KANGAROO JACK (PG) Jerry O'Connell tries to retrieve a fortune in mob money hidden in a jacket worn by a runaway kangaroo. The kangaroo raps in the trailer, which we can only hope is a bad dream.
NATIONAL SECURITY (PG-13) Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn play mismatched security guards who must contend with real cops -- and real killers. Zahn's dorky mustache and crew cut might be good for a giggle, but hasn't Lawrence done the "fake" cop stuff a bit much?
TALK TO HER aa (R) A surprisingly grown-up and restrained Pedro Almodovar shifts into hyper-serious mode in this disappointingly inert film with the ardent tone of a women's picture but dominated by the romantic agonies of two men. Sensitive guys Javier Camara and Dario Grandinetti try to sustain relationships with women who have both ended up in a coma on the same hospital ward and end up developing a deep bond with each other. All of Almodovar's inventive, garish imagination seems to have flown the coop in this soapy stab at adult themes with occasional forays into creepy, kinky sexual compulsion. --Felicia Feaster
I.D. (1998) (NR) This Congolese/Belgian production provides both a charming fairy tale and a critique of colonialism when the elderly king of Bakongo travels to Brussels to find his long-lost daughter. African Film Showcase. Jan. 19, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.
ME WITHOUT YOU (2001) aaa (R) The codependent friendship of a plain-jane activist ("Dawson's Creek's" Michelle Williams) and an irresponsible party girl (Anna Friel) is traced from the early '70s to the late '80s. Williams and Friel effectively track how the girls grow up -- and how they don't -- while Kyle MacLachlan amusingly plays the "sensitive" professor they both sleep with. Though the film over-reaches by trying to carry the destructive-friendship dynamic from college to young adulthood, it effectively follows London's changing music and club fashions, from The Clash to Depeche Mode. Peachtree Film Society. Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m. Lefont Garden Hills Cinema. --Curt Holman
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.
STATE OF THE UNION: THE COLOR OF FREEDOM IS GREEN (NR) D.J. Kadagian's documentary, presented with the MLK Jr. National Historic Site DREAM series, looks at how America's multinational corporations control public policy at home and abroad. Interviewees include Kathleen Cleaver, activist and widow of Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver. IMAGE Film & Video Center. Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave. Free. 404-352-4225. www.imagefv.org.
ABOUT SCHMIDT aaaa (R) Jack Nicholson does an about-face in his performance as a smaller-than-life midwestern insurance executive facing multiple crises --mostly funny ones -- upon retirement. Election director Alexander Payne's critique of American mediocrity can feel snide and elitist, but also has considerable comic invention, from Schmidt's inappropriate letters to an impoverished African boy to Kathy Bates and Dermot Mulroney as the prospective in-laws from hell. --CH
ADAPTATION aaaaa (R) One of the best and brightest films of the year, this brilliant follow-up to director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman's Being John Malkovich follows the self-loathing tribulations of Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) as he struggles to adapt cerebral New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean's (Meryl Streep) book The Orchid Thief for the screen. An astoundingly inventive exploration of writing's emotional and psychological complexity, the film also goes far deeper than its clever meta-construction to become a tender, lovely glimpse into the search for elusive dreams and desires in all of our lives. --FF
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN aaaa (PG-13) Steven Spielberg's most purely entertaining film since the early 1980s finds Leonardo DiCaprio as a chameleon-like high schooler who flees his broken home by brazenly passing as an airline pilot, an Atlanta pediatrician and more. Tom Hanks finds plenty of rueful humor as the Joe Friday-esque FBI agent who's always one step behind. When other filmmakers remake classics like Charade, they're striving for the kind of ease, star power and fluency that this film generates without breaking a sweat. --CH
CHICAGO aaaaa (PG-13) First-time feature director Rob Marshall reclaims the musical genre from Moulin Rouge with this sexy, robust, big-screen version of Bob Fosse's cynical stage hit. As Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones play Jazz Age murderesses vying for the attentions of superlawyer Richard Gere, showbiz and the legal system prove to be opposite sides of the same tarnished coin. The entire cast, including John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah, reveal remarkable musical showmanship, selling the hell out of the vaudeville-style numbers. --CH
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