New Movie Reviews: 'Moneyball,' 'Abduction,' 'Machine Gun Preacher' Hitting Theaters

10:50 PM PST 09/22/2011 by THR staff
Sony Pictures; Lionsgate
"Moneyball," left, and "Abduction"

What do THR's critics have to say about the films opening this weekend?

Moviegoers have many options this weekend. 

The first of the big movies that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month are now coming to theaters this weekend. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill star in the comedy-drama Moneyball, which is about baseball and baseball statistics and an unlikely collaboration between a major league general manager and a Yale economics graduate.
 
 
Taylor Lautner stars in Abduction, a thriller about a teenager forced on the run to uncover his past. Lily Collins, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello co-star in director John Singleton's movie.
 
Meanwhile, Gerard Butler plays the real-life and highly flawed hero Sam Childers for Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher. Childers went from a small-time criminal to a preacher and then savior to countless orphans in the war-torn African country of Sudan.
 
 
Charles Martin Smith’s Dolphin Tale also tells a true story, only this one concerns a creature of the sea, a dolphin that whose damaged tail is replaced by a prosthetic one.
 
Also opening Friday is Killer Elite, a male thriller with a cast headed by Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, which delves into former British special forces operatives.
 
See what The Hollywood Reporter's critics have to say about those films -- and others opening this weekend -- and find out how well they are expected to perform at the box office.
 
Moneyball
Bottom Line: A baseball movie for people who dislike the sport as a desperate general manager and an economics grad turn baseball on its head.
Click here to read The Hollywood Reporter’s review.
 
 
Abduction
Bottom Line: Taylor Lautner tries to hold his own in an action thriller too silly to give him much of a chance.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
Machine Gun Preacher
Bottom Line: An impressively heroic true-life story that unfortunately doesn’t go far enough in examining its unusual hero.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
 
Dolphin Tale
Bottom Line: Drenchingly inspirational aquatic tale should play well with general audiences and kids.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
Killer Elite
Bottom Line: Efficient, overly formulaic action piece could have been more distinctive but delivers the goods for solid international returns.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
Thunder Soul
Bottom Line: A genuinely moving and powerful doc about one of the great funk bands ever, that just happened to be a high school band.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
 
Puncture
Bottom Line: It’s a true story that involves both an infuriating protagonist and an exposé of corrupt U.S. healthcare practices.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
Weekend 
Bottom Line: Two men fall convincingly in love over a weekend of sex and drugs.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
Pearl Jam Twenty
Bottom Line: A reverential retrospective of a band that inspires deep love.
Click here to read THR’s review.
 
Also opening are A Bird of the Air, Incendiary: The Willingham Case and The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby. The 1964 movie Marriage, Italian Style also gets a re-release Friday.
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