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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 28 of 49)

Director: Christophe de Ponfilly. With Ahmed Shah Massoud, de Ponfilly. (90 min.)

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Sterritt **** This documentary about an Afghan resistance leader who struggled against the Taliban despite crushing odds led de Ponfilly to look more deeply at his own fascination with brutal warfare in far-flung places. The movie doesn't reach any deep insights, but its mixture of psychology, philosophy, and realpolitik is downright riveting. In French and Pashtu with English subtitles.

The Master of Disguise (PG)

Director: Perry Andelin Blake. With Dana Carvey, Jennifer Esposito. (80 min.)

Staff **1/2 Pistachio Disguisey (Carvey) doesn't realize he's heir to a lineage of disguise masters because his father opted out and opened an Italian restaurant. An old enemy kidnaps mom and dad, and Pistachio's long-lost grandpa shows up to teach him the disguise trade to rescue them. None of it makes sense, especially Pistachio's ability to mimic any dialect but standard US English. By M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of innuendo. Violence: 15 scenes, including slapping. Profanity: 1 mild expression. Drugs: 5 scenes of drinking and smoking.

Max (R)

Director: Menno Meyjes. With John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski, Molly Parker. (106 min)

Sterritt **** After World War I, a Jewish art dealer in Munich befriends an aspiring painter named Adolf Hitler, thinking he can distract the young man from his crazy political ideas by encouraging his creative instincts. This moodily filmed drama traces the roots of German fascism not only to the demented notions of the Nazi Party but to German culture in the early 20th century. It also reveals a key aspect of fascism's cynical use of art and architecture to mesmerize a weak and vulnerable society.

Men in Black II (PG-13)

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld. With Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Tony Shalhoub. (88 min.)

Sterritt ** Agent J needs Agent K to help him combat Serleena, a Victoria's Secret model who's really an insidious alien; but K has lost all memory of his top-secret career, and the high-tech gizmo they need to retrieve it is in the hands of a guy who's weird even by MIB standards. That's just the starting point of this moderately amusing sequel, which is best when it relies on dead-pan acting by the stars, worst when it drags in summer-movie stupidities like an incessantly talking dog.

Staff ** Nutty, obvious jokes, OK sequel.

Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, mostly innuendo. Violence: 11, including fighting. Profanity: 17 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 scenes with drinking and smoking

Metropolis (Not rated)

Director: Fritz Lang. With Gustav Fröhlich, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge. (120 min.)

Sterritt **** Lang's science-fiction classic was shortened by its distributors after its 1927 première, and this restoration is probably the closest we'll ever come to the original 153-minute version. The movie packs a visual wallop with its portrait of a future world that breeds hatred among oppressed workers, self-centered leaders, and a bizarre scientist whose newest invention - a seductive robot - sparks catastrophe.

Minority Report (PG-13)

Director: Steven Spielberg. With Tom Cruise, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow. (145 min.)

Sterritt *** The year is 2054, when clairvoyant "precogs" enable police to arrest murderers before they kill. Cruise plays a dedicated cop who's accused as the would-be killer of someone he's never heard of. Most of the movie is clever, imaginative, and savvy in its questions about social anxiety and government power. Too bad Spielberg also indulges the kiddie side of his talent, cooking up a silly chase sequence that only video-game nuts will be able to watch without wincing.

Staff ***1/2 Timely, politically relevant, future-noir, well-paced.