The Grey (R): After their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, a group of oil workers (led by a gruff 'n' gnarled Liam Neeson) must battle starvation, subzero temps and the pack of wolves that's stalking them.
It's an odd mix of creature feature and pathos, a B-movie with artsy aspirations. It's a bit clunky. But unlike most action movies, 'Grey' takes a long, hard look at the death it's dealing. And there's something admirable about a killer wolf movie that tries to say something meaningful. Grade: B-
Rampart (R): Woody Harrelson plays a cop so dirty he makes "The Shield's" Vic Mackey look like a pretty OK guy.
Set in 1999 Los Angeles, "Rampart" tracks the veteran cop's descent into a hell of his own making. Harrelson's of course fantastic, but the movie's a little too loose and freewheeling to ever be fully engrossing. Grade: B-
Chronicle (PG-13): "Chronicle" takes two increasingly stale genres (the found footage movie and the superhero movie) and mashes them into something fresh and exciting.
Three high school friends make an alien discovery, which gives them various super powers: flying, moving objects with their minds. It's all fine and well until the most-troubled of the trio starts using his powers to harm others.
The found-footage element, a device that's had diminishing returns since "The Blair Witch Project," is nonetheless the perfect fit for the movie's story. Our heroes/villains are part of a generation obsessed with documenting their specialness. Now that they're truly special, it makes sense they'd want to film everything they do. Grade: B+
Also out on DVD Tuesday:
"Albert Nobbs," "One for the Money," "The Devil Inside"