Director: John Singleton. With Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Cole Hauser, Eva Mendes. (110 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt * A former cop and his ex-con friend agree to help the feds capture a big-time dope dealer in exchange for clearing their own criminal records. The film has enough wild driving to satisfy any "French Connection" fan or "Bullitt" buff, but there's precious little for anyone else to enjoy. 2 foolish + 2 flashy = 4 get it!
Director: Katsuhito Ishii. With Tadanobu Asano, Shie Kohinata, Susumu Terajima, Shingo Tsurumi. (108 min.)
Sterritt ** On the lam after fleecing some mobsters, a crook teams up with a runaway woman for a chase that becomes more frantic and complicated as it goes along. The movie is visually impressive, but Ishii's virtuoso style can't overcome the flatness of the comic-book story he's telling.
Director: Sam Green. With Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Todd Gitlin, Kathleen Cleaver. (93 min.)
Sterritt **** See full review.
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.)
Sterritt ** Finding himself endowed with divine powers temporarily granted by God, a self-centered local TV reporter gradually learns there are more important things in life than his career woes and petty gripes. The screenplay doesn't ultimately make much sense. Carrey is a unique comic talent, though, and Freeman and Aniston back him up with such sensitive supporting performances that the film almost works if you can suspend enough disbelief to swallow its fantastic premise.
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.)
Sterritt * The time is 1962. The heroine is an enterprising author (Zellweger) who's penned a feminist book years ahead of its time, but the suave magazine editor she needs for publicity purposes (McGregor) wants to prove she's a romantic at heart. There's promise in the film's idea of reviving the spirit of Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedies, complete with colorful images and vintage wide-screen cinematography. Sadly, though, director Reed has no idea how to build the right bubbling rhythms.
Staff ** 1/2 Campy, giddy, sappy.
Sex/Nudity: 16 instances of innuendo. Violence: 3 mild scenes. Profanity: None. Drugs: 25 scenes with drinking and smoking.
Director: Andrew Stanton. With (voices) Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush. (101 min.)