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Director: Pierre Salvadori. With Daniel Auteuil, José Garcia, Sandrine Kiberlain, Michèle Moretti. (110 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt *** After saving a stranger from hanging himself, a restaurateur gets involved with the unhappy guy's girlfriend. Maybe the movie does so much dawdling so we'll have more time to bask in their presence; in any case, the otherwise pleasant picture uses up its ideas long before it uses up its running time. In French with subtitles.
Director: Ron Howard. With Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Paddy Considine. (144 min.)
Sterritt **** Fact-based story of Jim Braddock, a 1930s prizefighter who suffered from Depression poverty as much as almost anyone, but captured the American imagination when he overcame injuries to take on Max Baer for the heavyweight title. The screenplay is a series of clichés, but Howard's rock-solid directing and superb acting by Crowe and Giamatti make this one of the all-time-great boxing films.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes with innuendos. Violence: 13 scenes, including fighting. Profanity: 71 strong profanities. Drugs: 9 scenes with drinking, 18 scenes with smoking.
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.
Director: Jesse Dylan. With Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, 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.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes with innuendos. Violence: 6 scenes, including fighting. Profanity: 12 mild profanities. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking, 6 scenes with smoking, plus subplot about caffeine addiction.
Director: Charles Dance. With Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Daniel Bruhl, Natasha McElhone. (103 min.)
Sterritt *** Two elderly women find a young musician stranded on shore after a shipwreck during the World War II era and decide, for differing reasons, to nurse him back to health. Dance's directorial debut isn't exciting, but it's deeply felt and engagingly acted.
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of innuendo. Violence: 2 scenes. Profanity: 1 harsh profanity, 1 mild. Drugs: 5 scenes with drinking, 6 scenes with smoking.
Director: Christopher Browne. With Pete Weber, Wayne Webb, Steve Miller, Walter Ray Williams Jr. (98 min.)
Sterritt *** Documentary about efforts to turn bowling into a big-time spectator sport. While the movie is strong on the history of its subject, it allows some yawns to enter its own account of a big, heavily hyped tournament. Still, it's very entertaining.
Director: Peter Segal. With Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, James Cromwell, Burt Reynolds. (114 min.)