By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Laura Dern and William H. Macy play a Brooklyn couple mistakenly identified as Jews by local anti-Semites during World War II. Adapted from Arthur Miller's novel with a release timed to add luster to producer Michael Bloomberg's mayoral campaign.
The fall of the Wall opened up a lotof coveted real estate, and this doc chronicles the maneuverings and spats among dozens of international companies and architects during the building campaign that ensued.
Neighborhood capo Snoop Dogg gets whacked, nabe goes to shit, Snoopy's spirit returns to avenge his death and reverse gentrification.
ON THE LINE
RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS
TREMBLING BEFORE G-D
Sandi Simcha DuBowski's thoughtful documentary explores the ostracization and chronic identity crisis suffered by gay Orthodox Jews.
LIFE AS A HOUSE
Pretty much what you'd expect from a collaboration between the director of At First Sight and a writer of As Good as It Gets: Terminal cancer patient bonds with his rebellious teenage son.
Iain Softley essentially remakes Man Facing Southeast: Kevin Spacey is a mental-ward nutcase who claims to be an extraterrestrial, and doctor Jeff Bridges notices something magical going on with the other patients. Oy.
THE TOWN IS QUIET
WHAT TIME IS IT THERE?
In which Tsai Ming-liang explodes the family unit of his previous features. Tsai's reticent muse Lee Kang-sheng sells his dual-time wristwatch to a young woman before she leaves for Paris, and is thereafter mysteriously compelled to go around Taipei resetting all the clocks to Paris time. A witty, considered summation of the director's work to date.
THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE
More warped Americana from the Coensthis time, a quasi noir about unhappy marriages and botched criminal schemes in late-'40s small-town U.S.A., gorgeously photographed in luminous black-and-white and doused in phony melancholy.
MY FIRST MISTER
Gender-reversed Harold and Maude, except much less weird. Pierced goth chick Leelee Sobieski befriends paunchy clothing-store manager Albert Brooks, who should cut the treacle a little.
Richard Linklater's other film of the season, a quickie chamber piece with an Oleanna-ish scenario. Stuck in a dingy motel room, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Robert Sean Leonard yap their way around a date rape that may or may not have happened.
Based on a deadly encounter between German police and a West African refugee in late-'80s Stuttgart, Frieder Schlaich's somber drama doubles as a showcase for two terrific actors: Isaach de Bankolé (Ghost Dog, Claire Denis's No Fear, No Die) and Eva Mattes (Fassbinder's Jail Bait).
THE CAT'S MEOW
Peter Bogdanovich returns from TV exile to film Steven Peros's goofy, speculative play about the death of silent-movie mogul Thomas Ince aboard the Hearst yacht. The casting alone makes it a must-see: Kirsten Dunst as Marion Davies, Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin.
The Farrellys give Jack Black his own moviehe's a louse who's hypnotized into only seeing women's inner beauty. His destiny: Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit.
John Woo tries to one-up Spielberg and Bay in this WW II drama about Navajo soldiersused as code masters because their language couldn't be deciphered by the Japaneseand the Marines assigned to guard them. Nicolas Cage broods over Smoke Signals' Adam Beach.
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE
Presold, predigested, practically preseenthe marketing budget alone could feed Africa for a year. Chris Columbus knows how to pander, so expect it and its sequels to haunt us for years.
THE WAY WE LAUGHED
Despite the cringe-inducing title (the Italian translates roughly to Therefore They Laughed), this new film by Gianni Amelio (his first released here since 1994's Lamerica) holds forth hope for the starved cinephile, taking on a Taviani-like fraternal epic about Sicilian brothers travelling to Turin in the '50s.