The Story: A hunky veterinarian falls for his dreamy neighbor before maudlin tragedy steps in. The Lowdown: Abhorrently dull cheese of the kind only Nicholas Sparks’ pedigree can whip up — schmaltzy and oozing with melodrama, and with zero chemistry from its leads.
The Story: A terrible storm gravely damages a oil tanker and the Coast Guard must risk everything to save the ship’s crew. The Lowdown: Old-fashioned to a fault, structurally flawed and an overwhelmingly schmaltzy rescue/adventure flick that’s occasionally watchable and little else.
The Story: A customer-service guru on a business trip meets a timid yet alluring woman in his hotel. The Lowdown: Simple in many ways (at least as far as plot goes) but deep and resounding in its examination of the search for human connection.
The Story: Two odd couple cops (and soon to be brothers-in-law) head to Miami to take down a drug kingpin. The Lowdown: A noisy, aimless and cliched rehash of the first in the series.
The Story: A stepfather yearning for the acceptance of his wife’s children suddenly finds himself competing with their biological father, who’s decided to return to their lives. The Lowdown: About 30 minutes worth of plot stretched over an hour and a half, with the added benefit of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg at their most…
The Story: A former “extreme poly-athlete” and current FBI recruit infiltrates a crime ring of thrill-seeking Robin Hoods. The Lowdown: For all the supposedly exciting stuff happening in this movie, what a boring slog it is — short on intelligent plot and anything resembling a sympathetic character.
The Story: After finding out their childhood home has sold, two 40-something sisters decide to have one last massive party like the ones they threw in high school. The Lowdown: An occasionably funny attempt at a raunchy, slapstick-heavy comedy that’s way too long, but floats by on the strength of its cast.
The Story: The story of Mother Teresa and her life of charity and the personal and spiritual struggles she faced. The Lowdown: A flat, schmaltzy biopic that’s too stone-faced and reverent to work.
The Story: The illegitimate son of a boxing legend tracks down his late father’s one-time nemesis and longtime best friend Rocky Balboa to start his climb through the boxing ranks on his own terms. The Lowdown: With no surprises, this film shouldn’t work as well as it does, but a likable cast with some genuine…
The Story: The true-life story of a perpetual underdog with aspirations of playing college football who ends up facing an even bigger challenge. The Lowdown: A paint-by-numbers inspirational sports flick that does exactly what you expect it to — with that being its biggest problem.
The Story: Performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson examines her relationship with her pet rat terrier against the backdrop of death and post-9/11 paranoia. The Lowdown: A beguiling little film that’s either brilliant or hogwash, but most likely lives somewhere in between.
The Story: Charlie Brown battles his inherently inept nature as he tries to catch the attention of a little red-haired girl. The Lowdown: A totally harmless little family film that’s a bit too manic for its seemingly quaint nature.
The Story: A retired campaign strategist is brought in to revive the struggling campaign of a Bolivian presidential candidate — and to square off against an old rival. The Lowdown: An entertaining, solid film buoyed by good performances, but far too predictable, and it doesn’t have as much to say as it thinks it does.
The Story: A teenage girl finds Internet stardom and heads off to Los Angeles to a music career with her three sisters. The Lowdown: A tedious, innocuous and overlong adaptation of the ‘80s cartoon.
The Story: An Alabama high school football team struggling through integration finds inspiration through Christianity. The Lowdown: Another corny, schmaltzy and forgettable entry into the world of Christian cinema.
The Story: A bored, lonely retiree gets an internship at a Brooklyn startup. The Lowdown: A wandering, cheesy, maddeningly treacly tale of people feeling good about themselves. Pure pap.
The Story: The true story of a woman who’s kidnapped by a murderer and racist, and her attempts to be free of him. The Lowdown: More warmed-over sermonizing and flat drama undermined by treacly faith-based motives.
The Story: A woman thinks she’s found the perfect man, until he turns violent and controlling. The Lowdown: An incredibly unimaginative “woman in peril” thriller in the vein of a Lifetime movie, but with a better budget, though that’s really the only difference.
The Story: Ex-mercenary turned “The Transporter” returns, this time getting himself entangled in a revenge plot against an prostitute ring. The Lowdown: An occasionally clever action flick that feels a bit too padded and chintzy to really work.
The Story: With the help of a new friend, a woman attempts to save her marriage through the power of prayer. The Lowdown: A treacly, unrealistic and mawkish Christian melodrama.
The Story: A young, hungry-for-fame DJ becomes entangled with an established musician — and his girlfriend. The Lowdown: A generally watchable, sometimes adventurous coming-of-age tale that can’t quite rise above mediocrity.