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Staff **1/2 Promising start, too slapstick, predictable.Skip to next paragraph
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Sex/Nudity: Innuendo throughout; heavy kissing between 2 women. Violence: 15 scenes with violence, mostly fights. Profanity: 23 harsh profanities. Drugs: 14 scenes with drinking and smoking.
Director: Robert Duvall. With Duvall, Luciana Pedraza. (114 min.)
Sterritt *** Duvall is terrific as an American hit man who learns to tango in Argentina while waiting for the return of a general he's been hired to murder. As usual in the films he writes and directs, Duvall blends a fictional story with authentic background details and performances by cast members who aren't trained actors. There's plenty to please the eye and the ear, but Pedraza's acting skills don't equal her excellence as a dancer.
Staff *** Intelligent, elegant dancing, engaging.
Sex/Nudity: 1 sex scene; 12 scenes with innuendo related to tango. Violence: 8 scenes, including shootings. Profanity: 24 harsh profanities.
Director: Gurinder Chadha. With Parminder K. Nagra, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Keira Knightley. (112 min.)
Sterritt ** The heroine is a soccer-loving Indian teen living in London with her highly traditional family; they believe nice young women shouldn't chase after balls, and their conservatism may prevent her from fashioning her future on her own terms. The film probes territory already explored in pictures like "East Is East," but its look at cultural clashes is always well-meaning and good-humored.
Staff **1/2 Joyous, innocent, predictable.
Sex/Nudity: 1 mild sex scene. Violence: Mild violence on the soccer field. Profanity: 7 instances of profanity. Drugs: 8 scenes of drinking; 1 with smoking.
Director: Justin Lin. With Parry Shen, Sung Kang, Jason Tobin, Roger Fan. (99 min.)
Sterritt *** A small circle of Asian-American friends scramble for good grades, plan for college, and pull off petty crimes for fun. The filmmaking is gimmicky, aimed at young moviegoers with a taste for rowdy teen comedy and music-video aesthetics. What helps Lin's feature-directing debut is his insight into the dark side of living up to "model minority" stereotypes in a materialistic culture.
Director: James Cameron. With Bill Paxton, John Lynch, Charles Pellegrino, Lori Johnston. (60 min.)
Sterritt *** Filmed in the Imax 3-D format, this eye-filling documentary visits the wreck of the Titanic with a crew of scientists, historians, and observers as they explore the tragic marvel with lighting from an underwater chandelier and videography by two remote-controlled robots that become the movie's mascots, a sort of R2D2 and C3PO of the briny deep. The spectacle would be more stunning if Cameron didn't throw in extras like superimpositions, split-scene sequences, animations, and reenactments. But at least it clocks in shorter than Cameron's "Titanic."
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: A few scenes recreating panic as ship goes down. Profanity: 6 profanities. Drugs: Several drinking and smoking scenes.
Director: Neil Jordan. With Nick Nolte, Tchéky Karyo, Emir Kusturica. (110 min.)
Sterritt ** Nolte plays a gambler on the French Riviera who stakes his future on a scheme to pull off two heists - a real one and a decoy - helped by a motley crew of collaborators. This caper is a duded-up remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's classic "Bob le Flambeur," with an added subplot about forged paintings that dovetails with the story's interest in illusion and reality. Jordan miscalculates by substituting noise and bustle for the moody atmosphere of the 1955 original.
Staff **1/2 Retro, mediocre, witty.
Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes, including innuendo and sex. Violence: 9 scenes, including beating. Profanity: 39 harsh profanities. Drugs: 25 scenes with drinking, smoking, or drug use.
Director: Chris Rock. With Rock, Bernie Mac, Robin Givens. (95 min.)
Sterritt ** Rock plays a black alderman who's coaxed into running for president by an underhanded politico who really wants him to lose. You can guess the rest - he speaks his mind, charms average citizens, and sweeps in from behind. But along with painfully predictable gags the film has moments of sharp social satire, and Rock makes a promising directorial debut. Chris Rock 4 President.