Movie Guide

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New in Theaters
Cavite (Unrated)

Directors: Neill Dela Llana, Ian Gamazon. With Ian Gamazon, Dominique Gonzalez. (80 min.)

"Cavite" was shot on a microbudget, and that turns out to be a plus. After so many overproduced blockbusters this season, it's nice to see a movie that's lean and mean. The Filipino-American duo of Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana between them wrote, directed, produced, photographed, edited, and star in this film about Adam, a San Diego security guard and lapsed Muslim, who flies to the Philippines on family business and discovers a cellphone and a severed finger in his luggage. The voice at the other end of the phone belongs to a Muslim terrorist, the finger belongs to Adam's sister, and what follows is an enforced odyssey through the slums of greater Manila. It's all something of a stunt - "Speed" on a shoestring - but very well done. Grade: B+

Twelve and Holding (R)

Director: Michael Cuesta. With Zoe Weisenbaum, Jeremy Renner. (94 min.)

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Suburban kids in turmoil is the theme of Michael Cuesta's "Twelve and Holding." Malee (Weisenbaum) is entering puberty after her parents' divorce and fixates with disastrous consequences on a local construction worker and ex-fireman (Renner). Leonard (Jesse Camacho) is the obese son of an obese and uncaring family; Jacob (Conor Donovan) is guilty about the death of his twin brother. Their lives intersect in ways that are times are emotionally charged. Most of the time, however, we are watching pathology without benefit of insight. Grade: C+

Still in Release
The Da Vinci Code (PG-13)

Director: Ron Howard. With Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen. (112 min.)

A curator at the Louvre has been murdered and professor Robert Langdon (Hanks), in Paris to promote his new book, finds himself the prime suspect. Joining him on the run in search of exoneration and the secret hiding place of the Holy Grail is Sophie Neveu (Tautou), a police cryptologist. In the movie, the puzzle-solving is kept to a minimum. Thus the film lacks the deductive appeal of Dan Brown's book. Grade: C+

Over the Hedge (PG)

Directors: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick. With the voices of Bruce Willis, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner. (96 min.)

This enjoyable Dreamworks animated comedy is about what happens when woodland animals emerge from hibernation and discover that a large hedge has subdivided their habitat. On the other side of the hedge lies a suburban sprawl of humans who dump mounds of food into the garbage and have yappy pets. RJ, a con artist raccoon, enlists the woodlanders in raids to the other side. Grade: B+

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