Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Academy Awardwinning actress Halle Berry in Monsters Ball
  • Academy Awardwinning actress Halle Berry in Monsters Ball

*A Beautiful Mind (PG-13)
Winner of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 74th Annual Academy Awards. Need we say more?

Chapel Hills

Blade 2: Bloodhunt (R)
Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson return as Blade and Whistler, vampire hunters who form an unlikely alliance with the bloodsuckers in order to stop a new blood virus from turning them all into mutant vampires. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Changing Lanes (R)
See full review, page 31.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Clockstoppers (PG)
Special effectsladen teen-age adventure romp where time stands still. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*E.T. (PG)
In many ways, the qualities that endeared this film to a generation are even sweeter and more poignant now. Spielberg has made some good films in the interim, but E.T. remains his best. And here's a recommendation: If you are of the video generation and think you've see E.T. so many times it could not possibly interest you, go and see it on the big screen. Williams' score, the looming redwoods of the forest, the chase scenes and the little flat-headed extraterrestrial are all mesmerizing in the theater in way a television screen simply cannot capture. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills

Frailty (R)
See full review, page 30.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

High Crimes (PG-13)
While Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd repeat their successful screen chemistry after Kiss the Girls (1997), the narrative twist that concludes High Crimes comes as a reprehensibly cheap device that perverts the film's scathing commentary on the U.S. military and its terribly flawed military court system. I've never seen anything like it in the more than 4,000 movies I've seen -- and I hope I never see it again. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Ice Age (PG)
Ice Age triumphs by eschewing the inside adult humor that infiltrates so many other animated children's movies. Where movies like Shrek attempt to cater to adult audiences with not-so-subtle sexual innuendo and overloaded pop-culture cross-referencing, Ice Age stays the course of its genre's Bugs Bunny slapstick humor. Although the actors recorded their parts separately, there's chemistry between the cartoon characters that plays like a symphony of toy instruments playing a well-rehearsed Duke Ellington tune. -- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Kissing Jessica Stein (R)
Smart, funny and stylishly directed, Kissing Jessica Stein is a terrific romantic comedy, almost completely devoid of the schmaltz and insipid characters the genre often deploys. What's more, it's a story of two girls falling in love that successfully avoids the pitfalls of political preachiness and lesbian political correctness. Kissing Jessica Stein succeeds as a same-sex romance for a mainstream audience -- a rarity in cinema. It's great date film, good cinematherapy with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

click to enlarge Richard (Ryan Gosling) corners Detective Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) in Murder by Numbers, opening this week
  • Richard (Ryan Gosling) corners Detective Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) in Murder by Numbers, opening this week

*Lantana (R)
This Australian film directed by Ray Lawrence is not a thriller, in spite of its central mystery -- the discovery of the dead body of an unidentified woman. It's a psychological drama about adult relationships, loyalty, grief, infidelity, disillusionment, existential crisis and, of course, love. Lantana shows us people as they really live -- on the surface, going through the motions, their sorrow deeply buried. Lantana is an accomplished adult film with people of substance at its core -- a rarity in current cinema. Highly recommended. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

*Lord of the Rings (PG-13)
Director Peter Jackson makes brilliant use of the camera to enhance the action, and the sets, costumes and digital animation speak for themselves magnificently in this triumphant film adaptation of the Tolkien classic. The acting suspends disbelief for all but a few moments. Let the fanatics hash out the discrepancies with the book in their chat rooms. Peter Jackson did it. And this film is cool. Very cool. -- Noel Black

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Monster's Ball (R)
Risking every Deep South, Faulknerian stereotype about racism, rednecks, skeletons in the closet and man's inhumanity to man, it's a miracle that Monster's Ball turns out to be such an intriguing film. Chalk it up to two things: 1) a Swedish director (Marc Forster) who is able to explore Southern stereotypes as a cool observer, and 2) the astonishing acting duo of Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry, winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role. Monster's Ball may fumble in the first half, but overall, it's a raw, emotional triumph. -- Kathryn Eastburn


National Lampoon's Van Wilder (R)
Ryan Reynolds (of ABC's Two Guys and a Girl) stars as Van Wilder, a college senior who's been milking the cush college life for seven years. When he learns that his father will not pay for another semester, he's got to figure out how to pay for it all now. Also starring Tara Reid and Tim Matheson. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Other Side of Heaven (PG)
The story of a Mormon missionary's three years in the South Sea islands, resisting temptation so that he can return to his beloved pure and chaste. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Panic Room (R)
Here are the elements for all the plot twists in Panic Room: a gun (surprise!), a good man gone bad in desperate circumstances (Forrest Whitaker), a bumbling schemer (Jared Leto), the guy with the gun (Dwight Yoakham), diabetes, a whole lotta money, a phone line, a cell phone, a propane tank, a garden hose, a lot of surveillance equipment, and the panic room. If it seems like I'm just rattling off a bunch of devices, it's because I am, and that's how the film comes off. (Can't you just hear the original pitch?) Panic Room, in the end, seems to be more of a failed film-school exercise in pure plot than a look at fear, our need for security, our national obsession with surveillance, class differences, and a host of other things it could've been. -- Noel Black

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Rookie (G)
Based on the true story of high-school science teacher and baseball coach Jim Morris, who joins the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the age of 35 after making a deal with his high school team: If they make the playoffs, he'll try out for the major league. Starring Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Sweetest Thing (R)
Female sex comedy starring Cameron Diaz with Christina Applegate, Selma Blair and Parker Posey. Diaz is Christine, tracking down Mr. Right. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Time Machine (PG-13)
Though the special effects were a tad annoying, The Time Machine still offers some perfectly fine entertainment value: The acting is solid, the story is good, the inventions of the future are interesting. There's enough in this film to keep you well occupied for a dense 90 minutes. And most days, that's good enough. -- Andrea Lucard

Chapel Hills

We Were Soldiers (R)
The true story of 450 U.S. soldiers, early in the Vietnam War, who became surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese in the Ia Drang Valley, in what became the first major battle of the extended conflict. Starring Mel Gibson Sam Elliott, Clark Gregg, Greg Kinnear. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

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


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