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Sex/Nudity: None Violence: 97 scenes, including intense instances of battle gore. Profanity: None. Drugs: 2 scenes of drinking, 4 scenes with smoking.Skip to next paragraph
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Director: Mike Newell. With Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal. (118 min.)
Sterritt ** The time is 1953, the place is a tradition-bound women's college in New England, and the heroine is an ornery Berkeley grad who takes a job teaching art history. Roberts contributes as much energy and wit as she can, but sentimentality trumps substance at every opportunity.
Sex/Nudity: 9 instances of innuendo including implied sex. Violence: None. Profanity: 16 mild profanities. Drugs: 15 scenes of smoking, 10 instances of drinking.
Director: John Woo. With Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti, Joe Morton. (118 min.)
Sterritt ** Affleck plays an engineer who returns from his latest job - involving a new machine that can see into the future - with no memories of the three years he worked on the project and plenty of evidence that someone wants to kill him right now. Woo's customary action-film pyrotechnics gather more substance than usual from the implausible but inventive plot, drawn from a Philip K. Dick story.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes of innuendo. Violence: 10 scenes of violence, including torture. Profanity: 9 profanities. Drugs: 2 scenes with alcohol, 4 scenes with smoking.
Director: P.J. Hogan. With Jeremy Sumpter, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Ludivine Sagnier, Lynn Redgrave. (105 min.)
Sterritt *** Still another retelling of J.M. Barrie's classic fable about a magical boy who won't grow up and three English siblings who fly with him to Neverland for adventures with Indians, pirates, and a very mean crocodile. Hogan's version brings out the story's somber side, showing how the mischief of unworldly characters like Peter and Tinkerbell can do real damage, and how refusing to grow up is an awful idea if you actually try it. The visual effects are inventive, if too violent for very young viewers.
Director: Nancy Meyers. With Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet. (121 min.)
Sterritt *** An aging businessman (Nicholson) realizes that the 20-something he's wooing (Peet) is less interesting, fun, and sexy than her mother (Keaton). While it's a standard romantic comedy in most respects, Meyers's movie deserves extra credit for challenging Hollywood clichés about love across the generations, and for teaming up Nicholson and Keaton, whose chemistry bubbles off the screen.
Staff **1/2 Lovably cast, long-winded, Keaton is radiant.
Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes with nudity, 2 sex scenes, 3 innuendos. Violence: None. Profanity: 19 profanities. Drugs: 14 scenes with drinking. 4 scenes with smoking.
Director: Carl Franklin. With Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan, Dean Cain. (105 min.)
Staff ** This low-wattage thriller, set in the clammy Florida keys, is just perfect for a wintry night. There are a few sequences that'll make you sweat as much as the small-town police chief (Washington) who has been framed for the murder of a women he was having an affair with. Though this film noir isn't as good as "Devil in a Blue Dress," director Franklin's previous collaboration with Washington, he does craft several outstanding setpieces in which the cop outmaneuvers the homicide investigators in his office even as he tries to solve the case. If only the disc's slight bonus features were as riveting. By Stephen Humphries