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Movie Guide

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Director: Joe Roth. With Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Cheech Marin. (99 min.)

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Sterritt * Facing their first Christmas without their daughter at home, a middle-aged couple decide not to celebrate the holiday, sending their neighborhood into

shock. It's possible the comedy contains some secret allegory about the Protestant Reformation - the main character is named Luther, after all - but its main message is that everyone should believe and behave in exactly the same way. Groupthink wins again!

Sex/Nudity: 3 instances of innuendo. Violence: 5 Profanity: 3 mild theological expressions. Drugs: 6 instances of drinking, 1 of smoking.

Closer (R)

Director: Mike Nichols. With Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen. (101 min.)

Sterritt *** Four characters - a photographer, a writer, a stripper, a physician - go through various permutations of lust, love, and combinations thereof as Patrick Marber's screenplay (which he adapted from his popular stage hit) shuffles and reshuffles their four-way relationship. Intense, engrossing, and extremely well acted. Also punctuated with sexually explicit dialogue.

Staff *** Complex, chamber play, highly sexual material.

Sex/Nudity: 15 scenes including frank talk and nudity. Violence: 4 scenes. Profanity: 68 harsh expressions. Drugs: 17 scenes of smoking and drinking.

Finding Neverland (PG)

Director: Marc Forster. With Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman, Julie Christie. (113 min.)

Sterritt *** Depp plays the Scottish playwright who dreamed up "Peter Pan" after befriending some real-life children. The story takes large liberties with Barrie's biography, and parents should know that the movie is surprisingly dark, dealing candidly with the death of a major character. The acting is excellent.

Sex/Nudity: 3 instances of innuendo. Violence: 1 Profanity: None. Drugs: 4 instances of drinking and smoking.

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (Not rated)

Director: Vikram Jayanti. With Garry Kasparov, Joel Benjamin. (90 min.)

Sterritt **** The world's greatest chess player lost a match to IBM's gigantic Deep Blue computer in 1997, and this sensational documentary revisits the games - as well as charges that the IBM team played fast and loose with the rules. Gripping, suspenseful, and spiced with fascinating information about the long history of chess between human and mechanical opponents.

House of Flying Daggers (PG-13)

Director: Zhang Yimou. With Zhang Ziyi, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Dandan Song. (119 min.)

Sterritt **** Love, treachery, and skulduggery zing like flashing blades through this thorny comedy-drama-romance, punctuated by some of the most inventive effects this side of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which it often resembles. China's finest filmmaker is in stunning form. In Mandarin with subtitles.

Sex/Nudity: 5 instances. Violence: 15 Profanity: None. Drugs: 3 scenes with drinking.

The Incredibles (PG)

Director: Brad Bird. With voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell. (115 min.)

Sterritt *** What would happen if the public turned against superheroes, seeing them as menaces whose pursuit of truth and justice wreaks havoc on innocent bystanders? That question energizes this ambitious animation from Disney and Pixar, and the answers, decked out with slam-bang action and witty dialogue, are great fun to discover.

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