Recently reviewed films now playing in metro area theaters:

21 (PG-13) What should have been played out as a minimalist thriller is instead a bloated, assault-on-the-senses action/drama. Kevin Spacey plays a shady M.I.T. professor who recruits math whiz kids who learn to count cards and earn millions playing blackjack. Jim Sturgess ("Across the Universe") is the professor's newest golden boy who lets his skills go to his head..1 star - Michael Clark

Chicago 10 (R) Writer/director Brett Morgen's uneven film recounting the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and its subsequent trial gets a lot right, but drags itself down with an overdose of style. Mixing stock news footage with "Waking Life"- inspired animated courtroom sequences, Morgen tries a little too hard to appeal to the under 25ers. 2 stars - MC

Flawless (R) Demi Moore enters phase three of her career as a 40-ish precious gem executive who, along with Michael Caine as a crafty and ingenious janitor, pulls off a sly and stylish diamond heist in early '60s London. For an hour, it all works quite well until the filmmakers derail it all by delivering a silly, overreaching and falsely sentimental third act. 2 stars - MC

Leatherheads (PG-13) George Clooney's third directorial effort falls short of his first two and confirms comedy is the hardest genre to pull off convincingly. The period piece, which mixes football, romance, journalism and wartime heroics, makes the unforgivable mistake of wearing out its welcome. Once the story veers into preachy and serious land, it falls flat. 2 stars - MC

Married Life (PG-13) Alfred Hitchcock meets Douglas Sirk in this initially promising period thriller. Chris Cooper plays a married man who decides to leave his wife (Patricia Clarkson) for a young stunner (Rachel McAdams), but can't figure out whether divorce or murder is the way to go. Pierce Brosnan co-stars as Cooper's smooth, calculating, friend-turned-rival. 2 stars - MC

Nim's Island (PG) Based on the best-selling children's fantasy book by Wendy Orr, this illogical and silly action dramedy does everything wrong. Abigail Breslin, a spastic and multi-phobic Jodie Foster, the dual-role performing Gerard Butler and assorted caricatured Aussies star in this frantic and unfocused hybrid of "Gilligan's Island," "Cast Away" and "The Love Boat." 1 star - MC

Run, Fat Boy, Run (PG-13) This debut directorial effort from former "Friends" cast member David "Ross" Schwimmer has all the trappings of a sitcom, but is also equally as streamlined. Simon Pegg ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz") stars as Dennis, an out-of-shape security guard who tries to win back his ex-flame (Thandie Newton) by running in a marathon. 3 stars - MC

Shine a Light (PG-13) This highly anticipated concert film from director Martin Scorsese and The Rolling Stones is a major let down. A weak set list, winded performances by the band and superior turns from guests (including Christina Aguilera and Jack White) indicate that as much as they may want to be relevant, the perennial '60s rockers are way past their prime. 2 stars - MC

Stop-Loss (R) Like virtually every other movie that addresses the war on terrorism or one of its many off-shoot genres, "Stop-Loss" presents a one-sided argument, lots of political grandstanding and knee-jerk, emotional hand-wringing. Ryan Phillippe stars as a returning war hero who, after being informed he must return to the fray, becomes a fugitive on the run. 1 star - MC