Quick reviews of films currently in Columbus theaters.
"The Art of the Steal"
This doc, opening Friday at the Drexel, digs into one of the art world's most fascinating controversies - the struggle for control of the Barnes Foundation, a private art collection valued at $25 billion.
A cute if tiring experiment, this doc follows four kids from different cultures through their first year, using an unobtrusive single camera and no voiceover. Grade: B
"Birdemic: Shock and Terror"
A small town is under siege by homicidal eagles and vultures. Sounds like a late-night flick to us. The Ohio premiere unspools at midnight Friday and Saturday at the Drexel.
"The Exploding Girl"
A shy and reticent whisper of a film, this mumblecore tale of the awkward fumblings of twentysomethings is either lovely or dull, depending on your perspective. Grade: A-
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
A moody murder-mystery, the Swedish-language adaptation is lucky to have landed Noomi Rapace for the "tough but damaged" lead role. Grade: A-
Ben Stiller is the unlikable guy at the heart of writer-director Noah Baumbach's awkward, funny and sweet love story, one of the year's best. Grade: A
"Iron Man 2"
Robert Downey Jr. and his magical mechanical suit are back for more thrills, thankfully avoiding the villain-overload that's plagued other sequels. Grade: B
Common and Queen Latifah team up for this rom-com about a straight-shooting physical therapist who falls for a pro baller.
Irreverent and violent, this DIY take on superhero angst is smart and witty enough that it shouldn't be relegated to cult status. Grade: B+
"Letters to Juliet"
This shameless romance finds Amanda Seyfried and Gael Garcia Bernal tied in long-lost-love knots with Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Egan. Bring a date. Grade: B
A wheelchair-bound young woman (Sylvie Testud) makes a life-changing journey to the iconic pilgrimage site in the Pyrenees Mountains in this French flick.
"A Nightmare on Elm Street"
A faithful reboot of Wes Craven's classic bedtime bloodbath features updated effects and a solid lead, with Jackie Earle Haley filling Freddy's sweater. Grade: B
"The Philadelphia Story"
The Gateway Film Center kicks off its Kate x 3 series, featuring Katharine Hepburn, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett, with the Hepburn classic on Sunday.
"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"
The Late Night Pride series continues this weekend at the Gateway Film Center with a drag-tastic road trip across the Australian Outback.
Russell Crowe will be the latest in a long line of actors to tackle the folk-hero outlaw in this Ridley Scott flick.
Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo plays a black child born to white Afrikaners in 1950s South Africa who struggles to find her place in the world. Opens Thursday at the Drexel.