NOBEL SON (Randall Miller). 102 minutes. Opens Friday (December 5). Rating: NN
Nobel Son suffers from two fatal flaws. The first is that you can no longer just ape the stylistic tics of music videos, or the base elements of a Tarantino flick, and hope to be thought cool. The second is that casting your most talented and compelling actor as the unsympathetic asshole means the audience will root for the wrong person.
Alan Rickman plays Nobel laureate Eli Michaelson, whose whiny son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg, a poor man's Milo Ventimiglia) gets kidnapped by a psychopath (Shawn Hatosy) who shares a history both with Eli and with Barkley's new girl, the idiotically named City Hall (Eliza Dushku, who alongside Rickman appeared in Miller's Bottle Shock earlier this year).
Eli's vile, but Rickman acts circles around everyone else without even trying. God knows what he saw in the script, but he's the best thing about the result.