Director: Jesse Dylan. With Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eugene Levy, January Jones. (102 min.)Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Sterritt * Jim and Michelle get married in the third "American Pie" movie, and the whole gang gets involved in planning the shindig. Whatever novelty this series ever possessed has gone down the proverbial tube. The actors are on autopilot, and Adam Herz's screenplay panders to its immature target audience so cravenly and relentlessly that it verges on incompetence. Even gross-out movies ought to maintain some kind of standards!
Director: Volker Schlöndorff. With Bruno Ganz, Hanna Schygulla, Jerzy Skolimowski, Jean Carmet. (108 min.)
Sterritt *** A reporter with personal problems has a challenging time in battle-weary Beirut as Palestinians and Christians square off during the early 1980s. This politically charged 1981 drama isn't one of Schlöndorff's greatest films, but its strong moral concerns and superb cast make it well worth viewing. In German with English subtitles.
Director: Martin Brest. With Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Al Pacino. (124 min.)
DUD See full review, page 15.
Director: Peter Mullan. With Anne-Marie Duff, Nora-Jane Noone, Dorothy Duffy, Geraldine McEwan. (119 min.)
Sterritt **** See full review, page 15.
Director: Alan Rudolph. With Campbell Scott, Hope Davis, Denis Leary, Robin Tunney. (105 min.)
Sterritt **** See full review, page 15.
Director: Michael Bay. With Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union. (87 min.)
Staff ** Miami PD's mismatched partners, family man Marcus (Lawrence) and bachelor Mike (Smith), return to find themselves in the middle of a Russian-Cuban-Haitian drug war and in a contest between Miami's finest and the feds to bring down the combatants. Their captain is into meditation, enabling him to rationalize putting them back on the street after every gun battle and destruction derby car chase. Clever ideas and hilarious moments drown in a flood of violence. By M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 10 scenes, including innuendo, implied sex. Violence: 19 scenes, including explosions, shootings. Profanity: 236 profanities. Drugs: 9 scenes of drinking, smoking, and drug use.
Director: Gregor Jordan. With Joaquin Phoenix, Anna Paquin, Ed Harris, Elizabeth McGovern. (98 min.)
Sterritt *** The year is 1989, the setting is an American army base in West Germany, and the subject is rampant corruption orchestrated by a young officer and participated in by more soldiers and other people than you'd like to think. The irony and skepticism of this dark comedy-drama are closer to "Catch-22" and "M*A*S*H" than to movies with more reverent views of the military, and at its best it's as refreshing as it is daring. Superbly acted.
Director: Claire Denis. With Valérie Lemercier, Vincent Lindon, Hélène de Saint-Père. (90 min.)
Sterritt **** Driving to a dinner engagement, a young Parisian woman gets stuck in the mother of all traffic jams, offers a ride to a handsome pedestrian, and enters a fleeting affair that catches both of them by surprise. What's appealing about this lyrical romance is less its minimalist story than the way Denis unfolds its moment-by-moment events, treating each tiny detail as a lovingly placed fragment of what gradually grows into an enticing mosaic of time, place, and personality. In French with English subtitles.
Director: Claude Berri. With Jean-Pierre Bacri, Emilie Dequenne, Catherine Breillat, Brigitte Catillon. (90 min.)
Sterritt **** A middle-aged engineer falls in love with his young housekeeper. Berri is experienced enough to know that ill-starred affection and May-December romance have been treated in plenty of other films, so he takes a subdued and sensitive approach, allowing the emotions of the story to blossom in a gradual, organic way, culminating in a bittersweet final scene that's as precisely on target as the movie's excellent cast. In French with English subtitles.
Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes, including sex, partial nudity, innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: 4 profanities. Drugs: 23 scenes of drinking, smoking.