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Movie Guide

April 18, 2003

Bulletproof Monk (PG-13)

Director: Paul Hunter. With Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, Jamie King. (103 min.)

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Staff **1/2 In Tibet in 1943, the "Monk Without a Name" (Yun-Fat) becomes the protector of a sacred scroll that will make its reader the ruler of the world. Naturally, the Nazis want it. Sixty years later, his term of office is nearly over, and the monk comes to the US - Nazis still in pursuit - to find a successor. What he finds is a kung-fu loving pickpocket (Scott) and a mysterious girl (King). The mixture of martial arts, super-hero comic book, and Eastern philosophy doesn't really come together, but it moves quickly. By M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes with innuendo. Violence: 20 scenes, including kung-fu battles. Profanity: 11 harsh profanities. Drugs: Several scenes with drinking, smoking.

Holes (PG)

Director: Andrew Davis. With Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Shia LeBeouf. (111 min.)

Staff *** See review.

Lilya 4-Ever (R)

Director: Lukas Moodysson. With Oksana Akinshina, Artiom Bogucharskij, Elina Benenson. (109 min.)

Sterritt *** Left to fend for herself by an uncaring mother and an impersonal society, a teenage girl sinks into a spiral of abuse by others and misguided decisions of her own. Set mostly in an unnamed part of the former Soviet Union, this grim Danish-Swedish production is socially revealing and artistically creative, both coldly realistic and infused with compassion for its heroine and her youth culture. In Russian and Swedish with English subtitles.

Love & Diane (Not rated)

Director: Jennifer Dworkin. With Love Hinson, Diane Hazzard, Donyaeh Hazzard, Willie Hazzard. (155 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

Malibu's Most Wanted (PG-13)

Director: John Whitesell. With Jamie Kennedy, Regina Hall, Taye Diggs, Ryan O'Neal. (85 min.)

Sterritt *** The hero (Kennedy) is a white teen who tries so hard to be black that his politically ambitious father (O'Neal) hires two African-American actors to pose as inner-city hoods and scare him back into white-bread behavior. The comedy is often crass and crude, but it makes telling points about how much of "race" is more about the words and gestures we use than the actual colors of our skins.

A Mighty Wind (PG-13)

Director: Christopher Guest. With Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey. (87 min.)

Sterritt *** Guest follows his amusing "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show" with yet another faux documentary, focusing this time on aging folkies from the '60s era of sentimental ballads and lusty protest songs. The parody would be more memorable if it satirized a broader section of the folk-music scene instead of limiting itself to commercialized acts of the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary ilk. But it is as accurate as it is funny.

Sex/Nudity: 7 scenes with innuendo. Drugs: 2 drinking scenes.

Winged Migration (G)

Director: Jacques Perrin. With many flying birds. (85 min.)

Staff ** See review.

A Man Apart (R)

Director: F. Gary Gray. With Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant, Jacqueline Obradors. (109 min.)

Sterritt * Diesel plays a narcotics cop who prospers by relying on the tricks he learned as a streetwise hustler. When criminals murder his wife, his lust for vengeance brings out a side of him as nasty as the bad guys he wants to bring down. Diesel's unmodulated acting and Gray's heavy-handed directing make this more of a down-and-dirty vigilante yarn than the psychological drama it tries to be.

Staff **1/2 Predictable, exciting, Diesel-icious.

Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes, including innuendo and topless dancers. Violence: 14 scenes, including shootouts. Profanity: 105 harsh profanities. Drugs: 22 scenes with drinking, smoking, drugs.

Anger Management (PG-13)

Director: Peter Segal. With Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei, Heather Graham. (100 min.)

Sterritt *** A businessman (Sandler) with an anger problem gets sentenced to live-in therapy sessions with a shrink (Nicholson) who's as eccentric as the cranks he's supposed to cure. The comedy is uneven and sometimes crude, but it's worth seeing for Sandler's minimalist acting and for a few very funny scenes, mostly in the first half. Nicholson is also fine when he isn't overplaying his character's shenanigans.