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Sterritt ** A hard-driving coach (Russell) trains his hockey team for a difficult match against the Soviet squad in the Winter Olympics of 1980. The climactic game packs an action-filled wallop impossible to resist. But the movie doesn't convincingly meet its goal of turning a sports event - even this tantalizing match between cold-war foes - into an all-embracing metaphor for the American way. Let's face it, a hockey game is, well, a hockey game.Skip to next paragraph
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Staff *** Gripping, inspiring, brings freshness to clichés.
Sex/Nudity: 1 innuendo Violence: 8 instances. Profanity: 13 mild expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes of drinking.
Director: Mel Gibson. With Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Sergio Rubini, Maia Morgenstern. (127 min.)
Sterritt ** An excruciatingly violent reenactment of Jesus' crucifixion. Gibson pays morbid attention to every gory detail, as if the suffering of the earthly Jesus were of central importance, rather than a precondition of his triumph over death. He also leaves the door open to anti-Semitic interpretations of the Jewish role in the death sentence, though Gibson has disavowed such interpretations. Technically, the picture is strong, thanks to Caleb Deschanel's camera work and Caviezel's relentlessly focused acting. In Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin with English subtitles.
Staff **1/2 Brutal, excrutiatingly detailed violence.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of nudity. Violence: 24 scenes of intense violence that may be inappropriate for children. Profanity: No instances. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking wine.
Director: Todd Phillips. With Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Juliette Lewis. (99 min.)
Sterritt ** Stiller and Wilson play an odd couple of cops - one so conscientious he's more of a menace than the criminals he's chasing, the other believing that if you can't beat the crooks you might as well join 'em. The stars make the most of their comic characters, borrowed from the popular TV show of the '70s, learning to respect each other as they bumble their way to success with a tenacity that would impress Inspector Clouseau himself. Dogg is a riot as Huggy Bear, their streetwise informant, and '70s icon Fred Williamson plays their long-suffering commander perfectly.
Staff ** Fun but not funny, forgettable, Stiller excels.
Sex/Nudity: 25 instance of innuendo. Violence: 7 scenes of violence. Profanity: 24 instances, often strong. Drugs: 7 scenes with drinking or smoking, 2 with cocaine.
Director: Philip Kaufman. With Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia, David Strathairn. (97 min.)
Sterritt * A policewoman (Judd) hunts for a serial killer whose victims are men she's slept with recently, and starts to fear she may be the villain, eliminating former lovers in an alcoholic daze. The screenplay is hackneyed, the acting half-hearted, and the surprise ending is no surprise if you've been paying attention.
Director: Donald Petrie. With Gene Hackman, Maura Tierney, Ray Romano, Marcia Gay Harden. (110 min.)
Sterritt * Hackman plays a former president of the United States who retires to a small town, falls for a local woman, and vies for her with a handyman (Romano) who runs against him in a mayoral election. The best parts invovle mass-media feeding frenzies, but these are closer to stark realism than sarcastic satire.
Staff ** Amiable, folksy, enjoyable cast.
Sex/Nudity: 8 instances Violence: 1 scene involving a punch. Profanity: 8 instances. Drugs: 7 instances of drinking.