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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.Skip to next paragraph
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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: 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 filmmaking help this likable Argentine comedy-drama avoid the sentimentality that intermittently threatens it. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Director: Robert J. Siegel. With Lauren Ambrose, Jennifer Dundas, Joelle Carter. (98 min.)
Staff *** Being pretty isn't what it's cracked up to be, teenager Frankie learns from the bad example of two older friends, as she begins to escape the shackles of stereotype and listen to her heart. She even stands up to her overbearing brother, who treats her like hired help in the seaside hamburger joint their retired parents left them. Frankie may not be as good-looking as the other young women, but she's the one we watch she positively glows with beauty that she finds within. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 12 instances, mostly innuendo. Violence: 2 scenes. Profanity: 28 harsh expressions. Drugs: 8 scenes drinking. 1 with drugs.
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, various 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 and political issues in the margins of the story. Too much repetition and an unconvincing finale take their toll on the film's overall effectiveness, though. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Staff *** Reckless, life-affirming, sexually graphic, beautifully shot.
Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes, very graphic, including full nudity. Violence: 3 instances, mild. Drugs: 19 scenes with cigarettes, 9 scenes with drinking, 5 scenes with marijuana.
Director: David Lynch. With Laura Herring, Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, Robert Forster, Ann Miller. (147 min.)
Sterritt *** After losing her memory in a Los Angeles car crash, a young woman comes under the care of a wannabe actress who agrees to help her discover who she is and figure out why her purse is crammed with cash. That's just the bare bones of the plot, which also includes a cynical cop, a hit man who can't shoot straight, and others too numerous to mention. The movie is closer to a delirious dream than a conventional thriller. It will frustrate viewers who like stories to make instant sense, but fans of provocative puzzles will have mind-teasing fun if they can stomach Lynch's trademarked outbursts of sex and violence.
Sex/Nudity: 7 scenes of explicit sex and innuendo. Violence: 9 instances, often disturbing. Profanity: 9 harsh expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes with alcohol, 2 scenes with cigarettes.
Director: Danis Tanovic. With Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Sovagovic, Katrin Cartlidge. (93 min.)
Sterritt *** As battle rages between Bosnians and Serbs in 1993, a wounded soldier lies atop a new-fangled land mine that will blast destruction if he moves flummoxing everyone from his friend to UN peacekeepers called in on the case. It's too simple to call this pitch-dark satire an antiwar statement, since self-righteous cant on the absurdity of war is one of its many targets. Some of the film's points are made a bit too heavily, but the subject is as timely as it is timeless, and many of the performances strike a pitch-perfect balance between parody and passion. In Bosnian, French, and English with English subtitles.