New films this week:
— “Battle in Seattle” (rated R), a fictionalized, re-creation of the 1999 WTO riots in Washington.
— “Cadillac Records” (rated R), a drama about the founding of the influential Soul and R&B record label. Adrien Brody stars.
— “Milk” (rated R), a biographical drama starring Sean Penn as the slain gay-rights activist.
— “Nobel Son” (rated R), a darkly comic caper thriller from the makers of the recent “Bottle Shock.” Alan Rickman stars.
— “Punisher: War Zone” (rated R), a comic book sequel, featuring Ray Stevenson as the revenge-motivated vigilante character.
Due to scheduling problems I was unable to see the “Punisher” sequel, though the early word of mouth is not encouraging. Neither “Cadillac Records” nor “Nobel Son” were pre-screened for critics locally. The two movies are receiving pretty mixed reviews, though.
“Battle in Seattle” does employ some real-life footage from the WTO protests, which is the most interesting thing about the movie. A romance between two activists (Martin Henderson and Michelle Rodriguez) is contrived and dull.
But the week’s best film is definitely not for everyone. “Milk” features superb performances — particularly that given by Penn, as the title character. But it’s pretty unflinching in its depiction of gay lifestyles. (The personal-life bits are less interesting than Milk’s political maneuverings here.)
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing?