Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall. With Tyrese Gibson, Meagan Good. (97 min.)
When a ruthless drug dealer holds a young boy for ransom, the boy's father, an ex-con named "02" (Tyrese Gibson), enlists the aid of witness Coco (Meagan Good). She may have helped set up the kidnapping, but it turns out she has a heart of gold (sort of) and joins "O2" on a spree across L.A., robbing gang leaders and banks to raise enough cash to free the boy and buy her own freedom from the man controlling her life. The lead actors are good, and the film moves along so well that audiences may overlook plot holes that are, well, waist deep. Grade:C–
– M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of innuendo, 1 of implied sex. Violence: 17 instances. Profanity: 204 expressions, including 143 harsh. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 8 scenes of smoking, 4 scenes of drinking, 3 of drug use or dealing.
Director: Chris Paine. With Phyllis Diller, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, (92 min.)
In 1990 General Motors rolled out an electric concept car. Later that year California mandated that automakers sell a percentage of emissions-free vehicles there. Hello, future? Six years later the concept car had evolved into the stylish, well-engineered EV1 – but the legislation was being dismantled, and GM rather eagerly threw production into reverse. By 2003 the automaker announced it would yank back all leased EV1s from early adopters, who loved the cars despite some limitations, and within a couple of years the fleet had been "recycled." Ex-lessee Chris Paine's activist documentary might have been a shrill assault on the usual suspects. Instead he delivers a provocative exploration of competing interests – each articulately voiced – and of broad consumer indifference. Grade: A
– Clayton Collins
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville. With Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse. (145 min.)
The French film "Army of Shadows" ("Armée des ombres") never made it to the US when released in 1969. Now Americans can take a look at this missing masterpiece. You'll sweat and squirm as a tiny group of World War II French Resistance fighters in Marseille tries to stand up to the Nazis and, ultimately, simply survive. Ventura excels as the group's leader, a middle-aged civil engineer who methodically does what must be done – and then doubts himself. Director Melville was a Resistance fighter: In his stark and unvarnished film, the violence is routine and ugly, the moral choices painful and uncertain, the relationships deep yet fragile, the victories costly and ephemeral. Grade: A
– Gregory M. Lamb
• Monitor movie critic Peter Rainer is currently on vacation. He will be back next week with his review of "Superman Returns."