17 Again (2009) **½ Director, Burr Steers, whose other credits include Igby Goes Down and stints directing TV shows, keeps people and things moving fast enough so that you don’t have time to worry about the details, like the inanity of the story.
Alien Trespass (2009) **½ Although it’s refreshing that this film doesn’t indulge in the sort of mindless, gross-out humor that afflicts so many current cinematic spoofs, it errs too much on the other side, offering mere pastiche instead of witty satire.
The Class (2008) ***** Filmmaker Laurent Cantet’s real-time classroom scenes are revelations: They make you understand that teaching is moment to moment, an endless series of negotiations that hang on intangibles—on imagination and empathy and the struggle to stay centered. This is a remarkable movie.
Gigantic (2009) ** It’s just not all that interesting to watch two pretty young things go through the muddled rituals of the pas de duh when I can, you know, do it just as poorly myself.
Gooby (2009) Unseen by me.
I Love You, Man (2009) ***½ The picture is worth catching for the delicate and toxic nuances of Paul Rudd’s performance. And one of its funniest corollaries is that it shows how hilarious and instructive a star this perennial supporting player can be.
Nights and Weekends (2008) *** Some may find the result boring or unpolished, but there’s poetry — not to mention a fair dose of comedy — in the mix.
Paris 36 (2009) ** The movie is essentially a pastiche, as musty as a flea market.