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ON THE WATERFRONT Marsden, left, coulda been a contender.
ON THE WATERFRONT Marsden, left, coulda been a contender.

Time Out says

Bada been there, done that. Though it starts off uniquely—Philly neighborhood mook Tommy (Marsden) is coming home from Iraq’s burning oil fields a disillusioned Desert Storm vet—this tired gangster drama quickly gets to the red sauce: constant profanity, butcher-shop shootouts and made-guy solemnity that’s as stale as last week’s garlic knots.

Tommy remembers a glorious time in the ’80s, when he, his brother Vincent (Renfro) and their wild cousin Joey (Ribisi, amping it up beyond belief) used to get into rambunctious brawls in neon-lit diners to a constant parade of pop hits such as the Stray Cats’ “Rock This Town.” Since then, Joey’s grown up and taken his piece of the criminal underworld. Tommy, facing a lengthy prison term for military misconduct, is pressured into going home and getting the dope on the Sicilian key players Joey does business with.

Occasionally, a piano chord will hang in the air uncertainly, as director Robert Moresco tries to push things toward a more personal vein; there’s a recent widow (Piper Perabo) for Tommy to bond with, and some believable family tensions. (I mean actual families, not Five Families.) But these are fleeting glimmers in a work that’s mannered to an eye-rolling degree. Don’t blame Scorsese for what he hath wrought. (Opens Fri; Village East.) — Joshua Rothkopf

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