Maybe it's a guy thing? Like when boys dare each other to eat something disgusting. To me, Smokin' Aces felt like writer/director Joe Carnahan took some random ideas, tossed them in the blender and then forced me to drink it.

Like the poor man's Guy Ritchie, who's already the poor man's Quentin Tarantino, Carnahan ( Narc ) attempts to throw as much cool against the wall as he can, hoping it'll stick. It doesn't. The movie is filled with random actors playing random parts, saying random dialogue that's all supposed to approximate something intelligent.

The only bright spot in the whole mess of Ben Affleck, Jeremy Piven, Peter Berg and Alicia Keys, was an amusing turn by the underused Jason Bateman (Rent “Arrested Development.”). Otherwise, I found myself thinking wistfully about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang , which I didn't even love. Is this because I'm a girl?

Grade: D