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Movie Guide

July 22, 2005

Bad News Bears (PG-13)

Director: Richard Linklater. With Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Greg Kinnear, Sammi Kane Kraft. (111 min.)

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Sterritt *** See review, at right.

The Devil's Rejects (R)

Director: Rob Zombie. With Sid Haig, Sheri Moon, Bill Moseley, William Forsythe. (101 min.)

Sterritt *** The aptly named filmmaker spins a nasty yarn about psychotic serial killers on the loose. If you're not in the mood for "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" meets "Last House on the Left," stay very far away. Horror fans will find what they're looking for, though.

The Island (PG-13)

Director: Michael Bay. With Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi. (127 min.)

Sterritt ** The year is 2019, the heroes are escapees from a clone-making operation, and the villains are sinister agents tracking them down. The first half is high-quality science fiction, the rest is a high-tech chase adventure with a gleeful yen for destructive thrills.

Last Days (R)

Director: Gus Van Sant. With Michael Pitt, Asia Argento, Lukas Haas, Ricky Jay. (97 min.)

Sterritt **** Van Sant continues his risk-taking string of melancholy tone poems with this loosely plotted look at the last days of a drug-dazed rock musician, suggested by Kurt Cobain's untimely death. A true American tragedy, directed with skill and conviction.

Making Grace (Not rated)

Director: Catherine Gund. With Ann Krsul-Sullivan, Leslie Krsul-Sullivan, Grace Ann Emerson, Dr. Sami David. (86 min.)

Sterritt ** Documentary about a lesbian couple's effort to have a baby of their own. Informative, but very slow going.

The Seven Year Itch (Not rated)

Director: Billy Wilder. With Marilyn Monroe, Tommy Ewell, Sonny Tufts, Oskar Homolka. (105 min.)

Sterritt **** Hugely popular 1955 adaptation of George Axelrod's hugely popular play about a lonely husband (Ewell) and a gorgeous neighbor (Monroe) who befriends him when his family is away. This rerelease is not one of Wilder's greatest, but is a classic nonetheless.

Batman Begins (PG-13)

Director: Christopher Nolan. With Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman. (141 min.)

Sterritt ** How a young man became the Caped Crusader instead of just Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy. Neeson plays a ninja, which shows how the story stretches for angles. But you finally get answers to the Joker's question: "Where does he get those wonderful toys?!"

Staff *** Well plotted, dizzying, uneven, comical.

Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of innuendo. Violence: 29 intense scenes. Profanity: 11 mild profanities. Drugs: 4 with drinking, 1 with drug dealing.

The Beautiful Country (R)

Director: Hans Petter Moland. With Damien Nguyen, Tim Roth, Bai Ling, Nick Nolte. (125 min.)

Sterritt ** Decades after the Vietnam War, a young Vietnamese man and his little brother risk their lives on a voyage to Texas, where their American father may live. The subject is compelling but the story is very, very slow.

Bewitched (PG-13)

Director: Nora Ephron. With Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine. (95 min.)

Sterritt ** Launching a new version of the TV sitcom "Bewitched," an actor (Ferrell) with more ego than talent inadvertently fills the role of a witch with a real witch (Kidman) who's trying to give up hexes and become a normal person. Always whimsical, occasionally quite funny.