Zac Efron steps away from High School Musical and into this Great Depression-set tale. It's a risky move that doesn't quite pay off. He plays a naive actor who lands a role in a 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar, directed by a wunderkind named Orson Welles. (Though the Citizen Kane legend really did helm the play, this story is fictitious.) Filled with backstage drama and a love triangle involving Welles’ assistant (Claire Danes), the film makes for a pleasant diversion. Alas, Efron comes off as an amateur next to Christian McKay's spectacular portrayal of the brilliant director.
-- BRADLEY JACOBS