Leatherheads (PG)

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The Independent Culture

George Clooney, in his third outing as director, attempts to revive the spirit of old Hollywood with a talky, Prohibition-era tale of romance and football.

Clooney plays an ageing American footballer who hires young hotshot and war hero The Bullet (John Krasinski) for his failing Duluth team. But the latter hits the headlines for a different reason when a Chicago reporter (Renée Zellweger) discovers that his war heroics may be entirely bogus. The film, shot in golden browns and caramels, looks lovely, and Clooney and Zellweger smooch away pleasantly in their period duds; but the rapid-fire dialogue is a fizzle, and the plot blows like a feeble reed in the wind. It's hard to know what point is being made about "the game", and even harder to care.