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Movie Guide

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Sex/Nudity: 5 innuendoes. Violence: None. Profanity: 9 profanities. Drugs: 12 scenes of drinking, smoking.

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Lost in Translation (R)

Director: Sofia Coppola. With Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Akiko Takeshita. (102 min.)

Sterritt **** Murray and Johansson play two Americans in Tokyo, a movie star doing a tedious photo shoot for a whiskey ad and a young woman whose new husband (Ribisi) loves his work more than her. They cope with loneliness by forming a friendship across generations - but will it blossom into a romance? Not quite a love story and not quite NOT a love story, Coppola's sophomore effort (after "The Virgin Suicides," also excellent) is smart, funny, and splendidly acted.

Staff **** Stylish, witty, thoughtful, layered.

Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of implied sex; 1 nude scene; some innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: 5 profanities. Drugs: 16 drinking scenes; 9 with smoking.

Mambo Italiano (R)

Director: Emile Gaudreault. With Luke Kirby, Ginette Reno, Paul Sorvino, Claudia Ferri. (90 min.)

Staff ** The proper way for Italian kids to leave home is to grow up and get married. Twenty-something Angelo Barberini (Kirby), son of Italian immigrants in Montreal, still has some growing up to do, but he wants to do it in his own apartment. He's also not about to get married, because he's gay. These bombshells have predictable effects on his traditional family, but Reno's charming performance and some hilarious moments help this Canadian import rise above clich├ęs. By M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 8 innuendoes; 3 scenes of implied sex. Violence: None. Profanity: 25 profanities. Drugs: At least 15 drinking and smoking scenes.

Matchstick Men (PG-13)

Director: Ridley Scott. With Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell, Bruce Altman. (116 min.)

Sterritt *** A conspicuously neurotic con artist (Cage) gets distracted from a swindle he's pulling off with his partner (Rockwell) when he meets his teenage daughter (Lohman) whose existence he's recently discovered. True to the caper-movie format, deceit and double-dealing run deeper than the plot's surface suggests. Cage plays a difficult character with skill and sympathy, helped by a solid supporting cast. It's mischievous fun.

Staff *** Touching, oddball characters, suspenseful.

Sex/Nudity: 1 scene at a nude bar. Violence: 2 scenes, including murder. Drugs: 14 scenes of drinking; 25 smoking.

My Life Without Me (R)

Director: Isabel Coixet. With Sarah Polley, Scott Speedman, Deborah Harry, Mark Ruffalo. (106 min.)

Sterritt * Learning that she has only a few months to live, a 20-something woman keeps this a secret from her husband and daughters, but makes a list of things she wants to do with her remaining time, like record future birthday messages and entice a new man to fall in love with her. It wants to be funny and sad, but it's really a schmaltzy soap opera full of coincidence, sentimentality, and behavior far less life-affirming than we're meant to think.

Out of Time (PG-13)

Director: Carl Franklin. With Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan, Dean Cain. (114 min.)

Sterritt ** The protagonist is the police chief of a tiny Florida town where a double homicide has occurred and various clues - including the fact that one of the victims was his lover - may finger him as the culprit if he can't solve the case in a hurry. There are a few exciting scenes, and Washington gives another fine performance as a man who's upright in some respects, sly in others. But the thriller has so many contrived escapes and last-minute switcheroos that they could have called it "Just in Time."

Sex/Nudity: 8 scenes of sex, innuendo. Violence: 6 scenes, including shootings. Profanity: 4 profanities. Drugs: 8 scenes of smoking, drinking.

The Rundown (PG-13)

Director: Peter Berg. With The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken. (105 min.)

Sterritt ** A big-muscled "retrieval expert" visits Brazil to kidnap a mobster's son, then makes a deal with a revolutionary leader to help find an artifact that's also coveted by an American capitalist who runs a slave-labor operation. This is basically a 10th-tier rehash of the Indiana Jones genre, laced with moments that are actually clever and exciting. Dawson is alluring, Scott is smug, Walken is terrific, and The Rock is, well, The Rock.