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Kill the Irishman (Anchor Bay) — This engaging biopic about 1970s Cleveland mobster Danny Greene benefits from its low budget. Without flashy sets or big-name stars (unless Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, and some guys who were in The Sopranos count) getting in the way of the story, the movie boasts a gritty, working-class appeal in line with the characters and action. Ray Stevenson plays Greene as a power-hungry thug who always looked out for the little guy. Then he stepped on some big guys' toes and went boom. Extras include a documentary and interviews with some of the wiseguys who made it out alive.

Battle: Los Angeles (Sony)

When did alien-invasion movies get so deadly serious? Aaron Eckhart leads a group of soldiers into battle against slimy space creatures who blow the crap out of L.A. There's lots of screaming and lots of video-game-inspired first-person points of view. But there isn't a whole lot of fun.

Hall Pass (Warner)

The Farrelly Brothers' latest attempt to reclaim their crude-comedy crown from Judd Apatow and his disciples is a mess. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis get the OK from their wives to fool around, but then the ladies want to have some extramarital fun too. Kind of depressing and totally blah.

Red Riding Hood (Warner)

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke does for the fairy-tale heroine what she did for vampires: makes her a weepy, sullen teen who deserves to be eaten by the big, bad wolf. The underlying sexual themes sprinkled throughout the movie (which does look great, by the way) will leave you limp.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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