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Movie Guide

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Sterritt *** Contemporary film's most freewheeling documentarymaker 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 revelations.

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Staff ***1/2Biting, intelligent, relevant, polemic.

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 38 scenes, nearly all are brief news clips of violence. Profanity: 8 harsh expressions. Drugs: 1 scene smoking.

Brown Sugar (PG-13)

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. The movie has some funny moments, but it ultimately never crystallizes. By Lisa Parney Connors

Staff *** Mild, fresh, good characters.

Sex/Nudity: 6 instances, including implied sex and innuendo. Violence: 1 boxing scene. Profanity: 13 expressions. Drugs: 11 scenes drinking, smoking.

Formula 51 (R)

Director: Ronny Yu. With Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Rhys Ifans. (92 min.)

Staff ** Elmo McElroy has concocted the next great drug: cheaper, safer, and stronger than anything on the street. He flees his boss and goes to England to sell the formula. The American-hating Felix, meanwhile, is stuck keeping an eye on him, a job that becomes difficult when people try to kill him left and right. Add too many fight scenes, too many car chases, an assassin ex-girlfriend, and some skinheads, and you get an entertaining but muddled rehash of Trainspotting. Flashy, profane, and pointless. By Alex Kaloostian

Jonah: a VeggieTales Movie (G)

Director: Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer. With (voices): Vischer, Nawrocki, Tim Hodge, Lisa Vischer. (83 min.)

Staff *** Squabbling families run their van off a road and wind up in a seafood cafe, where strangers teach them about compassion and mercy through a delightfully updated telling of the Jonah story. Aimed at children, but filled with gags for adults, this is the first theatrical film based on the popular VeggieTales video series. Especially engaging are the angelic choir's Gospel number inside the whale, and "The Credits Song," about music that has nothing to do with the movie you just saw. Oh, and almost all the characters are vegetables. By M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 5 scenes cartoonish violence. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.

Punch-Drunk Love (R)

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 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 whiny 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 one of a kind.

Staff *** Quirky, light, original, spicy.

Sex/Nudity: 2, including phone sex. Violence: 9 scenes, including car crash. Profanity: 28 strong expressions. Drugs: 3 drinking scenes.

Red Dragon (R)

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. Profanity: 26 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking; 2 scenes smoking.

The Ring (PG-13)
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