Ratings and comments by David Sterritt and Monitor staff Staff comments 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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STAR RATINGS MEANING
**** Excellent *** Good ** Fair * Poor DUD The Worst
Fever (Not rated)
Director: Alex Winter. With Henry Thomas, David O'Hara, Bill Duke, Teri Hatcher, John Tracy. (93 min.)
Sterritt ** A murder in a rundown apartment building sparks a series of strange events in the life of a psychologically unsteady man. This offbeat drama has more atmosphere than logic, but a few sequences are strikingly well acted and filmed.
Director: Ridley Scott. With Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta, Giancarlo Giannini, Frankie R. Faison, Francesca Neri. (131 min.)
Sterritt *** Hopkins returns as Hannibal Lector, the brilliant psychiatrist with a sadistic personality, a weakness for cannibalism, and an odd affection for FBI agent Clarice Starling, this time played by Moore in a performance as inventive as Jodie Foster's in "The Silence of the Lambs" a decade earlier. Scott has directed the picture with his usual heavy touch - even the boisterous "Lambs" seems subtle by comparison - and much of the action is as ponderous as it is predictable. Lector fans will get their fill, but be warned that the menu contains at least two scenes with over-the-top excesses that Hannibal himself might not want to swallow.
The Taste of Others (Not rated)
Director: Agnes Jaoui. With Agnes Jaoui, Alain Chabat, Anne Alvaro, Gerard Lanvin, Jean-Pierre Bacri. (112 min.)
Steritt *** Why does affection sometimes grow between people who seem to have little or nothing in common? That's the tantalizing question running through this capably acted comedy-drama about a jaded businessman who falls in love with an actress the first time he sees her onstage. The movie doesn't reach any startling conclusions, but it takes an entertaining look at the social and romantic issues its story brings up. In French with English subtitles
CURRENTLY IN RELEASE
Before Night Falls (R)
Director: Julian Schnabel. With Javier Bardem, Olivier Martinez, Andrea Di Stefano, Johnny Depp, Michael Wincott, Sean Penn. (125 min.)
Sterritt *** Politics and humanism find an engrossing balance in this ambitious drama based on the life of Reinaldo Arenas, a gay Cuban poet who was persecuted by the homophobic Castro regime. Bardem gives a star-making performance, but Schnabel's filmmaking doesn't have quite as much visual imagination as his previous bio-pic, the excellent "Basquiat."
Staff *** Ambitious, harrowing, awakens a social consciousness, lyrical.
Sex/Nudity: 13 scenes with sex, many of them with male nudity and intercourse. Violence: 11 scenes including suicide and fighting. Profanity: 9 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 18 scenes with smoking; 7 scenes with drinking; 2 scenes with drug overdoses.
The House of Mirth (PG)
Director: Terence Davies. With Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Laura Linney, Eric Stoltz, Elizabeth McGovern, Anthony LaPaglia, Jodhi May. (124 min.)
Sterritt *** Anderson shines with dark beauty and somber intelligence in this sensitive adaptation of Edith Wharton's riveting novel about a socially ambitious young woman who falls prey to her own miscalculations and the unforgiving nature of foes and friends alike. Wharton's old-school compassion and Davies's taste for artfully wrought melodrama make an unusual but ultimately successful combination.
Staff ***1/2 Remarkably detailed, elegant, overblown.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: None. Profanity: None. Drugs: 9 scenes with smoking, 2 scenes with drinking.
Head Over Heels (PG-13)
Director: Mark Waters. With Monica Potter, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brendan Beiser, Sarah O'Hare, China Chow. (127 min.)
DUD An art-restoration expert (Potter), moves into an apartment with "the last four models in New York who don't smoke." She soon develops a crush on Jim (Prinze) who lives in an adjacent building across the way, until, in a "Rear Window"-ish twist, she thinks she sees him commit a murder. This romantic comedy is so awfully misjudged and ineptly executed in every department that, while it isn't quite a contender for the "so bad it's good" category, this critic was nonetheless dabbing tears of laughter from his eyes.