Capsule reviews of 'Alex Cross,' other new films
This publicity photo released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Helen Hunt, left, and John Hawkes in a scene from "The Sessions." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"Alex Cross" — James Patterson titled his 12th Alex Cross crime novel simply "Cross." The filmmakers who adapted it expanded the title to "Alex Cross." They might as well have gone for broke and called it "Tyler Perry's Madea's Stab at Expanding Her-His Hollywood Marketability as James Patterson's Alex Cross." Perry's name will draw his fans in. Patterson's name will draw his fans in. There's no trace of Madea in director Rob Cohen's adaptation, yet the spirit of the sassy grandma inevitably hangs over the project for viewers curious to see Perry playing it straight and dramatic. Alex Cross the man and "Alex Cross" the movie wind up suffering for it. It's perfectly reasonable for Perry to try to broaden his enormous popularity beyond the Madea lineage in his own raucous portraits of family life. It's also perfectly reasonable to say that casting Perry as Cross was a bad idea, though it's not necessarily the worst in a movie built on bad ideas. Perry looks the part of Patterson's big, athletic hero, but he's low-key-bordering-on-sleepwalker dull, and the standard-issue cop-vs.-serial-killer story presents Cross as more of a dopey psycho-babbler than a guy whose incisive mind cuts right to the heart of the case. With Edward Burns, Matthew Fox and Cicely Tyson. PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references and nudity. 102 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.
This film image released by Summit Entertainment shows Tyler Perry in the title role during a scene from "Alex Cross." (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment)
— David Germain, AP Movie Writer