Director: Joel Schumacher. With Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins, Garcelle Beauvais, Brooke Smith. (120 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** See full review, page 15.
Director: Callie Khouri. With Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd, Sandra Bullock, Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight. (118 min.)
Sterritt * See full review, page 15.
Director: Zacharias Kunuk. With Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk. (172 min.)
Sterritt *** See full review, page 15.
Director: Bernard Rose. With Danny Huston, Peter Weller, Lisa Enos, James Merendino, Valeria Golino. (92 min.)
Sterritt *** The decline and fall of a loose-living Hollywood power broker is based partly on Leo Tolstoy's great novella "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" and partly on real show-business scandals. Evidently inspired by his own disgust with blind commercialism in the film industry, Rose makes good use of video techniques to build a documentary-like mood. The acting is uneven, but Huston's performance gains eerie intensity as the tale moves from sensationalistic melodrama to humanistic tragedy.
About a Boy (PG-13)
Directors: Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz. With Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult. (101 min.)
Sterritt * Grant plays a mischievous bachelor who pretends he has a child so he can hunt wooable women in a single-parents club, then becomes the unexpected friend of a real 12-year-old who needs help to overcome his geekiness and make a hit with his peers. Hoult is excellent as the kid, but there's little he or Grant can do with the movie's most mawkish moments.
Staff *** Wryly humorous, cute, unconventional.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene, and some innuendo. Violence: About 5 scenes with bullying. Profanity: 44 expressions, some harsh. Drugs: 14 scenes with alcohol, 9 with smoking.
Director: Henry Bean. With Ryan Gosling, Summer Phoenix, Billy Zane, Theresa Russell. (92 min.)
Sterritt **** Gosling plays a 20-something Jew with a deadly hatred of Jewish life, faith, and history whose friends range from rage-filled local thugs to a pair of intellectually sophisticated neofascists. Based on a real case history, Bean's screenplay paints an excruciatingly vivid portrait of the most dangerous person a tolerant society can have a zealot who's as mentally agile as he is morally misguided. The result is a stunningly smart, genuinely disturbing drama.
Sex/Nudity: 4 instances, including implied sex and nudity. Profanity: 74 harsh expressions.
Director: Roman Coppola. With Jeremy Davies, Elodie Bouchez, Gérard Depardieu. (100 min.)
Sterritt ** Two filmmakers in Paris about 30 years ago one a documentary director, the other a science-fiction storyteller who can't figure out how to finish his current production head for confusion when they fall for the same glamorous actress. Coppola's satirical debut movie is too ambitious for its own good. The cast is good, though, and ambition isn't the worst fault a fledgling filmmaker can have.
Director: Michael Apted. With Jennifer Lopez, Bill Campbell, Juliette Lewis, Dan Futterman. (111 min.)
Staff *1/2 "Slim" (Lopez) is a hardworking waitress who marries a wealthy stranger she meets while serving burgers and coleslaw. Mitch whisks her away into an ostensibly picture-perfect life but when Slim discovers Mitch is a philanderer and confronts him, he starts beating her. With help, she musters the courage to escape from his possessive grip. This disturbing story highlights major flaws in the legal system and the dire struggles abuse victims face: from a lack of money and housing to a lost sense of security. It's exploitative at times, especially when the victim learns martial arts, then aggressively channels her newfound might against Mitch. The ending may seem justified, but unfortunately it teaches the only way to fight violence is with violence. By Stephanie Cook
Sex/Nudity: 7 scenes, mostly innuendo, 1 with nudity. Violence: 6 scenes. Profanity: 11 expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes with drinking.
Director: Oliver Parker. With Rupert Everett, Frances O'Connor, Reese Witherspoon. (94 min.)