Movie Guide

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Al Franken: God Spoke (Not rated)

Directors: Nick Doob, Chris Hegedus. With Al Franken, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved. (90 min.)

Less a documentary than a love fest for Al Franken, this scattershot movie, shot over two years, follows the zigzag trail of political satirist Al Franken as he feuds with Bill O'Reilly, campaigns against George W. Bush, and helps establish Air America. (The early travails of that network to stay afloat are skimped over by filmmakers Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus.) The comedian is seen hobnobbing with everybody from Al Gore to Sean Hannity, but my favorite moment comes when Franken sidles up to a nonplussed Henry Kissinger at a party and proceeds to perform his famous Kissinger impersonation. Grade: B
– Peter Rainer

The Black Dahlia (R)

Director: Brian De Palma. With Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett. (121 min.)

Recommended: Default

The choice of Brian De Palma to direct "The Black Dahlia," which would seem like perfect casting, turns out to be all too imperfect. Based on the James Ellroy novel about the notoriously unsolved L.A. murder of aspiring actress Betty Short, it mainlines De Palma's career-long obsession with sex and violence. But perhaps he's been down this road too many times. Too often in "The Black Dahlia" – which stars Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett as two cops and Scarlett Johansson as the woman who comes between them – we seem to staring at noirish waxworks. There are some virtuoso moments (the discovery of the mutilated corpse is extremely well done and blessedly ungraphic), but overall the result is much less than prime De Palma. Grade: B
– P.R.

The Last Kiss (R)

Director: Tony Goldwyn. With Zach Braff, Rachel Bilson, Jacinda Barrett, Blythe Danner, Tom Wilkinson. (115 min.)

Suffering a commitment crisis after girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) tells mom and dad she's pregnant, 29-year-old Michael (Zach Braff) finds himself attracted to a young university student. Meanwhile Jenna's parents (Blythe Danner, Tom Wilkinson) face challenges of their own, as do Michael's buddies as they approach their 30s. One of them can't stand to be under the same roof as his wife and baby, one can't get over the sweetheart who dumped him, and one can't stay with any woman for more than a week or so. Director Tony Goldwyn treats his characters' problems with compassion and honesty. The laughs grow out of our recognition that these could be people we know. Grade: B+
– M.K. Terrell

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