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Jolie, Pacino, Wahlberg have just the right thrill

Action flicks and thrillers are the perfect excuse to eat popcorn with friends.
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Car chases, mysterious deaths, and shootouts, oh my! If after seeing blockbusters like “The Hulk” and “Indiana Jones,” you still need an action fix, Hollywood has plenty of other contenders this spring. Angelina Jolie, Keanu Reeves check in with taut action flicks, while Al Pacino, Uma Thurman and Mark Walhberg are ready to tickle your brain with some thrills.

James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common, Angelina JolieDirector: Timur BekmambetovStory: Based on Mark Millar’s graphic-novel series, this film tells the story of Wes (McAvoy), a dissatisfied cubicle-dweller who meets a mysterious woman named Fox (Jolie) who gives him entre into a different world. She recruits him into the Fraternity to avenge his father’s death and teaches him, along with the group’s leader Sloan (Freeman), how to become an assassin. One to watch? Yes. Berkmambetov is the Russian director responsible for “Night Watch” and “Day Watch,” which have become cult favorites. And the stars, including Jolie, were reportedly fans of the filmmaker, according to Berkmambetov described the film to, “The hero will discover the whole world. It looks ordinary, but it’s not. It’s an industrial world filled with weaving machines, lots of traps, lot of looms flying back and forth and predicting the future... The weavers can read the fabric ... Then they know who has to be killed to keep the balance of the world.” Coming: June 27Web site:

“88 Minutes”
Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, Amy Brenneman, Deborah Kara Unger, Benjamin McKenzie, Neal McDonoughDirector: Jon AvnetStory: College professor and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Jack Gramm (Pacino) receives a phone call telling him he’s got 88 minutes to live. Among the suspects is a serial killer, the Seattle Slayer (McDonough), who Gramm’s testimony helped land on death row. Along the way, Gramm gets implicated in a murder that may put all the cases he’s testified for in jeopardy. One to watch? No. Something fishy’s going on here. This film was wrapped back in 2005 and has sat on the studio’s shelf until now. critic Stephen Halley wrote, “ ‘88 Minutes’ is the kind of movie that stars Michael Madison and goes straight to DVD not Al Pacino. It boggles the mind that director Jon Avent and Pacino read the script and thought this is a good movie.”  Coming: April 18Web site:

“Street Kings”
Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Naomie Harris, Jay Mohr, John Corbett, Cedric the EntertainerDirector: David AyerStory: Tom Ludlow (Reeves) is a Los Angeles cop, recovering from the death of his wife. Suspected in the death of a fellow officer, Ludlow is under the scrutiny of his boss (Whitaker) and an Internal Affairs officer (Laurie). He teams up with a young robbery homicide detective (Evans) to find the real killers, and both find themselves stepping over the legal boundaries in pursuit of justice. One to watch? Probably not. C’mon, anything this movie can do, “The Shield’s” final season (coming in Sept.) can do better and with more depth. Back in 2005, Spike Lee was in talks to direct this thriller before Ayer (who also wrote “Training Day”) got the green light to direct it himself. Coming: April 11Web site:

The Life Before Her Eyes