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Righteous Kill—which sounds like the title of the sequel to Death Blow—stars Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino as New York detectives searching for the serial killer who murdered their acting abilities, ha ha. There are critical take-downs galore here, but this one from Rolling Stone tickled us: "Some people think Robert De Niro and Al Pacino would be a kick to watch just reading a phone book. Well, bring on that phone book. Righteous Kill, a.k.a. The Al and Bob Show, is a cop flick with all the drama of Law and Order: AARP. This movie defines drag-ass."

Burn After Reading, the Coen Brothers' giddy romp through espionage movie country, is getting some bad reviews from the big shot critics. Tellingly, some of the complaints echo the critical disdain that greeted The Big Lebowski when that comic masterpiece opened ten years ago. The Times's Manohla Dargis, who actually loves "Lebowski," faults "Burn" for lacking the heart to temper the Coen's sadistic sense of humor: "It’s a wonder they keep making films about a subject for which they often evince so little regard, namely other people."Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere differs: "I didn't laugh all that much, but I loved every minute of this thing... Either you get, agree with and derive enormous delight from dry misanthropic humor...or you don't."

091208movingmidway.jpgWhen the cousin of film critic Godfrey Cheshire decided to move the 19th century family home to make room for a Target, Cheshire started filming. The result, according to the Village Voice, is an "enthralling" documentary about Southern myth-making called Moving Midway: "Cheshire's subject is precisely the self-aggrandizing illusions about race, class, and identity that have shaped the self-image of Southern landed gentry, stoked by Hollywood movies."

Towelhead
is a coming of age black comedy about suburban racial awkwardness during the Gulf War, directed by Alan Ball, who wrote the script for American Beauty. Scott Tobias at the Onion writes, "Towelhead is like a great melting pot of writerly self-importance. From its title on down, it alarms and manipulates, and succeeds in goading the audience like a schoolyard bully." Flow, screening at Angelika, is a documentary about the worldwide water crisis. The Times says this "astonishingly wide-ranging film is less depressing than galvanizing, an informed and heartfelt examination of the tug of war between public health and private interests."

There's also The Women, starring Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Debra Messing. A.O. Scott writes: "You wait in vain for a moment of snappy repartee, of fresh emotion, of grace or charm or pathos. You wait, by the way, for a very long time — two hours that pass like the whole 13-episode jump-the-shark season of a series on basic cable — and what you get is Meg Ryan munching on a stick of butter dipped in cocoa powder as she rants and raves to her au pair and her maid about the sorry state of her life. And that’s the best scene in the movie."

And Anthology Film Archives kicks off its Robert Downey (Putney Swope) retrospective tonight. The Voice looks back and wonders, "How many syllables, Mario?" Your midnight movies are Spirited Away at the Sunshine, and The Love-Ins, released in 1967, at IFC.