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Film Clips: Tonight's movie openings and more January 29 2010

OPENING FRIDAY

EDGE OF DARKNESS 2 stars (R ) In his first film role in nearly eight years, Mel Gibson plays a Boston homicide detective who suspects his daughter (Bojana Novakovic) was assassinated by a sinister nuclear research corporation. Casino Royale director Martin Campbell punctuates long, moody scenes with eruptions of terrifying violence, but the script grows increasingly self-important and incoherent as it goes along. Gibson’s Boston accent and slow-burn performance suggest Robert De Niro in cop mode, but the roles combination of rage and martyrdom will do little to counteract Gibson’s image problems. — Curt Holman__


35 SHOTS OF RUM 3 stars (NR) French director Clair Denis’ delicate drama focuses on the tender relationship between a subway-driving father (Alex Descas) and his anthropology student daughter (Mati Diop). Deliberately paced and seemingly uneventful, the film builds to deeply felt epiphanies in subtle gestures that take the viewer by surprise. Denis ignores Parisian tourist spots to offer a lovely snapshot of Paris’ immigrant communities, where there’s more going on than initially meets the eye. — Holman

WHEN IN ROME 2 stars (PG-13) – Workaholic Beth (Kristen Bell) travels to Rome for her younger sister’s (Alexis Dziena) whirlwind marriage, where she meets and falls for best man Nick (Josh Duhamel). The lovelorn Beth ends up barefoot and drunk in the coin-filled fountain of amore outside the church, cursing the monument. She pockets four of the coins believing she’s doing their owners a favor. Lightening strikes, though, and the coins’  tossers — a Chris Angel wannabe (John Heder, who’s looking more and more like Carrot Top), sausage CEO (Danny Devito), male model (Dax Shepard) and a struggling  artist (Will Arnett) — fall in love with her instead. If it sounds convoluted and ridiculous, that’s because it is. — Debbie Michaud__