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Movie Guide

A look at the movies in theaters this week.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / April 20, 2007



New in theaters

In the Land of Women (PG-13)

Director: Jon Kasdan. With Adam Brody, Meg Ryan, Kristen Stewart. (100 min.)

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Carter Webb (Adam Brody) has recently been dumped by his fashion-model girlfriend and flees Los Angeles for suburban Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother (Olympia Dukakis). He wants to get away from it all, but living across the street is needy, seductive Sarah (Meg Ryan), who has a serious illness, a bad marriage, and two daughters. The eldest (Kristen Stewart), like mom, is attracted by Carter's boyish insouciance. His ostensible profession is writing soft-core porn, but he really wants to be a serious novelist. If so, the life experiences he gains in this soppy, schematic weepie won't help much. Written and directed by Jonathan Kasdan. Grade: C–

Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes of innuendo. Violence: 2 scenes, including a fist fight. Profanity: 25 expressions, mostly strong. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 5 scenes with alcohol; 1 with tobacco.

Vacancy (R)

Director: Nimród Antal. With Luke Wilson, Kate Beckinsale. (80 min.)

Writer Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale play a divorcing couple who take a late-night detour on a country road, get lost, and end up staying at a lonely motel. It soon becomes clear that they are the only guests. The videos in their room turn out to be snuff movies – filmed in their very own room. How will they escape alive? This ghastly swatch of pulp horror is compelling at the most basic level, but so little is going on in it that you might as well be watching a sadistic lab experiment performed on mice. The director, Nimród Antal, an Angeleno who moved to Hungary when he was a teenager, follows up his promising first feature, "Kontrol," by going Hollywood in a depressingly big way. Grade: C

Still in theaters

Disturbia (PG-13)

Director: D.J. Caruso. With Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Carrie-Ann Moss. (104 min.)

It was only a question of time before Hollywood came up with the idea of doing Hitchcock's "Rear Window" for the YouTube generation. Kale (Shia LaBeouf) is a gangly, obstreperous teenager who is sentenced to house arrest for three months. He begins spying on his neighbors, including Mr. Turner (David Morse), who keeps to himself and who Kale begins to suspect is a serial killer. With help from Ashley, a teen beauty who has recently moved next door, and from Kale's best friend, Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), he becomes a first-class amateur sleuth. "Disturbia" is a better-than-average teen pic crossed with a clunkier-than-average thriller. Grade: B

Sex/Nudity: 11 scenes including voyeurism and innuendo. Violence: 16 scenes, often gruesome. Profanity: 26 expressions, mostly strong. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 2 scenes with drinking.

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