Movie capsules

May 26, 2007|By Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach

Away From Her

What It's About -- As his wife's Alzheimer's worsens, a husband struggles over just how hard he should fight to retain the life they once had.

Rated -- PG-13

The Scoop -- Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent are wonderful in this quiet, contemplative study of love and loss.

Grade -- B+

Black Book

What it's about -- A Jewish woman living in the Netherlands during World War II uses her wits and her wiles to stay alive.

Rated -- R

The scoop -- Dutch actress Carice van Houten gives an award-worthy performance in this relentless and relentlessly entertaining film from director Paul Verhoeven.

Grade -- A


What it's about -- When a disgruntled adolescent (Shia LaBeouf), under house arrest for hitting a teacher, cracks open a missing-person case with his binoculars, The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window.

Rated -- PG-13

The scoop -- On its own teen-horror terms, it has the cozy delectability of a flapjack flipped just right; the result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school.

Grade -- B+

The Ex

What it's about -- A former chef (Zach Braff) and his attorney wife (Amanda Peet) reach crisis-point after the birth of their first child.

Rated -- PG-13

The scoop -- The premise takes a back seat to the subplot about Jason Bateman, Peet's one-night high-school lover, who's determined to replace Braff in Peet's bed.

Grade -- D+

Georgia Rule

What it's about -- Three generations of a messed-up family: Georgia (Jane Fonda), granddaughter Rachel (Lindsay Lohan) and Rachel's mother, Lily (Felicity Huffman).

Rated -- R

The scoop -- Director Garry Marshall positions Fonda as a bat-toting figure of temperance and wisdom able to straighten out one girl-woman and one grown woman.

Grade -- D-

In the Land of Women

What it's about -- A 26-year-old writer (Adam Brody) flies to Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) after a painful breakup and snags the attention of the women in the house across the street.

Rated -- PG-13

The scoop -- As long as it keeps everyone suspended in intoxicating and inchoate yearning, writer-director Jonathan Kasdan's first movie gives off the wistful zing of a ruined-romance tune from the '60s songbook.

Grade -- B

Shrek the Third

What it's about -- Prince Charming convinces oversized bad guys from Captain Hook to the Cyclops that they must rewrite their fables, seize the Land of Far Far Away and compose a happy ending.

Rated -- PG

The scoop -- Eddie Murphy's lovable, febrile Donkey hasn't lost his kick, and Antonio Banderas' debonair Puss in Boots overflows with a ticklish feline unpredictability.

Grade -- A-

Spider-Man 3

What it's about -- Spidey, Black Spidey, Venom, the New Goblin, the Old Goblin, the Sandman, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.

Rated -- PG-13

The scoop -- Harmonic convergence is one thing, but this is ridiculous. This jam-packed saga, more hyped-up parade than adventure, is a crash-and-bawl movie, a four-hankie demolition derby.

Grade -- B-

28 Weeks Later

What it's about -- The virus that was turning Brits into zombies in 2002's 28 Days Later has been eradicated ... or has it?

Rated -- R

The Scoop -- Still exciting but lacks the innovation and ingenuity of its predecessor.

Grade -- C+

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