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Director: Rob Zombie. With Chris Hardwick, Karen Black, Jennifer Jostyn, Sid Haig. (88 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Staff **1/2 Originally slated for release in 2000, this movie - written and directed by former White Zombie frontman and horror buff Rob Zombie - was unable to find a distributor because of its violence. The plot pays homage to 1970s horror flicks: Four friends are out driving on a rainy night. They become stranded and seek shelter in a sadistic family's farm house. While it delivers the goods to horror fans, it may prove too disturbing for the unsuspecting audience member. By Sasha Brown
Staff *1/2 Sadistic, creepy, depraved.
Sex/Nudity: 15 scenes, including innuendo, nudity. Violence: 26 grisly scenes. Profanity: 65 profanities. Drugs: Few scenes of drinking, smoking.
Director: John Whitesell. With Jamie Kennedy, Regina Hall, Taye Diggs, Ryan O'Neal. (85 min.)
Sterritt *** Kennedy plays 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, but it makes points about how much of "race" is more about words and gestures we use than the colors of our skins.
Staff *** Inspired silliness, lighthearted, fun.
Sex/Nudity: 9 instances of innuendo. Violence: 16 scenes, including shootouts, explosions. Profanity: 105 profanities. Drugs: 6 scenes of drinking.
Director: Joel Schumacher. With Colin Farrell, Katie Holmes, Kiefer Sutherland. (81 min.)
Sterritt *** A self-centered yuppie (Farrell) answers a pay phone in New York, and discovers he's talking with a psychopath (Sutherland) who threatens to shoot him if he dares to hang up. Farrell solidly holds the screen while allowing enough emotional space for other characters, and Schumacher has directed the high-voltage story without a wasted move.
Staff *** Riveting, fast-paced.
Sex/Nudity: Mild innuendo. Violence: 6 scenes; guns drawn throughout. Profanity: 97 profanities. Drugs: 4 smoking scenes.
Director: Peter Sollett. With Victor Rasuk, Judy Marte, Melonie Diaz, Altagracia Guzman. (87 min.)
Sterritt *** This is a likable comedy-drama about a Latino teenager in New York who romances a pretty girl who's both standoffish and insecure, like him, and faces domestic difficulties with a grandma who hasn't figured out the modern world her family lives in. Both sympathetic and unsentimental, this is a nice example of low-budget filmmaking on a human scale.
Staff *** Realistic, tender, well acted, witty.
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of innuendo. 1 with implied sex. Violence: None. Profanity: 61 profanities. Drugs: 3 scenes of smoking, drinking.
Director: Steve James. With Stephen Fielding, Steve James, Verna Hagler, Tonya Gregory. (140 min.)
Sterritt **** This engrossing documentary began to develop when filmmaker James discovered that an Illinois youngster he'd mentored years earlier (Fielding) was entangled in family and legal problems. He decided to spend time with the young man by making a documentary about him. The project acquired new dimensions when Fielding was charged with a startling crime. In some ways, this is an intimate visit with a troubled individual. In other ways it's a sociological study of the uneducated working-class he hails from. Its fascination also comes from James's reflections on his responsibilities as a friend and a filmmaker.
Staff ***1/2 Delicate, enlightening, disturbing.
Sex/Nudity: Few instances of innuendo. Violence: Sexual abuse is a main theme. No violence, but there are graphic threats throughout. Profanity: 44 profanities. Drugs: 13 scenes of drinking, smoking.
Director: Dennie Gordon. With Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Eileen Atkins. (103 min.)
Sterritt * Longing to meet her father, an English aristocrat who sired her in a romantic fling, a New York teen (Bynes) flies to London and barges into his life. Bynes buffs may never have a better chance to bask in her perky presence. Others may draw some entertainment value from the high-profile supporting cast, but that's all this warmed-over comic trifle has to offer.
Staff **1/2 Light, fun, goofy, standard fare.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes with innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes. Profanity: 8 profanities. Drugs: 5 drinking scenes.