Movie Guide

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Don't Come Knocking (R)

Director: Wim Wenders. With Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth. (122 min.)

The latest pairing of director Wim Wenders and playwright Sam Shepard has some of the same woozy lyricism as their first, "Paris, Texas." Shepard himself plays the lead this time - an over-the-hill cowboy star named Howard Spence who ditches his latest movie to embark on a personal odyssey. He ends up in Butte, Mont., with a private detective (Roth) hired by the movie company in relentless pursuit. Howard meets up with a waitress (Lange) he once loved and discovers not one but two offspring that he never knew he fathered. Judged on any kind of rational level, this film is a mess, and Fairuza Balk, as a punky friend of Howard's son, gives the single most annoying performance I have ever seen. But Franz Lustig's cinematography has a Walker Evans-like power. Grade: B-
- Peter Rainer

Find Me Guilty

Director: Sidney Lumet. WIth Vin Diesel, Ron Silver. (125 min.)

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Sidney Lumet has often been called an actor's director, and certainly he has made it possible for some great actors, ranging from Al Pacino (in "Dog Day Afternoon") to Katharine Hepburn (in "Long Day's Journey Into Night") to give their greatest performances. But what about not-so-great actors? What about - to get to the matter at hand - Vin Diesel? Actually, he's far from talentless, and before he embarked on his action-figure phase he did creditable work in such films as "Boiler Room." In "Find Me Guilty," playing real-life mobster "Jackie Dee" DiNorscio, he has covered his trademark bald pate with what appears to be the world's worst hairpiece. Jackie is made out to be a hero because, acting also as his own defense attorney, he refused to testify against his Lucchese crime family cohorts in what became the longest criminal trial in US history. Most Mafia movies are unduly sympathetic, but this one takes the cake. Peter Dinklage is excellent as the mob's chief lawyer. Grade: B-
- P.R.

Sex/Nudity: 7 scenes of innuendo, 2 scenes of harrassment. Violence: 4 scenes. 156 instances, including 98 harsh. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 14 scenes.

She's the Man (PG-13)

Director: Andy Fickman. With Amanda Bynes, David Cross, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones. (105 min.)

Chalk up another film to the "Whatever Gets Kids To Read Shakespeare" category. This chipper teen farce is a riff on "Twelfth Night," with innately funny girl Amanda Bynes of TV's "What I Like About You" as a teen masquerading as her twin brother in order to play on the boys' soccer team. While it may not be as sharp as recent angst touchstone "Mean Girls" or as guilty a pleasure as the similar 1986 flick "Just One Of The Guys," it leaves viewers wanting more - if not more Bard, then at least more of its hyperkinetic, unabashed young star. Grade: B-
- Robert Newton

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