Director: Paul Schrader. With Stellan Skarsgard, Clara Bellar, Billy Crawford, Gabriel Mann. (115 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt **** While grappling with his faith, a Roman Catholic priest battles a demon in an East African outpost. The material is right up Schrader's alley, and while his vision of the first "Exorcist" chapter isn't a masterpiece, it's far superior to the Renny Harlin prequel to "The Exorcist" released last year.
Director: Tommy Davis With Guapo, Oso, Viejo. (65 min.)
Sterritt *** Davis accompanies a small group of Mexicans as they sneak across the US border hoping to find decent jobs. A gripping documentary, although we learn too little of the relationship between the filmmaker and his subjects. In English and Spanish with subtitles.
Director: Federico Fellini. With Giulietta Masina, Amadeo Nazzari, Franca Marzi, François Périer. (117 min.)
Sterritt **** Masina shines as an Italian prostitute who's as vulnerable as she is goodhearted. One of Fellini's finest, first released in 1957. In Italian with subtitles.
Director: Peter Raymont. With Roméo Dallaire and colleagues. (91 min.)
Sterritt **** Documentary about a UN peacekeeper given the assignment of halting the Rwandan genocide in 1994 but not the means to do it. Wrenching on both personal and political levels. In English and French with subtitles.
Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. With Lalita Panyopas, Sritao, Black Phomtong. (111 min.)
Sterritt *** Originally called "A Funny Story About 6 and 9," this Thai production uses an old gimmick - an apartment-door number that slides out of position - to spark the story of a young woman mixed up with crooks she's never seen before. Comically grotesque, strikingly filmed. In Thai with subtitles.
Director: George Lucas. With Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Hayden Christensen. (142 min.)
Sterritt *** Lucas wraps up his second "Star Wars" trilogy, centering on Anakin Skywalker's secret marriage to Padme, his friendship with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his temptation to use the Dark Side of the Force for personal gain. As spectacle this stands with the best, although it falls flat when corny dialogue takes over.
Director: Mark Wexler. With Haskell Wexler, Mark Wexler, Julia Roberts, Jane Fonda. (95 min.)
Sterritt *** Portrait of legendary cinematographer and political activist Haskell Wexler, directed by his son, who has a hard time keeping control of the project with such a forceful dad in front of the camera. A fascinating glimpse of family love and rivalry, if not a deep-digging documentary of "My Architect" quality.
Director: Paul Haggis. With Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Esposito, Matt Dillon. (113 min.)
Sterritt *** Interlocking stories of diverse Los Angeles characters, from cops and crooks to folks caught in between. The writer of "Million Dollar Baby" makes his directing debut with a screenplay that often seems rigged and contrived, but comes to life via excellent acting and a philosophical argument that bigotry and benevolence are inextricably intertwined.