At The Movies With Peter Travers: "State of Play" and "17 Again"


Despite the fact that it's been slashed down from a six-hour British miniseries to a two-hour Hollywood suspense film, Peter Travers recommends moviegoers check out the "gripping" State of Play this week. The film stars Russell Crowe as a reporter investigating the suspicious death of his best friend's mistress (the pal is a politician played by Ben Affleck). "From this sex scandal unravels every kind of possible conniving horror that could go on in the world we all live in," Travers says. Directed by The Last King of Scotland helmer Kevin MacDonald, Travers also liked how the film is "a movie in love with the newspaper business."

And then there's the Scum Bucket: Peter Travers doesn't hate Zac Efron, it's movies starring Zac Efron that Travers can't stand, and that includes all three of the High School Musicals.

This week's Bucket-bound film is 17 Again, starring Friends actor Matthew Perry as a miserable 37-year-old man with two kids and an unhappy marriage who meets a magical school janitor that turns him 17 again, thus transforming him into Zac Efron. It's like Tom Hanks in Big in reverse, except much worse. It's feeble, delving into cliché jokes and just plain creepy when Perry/Efron's daughter falls in love with 17-year-old Perry/Efron. Similar to Back to the Future when Lea Thompson's character was crushing on her son Michael J. Fox in reverse, and again, much worse. To quote Travers, "This is a movie that the Scum Bucket was invented for."

Based on its trailer alone, Travers would love to put the Beyoncé home invasion flick Obsessed into the Scum Bucket, but because of your e-mails — and because the studio wouldn't screen the film for critics — Travers will shell out his own cash to watch what's sure to be an absolute dud. Be sure to check back next week and follow along to Travers' Twitter to see if Obsessed surpassed his low, low expectations.

Read Travers' reviews here: