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Sex/Nudity: 6 instances, including seminudity. Violence: 20 scenes with violence, including fighting. Profanity: 15 harsh expressions. Drugs: None.Skip to next paragraph
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Director: John Lee Hancock. With Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez, Brian Cox. (129 min.)
Staff ***1/2 Quaid plays a teacher-turned-Major League Baseball player in this Disney movie based on the true story of Jim Morris. While coaching another losing season of high school baseball, Morris cuts a deal: If his players start winning, he'll try out for the majors. By now an aging father, Morris defies skeptics with his uncanny 95-m.p.h. fastball. For adults who believe G stands for "goofy," Quaid's intense performance will convince them to take this film seriously. By Ben Arnoldy
Director: Tom Dey. With Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, Drena De Niro. (95 min.)
Sterritt * A jaded Los Angeles cop and a fame-hungry colleague become the unlikely stars of a reality-TV series cooked up by a producer with more ambition than integrity. The movie tries to offer something for everyone, from comedy to car chases. But the filmmakers are so busy cramming all this into 95 minutes that they forget to make the scenes funny, exciting, touching, suspenseful, or anything else that might make the film worth watching.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of innuendo. Violence: 8 scenes, including shooting. Profanity: About 50 strong expressions. Drugs: At least 3 scenes of smoking and drinking, including 1 with illegal drugs.
Director: Wally Wolodarsky. With Barry Watson, Michael Rosenbaum, Harland Williams. (94 min.)
DUD Three frat brothers, framed for stealing their animal house's treasury, disguise themselves as women and hide out in a feminist sorority until they can clear their names. Of course, no one recognizes them. As the boys learn to respect women, we wonder why the filmmakers have none for the audience. This rip-off of "Some Like It Hot" seems to ask: If Billy Wilder can get away with this plot, why can't we? Maybe because Wilder had taste and intelligence. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 32 instances of innuendo, nudity, implied sex. Violence: 11 scenes, including rape. Profanity: 28 strong expressions. Drugs: At least 14 scenes of drinking, smoking, including illegal drugs.
Director: Joseph Cedar. With Aki Avni, Tinkerbell, Assi Dayan. (98 min.)
Staff *** The captain of an elite commando unit and his best friend, a radical rabbi's most brilliant student, both love the rabbi's independent-minded daughter. When she chooses the captain, the student begins planning a massive, far-reaching bombing scheme in the Middle East. Only the captain can stop it, but he's under arrest as a co-conspirator. This surprisingly low-key exploration of the radical mindset won the Israeli equivalent of an Oscar. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: Some innuendo. Violence: 5 scenes, including a beating. Profanity: A few mild expressions. Drugs: 6 scenes with tobacco use and drinking.
Director: Gary Burns. With Don McKellar, Tammy Isbell, James McBurney, Marya Delver. (83 min.)
Sterritt *** The setting is a Canadian urban complex, and the main characters are four young workers who've made a bet on who can go longest without venturing outside for a breath of non-recycled air and a glimpse of sunshine not filtered through sheets of glass. This smart, creative social satire skewers cheaply dehumanizing architecture and self-absorbed yuppie mentalities in skillfully assembled scenes. See it in a theater that's way downtown, and city life may never look the same.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón. With Maribel Verdú, Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal. (115 min.)
Sterritt ** Faced with serious new problems in her life, a young Spanish woman living in Mexico City takes off on an impulsive road trip with two adolescent Mexican boys fueled by youthful energy, intoxicants, and hyperactive sex drives. Cuaron gives an offbeat flavor to this coming-of-age tale by combining up-close camera work with a modernistic third-person narration, and by touching on noteworthy social issues in the margins of the story. Too much repetition and an unconvincing finale take their toll on the picture's overall effectiveness, though. In Spanish with English subtitles.