The Monitor Movie Guide
Reviews in this weekly guide are written by Monitor critic David Sterritt (the first set of '+' marks in each review) unless otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor staff panel (the second set of '+' marks in each review) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other viewers. Information on violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the panel.Skip to next paragraph
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+++1/2 Very Good
++ 1/2 Average
INSOMNIA (NOT RATED)
Director: Erik Skjoldbjaerg. With Stellan Skarsgard, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Maria Bonnevie. (92 min.)
++ A little girl's death touches off a murder investigation with many unexpected twists in this inventive Danish thriller. Skarsgard, best known for "Breaking the Waves," heads a capable cast.
THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO (R)
Director: Whit Stillman. With Chle Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale, Chris Eigeman, Matt Keeslar, Mackenzie Astin, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Beals, David Thornton, Matthew Ross, Tara Subkoff, Jaid Barrymore. (112 min.)
++++ The time is the early 1980s, and the main characters are several young adults who dimly suspect they may not be as smart, hip, and permanently privileged as their pampered upbringings led them to expect. Stillman brings his usual sharp wit to this exploration of upper-middle-class angst, completing the comic trilogy he began with "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona." Contains material related to drugs and sex.
Currently in Release
Director: Agns Merlet. With Valentina Cervi, Michel Serrault, Miki Manojlovic. (96 min.)
+++ Fact-based story of a Renaissance artist who sparked cultural controversy by breaking a taboo against women painting nude figures, and entered a personal scandal when she became the lover of her highly respected mentor. Merlet's lively style blends painterly images with brisk cinematic movement.
Sex/Nudity: Numerous scenes of artists' nude models, one explicit sex scene, one sequence in a bordello including group sex, 3 porn drawings, lots of anatomical drawings. Violence: One explicit torture scene to extract a confession. Profanity: None. Drugs: Scenes of wine drinking.
THE BIG HIT (R)
Director: Che-Kirk Wong. With Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate. (93 min.)
++ Wahlberg plays a comically polite hit man who finds trouble when coworkers turn against him. Alternating between comedy and violent action, the movie is senseless and often unbelievable. The choreography and special effects are interesting, though. By Mariah Gardner
+ Vulgar, tasteless, funky.
Sex/Nudity: Sexual innuendo, backside nudity. Violence: About 55 instances - shootouts, car crashes, assassinations, explosions, attempted rape, heavy on gore. Profanity: 163 vulgarities and profanities, often harsh. Drugs: 10 scenes with drinking or cigar smoking.
Director: Warren Beatty. With Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, Jack Warden, Isaiah Washington, Paul Sorvino. (100 min.)
++ Driven literally nuts by the repetitious drudgery of campaigning, a senator starts speaking his real, irreverent thoughts about class, race, and other sore points of American life. Beatty's political satire is wildly uneven, but a few episodes are witty and trenchant enough to make the broad, hyperactive scenes worth sitting through. Contains a good deal of deliberately offensive language.
++ Ridiculous, liberal, refreshing.