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'Lions for Lambs' (**)

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Director Robert Redford's "Lions for Lambs" is the latest offering in the barrage of liberal messages movie studios have been trotting out for awards season and, as was the case with other recent Hollywood war commentaries, it doesn't appear that anyone is buying what they're selling. As evidenced by the previous failings of both the critically acclaimed "In the Valley of Elah" and the star-studded "Rendition" (neither of which I caught up with in theaters), it looks like mainstream ticket-buyers just aren't up to forking over 10 bucks for a civics lesson they could get for free on PBS.

Unfortunately for Redford, his film is working with a double-handicap: In addition to dealing with a subject that audiences don't wish to confront during their weekly trip to the movies, "Lions for Lambs" is often flat-out boring - and not in the baseless "current events are innately dull" sense, but in a genuinely numbing, "I can't believe they're actually filming this" kind of way. While portions of the movie will be of moderate interest to political junkies, stretches of the film are so surreally tedious that it's akin to watching paint that has already dried.

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