ALONG CAME A SPIDER (R) Morgan Freeman returns in fine form as world-weary forensic psychologist Alex Cross of Kiss the Girls, likewise recommended as entertainment, not art. When a senator's 12-year-old daughter is kidnapped Alex teams with Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), who was assigned to protect the girl, to find kidnapper Michael Wincott -- and the girl -- before it's too late. After an action-packed opening the film slows down until the final hour, which is packed with twists, some more surprising than others. What matters is the plot holds together while you're watching it, even if it falls apart in retrospect. -- SW
BLOW (R) Ted Demme's film version of the real-life rise of pot-to-cocaine drug importer George Jung (Johnny Depp) is all surface flash and Scorsese-cribbed effects. A diverting entertainment featuring some so-bad-it's-good fashion moments, the film is wafer-thin in the originality department, with Demme favoring visual effects over middling details like character development and motivation.--FELICIA FEASTER
JUST VISITING (PG-13) A soupcon of Gallic charm (mostly in Jean Reno's romantic performance as a 12th-century French count who time-travels to 21st-century Chicago) drowns in a vat of American bombast (courtesy of John Hughes, who assisted the original writers with the adaptation) in an English-language remake of Les Visiteurs, one of the most popular films of the '90s in France. This low comedy has a high cheese factor, with eight-plus centuries of culture shock expressed mostly in bathroom humor. -- SW
MEMENTO 1/2 (R) An investigator (Guy Pearce) suffering from short term memory loss tries to track down his wife's killer in Christopher Nolan's ingenious thriller. As in Harold Pinter's Betrayal the scenes unfold in reverse order, so both the audience and the forgetful hero are constantly thrust into the unknown. Complicated. exhilarating and dark, Memento's ending leaves your head spinning -- counterclockwise. --CURT HOLMAN
POKEMON 3 The Movie The third installment of the Pokémon mythology includes a feature-length adventure, "Spell of the Unknown," in which Ash Ketchum and his loyal friends journey to the mountain town of Greenfield where they encounter the mysterious Unown, as well as a 22-minute short, "Pikachu and Pichu."
THE WIDOW OF SAINT-PIERRE 1/2 Prolific French filmmaker Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, Ridicule) makes a rare mis-step with this attack on capital punishment in the 1850s. Emir Kusturica as a condemned killer and Juliette Binoche as his unexpected advocate are too reserved to generate much audience empathy, although the director still has an eye for memorable images, such as a cafe on wagon wheels rolling through a town. -- CH
JOE DIRT (PG-13) David Spade stars as the irrepressible mullet head Dirt who gets dumped by his parents at the age of 8 and spends the rest of his life looking for them, sleeping in doghouses and on railroad tracks always hoping for the best despite his misadventures.
JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS Based on the "Archie" comic book, Josie and the Pussycats stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson as an all-girl garage band that gets discovered and makes it big until their manager devises a scheme to control the youth of American through subliminal messages in their songs.
KINGDOM COME (PG) When Woodrow "Bud" Slocumb keels over from a stroke, his family comes together to remember the dearly departed and discovers new ways to define the term dysfunctional. Starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox and LL Cool J.
CARBIDE AND SORREL. This 1963 German comedy involves a factory worker trying to move seven barrels of carbide safely across the Soviet occupation zone. Director Frank Beyer combines fast-paced humor with keen social observation.April 11 at 7 p.m. Goethe-Institut Atlanta.
THE CHARCOAL PEOPLE. A gripping documentary reveals both the harsh working and living conditions of charcoal workers in Brazil, and the consequences of that fuel on the Amazon rain forest. An Atlanta premiere. April 6-12 at Cinefest.
MEN OF HONOR. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Carl Brashear, destined to become the Navy's first African-American diver despite resistance from his tough instructor (Robert DeNiro at his saltiest) in a nobly-intended, Oscar-bait biopic that saw no nibbles from the Academy. April 6-12 at Cinefest.
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
"In the movies' worst scene..." should be "movie's"
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I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…