Danny Trejo in 'Machete'

It's all about killers this weekend, either the blade- and gun-wielding kind ('Machete,' 'The American') or relationship killers, like 3,000 miles of separation ('Going the Distance').

Best Bet: 'Machete'

Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis
What It's About: Building on the fake trailer in Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's 'Grindhouse,' 'Machete' stars veteran tough-guy character-actor Trejo as an ex-federale who stumbles onto a vast conspiracy and dispenses vengeful justice via bladed weapons of all sorts. Tough chicks Alba and Michelle Rodriguez are on his side, while De Niro, Seagal, Johnson, and Fahey are the heavies. And then there's Lohan, doing her own thing, wielding a revolver and dressed as a nun.
Why Should You See It? Rodriguez brings his customary brio to the movie's cartoonishly over-the-top sex and violence, though he also weaves in a brazen polemic about immigration policy. The grim, Terminator-like Machete is certainly the role the stone-faced Trejo was born to play.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Grindhouse,' 'Sin City,' 'Desperado,' 'El Mariachi'
Danny Trejo in 'Machete'

It's all about killers this weekend, either the blade- and gun-wielding kind ('Machete,' 'The American') or relationship killers, like 3,000 miles of separation ('Going the Distance').

Best Bet: 'Machete'

Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis
What It's About: Building on the fake trailer in Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's 'Grindhouse,' 'Machete' stars veteran tough-guy character-actor Trejo as an ex-federale who stumbles onto a vast conspiracy and dispenses vengeful justice via bladed weapons of all sorts. Tough chicks Alba and Michelle Rodriguez are on his side, while De Niro, Seagal, Johnson, and Fahey are the heavies. And then there's Lohan, doing her own thing, wielding a revolver and dressed as a nun.
Why Should You See It? Rodriguez brings his customary brio to the movie's cartoonishly over-the-top sex and violence, though he also weaves in a brazen polemic about immigration policy. The grim, Terminator-like Machete is certainly the role the stone-faced Trejo was born to play.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Grindhouse,' 'Sin City,' 'Desperado,' 'El Mariachi'

Showtimes & Tickets
Will 'Machete' Ignite a Firestorm Over Its Immigration Stance?
Red-band 'Machete' Trailer (Contains NSFW Language and Violence)
Lego Version of the 'Machete' Trailer (Contains NSFW Language and Violence)
Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review
Critics' Reviews

'Machete': Trailer No. 1


The AmericanAlso in Theaters:
'The American'


Starring: George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido, Irina Björklund
Directed by: Anton Corbijn
What It's About: Like Clooney himself, Jack is an American living in a remote Italian town and romancing a beautiful Italian woman. He's also an assassin trying to lay low. But as anyone who's seen a movie about an assassin can tell you, there's no such thing as retirement for a hit man; there's always one last job. Still, this movie is more contemplative than most in the genre (and less action-packed than its marketing suggests).
You Might Like It If You Like: 'The Professional,' 'Michael Clayton,' 'Under the Tuscan Sun,' 'Le Samourai'

Showtimes & Tickets | Trailers & Clips | What's Wrong With Critics -- and Why Do They Love 'The American'? | George Clooney's 10 Best Movies | Exclusive Photos | Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review | Leonard Maltin's Review | More Critics' Reviews

'Going the Distance'

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Charlie Day
Directed by: Nanette Burstein
What It's About: In this romantic comedy, real-life on-again/off-again couple Barrymore and Long play a twosome who try to keep their summer romance going after she leaves New York for San Francisco.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Forget Paris,' 'He's Just Not That Into You,' '50 First Dates'

Showtimes & Tickets | Trailers & Clips | Our Favorite Romantic Comedy Scene-Stealers | Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review | Critics' Reviews

'A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop'In Limited Release

'A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop' sees world-class director Zhang Yimou return to his film noir roots with a Chinese take on the Coen brothers' murderous love triangle 'Blood Simple.'
Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

•'My Dog Tulip,' an animated film based on J.R. Ackerley's novel about the Alsatian who was his pet for 14 years, features the voices of Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini and the late Lynn Redgrave.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

•'The Winning Season' is a 'Hoosiers' for girls, featuring Sam Rockwell as a burned-out coach who gets a shot at redemption mentoring an Indiana high school girls basketball team. Emma Roberts co-stars.
Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

'Mesrine: Public Enemy # 1' tells the second half of the true-life French gangster saga begun in 'Mesrine: Killer Instinct.'
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

'Last Train Home,' a documentary well-received earlier this year at Sundance, looks at a single family in order to examine the plight of migrant factory workers in China, separated for all but one day a year from their loved ones at home.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

'The Last Exorcism'Still In Theaters, Still Awesome

'The Last Exorcism' - Did that bizarre, abrupt ending make sense to you? Maybe you need to see this low-budget chiller again. Showtimes & Tickets | Eli Roth Talks 'The Last Exorcism,' Satan, and Why This Isn't Another Gore-Filled Bloodbath | 'Last Exorcism' Campaign Scares Unsuspecting Chatroulette Users | Critics' Reviews

'Takers' - Last week's box office champ, this stylish heist film seems to appeal to everybody. So said Sony's polling, which found the audience evenly divided between women and men, and between people under 25 and over.
Showtimes & Tickets | Moviefone Minute: 'Takers' Premiere (Video) | Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review | Critics' Reviews

'Mesrine: Killer Instinct' - Spend a night with 1960s French gangster Vincent Cassel; make it a double feature with its follow-up, 'Mesrine: Public Enemy #1.' Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

Michael Caine in 'Harry Brown'Staying In This Weekend?

New on DVD This Week: 'Harry Brown' stars Michael Caine as a quiet British senior who goes all 'Gran Torino' on the thugs that invade his neighborhood. (Buy or rent the DVD) 'Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?' reunites the cast of the 2007 dramedy for a couples retreat in the Bahamas, where more dirty laundry gets aired. (Buy or rent the DVD) Owen Wilson voices the comic-strip Great Dane in the live-action version of ''Marmaduke.' (Buy or rent the DVD)

Also Out This Week: 'Machete' star Danny Trejo has a supporting role in underground mixed martial arts drama 'Beatdown.' (Buy or rent the DVD) Future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield stars in 'The Red Riding Trilogy,' three films about the serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper who terrorized England in the 1970s and '80s. (Buy or rent the DVD). Differences between British and French attitudes toward romance are lampooned in 'French Film.' (Buy or rent the DVD) More new DVDs

Movie Homework: Professional killers in movies used to be quiet fellows, men of few words. Think Edward Fox's methodical presidential assassin in 'The Day of the Jackal' (Buy or rent the DVD) or Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original 'Terminator' (Buy or rent the DVD). It wasn't until Quentin Tarantino came along in the early '90s, with his gunmen who could endlessly and hilariously discuss the rules of tipping at restaurants in 'Reservoir Dogs' (Buy or rent the DVD) or the protocol of foot massages in 'Pulp Fiction' (Buy or rent the DVD) that the standard movie hit man became a nattering chatterbox. Unfortunately, most screenwriters can't write dialogue as scintillating and funny and musical as Tarantino's. Note to movie gunmen: You should be like film stars. That is, we're fascinated to watch you at work, doing your day job, but we don't need the oral equivalent of Twitter and Facebook posts telling us what you ate for breakfast. Maybe George Clooney's brooding hit man in 'The American' and Danny Trejo's taciturn killer in 'Machete' can bring back an era of silent, stoic assassins. As Trejo's character puts it, "Machete don't text."

On My Netflix Queue: It's easy to forget that Labor Day is about more than firing up the barbecue grill one last time. It's about remembering the struggles of working folks. Which means it's time once again to watch 'Norma Rae.' (Buy or rent the DVD). Or at least 'Office Space.' (Buy or rent the DVD)

•Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.