Five wide releases this weekend, and perhaps the final frame in which we're offered little but studio holdovers and lost causes. Dig into a haunted house story, a historical drama about abolitionists, a family-friendly inspirational piece, a Jim Carrey psycho-thriller and the big-screen debut of some very silly police officers. (And don't forget about the Oscars tonight!)

The Abandoned
-- 3 positive / 8 negative at RottenTomatoes.com.

Pro: "Rallies in the end and has a satisfying, fittingly unsettling conclusion." -- Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

Con: "A punishing dose of zombie Chekhov for lifetime Fangoria subscribers." -- Jim Ridley, L.A. Weekly

Pro: "It's the pervasive sense of fatalism and decay that saves Cerda's debut feature from being yet another poky haunted-house chiller." -- Ken Fox, TV Guide

Con: "Reflects a filmmaker so lost in the details of his creation, he's neglected his obligation to forward momentum." -- Brian Orndorf, eFilmCritic.com

Bonus! "A fairly uninteresting story told in exceedingly spotty fashion." -- Scott Weinberg, Cinematical

Amazing Grace -- 52 positive / 23 negative at RT.com.

Pro: "This biopic of abolitionist crusader William Wilberforce gains much of its own force from the supporting characters." -- Josh Larsen, Sun-Times

Con: "A movie about the slave trade with hardly an African face in sight." -- Michael Booth, Denver Post

Pro: "As a portrait of political engagement, the movie is substantial and absorbing." -- Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News

Con: "It's hardly compelling viewing." -- Desson Thomson, Washington Post

The Astronaut Farmer
-- 61 positive / 40 negative at RT.com.

Pro: "Shows just how much you can accomplish with $12 million and more imagination than most big-studio releases can muster these days." -- Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Con: "Should be grounded for the twisted lesson it tries to impart." -- Claudia Puig, USA Today

Pro: "Works precisely because it's bereft of modern cinema's cynicism." -- Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice

Con: "It's one of those movies that yearns for a time that never really existed and ends up a chilly museum exhibit." -- Bill Muller, Arizona Republic

Bonus! "What makes the movie special are the personal touches." -- Jeffrey M. Anderson, Cinematical


The Number 23 -- 10 positive / 118 negative at RT.com.

Pro: "Schumacher also makes the movie tersely efficient, so we never feel like we're ahead of it, waiting for it to catch up." -- Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press

Con: "A loud, discordant mess of a movie, Jim Carrey's "The Number 23" is based on the premise that the second and third integers are really spooky." -- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Pro: "Even the healthiest among us will, within 23 hours or so of seeing the movie, start adding up addresses and birthdays to see if they come out to ... that number." -- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Con: "Neither mysterious nor enthralling, The Number 23 is ridiculous, not for its complexity, but for its belief in its complexity." -- Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

Bonus! "Holy stereotype, Batman. You've got a film noir detective playing his own soundtrack. Not a good sign." -- Kevin Kelly, Cinematical

Reno 911!: Miami
-- 21 positive / 35 negative at RT.com.

Pro: "One of the highest-concept, lowest-brow, most uproarious movie debuts since the surprise sensation of last year's cable crossover Borat." -- Ted Fry, Seattle Times

Con: "Maybe this plays better in Reno. On cable." -- Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Pro: "If you're a fan of the show, you'll probably be a fan of the movie." -- Mike Russell, The Oregonian

Con: "The problem with the Reno 911! movie is the same as the problem with the Reno 911 TV show: They're out of ideas." -- Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

Bonus! "What worked so well in the original season -- the Cops spoofery, the lightning-quick improv chemistry, the oddball criminals -- are almost entirely absent from the movie version." -- Scott Weinberg, Cinematical

(Also opening in limited release is Gray Matters, which our own Ryan Stewart calls "the worst thing to hit Manhattan since 9/11.")

Next week
: Sam Jackson and Christina Ricci in Blake Snake Moan, John Travolta and Tim Allen in Wild Hogs, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo in Zodiac.
CATEGORIES Reviews, Cinematical