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Movie Guide

April 6, 2001



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.

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STAR RATINGS MEANING

**** Excellent *** Good ** Fair * Poor DUD The Worst

Sterritt * Red stars denote the reviews of Monitor movie critic David Sterritt unless otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor panel (Staff * blue stars) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other moviegoers. Information on violence(v), drugs (d), sex/nudity (s/n), and profanity (p) is compiled by the Monitor panel.

STAR RATINGS

David Sterritt Monitor panel Meaning

Sterritt **** Staff **** Excellent

Sterritt *** Staff *** Good

Sterritt ** Staff ** Fair

Sterritt * Staff * Poor

Sterritt DUD Staff DUD The Worst

New Releases

Along Came A Spider (R)

Director: Lee Tamahori. With Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Jay O. Sanders, Dylan Baker, Raoul Ganeev. (104 min.)

Staff **1/2 Morgan Freeman is back as Washington detective Dr. Alex Cross in this well-paced thriller, which is technically the prequel to "Kiss the Girls." He's on the trail of an intelligent and cunning villain - Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott) - who has kidnapped the daughter of a US senator. "Along Came a Spider" is filled with surprising twists, which often evoke a smile. It contain scenes of fairly graphic violence, including one car crash and several shootings. By Steven Savides

Staff * Stale dialogue, ridiculous twists, Morgan Freeman is about the only redeeming aspect of this film.

Sex/Nudity: 1 reference to sex. Violence: 9 instances, with mostly brief gun shots. Profanity: 9 harsh expressions. Drugs: 1 cigarette.

Amores Perros (Not rated)

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. With Gael Garcia Bernal, Goya Toledo. (153 min.)

Sterritt *** Dogs and a cataclysmic car accident play key roles in this sometimes enticing, frequently savage Mexican drama, which weaves three stories into a sustained look at the complicated lives of a canine named Cofi and his human companions. Gonzalez Inarritu is a highly promising new talent, although his depictions of animal travails will put this movie way off-limits for many viewers. In Spanish with English subtitles

Blow (R)

Director: Ted Demme. With Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ray Liotta, Paul Reubens, Rachel Griffiths, Franka Potente. (119 min.)

Sterritt ** The fact-based story of George Jung, a small-time California crook who became a big-time associate of Pablo Escobar's notorious Colombia drug cartel. The story is inherently stale, especially since Martin Scorsese did it better in the 1990 hit "GoodFellas," but Depp evokes surprising emotional depth with a characteristically subtle performance, and Demme elicits fine acting from the strong supporting cast.

The Day I Became a Woman (Not rated)

Director: Marziyeh Meshkini. With Fatemeh Cheragh, Shabnam Toloui, Azizeh Seddighi. (75 min.)

Sterritt **** This exquisitely filmed Iranian drama tells three separate stories focusing on women's lives. One heroine is a nine-year-old girl deciding how to spend the last remaining hour before she officially becomes a woman by the standards of her culture; another is a wife who decides to assert her independence despite opposition from her husband, and the third is an elderly woman trying for a different kind of independence by making whimsical use of money that's fallen into her hands. Every episode is charged with humanity and compassion.