The Number 23 ★★

Somewhat fascinating premise, suggestive opening credits, fairly promising beginning, and the sequences that visualize the novel as the main character is reading it are nicely realized and stylishly shot; however, the story is barely serviceable while the film is unspooling and quite preposterous in afterthought, the characters are largely uninteresting, and the exposition is unsubtle and much of it is not really necessary. Jim Carrey does not hit all the right notes to be completely convincing in the lead role; an underused Virginia Madsen does what she can with her character. Directed by Joel Schumacher.