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  • Boys Don't Cry

*American Beauty (R)

American Beauty proves, once again, that you don't have to have a new plot to make a fresh story. Instead, a strong visual style, fabulous acting, and quirky writing can all conspire to create an erotic, humorous, captivating film. Kevin Spacey is given a funny, dry script by screenwriter Alan Ball and uses it confidently, moving between bumbling idiot, threatening asshole and tender father with ease; Annette Bening perfectly captures the manic acquisitiveness and just-below-the-surface despair of professional-class America with a physical, comedic presence that most actresses would never dare attempt; Wes Bentley portrays the disturbed boy next door with a quiet gravity that intensifies every scene he graces. First-time film director Sam Mendes has done a remarkable job of learning the vocabulary of filmmaking and using it to create a multilayered visual and psychological delight. See full review. -- AL

Chapel Hills; Tinseltown

*Anna and the King (PG-13)

Unlike the 1956 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, this retelling of Anna Leonowen's (Jodie Foster) story is rather serious in its treatment of the relationships between Asia and the British during the age of British expansion. Go to be captivated by the kind of spectacle that Hollywood alone can create, the organizational and visual feats of lush scenery, beautiful costuming, and good special effects, and you won't be disappointed. See full review. -- AL

Chapel Hills

The Bachelor (PG-13)

The Bachelor, starring Chris O'Donnell and Renee Zellweger, aspires to be a fresh take on romantic comedy -- as seen from the guy's point of view -- and almost succeeds. But the director just couldn't resist the appeal of a massive chase scene down the streets of San Francisco, involving, gulp, 1,000 screaming women in bride's dresses. It's hard not to be off-put by this excess, when the film could have been a tight, fresh take on the romantic conundrum. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

*Boiler Room (R)

A deftly told tale of the sleazy underside of the stock market -- Wall Street bottom feeders who get rich selling little known, unreliable stocks to unsuspecting investors. Giovanni Ribisi finally gets the star turn he deserves as Seth Davis, an unsuspecting young trainee who is caught up in the hype of the get-rich-quick scheme. Engaging and fast-paced throughout -- with the exception of a drippy subplot involving Ribisi and his father, a stern judge -- The Boiler Room is a stylish peek into a universe where greed truly rules. Ribisi transcends the bare outlines of his character in the scenes where he goes for the sell, sweating and squirming. Outstanding supporting cast includes Ben Affleck and Nia Long. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Tiffany Square; Citadel Terrace

*Boys Don't Cry (R)

Director/screenwriter Kimberly Peirce's feature film debut is as assured as they come. Hilary Swank is a revelation as Brandon Teena, a young cross-dresser whose identity falls somewhere between heartthrob and strut-your-stuff cowboy. On the run to avoid prosecution for petty crimes, Brandon settles in Falls City, Nebraska where his love hungry eyes settle on Lana (Chloe Sevigny). Unfortunately, her dysfunctional family includes John (Peter Sarsgaard) and Tom (Brendan Sexton III), both chronic losers for whom the notion of sexual ambiguity ranks at the top of the list of sins worthy of the death penalty. Filmed on a low budget, the film is notably artful in its depiction of the stark Nebraska landscape, and is blessed with a simply remarkable cast. Swank should walk away with the Oscar for Best Actress. See full review. -- KCE

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Cider House Rules (PG-13)

Dr. Larch (Michael Caine), is a man who spends half his life caring for unwanted children and the other half performing abortions. When the chance arises, oldest orphan and Larch's unapproving protg in the obstetrics business, Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), sets off to explore the world with Woody and Candy (Paul Rudd and Charlize Theron), a handsome young couple who have just availed themselves of Dr. Larch's services. Delroy Lindo gives a powerhouse performance as Mr. Rose -- the head of the picking crew on the apple farm owned by Woody's mother -- who has an incestuous relationship with his daughter, wonderfully played by hip-hop artist Erykah Badu. John Irving, who wrote the novel, did an excellent job of paring down his long, Dickensian work into a cogent screenplay that doesn't sacrifice its heart in the translation. The characters' quirks and charms are intact, especially those of Dr. Larch, played by Caine with an overwhelming kindness and vulnerability. His scenes glow with humanity, and Maguire's low-key Homer provides an interesting counterpart. See full review. -- KCE

Tiffany Square

Double Jeopardy (R)

Despite an excellent cast and clever premise, Double Jeopardy is plagued with problems. Ashley Judd is tough, fierce and intelligent as the wronged mother and wife, but her grit and good looks are wasted in an otherwise predictable, formulaic script. Tommy Lee Jones as her parole officer merely tags along. Gorgeous location shots of Vancouver and New Orleans provide momentary visual distractions but add little to the drama, and sloppy sound editing detracts throughout. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo (R)

Why anyone would want to make this into a movie is a mystery. "Lighten up," the proponents of this film have said. "It's only comedy." Yes, well, comedy is funny, little boy, and Deuce Bigalow ain't. See full review. -- AL

Silver Cinemas

End of Days (R)

A dreary, exploitative action film in which it's devil time again. The plot has The Dark One (Gabriel Byrne) seeking out a 20-year-old virgin named, of course, Christine (Robin Tunney) who has been predestined to bear the devil a son. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays ex-cop Jericho Cane, who takes it upon himself to protect Christine both from The Man. Director Peter Hyams does nothing to brighten up or energize screenwriter Andrew Marlowe's dull, confusing script. The message that End of Days is supposed to carry is that faith is more powerful than guns. But it's unlikely the message will be heard over all the automatic weapons fire. See full review. -- Noel Murray

Silver Cinemas

The Green Mile (R)

At three hours and ten minutes long, this is one marathon of a movie, and unnecessarily so. The story, based on Stephen King's 1996 serial novel, is oddly compelling: A death row prison guard in the mid-1930's deep south, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is delivered a 7-foot tall, black, simple-minded but apparently clairvoyant inmate (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted for murder. Duncan's characterization, though spare, is powerful. And Hanks, as Edgecomb, is his usual measured, affable self -- the soul of fairness. The Green Mile is a worthy exploration of good and evil, human suffering, the cold inevitability of death and the redeeming power of love. But because the strength lies in the simple nature of the story, the earthy vernacular and the colorful characters, the director's tired dramatic approach feels like little more than excessive padding. See full review. -- KCE

Carmike 10; Tinseltown

Hanging Up (R)

Despite a weak script, Meg Ryan and her co-stars Diane Keaton and Lisa Kudrow do their level best to portray three sisters whose father Lou (Walter Matthau) is succumbing to illness and senility. You'd think that there was plenty of material here for a moving story, but writers Delia and Nora Ephron botch it again and again. The film has a strange, mechanical feel to it, as if the writers were just learning screen craft from a textbook. Occasionally the movie has some moving moments, but unfortunately, those moments are few and far between, and silliness is allowed to prevail over a film of real potential; real characterization is replaced by a series of facile, surface traits, and real issues are swapped for a fluffy, feel-good gloss. See full review. -- AL

Carmike 10; Academy Station 6; Tinseltown; Tiffany Square

*The Hurricane (R)

Veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison tells Rubin Hurricane Carter's story powerfully and with a steady gaze in The Hurricane. In May of 1967, Carter, a rising professional boxing champion, was convicted of the murders of three white people in Paterson, New Jersey, and was sentenced to three life terms in prison. For the next 20 years, Carter remained incarcerated, wrote an autobiography and continued to petition the courts for his freedom. There are no groundbreaking camera tricks or imaginative twists in this biopic -- the story is a stunner on its own. As Carter, Denzel Washington's performance perfectly captures Carter's evolution -- as he is ripped from the world of notability and locked in seclusion, both his grief and his compassion expand. Both the movie and its formidable star succeed at dramatizing the hideous injustice of Carter's imprisonment, and the excruciatingly painful passage of time behind bars. See full review. -- KCE

Tinseltown

The Omega Code (PG-13)

With Springs actor, Ziggy Wagrowski.

Silver Cinemas

*Sixth Sense (PG-13)

A fluid, compelling and genuinely scary ghost story starring Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist. Willis' character enjoys a charmed life with his wife (Olivia Williams) and a fulfilling, successful career until the night he gets plugged by a dissatisfied former patient. We next see Crowe, shaken and changed, outside the house of Cole Sear, a little boy with anxious tendencies and, apparently, deep psychological problems. Turns out Cole can see the dead, and those with unfinished business often show up in his bedroom at night. The most startling moments of the film all revolve around the appearance of those ghosts. Haley Joel Osment, the child actor who plays Cole, is tortured, convincing and winning. Willis doesn't make a false move. The film delivers a wonderful punch at the end with an unexpected plot twist. A sure audience pleaser, Sixth Sense is solid, smart, subtle, atmospheric moviemaking. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

*Topsy-Turvy (R)

See full review.

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Toy Story 2 (G)

Toy Story 2 manages to construct even wilder gags, and to stretch even further the idea of the secret life of toys than the first, but it also leaves an even more bittersweet aftertaste. At its most heart-wrenching, this chipper cartoon is also a parent's stricken fantasy of being outgrown by their children. The mix of silliness, affection, and piercing nostalgia -- and yes, artistry -- keeps kids and adults engaged simultaneously. See full review. -- Jim Ridley

Citadel Terrace

*The Whole Nine Yards (R)

A comedy about a retired Mafia contract killer (Bruce Willis) who moves into a quiet Montreal suburban neighborhood. That The Whole Nine Yards is so amusing and unexpected is a tribute to really good writing. Screenwriting newcomer Mitchell Kapner has loaded the film with the kind of funny throwaway lines that you want to remember and repeat to your friends. The humor of the film also gets a lift from some decent physical comedy on the part of Matthew Perry. While the humor is very clever and tongue-in-cheek, the violence of the film is not -- all the killing in the midst of the comedy was a little creepy. Squeamishness, and a deep wonder at our warped American psyche aside, however, The Whole Nine Yards is a lightweight, clever comedy, and writer Kapner will be one to watch. See full review. -- AL

Carmike 10; Academy Station 6; Tinseltown; Tiffany Square

*Wonder Boys (R)

See full review.

Chapel Hills; Tinseltown

*The World is Not Enough (R)

Pierce Brosnan can do no wrong. He gleams with all the requisite savoir-faire and charisma that James Bond demands. Robert Carlyle does a brilliant turn as the ruthless terrorist Renard. Michael Apted, best known for his fantastic 7 Up documentary film series and Coal Miner's Daughter, more than hits his directorial marks.The World Is Not Enough is, pound for explosion, a great return on your entertainment dollar. See full review. -- Cole Smithey

Broadmoor; Silver Cinemas


OPENING THIS WEEK

Drowning Mona (PG-13)

Danny De Vito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Affleck and Neve Campbell are all suspects in the death of Verplanck, New York's bitchiest resident, Mona Dearly (Bette Midler).

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown

My Dog Skip (PG)

Malcolm in the Middle star Luke Wilson plays a shy boy with an amazing dog in Yazoo, Mississippi, 1942. Based on Willie Morris' classic memoir. With Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.

Academy Station 6; Chapel Hills; Citadel Terrace; Gold Hill Theater; Tinseltown

The Next Best Thing (PG-13)

Abbie (Madonna) and Robert (Rupert Everett) are best friends who make a great pair -- except that Robert is gay. When they end up pregnant after one too many drinks, they decide to live together as a family.

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown

Requiem for a Heavyweight (not rated)

Jack Palance plays an over-the-hill Native American boxer who risks his eyesight and health to enter the ring again and win enough money to pay off his manager's bookies.

Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St. 634-5581. Tues., March 7, 7:30 p.m.

Stranger with a Camera (not rated)

In 1967, Canadian director Hugh O'Connor was shooting a documentary in Letcher County, Ky., about poverty, racism and environmental destruction when he was shot by a landlord. His murder raised questions about cultural differences, image ownership and the responsibility of the media for the power it wields. Director and native Kentuckian Elizabeth Barrett explores these issues in Stranger With a Camera, which was recently screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Barrett will be on hand for a discussion after the film.

Women's Education Society Room at Colorado College's Worner Center, Free. 389-6607. Mon., March 6, 2 p.m.

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films showing on Colorado Springs area screens.

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