Director: Andrei Tarkovsky. With Anatoli Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Irma Rausch. (205 min.)
Sterritt **** A newly restored version of a great masterpiece of Soviet cinema, etching the life of a legendary 15th-century icon painter in intensely poetic, expressionistic terms. Must be seen to be believed.
Director: Michael Moore. With Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson. (120 min.)
Sterritt *** Contemporary film's most freewheeling documentary-maker turns his sights on the longtime American love affair with guns, including a living-room confrontation with National Rifle Association leader Heston and a discussion with goth-rocker Manson that's amazingly articulate. Moore turns the camera on himself too often for comfort, but he provides an eye-opening array of facts and revelations.
Director: Rick Famuyiwa. With Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Nicole Ari Parker, Queen Latifah.
Staff ** She's an editor at a music magazine. He's a record-company executive. Dre and Sidney have been friends since childhood. They share a love of hip-hop and know every detail about each other's lives, but they have never been romantically involved. Dre ends up getting married and Sidney gets engaged, but did they make a mistake? It gets tiresome when Sidney uses hip-hop as an endless metaphor for her love for Dre (I've loved "hip-hop since I was a little girl" meaning Dre). The movie has some funny moments, but it ultimately crumbles and never crystallizes. By Lisa Parney Connors
Director: Arthur Dong. With Brian Bennett, Kathleen Bremner, Susan Jester, David Jester. (75 min.)
Sterritt *** Earnestly made documentary about Christian fundamentalists coming to terms in various ways with homosexuality among their families and friends. The film discusses important social and personal issues, although the interview subjects don't always have enlightening things to say.
Directors: David Levien, Brian Koppelman. With John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Barry Pepper, Andrew Davoli, Vin Diesel, Seth Green. (92 min.)
Sterritt * A group of young Brooklyn thugs invade a small Montana town to retrieve a satchel of illicit cash they've lost there, coming to blows with various locals including a sheriff who's as corrupt as they are. The story is a string of sub-Scorsese clichés, and if engaging actors like Malkovich and Hopper seem to be sleepwalking through their roles, imagine how unwatchable Diesel manages to be.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson. With Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman. (95 min.)
Sterritt *** See review, page 14.
Director: Roger Avary. With James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, Jessica Biel, Eric Stoltz, Swoosie Kurtz, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Faye Dunaway, Ron Jeremy, Kip Pardue. (110 min.)
Sterritt * Sex and love meet fear and loathing on a college campus in this hyperactive adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's novel. Most of the characters are one-dimensional, and Avary's over-the-top directing doesn't make them interesting for more than a few isolated moments. At least the cast includes someone for every possible taste.
Director: Guy Ritchie. With Madonna, Adriano Giannini, Jeanne Tripplehorn, John Turturro, Bruce Greenwood. (92 min.)
Sterritt * See review.
Director: Jay Russell. With Alexis Bledel, William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley, Amy Irving, Victor Garber, Jonathan Jackson, Scott Bairstow. (90 min.)
Sterritt *** See review, page 14.
Director: Peter Kosminsky. With Alison Lohman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger, Robin Wright-Penn, Patrick Fugit. (110 min.)
Sterritt ** See review, page 14.
Director: Bob Dolman. With Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Geoffrey Rush, Erika Christensen. (97 min.)
Staff **1/2Former rock groupie Suzette (Hawn) wants to reconnect with her friend "Vinny" (Sarandon) in Phoenix. Problem is, it's 20 years later and Vinny isn't a wild woman anymore. Known to family and friends as Lavinia Kingsley, she lives in a big house with her lawyer-husband, two daughters, and a golden retriever. This hilarious romp looks like a shallow film, but it addresses family tensions, peer pressure, and the need to just let loose later in life. By Lisa Parney Connors
Staff *** A Goldie-oldie, energetic, star vehicle.
Sex/Nudity: 5 scenes, including implied sex and nude photos. 10 instances innuendo. Violence: 2 scenes. Profanity: 28 harsh expressions. Drugs: 13 scenes with drinking and smoking. 2 scenes with drugs.
Director: Tim Story. With Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve. (102 min.)
Staff **1/2 The best part of this movie is the characters. The plot is predictable, but it's rescued by an abundance of boisterous personalities that transcend stereotypes and snappy dialogue that addresses social issues. The barbershop is the center of life for a group of neighborhood guys, although its owner, Calvin, sees the shop as a money drain. When an ATM is stolen from a nearby store by a modern Laurel and Hardy, the shop becomes gossip central. If every barbershop were this much fun, there would be a lot more well-trimmed men. By Katie Nesse
Sex/Nudity: 6 instances innuendo. Violence: 9 scenes, including car crash and punching. Profanity: 66 expressions. Drugs: At least 1 instance smoking.
Director: François Ozon. With Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant. (113 min.)
Sterritt **** The setting is a fine French country house. The mystery: which of several excellent suspects murdered the aging gentleman who owned it? Ozon fills the screen with suspense and surprises in this colorful comedy-thriller-musical-romance, helped by a superb cast and a mischievous sense of fun that keeps you guessing whether the next moment will bring a triumph, a tragedy, or a perky little song and dance. Look out for some violence and sexual content, though. In French with English subtitles.
Staff **1/2 Bizarre, creative, lush, stage-like at times.
Sex/Nudity: Mostly innuendo. Violence: 11 scenes, including suicide. Profanity: None. Drugs: 7 scenes of drinking and smoking.
Director: Tom Tykwer. With Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone, Stefania Rocca. (96 min.)
Sterritt *** Blanchett plays a British teacher who turns vigilante after her Italian husband dies in a drug-related crime scheme. She ends up running from the law, accompanied by an Italian police officer (Ribisi) who sympathizes with her plight. Tykwer doesn't aim for the heights of excitement and invention he reached in "Run Lola Run," but he blends an impressively varied palette of moods into an intriguingly unpredictable story that's never short of ideas. The late Krzysztof Kieslowski, one of Europe's great modern filmmakers, wrote the morally centered screenplay.
Director: Brad Silberling. With Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Holly Hunter. (112 min.)
Sterritt * After his fiancée is tragically killed, a young man moves into her parents' home, where he gets caught between the conflicting goals of pleasing needy friends or being true to his own needs and desires. This fuzzy-minded drama fails to build much emotional power, and its '70s time period is evoked so wanly you'll hardly recognize it. What's a superstar like Hoffman doing in a meandering soap opera like this?
Sex/Nudity: 3 instances, mostly innuendo. Violence: 1 discussion of murder. Profanity: 67, with some strong expressions. Drugs: 8 scenes drinking; 2 with smoking.
Director: Brett Rattner. With Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson. (125 min.)
Sterritt *** Hopkins makes his third appearance as Hannibal Lecter, psychiatrist and cannibal, joined by Norton and Keitel as FBI agents tracking down a new serial killer (Fiennes) with Lecter's grudging help. The story is a rehash of "The Silence of the Lambs" featuring Norton in the Jodie Foster role, with solid acting and hardly a special effect in sight. The violence level is a lot lower than in "Hannibal," but don't expect a gentle ride.
Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes, mostly innuendo, with 1 scene of full male nudity. Violence: 14 scenes, including stabbings, shootings, and slides of murder victims. Profanity: 26 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking; 2 scenes with smoking.
Director: Steven Shainberg. With James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Bauchau. (111 min.)
Sterritt ** A woman with a self-punishing streak takes a job with a lawyer who spanks her for spelling mistakes. The movie works hard to be naughty, but its sub-David Lynch style doesn't quite click. Gyllenhaal is excellent and Spader effectively adds to his roster of creepy characters.
Staff *** Sassy, quirky, disturbing.
Sex/Nudity: 12 scenes, including bondage and full nudity. Violence: 14 instances, including self mutilation. Profanity: 7 instances profanity. Drugs: 5 drinking scenes. 1 with smoking.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. With voices of Daveigh Chase, David Ogden Stiers, Suzanne Pleshette. (125 min.)
Sterritt *** 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.
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.
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.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
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. With William H. Macy, George Clooney, Jennifer Esposito. (96 min.)
Sterritt *** Small-time crooks decide to pull off a big-time heist in their Cleveland neighborhood, with predictably chaotic results. Inspired by Mario Monicelli's internationally popular 1958 comedy "Big Deal on Madonna Street," which it mimics in numerous details, the farce is energetically written, breezily acted, and never quite as dumb as the lunkheads it's about.
Director: Michael Apted. With Jennifer Lopez, Bill Campbell, Juliette Lewis, Dan Futterman. (111 min.)
Staff *1/2 "Slim" (Lopez) is a hardworking waitress who marries a wealthy stranger she meets while serving burgers and coleslaw. Mitch whisks her away into an ostensibly picture-perfect life. It's exploitative at times, especially when the victim learns martial arts. The ending may seem justified, but unfortunately it teaches the only way to fight violence is with violence. By Stephanie Cook
Sex/Nudity: 7 scenes, mostly innuendo, 1 with nudity. Violence: 6 scenes. Profanity: 11 expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes with drinking.
Director: Nanni Moretti. With Moretti, Laura Moranti, Giuseppe Sanfelice, Jasmine Trinca. (99 min.)
Sterritt ** In the Italian city of Ancona, a gentle psychotherapist and his family face unexpected trauma when his teenage son dies. Don't look for Moretti's comic touch and autobiographical approach in this drama, which relies on straightforward screenwriting for its emotional power. In Italian with English subtitles.
Staff *** Compassionate, low-key, intimate.