Mark Wahlberg stars in this remake of James Toback’s 1974 debut film, as a once-promising novelist whose career has petered out and whose gambling addiction has gotten him into trouble with a fearsome loan shark. Though Wahlberg is a fine actor, there’s no way I can buy him as a college English professor holding forth on Shakespeare and Camus. This hews closely to Toback’s signature blend of erudition and machismo, with an assortment of enjoyably overwritten, larger-than-life supporting characters (John Goodman as a crabby, bon-mot-dispensing mob boss and Michael Kenneth Williams as a smooth, bon-mot-dispensing gangster). Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) directed; with Jessica Lange and Brie Larson (hey, who let these women in here?).
R • 1 hour 51 min • 2014