This week’s movie releases

Jonah Hill stars in The Sitter, while Richard Gere appears as a former CIA agent forced out of retirement in The Double

Jonah Hill in The Sitter.
Jonah Hill in The Sitter.

Once the creator of poetic indie movies, David Gordon Green made the switch to broad Hollywood comedies in 2008 with stoner flick Pineapple Express. But if his latest is anything to go by, it’s a foray obeying the law of diminishing returns. The Sitterstars Jonah Hill as a suspended college student roped into babysitting his neighbors’ brattish kids — an anxious 13-year-old, coquettish eight-year-old and badass Salvadoran adoptee — for his mom. But lured to a house party by his girlfriend, he opts to take his charges out on a cross-New York ride to join her and winds up pursued by a deranged drug dealer (Sam Rockwell). The cast try their best, but are helpless as it lurches from one random unfunny incident to the next with scant regard for plausible causality or human behavior on its way to tying up everything with a sugary moral bow. Spare yourselves.

In The Double, the murder of a US senator that bears all the hallmarks of a long-thought-dead Soviet assassin forces former CIA agent Richard Gere out of retirement. But working through evidence past and present, he and his young FBI partner (Topher Grace) begin to realize the killer might not be quite who they thought. Martin Sheen also stars in Wanted writer Michael Brandt’s directorial debut.

Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, Montreal-set drama Monsieur Lazhar stars Fellag as a charismatic Algerian teacher who’s drafted in to take over an elementary school class after the suicide of a teacher. Philippe Falardeau directs.

Aimed squarely at younger audiences, Spanish animation Los cachorros y el código de Marco Polo is a big-screen outing for RTVE’s Los cachorros series. Cilindro the bunny, Diva the duck, Oly the cat, Portátil the dog, Pío the frog and Sinnombre the bird go in search of a magic book in order to stop the evil Crow Witch from drying up Venice’s canals.

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