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There are a few jokes in the film's last hour that don't involve excretion. You could chop 'em all out, add them to the opening scene, and have a five-minute movie that is every bit as entertaining as the seemingly endless river of excrement that is Goldmember. John DeFore

Blue Crush
"Bad teen angst on surfboards"

The target market for Blue Crush may well like the movie; everyone else will find it a crushing bore. Retha Oliver

Blood Work

The Bourne Identity
"Smart post-Cold War kicks"

City by the Sea
"The cop who cried"

The most compelling choice director Caton-Jones makes is playing up his film's location. He repeatedly describes the idyllic family resort Long Beach used to be, and frames the pit it has become today. The contrast weights the film with a persistent loneliness. It is actually a relief to break to scenes set in New York City, while we wait for an uncertain resolution to a story centering on the choices and regrets of a few intriguingly drawn characters.
Jonathan Marcus

"Log in and suffer — for an hour and a half"

The Good Girl
"Emma Bovary in West Texas"

While Emma Bovary is driven by impossible dreams, Justine Last (Jennifer Aniston) is sleepless in West Texas. She is so benumbed by everything in her life — the daily absurdities at Retail Rodeo, a pothead husband who is oblivious to her needs — that it is hard to imagine her imagining anything else. It is not passion but exasperation that propels her into the arms of a psychotic young stranger.
Steven G. Kellman

Lilo & Stitch
"Iron Giant with training wheels"

The Master of Disguise
"The poor man's Austin Powers"

Men in Black II
"By the numbers and uninspired"

Moviegoers who were charmed by the first MIB may have a similar reaction to this installment, which lacks the zing of the original: zap it, send it back to Hollywood, and go watch the first one on DVD.
John DeFore

Minority Report
"Tantalizing, timely futuristic thriller"

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
"Sweet Greek comedy, not Aristophanes"

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the story of how a 30-year-old spinster (Toula) both defied and confirmed her tribal expectations. But it is not this ordinary story as much as the details that keep a viewer chuckling.
Steven G. Kellman

One Hour Photo
"Snapshot of obsession"

Writer and director Mark Romanek's first feature film, with its controlled sets, sights, and sounds, calls to mind Francis Ford Copolla's The Conversation: Romanek tried as much, updating the "Lonely Man" films he grew up with in the '70s for One Hour Photo. The world Sy Parrish (Robin Williams) inhabits is made up of sharp-edged, humanless interiors (like his apartment), the cold aisles of Sav-Mart, and the tasteful-void of another family's modern ranch home. It is precisely when these edges blur that the film draws the audience to the edge of their seats, squirming in anticipation of what will develop.
John Brewer

"Translated to film, novel loses poetry"

Road to Perdition
"Starts out a Beauty, settles for rote"

"Scooby-Dooby doo doo"

Serving Sara
"A humorless frolic through cattle country"

Sex and Lucia
"Erotic contraption from Spain"

Sex and Lucia is so replete with fantasies, memories, fictions, and frames that a viewer remains baffled by how to fit it all together, even whether there is one definitive story line that makes sense of every scene. But though its most erotic imagery might be opening shots of undulating underwater vegetation, none can doubt the presence of sex in Sex and Lucia. It is enough to make Spain's puritanical caudillo Francisco Franco turn over in his mausoleum.
Steven G. Kellman

"Billy Graham meets E.T."

Signs is an American story, of unprovoked, unwarranted assault against the homeland and family by dark, unintelligible aliens. In its unremitting focus on Graham Hess, his children, and his brother, the film makes drama out of xenophobia; it is a cinematic equivalent of the national trauma induced by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. All signs induce mistrust of anyone outside the tribe, and we are expected to cheer when Hess' son Merrill, once a minor league slugger, takes on the enemy with the most American of weapons: a baseball bat. The film signs on th Bush's foreign policy — that unilateralism is the most appropriate response to any external challenge.
Steven G. Kellman

"A star is digitized"

Simone is a spoof on the mammoth machinery of modern publicity that has elevated the nonentity Diana into an object of veneration and caused some to suspect that the moon landings really occurred in a studio.
Steven G. Kellman

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
"A likeable, if not enitrely satisfactory, reunion with the super spy Cortez family"

Spy Kids 2 reunites us with la familia Cortez: big sister Carmen (Vega), little brother Juni (Sabara), and their parents Gregorio (Banderas) and Ingrid (Gugino). This time around we meet their grandparents (Holland Taylor and a woefully underutilized Ricardo Montalban), as well as a gaggle of über-cool gadgets, including the world's coolest treehouse, a flying wheelchair for Grandpa, and — in a nod to the power of imaginative thinking and rasquache gumption — a multi-purpose elastic band, courtesy of Tío Machete (Trejo).
Alejandro Pérez

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
"Stupid, but fun in spite of itself"

The Sum of All Fears
"Gripping new spin on old series"

"As gripping as underwear with shot elastic"

Initially the movie had me: It was titillating, fairly engaging, and at points made me jump — like Scream with fewer jokes. But a third of the way through, Swimfan takes a turn toward the absurd and will leave more people laughing than shrieking.
John Brewer

"For Ving Rhames and boxing, rent Don King"

"Not as racy as the title, but action-packed"

It's a take-no-prisoners action yarn, with a plot that offers just enough turns to keep the viewer on his toes, and employs all the classic 007 story characteristics, including the solo agent undercover and the wizard with a bag of technological tricks.
Retha Oliver

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