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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 17 of 49)

Sterritt *** Scorsese depicts the physical and psychological mayhem that poisoned relations between European immigrants and American bigots in New York City during the Civil War era, focusing on a warlord and the son of an Irish settler he murdered years ago. The film offers a wide-ranging portrait of this bitter period, showing how the evils of ethnic bigotry, political corruption, and blind personal ambition helped shape the foundations of American society in ways that have not entirely faded. The movie is strong in sound and fury, weak in nuance and insight.

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Ghost Ship (R)

Director: Steve Beck. With Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard

Staff *1/2 Formally dressed couples dance on an Italian cruise ship's top deck. But the lush music and pretty pink tiles of this '60s-style opening serve only to set you up for a gruesome massacre. When salvagers find the ship 40 years later, the revelers' ghosts are the least of their worries, as dark forces try to add them to the ship's haunted residents. It's a fairly routine shocker. By M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes, including innuendo and seminudity. Violence: 20 instances, with many scenes of blood and corpses. Profanity: 71 expressions. Drugs: 14 instances of drinking and smoking.

The Good Girl (R)

Director: Miguel Arteta. With Jennifer Aniston, John C. Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson. (93 min.)

Sterritt **** What's a well-meaning young woman to do when she's stuck in a miserable marriage, a tedious town, and a boring job, and the only chance for escape is a love affair she can't bring herself to resist? Aniston and Reilly give the best of many excellent performances. A few plotty scenes aside, this quietly directed drama paints a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of modern malaise, and also has a smart sense of humor.

Staff ***1/2 Well-acted, thoughtful, sad.

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes with innuendo, several explicit, adulterous sex scenes. Violence: 6, including fighting. Profanity: 14 expressions. Drugs: 14 scenes with illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking.

Green Dragon (PG-13)

Director: Timothy Linh Bui. With Don Duong, Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, Hiep Thi Le. (115 min.)

Sterritt ** As the Vietnam War winds to a close, Vietnamese immigrants start preparing for new lives in a California refugee camp. The movie takes a humane look at an episode in history that's received little attention. Duong makes an impression, Swayze shows new maturity, and Whitaker is at his likable best. In English and Vietnamese with English subtitles.

The Grey Zone (R)

Director: Tim Blake Nelson. With David Arquette, Daniel Benzali, Steve Buscemi, David Chandler. (108 min.)

Staff **1/2 Based on true events, this is the first mainstream Holocaust movie to highlight Jewish prisoners who worked in the crematoriums at Auschwitz - and who daily faced the wrenching moral dilemma of prolonging their own lives in exchange for their complicity in ending others'. It focuses on the men of Auschwitz's 12th Sonderkommando, the only group of its kind to foment a rebellion. This difficult, heartrending film ultimately doesn't slow down enough to greatly illumine or enlighten. By Jen McLaughlin

Staff *** Heavy, well-acted, horrendous, grim

Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes nudity, all of prisoners in gas chambers. Violence: 20 graphic scenes, including executions, torture. Profanity: 31 expressions. Drugs: 13 instances smoking, drinking.

A Grin Without a Cat (Not rated)

Director: Chris Marker. With voices of Jim Broadbent, Cyril Cusack, Robert Kramer. (179 min.)

Sterritt **** This towering documentary spans the world in its overview of the war between left-wing radicalism and right-wing conservativism during the troubled '60s and '70s. Completed in 1993 from material first assembled in 1977, it reconfirms Marker as one of the artistically gifted filmmakers in France, or anywhere else. In English, Spanish, and French with English subtitles.

Group (Not rated)

Director: Marilyn Freeman. With Carrie Brownstein, Kari Fillipi, Vicki Hollenberg, S. Ann Hall. (106 min.)