new this week in U.S., Canadian, and U.K. theaters: ‘The A-Team,’ ‘The Karate Kid,’ ‘Letters to Juliet,’ ‘Brooklyn’s Finest,’ more


The A-Team: A stirring drama of wrongly convicted patriots who get mad and kick some ass.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

The A-Team (1983-1987): The entire series is newly available in a cool new box set.
The Great Escape (1963): This Steve McQueen military classic is explictly referenced in the new movie, which also features four — count ’em — great escapes itself.
Smokin’ Aces (2006): Before director Joe Carnahan took on Hannibal and his boys, he gave us this bit of the ol’ ultraviolence.
Stealth (2005): If you like Jessica Biel as A-Team’s badass military chick, you’ll probably like her badass military pilot here.

The Karate Kid: The kid is so dangerous, I don’t want to be the one to tell him he’s actually doing kung fu, not karate.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

The Karate Kid (1984): Might as well go back to the original, particularly since there doesn’t seem to have been any great demand for a remake.
Kung Fu Panda (2008): Actually a much better film about learning martial arts and learning about yourself.
The Forbidden Kingdom (2008): Another Western kid gets seduced into Eastern wisdom and ass-kickery. Also better than the new film (and it’s got Jackie Chan, too).
Agent Cody Banks (2003): From director Harald Zwart, another teen tepid adventure.


Letters to Juliet: Amanda Seyfried is soooo pretty! Also: Yes, people over 40 — or 60! — are still interested in romance. Surprise!

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003): Ugly old hag Diane Lane finds romance in Italy.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993): More romance in Italy, Shakespeare style, via Kenneth Branagh. Quite possibly one of the most life-affirming movies ever.
Romeo + Juliet (1996): Why are people writing to Juliet, anyway? Because she had this awesome doomed romance. Baz Luhrmann investigates.
Tadpole (2002): Before director Gary Winick starting making crap rom-coms (13 Going on 30, Bride Wars, hopefully not Juliet), he made this indie, about a teenaged boy who falls in love with a much older woman.

Brooklyn’s Finest: A gritty drama of the tough, morally complicated positions of three NYPD cops in the borough’s roughest precinct.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

Training Day (2001): Also from director Antoine Fuqua, about the roughest 24 hours one Los Angeles cop will ever face.
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007): For an Ethan Hawke character on the other side of the law, check out his slimy thief here.
Internal Affairs (1990): For Richard Gere as a grade-A bad guy with a badge, the flip side of exhausted, aloof veteran in Finest.
Traitor (2008): For Don Cheadle’s exquisite performance as a terrorist who may be more complicated than he at first appears.

Black Death: Sean Bean and Carice van Houten in a medieval horror film about the horrific plague that decimated Europe in the Dark Ages. Looks like we have to go outside Hollywood these days — this is a join U.K./Germany production — for original ideas.

Greenberg: Ben Stiller is trying to find himself, which is the new midlife crisis. [trailer]

Where to buy/watch:
Agent Cody Banks [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The A-Team [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Forbidden Kingdom [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Great Escape [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Internal Affairs [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Karate Kid [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Kung Fu Panda [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Much Ado About Nothing [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Romeo + Juliet [Region 1/U.S.] [watch on demand in the U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Smokin’ Aces [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Stealth [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Tadpole [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Training Day [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Traitor [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Under the Tuscan Sun [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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