James Marden, Aaron Eckhart

K Mazur/TCA 2008 / Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

James Marsden's got edge, sure, and with his primo projects like Hairspray and X-Men, he's seen as ultimately one of the coolest, most accessible hipster stars around. Aaron Eckhart, similarly, is respected for messy-but-loveable roles in Erin Brockovich, Thank You For Smoking and The Dark Knight. Both dudes are about to royally ef with their reps in movies out this month, and for these highly surprising reversals, we praise them thoroughly.

Marsden's starring in Sex Drive, a hysterical Road Trip-meets-Nashville-meets-Maurice, in which James is over-the-top and obsessed with antigay humor (trust, this flick ain't for the politically correct faint of heart). But then, you know what they say about those who protest too much, à la Isaiah Washington, right? Uh-huh. Check out the movie, definitely worth it if you like your sex sick, skanky and delicious—just like John Mayer does!

Darkly amusing, more disturbing, is Alan Ball's latest warped baby, Towelhead, starring Eckhart, Maria Bello and Summer Bishil, who's magnificent as a teenager who's sexually attacked in ways she doesn't entirely understand or necessarily dislike. Thank heavens she's got sassy next-door nabe Toni Collette to run to for aid and not Helen Mirren, as the movie's outcome would otherwise be even more hideous than it already is.

This, thanks to Eckhart's onscreen talent for being a completely loathsome creep whose actions will shock a lotta of Eckhart's loyal fans. Took balls for this dude to play such a menacing cretin. Where the hell does Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty) find these nasty ne'er-do-well's, anyway? Neverland?

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