Director: Alexander Payne. With Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates. (125 min.)Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Sterritt *** See review.
Director: Bruce Beresford. With Pierce Brosnan, Julianna Margulies, Aidan Quinn, Alan Bates. (94 min.)
Sterritt ** An Irish single father battles to get custody of his children from the parochial boarding school where they've been sent according to Irish law. He is helped by a crusty old attorney who invokes the Irish Constitution in ways never tried before. The facts of this true-life story are highly dramatic, and they'd have much more power without the sappy sentimentality Beresford needlessly adds to the movie. But Brosnan's potent acting reminds us his range stretches beyond Agent 007.
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. With Leonardo Sbaraglia, Mónica López, Max von Sydow. (108 min.)
Sterritt *** After surviving a plane crash, a young man strikes a deal with a gambler who seeks out lucky people to participate in games of chance that have extremely high stakes in the challenges they present, the payouts they offer, and the dangers they threaten. The story of this Spanish thriller is weak in psychological credibility but strong in suspense, novelty, and imagination. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Director: Wayne Wang. With Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, Bob Hoskins. (105 min.)
Sterritt ** See review.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of implied sex; some innuendo. Profanity: 12 expressions, some harsh. Violence: 1 mild scene.
Director: Alexander Sokurov. With Sergey Dreiden, Maria Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy. (96 min.)
Sterritt **** See review.
Director: Stuart Baird. With Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton. (116 min.)
Staff *1/2 See review.
Director: Seth Kearsley. With (voices) Adam Sandler, Jackie Titone, Jon Lovitz, Tyra Banks. (86 min.)
Staff ** Bitterness over losing both parents 20 years ago has turned Davey Stone into the town drunk. Yet as Hanukkah begins, Whitey, the basketball league's retiring referee, sees through the Grinch-like façade and hopes to make Davey his replacement. Sandler provides voices for the characters and co-wrote the screenplay and songs. This is hardly classic holiday material, as tasteless gags and language undermine the moments of warmth and comic brilliance. See it if you must, but leave the kids at home. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 7 instances innuendo. Violence: 7 scenes of cartoonish, dark violence. Profanity: 12 harsh expressions. Drugs: At least 7 scenes of drinking.
Director: Spike Jonze. With Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox. (114 min.)
Sterritt *** A fictional doppelganger of real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman struggles to write the screenplay of this film, dogged by the success of his (totally fictional) twin brother and spurred by his bashful admiration for the journalist who wrote the nonfiction book he's trying to adapt, about a man who's obsessed with tracking down rare orchids. The film is less confusing than it sounds, and it's great mazelike fun until it bogs down in familiar chase-picture conventions near the end.
Director: Harold Ramis. With Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli. (94 min.)
Sterritt * Sequel to the 1999 hit "Analyze This," reuniting De Niro as an organized-crime boss and Crystal as the psychotherapist who listens to his troubles and secrets. The movie adds a few new twists to the situation - making the mobster technical adviser to a TV show that's apparently meant as a "Sopranos" satire - but nobody on or off the screen seems excited with rehashing the one-joke original, which at least had originality and snappy dialogue.
Staff *1/2 Boring, OK sequel, crowd pleaser.
Sex/Nudity: 5 scenes of partial nudity; 5 instances of innuendo. Profanity: 98 expressions. Violence: 11 scenes, including shootouts. Drugs: At least 13 scenes of drinking, smoking.