Steve Carell in 'Dinner for Schmucks'This weekend at the multiplex, Steve Carell plays another doofus (not a stretch), Zac Efron goes for tearjerking drama (bigger stretch), and the sequel to a decade-old kiddie film tries to take a bite out of the already overstuffed family movie market (biggest stretch).

Best Bet: 'Dinner for Schmucks'

Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Kristen Schaal, Ron Livingston, David Walliams
Directed by: Jay Roach

What It's About: Rudd is a rising executive who believes his hoped-for promotion depends on winning the contest held during his boss' dinner party, at which each guest competes to see who can bring to the table the geekiest idiot. Rudd's character thinks he's discovered a winner with IRS agent/amateur taxidermist Carell, but by inviting Carell's character to the party, he unleashes comic mayhem that turns his life upside-down and reveals who the real schmucks at the dinner are.

Why Should You See It? Having worked together twice before (in 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy' and 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'), Rudd and Carell are an ace comic team. Plus, they're surrounded by a team of comic all-stars (Clement and Schaal of 'Flight of the Conchords,' Galifianakis, and 'Little Britain's' Walliams). And director Jay Roach (of the Fockers and Austin Powers franchises) is no comedy slouch either. If the movie's half as funny as the French film it's adapted from, this will be the breakout comedy of the summer.

You Might Like It If You Like: 'Anchorman,' 'Meet the Parents,' 'I Love You, Man,' 'The Birdcage'
This weekend at the multiplex, Steve Carell plays another doofus (not a stretch), Zac Efron goes for tearjerking drama (bigger stretch), and the sequel to a decade-old kiddie film tries to take a bite out of the already overstuffed family movie market (biggest stretch).

Best Bet: 'Dinner for Schmucks'

Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Kristen Schaal, Ron Livingston, David Walliams
Directed by: Jay Roach

What It's About: Rudd is a rising executive who believes his hoped-for promotion depends on winning the contest held during his boss' dinner party, at which each guest competes to see who can bring to the table the geekiest idiot. Rudd's character thinks he's discovered a winner with IRS agent/amateur taxidermist Carell, but by inviting Carell's character to the party, he unleashes comic mayhem that turns his life upside-down and reveals who the real schmucks at the dinner are.

Why Should You See It? Having worked together twice before (in 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy' and 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'), Rudd and Carell are an ace comic team. Plus, they're surrounded by a team of comic all-stars (Clement and Schaal of 'Flight of the Conchords,' Galifianakis, and 'Little Britain's' Walliams). And director Jay Roach (of the Fockers and Austin Powers franchises) is no comedy slouch either. If the movie's half as funny as the French film from which it's adapted, this will be the breakout comedy of the summer.

You Might Like It If You Like: 'Anchorman,' 'Meet the Parents,' 'I Love You, Man,' 'The Birdcage'

• 'Dinner for Schmucks' Showtimes & Tickets
Unscripted: Steve Carell and Paul Rudd Speak Fake French and Do Some Face Dancing
Exclusive 'Schmucks' Clip: Lobster Seance
All About 'The Dinner Game,' the Original 'Dinner for Schmucks'
Exclusive First Look: On Set Interviews
• 'Daily Show' Stars Find Success on the Big Screen
• Reviews: The Hollywood Reporter | The Boston Phoenix | More Critics' Reviews

Trailer No. 2 for 'Dinner With Schmucks'


Zac Efron in 'Charlie St. Cloud'Also New This Weekend: 'Charlie St. Cloud'

Starring: Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Kim Basinger, Charlie Tahan, Donal Logue, Ray Liotta
Directed by: Burr Steers
What It's About: Can Efron shift out of 'High School Musical' mode for a weepie? We'll see in this adaptation of Ben Sherwood's novel. Efron plays the title character, a young man with a promising future whose life is derailed when his little brother (Tahan) dies in an accident. When he discovers, however, that he can interact with the boy's ghost, he puts his life on hold in order to keep young Sam's spirit around. His promise to Sam is tested when a new love interest (Crew) tempts him back toward the land of the living.
You Might Like It If You Like: '17 Again,' 'Message in a Bottle,' 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'
Showtimes & Tickets | Video Interviews with the cast | Exclusive clip | Critics' Reviews

'Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore'

Starring: James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Chris O'Donnell, Jack McBrayer, Christina Applegate, Katt Williams, Neil Patrick Harris, and Sean Hayes
Directed by: Brad Peyton
What It's About: Your preschoolers are too young to remember 2001's 'Cats & Dogs,' but they're the apparent target audience for this movie, which will have to fight for family-viewing dollars against 'Despicable Me,' 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' 'Ramona and Beezus,' and 'Toy Story 3.' Once again, talking pets are vying for world domination, with Midler as the title villian in what is essentially a four-legged James Bond spoof. For many grown-ups, especially those with fond memories of the Looney Tunes cartoons, the film may be overshadowed by the introductory short, a new Road Runner 'toon called 'Coyote Falls.' Both are in 3-D.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Cats & Dogs,' 'Dr. Dolittle,' 'Good Boy,' 'G-Force'
Showtimes & Tickets | Prize giveaway | Critics' reviews | Famous Movie Pets

Bill Murray in 'Get Low'In Limited Release

Several movies that made a stir at Sundance in January are hitting theaters this week:

- In 'Get Low,' backwoods hermit Robert Duvall makes plans to attend his own funeral, with the aid of shady mortician Bill Murray. (Showtimes & Tickets | Interview with Bill Murray | Leonard Maltin's Review)

- Young Paul Dano gets an education in the manners and folkways of New York's posh Upper East Side from mentor Kevin Kline in 'The Extra Man.' (Showtimes & Tickets | Interview with Kevin Kline | Leonard Maltin's Review)

- Returning Iraq War vet Ryan O'Nan and wife America Ferrera try to cope with his difficulties re-entering civilian life in 'The Dry Land,' written and directed by Ryan Piers Williams, Ferrera's real-life husband-to-be. (Showtimes & Tickets)

- There are also two fine documentaries, both with a celebrity focus. 'Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel' traces the famous flesh peddler's little-known history of social-justice activism. (Showtimes & Tickets) And 'Smash His Camera' follows the career of Ron Galella, king of the paparazzi, whose photo archive is a history of the last half-century of fame in America. (Showtimes & Tickets)

Ellen Page and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Inception'Still In Theaters, Still Awesome

'Inception' - Sick of hearing about it yet? Not quite? Neither are we. Showtimes & Tickets
'Inception' Movie Club | Ending and Theories | Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page Discuss Their Own Crazy Dreams

'Salt' - Think the 'Inception' crew are the only ones who can bounce off walls? Watch Angelina Jolie do that, and a whole lot of similarly implausible action heroics, in this fast-moving spy thriller. Showtimes & Tickets | Interviews With Angelina Jolie & CIA Experts

'Countdown to Zero' - The most improbably gorgeous-looking documentary about the dangers of nuclear proliferation you'll see all year. Showtimes & Tickets | 'Countdown to Zero' Prize Pack Giveaway

'Clash of the Titans'Staying In This Weekend?

New on DVD This Week: Once again, 'Avatar's' Sam Worthington finds himself fighting off 3-D monsters in 'Clash of the Titans,' the brawny 2010 remake of the campy 1981 gloss on the ancient Greek legend of Perseus. (Buy or rent the DVD). Also from this spring is 'Repo Men,' the gory, satrical sci-fi thriller starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as futuristic collections agents who target deadbeats who can't pay for their organ transplants. (Buy or rent the DVD)
Also Out This Week: 'Kites,' out earlier this summer, is a Bollywood crossover noir/romance, shot in America. (Buy or rent the DVD). Hong Kong action extravaganza 'Ip Man' is a biopic of the martial arts master who became Bruce Lee's teacher. (Buy or rent the DVD). 'Vincere' tells the forgotten story of Mussolini's mistress. (Buy or rent the DVD) More new DVDs

Movie Homework: As Moviefone's Marina Zogbi points out, the original French version of 'Dinner With Schmucks,' 1998's 'The Dinner Game' ('Le dîner de cons'), is howlingly funny in any language. (Buy or rent the DVD)

Of course, it's not the first movie about snobs hosting a dinner party that goes horribly, hilariously haywire. Surrealist satirist Luis Buñuel made two of them, both all-time cinema classics: 'The Exterminating Angel' (Buy or rent the DVD) and 'The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie' (Buy or rent the DVD). Then again, the ultimate movie about a fool putting one over on his snooty benefactors is 'Being There,' with Peter Sellers as the simple-minded gardener who makes Washington, D.C.'s elite look like rubes. (Buy or rent the DVD)

On My Netflix Queue:
I'm a dog person, not a cat person, but this week's 'Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore' has me wanting to rent 'Cat People.' Not the 1982 version with Nastassja Kinski, though that's perfectly fine and creepy as an erotic chiller, but the 1942 original by Val Lewton, the master of dreamy, suggestive horror. Buy or rent the DVD

•Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.