In director Andrzej Batkowiak's new action film Cradle 2 the Grave (Warner Brothers), a jewel thief (Earl "DMX" Simmons) gets in2 serious trouble when his latest diamond heist goes wrong and his daughter is kidnapped. This God-fearing crook reluctantly agrees 2 help a Taiwanese government agent (Jet Li) track the kidnappers in hopes of saving the girl's life.

The action-packed Cradle topped the box office this week, in spite of reviewers' attempts 2 send it 2 a box office grave. (Okay. Enough.)

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) describes the film as "all style and no substance … immediately entertaining but ultimately disappointing. There's even a vain attempt at relevance by making superthief DMX a religious man whose love for his daughter borders on the divine. Sorry, but praying to angels to keep one's daughter safe while engaging in criminal activity that puts her in harm's way seems … hypocritical. The makers … try to cater to both sides of man—the sinner and the saint. In doing so, they give nothing of value to either."

Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) declares, "For all its headache-inducing sound and fury with vicious violence, Cradle … deserves to be buried, the sooner the better."

Pare agrees that the religiosity of the thief makes little sense: "The fact that Tony eagerly steals [is] … downplayed. His tenderness seems to suggest he's really a good guy just trying to make a living, and once his daughter is snatched his determination to rescue her practically puts him in heroic territory."

Shaun Daugherty (Preview) declares, "Any self-respecting person will avoid this film at all costs!"

But conservative critic Michael Medved has a different view: "Cradle … so far exceeds all reasonable expectations that it certainly ...

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