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
Criminal Lovers (Not rated) ** Director: Franois Ozon. With Natacha Rgnier, Jrmie Rnier, Miki Manojlovic, Salim Kechiouche, Yasmine Belmadi. (95 min.)
A teenage girl persuades her boyfriend to kill a man she doesn't like. While disposing of the body, they fall into the clutches of a lascivious old hermit, who takes them both captive. Ozon generates a high charge of suspense at some points in the aggressively grisly story, but its eventual failure to make sense indicates that it's intended more as a surrealistic fable than an ordinary sex-and-violence adventure. The great Luis Buuel, who appears to be a strong influence on Ozon, had a far deeper mastery of sardonic melodrama like this. In French with English subtitles
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PG-13) *** Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato. With Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, Jim Bakker, RuPaul Charles, Pat Boone. (79 min.)
Entertaining documentary about the life and times of Tammy Faye Bakker, who helped her husband Jim Bakker construct a televangelist empire that ultimately crashed amid a storm of corruption, rivalry, and betrayal. Riveting stuff.
Pokmon: The Movie 2000 (G) *** Directors: Kunihiko Yuyama, Michael Haigney. With voices by Eric Stuart, Veronica Taylor, Philip Bartlett, Rachel Lillis, Addie Blaustein. (84 min.)
When the powers of fire, ice, and lightning (represented by three large birds) are captured and earth's harmony is thereby disturbed, Pokmon trainer, Ash, discovers that only he can save the day. The challenge of weaving the gazillion Pokmon characters together in one story is met with ease, including threads of subtle, moral lessons and clean, simple jokes. Where other movies seem bound to treat kids like adults, "Pokmon" allows kids to be kids, and just enjoy a wholesome, entertaining, well thought-out animation. By Christy Ellington
Sex/Nudity/Profanity/Drugs: None. Violence: 13 scenes with mild violence, including lightning bolts and big waves.
Rififi (Not rated) **** Director: Jules Dassin. With Jean Servais, Carl Mhner, Marie Sabouret, Robert Manuel, Perlo Vita. (118 min.)
Reissue of the French thriller that caper films were measured against for years after its 1954 release. The title is street-slang for "rough stuff," and there's plenty of that as a tough-as-leather ex-con puts together a jewel heist with various shady pals, including an Italian safecracker pseudonymously played by director Dassin himself. Among the picture's many surprises is a superb robbery scene filmed in a near-total silence that contrasts exhilaratingly with the noisy flamboyance of more recent films in this venerable genre. In French with English subtitles
Two Women (Not rated) **** Director: Tahmineh Milani. With Niki Karimi, Marila Zare'i, Atila Pesiani, Mohammad Reza Forutan. (96 min.)
A gifted young woman excels in her studies at a Tehran university, but her progress is interrupted when a mentally disturbed man begins stalking her -a difficult situation in any culture, and intensified here by prejudice against women who go into the world instead of remaining cloistered at home. This gripping Iranian production shows unflinching concern for the plight of talented women in a male-dominated society, making serious sociological points through episodes driven by heart-pounding melodrama. In Farsi with English subtitles
What Lies Beneath (PG-13) *** Director: Robert Zemeckis. With Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford, Diana Scarwid, Joe Morton, Miranda Otto, James Remar, Wendy Crewson, Ray Baker. (130 min.)
Pfeiffer plays a woman who has good reasons for thinking her New England house is haunted, but can't figure out who the ghost might be, or how to persuade her scientist husband that something sinister is in the air. A few scenes indulge in overstated hokum or thriller clichs, but Pfeiffer is first-rate and several sequences are suspenseful enough to deserve that overused adjective, Hitchcockian. **1/2 Bloodcurdling, relentless pace, well done.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene implied sex, 1 suggestive scene. Violence: 7 scenes with violence, including chilling attempts at murder. Profanity: 2 expressions, 1 mild and 1 harsh. Drugs: 5 scenes with alcohol.