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Director: Michael Radford. With Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Lynn Collins, Joseph Fiennes. (138 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** Shakespeare's play about a Jewish moneylender in the 16th century has reached the screen many times, and in this exquisitely filmed adaptation Pacino is as vivid a Shylock as we're likely to see. Despite all the scholarly excuses for this drama, though, it's shot through with outrageously anti-Semitic attitudes, which raises the question of why Radford and company wanted to film it in the first place.
Director: Clint Eastwood. With Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Margo Martindale. (129 min.)
Sterritt **** Eastwood gives his deepest performance ever as an aging gym owner who reluctantly agrees to train a female prizefighter, played by Swank in excellent form. Going all the way with both triumph and tragedy, it's as bold as it is engrossing.
Director: Jon Turteltaub. With Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight. (131 min.)
Sterritt ** "The Da Vinci Code" meets "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in this adventure about two teams, one good and one evil, scrutinizing patriotic artifacts for clues to a hidden treasure. The clever bits are swamped by no-brainer gunfights, rescues, and chases.
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of innuendo. Violence: 11 Profanity: 5 mild theological expressions. Drugs: 1 instance of drinking.
Director: Steven Soderbergh. With George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones. (123 min.)
Sterritt *** Danny Ocean's gang expands to a dirty dozen when he decides to pull off three heists in three European cities so his associates can reimburse a crook who's angry about getting ripped off. The action is sparkling entertainment most of the way through.
Staff **1/2 Playful, improbable, fresh sequel.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of innuendo. Violence: 1 explosion. Profanity: 2 harsh expressions. Drugs: 6 scenes with cigarettes; 7 scenes with alcohol.
Director: Joel Schumacher. With Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver, Simon Callow, Miranda Richardson. (141 min.)
Sterritt ** Hollywood adaptation of the Broadway smash about a demented fiend who skulks, slays, and sings in the Paris Opera's mysterious underbelly. The acting and crooning are sadly uneven, making this a shaky comeback vehicle for the screen musical.
Director: Alejandro Amenábar. With Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Tamar Novas, Lola Dueñas. (125 min.)
Sterritt *** Fact-based story of an articulate Spanish man who fights for the right to die after almost 30 years of lying paralyzed in bed while his family, and two women in his life, take care of him. Bardem is brilliant. In Spanish with subtitles. In limited release
Director: James L. Brooks. With Adam Sandler, Paz Vega, Téa Leoni, Cloris Leachman. (131 min.)
Sterritt ** A likable, successful chef falls for a new maid hired by his hyperactive handful of a wife. The acting is enjoyable, but the movie cares more about feel-good formulas than anything that touches on real life.
Director: Geoffrey Sax. With Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger, Ian McNeice, Chandra West. (98 min.)
Sterritt ** A middle-aged architect believes his recently deceased wife is trying to contact him from "beyond" through VCRs and computer discs operated by a peculiar man he's just met. The story doesn't make much sense, but Keaton is good.