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YOU KILL ME Perhaps not since Jack Nicholson in 1985's Prizzi's Honor has any actor so solidly struck the funny bone portraying a hit man as Ben Kingsley does in You Kill Me. The film's premise initially makes it sound like a cutesy variation on the type of pseudo-hip crime flicks churned out on a monthly basis by Tarantino wannabes: Mob assassin Frank Falenczyk (Kingsley) was once at the top of his game, but in recent times he's fallen so deeply under the spell of the bottle that he now drunkenly sleeps through his assignments. His boss (Philip Baker Hall) sends him to San Francisco to sober up; there, he lands a job at a funeral home, attends AA meetings under the tutelage of a gay sponsor (Luke Wilson), and strikes up an offbeat relationship with a sharp-tongued woman (Tea Leoni) who doesn't seem particularly disturbed by his line of work. You Kill Me feels like a lightweight throwaway, but it remains in the memory longer than expected, thanks to the freewheeling direction by John Dahl (The Last Seduction), a killer-quip-packed script by the team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (the guys adapting the family-friendly Chronicles of Narnia franchise to the screen!), and a sterling ensemble fronted by a perfectly cast Kingsley, who in this film manages to elicit chuckles with just his terse facial expressions. ***
OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 27:
JOSHUA: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga.
NO RESERVATIONS: Catherine Zeta Jones, Aaron Eckhart.
RESCUE DAWN: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn.
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE: Animated.
SUNSHINE: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne.