By Leah Rozen
March 13, 2006 12:00 PM

Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse

BY LEAH ROZEN

SUSPENSE

CRITIC’S CHOICE

Here’s to aging gracefully. Rather than trying to prove he’s still Die Hard hard-bodied, Bruce Willis, who turns 51 March 19, affects a paunch, a limp and a near permanent hangover as a burned-out Manhattan police detective in 16 Blocks. The result: a character-driven crime drama that’s highly watchable. While no one’s going to be touting this one at Oscar time next year, Blocks is the kind of movie for which Saturday nights were made.

Willis plays Det. Jack Mosley, who’s assigned at the end of his overnight shift to escort petty criminal Eddie Bunker (Def) to court 16 blocks away. When bad guys keep trying to bump off Bunker during the trip, Mosley must decide just how far he’ll go to get his man to court.

Credit director Richard Donner (the Lethal Weapon series) with orchestrating an appealing relationship between Mosley and Bunker, providing involving action scenes and giving Willis and Def the latitude to add just enough eccentric touches to their characters to hoist Blocks a few blocks above the ordinary. (PG-13)

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