The Monitor Movie Guide
(Page 2 of 4)
Sex/Nudity: Sexual innuendo, 1 instance of sex. No nudity. Violence: 4 instances - none graphic. Profanity: 168 vulgarities, mostly vile. Drugs: 23 scenes featuring either liquor, cigarettes, marijuana, or cocaine.Skip to next paragraph
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CHINESE BOX (R)
Director: Wayne Wang. With Jeremy Irons, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Ruben Blades. (99 min.)
++ A gravely ill British journalist observes the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule while cultivating complex relationships with two very different Asian women. The screenplay is as ambitious and multilayered as its subject, but filmmaker Wang doesn't achieve either the artful insights of his "Chan Is Missing" or the audience-pleasing drama of "The Joy Luck Club."
Sex/Nudity: Several scenes implying sexual situations, 1 brief scene of topless dancers. Violence: A beating, a suicide, some gore in a butcher's shop. Profanity: 28 obscenities; mostly harsh. Drugs: Characters often drink excessively.
CITY OF ANGELS (PG-13)
Director: Brad Silberling. With Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Dennis Franz. (112 min.)
++ In love with a beautiful heart surgeon, an angel decides to "fall" into mortality so he can experience human love. Many will welcome the movie's interest in spirituality, but some may wonder why it's couched in a celebration of sensual pleasures ranging from sex to cigarette smoking. Based on Wim Wenders's more insightful German film "Wings of Desire."
+++ Life-affirming, thoughtful, pensive.
Sex/Nudity: Fairly explicit sex scene, a sensuous bath scene, and one character is shown nude from behind while running into the ocean. Violence: One mugging scene. Profanity: 13, mostly mild. Drugs: 6 instances of smoking, drinking.
DEEP IMPACT (PG-13)
Director: Mimi Leder. With Robert Duvall, Ta Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Morgan Freeman. (123 min.)
++ An enormous comet hurtles toward a collision with Earth, and Americans scramble to preserve their way of life by either diverting it from its course or squirreling away a random sample of the population in giant caves where they'll wait out the disastrous effects of the crash. Some scenes are preachy or predictable, but overall this is a worthy addition to a trusty genre that includes such minor classics as "When Worlds Collide."
+++ Moving, hopeful, spectacular.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: One explosion, a kidnapping, and natural disasters. Profanity: 34 obscenities - mostly mild. Drugs: 9 scenes of drinking.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (R)
Director: Terry Gilliam. With Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Ellen Barkin, Cameron Diaz, Penn Jillette, Christina Ricci, Harry Dean Stanton, Lyle Lovett. (118 min.)
++ Hyperactive screen version of Hunter S. Thompson's deadpan book about a journalist and an attorney peering through a drug-induced haze at the era of Watergate and the Vietnam War. Gilliam's visual style has never been more energetic or inventive, and nobody could be attracted to dope after this portrait of drug abuse as a hallucinatory quagmire. But many will be grossed out beyond endurance by the picture's nonstop barrage of explosive excesses.
++ Dark, depraved, out of control.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: Some pushing, one man waves a gun, another has a knife; nothing graphic. Profanity: More than 100 vulgarities from mild to harsh. Drugs: More than 100 instances - the entire movie revolves around drug and alcohol use.
Director: Roland Emmerich. With Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Jean Reno, Hank Azaria, Michael Lerner. (126 min.)