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Sterritt ** Murphy and Garlin start a kiddie-minding business as an alternative to a pretentious preschool they can't afford for their own kids when they lose their jobs. Murphy gives one of his more restrained performances, which suits the mood of carefully contained comic mayhem that Carr sustains, while the screenplay pitches a message that would have seemed progressive 30 years ago: Men can change diapers, and women can be lawyers!Skip to next paragraph
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Staff ** 1/2 Fun family fare, cute kids, simple.
Sex/Nudity: 1 innuendo. Violence: 9 scenes of slapstick violence. Profanity: 7 mild expressions. Drugs: 1 scene with smoking.
Director: John Malkovich. With Javier Bardem, Laura Morante, Juan Diego. (135 min.)
Sterritt ** Bardem plays a Latin American police detective who tracks down a revolutionary zealot while mooning over his daughter's dance teacher. Malkovich's directorial debut is intellectually ambitious, but his meandering style dilutes the story's emotional effectiveness, and Nicholas Shakespeare's screenplay deals more in vague qualities of Latin culture than in the specific conditions that drive the plot about revolutionary violence. But Bardem delivers a sensitive performance.
Staff *** Provocative, well-paced, intricate.
Sex/Nudity: 1 nude scene. Violence: 22 scenes, some quite gory depicting aftermath of explosions. Drugs: 7 smoking scenes; 2 with alcohol.
Director: Andrew Davis. With Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Shia LeBeouf. (111 min.)
Staff *** This honky-tonk tale hews closely to Louis Sachar's Newbery-winning children's book. LaBeouf plays Stanley Yelnats IV, a teen who's wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of sneakers. He's shipped off to Camp Green Lake, a detention center where Stanley and the other boys are forced to shovel holes in the desert ostensibly "to build character," says the warden, played chillingly by Weaver. Like most children's films, everything wraps up neatly in the end. But overall, "Holes" digs deeper than other movies of its ilk, probing racism, children not fitting in, and the value of friendship. By Stephanie Cook Broadhurst
Staff ***1/2 Adept adaptation, entertaining, 'Hole'-some.
Staff *S/N: 1 scene with innuendo. Violence: 12 scenes, including shootings and fights. Profanity: 10 mild profanities. Drugs: None.
Director: James Mangold. With John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Ray Liotta, Rebecca de Mornay. (90 min.)
Sterritt *** A ramshackle motel hosts a motley crew of stranded travelers on a rain-drenched night - including a mad killer on his way to a hearing just hours before his execution. Soon, corpses start piling up like crazy. The film has wild mood-swings, from "Psycho" to "Scream" and back again, but it's loopy enough to be involving and fun if you're willing to leave your brain at the snack counter.
Staff **1/2 Cliché, Cusack is watchable, mystery fans will enjoy.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of implied sex. Violence: 22 scenes, quite gory. Profanity: 23 profanities. Drugs: 3 smoking scenes; 2 with drinking.
Director: Carlos Reygadas. With Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores, Carlos Reygadas Barquin. (122 min.)
Sterritt *** A man travels from Mexico City to the rugged countryside, where he plans to commit suicide. Renting a room from a lonely old woman, he builds an intimate relationship with her, nudging him toward altered views of the world. Reygadas's first feature is more persuasive as visually engaging cinema than as thoughtful philosophy, but it's an engrossing and inventive drama despite its flaws. Many widescreen shots are transfixing. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Staff *** Rich plot, jarring, beautiful, slow.
Sex/Nudity: 4 graphic sex scenes. Violence: 7 scenes, some gory. Profanity: 11 profanities.
Director: Jim Fall. With Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Alex Borstein, Clayton Snyder. (90 min.)
Sterritt *** The popular TV character heads for Rome with a gaggle of classmates and a bossy chaperon, looking for adventure and finding more than she bargained for. The action is light and lively all the way, poking inventive fun at everything from nosy little brothers to clueless hotel managers and romantic Romans who aren't as glamorous as they claim to be. Highly recommended.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 1 scene of punching. Profanity: None. Drugs: 1 drinking scene.
Director: Jennifer Dworkin. With Love Hinson, Diane Hazzard, Donyaeh Hazzard, Willie Hazzard. (155 min.)