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GOSFORD PARK (R) As close to a masterpiece as this year in movies has seen, Gosford Park invests a familiar upstairs- downstairs theme of the upper and servant classes of English country life with a degree of compassion and sensitivity that proves director Robert Altman has something human lurking beneath his patented misanthropy. --FF
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (PG) The big screen version of J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book mostly enchants. Following the title character (Daniel Radcliffe) in his first year at a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the film has so many clever details and visual delights that they dwarf the supposed plot about sinister goings-on surrounding the titular stone. John Williams overdoes the "magical" music and Radcliffe underplays Harry's emotions, but the film has enough charms to make the already-planned sequels feel welcome. --CH
HOW HIGH (R) If you're a fan of rappers Redman and Method Man, or are simply nostalgic for the cinema of Cheech & Chong, you might want to sample this comedy about two stoners who get into Harvard thanks to an IQ-boosting supply of marijuana -- which quickly runs out. With Fred Willard as the chancellor.
IMAX Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance (Not Rated) Harrison Ford narrates an IMAX film exploration of the world's biological diversity, from the Poles to the Tropics, with an in-depth focus on the lush, remote plateaus of Venezuela.Through March 22. Majestic White Horses (NR) The pomp, history and legend of the famous Lipizzan horses of Austria and the Spanish Riding School of Vienna gets the really big screen treatment. Through May 23. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road. --Steve Warren
IMPOSTOR (PG-13) Based on a Philip K. Dick story of the same name, this high-tech take on The Fugitive finds Gary Sinise as a futuristic engineer accused of being an alien spy. Featuring Madeleine Stowe and Vincent D'Onofrio, the film has literally spanned a millennium, having seen its theatrical release postponed for nearly two years.
IN THE BEDROOM (R) A thoughtful, admirable, first-director effort from actor Todd Field (Eyes Wide Shut), this story of how two chilly, noncommunicative Maine WASPS cope with their only son's death has a writerly attention to character, nuance and human behavior. Though Field's representation of his characters' suffering can at times feel a little meta-Bergman and precious, this timely story of grief and the search for revenge has enough application to the current social climate to make it resonate. --FF
JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS (G) An accident-prone boy inventor comes to the rescue when aliens kidnap his parents in a computer-animated cartoon from Nickelodeon. Voice actors include Martin Short, Andrea Martin and Patrick Stewart.
JOE SOMEBODY (PG) His work as Buzz Lightyear aside, Tim Allen is the new Steve Guttenberg, a bland actor whose generic films keep getting bankrolled. Allen's disrespected corporate employee gets punched out by a co-worker, and declares that he wants a rematch, which suddenly earns him love and respect (is this a multi-million dollar corporation or an elementary school?) You know you're in trouble when you're actively waiting for Jim Belushi to make an appearance in a movie. --MB
KATE & LEOPOLD 1/2 (PG-13) Meg Ryan, whose ceaseless attempts to remain the pixie queen of frothy romantic comedies are becoming embarrassing, plays Kate, an ambitious sales executive who falls for a 19th century Duke (Hugh Jackman, making another career misstep) transported to present-day New York. After an insufferable first half in which we watch Leopold predictably become perplexed by modern-day gadgets, the second half marginally picks up thanks to the pleasing presence of Breckin Meyer as Kate's good-natured brother. --MB
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (PG-13) Adapting the first and longest book of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, Peter Jackson offers an all-but-perfect fantasy epic that's no simple piece of story-book escapism. The titular fellowship (played by a superbly cast ensemble including Elijah Wood and Ian McKellan) contend with evil forces as journey across land of Middle-Earth to destroy a magic ring. Jackson offers a full immersion in an imaginary world, and even when some virtual environments look fake, they bristle with personality. Thrilling -- and exhausting -- at a full three hours, Fellowship's greatest achievement is that it never loses sight of the human side of its fanciful story. --CH
THE MAJESTIC (PG) Jim Carrey makes another bid for respectability in director Frank Darabont's fantasy set in the McCarthyite 1950s. Carrey plays Pete, a blacklisted, amnesiac screenwriter mistaken for a long-lost WWII vet in a small town. The first part of the movie, dealing with Pete's involvement with the town's perpetually chipper residents will strike some viewers as inspiring and others as manipulative, while the final act, centered on Pete's stand against the House Un-American Activities Committee, whitewashes a tragic chapter in U.S. history.--MB
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