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118 results
    • Cast Away

        The key to Cast Away, which is nearly a one-man show, is Tom Hanks alone on a tropical island, improvising survival tactics to keep himself alive even when hope for rescue runs out. It’s hard to imagine another American actor who could pull this off as gracefully.
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    • State and Main

        As director David Mamet (House of Games, The Winslow Boy) deftly shows in his new film about filmmaking, it takes just as much effort and commitment to make a bad movie as it does to make a good one — with Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker.
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    • What Women Want

        What women want, in director Nancy Meyers’ opinion, is a little respect. It’s a ballsy move for pretty-boy action hero Mel Gibson to tackle a role where he’s not just parodying a sensitive man but actually becomes a vulnerable one. Gibson delivers — with Helen Hunt and Alan Alda.
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    • An Affair of Love

        In this film, the French title of which is Une Liaison Pornographique, a woman (Nathalie Baye) and man (Sergi Lopez) initially meet for a one-time tryst. Their anonymous affair, initiated to fulfill a sexual fantasy, develops into something more.
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    • Aimée & Jaguar

        This story of a passionate love affair begun by two women in Berlin during the final years of World War II strives to shatter stereotypes of Germans goose-stepping to Hitler’s agenda. The performances are uniformly fine, but the revelation is Maria Schrader.
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    • Catfish in Black Bean Sauce

        The strengths and faults of this film lie squarely on the shoulders of writer-director-actor Chi Muoi Lo. At its best, it’s a classic American tale of reconciliation, of understanding where you came from while accepting where you belong.
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    • Hey there, kids!

      ’Tis the season to be young (and silly and delighted) at the movies.
        This sure-footed Disney concoction, easily blending canine afection and human romance with thrills and humor, opens on a fascinating note: Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close) has been rehabilitated.
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    • Hey there, kids!

        Director Ron Howard succesfully showcases Jim Carrey's antic gifts but fails miserably in building a coherrent movie around him. It doesn't help that Howard trowels on thick, gooey sentimentality.
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    • Bounce

        Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow have been skating along for so long on glib charm that their complex performances (in director Don Roos’ romance born from unexpected tragedy) come as a bit of a shock — but nothing flies too far afield from the expected.
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    • Unbreakable

        With a trademark elegant simplicity, director M. Night Shyamalan's follow-up to The Sixth Sense shares many of that film's concerns, particularly when demonstrating how a shift in perspective allows for the perception of what would normally be hidden — with Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis.
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    • Home is for heartburn

      Gurinder Chadha’s multiculti Thanksgiving cookout.
        Gurinder Chadha (Bhaji on the Beach) stirs up the American melting pot in this look at Thanksgiving in four ethnically diverse Los Angeles families. Skillfully crosscutting between the storylines, she zooms in on the prickly relationships between parents and grown children.
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    • Men of Honor

        Director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food) and screenwriter Scott Marshall Smith opt for the noble Hollywood high road to tell a true story of individual struggle against entrenched oppression in the U.S. Navy — with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro.
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    • Charlie's Angels

        Loaded with nods to the last 50 years of pop culture, this series of intense vignettes establishes a specific tone: cheeky but not campy, with girlpower fueling the action and fun the ultimate goal — with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Bill Murray.
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    • Little Nicky

        Playing the devil’s offspring as good-natured loser, Adam Sandler reaffirms the delicate balance of menace and mirth behind his best movie characters. Sandler unleashes his little devil, but realizes that a spoonful of sugar helps the malevolence go down. — with Harvey Keitel and Patricia Arquette.
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    • The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy

        Writer-director Greg Berlanti has made what amounts to a simplistic gay primer for the straight fans of "Will & Grace," where attractive men inhabit an insular, ritualized world and every detail of their lives is carefully explained for the homosexually impaired.
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    • Disorient express

      Darren Aronofsky’s wild ride on the fast train to nowhere.
        What Darren Aronofsky (π) captures with dazzling audacity in this film adapted from Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel is not just the pathology of addiction, but its mechanism. This is a junkie’s tale where everything feeds the habit — with Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans and Ellen Burstyn.
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    • Just Looking

        This look at carnal curiosity in 1955, directed by actor Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld"), is a charming, ribald memory tale about the rocky transition from innocence to experience. Nothing flashy or earth-shattering here, just solid performances and a story told with clarity and kindness.
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    • Pay It Forward

        Director Mimi Leder actually makes this treacle go down easy. But this cloying, scattershot film could stand more verisimilitude, instead of falling back on the easy comfort of shallow platitudes — with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment.
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    • For dear life

      A corner of pain ignored by the new world order.
        Director Bahman Ghobadi's quietly devastating film is storytelling at its unvarnished best. The subject is an orphaned family of Iranian Kurdish children struggling to survive amid political upheaval. Their quiet determination and dignity are reflected in the beautiful simplicity of Ghobadi's visual style.
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    • The Yards

        Trapped in slippery morality and cycles of crime, Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix and Charlize Theron are a triptych of good intentions gone awry in James Gray’s strikingly old-fashioned, beautifully nuanced tale of corruption.
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    • Dr. T & the Women

        Robert Altman’s latest, for all its fine performances (some terrific actresses in thankless roles), is more style than substance. Even the shock of a graphic birthing scene can’t elevate this women’s tale beyond what can be found in the smothering, perfumed pages of glossy fashion magazines.
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    • Black skin, black masks

      Spike Lee’s new salvo calls a spade a Stepin Fetchit.
        The most incendiary film yet from cultural arsonist Spike Lee is an incredibly complex look at race in 21st century America — and how television continually serves up variations of Amos and Andy instead of the reality of black life — with Damon Wayans, Michael Rapaport and Savion Glover.
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    • Politricks as usual

      Private life as public fodder in Rod Lurie’s The Contender.
        Director Rod Lurie’s lesson in the use of smear tactics during political warfare shows that timing is everything. What gets captured in the public imagination, regardless of whether it’s true, fair or accurate, is what counts — with Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman.
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    • Into the Arms of Strangers

        Although Mark Jonathan Harris’ documentary is about the mass rescue of children from Nazi Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to Great Britain in 1938-9, it offers no easy happily-ever-afters. It’s a harrowing tale of tender innocence lost and bitter experience gained.
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    • Remember the Titans

        Director Boaz Yakin’s earnest, based-on-a true-story portrait of the 1971 high school football season, when a newly integrated team set an example for segregated Alexandria, Va. — with Denzel Washington.
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