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Mr. Moviefone reviews 'The Mechanic' and 'The Rite'

01/28/2011 by 'Mr. Moviefone' Russ Leatherman

The Oscar nominations were announced this week so a lot of you might be checking out one of those movies this weekend.

But there are two new movies in theaters that I'm pretty sure we won't be talking about come Oscar time next year, but they still pack a serious wallop.

First up, Jason Statham is a stone-cold killer in "The Mechanic."

Methodical and meticulous, Statham's character is the best in the killing biz. But when his mentor, played by Donald Sutherland, becomes a target, Statham's latest job gets personal and complicated. Also looking for revenge is Sutherland's son, played by Ben Foster, and together with Statham, they are a two-man killing crew.

The Reel Deal: It's not as funny as the "Crank" movies, but better than "The Transporter." Even though "The Mechanic" needs a tune up, on the sheer kick-buttedness of Jason Statham and Ben Foster together, and the prospects of another pairing down the road, I'm in. (But just by a small socket wrench)

Are you ready to exercise some demons? Anthony Hopkins has a date with the devil in "The Rite."

Inspired by true events (and aren't they all), Hopkins plays father Lucas, a legendary priest who has performed thousands of exorcisms. But when a seminary student questions the practice and things go horribly wrong, they find out the devil did indeed make them do it.

The Reel Deal: Here's the thing: We're right in that "I guess it could have been worse" territory.

Anthony Hopkins is channeling his best Hannibal Lecter, which is interesting on a nostalgic level but a little sad. There's absolutely nothing new to offer (it's not like this is a new spin on the exorcism movie), so paying 12 bucks a ticket for "The Rite" seems a little wrong. I'm out.

Back in theaters: "Biutiful," in which the Oscar-nominated Javier Bardem plays a father at war with himself and his surroundings in the underworld of Barcelona. And "From Prada to Nada," a modern day Latina twist on "Sense and Sensibility" set in Beverly Hills -- Better get your tickets early for that one.

For all your showtimes, tickets, my Six Second Reviews and so much more, go to America's favorite movie guide, Moviefone.com, or you can call 1-800-777-FILM. If you want to drop me a note it's MrMoviefone@aol.com or Facebook.com/mrmoviefone.

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