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CHICAGO (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
CONFIDENCE (R) This con artist film boasts a hip cast -- including Paul Giamatti, Luis Guzman, Rachel Weisz and Dustin Hoffman as a bizarre mob boss -- but has more confidence than ability. Ed Burns' crabby performance as hustler Jake Vig lacks the ingratiating charisma to make him a convincing scam artist, and James Foley's fleet direction can't make up for the script's predictable moves. After so many con flicks like The Spanish Prisoner, we're catching wise to the genre's tricks.--CH
DADDY DAY CARE (PG) Fresh from his breakthrough stinkers I Spy and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Eddie Murphy takes yet another career-killing turn, this time playing an out-of-work marketing exec who decides to open a day-care center. Soon enough he's knee-deep in cuteness and shin-kicking rug-rats. Someone stop this man before he grins again.--Tray Butler
THE DANCER UPSTAIRS (R) Actor John Malkovich's directorial debut is most enticing for what it suggests of things to come. An imperfect film that uses South America's violent past of political coups and Marxist guerrillas for thriller effect, this adaptation of Nicholas Shakespeare's novel follows a weary detective (Javier Bardem) in an unnamed South American country trying to track down a guerrilla group staging violent murders. Malkovich too often uses the location as atmospheric palette for traditional thrills and chills, but his command of a dark, dreadful ambiance shows real promise.--FF
DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978) (PG) Director Terrence Malick's tale of forbidden love among Midwestern wheat farmers is one of the most sumptuously photographed films ever made. Starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard. At Madstone Theaters Parkside.
DOWN WITH LOVE (PG-13) Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor cha-cha through this light-as-air but thoroughly addictive send-up of '60s sex comedies. In 1962 New York, jet-set magazine writer Catcher Block (McGregor) sets out to debunk author Barbara Novak (Zellweger), whose new book has women everywhere eschewing love and acting just as sexually liberated as men. The tried-and-true romantic sparks quickly fly, and the film's ever-flowing -- and often hilarious -- riffs on Doris Day flicks like Pillow Talk make it a zany delight.--TB
DREAMCATCHER (R) Four hunting buddies run afoul of both a downed U.F.O. and Morgan Freeman as a demented military man sent to contain it. Director Lawrence Kasdan brings slick professionalism to this well-cast, increasingly berserk Stephen King adaptation with enough plot for three movies. It eventually collapses under the weird of its weird combinations of grisly violence and bathroom humor, alien invasion and boyhood nostalgia, military psychos and mentally disabled saints. Shown with "The Final Flight of Osiris" a flashy but empty CGI short set in the Matrix universe.--CH
GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS (G) In his first film since Titanic, director James Cameron takes a documentary tour -- in full 3-D IMAX splendor -- of the famed sunken ocean liner. Regal Cinemas Mall Of Georgia IMAX, 3379 Buford Drive, Buford.
THE GOOD THIEF (R) Neil Jordan's jazzy new film may be a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's 1955 Bob Le Flambeur, but its central player, a boozy American expatriate, stirs memories of Bogart's Casablanca character -- had Rick Blaine had been a heroin addict. Nick Nolte's staggeringly good performance as a down-on-his-luck gambler who plots one last great heist is the primary reason to see this texturally rich movie, and it's easy to believe that this remarkable talent is purging his real-life demons through his film work. At United Artists Tara Cinemas.--MB
HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT (NR) Audrey Tautou takes a dark turn after her light-hearted star-making role in Amelie, playing an obsessive young art student stalking her married lover (Samuel Le Bihan). At Lefont Garden Hills Cinema.
HOLES (PG) This adaptation of Louis Sachar's children's book is good enough to be enjoyed equally by kids and their parents. Sachar himself wrote the script, which focuses on the plight of a hapless teen (Shia LaBeouf) wrongly convicted of robbery and sent to a boys' correctional facility in the middle of a desert. There, the warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her aides (Tim Blake Nelson and a hilariously over-the-top Jon Voight) order the boys to spend every day digging holes. While the ending may tie everything up a bit too tidily, there's no denying that there's real imagination at work here. --MB
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