Director: John Irvin. With Phil Barantini, Andrea Corr, Patrick Bergin, Margi Clarke. (90 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt *** Brits travel to Ireland in hopes of winning a traditional-music contest. Lots of lively tunes and spirited acting.
Director: Sergio Castellitto. With Sergio Castellitto, Penélope Cruz, Claudia Gerini, Pietro De Silva. (125 min.)
Sterritt ** Cruz transforms her glamorous image remarkably, playing a working-class Italian woman who gets sexually involved with a married physician. The story wants to be a sort of "Last Tango in Paris" redux, but it falls into mere melodrama after a brilliant beginning. In Italian with subtitles.
Director: Florent Siri. With Bruce Willis, Michelle Horn, Kevin Pollak, Serena Scott Thomas (113 min.)
Sterritt ** Newly arrived in the job of a small-town sheriff, a former hostage negotiator faces two awful situations at once. He has to rescue youngsters held by thugs in a fortified house and also save his own family from kidnappers. The action is dynamically filmed and Willis is at his best. Suspense is soon hijacked by outright gore and grisliness, though.
Director: John Boorman. With Samuel L. Jackson, Juliette Binoche, Brendan Gleeson, Menzi "Ngubs" Ngubane. (104 min.)
Sterritt *** Jackson plays a skeptical American journalist covering Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, where he meets a white South African writer (Binoche) who hopes the proceedings will help her country heal. Boorman treats this moving, important subject with restraint, tact, and candid views of horrors suffered by the nation. In English and Afrikaans with subtitles.
Director: Danny Boyle. With Alexander Nathan Etel, Lewis Owen McGibbon, James Nesbitt, Jane Hogarth. (97 min.)
Sterritt *** Two young English boys stumble on a bag crammed with pounds just before Britain switches to the euro, and if they don't decide how to use the cash fast, it'll be worthless. Is it a gift from God, as one believes, or just a chance to win friends and influence people, as the other thinks? Their exploits
swerve among the dreamlike, the mundane, and the inspired. You never know what to expect from Boyle, and that goes triple in this offbeat comedy drama. It's a movie about family that family viewers will find good, quirky fun.
Director: Campbell Scott. With Joan Allen, Sam Elliott, Valentina de Angelis, J.D. Hawkins. (105 min.)
Sterritt **** Domestic eccentricities - some amusing and some troubling - surface when the IRS arrives to audit a New Mexico family that lives in the middle of nowhere. Scott has the courage to let the imaginative story unfold at its own leisurely pace, and it's not surprising that the acting is excellent, considering that he's among the very best American screen actors. Too bad he didn't include himself in the first-rate cast.
Director: Chris Wedge. With voices of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Jennifer Coolidge. (89 min.)
Sterritt ** The animated adventures of a young robot with big ambitions, and an old robot who's been kicked out of his own business by a profit-hungry upstart. The visuals are spectacular at times, but the screenplay is trite, intermittently vulgar, and just not funny.