BRUCE Willis has had more than a few ups and downs in his movie career.

For every Die Hard there's a Bonfire of the Vanities, for every The Sixth Sense there's a Hudson Hawk, and for every moment of his brilliance in Pulp Fiction there's the disappointment - to put it mildly of Armageddon.

Now, after the lukewarm reception to his last effort, Unbreakable, there's a top crime caper called Bandits.

Willis stars as a middle-aged Lothario called Joe who, with his hypochondriac partner Terry (Billy Bob Thornton, escapes from jail to embark on a crime spree.

They rob a succession of banks to finance a legitimate business they hope to set up down Mexico way.

In their wake, the double act - who become known as The Sleepover Bandits leave destruction and a public fascinated by their daring exploits.

But their plans become anything but straightforward when they run into Kate (Cate Blanchett), an unhappily married woman who hopes to join their band of thieves to escape her humdrum existence.

The two men vie for Kate's affections, and the cracks begin to appear in their once solid partnership.

Well-written, Bandits juggles comedy, romance and thriller and is graced by fine performances by the headliners.

Willis is on top form, Thornton creates another in his repertoire of eccentrics, and Blanchett shows that, no only is she one of the finest serious actresses of her generation, but she also has a natural talent for comedy.

Also opening today is Zoolander, a comedy starring Ben Stiller as a top male model whose self-confidence plunges when dashing newcomer Hansel (Owen Wilson) takes his most prestigious contracts.

Desperate to regain his fashion icon status, Derek accepts an invitation from influential designer Mugatu (Will Ferrell) to spearhead a new collection.

Derek is thrilled, but little does he realise that Mugatu is a member of a global syndicate that brainwashes male models to do its evil bidding.