Movie reviews: Sunscreen, Kaboom, Scream 4 and more ...

New this week

6TH ANNUAL SUNSCREEN FILM FESTIVAL Invading Downtown St. Pete's BayWalk Muvico 20 from Wed., April 13-Sun., April 17 is the 6th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival. Though most festivals have panels devoted to the craft of filmmaking, Sunscreen has traditionally trumped all the other local fests when it comes to workshops with industry professionals. This year's fest will be no exception, and will also include an opening night party at the Dali Museum and screenings of both shorts and features all weekend long. For more information and advance tickets, visit

KABOOM The latest from Sundance favorite Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin, The Doom Generation), Kaboom looks to be an entertainingly off-the-wall escapade about a sexually omnivorous college student who's got a crush on his hunky roommate but isn't above hooking up with women, and whose hallucinatory adventures include being chased by "weird guys in masks." A one-night-only presentation of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Wed. Apr. 20, 7:30 p.m., Muvico Baywalk. (Not previewed)

RIO (G) An animated comedy from the makers of Ice Age that features colorful birds and the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg. As kid-friendly as they come. (Not previewed)

SCREAM 4 (R) Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette are all back for director Wes Craven's fourth spin in Ghostface's stabby neighborhood. The original Scream was a horror breakthrough in the '90s, but the two sequels that preceded this fourth outing basically sucked. (Not previewed)

Recent releases

ARTHUR (PG-13) It's a hard act to follow, but the remake of the 1981 classic starring the late-great Dudley Moore is actually pretty good. Many of the elements are in place: Dorothy Parker-esque one-liners; a dignified and generous female-nanny-spin on Hobson by Helen Mirren — like John Gielgud's original, hers are the best moments of the film and she turns in a likewise Oscar-worthy performance — and a touching romance between Russell Brand's reluctantly engaged millionaire and Greta Gerwig's working-class Naomi. Brand is affable and convincing as Arthur with several laugh-out-loud lines. One improvement: increased camera time between Hobson and Arthur. Some over-the-top choices are ill-advised, such as the Batmobile and Jennifer Garner's psychotic version of Susan. —Julie Garisto

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (PG-13) As a title, Battle: Los Angeles is the perfect summation of Hollywood's latest alien invasion fantasy. This is a war movie unconcerned with little things like plot or characterization. Oh sure, there's a general through-line (meteors land off the coast of Santa Monica, aliens arrive on shore and open a can of whoop-ass, U.S. Marines fight to rescue civilians and stay alive) and a few characters get some depth, most notably Aaron Eckhart's Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz. But Battle: Los Angeles only aspires to be a loud, rocking combat film (think Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down), and on that score it's a blast. —Joe Bardi

HANNA (PG-13) Raised in the forest by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA agent, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is a smart, attentive teenager who is also an expert at self-defense and survival. Her training in the woods is just the first of many rites of passage, including a looming showdown with the ruthless CIA agent (Cate Blanchett) responsible for Hanna and her father's exile. Working from a screenplay that keeps viewers off balance, director Joe Wright (Atonement) builds the suspense with a watchmaker's precision. Potent as Wright's direction is, the movie belongs to Ronan, who is astonishing in the title role. —Anthony Salveggi

INSIDIOUS (R) With two young sons and a baby welcomed to the family, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) move into a new house that has all the familiar makings of being haunted. The new home, however, is not the problem. Dalton, the oldest child, has an accident in the attic (a conspicuously ominous attic, of course) and soon falls into what doctors believe is a coma. Once he returns home, still in his coma-like state, the haunting begins. Insidious plays a little too much like a Halloween haunted house in parts, with miscellaneous ghouls and goblins seemingly lurking around every corner, but the genuine fear we feel with every step the characters take ultimately outweighs the camp factor. —Daniel Feingold

LIMITLESS (PG-13) Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, an average guy made super intelligent by an experimental pill. With ample time to knock it back and fully optimize the drug's value, Morra goes from the predictable first steps (getting laid, etc.) into the big game — namely a spot in the boardroom with business shark Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro). Limitless is twisty and turny without being confusing, fast-paced without being obnoxious, well-cast, well-played and overall just a lot of fun. Cooper is obviously having a blast and hoping you will too. And I promise you won't see the end coming. —Shannon Bennett

THE LINCOLN LAWYER (R) Despite its flaws, The Lincoln Lawyer cruises along thanks to the immense charisma and fine acting of star Matthew McConaughey. Fortunately, he doesn't have to shoulder the burden of this familiar crime yarn by himself. Top to bottom, the movie has been exceptionally well cast, with noteworthy work by Josh Lucas as a prosecuting attorney and Marisa Tomei as McConaughey's ex. Even Ryan Phillippe, with his bland face and limited range of expressions, seems an ideal choice in the part of a rich brat accused of viciously beating a prostitute. Good thing for those performances, too. As it reaches the back end of its lumbering two-hour running time, The Lincoln Lawyer becomes increasingly impatient to set things right, glossing over its stupid plot developments in the process. —AS

SOUL SURFER (PG) It's probably impossible to walk away from Sean McNamara's Soul Surfer without feeling inspired. Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's Annasophia Robb), a competitive surfer who overcame the loss of her left arm in a shark attack at the age of 13, the film has a strong cast — Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Kevin Sorbo (TV's Hercules), country star Carrie Underwood in her film debut — and some excellent on-the-waves photography, with Robb's portrayal of Bethany Hamilton one of its chief strengths. —Tony Allen

SOURCE CODE (PG13) In this cerebral and engrossing sci-fi mystery, the titular "code" is a top-secret government project that promises to send the consciousness of one person (say, a soldier played by Jake Gyllenhaal) into the body of another. Two catches: You can only jump into people after they're dead, and you only get to replay the last eight minutes of their lives. Gyllenhaal is tasked with jumping into the body of a man on a commuter train bound for Chicago that has already been destroyed in a terrorist attack and flushing the bomber out. Source Code is wonderful, heady, entertaining sci-fi that owes a large part of its success to fleshed-out characters that the audience will genuinely care about. —JB

YOUR HIGHNESS (R) While Fabious (James Franco) is out slaying dragons and going on epic quests, his brother, Thadeous (Danny McBride) is all about getting drunk and high, and living a life of leisure. When Fabious' bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), is kidnapped by Leezar, the evil sorcerer (Justin Theroux) Thadeous reluctantly joins his brother and the beautiful and battle-ready Isabel (Natalie Portman) on a quest to rescue her. While Director David Gordon Green achieved action-comedy success with 2008's Pineapple Express, here he gets carried away with sorcery, dragons and other stereotypical medieval bullshit. Your Highness will make you laugh a little, and if you're into big-budget action fantasies, then you will probably appreciate it more than I did. Just don't expect Pineapple Express-funny. —TA