The Game (18). David Fincher makes great-looking films, but narrative coherence isn't high on his list of priorities. His follow-up to Se7en, the ultimate serial-killer-chic movie, is a cynical thriller that builds, with increasing pointlessness, to a deflating punchline. Fans of The Usual Suspects will love it. Michael Douglas plays his usual rich white male- in- peril. The walls start to close in when a birthday gift from brother Sean Penn turns out to be some sort of sinister role-playing game, masterminded by a mysterious corporation. Is it an elaborate scam to rob him of his millions, or an elaborate character-building game? Does it matter? Soaked in Fincher's fashionable brand of dank, all-purpose doom, the first hour scales giddy heights of self-absorbed paranoia (and also offers the satisfying spectacle of Douglas being tormented, more painstakingly than ever). But the tension evaporates, the logic short-circuits, chunks of the puzzle grow more incongruous, and the movie culminates in what seems less a twist than a cheap, nullifying parting shot.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (18). Sociopathic Henry (Michael Rooker) shows up at an old friend's, lures him into his sick and twisted world, and gets involved with the friend's sister (Tracy Arnold). Loosely based on a mass murderer's confessions, John McNaughton's first film (made in 1986) is an understated yet unforgettably chilling study of depravity, all the more disturbing for its composure.
I'm Not Rappaport (12). Herb Gardner adapts his 1986 play, with Walter Matthau and Ossie Davis as bickering Central Park old-timers. It's slightly ridiculous and much too long, but several hundred times smarter than Grumpy or Grumpier Old Men.