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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.Skip to next paragraph
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Directors: David Levien, Brian Koppelman. With John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Vin Diesel. (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: 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 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?
Staff *** Hopeful, well paced, detailed, poignant.
Sex/Nudity: 3 instances, mostly innuendo. 1 implied sex scene. Violence: 1 discussion of murder. Profanity: 67, with some strong expressions. Drugs: 14 scenes drinking and smoking.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson. With Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman. (95 min.)
Sterritt *** A small-time businessman copes with a nagging family, eludes a predatory con artist, woos a woman who's as kooky as he is, and wonders how he can attain a happy life when he knows he's nerdy and whiney to his bones. Anderson's filmmaking is quirky and original, but his biggest creative coup is drawing on submerged aspects of Sandler's usual screen persona a wounded insecurity, a sense of repression that's almost violent in its emotional effects to give the comedy an edgy undertone that's truly one of a kind.
Director: Brett Ratner. 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.
Staff **1/2Good thriller, better than "Hannibal," disturbing.
Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes with nudity, including full male nudity. 1 scene implied sex. Violence: 14 scenes, including stabbings, shootings, and slides of victims. Profanity: 26 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking; 2 scenes smoking.
Director: Roger Avary. With James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Faye Dunaway. (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: Chris Eyre. With Graham Greene, Eric Schweig, Gary Farmer. (86 min.)
Sterritt ** Outraged by social problems that plague the South Dakota reservation where he lives, a native American sheriff turns to vigilante violence, with results that boomerang on his own conscience and well-being. The story gets off to a slow start after its riveting documentary-style introduction, but heartfelt acting and unexpected plot twists eventually give it solid dramatic impact.
Staff ***1/2 Eye-opening, daring, good character development, insightful.