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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.Skip to next paragraph
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Staff *** Rich, rewarding, intricately woven.
Sex/Nudity: 3. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: none. Drugs: 1 scene.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.