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Movie Guide

(Page 3 of 3)

Sterritt * The wicked warden of a Texas prison engineers a rigged football game between guards and inmates, with the convicts led by a former pro who's been jailedr. Lively but also rude, crude, and mean-spirited. A little relief comes from Reynolds, who starred in the 1974 movie on which this remake is based.

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Sex/Nudity: 10 scenes of innuendo, 2 with minor nudity. Violence: 18 scenes, including fights and torture. Profanity: 130 harsh profanities. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking, 7 scenes with drinking.

Mad Hot Ballroom (PG)

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

Sterritt ** Documentary about preteens learning ballroom dancing (See story, page 12). Many moviegoers will swoon over the young folks' efforts to learn gracefulness. But at heart this is a cuteness exploitation flick.

Sex/Nudity: 3 instances of innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.

Madagascar (PG)

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath. With voices of Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith. (80 min.)

Sterritt * Bored with his life, a zoo animal takes himself and some friends on a quest for more agreeable climes. The animation is deft but the screenplay is stilted, the voice-performances are unimaginative, and the whole project is surprisingly clumsy in its efforts to please young and old alike. A major disappointment.

Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes of mild innuendo. Violence: 12 scenes, mostly for comic effect. Profanity: 2 mild expressions. Drugs: None.

Monster-in-Law (PG-13)

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

Sterritt * A bride to be dukes it out with her mother-in-law to be as the wedding day draws near. The comedy is shamelessly stupid and flagrantly vulgar by turns.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (PG)

Director: Ken Kwapis. With Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrara, Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively. (110 min.)

Sterritt *** The adventures of four 16-year-old girls who part for different summer vacations and stay in touch by mailing each other a special pair of jeans that mysteriously fit them all and may have magical powers - or perhaps just enhance the self-esteem of maturing young women who'll soon leave adolescence behind. None of the interlocking stories is original or surprising, but the romantic comedy-drama dodges boredom (usually) by leaping among them at an energetic pace. Gorgeously filmed and nicely acted, by Ferrara especially.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (PG-13)

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.

Staff *** Fitting finale, poorly written, dark, violent.

Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of mild innuendo. Violence: 26 scenes, often grisly. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.

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. The screenplay is dumb, but has just enough weird touches to give occasional glimmers of interest.

Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of innuendo, 1 scene of seminudity. Violence: 25 harsh scenes. Profanity: 48 harsh profanities. Drugs: 5 scenes with drinking, 1 scene with smoking.