FRACTURE (R) Crime thriller starring Anthony Hopkins as a meticulous engineer accused of murdering his adulterous wife. Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) plays the district attorney in charge of bringing him to justice. Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Hart's War) and co-stars David Strathairn and Embeth Davidtz.
IN THE LAND OF WOMEN (PG-13) Adam Brody ("The O.C.") stars in writer/director Jon Kasdan's romantic dramedy as a young man who leaves Los Angeles for suburban Michigan to nurse a broken heart and take care of his ailing grandmother. When he discovers a single mother (Meg Ryan) living next door with her daughters, he ventures on a journey to understand the nature of love.
VACANCY (R) Nimród Antal's horror film stars Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a couple forced to spend the night in a roadside motel after their car breaks down. After finding hidden cameras in the room and a terrifying snuff film playing on the VCR, they realize they must escape before they become the stars -- and victims -- of a real-life horror flick.
ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL The 31st annual celebration of independent cinema features a wide array of narrative features, documentaries, shorts and animation. See reviews and roundups of presented works in the Flicks section, and a look at the opening-night film, The Last Days of Left Eye in the Vibes section. Thurs., April 19, through April 28. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive. $8.50 general admission, $6 IMAGE members, seniors and students. 678-495-1424. www.atlantafilmfestival.com.
ME AND MY SISTER 4 stars (NR) Vastly entertaining 2004 family drama stars French art-house phenom Isabelle Huppert as Martine, a brittle, image-conscious Parisian whose well-oiled equilibrium is thrown off balance with the arrival of her chirpy, animated younger sister, Louise (Catherine Frot). A beautician whom Martine has clearly written off as a provincial, unsophisticated frump, as the film progresses, Louise increasingly defies Martine's expectations in this transcendentally sweet portrait of how Martine's sister prompts her to come to terms with the disappointments in her own life. French Film Yesterday & Today. Fri., April 20, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. $7. 404-733-4570. www.high.org. -- Felicia Feaster
OLGA (NR) Encore screening of one of the highest-audience-rated films at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Winner of Best Narrative Film, Olga is a Brazilian historical epic based on the true-life story of communist activist and political prisoner Olga Benario Prestes. Sun., April 22, 7 p.m. Regal Medlock Crossing 18. $9. 404-949-0658. www.atlantajewishfilm.org.
PAN'S LABYRINTH 4 stars (R) Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's gothic fairy tale concerns a little girl (Ivana Baquero) who escapes the violence of the adult world in prolonged fantasies of descent into a magical underworld overseen by an enormous talking faun, Pan. Del Toro (Hellboy), supported by an excellent cast of female actresses, delivers an achingly beautiful parable about the willful desire of children to imagine an alternative reality. April 20 through May 3. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. -- Feaster
THE RAPE OF EUROPA (NR) Encore screening of one of the highest-audience-rated films at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Winner of the Best Documentary Film prize, the film chronicles the systematic theft and destruction of European artwork during World War II. Sun., April 22, 3 p.m. Regal Medlock Crossing 18. $9. 404-949-0658. www.atlantajewishfilm.org.
THE RULES OF THE GAME 4 stars (NR) When it premiered in 1939, Jean Renoir's bourgeoisie-takedown The Rules of the Game was a controversial-enough portrait of social corruption to inspire one man in the audience to try to burn down the theater. Renoir's lyrical comedy of manners follows the upstairs/downstairs sexual hijinks of wealthy philanderers and their comparably bawdy staff at a country chateau on the eve of World War II and is considered a certifiable classic of the French cinema. French Film Yesterday & Today. Sat., April 21, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. $7. 404-733-4570. www.high.org. -- Feaster
300 4 stars (R) In 480 B.C., 300 Spartan warriors stand against an army of hundreds of thousands in an ultraviolent action epic that makes the Hercules and Conan movies look like flailing slap-fights. Like Sin City, it's based on a macho graphic novel by Frank Miller and all the backgrounds are computer-generated; unlike Sin City, the painterly images don't overwhelm the emotional investment of such actors as Gerard Butler and Lena Headey as Sparta's king and queen. If it plays like the biggest Army recruiting commercial ever made (particularly given that the bad guys are Iranians -- I mean, Persians), 300 nevertheless conquers its own overwrought tendencies to offer a thrilling, larger-than-life spectacle. -- Curt Holman
AMAZING GRACE 3 stars (PG) Director Michael Apted (49 Up) examines the attempts of British reformers in Parliament led by William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) to end the Empire's slave trade toward the end of the 18th century. While Apted's own attempts to quicken the film's extended storyline spanning nearly two decades by using flashbacks falls a bit short, the compelling subject matter and Gruffudd's earnest performance are engaging enough. Veteran British actors Albert Finney and Michael Gambon lend a capable hand in supporting roles, with Finney playing a repentant slave-ship captain who eventually penned the famous gospel hymn of the movie's title. -- David Lee Simmons
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