The Ruins: Friends in Mexico turn up something evil in an archeological dig. The film relies on grisly imagery and a quartet of protagonists you barely care about.
Stop-Loss: Director Kimberly Peirce's tale of endless war follows U.S. soldiers sent on multiple back-to-back tours of duty in Iraq. Ryan Phillippe does a dark, searing turn as a staff sergeant, and the film keeps you guessing.
- MARC SAVLOV