Death at a Funeral

Rated 3.0

A family funeral dissolves into a chaos of sibling resentment, blackmail and accidental doses of LSD. Remaking a three-year-old English-language movie that was already perfect was their first mistake; the second was assigning the direction to Neil LaBute, whose talent for comedy is about two points below nil. Despite those two strikes, the movie hits a fairly clean two-bagger: Dean Craig’s great script remains reasonably intact (adding some race-based jokes for the mostly African-American cast), and a large ensemble of fine comic talents (Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Columbus Short, James Marsden, Danny Glover, Luke Wilson, Ron Glass, Loretta Devine, etc.) smoothly overcomes LaBute’s unsubtle direction. Peter Dinklage is on hand from the original cast, reprising his role as the diminutive blackmailer.