(Page 3 of 3)
Staff *** Sharp, unsettling, inventive.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Sex/Nudity: 5 scenes, including implied sex, innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes, including a severe beating. Profanity: 13 strong expressions. Drugs: 27 scenes with drinking and smoking.
Director: Caroline Link. With Karoline Eckertz, Merab Ninidze, Juliane Köhler, Regine Zimmermann. (141 min.)
Sterritt *** The story begins in 1938, when a Jewish refugee from Germany's Nazi violence moves to a lonely farm in Kenya, then sends for his wife and daughter, resulting in major adjustment problems. The film focuses on the girl as she grows into adolescence. It also shows the difficulties her parents face in their new world. If lush landscapes and exotic wildlife are what you're after, this isn't the safari for you. But many viewers will respond to its understated mix of family drama and Holocaust-era history.
With (voices): John Fiedler, Jim Cummings, Ken Sansom. (75 min.)
Staff *** "Piglet's Big Movie" is a lot bigger - and better - than its predecessor, "The Tigger Movie." OK, so a 5-year-old may not see the nuance in the always dear, always pastel Pooh pals in either Disney riff, but parents will recognize a whole new level of plot development. Piglet's kindness is sorely tested by his honey-obsessed friends - until he gets lost and they realize he's a hero who may be small, but in the "biggest, helpfulest way." By Clara Germani
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 5 very mild scenes. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.
Director: David Cronenberg. With Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson. (98 min.)
Sterritt **** A mentally troubled man tries to understand his tormented past as he is flooded by delusions and memories of his abused childhood. Cronenberg doesn't draw clear boundary lines between illusion and reality, depicting the main character's experiences as a complex web of memories, fantasies, and dreads. Honors also go to first-rate acting by Fiennes and Richardson in many roles.
Staff ***1/2 Harrowing, metaphorical, lonely.
Sex/Nudity: 5 scenes. Violence: 3 scenes of violence, including self-mutilation. Profanity: 7 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes of drinking, smoking.
Director: Antoine Fuqua. With Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci. (105 min.)
Sterritt ** US soldiers led by a hard-boiled lieutenant (Willis) penetrate the Nigerian jungle to rescue an endangered Italian physician (Bellucci) who refuses to leave unless she can bring a group of refugees with her. Dark-toned camera work and moody music give this slowly paced war film a chilling atmosphere until the final scenes, when US missiles and flaming Columbia Pictures fireballs turn the climax into a reunion of combat-movie clichés.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of partial nudity. Violence: 10 scenes of extreme war violence, including torture. Profanity: 38 expressions.
Director: Bruno Barreto. With: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Rob Lowe. (88 min.)
Staff **1/2 The movie opens with a red balloon drifting into the sky, setting the tone for the next hour and a half: light and airy, but overall a lot of fun. Paltrow's character is charming, and one can almost buy her act as a small-town girl who aspires to become a flight attendant. Mike Myers is especially funny as Paltrow's teacher. Overall, this view is clear and uncomplicated - with few clouds and plenty of sunshine. By Sasha Brown
Director: Wayne Wang. With Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, Bob Hoskins. (105 min.)
Sterritt ** Lopez plays a single mom who cleans hotel rooms while dreaming of a better life, and Fiennes plays the handsome politico who sweeps her into his arms. The stars of this toned-down "Pretty Woman" clone don't exude much romantic chemistry, but Wang moves the action along smoothly and has the good sense to make Manhattan itself one of the most prominent attractions.
Staff **1/2 Breezy, fun, touching.
Sex/Nudity: 1 sex scene; several instances of innuendo. Violence: 1 mild scene. Profanity: 12 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes of smoking, drinking.