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Staff ** A clunky comedy based on the real-life 1980s tragedy of a Hollyweird hanger-on. Struggling writer Steven Schats (Broderick) gets hired to direct his gobbler of a screenplay by a "producer" who is really an undercover FBI agent (Baldwin) bent on ensnaring the Mafia. Once the trap is sprung, though, the feds shut down the production early. A glammed-up Colette steals the show, pulverizing the scenery with her charming overbite, and Cusack devastates as an eat-her-young producer. By Maud DillinghamSkip to next paragraph
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Director: Walter Salles. With Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, Mía Maestro, Mercedes Morán. (126 min.)
Sterritt **** See review at right.
Director: Christian Johnston. With George Calil, Wali Razaqi. (95 min.)
Sterritt ** Documentary-style melodrama about a young man who heads for Afghanistan with hopes of finding and killing Osama bin Laden to avenge his wife's death in the 9/11 attacks. The movie's heart is in the right place, but it looks and sounds regrettably bogus.
Directors: Chris Smith, Dan Ollman, Sarah Price. With members of The Yes Men. (83 min.)
Sterritt **** Documentary about a group of political pranksters who make their points against global corporate culture via public practical jokes. While it's not a great movie, it's a revealing study of how long it often takes for businesspeople to realize they're being freaked out, not flattered.
Director: David R. Ellis. With Kim Basinger, Chris Evans, William H. Macy. (94 min.)
Staff ** When Kim Basinger is kidnapped, she rigs a broken telephone - MacGyver style - so that she randomly dials a cellphone belonging to Ryan (Evans). Fortunately he heeds her call for help and uses his wits to thwart the villains. The story (think "Speed" meets "Phone Booth") may be hokum but it's undeniably fun. By Stephen Humphries.
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of innuendo. Violence: 20 scenes. Profanity: 51 expressions. Drugs: 4 instances of drinking.
Director: Michael Mann. With Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx. (120 min.)
Sterritt *** A hit man shanghais a cab driver to be his assistant for one long night. Stylishly made, if less intellectually resonant than Mann films like "Ali" and "The Insider."
Staff *** Thoughtful, engaging, classy.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: 42 expressions. Drugs: 3 scenes.
Director: Zhang Yimou. With Jet Li, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung, Chiu-Wai. (99 min.)
Sterritt **** In ancient China 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 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: Charles Stone III. With Bernie Mac, Paul Sorvino, Angela Bassett, Chris Noth. (104 min.)
Staff *** Milwaukee slugger Stan Ross (Mac) retires from baseball midseason after reaching 3,000 hits. Nine years later, statisticians discover that he scored only 2,997 hits. To be eligible for The Hall of Fame, Stan must shape up, return to the lineup as a real team player, and get three more hits - at age 47. The subtlety of Mac's acting in this unusual, coming-of-age comedy may surprise some fans. By M.K. Terrell