Movie Guide

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Everything Is Illuminated (PG-13)

Director: Liev Schreiber. With Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Leskin. (96 min.)

Liev Schreiber is one of the finest stage and screen actors of his generation and he's nothing if not ambitious. For his directorial debut he has chosen to adapt a portion of the sprawling Jonathan Safran Foer novel about a young Jewish-American's journey to a Ukrainian village to seek out the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Shreiber's film doesn't bear the usual actor-director trademarks: stodgy camerawork, too many scenes of people sitting around talking. The presentation has verve. But the story is confusingly told - everything is not illuminated - and, as the seeker, Elijah Wood is a big blank. Grade: C+
- Peter Rainer

Lord of War (R)

Director: Andrew Niccol. With Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Bridget Moynahan, Jared Leto. (122 min.)

"Lord of War" is a bitterly funny comedy about arms dealers. Russian refugee Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) makes his fortune helping Third World dictators attack their neighbors or oppress their own people. He's doing dastardly work while telling himself it's not his responsibility. Writer/director Andrew Niccol is a keen satirist who can stick the blade between the ribs. As you laugh you become aware that Yuri is less a criminal than a tool of foreign policy. In showing us a man who tries not to notice what happens after he closes the deal, Niccol gives us a fast and funny movie that should leave you feeling a bit queasy. Grade: A -
- Daniel M. Kimmel

One Bright Shining Moment (Not Rated)

Director: Stephen Vittoria. With Gore Vidal, Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty. (125 min.)

Lively documentary about McGovern's disastrous run for the US presidency. The interviews with him are worth the price of admission. Grade: A+
- David Sterritt

The Thing About My Folks (PG-13)

Director: Raymond De Felitta. With Paul Reiser, Peter Falk, Olympia Dukakis. (96 min.)

On the occasion of his wife's self-imposed disappearance, gruffly appealing Sam Kleinman (Falk) shows up at the door of his son, Ben (Reiser, who wrote the screenplay) and the well-cast pair embark on a road trip meant to keep dad busy while Ben's sisters sort things out. Result: a comedic, sometimes jarring, and deeply human interaction with only a few brief feints toward hyper-sentimentality. Grade: B+
- Clayton Collins

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