By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
THE SWEETEST THING
Sick-of-men best friends Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate go on a raunchy road trip. Cruel Intentions' Roger Kumble directs.
TEDDY BEARS' PICNIC
Simpsons linchpin and Spinal Tap bassist Harry Shearer helms a mock exposé of a secret retreat for the rich and powerful.
Laurent Cantet follows Human Resources with another festival favorite. A middle-management exec gets canned and invents a new job, convincing friends to invest in his make-believe business.
ONE GIANT LEAP
Two globe-trotting musicians, armed only with laptop and digital-video camera, produce New Age travelogue.
Abbas Kiarostami's first DV effort documents the Uganda Women's Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO), which toils in a nation where 2 million have died of AIDS, 2 million more are infected, and 1.6 million children have lost one or both parents to the disease.
A bomb-in-suitcase subplot delayed Barry Sonnenfeld's crime-caper farce (adapted from the Dave Barry novel) from its original September release date.
Bridget Jones times three in this tale of the Sad Fucksters' Club, with Imelda Staunton, Anna Chancellor, and expat Andie MacDowell.
Director Bill Paxton also stars as an insane heartland dad who thinks God has commissioned him as his own personal hit man, possibly transforming his youngest son into an angel of death as well.
Kiss the Girls' Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman reunite for Rules of Engagement 2, playing army attorneys who defend Judd's husband (Jim Caviezel) when he's put on trial for war crimes in El Salvador.
Chris Smith's follow-up to American Movie explores the unusual living spaces of five families.
KUNG FU SOCCER
Hong Kong football hooligans lay Chan-style waste to the field.
Olivier Assayas's generation-spanning epic is a galvanizing departure for the director, a mild rebuke to heritage cinema (the kinetic, decidedly anti-genteel lensing is by French cinematography juggernaut Eric Gautier), and a lavish acting playground for stars Charles Berling, Emmanuelle Béart, and Isabelle Huppert.
Bizet's opera is relocated to present-day Dakar for the first black Carmen since Otto Preminger and Dorothy Dandridge's 1954 version.
Falling Down squared: Commuters Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson lock horns in an escalating road-rage war on FDR Drive.
Being John Malkovich writer Charlie Kaufman updates Truffaut's Wild Child in this surprisingly clunky comedy about nudity, civilization, and body hair. Music video stylist Michel Gondry directs; Spike Jonze's deadpan understatement is sorely missed.
Thirty characters, five stories, one interminable day of boho posing at the Chelsea Hotel. Novelist Ethan Hawke's directorial debut.
GIRLS CAN'T SWIM
Over the course of one pivotal summer, a small-town French teen and her city-mouse best friend realize that the onset of hormones and sexual discovery has fractured their bond.
THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE
Megalomaniac Hollywood producer Robert Evans gets an ego massage. Narrated by Robert Evans.
MURDER BY NUMBERS
FBI agents Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin go on the trail of two whiz-kid murderers (Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt). Barbet Schroeder, fresh off Our Lady of the Assassins, returns to hack anonymity.
THE SCORPION KING
The quarreling nomadic tribes of ancient Gomorrah try to unite against an evil despot in this Mummy spin-off, starring Dwayne Johnson, a/k/a the Rock.
Bart Freundlich follows Myth of Fingerprints, his J. Crew catalog come to life, with . . . a bit of Gap-ad Beat Generation chic, perhaps? Billy Crudup hits the road.
FACING THE MUSIC
A university music department suffers under draconian budget cuts and considers a strike in this Australian documentary.
Scott Kalvert, whose two most notable directorial credits are The Basketball Diaries and Form, Focus, Fitness: The Marky Mark Workout, revamps West Side Story, loses the songs, and transports it across the East River to Brooklyn. With Matt Dillon, Stephen Dorff, and Fairuza Balk.
DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS
The former is a slum near Santa Monica; the latter are members of a skateboarding collective called the Zephyr team, captured here with narration by Sean Penn.
FRANK MCKLUSKY C.I.
An insurance claims investigator goes undercover. Starring Dave Sheridan, a veteran of MTV's Buzzkill, with Randy Quaid and Dolly Parton as the McKluskys.
Young girl with boozy mom and loser dad comes of age in '70s New Zealand.
A late-twentysomething schoolteacher abandons the inert comforts of a long-term relationship for the perilous badlands of L.A. singledom in this Dogme-inspired DV feature.
In Peter Cattaneo's first film since The Full Monty, a pair of bank-robbing buddies stage a musical as a front for their prison escapetrès Sound of Music! Olivia Williams, Rushmore's Miss Cross, costars as the stir shrink.
Yet another retelling of the homicidal Papin sisters' saga, Jean-Pierre Denis's version is nimbly shot and expertly paced, though its preeminent asset is Sylvie Testud's shattering performance as the deranged elder sister.
THE MYSTIC MASSEUR
How's this for a Celebrity Death Match: Ismail Merchant versus V.S. Naipaul.