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Director: Zhang Yimou. With Jet Li, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung, Chiu-Wai. (99 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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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.
Staff *** Rich, rewarding, intricately woven.
Sex/Nudity: 3. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: none. Drugs: 1 scene.
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 - a 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: 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.
Director: E. Elia Merhige. With Aaron Eckhart, Ben Kingsley, Carrie-Ann Moss, Julian Reyes. (99 min.)
Staff ** Banished to Albuquerque after losing one serial killer case, FBI Agent Mackelway (Eckhart) lands in the middle of another, this time aided by a clairvoyant (Kingsley), who may be the killer he's after, and reunited with ex-partner/lover (Moss), who thinks he's going off the deep end again. Fragmented storytelling illustrates the men's anguish, and the whole thing almost makes sense before it's through. By M.K. Terrell.
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances. Violence: 20 instances. Profanity: 15 instances. Drugs: 1 scene.
Director: Mira Nair. With Reese Witherspoon, Jim Broadbent, Eileen Atkins, Gabriel Byrne. (141 min.)
Sterritt ** Lavish adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's great novel, with a not-quite-convincing Witherspoon as social climber Becky Sharp plus a solid supporting cast. Nair calls attention to the social failings of 19th-century England but rarely explores them, choosing to stress nostalgic elements that fans of the "heritage" genre will enjoy. Look at Stanley Kubrick's great "Barry Lyndon" if you want to see Thackeray adaptation at its best.
Director: Various. With Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley, Larry Manetti. (Four-disc box set.)
Staff ** When "Magnum P.I." debuted in 1980, every high school marching band in the country scrambled to learn the theme tune. The series boosted tourism to Hawaii and turned Tom Selleck into a candidate for the role of Indiana Jones. Season One showcases the show's most enduring elements, such as the rivalry between Selleck's twinkle-eyed detective and his landlord, the ever-droll Higgins. Some of the comedic story lines remain unbearably silly, though. By Stephen Humphries