Glenn Gers

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Mad Money Review

Why should George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and their Las Vegas crew have all of the fun? Callie Khouri's clever Mad Money lets the girls in on the action for a change, as Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes hatch a scheme to "withdraw" funds from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Suburban socialite Bridget (Keaton) cooks up the inside job after her husband's financial ruin forces her to take custodial work at the bank. After all, she has to figure some way to fund her cushy, upper-class comfort zone crafted by greed. Bridget's foolproof plan requires help. She recruits flighty cash transporter Jackie (Holmes) and struggling single mom Nina (Latifah), whose job requires she shred bills that are no longer in circulation.

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Fracture Review

It is hardly a reassuring sign when one of the more interesting things in a film is not even sentient. Over the title sequence of Fracture, and in the midst of some of the duller stretches (of these there are many) we see a glittering sort of Rube Goldberg contraption, all shiny metallic tracks and carved wooden wheels, where small glass balls skitter and roll in an elaborately choreographed dance. It's a beautiful piece of elegant machinery and, one hopes, symbolic of the many complex and artfully managed plot twists to come. Instead, what we're given is Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling sleepwalking around each other as they navigate through one of the year's laziest films.

Fracture has no excuse to be so lazy, given the actors at its disposal and a setup that should have made this an easy slam-dunk. Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, an aeronautics engineer who's found out that his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) is having an affair with police detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Confronting her at home, Crawford shoots her in the head and calmly waits for the cops to arrive. When they do, it's with none other than Nunally at the lead, who's shocked and enraged at finding Jennifer in a pool of blood and Crawford standing there as though nothing had happened. After a quickly-interrupted beating from Nunally, Crawford later confesses and even waives his right to a lawyer. When it's all dropped in the lap of assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Gosling), the case couldn't seem more airtight, which is good since Beachum can't wait to slip the bonds of lowly civil employment for a well-paying private sector job.

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Brother's Keeper (2002) Review

Does anything inspire as much horror as the title card, "USA Network Presents"?

Brother's Keeper -- not the 1992 documentary about a hillbilly who murders his brother -- is a ridiculously stupid story about a detective who tries to protect her brother despite the fact that he's a serial killer. Standard thriller ensues.

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