We got guns, courtesy of lightweight C-listers (ha!) Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. And we got rosy stories of positive emotions, courtesy of Jerry Seinfeld and John Cusack. What’s a middle-of-the-road, part-violent, part-mushy sort of soul to do this weekend? See 'em all...maybe.

Denzel Washington, Josh Brolin, American Gangster

David Lee/Universal Studios

American Gangster 
The gangster movie took a real hit with the lackluster We Own the Night. And in that way, the timing couldn’t be better for a well-written saga that Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers calls a “black Scarface." I like it, because I like any movie that showcases the New York of years past with such accuracy and affection. Yep, Gangster is a great time machine—you half-expect a Muppet from the late ‘70s to walk onscreen, bringing a moment of levity. The main problem, however, is that the Michelle Pfeiffer-Lorraine Bracco part is missing. The ladies play 10,000th fiddle to the gents. And while the gents—particularly Josh Brolin—are fierce, violence always goes down better when spliced with romance.

Bee Movie

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Bee Movie 
Bzzzz. Bzzzz. It’s what all Seinfeld fans mourning the death of comedy on TV were hoping Jerry Seinfeld would do: make an animated movie for kids! Okay, maybe not exactly the dream come true we all wanted. But hey, it’s something. Do I even need to tell you that kids will be entertained by the bright animation and cheery characters and that parents will be amused by the smart, Shrekian dialogue? Didn’t think so. You people are way more savvy than that.

Martian Child

New Line Cinema

Martian Child 
Hey, it’s fun to cry. It’s fun to believe that some people in the world are 100 percent decent, like John Cusack and the guy he plays in Martian Child, who takes in a kid with massive emotional problems. Think Problem Child as conceived by Nick Hornby, minus some of the hipster flair. So, in that way, think even more sentimental. Yes, bring on the Kleenex. And when you watch, imagine John Ritter and his dysfunctional charge joining Cusack and his martian boy for a playdate.  Ah, if only!

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