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Movie Guide

March 7, 2003

Bringing Down the House (PG-13)

Director: Adam Shankman. With Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright. (105 min.)

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Sterritt * See review, interview.

Violence: 7 scenes, including brawls and shootings. Drugs: 13 scenes of drinking, smoking.

Irréversible (Not rated)

Director: Gaspar Noé. With Vincent Cassell, Monica Bellucci, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia. (95 min.)

Sterritt *** This is a story about a brutal murder, a horrifying rape, and the events leading up to them, all revealed in reverse chronology and eye-churning camera work. Noe's despairing view of human nature is as thoughtful as it is grim, limning the most appalling aspects of earthly experience in terms recalling Dante and Bosh, among other apocalyptic artists. Only moviegoers who can tolerate extreme violence should venture near this corrosive film. In French with English subtitles.

Sex/Nudity: 10 scenes, including 5 with male and female nudity. Violence: 8 scenes, including an extended, brutal rape scene and a graphic beating. Profanity: 99 harsh expressions. Drugs: 6 scenes of smoking, drinking. 2 scenes with drugs.

Laurel Canyon (R)

Director: Lisa Cholodenko. With Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale. (103 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

Nowhere in Africa (Not rated)

Director: Caroline Link. With Karoline Eckertz, Merab Ninidze, Juliane Köhler, Regine Zimmermann. (141 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

The Safety of Objects (R)

Director: Rose Troche. With Glenn Close, Dermot Mulroney, Patricia Clarkson, Robert Klein. (120 min.)

Sterritt ** A lonely father, an insecure woman, a comatose young man, and an adolescent infatuated with a doll are among the diverse characters of this multifaceted drama, based on A.M. Homes stories. The overall effect is imaginative but overambitious, though Troche unquestionably has cinematic talent.

Short Eyes (R)

Director: Robert M. Young. With Bruce Davison, Luis Guzmán, Curtis Mayfield, Jose Perez. (100 min.)

Sterritt *** A man accused of pedophilia is incarcerated in New York City's notorious Tombs prison, a volatile and perilous place where men charged with this particular crime are relegated to the most despised position of all, by guards and inmates alike. Davison gives one of his many bravura performances in this 1977 adaptation of Miguel Pinero's hard-hitting play, adapted to the screen by Pinero himself, who also appears in the picture.

Tears of the Sun (R)

Director: Antoine Fuqua. With Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Cole Hauser, Tom Skerritt. (105 min.)

Sterritt ** See review.

Ten (Not rated)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami. With Mania Akbari, Amin Maher. (94 min.)

Sterritt **** Iran's greatest filmmaker is fond of stripping personalities bare through conversations they have while riding in cars. Here he pushes his favorite dramatic device to its limit - filling a whole movie with close-ups of a smart, independent-minded Tehran woman and a series of passengers in her front seat including her sister, a religious old woman, a prostitute, and her preteen son. The results are dramatic. In Farsi with English subtitles.

All the Real Girls (R)