The Monitor Movie Guide
Red stars denote the reviews of Monitor movie critic David Sterritt unless otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor panel ( blue stars) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other moviegoers. Information on violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the Monitor panel.Skip to next paragraph
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David Sterritt Monitor panel Meaning
**** **** Excellent
*** *** Good
** ** Fair
* * Poor
DUD DUD The Worst
The Cup (G) **** Director: Khyentse Norbu. With Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling, Jamyang Lodro, Lama Chonjor. (94 min.)
In an Indian monastery, exiled Tibetan Buddhists practice their religion, dream of returning to their homeland, and cook up a plan to watch the World Cup soccer match if they can only get hold of a TV set in time for the big event. The first feature-length movie from Bhutan tells its lighthearted story through smart performances, appealing images, and unfailing good humor. In Bhutanese with English subtitles
Down to You (PG-13) *1/2 Director: Kris Isacsson. With Freddie Prinze Jr., Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, Shawn Hatosy, Henry Winkler. (100 min.)
Al and Imogen fall in love at first sight in college, then face a little relationship turbulance. No matter what the previews may indicate, not much distracts these two from each other. One of the lines on the movie's soundtrack says, "Life should be fun for everyone," but this teen romance mopes an awful lot. There's too much focus on sex, and the dialogue is bland. Meant to act as a Prinze vehicle, but it's not nearly as much fun as "She's All That." By Katherine Dillin
Sex/Nudity: 4 instances of implied sex, 6 of innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes with mild violence. Profanity: 13 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 12 scenes with alcohol, 6 with smoking, 5 with alcohol and smoking, 1 with drugs.
Grizzly Falls (PG) ** Director: Stewart Raffill. With Bryan Brown, Tom Jackson, Oliver Tobias, Daniel Clark, Richard Harris. (94 min.)
Adventurers get distracted from their goal of trapping a grizzly bear when their prey kidnaps a 13-year-old member of the expedition and treats him as her cub, protecting him from harm but preventing his rescue by the others. While the story and acting are the opposite of subtle, young moviegoers may enjoy the action and suspense. Don't go unless you can handle a fair amount of strongly implied violence, though.
Isn't She Great (R) *** Director: Andrew Bergman. With Bette Midler, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, John Cleese, David Hyde Pierce, Amanda Peet, John Larroquette, Paul Benedict. (90 min.)
Midler preens, prances, pouts, and generally kicks up a storm as notorious novelist Jacqueline Susann. Paul Rudnick's screenplay keeps feeding her the rude laughs and boisterous situations she needs to sustain the story's precarious balance between comedy and pathos. The results are unexpectedly entertaining, if you're willing to put up with the picture's stagy look, over-the-top moods, and heavy doses of vulgarity.
Kestrel's Eye (Not rated) *** Director: Mikael Kristersson. With a family of Swedish falcons. (86 min.)
Atmospheric documentary about kestrels who nest among the rocks of an old Swedish church. There's no attempt at storytelling, but few movies have plunged their viewers more energetically into the world of nature.
Nightmare Alley (Not rated) **** Director: Edmund Goulding. With Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Helen Walker, Colleen Gray. (111 min.)