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Sterritt ** Outed as a homosexual, a 17-year-old swimming champ endures tough times in his high school and ambivalence at home, where his parents are more bewildered than upset. The story's celebration of honesty is commendable, even if the treatment of homophobia is no deeper than the hero's swimming pool. Originally titled "A Cause d'un garçon." In French with subtitlesSkip to next paragraph
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Director: David Twohy. With Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Colm Feore, Judi Dench. (115 min.)
Sterritt * Riddick battles evil crusaders called Necromongers, helped by tips from a virtuous Elemental, and between them they save the galaxy and make Riddick supreme ruler of everything, which we're supposed to think is an excellent outcome. The special effects are extra special. The screenplay is idiotic, though, and Diesel speaks his dialogue like a Sylvester Stallone clone who never finished third grade.
Sex/Nudity: Two instances of innuendo. Violence: 25 scenes. Profanity: 16 expressions, some strong. Drugs: 3 counts of smoking, 1 of drinking.
Director: Roland Emmerich. With Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal. (123 min.)
Sterritt ** Global warming disrupts Earth's heat-circulation patterns, causing a perfect storm that instantly goes global and creates Ice Age conditions. A climatologist (Quaid) makes a dangerous journey to his young-adult son (Gyllenhaal) for no reason except that death-defying treks are mandatory for science-fiction epics like this. The movie presents no scientific arguments - let alone evidence. The decade after next is too soon to see a picture as silly as this.
Staff ** Predictable plot, special-effects superstorm, wry.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 16 scenes. Profanity: 12 expressions. Drugs: 1 instance of drinking.
Director: Pete Hewitt. With Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky, voice of Bill Murray. (80 min.)
Sterritt * The cat from Jim Davis's popular comic strip copes with a new dog in the household while his owner woos a pretty veterinarian. The blend of live action and animation is competently done, but the subtly mean-spirited screenplay has more sour meows than hearty laughs. Shown with a short cartoon called "Gone Nutty," which also isn't funny.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón. WIth Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson. (141 min.)
Sterritt *** The third installment of the series based on J.K. Rowling's novels is darker and scarier than its predecessors, with Harry stalked by a killer who's escaped from prison, and haunted by ghostly guardians called Dementors who may be more dangerous than the murderer. Add a werewolf, a magic map, and a hippogriff, and you have an imaginative horror movie for mature kids.
Staff *** Spellbinding, spooky, not for kids, best yet.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 12 scenes. Profanity: 8 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 instances of drinking.
Directors: Nickolas Perry, Harry Thomason. With Paul Begala, James Carville, Morgan Freeman. (90 min.)
Sterritt **** A history of the Clinton presidency, emphasizing the question of whether there was a vast conspiracy - or a gaggle of little ones - to bring it down before its time. Riveting and revealing whatever views you have on the partisan issues involved. Based on the book by Joe Conason and Gene Lyons.
Director: Jared Hess. With Jon Heder, Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez, Sandy Martin. (86 min.)