Director: Doug Liman. With Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox. (113 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** See review, page 15.
Director: Peter Care. With Kieran Culkin, Emile Hirsch, Jena Malone, Jodie Foster, Vincent D'Onofrio. (110 min.)
Sterritt *** See review, page 15.
Director: Raja Gosnell. With Freddy Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini.
Staff *** The wild and droll canine Scooby-Doo and his villain-chasing friends reunite for a spooky adventure in this first live-action adaptation of the animated TV series. A theme-park owner calls on the gang (Mystery Inc.) to uncover the reason all the visitors are leaving the park as monster-possessed zombies. Numerous clues and outlandish happenings lead them through fun-house twists and turns as they seek the desperado behind it all. The characters are well portrayed and the ending is unexpected, but some scenes are clichés and others grotesque. The qualities that enable this quintet to succeed include adaptability and an appreciation of good friends. The story offers enough incentive for adults to stay and kids to watch so give yourself a Scooby Snack! By Chase Clements (age 13)
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of provocative behavior. Violence: 18 instances of cartoonish violence. Profanity: 3 instances of mild language. Drugs: None.
Director: Imogen Kimmel. With Charlotte Brittain, Lee Ross, Annette Badland, James Hooton. (89 min.)
Sterritt ** A working-class Englishwoman escapes the woes of her mediocre marriage by joining a New Age sumo-wrestling club that lets her celebrate her hefty body and freewheeling hopes. Energetic acting helps compensate for a contrived script and directing that's sometimes as heavy as its cheerfully rotund characters.
Director: John Woo. With Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Christian Slater, Roger Willie, Peter Stormare. (134 min.)
Sterritt * See review, page 15.
Director: Joel Schumacher. With Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins, Garcelle Beauvais, Brooke Smith. (120 min.)
Sterritt ** A streetwise hustler is drafted by the CIA to replace his killed-in-action twin on a mission to seize a contraband nuclear device, helped by a CIA veteran and threatened by a terrorist team. Rock and Hopkins give performances so different you'd think they were spliced together from two separate movies. This is fun to watch for a while, but the picture runs much too long, and most of the comedy writing is lame.
Sex/Nudity: 2 mild scenes. Violence: 10 scenes, including shooting. Profanity: 26 harsh expressions. Drugs: 8 scenes of smoking and drinking.
Director: Henry Bean. With Ryan Gosling, Summer Phoenix, Billy Zane. (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: Peter Sheridan. With Shawn Wayne Hatosy, Danny Dyer, Michael York, Lee Ingleby. (93 min.)
Staff **1/2 In 1940, the British caught 16-year-old Brendan Behan (Hatosy) trying to smuggle a bomb into the country, and sent him to a "borstal" a prison for young offenders. In this probably sanitized account of a true story, a kindly warden (York) and his charming daughter (Birthistle) awaken Behan's writing talent and help him accept his bisexuality. The film makes little of the alcoholism plaguing him. The story breaks off at his return to Dublin without mentioning the cop shooting that soon put him back in prison. By M.K. Terrell