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The Monitor Movie Guide

(Page 3 of 3)

The adventures of several young men fighting the Civil War as irregular soldiers near the Kansas-Missouri border. The movie is overlong, but it explores interesting questions of wartime violence, personal integrity, and what it means to come of age in a society ripping apart at the seams. Wright stands out as an African-American man riding with these defenders of the Confederacy out of loyalty to a humane slaveholder.

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Sleepy Hollow (R) *** Director: Tim Burton. With Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Casper van Dien. (110 min.)

There's lots of over-the-top violence in this reshuffled version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and admirers of Washington Irving's great story will be surprised to find Ichabod Crane turned into a detective investigating a series of gruesome murders in 1799. There's also lots of brilliant filmmaking and high-spirited acting, at least until the story turns repetitious and formulaic in the last 30 minutes.

Gory, disappointing, effective cinematography, lifeless acting.

Sex/Nudity: 1 somewhat graphic sex scene. Violence: 29 instances of mostly bloody violence including many beheadings. Profanity: None. Drugs: 1 party scene with alcohol and smoking.

Toy Story 2 (G) *** Director: John Lasseter. With voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer. (92 min.)

It's playtime for viewers of all ages as astronaut Buzz Lightyear launches a rescue operation for cowboy Woody after a greedy merchant packs him up for shipment to a faraway museum. The story is surprising, the screenplay is witty, and the animation is wonderfully creative. A super sequel.

Clever as the first one, take the kids, a technicolor delight.

Sex / Nudity / Profanity / Drugs: None. Violence: 4 instances of cartoonish violence.

Tumbleweeds (PG-13) ** Director: Gavin O'Connor. With Janet McTeer, Kimberly J. Brown, Gavin O'Connor, Jay O. Sanders. (100 min.)

A working-class woman and her adolescent daughter drift to a new town in search of a better life, relying on the power of their mutual affection for support when new problems and temptations arise. The story is as rambling as the characters, but superb acting by McTeer and Brown redeems it.

Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of implied sex; 4 instances of innuendo. Violence: 2 mild scenes. Profanity: 42 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 6 scenes with alcohol or smoking.

The World Is Not Enough (PG-13) ** Director: Michael Apted. With Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Judi Dench, Denise Richards, John Cleese, Desmond Llewelyn. (128 min.)

James Bond battles terrorists, criminals, and a sore shoulder in his 19th adventure. Fans of Agent 007 will get the payoffs they expect, but if moviegoers really thought about the violence, sexism, and materialism at the core of the series, the whole shebang might vanish overnight. *** Brosnan has presence, adventurous, predictable, voyeuristic.

Sex/Nudity: 7 scenes typical of Bond movies including implied sex and the suggestive filmmaking during opening credits. Violence: 47 acts of violence. Profanity: 6 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 10 scenes including smoking or drinking.


The General's Daughter (R) ** Director: Simon West. With John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Woods, Leslie Stefanson. (116 min.)

A military cop and a rape investigator make disturbing discoveries as they probe the bizarre murder of a female officer whose father, a top-ranking commander, is about to enter politics. Contains explicit sexual violence.

The Red Violin (Not rated) *** Director: Franois Girard. With Samuel L. Jackson, Greta Scacchi, Don McKellar. (130 min)

This omnibus-style film traces the fictional history of a superbly crafted violin, and the mystery attached to it. In four languages, with English subtitles.


(In stores Dec 21)

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (G) **1/2 Director: Gary Halvorson. With Kevin Clash, Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa L. Williams. (73 min.)

Elmo has lost his blanket, and nothing can deter him from getting it back from a villain named Huxley (Patinkin). By Katherine Dillin

American Pie (R)

Director: Paul Weitz. With Jason Biggs, Natasha Lyonne, Chris Klein, Shannon Elizabeth. (100 min.) * A bunch of high-school boys make a vow to consummate their sex lives before graduation.

Run Lola Run (R) **** Director: Tom Tykwer. With Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Nina Petri, Herbert Knaup. (81 min.)

Amazingly creative filmmaking propels this anything-goes tale of a young woman who has just 20 minutes to save her boyfriend's life. In German with English subtitles.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society