Viggo Mortensen goes from ruling Middle-earth to racing across the Middle East in a movie that’s so retro, it’s almost quaint, especially compared to the nouveau computer-generated spectacle of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

You’d think Mortensen would be tired of riding a horse by now, and sore, but he’s back in the saddle again, this time playing a real guy, cowboy Frank T. Hopkins.

A famed long-distance rider, Hopkins competed with his mustang, Hidalgo, in a 3,000-mile race across the Arabian desert in 1890. His story has resulted in a big, beautiful film that could have come out 40 years ago. Mortensen has the rugged good looks and the quiet intensity for the role, but it’s hard not to be distracted by how derivative the film is. Rated: PG-13 for adventure violence and some mild innuendo. Running time: 136 min. Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.

‘Starsky & Hutch’

They could have played Ponch and John or Crockett and Tubbs or even Lenny and Squiggy- and they probably will some day. For now, you can sit back and watch the sporadically amusing, comfortably numbing familiarity of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson bouncing off each other as Starsky and Hutch.

It’s not so much a movie version of the 1970s buddy-cop TV show as it is “Zoolander” with guns. Here, as in that 2001 movie about dimwitted male models, Stiller plays the uptight guy who takes himself way too seriously and Wilson plays the easygoing guy whom everyone likes.

The attention to detail is obsessive, but gawking with horrified fascination at the superfly style of the times grows old quickly, and the fact that this is a one-joke movie becomes painfully obvious after about 45 minutes – and then you’re only about halfway done. Rated: PG-13 for drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence. Running time: 97 min. Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.

‘Confessions of Teenage Drama Queen’

Despite earnest performances from Lindsay Lohan and her teen co-stars, this girl-power comedy is a painfully unfunny affair dolled up with hip fashions and a gazillion-dollar music budget, none of the trappings able to disguise the shallowness of the story. Lohan plays a die-hard Manhattanite uprooted by her mom to New Jersey, where she finds friends and foes in her quest to elevate local cultural sensibilities – and score tickets to the farewell concert of her favorite band. In the big-studio follow-up to her well-received little musical comedy “Very Annie Mary,” Welsh director Sara Sugarman takes a creative step or nine backward. Rated: PG for mild thematic elements and brief language. Running time: 92 min. Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.

‘Eurotrip’

A formless, shapeless bit of teen gross-out drivel that surprisingly manages a few fresh and funny laughs. The thin story centers on a new high-school grad (Scott Mechlowicz) in his quest to find his cyber dream girl in Germany, accompanied by his pals (Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg and Travis Webster). While the movie merits its hard R rating for nudity, sex and out-of-control partying, the coarse sight gags still are a cut above the body-fluid jokes that litter most teen flicks. And the young, largely unknown cast is so dopily unassuming that the result is one of the more inoffensive offerings in the offensive teen sub-genre. Rated: R for sexuality, nudity, language and drug/alcohol content. Running time: 91 min. Rating: 2 out of 4 stras.



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