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Director: Michael Mayer. With Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn, Dallas Roberts, Sissy Spacek. (97 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt **** A gay cook discovers he's straight, a gay journalist stays gay, and both strive to form a stable family with an eccentric woman they've befriended. Michael Cunningham's screenplay is less complex and touching than his novel, but it is compassionate, and Roberts's acting is excellent.
Directors: Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller. With Howard Zinn, Matt Damon, Alice Walker, Ray Mungo. (78 min.)
Sterritt **** Documentary celebrating the life and career of a longtime Boston University professor who feels intellectuals should be active, engaged citizens rather than repeaters of textbook truisms. Thoughtful, exciting, moving.
I, Robot (PG-13)
Director: Alex Proyas. With Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, James Cromwell, Chi McBride. (115 min.)
Sterritt *** In a future when robots have become standard equipment, a cop investigates a possible murder committed by a robot, even though the "laws of robotics" makes it seemingly impossible. Inspired by Isaac Asimov, the movie has a few ideas on its mind, but it's far more interested in action. Still, science-fiction fans may find it an instant classic of its kind.
Staff *** Thoughtful, classy, engaging.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: 34 expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes.
Director: Antoine Fuqua. With Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffud, Stellan Skârsgard. (129 min.)
Sterritt * The unflinching monarch leads his followers against the Saxons, the Roman Empire, and the Roman Catholic church. Focusing on what the filmmakers claim was the real Arthur, the movie gives us a Round Table and Excalibur but no magic, no mystery, no mythic resonance.
Staff * Melodramatic, cliche, gritty.
Sex/Nudity: 5 instances. Violence: 17 scenes. Profanity: 11 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 instances of drinking.
Orwell Rolls in His Grave (Not rated)
Director: Robert Kane Pappas. With Mark Crispin Miller, Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders. (84 min.)
Sterritt **** Ingenious, eye-opening documentary about the growing shallowness of American mass media as conglomerates buy news and entertainment outlets that effectively choke off most of their competition. Get ready for a cultural wake-and-shake you won't forget.
Director: Sam Raimi. With Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris. (127 min.)
Sterritt *** Our hero (Maguire) takes on Doctor Octopus, (Molina) who's lost control of the artificial tentacles he's invented; while in his secret identity he continues his courtship of would-be girlfriend (Dunst). The sequel is more exciting than the 2002 original, thanks to Molina's excellent acting. Only the comic scenes fall as flat as one of Spidey's leftover webs.
Staff *** Satisfying, pumped-up, melodramatic.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 18 scenes. Profanity: 4 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 instances of drinking, 3 of smoking.
Director: Anthony Minghella. With Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renée Zellweger. (154 min.)
Staff *** From Anthony Minghella, director of "The English Patient," comes another historical movie pitting love against war. The Civil War tale trots out all the flourishes that lengthy epics are known for: Inman (Law) and Ada (Kidman) overcome class differences to fall in love, but no sooner have they kissed their first kiss, then he enlists as a soldier. But don't worry, such sculpted cheekbones are meant to be together. The film meanders a lot and by the time the couple is reunited, you may not care any more. The two-disc DVD includes deleted scenes, a director commentary, and songs from the movie. By Sheera Frenkel