Director: Andrew Jarecki. With Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, Elaine Friedman, David Friedman. (107 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt **** This is a riveting documentary about a seemingly ordinary Long Island family knocked to smithereens when shocking criminal charges are levied against two of them, sparking a series of dramatic, traumatic events. Jarecki was fortunate to have a substantial trove of revealing film and video materials at his disposal. He makes excellent use of them, crafting a compulsively watchable movie that's also a provocative inquiry into the ability of the criminal-justice system to determine culpability and truth.
Director: Andrew Stanton. With Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush. (101 min.)
Staff *** See full review.
Director: F. Gary Gray. With Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Seth Green. (104 min.)
Staff **See full review.
Director: Aluizio Abranches. With Júlia Lemmertz, Luíza Mariani, Maria Luisa Mendonça. (90 min.)
Sterritt **** Stricken with grief and rage after her sons and husband are murdered by a long-ago romantic rival, a woman dispatches her three daughters to exact revenge with the help of three implacable killers whose aid they must enlist. This strikingly unusual movie is at once an old-fashioned melodrama, a boldly stylized spectacle, and a very grim fairy tale, acted and directed with originality and flair. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Director: Karen Moncrieff. With Agnes Bruckner, David Strathairn, Margaret Colin. (87 min.)
Sterritt *** A teenage girl writes poetry as a means of coping with her dysfunctional family and then faces a new challenge when her encouraging English teacher starts to cross the line of teacher-pupil propriety. Except for the somewhat superficial climax, Moncrieff's low-key screenwriting and directing mesh marvelously with the first-rate acting.
Staff *** Nuanced, chilling, transparent.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of implied sex; some innuendo. Violence: 4 instances, including statutory rape, coercion, self-mutilation. Profanity: 17 profanities. Drugs: 3 drinking scenes.
Director: Tom Shadyac. With Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman. (94 min.)
Staff *** Carrey stars as a TV reporter who blames God for all his problems. In a flash, he comes face to face with God, warmly played by Freeman. Turns out that God wants to take a vacation and has chosen Bruce to fill in while he's away. Now Bruce has got the power, but he has no idea what to do with it, except part his tomato soup like the Red Sea or potty-train his dog. But there has to be a moral lurking here somewhere, and Bruce finally learns the importance of helping people. Happily, Carrey is back with his trademark facial expressions and outrageous physical comedy. Aniston, as his girlfriend, is a bright presence, too. By Lisa Leigh Connors
Staff *** Carrey is allllrighty, divinely funny, too sentimental.
Sex/Nudity: 10 scenes, including innuendo and implied sex. No nudity. Violence: 7 scenes of violence, mostly slapstick or fighting. Profanity: 12 profanities. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking.
Director: Steve Carr. With Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Anjelica Huston. (93 min.)
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's message would have seemed progressive 30 years ago: Men can change diapers, and women can be lawyers!
Staff ** 1/2 Fun family fare, cute kids, simple story.
Sex/Nudity: 1 innuendo. Violence: 9 scenes of slapstick violence. Profanity: 7 mild expressions. Drugs: 1 scene with smoking.
Director: Peyton Reed. With Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor. (96 min.)