All the King's Men

Sean Penn is a great actor, but he’s certainly capable of bad performances. His turn here as a small-time brush salesman-turned-governor is as annoying as his work in I Am Sam. Penn screams unintelligibly for two hours, punctuating nearly every word with annoying hand gestures. Jude Law is just as bad as a reporter who becomes Penn’s right-hand man. Law is treacherously unexciting, moping about as if he’s pissed he took the job. A great cast, including Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins and Mark Ruffalo, is completely wasted. The coolest thing about the movie is the presence of Jackie Earle Haley as a bodyguard. Haley played Kelly Leak, the home run hitter, in the original The Bad News Bears. It’s cool to see him in a movie again. (He’s looking rather sinister these days.) This film was supposed to come out during awards season last year, and it’s pretty obvious why its release was delayed: For the most part, it stinks.

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