Woody Allen follows up his best film (Match Point) with another story set in London and starring Scarlett Johansson as an American greenhorn among the English gentry, but this mystery comedy is tired, labored, and lazy. A journalism student (Johansson), drafted by a stage magician (Allen) to take part in a vanishing act, winds up in a hidden compartment and meets the ghost of a journalist (Ian McShane), who informs her that a wealthy playboy (Hugh Jackman) may be a notorious serial killer. This is hardly Allen’s worst film (I might go with Shadows and Fog or Hollywood Ending), but he’s definitely going through the motions. The score consists of classical chestnuts (Grieg and Tchaikovsky), which Allen seems vaguely to associate with upper-class Brits. PG-13, 96 min. (JR)

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