gain special powers, get involved with time travel, win a science contest, and run afoul with the Patriot Act. If this sounds ambitious for a kids flick, critics agree. In fact, they’re saying it’s too ambitious: despite excellent moments, "Mimzy" lacks focus and frequently veers towards awkward, New Age feelgoodness. It’s at 52 percent Tomatometer.
Leaving the extravagance of "King Arthur" and "Tears of the Sun" behind, director Antoine Fuqua tones it down for "Shooter," a simpler kind of action flick. One man, one gun, one word for the title. Mark Wahlberg stars as former Army sniper Bob Lee Swagger (a movie moniker if there ever was one) who finds himself on the run and in the midst of a government conspiracy. The scribes say Wahlberg does a decent job, but the film skimps on logic and contains more plot holes than a target down at your local gun club. At 29 percent on the Tomatometer, "Shooter" misses the mark.
In "Reign Over Me," Adam Sandler, looking like "Blonde on Blonde"-era Bob Dylan, stars as a man still reeling from the loss of his family in the 9/11 attacks. He drops in on his college roommate (Don Cheadle), who’s got family issues of his own. Critics say "Reign Over Me" provides proof, were it needed after "Punch Drunk Love," that Adam Sandler is capable of playing serious roles, and helmer Mike Binder manages to keep the film funny and touching without overdosing on sentiment. At 73 percent on the Tomatometer, "Reign" shines.
Terrence Howard is a terrific actor, but critics say he can’t save "Pride," a by-the-numbers sports flick based on an interesting true story. Howard stars as Jim Ellis, the coach of an all-African American high school swim team; the squad faces a number of obstacles, from racism to unsympathetic city officials. The pundits say Howard gives another outstanding performance, but "Pride" sinks under the weight of cliché. It currently stands at 38 percent on the Tomatometer.
The peepers of critics have yet to grace "The Hills Have Eyes 2," since it wasn’t screened. This sequel to a remake tells the tale of a group of National Guardsmen who stumble upon a group of cannibals in the New Mexico desert. Finish up that tasty meal you’re eating and Guess the Tomatometer.
Also opening this week in limited release: "Air Guitar Nation," a spirited rockumentary about the art of the air strum, is at 100 percent; "Offside," Iranian master Jafar Panahi’s examination of politics through the lens of soccer, is at 95 percent; "The Page Turner," a Hitchcockian tale of revenge and music from France, is at 88 percent; "Boy Culture," featuring the trials and tribulations of three gay roommates, is at 86 percent; "Journey From the Fall," a drama about a family’s struggles at the end of the Vietnam’s civil war, is at 67 percent; "Colour Me Kubrick," a comedy about a man impersonating the director starring John Malkovich, is at 58 percent; and the noirish "First Snow," starring Guy Pearce and Piper Perabo, is at 50 percent; and "Memory," a sci-fi thriller starring Ann-Margaret and Dennis Hopper, is at 20 percent.
And finally, props to SlyDante for coming the closest to guessing "Dead Silence"’s 24 percent Tomatometer.