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Movie Guide

October 31, 2003

Alien: The Director's Cut (R)

Director: Ridley Scott. With: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton. (120 min.)

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Sterritt ** When it debuted in 1979, this claustrophobic space opera was an ambitious attempt to combine traditional sci-fi with gothic horror. Scott has trimmed a few dull moments and added a handful of effective bits removed from the original cut. The overall effect is about the same - slow start, then escalating suspense and violence. Today's shock-movie fans will enjoy shrieking at it, and others should skip it. In space, no one can hear you ask for your money back.

Girlhood (Not rated)

Director: Liz Garbus. With: Shanae and Megan. (82 min.)

Sterritt *** Documentary following the lives of two teenage girls who've been arrested and jailed for grisly crimes, showing experiences during and after incarceration. Detailed, compassionate, humane.

The Human Stain (R)

Director: Robert Benton. With: Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise. (106 min.)

Sterritt ** See full review.

Shattered Glass (PG-13)

Director: Billy Ray. With: Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloƫ Sevigny, Steve Zahn. (90 min.)

Sterritt **** See full review.

Suspended Animation (Not rated)

Director: John Hancock. With Alex McArthur, Laura Esterman, Fred Meyers, Sage Allen. (117 min.)

Sterritt *** This suspense-horror movie centers on an animator who gets taken captive by cannibalistic sisters, escapes, and then starts obsessively tracking down estranged members of their family so he can better understand his weird experience and maybe take revenge. Although overlong, the picture has a fair measure of jolts and surprises.

Brother Bear (G)

Directors: Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker. With voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Joan Copeland, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rick Moranis. (85 min.)

Sterritt ** This old-fashioned animation tells the story of three native American brothers, one of whom is mysteriously turned into a bear as a path to redemption from his human faults. All the old Disney trademarks are here, except the wit and surprise that were once the studio's stock in trade. There's little appeal to grownups, but kids should enjoy it.

Good Boy! (PG)

Director: John Robert Hoffman. With: Liam Aiken, Kevin Nealon, Molly Shannon. (89 min.)

Sterritt * Talking dogs were cute, once. It's a tad disconcerting, however, when a canine starts lip syncing to the voice of Carl Reiner so it can complain about flatulence. That's typical of the dialogue in this ho-hum story about a lonely boy (Aiken) who discovers a UFO with a dog who comes from a planet ruled by mutts. The canine visitor is astonished to find that earth dogs are subservient to humans instead of ruling the planet. Given the intelligence level of "Good Boy," he might have a point. By Stephen Humphries

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 3 mild scenes. Profanity: 5 profanities. Drugs: None.

In the Cut (R)