Director: Marilyn Freeman. With Carrie Brownstein, Kari Fillipi, Vicki Hollenberg, S. Ann Hall. (106 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** Eight characters attend group-therapy sessions for 21 weeks, and we watch selected moments from their highly emotional sessions, where they face down a variety of daunting psychological problems. The movie teeters on a slippery dividing line between realism and fiction. It gains power from the mercurial nature of its improvised acting and split-screen camera work, though.
Director: John Schultz. With Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Anne Meara. (100 min.)
Staff **1/2 See review, page 15.
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld. With Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Rosario Dawson, Johnny Knoxville. (88 min.)
Staff ** See review, page 15.
Director: Craig McCracken. With (voices): Tara Strong, Catherine Cavadini, Elizabeth Daily. (87 min.)
Staff *1/2 See review, page 15.
Director: Luchino Visconti. With Alain Delon, Annie Girardot, Renato Salvatori. (180 min.)
Sterritt **** This extraordinary 1960 epic traces the fortunes of a southern Italian family who migrates north to Milan in search of a better life, focusing memorably on Delon as the clan's idealistic conscience and Salvatori as its enemy within. From its star-studded cast to its indelible camerawork by the legendary Giuseppe Rotunno, it's an unforgettable experience by a revered master of European cinema. In Italian with English subtitles.
Director: Jo Sol. With Mercedes Ortega, Miguel Molina, Elsa Pataky, Alexis Valdes. (90 min.)
Sterritt ** A tattoo salon in Barcelona is the focal point for this unconventional drama about a woman who wants to forget her experiences with a past lover in India who still attracts her despite the attentions of a new man who might be able to help her start a new life. Sol doesn't knit the complicated story into a coherent flow, but there are many visually striking moments along the way. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Director: Doug Liman. With Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox. (113 min.)
Sterritt ** Damon plays a spy so afflicted by amnesia that he doesn't know his name, much less the assignment he's supposed to carry out. The movie has director Liman's distinctive stamp, with fidgety camera work and lightning-quick editing. But he hasn't so much transformed the espionage thriller as submitted to its conventions. A truly fresh treatment of Robert Ludlum's novel wouldn't rely so heavily on shootouts, car chases, and boy-meets-girl cliches.
Staff *** Fresh, entertaining, great casting.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance implied sex. Violence: 11 scenes, including shooting. Profanity: 6 strong expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes drinking, smoking.
Director: Peter Care. With Kieran Culkin, Emile Hirsch, Jena Malone, Jodie Foster. (110 min.)
Sterritt *** "Stand by Me" meets "Ghost World." This coming-of-age story centers on two 1970s parochial-school students who express their frustrations by drawing a lurid comic book, but get into trouble when their discontents spill into the real world. The film's theme is that many adolescents don't draw firm lines between reality and fantasy. It has no profound insights to offer, even when it tackles the grim topic of incest, but nimble performances and lifelike dialogue make it entertaining and thoughtful.
Staff *** Dark, unsnarling, original, captures the struggles of youth
Sex/Nudity: 11 instances, including innuendo. Violence: 12 scenes, including violent drawings. Profanity: 49 harsh expressions. Drugs: 13 scenes with drinking, smoking, drugs.
Director: Callie Khouri. With Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd, Sandra Bullock, Maggie Smith. (118 min.)
Sterritt * A mother flies into a Louisiana tizzy when her daughter criticizes her in a magazine interview, so her kooky old friends kidnap the erring offspring, convinced she'll change her ungrateful tune if they reveal how many challenges her mom faced during her own salad days. Flashbacks follow, depicting childish mischief and girlish romance along with alcoholism and mental illness. Full of cardboard characters and logic-defying leaps between farce and melodrama, the movie is rarely effective.