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Sterritt ** Documentary about the mating and chick-raising routines of Emperor Penguins, whose Antarctic habitat makes almost every activity hazardous to their health and even their lives. As a zoological spectacle, the movie is riveting. But the narration tries to make us think of these adorable animals as if they saw the world in human terms, which they obviously don't, and the images have been enhanced by digital effects, as if they wouldn't be impressive enough on their own.Skip to next paragraph
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Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: None. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.
Director: Doug Liman. With Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Kerry Washington. (120 min.)
Sterritt * Pitt and Jolie play secret agents who don't know each other's line of work when they get married, then become rivals and eventually partners in the licensed-to-kill game. The movie is a mish-mash of action-adventure clichés, book-ended with lame attempts at psychological interest.
Staff ** Charmingly cast, surprisingly slow, poorly edited.
Sex/Nudity: 5 scenes with innuendos, 2 sex scenes. Violence: 16 scenes. Profanity: 29 strong profanities. Drugs: 12 scenes with drinking, 3 scenes with smoking.
Director: Ingmar Bergman. With Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Julia Dufvenius, Borje Ahlstedt. (107 min.)
Sterritt **** A stately dance of love and hate among two senior citizens who were married years ago, a middle-aged musician, and his young daughter. Slow, still,
and transfixing, this flat-out masterpiece is the best movie from Bergman in decades, and one of the best movies from anyone. Hardly ever does such brilliant acting, screenwriting, and cinematography find its way into a single film. In Swedish 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.
Staff *** Fitting finale, poorly written, dark, violent.
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of mild innuendo. Violence: 26 scenes, often grisly. Profanity: None. Drugs: None.
Director: Steven Spielberg. With Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Justin Chatwin. (117 min.)
Sterritt *** Earthlings battle alien invaders who wreak deadly havoc until they're stymied by ... you know what, if you've read H.G. Wells's influential 1898 novel. Spielberg gives the story his full high-tech treatment, building great scariness with help from first-class music and camera work. The picture gets repetitive, though, since its terrors are pretty much the same from start to finish. Cruise is in good form and Fanning is still the best child actress around.
Staff **1/2 Believably acted, made for TV, wait for the video
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 27 scenes. Profanity: 27 mild expressions. Drugs: 1 instance of drinking.
Director: Sally Potter. With Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Shirley Henderson, Sam Neill. (100 min.)
Sterritt *** A laboratory researcher has an affair with a Lebanese physician who's emigrated to London and become a chef. Ambitious as ever, the director of "Orlando" tackles everything from geopolitical conflict to relations between science and religion, with all the dialogue in verse. The results are visually striking, but conceptually they oscillate between poetic, pretentious, and philosophically dubious.