It is sometimes amazing that there is money available to develop a bad movie. Such is the case for Theresa Rebeck's latest film which stars a few actors who have been trending down for a long time. A very long time. So long, I had to look up the last times any of them were in a worthwhile film.


Angelica Huston - who won an Oscar for her performance opposite Jack Nicholson in "Prizzi's Honor" in 1985, stars as the widow Maggie in this bland, poorly acted, poorly directed drama about a woman feuding with her no-account brother over the family land. Her brother Ben (Bill Pullman - whose only memorable role was as the President in the first "Independence Day") is trying to steal the land her sold her years ago that their father left them.

To her aid, but also under the employ of Ben, comes Gerry (David Morse, who hasn't done much since "The Green Mile" and "Hurt Locker"). He and Maggie had a brief fling after her husband died a year ago.


After reporting that Ben was illegally on her property and watching the police do nothing about it, Maggie shoots Ben in his shoulder. No charges are filed but while he is convalescing, Maggie finds out that Ben has a son (Jim Parrack) and has purchased the logging rights under her nose.


But the son is up to no good and really wants the logging rights for himself, so he starts his own hair-brained scheme to get both the logging rights and the title to the property. Gerry basically stands around trying to be everyone's friend.


All the performances are as stiff as petrified wood. The support cast (Victor Williams, Julia Stiles, Brian d'Arcy James and others read their lines like they are being forced to read. There are more than a few scenes where Huston looks confused as to what she's suppose to say. Pullman sometimes looks like they are not holding the cue cards up high enough. This is a directorial issue.


This is Rebeck's second narrative feature. Her first "Poor Behavior" went straight to DVD. This one, will be joining it after a very brief release in select theaters.


"Trouble" is one of those films that make you wonder how films get funding to be made. The story is mundane, the acting is off and the directing is amateurish.   -- GRADE D-  --   GEOFF BURTON