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Director: David Twohy. With Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Colm Feore, Judi Dench. (115 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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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, but the screenplay is idiotic, 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: Rawson Marshall Thurber. With Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn. (92 min.)
Sterritt * The owners of rival health clubs enter teams in a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament to win a cash prize. Stiller strives to be a wild and wacky villain, Vaughn endeavors to be a likable and average hero, and both fall flat on their faces, like everything else in this unspeakably stupid comedy.
Director: Aleksandr Sokurov. With Aleksei Nejmyshev, Andrei Shchetinin, Aleksandr Razbash. (97 min.)
Sterritt **** A gentle Russian drama etching the close, sometimes conflicted, relationship between a widowed father and his son, a student at military school. Like most of Sokurov's movies, this oblique parable is mysterious, elliptical, irresistible. In Russian with subtitles.
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.