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Movie Guide

May 13, 2005

The Holy Girl (R)

Director: Lucrecia Martel. With Mercedes Morán, Carlos Belloso, Marìa Alche, Mia Maèstro. (106 min.)

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Sterritt **** Smart, subtle drama about an Argentine teenager who tries to reconcile her sincere religious questions with the temptations of worldly life, complicated by her odd relationship with a sexually impulsive physician in town for a medical conference. Superbly cast, evocatively directed.

Kicking & Screaming (PG)

Director: Jesse Dylan. With Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, Kate Walsh, Mike Ditka. (90 min.)

Sterritt *** Ferrell plays a soccer dad who coaches a preteen squad with his klutzy son as a member and his hotly competitive father (Duvall) determined to lead his own team to the championship. Some scenes are just silly, others are dead-on uproarious. Ditka, a real-life football legend, is a real find as our hero's assistant.

Kings and Queen (Not rated)

Director: Arnaud Desplechin. With Emmanuelle Devos, Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric. (150 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

Mad Hot Ballroom (PG)

Director: Marilyn Agrelo. With New York City public school pupils. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** Documentary about New York preteens learning ballroom dancing in a public school program. Many moviegoers will swoon over the young folks' earnest efforts to learn gracefulness and sociability. But at heart this is a cuteness exploitation flick.

Ma Mére (NC-17)

Director: Christophe Honore. With Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel, Joana Preiss, Emma de Caunes. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** A young man joins some wild women, including his widowed mother, in debauchery. Based on a novel by French provocateur Georges Bataille, an important thinker whose fiction rarely translates into good cinema. In French with subtitles.

Monster-in-Law (PG-13)

Director: Robert Luketic. With Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vartan, Adam Scott. (102 min.)

Sterritt * A bride to be, who works as a temp, dukes it out with her mother-in-law to be, a former TV star - as the wedding day draws near. The comedy is shamelessly stupid and flagrantly vulgar by turns. Fonda is no great actress, but why did she choose this throwaway trash as her first movie in 15 years?

Unleashed (R)

Director: Louis Leterrier. With Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins, Kerry Condon. (103 min.)

Sterritt * Preposterously violent thriller about an Asian fighter who's treated like a dog by the Englishman who "owns" him until he's given refuge by a blind piano tuner. Luc Besson's screenplay is dumb, but has just enough weird touches to give occasional glimmers of interest.

A Lot Like Love (PG-13)

Director: Nigel Cole. With Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Kathryn Hahn, Kal Penn. (107 min.)

Sterritt * This is a story about the on-and-off romance of a young man and woman over several years. Why don't they just settle down with each other and save us all 107 minutes? What's the point, except to allow Kutcher fans peeks at the acting talent he usually keeps hidden?

The Amityville Horror (R)

Director: Andrew Douglas. With Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Philip Baker Hall, Rachel Nichols. (89 min.)