Movie guide

Among this week's new releases: Two fascinating documentaries about troubled musicians.



Director: Davis Guggenheim. With Dermot Mulroney, Elisabeth Shue, Kyle Rhodes, Carly Schroeder. (92 min.)

Soccer-loving Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder) can't play at her high school. Her brother is on the boys' team, but her school has no program for girls. When he dies in an accident, she sets out, against all odds, to take his place. Coproducer Andrew Shue, who plays the coach, based his original story on family experiences. (Elizabeth Shue – Gracie's mom in the film – was a soccer player.) This labor of love from the Shue siblings is a better than average sports movie. More than that, it's about a family pulling together to help one member achieve her dream. Grade: B+
– M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 5 instances of innuendo; Violence: 5 instances of rough play during sports game, including a bloody nose; Profanity: 20 instances, occasionally harsh; Tobacco/Drugs/Alcohol: 3 scenes with tobacco, 1 with alcohol.


Director: Bruce Weber. With Chet Baker, Carol Baker, Vera Baker. (119 min.)

Unseen theatrically since 1993, Bruce Weber's "Let's Get Lost" (currently at New York's Film Forum) is one of the most dreamily unsettling documentaries ever made. Singer-trumpeter Chet Baker, with his James Dean profile and granitic chin, was the pretty boy of 1950s cool rock. As a musician, his lyrical evanescence didn't seem built to last; not so his mythos. Spiraling into drug addiction, the ravaged Baker, who died shortly after the film was shot, is an iconic emblem of tortured glamour. Weber takes an almost archeological interest in Baker's physiognomy. Nothing about this movie settles into normalcy. It's a celebration, a memorial, a tease, a death knell. Grade: A–
– Peter Rainer


Director: Keven McAlester. With Roky Erickson, Evelyn Erickson, Patti Smith, Byron Coley. (88 min.)

As long as we're on the subject of ravaged artists, you might also want to check out Keven McAlester's complexly intriguing documentary about psychedelic rock icon Roky Erickson, front man for the legendary 1960s group 13th Floor Elevators. After breaking through to a new sound, Erickson succumbed to drugs and mental illness, and yet his story is a hopeful one. His salvation, brought about largely through the intervention of one of his brothers, is not what one might have expected of a movie that, with the amount of family dysfunction on view, is often reminiscent of "Crumb." A nominee for 2007's Independent Spirit Award. Grade:A- [Editor's note: The original version misstated the grade given.]
– P.R.

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