St. Vincent

Rated 3.0

Sixteen years removed from Rushmore, Bill Murray could play the curmudgeon-with-a-heart-of-fool's-gold role in his sleep. It's to his credit that Murray is wide awake and close to great in Theodore Melfi's St. Vincent, especially since the script is loaded with enough tranquilizing indie-quirk tropes to take down Dan Aykroyd. Murray is Vincent McKenna, an acerbic, alcoholic slob who earns extra cash by babysitting the precocious, bullied child of his new next-door neighbor (Melissa McCarthy, somehow the only person not overacting here). Very little rings true in St. Vincent—not the boy, not the pregnant Russian prostitute played by Naomi Watts, not Terrence Howard's bookie, and not the ending that is almost literally removed from Rushmore. Yet for all of his clowning, Murray gets under this character's skin like a deer tick, bringing a lot of soul to a film that can't match him.