Movie Guide

NEW RELEASES
Everybody Says I'm Fine! (Not rated)

Director: Rahul Bose. With Rehaan Engineer, Sharokh Bharucha, Koel Purie, Rahul Bose. (103 min.)

Sterritt * A hairdresser finds he can read the minds of his clients. The consequences aren't remotely as comic as they're meant to be.

FDNY Dream Bike (Not rated)

Directors: John Allison, Tim O'Grady. With New York firefighters. (48 min.)

Recommended: 'Tootsie': 5 stories from the set

Sterritt ** Documentary about New York City firefighters who restored an old motorcycle bought by one of their colleagues before he died in the 9/11 attacks.

Lightweight, sentimental, sweet. Shown with "Six Days," a pithy nonfiction short by Andrei Zagdansky about New Yorkers' courage right after the attacks.

Persons of Interest (Not rated)

Directors: Alison Maclean, Tobias Perse. With Mateen Butt, Syed Shah, Mohammed Abushaker, Salem Jaffer. (63 min.)

Sterritt **** Nonfiction interviews with individuals who were rounded up after the 9/11 attacks because of their national and ethnic origins. Not a great movie, but a valuable and revealing document. Shown with the feisty documentary shorts "Through the Wire," by Pip Starr and "Getting Through to the President" by Sarah and Emily Kunstler. In English, Arabic, Urdu, and Spanish, with subtitles.

Red Lights (Not rated)

Director: Cédric Kahn. With Carole Bouquet, Jean Pierre Darroussin, Jean-Pierre Gos, Vincent Deniard. (106 min.)

Sterritt **** On his way to a family event a man has too many drinks, quarrels with his wife, gives a lift to a stranger, and finds himself in a mysterious maze of trouble. Strange, scary, and atmospheric, with a delicious Claude Debussy score. In French with subtitles.

Remember Me, My Love (Not rated)

Director: Gabriele Muccino. With Monica Bellucci, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Laura Morante, Silvio Muccino. (125 min.)

Sterritt *** The romantic and domestic tribulations of a family roiled by an illicit affair the husband and father is having. Very well acted and directed, if overlong. In Italian with subtitles.

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (R)

Director: Kang Je-gyu, With Bin Won, Dong-Kun Jang, Eun-ju Lee, Yeong-ran Lee. (140 min.)

Sterritt * Two brothers are forcibly drafted into South Korea's army to fight in the bloody Korean war. Redolent of "Saving Private Ryan" and "We Were Warriors," but almost entirely devoted to combat violence and sentimental interludes. In Korean with subtitles.

Vanity Fair (PG-13)

Director: Mira Nair. With Reese Witherspoon, Jim Broadbent, Eileen Atkins, Gabriel Byrne. (141 min.)

Sterritt ** See review at right.

Warriors of Heaven and Earth (R)

Director: He Ping. With Wen Jiang, Xueqi Wang, Vicki Zhao, Yun Zhou. (119 min.)

Sterritt ** In ancient times, a Japanese warrior strives to defeat a Chinese mercenary so he'll earn the right to return home. Impressively filmed but not dramatic enough to justify its length. Mandarin with subtitles.

CURRENTLY IN RELEASE
Alien vs. Predator (PG-13)

Director; Paul W.S. Anderson. With Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen Bremner. (87 min.)

Staff ** In this surprisingly tame matchup of two of moviemaking's most fearsome creatures in moviemaking history, humans are drawn down to Antarctica to serve as bait in a contrived battle between Hollywood's best-grossing aliens. The big winners in this contest may be those who avoid going to see the film in the first place. By Sheera Frenkel

The Bourne Supremacy (PG-13)

Director: Paul Greengrass. With Matt Damon, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** Sequel to "The Bourne Identity," which at least had some psychological tension as the hero learns his identity - namely, a CIA assassin with amnesia. This time it's just chasing and shooting. A disappointment from the director of "Bloody Sunday."

Staff *** Intriguing, riveting, colorful.

Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes. Violence: 11 scenes. Profanity: 10 expressions. Drugs: 7 instances of drinking, 1 of smoking.

Bright Leaves (Not rated)

Director: Ross McElwee. With Ross McElwee, Charleen Swansea, Vlada Petric, Patricia Neal. (107 min.)

Sterritt **** McElwee returns to his Southern roots for a meandering look at all sorts of issues, including his family's former entanglement in the tobacco business and the ironic fact that his father became a physician treating that business's victims. Deeply personal, morally alert, and highly entertaining.

Brothers in Arms (Not rated)

Director: Paul Alexander. With John Kerry, members of a Vietnam-war boat crew. (68 min.)

Sterritt **** Documentary about a combat-boat crew led by Kerry, whose experiences are treated as neither more nor less important than those of his comrades. The movie's main contribution is its fresh look at the Vietnam War, being refought in the Kerry-Bush presidential campaign at the time of the film's release.

The Brown Bunny (Not rated)

Director: Vincent Gallo. With Vincent Gallo, Chloë Sevigny. (92 min.)

Sterritt ** A mournful young man drives endless miles to see his girlfriend for a sex scene that became notorious long before the movie's release. Gallo's earlier work suggests he has directorial talent, but here it's buried beneath too much ego to be detectible. Drastically shortened since its 2003 première.

Bush's Brain (PG-13)

Directors: Joseph Mealey, Michael Paradies Shoob. With Max Cleland, Molly Ivins, Richard C. Clark. (89 min.)

Sterritt **** A skeptical view of George W. Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, using argumentative strategies common to agenda-driven documentaries. You may not agree with its perspectives, but you'll always know where it stands, and it's amazing how many Republicans the filmmakers have found to spill the beans on a politico who considers himself in the same camp.

Collateral (R)

Director: Michael Mann. With Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo. (120 min.)

Sterritt *** A hit man shanghais a cab driver to be his assistant for one long, bloody night. Stylishly made, if less intellectually resonant than first-rate Mann films like "Ali" and "The Insider."

Staff *** Thoughtful, classy, engaging.

Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: 42 expressions. Drugs: 3 scenes.

Hero (PG-13)

Director: Zhang Yimou. With Jet Li, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung, Chiu-Wai. (99 min.)

Sterritt **** In ancient times before China was a unified nation, a warrior visits an emperor to receive praise for killing the ruler's enemies, describes his exploits, then faces unexpected questions that cast a new Rashomon-like light on everything we've seen. Pure excitement, pure cinema. In Mandarin with subtitles.

Staff *** Rich, rewarding, intricately woven.

Sex/Nudity: 3. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: none. Drugs: 1 scene.

Mean Creek (R)

Director: Jacob Aaron Estes. With Rory Culkin, Joshua Peck, Scott Mechlowicz, Carly Schroeder. (89 min.)

Sterritt *** An adolescent prank goes horribly wrong during a boy's birthday party near a small Pacific Northwest town. Imagine a bolder "Bully" blended with a more probing "River's Edge" and you'll have some idea of this little drama's strong dramatic and emotional power.

Staff *** Lean, honest, insightful.

Sex/Nudity: 10. Violence: 6 scenes. Profanity: 84. Drugs: 15 scenes.

Open Water (R)

Director: Chris Kentis. With Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein, Estelle Lau. (80 min.)

Sterritt **** Two vacationing scuba divers are stranded in a shark-infested sea when their companions inadvertently return to shore without them. A thrilling, tough-minded plunge into no-holds-barred storytelling and boldly minimalist filmmaking.

Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of nudity. Violence: 6 scary scenes. Profanity: 19 harsh expressions. Drugs: 1 scene with alcohol.

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (PG)

Director: Garry Marshall. With Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, John Rhys-Davies, Hector Elizondo. (120 min.)

Staff ** Apart from a scene in which Julie Andrews sings - an all too rare occasion nowadays - this sequel holds few surprises. Princess Mia, the princess of Genovia, discovers that she must marry before she can inherit the throne. This lazily plotted "Bachelorette" ends with the least dramatic wedding ceremony ever. By Stephen Humphries

Staff ** Fun, naive, unchallenging.

Sex/Nudity: 1 innuendo. Violence: 3 mild scenes. Profanity: none. Drugs: 2 scenes.

Rosenstrasse (PG-13)

Director: Margarethe von Trotta. With Maria Schrader, Martin Feifel, Katje Riemann, Jürgen Vogel. (136 min.)

Sterritt **** The intertwined stories of women affected by the Holocaust. The movie is woven with the complexity of a superb carpet, again confirming von Trotta's place as one of the world's greatest female filmmakers. In German and English, with subtitles

This Ain't No Heartland (Not rated)

Director: Andreas Horvath. With Andreas Horvath and residents of the American Midwest. (106 min.)

Sterritt **** Interviews, conversations, and small talk filmed by an Austrian filmmaker in middle America, largely about war, terrorism, and other current affairs. It reveals an astounding degree of ignorance and apathy in a democracy that depends for its survival on informed voters.

OUT ON VIDEO
The Passion of the Christ (R)

Director: Mel Gibson. With Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Jareth Merz, Hristo Shoppov. (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.

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