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Sex/Nudity: 6 instances innuendo; 1 scene implied sex. Violence: 12 scenes, including near drownings and surfing injuries. Profanity: 22 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking and smoking.Skip to next paragraph
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Director: William Malone. With Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea. (90 min.)
Staff *1/2 A homicide detective enlists the help of a Department of Health employee to solve a string of murders. Or suicides. They're not really sure, and it doesn't matter much. What really matters is that a website is (gasp!) tormenting the souls of all who visit it with their own worst fears, such as car crashes, cockroaches, or having to sit through this movie. A decent score and truly gorgeous cinematography are ruined by a terrible script and violence that defines gratuitous. Rent this one and watch it with the sound off. By Alex Kaloostian
Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, including nudity, innuendo. Violence: 27 scenes of graphic violence, including torture. Profanity: 23 strong expressions. Drugs: At least 5 scenes of smoking, drinking.
Director: Miguel Arteta. With Jennifer Aniston, John C. Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson. (93 min.)
Sterritt **** What's a well-meaning young woman to do when she's stuck in a miserable marriage, a tedious town, and a boring job, and the only chance for escape is a love affair she can't resist? Aniston and Reilly give the best of many excellent performances. A few plotty scenes aside, this quietly directed drama paints a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of modern malaise, and also has a smart sense of humor.
Staff ***1/2 Well-acted, thoughtful, sad.
Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes with innuendo, several explicit, adulterous sex scenes. Violence: 6, including fighting. Profanity: 14 expressions. Drugs: 14 scenes with illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking.
Director: Edouardo de Oliveira. With Michel Piccoli, Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich. (90 min.)
Sterritt **** An aging actor relies on work to balance his life after a family tragedy takes a great toll on him, but he eventually finds himself facing the end of his career with mingled nostalgia and regret. Piccoli gives one of the most nuanced performances of his distinguished career, but the primary star of the movie is de Oliveira, who unfolds the story with unfailing skill and sensitivity.
Director: Sandra Nettelbeck. With Martina Gedeck, Sergio Castellitto. (107 min.)
Staff ***1/2 Martha is a perfectionist chef in Hamburg who can't quite cope when her 8-year-old niece unexpectedly comes to live with her. There's no recipe for raising Lina, but slowly Martha finds a new rhythm especially when she gets over feeling threatened by a free-spirited chef who joins the staff at her restaurant. Not to be seen on an empty stomach, this beautiful film is equal parts drama and humor, seasoned with a hint of romance. By Stacy A. Teicher
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance innuendo. Violence: 1 scene with slapping. Profanity: 5 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 smoking scenes. 9 scenes with drinking or cooking with alcohol.
Director: Mark Romanek. With Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen. (98 min.)
Sterritt ** Williams plays a seemingly bland photo-booth clerk who's become dangerously obsessed with a local family whose pictures he's been processing for years. Williams's acting is as chilling as it is restrained, but Romanek's directing damps down the drama's psychological impact, making it look as glossy and two-dimensional as the snapshots that run through the photo man's finely calibrated machines.