Big question: Alcoholic cop Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) clashes with corrupt officers while escorting witness Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to the courthouse. Is this just "Die Hard: With a Drinking Problem?"
Catch it: "16 Blocks" features complex, restrained performances all around, particularly from Willis as a man broken by his own mistakes. Of the two Mos Def movies this week (he also appears in "Dave Chappelle's Block Party"), "16 Blocks" is the slightly more def.
Skip it if: You're looking for Willis' traditional, testosterone-fueled action flick. "16 Blocks" is melancholy, low-energy and not much fun.
Bottom line: Unlike the usual dirty cop thriller, "16 Blocks" patiently develops into a straightforward drama without useless love interests or improbable twists. It's a bittersweet story of the humility and dignity of flawed characters trying to do the right thing.
Bonus: Eddie is a convicted felon who dreams of entering the cake-making biz. The lesson: Always know your baker.
Directed by Richard Donner; written by Richard Wenk; photographed by Glen MacPherson; edited by Steven Mirkovich; production designed by Arv Greywal; music by Klaus Badelt; produced by Avi Lerner, Randall Emmett, John Thompson, Arnold Rifkin and Jim Van Wyck. A Warner Bros. Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:37. MPAA rating: PG-13 (violence, intense sequences of action, and some strong language).
Jack Mosley - Bruce Willis
Eddie Bunker - Mos Def
Frank Nugent - David MorseCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times