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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 49 of 49)

Staff *** Probing, great cast, crisp, moving.

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Sex/Nudity: 8 scenes, including sex. Violence: 11 scenes, including shootings. Profanity: 4 expressions. Drugs: 13 scenes of smoking, drinking.

The Wild Thornberrys Movie (PG)

Directors: Cathy Malkasian, Jeff McGrath. With (voices) Ian Abercrombie, Brenda Blethyn, Lacey Chabert. (79 min.)

Sterritt **** Eliza can talk with animals, which is handy in the African wild, where she lives with her eccentric parents, a chimpanzee named Darwin, and a self-absorbed sister. It's less handy when she's sent to a British boarding school where neither she nor Darwin fit in, and worse yet, poachers are threatening her elephant friends back home. Lively characters, snappy dialogue, and snazzy visuals make this an uncommonly fine animation.

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 9 scenes, mostly with the poachers. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.

Windtalkers (R)

Director: John Woo. With Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Christian Slater, Roger Willie, Peter Stormare. (134 min.)

Sterritt * A marine sergeant is ordered to accompany a Navajo code talker into battle and protect him from harm - or kill him if there's a danger he'll be captured. The film claims to celebrate native American contributions in World War II, but its main priority is to let Woo create lots of the choreographed violence he's built his career on. It doesn't help that Cage is the opposite of subtle, grimacing so much he seems to be acting with his teeth.

Staff ** Thin story line, gory, grim, bad acting.

Sex/Nudity: 3 instances of innuendo. Violence: 9 scenes, including graphic battles. Profanity: 55 harsh words. Drugs: 15 scenes of smoking, drinking.

XXX (PG-13)

Director: Rob Cohen. With Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Samuel L. Jackson. (120 min.)

Sterritt * Extreme sports meet cold-war politics as our hero gets recruited by the government to battle an anarchist gang in Eastern Europe. If your idea of star power is "buff to the max" with "attitude to spare," as the publicity puts it, then Diesel is your man. But do we really need a warmed-over James Bond adventure with 007 transformed into the village idiot?

Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes. Violence: 18 scenes, including shootings. Profanity: 15 strong expressions. Drugs: 12 scenes with smoking, drinking, drugs.

Y Tu Mamá También (Not rated)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón. With Maribel Verdú, Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal. (115 min.)

Sterritt ** Faced with serious problems in her life, a woman takes off on a road trip with two teen boys fueled by youthful energy, various intoxicants, and hyperactive sex drives. Cuarón gives an offbeat flavor to this coming-of-age tale by combining up-close camera work with a modernistic third-person narration, and by touching on noteworthy social and political issues in the margins of the story. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Staff *** Reckless, life-affirming, beautiful.

Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes, very graphic, including full nudity. Violence: 3 mild scenes. Profanity: 109 harsh expressions. Drugs: 19 scenes with smoking, 9 with drinking, 5 with marijuana.

Yana's Friends (Not rated)

Director: Arik Kaplun. With Nir Levi, Shmil Ben Ari, Moscu Alcalay. (95 min.)

Staff ***1/2 This engaging love story is simultaneously humorous, beautiful, and real. The story takes place in Israel under the threat of war with Iraq, when an Israeli filmmaker crosses paths with a Russian émigré. The film's rustic moments of joy and poignant glimpses into the human situation will affirm what you already knew: life has a funny way of working out. By Aaron Bingham

Staff ***1/2 Light-hearted, funny, comforting.

Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, including 2 brief sex scenes. Violence: 6 scenes. Profanity: 10 expressions. Drugs: 10 scenes of drinking, smoking.