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Director: Roy Andersson. With Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Hanna Eriksson, Torbjorn Fahlstrom. (98 min.)

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Sterritt **** In place of a conventional plot, this utterly unique Swedish movie offers a series of related episodes about a business tycoon on the skids, a magician whose tricks go wrong, and a motley crew of other characters. Some are funny, some are tragic, all are dreamlike and unpredictable, suggesting that the 21st century will be a lot weirder and wackier than we expect. In Swedish with English subtitles.

Spirited Away (PG)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki. With voices of Daveigh Chase, David Ogden Stiers, Suzanne Pleshette. (125 min.)

Sterritt *** A little girl finds herself living in a bizarre bathhouse where ghosts, gods, and spirits go for a break from the everyday routine; the only way she can escape is to remember her name, which they've stolen from her. Echoing the dreamlike logic and weird transformations of "Alice in Wonderland," this ambitious Japanese animation is an allegory on individuality and a glimpse into contemporary Japanese culture, as well as an imaginatively told fantasy. Dubbed in English at most theaters. In Japanese with English subtitles at some theaters.

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 10 scenes cartoon violence, including animal attacks and fighting. Profanity: None. Drugs: 4 scenes drinking, smoking.

Sweet Home Alabama (PG-13)

Director: Andy Tennant. With Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Fred Ward. (102 min.)

Sterritt ** A young New York fashion designer visits her Southern hometown to divorce her husband, sparking bittersweet reunions and a chance to rediscover her roots. This glossy romantic comedy doesn't have a speck of authentic heart or soul – you can bet its Hollywood creators wouldn't move to Alabama if their lives depended on it – but it provides a colorful setting for Witherspoon's charm.

Staff *** Funny, light-hearted, dreamy.

Sex/Nudity: Some innuendo. Violence: 2 mild scenes. Drugs: 7 scenes with alcohol.

The Tuxedo (PG-13)

Director: Kevin Donovan. With Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jason Isaacs, Debi Mazar. (99 min.)

DUD One would be hard-pressed to witness a bigger waste of time, talent, money, or popcorn than this latest Jackie Chan vehicle. It's witless, humorless, and pointless. Even the action scenes, always a surefire Chan staple, are murkily shot and confusingly edited. Costar Jennifer Love Hewitt is charmless and shrill as Chan's rookie partner in espionage. The hackneyed "plot" involves a high-tech, gravity-defying tuxedo that transforms shy, klutzy taxi driver James Tong (Chan) into a master secret agent, fabulous dancer, and suave ladies' man. Too bad it couldn't make this turkey disappear.

By John Kehe

Sex/Nudity: 3 instances innuendo. Violence: 14 scenes, including drowning and fighting. Profanity: 15 mild expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes smoking, drinking

OUT ON VIDEO
Brotherhood of the Wolf (R)

Director: Christophe Gans. With Jean Yanne, Emilie Dequenne, Vincent Cassel. (142 min.)

Sterritt ** In the time of Louis XV, a French detective and a native American mystic uncover a web of skulduggery as they probe a series of killings thought by local peasants to be the work of a supernatural monster. Gans tries to match "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" with a mix of action, romance, and mythic overtones, but much of the horrorfest is more frenetic than fascinating. In French with English subtitles.

Staff *** Good monster movie, dark, mystical.

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes. Violence: 18 scenes, some quite gory. Profanity: None. Drugs: 8 scenes with drinking, smoking; 2 with drugs.

The Lady and the Duke (PG-13)

Director: Eric Rohmer. With Lucy Russell, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, François Marthouret. (129 min.)

Sterritt **** A courtly account of the skittish friendship between an Englishwoman living in France during the French Revolution and a curmudgeonly French aristocrat who confronts his tumultuous era with an unsteady set of divided loyalties. An old master with young ideas, Rohmer shot the movie with digital video, lending a sense of exquisitely crafted artifice that enhances the tale's historical atmosphere. It's deliciously acted, too. Originally titled "L'Anglaise et le duc." In French with English subtitles.

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