Should you head to the multiplex or just hit the books?
ALL THE KING’S MEN
Robert Penn Warren Auteur Steven Zaillian not only reduces the boyhood pals of narrator Jack Burden (Jude Law) to virtual cameos but skimps on the backstory of idealist-run-amok Willie Stark (Sean Penn).
Warren’s trenchant novel outclasses the uneven movie.
THE BLACK DAHLIA
James Ellroy Screenwriter Josh Friedman concocts his own ending for the noirist’s inspired-by-real-life tale of two detectives (Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett) investigating an aspiring actress’ grisly death.
Ellroy’s gritty, hard-boiled book is truer — and more twisted.
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Giles Foden James McAvoy’s doctor is given a snittier, more complex personality — and the plot points of multiple characters — in this version of a novel about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
Forest Whitaker’s bravura performance better captures the mercurial leader.