Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Queen Latifah and Mos Def star in Brown Sugar
  • Queen Latifah and Mos Def star in Brown Sugar

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*Across the Sea of Time (NR)
Schmaltzy and sentimental, with a thin and barely coherent plot, this 3-D IMAX film is also visually stunning, even beautiful, consistently interesting and, occasionally, intensely moving. Nineteenth- and early 20th-century stereoscopic images are magically transferred to the IMAX format and the results are breathtaking. -- John Hazlehurst

Cinemark IMAX Theatre

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (R)
Action/thriller starring Antonio Banderas as Jonathan Ecks, an FBI agent who must team up with a rogue NSA agent with whom he is in mortal combat in order to defeat a common enemy. Lucy Lui plays Sever, the NSA agent. -- Not reviewed

Cinema Latino

The Banger Sisters (R)
What's to hate about The Banger Sisters? Abysmal pacing, Geoffrey Rush's inexplicable awkwardness in a supporting role, Susan Sarandon's pathetic character, horrible whiny teenagers, and the notion that being drunk for 20 years is somehow more liberating than choosing a buttoned-down life. What's to like? Goldie Hawn's muscle tone and her absolute perfection as a melting-down boozehound who knows her time has passed but can't give up the gig of sexpot. -- Kathryn Eastburn


*Barbershop (PG-13)
Feature debut by music-video director Tim Story about a south side Chicago barbershop that reveals his expressive ability with multiple characters and capacity to delicately shift in tone from comedy to drama. -- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Brown Sugar (PG-13)
A hip-hop music critic and an executive at a hip-hop label have been friends since childhood, but as the exec's wedding approaches, they start to wonder if they were meant to be more than just friends. (Starring Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs) -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Four Feathers (PG-13)
The tale of one man's personal quest for peace and marriage in the face of his country's orders to fight Sudanese Arabs in the name of the Queen's Empire. Heath Ledger plays Harry Feversham, a soldier for Imperial England, who resigns his regiment's commission after announcing his engagement to Ethne (Kate Hudson). When he finds himself unable to endure the humiliation of being considered a coward, Harry goes off alone to North Africa's treacherous Sudan in search of honor, only to be swallowed up by a culture he can barely fathom. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie (G)
Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and other talking vegetables tell the Biblical story of Jonah in the first animated feature film from the creators of the VeggieTales series. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Knockaround Guys (R)
The four sons of Brooklyn gangsters are tired of being mere errand boys and convince their crime lord elders to give them a shot at the big time. (Starring Dennis Hopper, John Malkovich, Vin Diesel, Seth Green, Barry Pepper and Andrew Davoli) -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Mostly Martha (R)
See full review, page 22.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Men in Black 2 (PG-13)
Although the Men in Black concept has worn off, there's plenty of slick and witty post-modern humor to savor in this eccentrically clever romp. And Will Smith brings a new level of charm and comic timing to the role of Agent Jay. -- Cole Smithey

Cinema Latino

click to enlarge The Rules of Attraction is a lame attempt at making  never mind. Its just lame.
  • The Rules of Attraction is a lame attempt at making never mind. Its just lame.

*My Big Fat Greek Wedding (PG)
A delightful confection of a film. The pacing of the first half of the film is a little slow, but it picks up nicely when the whole crazy extended family gets into the act. Romantic comedies require a deft touch, and the writing of Nia Vardalos (who also plays the lead) provides it. -- Andrea Lucard

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Kimball's Twin Peak Theater, Tinseltown

*One Hour Photo (PG-13)
Besides being a well directed, mildly interesting psychological thriller, this is Robin Williams' redemption as a screen actor. Though the story turns out to be a little thin and the ending is unnecessarily ambiguous, One Hour Photo is an interesting enough character study to sustain interest and create suspense. -- Kathryn Eastburn


Red Dragon (R)
Anthony Hopkins has internalized the role of Hannibal Lecter so thoroughly by now that he barely moves or blinks when delivering his virulent lines. Edward Norton is fresh and straightforward as FBI agent Graham. And Ralph Fiennes portrays murderer Dolarhyde more than adequately. A thrilling musical score by Danny Elfman drives the film and provides many crowd-rousing moments. All in all, Red Dragon competently completes the trilogy, likely retiring Hopkins' famous Dr. Lecter for good. Let's hope so anyway. The psychopath as mastermind myth is beginning to feel a little too comfortable and familiar. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Cinemark IMAX Theatre, Tinseltown

The Rules of Attraction (R)
See full review, page 22.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Signs (PG-13)
A quiet, suspenseful and frequently thrilling romp. Signs falls into some clumsy dialogue when it tries to be philosophical, but altogether, it's a fun thriller that marks director M. Night Shyamalan's growing influence as a Hollywood filmmaker. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Spy Kids 2 (PG)
Delightful sequel to last year's surprise hit. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinema Latino, Tinseltown

Sweet Home Alabama (PG-13)
Reese Witherspoon is so chipper and attractive that she almost carries Sweet Home Alabama off, but the actress who swept us away with her brilliant performance as the bratty good girl in Election is nowhere apparent here. That script demanded smart acting and a keen understanding of character. This script relies on pretty faces, cliches and soggy stereotypes. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Transporter (PG-13)
A former U.S. Special Forces soldier-turned-mercenary will deliver any package, no questions asked, for a price. But on his latest assignment, he breaks the first rule of the delivery service: Don't open the package. (Starring Jason Statham and Shu Qi) -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Tuck Everlasting (PG)
See full review, page 23.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Tuxedo (PG-13)
Jackie Chan plays Jimmy Tong, a New York City taxi driver hired to chauffeur a millionaire who's working on a top-secret mission for the U.S. government. When Tong slips into his employer's experimental new tuxedo, loaded with high-tech gadgets, he enters a strange new world of espionage. Also starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinema Latino

White Oleander (PG-13)
See full review, page 22.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

xXx (PG-13)
Despite its humor and abundant energy, xXx ultimately cannot decide whether it is a) a comic book-style adventure flick where all is not as it seems; b) a legitimate invention of a new breed of action-adventure hero; or c) all-out parody. It could have been good plain fun, but dies in explosive overkill and is doomed by its confounding identity crisis. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinema Latino


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