Director: John Fawcett. With Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Mimi Rogers, Kris Lemche. (108 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt *** See review, page 15.
Director: Patrice Chereau. With Kerry Fox, Mark Rylance, Timothy Spall, Clare Wayland. (119 min.)
Sterritt ** A man and woman meet every Wednesday in London for quick sessions of impersonal sex, and this murky drama explores the effects these escapades have on their otherwise separate lives. Based on fiction by Hanif Kureishi, the movie plays like a warmed-over "Last Tango in Paris," with more explicit sex but a lower level of originality and acting skill.
Directors: Diane Doniol-Valcroze, Arthur Flam. With Emmanuel Salinger, Christopher Zach. (85 min.)
Sterritt ** Fascinated by women and the art of measuring them for clothes, a troubled young tailor escalates from bizarre behavior to outright murder. This dark psychological story falls short in terms of filmmaking and acting, but it's original enough to stand out from the crowd.
Director: Iain Softley. With Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Alfre Woodard, Mary McCormack. (120 min.)
Sterritt * (See full review)
Director: Irwin Winkler. With Kevin Kline, Kristen Scott Thomas, Hayden Christiansen. (124 min.)
Staff *** "Life as a House" has a predictable story line, yet the telling is compelling with fresh twists. A lonely, eccentric architect (Kevin Kline) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. To atone for a lifetime of mistakes, he builds his dream home, enlisting his estranged and rebellious teenage son (Christiansen), and the help of his ex-wife (Scott Thomas). Building the house becomes a metaphor for a life rebuilt and relationships restored. The lead actors give credible, real, meaningful performances, and moments of delightful humor offset the drama. The subject matter, sexual content, and language probably make this film better suited to a more mature audience. By Steven Savides
Director: Charles Laughton. With Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason. (93 min.)
Sterritt **** Mitchum gives one of cinema's greatest performances as a demented man who's one part preacher, one part murderer, and totally determined to track down a stash of stolen loot in the possession of two kids. First released in 1955, this is the only film Laughton ever directed, and he packed it with a mixture of eerie chills, ingenious suspense, and absurdist humor. It's a genuine classic.
Director: Steve Beck. With Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davitz, F. Murray Abraham, Shannon Elizabeth. (90 min.)
Sterritt * (See full review)
Director: Barry Levinson. With Bruce Willis, Cate Blanchett, Billy Bob Thornton, Troy Garity. (109 min.)
Staff ** Mildly amusing is probably not what veteran director Barry Levinson was going for when he teamed macho-man Bruce Willis with chatterbox-hypochondriac Billy Bob Thornton as odd-couple bank robbers in this quirky caper. Cate Blanchett adds spice in her role as a runaway wife who falls for both men at once. Ultimately, it's an offbeat comedy that's a few beats off. By John Kehe
Director: Gary Fleder. With Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen. (110 min.)
Sterritt ** Douglas plays a New York psychiatrist treating a troubled teenager who's been faking most of her afflictions for years; then his daughter gets kidnapped by a twisted criminal who's after a crucial number buried in the teen's memory. The movie has promise as a psychological thriller, but the filmmakers show far more interest in chases and shoot-outs than in characters and ideas.
Director: Neal Slavin. With William H. Macy, Laura Dern, David Paymer, Meat Loaf Aday. (100 min.)