EMPIRE (R) John Leguizamo plays an up-and-coming, South Bronx crime lord whose bid to make a Wall Street killing leads to bloodshed. Featuring Denise Richards, Isabella Rossellini and Fat Joe.
EQUILIBRIUM (R) In the post-WWIII future, feelings that cause violent conflict have been outlawed, and butt-kicking "Clerick" John Preston (Christian Bale) is the man who enforces this law of the land. A sci-fi effort to put a topical Prozac Nation spin on a Fahrenheit 451 story line, this Matrix-style film disappoints in every case -- neither brainy science-fiction nor a galvanizing action thriller.--Felicia Feaster
THE BISUMA ADVENTURE (1999) (NR) This documentary chronicles a German social project, akin to American "boot camps," in which young German drug addicts find rehabilitation through hard work in a Nicaraguan jungle village. Dec. 4, 7 p.m., Goethe-Institut Atlanta, Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree St. $4 for non-members. 404-892-2388. www.goethe.de/uk/atl/enpfilm.htm.
FOR REAL Tim Reid of "Frank's Place" stars in and directs this romantic comedy that's promoted as a My Fair Lady kind of story with a hip-hop backdrop. Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m., Robert Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech. $15-$50. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter. gatech.edu.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Marietta Star Cinema.
ABANDON (PG-13) Steve Gaghan, Oscar-winning writer of Traffic, tries his hand at directing with this college thriller about a student (Katie Holmes) torn between her feelings for her mystery-man boyfriend (Charlie Hunnam) and an older detective (Benjamin Bratt).
ADAM SANDLER'S 8 CRAZY NIGHTS (PG-13) In this animated Chanukah story, Adam Sandler provides the voice for a lead character patterned after himself, as well as an elderly basketball coach and his wife. Such former "Saturday Night Live" players as Rob Schneider, Kevin Nealon and Jon Lovitz also provide speaking parts.
BARBERSHOP (PG-13) Ice Cube goes for a day-in-the-life-of-the-'hood vibe comparable to his trilogy of Friday films, but this modest comedy centered around a Chicago hair-cuttery feels trimmed of laughs. The labored slapstick with two accident-prone ATM thieves and the squabbles between the barbers are about as thin as a comb-over. As the oldest and most outspoken barber, Cedric the Entertainer makes a lonely effort to give the film some old-school personality.--Curt Holman
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (R) An often cruelly jocular agitprop documentary about an out-of-control American gun culture, Michael Moore's (Roger & Me) nightmare tour of America's covert foreign policy, Michigan Militia and NRA rallies, conspiratorial kooks and sleazy TV producers makes a good case for the hair-trigger viciousness of our eye-for-an-eye culture even as it reduces painful, profound issues to irony-laced, laughable sport. At United Artists Tara Cinemas.--FF
BROWN SUGAR (PG-13) This predictable romantic comedy centers on two lifelong best friends, a music business executive (Taye Diggs) and a music magazine editor (Sanaa Lathan), who spend the entire movie fighting the fact that they're meant for each other. The film's whole point is that these two are forever linked through their love of hip-hop, but aside from the obligatory music biz cameos and lots of lip service from the leading characters, hip-hop rarely comes alive as its own fire-breathing entity, meaning that the pair might as well be joined by a mutual love of pro wrestling, Alan Rudolph flicks or Pokemon trading cards.--Matt Brunson
COMEDIAN (R) This backstage documentary follows Jerry Seinfeld as he rejects retiring as a zillionaire TV star to return to the stand-up comedy circuit, painstakingly crafting an all-new routine of his trademark observational comedy.
DIE ANOTHER DAY (PG-13) Pierce Brosnan's fourth outing as 007 isn't the best Bond film by a long shot, but it may be the fastest. Director Lee Tamahori brings a breakneck pace and a spirited willingness to show the audience some wild, new spectacle, notably a melting ice palace and chases across a frozen lake. Homages to earlier films are plentiful, while Halle Berry, as comely assassin Jinx, and Judi Dench, as Bond's spy boss, each have Academy Awards, lending a little legitimacy to the silly puns and stuntwork.--CH
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