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Tower Heist

Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Alan Alda | PG-13 |

COMEDY

Eddie’s back. More accurately, he’s way back-all the way to the pugnacious, raunchy comic of 48 HRS. and Trading Places. (If you’re as sick as I am of seeing him in dresses and fat suits, this is cause for celebration.) Tower Heist is an ensemble comedy, but it’s appropriate to start with Murphy, because the energy picks up significantly when his convict character, Slide, joins his neighbor Josh (Stiller) in a plot to steal $20 million. For a thief, Josh’s heart is firmly in the right place. The luxury condo manager hopes to recover his staff’s lost pensions, swindled by snide penthouse-dweller Arthur Shaw (Alda). Also along for the heist: broke banker Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick, liberally pouring the whine), and maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe, holding her own with the cast’s comedy vets). Moviegoers attached to notions like “plausibility” and “the laws of physics” might get frustrated, as Tower Heist’s final act dares you not to roll your eyes in disbelief. Still, it’s easily funny enough to snare the rest of us.

Margin Call

Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey R |

DRAMA

We didn’t need this film to prove what we’d already surmised-that the financial industry has its share of greedy dolts-but the validation is nice. Quinto stars as Peter, an up-and-comer at a New York City investment bank who uncovers the firm’s imminent meltdown. The result is a fascinating tick-tock of the night he takes his findings up the chain, with stellar performances from everyone, including Spacey as the only exec with a heart. Margin Call makes for a satisfying yarn-and a painfully relevant one.