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Movie Guide

January 17, 2003

7th Street (Not rated)

Director: Josh Pais. With Josh Pais and residents of 7th Street in Manhattan. (71 min.)

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Sterritt *** This highly personal documentary traces the changing folkways of a neighborhood in the Alphabet City section of lower Manhattan, as seen from the filmmaker's own idiosyncratic perspective. It's a lucid primer in everything from the perils of street-side crime to the downside of gentrification.

City of God (R)

Director: Fernando Meirelles. With Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge. (140 min.)

Sterritt ** See review.

Divine Intervention (Not rated)

Director: Elia Suleiman. With Elia Suleiman, Manal Khader, Nayef Fahoum Daher. (92 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

A Guy Thing (PG-13)

Director: Chris Koch. With Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, Diana Scarwid. (105 min.)

Sterritt * See review.

Kangaroo Jack (PG)

Director: David McNally. With Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Christopher Walken. (88 min.)

Sterritt * See review.

The Slaughter Rule (Not rated)

Directors: Andrew & Alex Smith. With Ryan Gosling, David Morse, Clea Duvall, Eddie Spears. (116 min.)

Sterritt *** A young man from a shattered family develops a complex relationship with an aging coach who recruits him for an amateur football team. This well-acted melodrama paints a convincing portrait of its Montana milieu, and its best scenes suggest real insights into the paradoxical attitudes toward masculinity and sexuality that American men often feel compelled to assume. The filmmakers could easily have trimmed half an hour of repetitious rowdiness, though.

25th Hour (R)

Director: Spike Lee. With Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian Cox. (134 min.)

Sterritt **** A young drug dealer tries to come to terms with his past on the day before he leaves for a seven-year prison term. The film is flawed by implausible psychology and moments of weak acting. But it's more than redeemed by Lee's passionate ideas about America, which he sees as plagued by evils of violence and materialism, yet unbounded in its possibilities. He's a unique filmmaker, and this uneven drama is truly one of a kind.

Staff ***1/2 Intelligent, well-acted, humanistic.

Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes with innuendo; 1 scene of couple in bathtub. Violence: 3 scenes, including brutal beatings. Profanity: 169 harsh expressions. Drugs: 18 scenes of drinking, smoking. 1 scene with illegal drugs.

About Schmidt (R)

Director: Alexander Payne. With Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates. (125 min.)

Sterritt *** After his wife's unexpected death, a retired man rethinks his future and reevaluates his past while traveling across the Midwest to his daughter's wedding. Nicholson's acting is awesome, and Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor haven't lost their ear for the empty aphorisms of middle-class speech.

Staff *** Jack truly is back, bittersweet, touching.

Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of partial nudity. Violence: 1 instance of a brief tussle. Profanity: 12 expressions, sometimes harsh. Drugs: 8 scenes with drinking; 1 with prescription drugs.

Adaptation (R)

Director: Spike Jonze. With Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox. (114 min.)

Sterritt *** A fictional doppelgänger 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. 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.

Staff *** Original, clever, disappointing third act.

Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes with sexual activity, including partial nudity. Violence: 2 car crashes, gator attack, and gunshots. Profanity: 30 instances of profanity. Drugs: 19 scenes with smoking, alcohol.

Antwone Fisher (PG-13)

Director: Denzel Washington. With Derek Luke, Joy Bryant, Washington. (117 min.)