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Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, mostly innuendo. Violence: 11 scenes, including attempted rape. Profanity: 17 mild expressions. Drugs: At least 3 scenes with drinking and smoking.Skip to next paragraph
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Director: Julien Duvivier. With Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Marcel Dalio, Gabriel Gabrio. (90 min.)
Sterritt **** Pépé is a gifted French criminal who's moved his operation to the Casbah, where he lords it over friends and foes until a slinky French temptress leads him into a romantic muddle that proves his downfall. Made in 1937, this masterpiece of poetic realism features one of Gabin's most renowned performances, a smart subtext about French colonialism, and enough exotic atmosphere to keep your head in the clouds. In French with English subtitles.
Director: Jacques Audiard. With Emmanuelle Devos, Vincent Cassel, Olivier Gourmet. (115 min.)
Sterritt ** A young woman with a hearing disorder strikes up an uneasy friendship with a recently released convict who takes a low-level job at the office where she works and then starts slipping back toward crime. The first half is a well-acted psychological drama, but the second half is standard thriller fare. In French with English subtitles.
Director: Julio Medem. With Paz Vega, Tristan Ulloa, Najwa Nimri, Daniel Freire. (128 min.)
Staff **1/2 An obsessive young woman barges into the life of a novelist, giving him motivation to overcome his writer's block. Adding fuel to the fire is his meeting a daughter he didn't know he had and the daughter's sexy nanny, whose mother is an ex-porn star. We see his life as it unfolds and as he adapts it in his book. This surrealistic blend of life and fantasy works well most of the way, giving us insight to the characters' passions and fears. But beware the film more than lives up to its title. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 21 scenes, including graphic sex and much nudity. Violence: 5 scenes, including a dog attack. Profanity: 12 harsh expressions. Drugs: At least 9 scenes of smoking and drinking.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan. With Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin. (106 min.)
Sterritt * A clergyman who's lost his faith regains it while undergoing an attack by extraterrestrials in the farmhouse he shares with his brother and kids. The film raises important issues of religion and the meaning of life, but every time it promises to get thoughtful, Shyamalan douses it with overwrought emotion, family-values clichés, tepid space-monster suspense, and humor that's never, ever funny. Think "Roswell Meets Father Knows Best."
Staff *** Suspenseful, scary, pseudo-philosophical.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: At least four violent scenes, including animal brutality. Profanity: 11 mild expressions. Drugs: None.
Director: Rob Minkoff. With Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Melanie Griffith, Jonathan Lipnicki. (70 min.)
Staff ***1/2 America's unlikeliest action hero is a five-inch mouse with a heart as big as Central Park. As voiced by the incomparable Michael J. Fox, Stuart Little now the middle Little in a family of five is struggling with fitting in at school and his mom's suffocating over-protectedness. Just as Stuart is wishing for a friend, an adorable canary falls from the sky into his lap and his heart. Nathan Lane is again hilarious as the cat Snowbell. The character design, digital animation, and action sequences are all stunning, and the love that grows between the two new friends is convincing and touching. A winner for kids and parents alike. By John Kehe
Staff *** Top animation, lively, Stuart charms
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: About 8 scenes with cartoonish violence. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.
Director: Gary Winick. With: Sigourney Weaver, John Ritter, Bebe Neuwirth, Aaron Stanford. (78 min.)
Staff **1/2 Oscar is an intellectual prep-school sophomore, bored with girls his age and infatuated with his 40-year-old stepmother (Weaver). Without intending to, he manages to sleep with her best friend. This coming-of-age comedy is quite enjoyable on its own terms, no doubt intended as an homage to French culture (particularly Louis Malle's 1971 "Murmur of the Heart.") But almost everything in it derives from Malle's classic film, chopped into a salad that leaves you hungry for the main course. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, including innuendo, implied sex. Violence: None. Profanity: 11 mostly mild expressions. Drugs: 5 scenes of drinking, smoking.