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Sterritt *** Fans of the 1953 animated classic "Peter Pan" will find familiar faces in this sequel, which follows Wendy's daughter on an adventure with Captain Hook, magical Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, and Peter himself. The story lacks the freshness of the original film. But kids will enjoy its action and humor. And in the age of "Monsters, Inc." it's refreshing to see a cartoon that looks like one rather than a conglomeration of computer-generated bits and bytes.Skip to next paragraph
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Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 16 scenes of cartoonish violence. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.
Director: Tom Dey. With Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, Drena De Niro. (95 min.)
Sterritt * A jaded Los Angeles cop (De Niro) and a fame-hungry colleague (Murphy) become the unlikely stars of a reality-TV series cooked up by a producer (Russo) with more ambition than integrity. The movie tries to offer something for everyone, from comedy to shoot-outs to car chases. But the filmmakers are so busy cramming all this into 95 minutes that they forget to make individual scenes funny, exciting, touching, suspenseful, or anything else that might make the picture worth watching.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance innuendo. Violence: 8 scenes, including shoot-outs. Profanity: About 50 strong expressions. Drugs: At least 3 scenes smoking and drinking, including 1 with illegal drugs.
Director: Simon Wells. With Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, Jeremy Irons, Phyllida Law. (96 min.)
Sterritt * The great-grandson of "Time Machine" novelist H.G. Wells directed this heavy-handed version of the classic tale about a scientist who travels from the turn of the 20th century to the distant future, where life has become a tragic standoff between two races: innocent Eloi and apelike Morlocks who cannibalize them. The movie overdoes the love angle, between our hero and an Eloi, and then it overdoes the violence angle, especially when a diabolical Uber-Morlock shows up. Stick with George Pal's colorful 1960 version.
Staff Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 7 scenes, including fighting. Profanity: 2 mild expressions. Drugs: None.
Director: Randall Wallace. With Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear. (140 min.)
Sterritt * Gibson leads US soldiers through a blood-filled battle of the Vietnam war in this fact-based but cliché-riddled melodrama. The filmmakers take advantage of their 1965 setting to dish out guts-and-glory archetypes, ignoring the bitterness and cynicism that welled up among US troops when they started questioning the war's moral and political basis later. Meanwhile, every female character is portrayed as a midcentury stereotype. How can so much money and star power add up to so little conviction?
Staff *** Grimly fascinating, horrific, square-jawed heroism.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene implied sex. Violence: 14 battle sequences, some gory. Profanity: 22 strong expressions. Drugs: 10 scenes smoking, drinking.
Director: Penny Marshall. With Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Brittany Murphy, Adam Garcia. (132 min.)
Staff **1/2 Beverly Donofrio is an ordinary teen with an extraordinary sense of destiny. When she becomes pregnant at age 15 and reluctantly marries her lover, her dreams are shattered by new, sometimes nasty, realities. She embarks on a 20-year quest to be a good mother and assert herself as a formidable writer. Based on a 1990 memoir by Donofrio, this film takes a touching, humorous look at the relationships and events that shaped one woman's life. It's an enjoyable journey, though at times it loses its way. By Steven Savides
Staff *** Full of pathos, satisfying, well-acted.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes innuendo. Violence: 4 scenes, including a mild fight. Profanity: 15 expressions. Drugs: 14 scenes with alcohol, smoking; 3 with drugs.
Director: Antoine Fuqua. With Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke Snoop Dogg. (120 min.)
Staff *** The first day on any job can be nerve-wracking, but nothing can prepare ordinary cop Jake Hoyt (Hawke) for what he endures on his "training day" as he shadows a veteran narcotics cop through the underbelly of LA. Aided by superb performers, director Fuqua fashions a gripping thriller in which both moral and immoral actions have consequences. By Stephen Humphries
Staff *** Sweaty, disturbing, a moral struggle.
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of implied sex, 1 scene with nudity. Violence: 12 often gory scenes. Profanity: 268 harsh expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes of alcohol, 9 with cigarettes, 2 with drugs.