(Page 2 of 4)
Sterritt ** Remake of the 1950 comedy about a couple with almost more kids than they can count, focusing on how football-coach dad (Martin) and book-writing mom (Hunt) learn they've got to spend more time at home. Soft, sentimental, and as unlike real family life as you can get.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Director: Anthony Minghella. With Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renée Zellweger, Philip Seymour Hoffman. (155 min.)
Sterritt ** Just as the Civil War is breaking out, a young Southern couple falls in love, and the man (Law) deserts the Confederate army for a long trek home to his love, who's been struggling for survival against mighty odds. The story builds some melodramatic momentum, but its celebration of endurance and romance is interrupted by episodes of sadism and suffering that smack more of sensationalism than candor and compassion. The fine cast is also misused - especially Kidman, who looks as unruffled at the end of her torments as before they began, and Zellweger, who does a job of overacting that might have gotten rejected by "The Beverly Hillbillies."
Sex/Nudity: 5 instances including nudity. Violence: 19 scenes including bloody battles. Profanity: 14 instances. Drugs: 5 scenes of drinking.
Director: Robert Altman. With Neve Campbell, Malcolm McDowell, Susie Cusack, Lar Lubovitch. (112 min.)
Sterritt **** Campbell started her career as a dancer, and she's just right for this colorful tale about a young ballerina with high ambitions. Like many Altman movies, this is less a dramatic story to follow than an atmospheric environment to visit. His virtuoso directing gets ample assistance from Barbara Turner's loosely choreographed screenplay, Andrew Dunn's supple camera work, and superb dancing by members of the real-life Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.
Director: Jon Favreau. With Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Edward Asner. (92 min.)
Sterritt **** Buddy was raised at the North Pole by Santa but when he learns he's an adopted human rather than an everyday elf, he heads for Manhattan to meet his dad, a Scrooge-like executive. The cast is perfect, and David Berenbaum has written a smart and funny sugarplum of a screenplay.
Staff *** Sprightly, festive, good-hearted fun.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 4 scenes of violence, including a beating. Profanity: 2 mild profanities. Drugs: 5 scenes with alcohol, 1 scene with smoking.
Director: Errol Morris. With Robert S. McNamara, Errol Morris. (107 min.)
Sterritt **** Morris turns his unblinking documentary eye on the controversial secretary of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, punctuating interview segments with archival footage and other historical material. Among the film's many revelations is the fact that Robert McNamara today has far more complex and conflicted views of the Vietnam War - which he helped orchestrate and direct - than either his champions or detractors may expect. The filmmaking is meticulous and the ideas are endlessly thought-provoking.
Director: Ron Minkoff. With Eddie Murphy, Marsha Thomason, Terence Stamp, Wallace Shawn. (88 min.)
Sterritt ** Hoping to land a commission, two married real estate brokers and their kids visit a spooky old manor containing a mysterious young man, his weirded-out butler, and ghosts galore. While this uneven horror comedy may supply giggles and shivers to the preteens it's aimed at, grownups won't find anything they haven't seen before. Stamp's portrayal of the butler is fun, though.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of innuendo. Violence: 12 scenes. Profanity: 10 mild expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes of drinking.
Director: Vadim Perelman. With Jennifer Connolly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Shohreh Aghdashloo. (126 min.)