The Monitor Movie Guide
(Page 3 of 4)
+ Giant lizard terrorizes city. Some of the special effects are impressive, but such enthusiasm for spectacular destruction could only be whipped up by filmmakers who hold the human values of their audience in very low regard.Skip to next paragraph
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++ Inane, teen-pleaser, overhyped.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: Godzilla and family destroy New York amid military assaults, bombings, and several gobbled people. Profanity: 41 obscenities, mostly mild. Drugs: 3 scenes with cigarettes, 1 with liquor.
THE HANGING GARDEN (NOT RATED)
Director: Thom Fitzgerald. With Chris Leavins, Kerry Fox, Sarah Polley. (91 min.)
+++ Unpredictable, sometimes dreamlike drama about a young gay man visiting his family and remembering his years as a shy, ungainly child. Good acting and a surprising story raise this offbeat tale a cut above the average.
HE GOT GAME (R)
Director: Spike Lee. With Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, John Turturro, Lonette McKee, Ned Beatty. (128 min.)
+++ A father is offered early release from prison if he can persuade his son, a gifted basketball player, to attend the local college instead of signing with one of the high-powered institutions that are tempting him with offers of money, sex, and sin. Combining elements of family drama, religious fable, and sports adventure, Lee's flawed but fascinating movie is sometimes brilliant and never dull. Contains brief but explicit sex and drug abuse.
+++ Powerful, lurid, ambitious.
Sex/Nudity: 8 sexual situations - some extremely graphic; brief nudity. Violence: 7 instances of violence, one involving an accidental murder. Profanity: 102 vulgarities; often harsh and generally crude dialogue. Drugs: 5 instances of drinking, one scene with a drunk man.
THE HORSE WHISPERER (PG-13)
Director: Robert Redford. With Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Scarlett Johansson, Dianne Wiest, Sam Neill. (164 min.)
++ A sensitive cowboy helps a girl, her mother, and her horse overcome the psychological effects of a terrible riding accident. Redford the director makes sure that Redford the actor is favored by as many adoring close-ups as possible, and even his fans may find this too much of a good thing. But solid acting and gorgeous Montana landscapes lend class to what might have been a garden-variety soap opera.
+++1/2 Stunning scenery, touching, uplifting.
Sex/Nudity: One very sensual dance scene. Violence: 2 scenes: an extremely graphic riding accident and an episode with a crazed horse. Profanity: 11 instances, mostly mild. Drugs: 3 scenes with alcohol.
LAWN DOGS (NOT RATED)
Director: John Duigan. With Sam Rockwell, Mischa Barton, Kathleen Quinlan, Christopher McDonald. (100 min.)
++ Neighbors leap to fearful conclusions when a young worker strikes up an unexpected friendship with a 10-year-old girl in a class-conscious Southern suburb. Capably acted and directed, although less imaginative than its unconventional main characters might lead one to expect.
LES MISRABLES (PG-13)
Director: Bille August. With Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes, Uma Thurman. (140 min.)
+++ Handsomely produced adaptation of Victor Hugo's stirring novel about a decades-long duel between a rehabilitated convict and a police inspector who cares more about law and order than justice and redemption. Neeson and Rush give emotionally rich portrayals of the main characters, and August's proudly classical filmmaking keeps the dramatic energy high even when the secondary performances sag in the story's second half. The screenplay by Rafael Yglesias focuses on moral issues with a seriousness and insistence that illuminate current social-issue debates as well as the history of Hugo's own time.