Director: Vladimir Michalek. With Vlastimil Brodsky, Stella Zazvorkova, Stanislav Zinduka, Ondrej Vetchy. (97 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** See review.
Director: Sarah George. With members of the freight-hopping community. (80 min.)
Sterritt *** See review.
Director: Ulrich Seidl. With Rene Wanko, Franziska Weiss, Victor Rathbone, Claudia Martini. (120 min.)
Sterritt ** See review.
Director: Milcho Manchevski. With Joseph Fiennes, Rosemary Murphy, David Wenham, Anne Brochet. (127 min.)
Sterritt ** This hugely ambitious melodrama begins when an African-American burglar in New York gets held at gunpoint by his intended victim, an elderly white woman who uses the opportunity to tell him an apocryphal story of her family's past in Macedonia. Its most impressive aspect is its visual style, patterned to some degree on Sergio Leone westerns. A picture this long and dense should work harder to be cogent and coherent, though.
Director: Hany Abu-Asad. With Clara Khoury, Ismael Dabbag, Khalifa Natour, Zuher Fahoum. (90 min.)
Sterritt *** The father of our Palestinian heroine plans to take her to Egypt to a new life she's sure will be less happy than her current one, despite the daily challenges of living in Jerusalem under Israeli laws and protocols. Her only chance to avoid this is to locate her boyfriend, Khalil, by 4 this afternoon. Can she locate Khalil, find a lawyer who'll override her dad's objections to the wedding, and get past Israeli roadblocks in time to meet her goal? Excellent acting, and a plot that combines suspense, whimsy, and political resonance make this Palestinian comedy-drama an unusual treat. In Arabic with English subtitles
Director: Catherine Hardwicke. With Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto. (100 min.)
Staff **1/2This raw film chronicles how a 13-year-old honors student (Evan Rachel Wood) succumbs to a range of peer pressures when she gains acceptance from the ringleader (Nikki Reed) of the cool clan at her junior high. Her grades, her self-esteem, and her relationships plummet to rock bottom as her mom (Holly Hunter) struggles to understand and stop the self-destructiveness. Co-written by Reed when she was 13, the movie style is as volatile as a rebellious teen - at times veering over the top. The acting is impressive, though, particularly by Reed, Wood, and Hunter. See interview, page 15. By Stephanie Broadhurst Cook
Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. With Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Harvey Pekar. (100 min.)
Sterritt **** This movie breaks all the rules, offering a partly fictionalized look at the life and times of Pekar, a writer of underground comic books who earns most of his living as a file clerk and finds an equally idiosyncratic comics fan, Brabner, to be his wife. Pekar and Brabner are played by Giamatti and Davis, respectively, but also appear as themselves in interview sequences. Emotionally poignant, socially and culturally revealing, and wildly entertaining from start to finish.
Director: Jesse Dylan. With Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eugene Levy, January Jones. (102 min.)
Sterritt * Jim and Michelle get married in the third "American Pie" film, and the whole gang gets involved in planning the shindig. Whatever novelty this series ever possessed has gone down the proverbial tube. Actors are on autopilot, and Adam Herz's screenplay panders to its immature target audience so relentlessly it verges on incompetence. Even gross-out films ought to maintain some standards!
Staff *** Sophomoric, crass, zany, playful.
Sex/Nudity: 22 scenes, including sex, nudity, innuendo. Violence: 4 scenes, including whipping. Drugs: 5 drinking scenes.
Director: Stephen Frears. With Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor. (107 min.)
Staff *** An illegal Nigerian immigrant (Ejiofor), who works as both a night clerk and a cabbie just to make ends meet, discovers an underground organ-trading operation at a posh London hotel. In this intelligent thriller, Frears offers an unflinchingly gritty view of the underbelly of life as an illegal immigrant, often exploited and clinging to survival. Acting by both Tautou and Ejiofor is top-notch. By Stephanie Cook Broadhurst