The Place Beyond the Pines

Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes | R |

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DRAMA

It's hard to imagine wanting to spend less time with two of the sexiest men alive. (Okay, technically, only one of them is official.) But Pines is such pretentious prattle, I was peeved that it didn't pick the first of its multiple endings.

The three-act saga gets off to a promising start with Gosling as motorcycle stuntman Luke, who learns he has a son with waitress Romina (Mendes). With real vulnerability belying his tatted-up exterior, Luke aches to be a good dad. Naturally, that means becoming a bank robber. Act 2 turns to Cooper as Avery Cross, a cop who crosses paths with Luke. The striving Avery may be cut from finer cloth than the thief, but he'll get those suits dirty soon enough.

Cooper struggles to give Avery as much depth as Gosling finds in Luke, but the script won't let him. They're both sent to the background in Act 3 as the story shifts to their kids, teens too dull to anchor the 2 hr. 20 min. slog. By the end, the only thing clear about the muddy Pines is its overambitiousness.

Mental

Toni Collette, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia | Unrated |

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COMEDY

Steel yourself for a comedy so broad you'd have to cut it in half to get it on the freeway. Collette lets loose as Shaz, the stranger who steps in as a nanny when mom of five Shirley (Rebecca Gibney) loses it. Shaz is cracked too, but—say it with me—she might be just what the kids need. No, Mental (available on demand) isn't all that fresh, but the cast, including The Sapphires's Deborah Mailman as Shaz's pal, makes it feel that way.

FROM UP ON POPPY HILL

Famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki wrote this tale of youngsters who fall in love as they try to save their clubhouse. His son Goro directed it. Poppy Hill is less inspired than the older Miyazaki's solo work, but still sweet.

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OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

This thriller about terrorists attacking the White House is less fun than you'd think (beware the 9/11 allusions). Things improve when Gerard Butler steps up to save the day as a secret service superhero.

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Acting in Tyler Perry's Temptation is your biggest film role yet. Were you scared to take it?

I was really nervous! But Tyler made me feel so comfortable. My mind-set was: If I have fun, great; if I don't, I never have to do it again.

The movie is about a married woman who cheats. That's a provocative topic.

It shows a side of women that most movies are afraid to show. What did I take away from it? The grass isn't always greener on the other side. You have to nurture your relationship.

Has your boyfriend Kanye West seen it?

He loved it. He's always super encouraging. When two people are in the entertainment business, there's giving and taking of advice, but we love each other and support each other in our paths. That's why it works.

How have you been dealing with all the criticism of you and your family?

I can't pay attention to it, especially since I've been pregnant. I tune out anything that's not from my family or friends.

You're totally dressing for the bump!

I'm enjoying figuring it out. Either you go tight and really show it off, or there's the muumuu style. I think leather leggings are super stylish and comfy.

I feel like your baby will be born in leather leggings!

That's what [my sister] Kourtney says!

—JENNIFER GARCIA