Director: Mark Steven Johnson. With Ben Affleck, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner. (96 min.)Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Staff * See review, page 15.
Director: Gus Van Sant. With Matt Damon, Casey Affleck. (103 min.)
Sterritt **** See review, page 16.
Director: Steve Trenbirth. With John Goodman, Haley Joel Osment, Tony Jay. (72 min.)
Staff ** See review, page 15.
Directors: John Henry Davis. With Brendan P. Hines, Elizabeth Banks, Kris Park, A Martinez. (92 min.)
Sterritt * A college love triangle intersects with a murder case and a crisis of conscience for a gay clergyman. This low-budget drama tries very hard to convey messages of tolerance and compassion, but it's too weakly acted and directed to have much impact.
Director: Laetitia Colombani. With Audrey Tautou, Samuel Le Bihan, Isabel Carré, Clément Sibony. (92 min.)
Sterritt **** See review, page 15.
Director: Mark Moskowitz. With Mark Markowitz, Dow Mossman, Leslie Fiedler, Robert Gottlieb. (128 min.)
Sterritt * Documentary about Moskowitz's long, energetic effort to track down and interview Mossman, the now-obscure author of a novel that made a deep impression on him many years earlier. This movie should have been a book-lover's dream, but Markowitz's attitude toward literature seems closer to that of a hobbyist and collector than of a real connoisseur, and Mossman's long-delayed appearance is predictably anticlimactic. The film is a disappointment, and at more than two hours' running time, a very long disappointment.
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 is back, bittersweet, touching.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of partial nudity. Violence: 1 brief tussle. Profanity: 12 expressions. Drugs: 8 scenes with drinking; 1 with prescription drugs.
Director: Reggie Rock Bythewood. With Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Meagan Good. (111. min.)
Staff ** Smoke Galloway (Fishburn) is "King of Cali" - the best motorcycle street racer in California - and president of the Black Knights club. His mechanic's 18-year-old son, known only as "Kid" (Luke), wants the crown for himself and forms a rival biker club. Footage of the races and amazing stunts break up the sometimes tedious stretches in which Kid relates with his family, girlfriend, and biker pals, trying to live up to Dad's motto: "Burn rubber, not your soul." By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of innuendo. 1 implied sex scene. Violence: 7 scenes, including accident, fights. Profanity: 19 strong expressions. Drugs: 9 instances of drinking, smoking.
Director: Rob Marshall. With Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah. (113 min.)
Sterritt ** Two women of the Roaring '20s land on death row after killing men who've wronged them, and their friendship turns to rivalry when they go after the same money-minded lawyer to defend them. The music is irresistible, and who would have guessed Zellweger, Zeta-Jones, and Gere could hoof and croon with the best of them?
Staff ***1/2 Visual razzle-dazzle, clever choreography.
Sex/Nudity: 1 sex scene; mildly provocative dance numbers. Violence: 6 scenes of mild violence. Profanity: 20 expressions. Drugs: 6 scenes of smoking, drinking.
Director: Gary Hardwick. With Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J, Duane Martin, Mel Jackson. (105 min.)
Staff ** Eva (Union) has raised her three younger sisters since the untimely death of their parents. Now they're grown up, and Eva continues to mother them by meddling in their relationships. The sisters' husbands and fiancé hire a ladies' man (LL Cool J), to sweep Eva off her feet and out of their lives. Naturally, the plan backfires. What nearly saves the paint-by-numbers plot is a watchable cast and filmmakers' occasional willingness to paint outside the lines. By M.K. Terrell