By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
In this brilliant, sprawling, unflinching 2009 Oscar nominee*, rising star Tahar Rahim plays a French teen who winds up in maximum security prison, only to climb the ranks as a gangster after serving the mob from behind bars. The patient development of Rahim's forced-into-it aspiring thug is some of the finest characterization you'll see this year. And, in general, "A Prophet" is one of the year's best. (Now available)
*Best Foreign Language Film
Steve Carrell and Tina Fey make a perfect team as a suburban couple in big-city trouble in "Date Night," an amusing action comedy that isn't short on laughs, but works best as a tender valentine to commitment and long-term relationships. Mark Wahlberg, Mos Def, James Franco, Mila Kunis and Taraji Henson co-star, and the movie gets a lot of giggle mileage out of the lead duo's cute in-jokes and domestic ignorance.
If you're bothered by pre-teen girls who dismember people (or by profane titles, for that matter), then the unapologetic comic-book movie "Kick-Ass" probably isn't for you. And, coolness be damned, shield your young ones from it. But if you're down for a colorful, caution-to-the-wind, exceedingly well-made good time, saddle up with this rare superior superhero film. It's a bloody blast for those who can handle it.