Combustible Celluloid
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With: George Clooney, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski, Stephen Root, Jonathan Pryce, Jack Thompson, Peter Gerety, Wayne Duvall
Written by: Duncan Brantley, Rick Reilly
Directed by: George Clooney
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language
Running Time: 114
Date: 03/24/2008

Leatherheads (2008)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Pigskin Deep

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

George Clooney's third directorial effort (after Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Good Night, and Good Luck) feels like an attempt to emulate a Cary Grant-style screwball comedy, with snappy patter and colorful characters. Instead it comes across as a pale period piece, an imitation enamored of energy and enthusiasm, but failing to generate either. Clooney plays an old-school pro football player in 1925 who tries to revive the dying game by bringing in a war hero (John Krasinski). Renée Zellweger plays the Rosalind Russell-type reporter who gets under both their skins. The film has a few deadpan laughs early on, but loses steam quickly with dull, draggy patches, using period pop songs ("Hold That Tiger," etc.) and montage for padding. After a long haul, it winds up with a lifeless, climactic "big game." Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Root co-star. Leatherheads

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