By Alynda Wheat Julie Jordan Andra Chantim Rennie Dyball
March 15, 2010 12:00 PM

Alice in Wonderland

Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway | PG |



“You were much more muchier. You’ve lost your muchness,” says the Mad Hatter (Depp) when he reunites with his pal Alice. He has a point. Tim Burton’s artsy take on Lewis Carroll’s classic sends a grown Alice (Wasikowska) back to what the director has redubbed “Underland.” There, she must overthrow the tyrannical Red Queen (a delightfully bombastic Bonham Carter). From there, as Alice would say, things get curiouser and curiouser. Too bad this trip down the rabbit hole looks so murky and feels so dull. That and some violence-no fewer than three characters get their eyes gouged-make it all a bit much for little ones. Wasikowska is a pleasant if unremarkable Alice. But it’s Depp, a Burton favorite, who steals the show as a sweetly psychotic Hatter. By turns heartbreaking and scary, he provides the inspired lunacy the rest of the film needs.

Brooklyn’s Finest

Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes |



Sometimes a movie bites off more than it can chew. Such is the case in this tale of three troubled cops: a burned-out veteran (Gere), a family man with questionable morals (Hawke) and an undercover officer who wants out (Cheadle). Each bears his personal burden like a badge in this film from Antoine Fuqua, who directed the superior 2001 cop drama Training Day, also costarring Hawke. Finest features moments of searing tension and some strong performances-Hawke does twitchy and tortured particularly well-but there’s too much going on for a viewer to invest in any of them. As the shootout-heavy Finest rumbles on for two-plus hours, the end result is just a bloody mess.