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Movie Scores: How the weekend's new movies fared with the critics
With his stoic cool, Ryan Gosling is winning over critics in the retro action picture "Drive," one of several new movies opening this weekend.
Gosling stars as a wheelman known only as the Driver, who quietly, confidently moves from job to job without making emotional attachments.
AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire praised the sleek, '80s moodiness of director Nicolas Winding Refn's film, as well as Gosling's performance. "That he is such a cipher might seem frustrating, but Gosling's masculine, minimalist approach makes him mysteriously compelling," she wrote in her three-star review.
Opening to mixed reviews is "Straw Dogs," Rod Lurie's remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller. James Marsden and Kate Bosworth star as a married couple who move from Los Angeles back to Bosworth's family farm in the swamps of Mississippi, only to find themselves the targets of suspicious, surly locals. Lemire gave the movie two stars out of four, saying: "It's a movie that purports itself to be an indictment of violence, a critical exploration of the depraved depths to which man can sink when pushed. Yet Lurie ("The Contender," ''Nothing But the Truth"), as writer and director, depicts this brutality in vivid detail, to the point of almost fetishizing it."
Then there's the comedy "I Don't Know How She Does It," based on the best-seller of the same name. Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a working wife and mother of two struggling to juggle her work and home lives. Lemire writes in her two-star review: "Too often, though, (director Douglas McGrath) smothers those nuggets of insight with a jaunty, sitcommy tone, with gags that are telegraphed from a mile away and music that works awfully hard to cue our emotional responses."
Finally, in limited release is the drama "Restless" from Gus Van Sant. Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska star as a pair of teenagers obsessed with death. AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle wrote: "At its worst, 'Restless' is trite adolescence and cloying quirk, a pretty picture of young, pretty death, outfitted handsomely in autumn scarfs and cloche hats. It certainly doesn't have the spark of 'Harold and Maude.'" He gave the movie two stars out of four.
Here's a look at how these movies fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
' "Drive": Metacritic, 81; Movie Review Intelligence, 80.5; Rotten Tomatoes, 94. Average: 85.2.
' "Straw Dogs": Metacritic, 44; Movie Review Intelligence, 57.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 37. Average: 46.1.
' "I Don't Know How She Does It": Metacritic, 38; Movie Review Intelligence, 42.1; Rotten Tomatoes, 19. Average: 33.
' "Restless": Metacritic, 47; Movie Review Intelligence, 46.7; Rotten Tomatoes, 40. Average: 44.6.