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. ++++ Excellent +++1/2 Very Good +++ Good ++ 1/2 Average ++ Fair +1/2 Poor + WorstSkip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
NEW RELEASES SHES ALL THAT (PG-13) Director: Robert Iscove. With Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook, Matthew Lilliard, Kieran Culkin, Jodi Lyn O Keefe, Anna Paquin, Paul Walker, Usher Raymond, Kimberly Lil Kim Jones, Kevin Pollack, Clea DuVall. (96 min.) +++ The most popular boy in school bets that he can turn an art-class dork into the prom queen, then finds himself (surprise!) captivated by her hidden charms. This teenage Pygmalion is predictable and a bit gawky, and some wont like its flashes of gross-out humor. The cast is appealing, though, and there are a few hilarious jokes tucked in around the edges of the plot.
THE 24 HOUR WOMAN (R) Director: Nancy Savoca. With Rosie Perez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Patti LuPone, Wendell Pierce, Diego Serrano, Karen Duffy, Aida Turturro. (95 min.) +++ Eager for the joys of motherhood, a TV producer combines the personal with the professional by making her pregnancy a part of her show, then runs into increasing difficulty juggling her many responsibilities after the baby is born. The movie is often rough around the edges, and the ending doesnt resolve the questions raised by the story. But its bursting with energy and commitment, reflecting Savocas longtime dedication to exploring womens lives.
CURRENTLY IN RELEASE AFFLICTION (R) Director: Paul Schrader. With Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, Willem Dafoe, James Coburn, Mary Beth Hurt. (115 min.) +++ Closely following Russell Bankss richly textured novel, this dark-toned drama traces a series of emotionally wrenching events in the life of a New Hampshire policeman whose family problems range from spats with his former wife to intermittent rage against his alcoholic father. Nolte gives one of his most fully realized performances, Coburn makes an amazingly powerful comeback, and Schraders filmmaking has never been more expressive or assured. +++ Grim, tragic, outstanding acting. Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of implied sex. Violence: 10 instances, many alcohol- related, including child-abuse flashbacks. Profanity: 137 expressions. Drugs: 13 instances of alcohol use, some harsh and abusive.
ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE (R) Director: Larry Clark. With James Woods, Vincent Kartheiser, Melanie Griffith, Natasha Gregson Wagner, James Otis, Christopher Doyle. (101 min.) ++ An experienced thug invites a drug-abusing teenager to become his protg, leading to a violent crime spree. Clarks first movie since the controversial Kids manages to be jarringly naturalistic and flagrantly melodramatic at the same time, bursting with explicit horrors that sound a loud alarm over antisocial elements in Americas heartland.
AT FIRST SIGHT (PG-13) Director: Irwin Winkler. With Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Nathan Lane, Steven Weber. (124 min.) ++ A blind masseur falls in love with a young architect, regains his sight through a new surgical procedure, and experiences vision for a limited time before losing it again. The movie takes fascinating material and transforms it into routine soap opera, complete with heavy-handed dialogue and corny music. Its constructive aspects would reach a larger audience if they were handled with more subtlety and skill. Based on a story by the popular science writer Oliver Sacks, MD. Sex/Nudity: 5 mild instances. Violence: 1 mild scene. Profanity: 29 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 scenes of social drinking.
CENTRAL STATION (R) Director: Walter Salles. With Fernanda Montenegro, Vinicius de Oliveira, Marilia Pera, Othon Bastos (115 min.) +++ A feisty Brazilian widow meets a little boy with no home, takes him under her wing, and helps him find elusive family members deep in the countrys interior. The performances are engaging, and the views of rural Brazil are captivating, making the film a solid audience-pleaser even though its story seems familiar and sentimental. +++1/2 Compassionate, moving, thought-provoking. Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 2 mild instances. Profanity: 24 expressions. Drugs: A couple instances of drinking.