IN "MONEYBALL," we learn that cash-strapped baseball GMs in places like Oakland, Calif., can use algebra to find enough undervalued players to field a competitive team.
Gary Thompson: The original "Straw Dogs" caused a sensation in 1971. The remake has the hapless job of bringing then-shocking elements before a contemporary audience. It ends up being received as a grisly comedy, and if that's your thing, you could do worse.
WHILE THE HOOK of "Gun Hill Road," the debut film from Rashaad Ernesto Green, is the budding transsexuality of one of its main characters, it's most powerful in its quiet moments that deal with the familial dynamics of a family torn apart by incarceration.
"I DON'T KNOW How She Does It" - built around the frazzled lives of a two-career couple - probably seemed funnier back when couples had two careers.
"HIGHER GROUND" profiles a Christian woman undergoing a crisis of faith in a fundamentalist church with no room for doubters.
Gary Thompson: HERE'S WHAT the movies tell us about guys who like to drive cars: They don't talk much. Ryan Gosling in "Drive," plays a stoic getaway man who gets involved in the life of the single damsel in distress next door.
There's a horrible virus loose in "Contagion," but the good news is it seems to kill mainly actors.
Gary Thompson: The fight film "Warrior" is like the rousing "Rocky" sequel that Stallone never thought of.
IF WE END the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we might be able to repatriate leaders who could reduce the courage deficit and the numskullsurplus in Washington.
Gary Thompson: "Attack the Block" has a cast of nobodies, the cheesiest special effects this side of Velveeta, and it's the best sci-fi movie you'll see this summer.
EAST IS EAST, West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
JESSICA CHASTAIN appears to be the hardest-working woman in show business.
IN 1947 GRAHAM GREENE wrote a screenplay for the first adaptation of his novel "Brighton Rock," but left his original idea for the film's ending on the page.
Gary Thompson: Guillermo Del Toro has vowed his "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" will cause folks to poop in their pants, but if you go, don't bother donning Depends.
Gary Thompson: The title rube in "Our Idiot Brother" will be tagged as an updated Forrest Gump, but his roots go all the way back to Voltaire's original dope, Candide.
If the trillion-dollar war on drugs has failed to put a dent in substance abuse, perhaps a viewing of "Magic Trip" will succeed.
RACING SUPERSTAR Ayrton Senna was handsome, famous, supernaturally talented and, because he was all of those things, compulsively photographed.
IN THE misleadingly titled "One Day," the will-they-or-won't-they/made-for-each-other scenario gets stretched tortuously on the rack of time.
Gary Thompson: The new "Fright Night" is pointlessly released in 3-D, but most of the money goes to the right places, a smartly chosen cast and script.
Gary Thompson: Brevity is the organizing principle of the fast, foul and frequently funny, "30 Minutes or Less," which plops Oscar-nominated nerd Jesse Eisenberg into a posse of R-rated comedy pros.