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Ty's movie picks for Friday May 21

Posted by Ty Burr  May 21, 2010 09:07 AM

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Offence.jpgHonestly, the pickings are pretty slim this weekend. Do we really need a fourth "Shrek"? In craptastic 3D yet? Survey says nuh-uh. And the surprisingly warm-and-fuzzy early line on "MacGruber" mostly reflects the fact that it's not as scrape-your-shoe awful as the usual "SNL" spin-off. (Hiring Val Kilmer as the villain: Smart.)

Documentary "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" tries to make the Jack Abramoff scandal entertainingly/horrifyingly clear and mostly succeeds. "Looking for Eric" is a sweet, funny change of pace for British director Ken Loach, and if you want to run to see soccer great Eric Cantona play himself as a spirit guide to the film's schlubby hero, I can't really blame you.

Elsewhere, two directors get the spotlight treatment: Portugal's Cesar Monteiro at the Harvard Film Archive and Sidney Lumet, Hollywood's greatest proponent of '70s Manhattan grit, at the Museum of Fine Arts. The latter series offers the expected ("Murder on the Orient Express"; "Serpico," featuring Al Pacino when he still took it all seriously) but also includes the little-seen "The Offence" (1972), with Sean Connery (in photo above) in terrific if ultra-grim form as a British police detective who pops his cork after grilling one too many child molesters.

You missed the Safdie brothers -- BU grads who made good at Cannes a few years back -- at the Brattle last night, but their latest scruffy, subtle character study, "Daddy Longlegs," is playing until the 27th. Apparently this portrait of a shiftless father to two young kids is based loosely on Benny and Josh's own dad, which does or doesn't explain a few things. And over at the Coolidge, you can still catch up with actor Bob Deveau tonight as he accompanies both of filmmaker Larry Blamire's latest post-Ed Wood oddities, "Dark and Stormy Night" and "The Lost Skeleton Returns Again." Good Robot Monster-style fun. 

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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