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Sterritt ** An idealistic classics teacher sticks to his principles when less scrupulous folks let their moral values slide. Kline is excellent as the lovable hero, and the story makes valuable points about the importance of ethics in a society driven by money and prestige. But at a time when public education is in a state of decay, one wonders whether this sentimental ode to old-school dignity is in touch with today's pressing realities.Skip to next paragraph
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Staff **1/2 Inspiring, moralistic, well acted.
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: 8 expressions. Drugs: 1 scene of smoking. 4 scenes of drinking.
Director: Todd Haynes. With Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert. (107 min.)
Sterritt **** The time is the 1950s, and the heroine is a well-to-do housewife struggling to understand her feelings and find a pathway back to happiness after her husband realizes he's gay and her friendship with a black gardener causes vicious gossip among her friends. Haynes works cinematic and emotional miracles in this near-remake of Douglas Sirk's masterpiece "All That Heaven Allows," reviving conventions of '50s melodrama that have gone out of fashion but haven't lost their ability to touch moviegoers' minds and hearts.
Staff *** Nuanced, inspired, wrenching, uneven.
Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes, including domestic abuse. Profanity: 1 harsh expression. Drugs: 18 scenes drinking, smoking.
Director: Marcus Raboy. With Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don 'D.C.' Curry. (93 min.)
Staff * 'Tis the night before Christmas Eve, and the only creature stirring is the Santa Claus burglar, breaking into Craig and Day-Day's ghetto apartment, and stealing presents and rent money. If Craig (Ice Cube) can keep his cousin Day-Day (Epps) in line on their new job as security guards, maybe they'll be able to pay the rent and not have to face the landlady's bodybuilding son. The frantic hip-hop pace and realistic setting of this third "Friday" movie will help viewers overlook old jokes and sloppy filmmaking, but beware of the drugs and dirty language. By M.K. Terrell
Staff ** Vulgar, cheesy, vacuous.
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes implied sex or nudity. 14 instances of innuendo. Violence: 10 fight scenes, some gory. Attempted rape. Profanity: 150 harsh expressions. Drugs: At least 12 scenes of drinking, smoking, and drug use.
Director: Chris Columbus. With Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh, Robbie Coltrane. (160 min.)
Sterritt ** Harry returns for his second school year at Hogwarts, where an unseen enemy is casting an evil spell on students, leading some to think Harry may be the culprit. The movie hews closely to J.K. Rowling's novel, decking it out with lavish settings, costumes, and effects. These are impressive in an ostentatious way, but their cumulative impact has a lumbering spirit quite different from that of Rowling's easy-going prose.
Staff ***1/2 Magical, scary, better than first film
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 12 scenes "magical" violence. Some kicking, shoving, and scary images. Profanity: 2 expressions. Drugs: None.
Director: Rebecca Miller. With Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, Fairuza Balk, Leo Fitzpatrick. (85 min.)
Sterritt **** This movie looks at three separate tales of troubled young women: one on the run from an abusive husband, one sorting through mixed emotions as her professional fortunes rise, and one a pregnant runaway with a horrific past. The episodes don't give as much insight into their subjects or characters as one would hope, but Miller shows terrific talent as a director with a sharp eye for images, a keen ear for dialogue, and a refreshing willingness to take storytelling risks.
Director: Phillip Noyce. With Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen. (101 min.)
Sterritt **** Caine plays a jaded British journalist covering the French Indochina war in the early '50s. Fraser plays a young American who claims to be on a charity mission but is really scheming to help a renegade Vietnamese general gain control. Based on Graham Greene's richly intelligent 1955 novel, this thoughtful drama deals with a host of timely issues including terrorism, international strife, and the use and abuse of American power. Caine and Fraser are superb.
Director: Michael Lembeck. With Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson. (105 min.)