Director: Steven Spielberg. With Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace Stone, Peter Coyote. (120 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt *** Spielberg's much-acclaimed fantasy, about a 10-year-old boy and a childlike space visitor who wanders into his jumbled suburban home, has been touched up with new footage and a freshly tweaked soundtrack for its 20th anniversary. The picture charmed 1982 audiences with its sympathetic look at
the challenges of childhood, and it helped alter the course of sci-fi movies by suggesting that intergalactic aliens might not be monsters but friendly, even loving, creatures. This doesn't make it a masterpiece, but it's fun.
Director: Juan José Campanella. With Ricardo Darín, Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio. (124 min.)
Sterritt *** Flustered by family and personal problems as he heads into middle age, a mildly successful restaurateur helps his elderly father and mentally failing mother have the church wedding she's always wanted. Energetic acting and perky filmmaking help this likable Argentine comedy-drama avoid the sentimentality that intermittently threatens it. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Director: Alexander Mackendrick. With Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Barbara Nichols, Sam Levene. (96 min.)
Sterritt **** Lancaster never surpassed his legendary depiction of newspaper columnist J.J. Hunsecker, a Manhattan power broker with a vicious personality and a poison pen to match, and Curtis is equally indelible as Sidney Falco, a fawning publicist who'll do almost anything to get a client's name into print. Everyone raves about this 1957 film featuring Mackendrick's hard-edged directing, James Wong Howe's taut cinematography, Elmer Bernstein's jazz-flavored score, and dialogue by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, which barks and bites with equal intensity. And everyone's right.
Director: Kevin Bray. With Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Valarie Rae Miller, Anthony Michael Hall. (94 min.)
Staff * Miami bounty hunter Bucum (Ice Cube) becomes a reluctant partner with his quarry, bail-jumping con artist Reggie (Epps), when they cross paths with a murderous gang chasing $20 million in diamonds. Oh, and somehow the thugs' boss gets hold of Reggie's winning lottery ticket. Explicit violence and nonstop foul language (co-written by Ice Cube) weigh down the comedy act in what should have been a lively spoof of tire-squealing heist movies. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes including sex, innuendo. Violence: 16 instances, including shootings, fistfights. Profanity: 231 strong expressions, 3 gestures. Drugs: At least 7 scenes with smoking, drinking.
Festival in Cannes (PG-13)
Director: Henry Jaglom. With Ron Silver, Greta Scacchi, Maximilian Schell, Anouk Aimée. (99 min.)
Sterritt *** This romantic comedy takes a low-key look at a high-strung film festival, using it as the backdrop for intersecting stories about a young actress looking for a break, an aging diva longing for a comeback, an indie newcomer and a studio hotshot scrambling for the same star, and others of their ilk. The cast is superb, and Jaglom's improvisational style works well, turning loosely strung incidents into an easy-going treat for movie buffs.
Harrison's Flowers (R)
Director: Elie Chouraqui. With Andie MacDowell, David Straithairn, Adrien Brody, Elias Koteas. (130 min.)
Sterritt ** Refusing to accept the possibility that her news photographer husband has died covering fierce combat in Yugoslavia, an American woman travels there and plunges into wartime chaos on a desperate search for him. The film makes a commendable effort to celebrate bravery and underscore war's terrors, but its melodramatic approach is more spectacular than insightful, even if, for a change, a woman character gets to show courage under fire.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes innuendo, implied sex. Violence: 15 scenes, including attempted rape and battles. Profanity: At least 85 expressions, many harsh. Drugs: 15 scenes smoking, drinking, and a few scenes with illegal drugs.
Director: Michael Kalesniko. With: Kenneth Branagh, Robin Wright, Suzi Hofrichter. (107 min.)