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Movie Reviews: Identity Thief, Side Effects, Stand Up Guys and More

Find movie reviews and movie times for theaters in and around St. Louis, MO.

Editor's Note: Some reviews and information aggregated from Moviefone.

Identity Thief

Mark Glass, Patch blogger: * This lame-brained comedy might actually be funnier that this rating indicates, though wasting gifted actors like Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy calls for consequences. Identity theft is a serious problem. That doesn’t preclude milking laughs from a hyperbolized example, but the script has to serve the cast and concept far better than this one does.

Bateman plays a corporate financial drone with a lovely family and nice little life in Denver. McCarthy not only runs up huge bills and a DUI under his name in Florida, but does so just when he’s starting a great new job that will vanish within a week if he can’t clear the record first.

Jason heads to the Sunshine State, desperately hoping she’ll ‘fess up to his boss and save his career. He discovers he’s been victimized by a woman who is part criminal and part kook. 

Despite his record of helming episodes of many worthy sitcoms, director Seth Gordon appears overmatched by the scale of a film production with multiple locations (including, alas, our own fair city). The movie is too long and too silly to work. McCarthy’s character is so ill-defined that when the action shifts to the script’s inevitable warm fuzzy bits, nothing resonates. Big disappointment. Full Review

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Stand Up Guys

Mark Glass, Patch blogger: **½ It’s almost always a treat to watch old pros play to their strength in familiar waters. This crime drama with generous doses of humor and sentimentality serves up Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Alan Arkin in one last walk on the wild side. Pacino is fresh out of jail after 28 years for a robbery that went bad; partnerWalken kept in touch, and greets him at the gates. Arkin was their wheel man, now in a nursing home from end-stage emphysema, making one of the geezers a wheezer, too.

These guys were small timers, with little to show for their careers. Even worse, the Big Boss expects Walken to whack Pacino, because one of Al’s bullets killed the guy’s son in the battle that sent Al up the river. No credit for his long silence that kept the rest of them out of prison. The film covers a long day and night that may, or may not, be Al’s last. That’s time enough for  some hookers, boozing, burglary and bloodshed, along with covering a subplot, or two.

Walken and Pacino are the tough guys, with Arkin adding a different skill set to their criminal capabilities. They could have called the film Two and a Half Thugs. Whatever the premise, the trio sells the product nicely, and should please their legions of fans, as the actors and their characters live up to the title. Full Review

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Side Effects

From the Arizona Republic: "Ultimately, think of the movie as a puzzle box in which all the pieces fit together wonderfully well. Once you step back and take a look at how it’s all put together, you have to marvel at how cleverly constructed the whole thing is." Full Review

 

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