The Alamo

Rated 2.0 Director John Lee Hancock (who co-wrote the film with Leslie Bohem and Stephen Gaghan) recreates the legendary 1836 massacre of 183 rebels during the Texas War of Independence. The movie certainly looks authentic enough, and accurate historical details abound: For the first time, the final assault on the Alamo is shown as the short, vicious night fight it really was. But Hancock and company (after delaying the release for four months of re-editing) neglect to develop any drama; they seem uncertain about the story they want to tell, and in trying to give the legend a human dimension, they succeed only in making it dull. Dennis Quaid plays Sam Houston, Jason Patric is James Bowie, Patrick Wilson is William Travis, and (in the most inspired casting so far this year) Billy Bob Thornton is David Crockett.