NOTE: To find full reviews of these movies by CL critics, click on the title with a link where applicable.
CAPTIVITY (R) Elisha Cuthbert (House of Wax) plays a fashion model abducted, held against her will and tortured in Roland Joffé's (The Killing Fields) thriller.
INTRODUCING THE DWIGHTS (R) From director Cherie Nowlan comes a comedy about a man (Khan Chittenden) who learns to deal with the volatile emotions of the women in his life when his dream girl (Emma Booth) clashes with his overbearing mother (Brenda Blethyn).
JOSHUA (R) See review. 2 stars
RESCUE DAWN (PG-13) See review. 5 stars
TALK TO ME (R) Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) delivers a thoughtful and highly amusing bio-picture about the astounding rise and fall of Petey Greene (Don Cheadle), the charismatic 1960s ex-con turned DJ. The story also follows radio exec Dewey Hughes (Chiewetel Ejiofor), who with Greene provided a voice to black Americans from a Washington, D.C., radio pulpit. Cheadle is mesmerizing, and Lemmons’ film is a needed reminder of both the smaller voices lost in the bluster of history and a politically resonant expression of the need to speak out, now more than ever. 4 stars -- Felicia Feaster
THE TREATMENT (NR) See review. 3 stars
TRIAD ELECTION (NR) See review. 3 stars
YOU KILL ME (R) Ben Kingsley and Téa Leoni team up as a recovering-alcoholic hit man and his supportive girlfriend, respectively, in John Dahl's killer comedy co-starring Luke Wilson and Bill Pullman.
DREAMGIRLS (PG-13) Based on the Broadway musical, Bill Condon's rousing film adaptation parallels the rise of a fractious girl group inspired by the Supremes with the changes in African-American culture in the 1960s and 1970s. Playing a role based on Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jamie Foxx virtually drives the plot but lacks a show-stopping number of his own, hinting that there's a hole in the material. It's still a delightfully cast show, featuring Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Oscar winnerr Jennifer Hudson as a demanding, discarded diva. Flicks on 5th. Wed., July 18 at dusk. Georgia Tech, Technology Square. 404-894-2805. www.flickson5th.com. 4 stars -- Curt Holman
GOYA'S GHOST (R) Set at the end of the Spanish Inquisition and the beginning of Napoleon's invasion, Goya's Ghost reflects the grim reality of war and life in 18th century Spain as seen in the work of Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgård). The movie, directed by Milos Forman and told from Goya's perspective, co-stars Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem. Fri., July 13 at 8 p.m. The High Museum. 404-733-4400. www.high.org.
THE HOST (R) The monstrous host of an unknown virus comes to life with state-of-the-art special effects courtesy of Weta Workshop (Lord of the Rings) and the Orphanage (Sin City) in Boon Joon Ho's Korean thriller. June 29-July 12. Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.
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. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Peachtree Cinema & Games, Norcross.
1408 (PG-13) Stephen King's twisted mind and extensive collection spawn yet another horror flick, brought to life this time by Swedish director Mikael Håfström, Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack, who plays a skeptical horror novelist checking into the Dolphin Hotel's infamous room 1408.
28 WEEKS LATER (R) Following the outbreak of the "rage" virus in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later that turned most of the population of mainland Britain into crazed berserkers, this sequel takes up after the crisis has passed -- or so it seems. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo may surpass Boyle's ability to craft jittery, unnerving thrill scenes, but the script's harsh anti-U.S. sensibility relies on plot points too nonsensical to be easily ignored in the film's last half-hour. 3 stars -- Holman
ANGEL-A (R) Set in Paris, Luc Besson's eccentric black-and-white rom-com stars Jamel Debbouze as Andre, an out-of-luck criminal, and Rie Rasmussen as Angela, the mysterious woman who pledges her loyalty and service to Andre after he saves her life.
DAYWATCH (R) Like Russia's answer to the cheesy, faux-Gothic Crow or Highlander franchises, Daywatch, like its predecessor Nightwatch, features the murky, portentous exploits of supernatural beings in contemporary cities. The second installment features some welcome humor (including a terrific bit with hero Konstantin Khabensky switching bodies with a female colleague), but the film's second half turns both ponderous and shrill. 2 stars -- Holman
DISTURBIA (PG-13) A likable but troubled teen (Shia LaBeouf) under house arrest turns self-appointed neighborhood watch and suspects the guy next door (David Morse) of being a murderer. Director D.J. Caruso proves interested in the voyeuristic POV shots of the premise, at least as a technical exercise, and LaBeouf and Morse lend snap to their roles. Despite being a transparent Hitchcock imitation, Disturbia persuasively argues that the time may be ripe to revisit Rear Window's themes, thanks to advances in picture phones, digital cameras and other gadgets of the YouTube generation. 3 stars -- Holman
EVAN ALMIGHTY (PG) In this superficial yarn, selfish freshman congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) finds his political career derailed by a holy decree from God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark. A crass attempt to get the fundamentalists and progressives on the same page, this misguided comedy about environmentalism-through-Scripture suggests Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Mr. Smith Goes to Washington without either film's integrity or skills. 2 stars -- Feaster
EVENING (PG-13) From a novel by chronicler of WASP angst Susan Minot, Evening follows the various bees in the bonnets of an upper-crust Yankee clan on the 1950s weekend of their youngest daughter's (Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter) marriage. The story flashes back and forth between the present, as Ann (Vanessa Redgrave) lies dying of cancer, and that fateful weekend when she was a young bohemian bridesmaid (Claire Danes) observing the strange rituals of the rich. Despite a powerhouse cast including Toni Collette, Meryl Streep, Natasha Richardson and Glenn Close, this is all tepid, uninvolving stuff. 2 stars -- Feaster
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER HHIII (PG) If it weren't for the bad casting, dialogue and direction, this sequel about a surrogate family of super-powered celebrities might be a pretty good movie. The extraterrestrial menace from the Silver Surfer (Doug Jones, with voice by Laurence Fishburne) gives some urgency and scope that's faithful to the classic Marvel Comics series, but not enough to redeem the film's awful sense of humor. 2 stars -- Holman
GOLDEN DOOR HHHII (PG-13) Members of a superstitious Sicilian family experience drastic levels of culture shock while emigrating to America in the early 20th century. Apart from the third act, set entirely within the buildings of Ellis Island, this Italian film never shows or sets foot in the United States, emphasizing the miragelike nature of the American promise. Despite its slow pace, Emanuele Crialese's film deserves attention for its sympathetic (at times surreal) portrait of the cruelties of the immigration experience, which proves particularly relevant given the hot-button status of crossing the border as a political issue. 3 stars -- Holman
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (PG-13) See review. 4 stars
IMAX THEATER Hurricane on the Bayou (NR) Shot before and after the unprecedented devastation of Hurricane Katrina by director Greg MacGillivray, this documentary brings into focus the startling loss of Louisiana's rapidly disappearing coastal wetlands that are New Orleans' first line of defense against deadly storms. Starring Meryl Streep, Allen Toussaint II and Tab Benoit. Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France (NR) explores the minds of cyclists training for the Tour de France and studies the effects of the race on their brains. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. www.fernbank.edu.
KNOCKED UP (R) On the foundation of just two films, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and now Knocked Up, writer/director Judd Apatow is rewriting the adolescent sex comedy a la Porky's and American Pie with smarter, more incisive -- and hilarious -- results. The story of an overachieving beauty (Katherine Heigl) whose one-night stand with overgrown slacker Seth Rogen leaves her with child, the gimmick is a little creaky, but the humor and generational read on savvy women and Peter Pan men is spot-on. 4 stars -- Feaster
LA VIE EN ROSE (PG-13) An extraordinary, transcendent biopicture treating the trauma-plagued life of parental neglect, drug addiction and loss but also the amazing artistic legacy of French national icon and chanteuse Edith Piaf. Olivier Dahan's direction is stunning and star Marion Cotillard disappears into the role with remarkable ease. 5 stars -- Feaster
LICENSE TO WED (PG-13) Before Ben (John Krasinski) and Sadie (Mandy Moore) can tie the knot, Reverend Frank (Robin Williams) must test their love through his patented marriage-prep course in this romantic comedy directed by Ken Kwapis.
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (PG-13) In the fourth Die Hard film, supercop John McClane (Bruce Willis) and a scruffy hacker (Justin Long, the "I'm a Mac" guy) thwart the plan of an evil genius (Timothy Olyphant) to crash America's computer, banking and utility services. Director Len Wiseman offers loud, elaborate 1980s-style action scenes (not to mention some old-school misogyny), but can't measure up to director John McTiernan's two previous efforts in the series. 3 stars -- Holman
A MIGHTY HEART (R) Based on Mariane Pearl's memoir, this restrained and intelligent film feels too careful and moored to the technicalities of the situation to really deliver the emotional or insightful goods. Director Michael Winterbottom focuses on Mariane's (Angelina Jolie) determined search for her kidnapped (and eventually brutally murdered) Wall Street Journal reporter husband, Daniel Pearl, in 2002 Pakistan. 3 stars -- Feaster
MR. BROOKS (R) Kevin Costner and William Hurt prove eerily entertaining as a Portland, Ore., pillar of the community and the imaginary friend who encourages his "addiction" to murder. The thriller features numerous surprising twists, but suffers enormously when the plot shifts to Demi Moore's drab turn as a millionaire police detective stalked by a standard-issue crazed killer. 3 stars -- Holman
NANCY DREW (PG) Often suggesting a tween "Murder She Wrote," this film based on the classic book series features Emma Roberts as a '50s-style wholesome-girl detective stuck in a contemporary L.A. full of Bratz decadent teens. The film doesn't live up to that comic culture-clash premise, though it may provide a welcome plucky, adventurous-girl role model for younger tweens. -- Feaster
OCEAN'S THIRTEEN (PG-13) In Steven Soderbergh's latest fizzy, flashy caper film, unflappable Danny Ocean (George Clooney) enlists his band of hipster heisters to sting scuzzy casino magnate Willie Bank (Al Pacino with a mesmerizing fake tan). Despite few emotional stakes and plot complexity that crosses the line into incoherence, Soderbergh and company's cool cleverness hits the jackpot anyway. 4 stars -- Holman
ONCE (R) The Guy (Glen Hansard) works part-time helping his father run a small vacuum-cleaner-repair business in Dublin, Ireland, but dreams of one day landing a record deal. His life changes when he meets the Girl (Marketa Irglova), an Eastern European woman who has moved to Ireland to start a new life for herself. Directed by John Carney.
PAPRIKA (R) Director Satoshi Kon strives to push the surreal possibilities of animation to their absolute limit in this mind-boggling tale of scientists trying to wrestle with technology that manipulates dreams. Even when the film seems reckless with its plot and rules, its use of dreams as metaphor for terrorism, cinema and the internet provide more than just eye candy. 4 stars -- Holman
PARIS JE T'AIME (R) Twenty filmmakers, including Alfonso Cuarón, the Coen brothers and Gérard Depardieu, bring their own personal touches to the film, which features 20 interconnected narratives set in Paris.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (PG-13) Jettisoning clarity of plot and character like so much ballast, the overstuffed final film in Gore Verbinski's swashbuckling trilogy lives up to its origins as a diverting theme-park ride, particularly in a pitched battle between two ships in a whirlpool and the surreal sequence of Capt. Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) rescue from Davy Jones' Locker. 3 stars -- Holman
RATATOUILLE (G) Despite having a cast that's nearly half rodent, writer/director Brad Bird (The Invincibles) breaks from the Pixar formula of cute, funny action comedies about talking toys/bugs/cars/etc. for an ingenious, bittersweet culinary farce. The brilliant gags might tickle your sweet tooth, but the film also serves rich, hearty subtext about life's sensual pleasures and the necessity of personal evolution. And it looks good enough to eat. Features the voices of Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo and Ian Holm. 5 stars -- Holman
SEPTEMBER DAWN (R) Academy Award winner Jon Voight stars as Jacob Samuelson in Christopher Cain's fictionalized love story set against the historical backdrop of the 1857 massacre of more than 100 men, women and children supposedly ordered by one of the nation's most controversial religious figures.
SEVERANCE (R) A busload of white-collar office drones experiences a high mortality rate on a "team-building weekend" at a remote Eastern European lodge. Director Christopher Smith strikes a sharp balance of humor and horror in this lightly satirical slasher flick with a keen observant political edge. 3 stars -- Holman
SHREK THE THIRD (PG) Slovenly ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) shirks his royal duties by trying to enlist the only other heir, meek teen Arthur (de facto king of pop Justin Timberlake). Smug and self-congratulatory, Shrek the Third lacks the freshness and energy of its predecessors and takes perfunctory potshots at such cutting-edge topics as high school, dinner theater, hippies and vain, snobby princesses (although such voice actresses as Amy Sedaris offer amusingly ditzy turns). 2 stars -- Holman
SICKO (PG-13) Propumentarian Michael Moore thankfully tends to fade into the background in this impassioned film about America's health-care crisis. Apart from the occasional stunt, such as a trip to Cuba to highlight the advantages of nationalized health care, Moore instead lets the victims of America's bureaucracy-choked and bottom-line-minded health-care business show -- in chilling but often humorous terms -- how adequate medical treatment has become a luxury item in the United States. 5 stars -- Feaster
SPIDER-MAN 3 (PG-13) In the third and most entertaining of director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, the darker impulses of normally sunny superhero Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) take over thanks in part to an alien parasite. Spider-Man 3 keeps the conflicts rooted in character while improving on the spectacular special effects of the earlier films. If it's a little tiresome to see girlfriend Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) constantly in peril, the creativity and excitement of freaky, poignant villains take up the slack in Raimi's web. 4 stars -- Holman
SURF'S UP (PG) Another CGI film about adorable penguins, except this time a "documentary" crew takes audiences behind the scenes at the Penguin Surfing World Championship, following the world's greatest penguin surfers. The tuxedoed surfer dudes are voiced by Shia LeBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone and more.
TEN CANOES (NR) Set in Australia during tribal times, Ten Canoes is the first feature film entirely in Aboriginal language. 3 stars -- Feaster
TRANSFORMERS (PG-13) Armageddon and Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay plays with the most expensive toys in the planet in this loud, destructive live-action version of the Hasbro properties. The plot, themes and characterization are laughable at best (except for Shia LaBeouf's ingratiating, steadying work in the leading "human" role), but the special-effects extravaganza of giant robots whaling on each other is kind of awesome. Co-stars John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson and the voice of Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. 3 stars -- Holman
WAITRESS (PG-13) From director Adrienne Shelly comes this romantic comedy about a small-town waitress (Keri Russell) who is pregnant with her abusive husband's baby and finds love with the new doctor in town.
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