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The Monitor Movie Guide

July 28, 2000

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.

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David Sterritt Monitor panel Meaning

**** **** Excellent

*** *** Good

** ** Fair

* * Poor

DUD DUD The Worst


Alice and Martin (R) *** Director: Andr Tchin. With Juliette Binoche, Alexis Loret, Carmen Maura, Pierre Maguelon, Marthe Villalonga, Jeremy Kreikenmayer, Eric Kreikenmayer, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Mathieu Amalric. (123 min.)

The love affair of an attractive musician and a young man with a troubled family history. Tchin's tendency to exert tight control over every aspect of his movies can make them seem chilly, but this drama is richly photographed and enhanced by Binoche's steadily appealing performance. In French with English subtitles

The Girl on the Bridge (R) *** Director: Patrice Leconte. With Daniel Auteuil, Vanessa Paradis. (92 min.)

Wishing she could bring her sensuality under better control, a young woman falls in love with a circus knife-thrower who introduces her to an eccentric and suspenseful new life. Although the story slips into clichs despite its offbeat subject, Leconte's cinematic style is fresh and vigorous, and Auteuil remains one of France's most engaging actors. In French with English subtitles

The In Crowd (PG-13) * Director: Mary Lambert. With Susan Ward, Lori Heuring, Matthew Settle, Ethan Erickson, Nathan Bexton, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Tess Harper. (100 min.)

Downtrodden Adrien wants to keep secret her recent release from a mental hospital when she starts a new life and a new job at Cliffmont Country Club. But not all those who make up the "in crowd" (rich, scantily clad 20-something country-clubbers with not a hangnail among them but perhaps a murder or two under their belts) are willing to let sullied histories remain hidden. Dark and twisted, with sexually suggestive undercurrents, this one's as safe to miss as a sunburn by the club poolside. By Katherine Dillin * Flimsy, boring, plastic characters.

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes of a sexual nature, including nudity, implied sex, and a lesbian kiss. Violence: 14 scenes with violence, including grisly murders and fights. Profanity: 18 expressions, some harsh. Drugs: 8 scenes with alcohol, 1 with alcohol and smoking.

Loser (PG-13) ** Director: Amy Heckerling. With Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Greg Kinnear, Thomas Sadoski, Dan Aykroyd. (100 min.)

College freshman Paul dangles precariously on the losing end of things - he's too nice to be hip, his party-addicted roommates won't let him study, and he's got to woo the girl of his dreams from their snappy-dressing English professor. Can nice guys finish first? A lighthearted winner. By Katherine Dillin ** Sweet, pretty wholesome, spunky.

Sex/Nudity: 4 mildly suggestive scenes, 5 instances of innuendo. Violence: 1 fistfight. Profanity: 15 expressions, some harsh. Drugs: 7 scenes with alcohol, 3 with tobacco, 1 instance of doping fruit juice.

New Waterford Girl (Not rated) *** Director: Allan Moyle. With Liane Balaban, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Mary Walsh, Nicholas Campbell, Cathy Moriarty, Andrew McCarthy. (97 min.)

Feeling emotionally suffocated in her Nova Scotia town, a teenager cooks up an unlikely plan to escape - pretending to be a tramp when she's really quite the opposite, and fleeing the community on the excuse of a (bogus) pregnancy. Balaban's superb performance blends with Moyle's mostly understated directing to produce an uneven but sometimes enchanting comedy-drama.