Scott Marks 4:30 p.m., Dec. 5
It's a fun premise: take a practitioner of a universally loathed profession — New York City bike messengers, a group that treats traffic laws and those who follow them as little more than video game obstacles — and make him a hero, a guy whose Special Delivery can literally deliver a child from bondage. And it helps that the hero is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who exudes likeability even as he strangely channels Keanu Reeves. It helps even more that the bad guy is Michael Shannon, channeling the crazy cop he plays on Boardwalk Empire. (Shannon's adventures in the world of Chinese gambling are easily the most interesting part of the film.) But oof, that dialogue, packed with ooof, that exposition ("You have opportunities!"), and oooof, those metaphors ("No brakes. Can't stop. Don't want to. Brakes are death.") And speaking of video games, our hero somehow has the ability to instantaneously map out various high-speed swerves and their various consequences, which makes this less of an old-fashioned chase movie and more of an exercise in low-grade super-powers. Messenger Man! 2012.
— Matthew Lickona