Reign Over Me
With the exception of a few minor quibbles, I really liked this movie that finds an unlikely duo in Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler, and an even unlikelier dramatic performance from Sandler. Cheadle plays a dentist who sees his old college friend Charlie (Sandler) looking lost and bereft on the street one day. Having lost his entire family in one of the planes on 9/11, Charlie has become a recluse, spending his days renovating his kitchen and playing video games. Alan (Cheadle) decides to help his old friend, though he soon finds that Charlie's issues may go deeper than he can handle. For more on why I liked this movie so much, check out my review.
Two more new releases if you read more
"Degrassi High" — The Complete Series
OK, so you can't technically rent this set on Netflix (yet), but it is finally available for purchase in the United States today. The 28 episodes of "Degrassi High" wrap up the stories of Spike, Wheels, Snake and the rest of the "Degrassi Junior High" gang so many of us came to know and love during the '80s. The set also includes the controversial "School's Out" movie, which featured a surprising number of edgy plotlines (abortion, sex, foul language, drunken driving/manslaughter) in just 90 short minutes. The "Degrassi: The Next Generation" kids might be younger and hipper, but there's still nothing quite like watching this original crew.
This movie won't win any awards, and Steve Carell plays basically a slightly savvier version of his Michael Scott character on "The Office," but if you need a rental that is more or less appropriate for the whole family, this one's not the worst choice on the shelf. The film basically asks the question, "What would happen if the story of Noah's Ark happened to a modern-day family?" Carell plays the contemporary Noah — this time called Evan — chosen to build an ark and gather the animals two-by-two, etc. while his wife and colleagues look on in bafflement. There are some very funny moments and the animals are super cute. For a more complete rundown, read my review.