By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Fear and Loathing in Eugene, Oregon. Jason Schwartzman plays a speed freak who goes on a three-day psychedelic adventure. "Ray of Light" director Jonas Åkerlund reconfigures Hunter S. Thompson for the e-generation.
UNDER THE SKIN OF THE CITY
Director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad explores contemporary Iranian motherhood and its attendant miseries. Tuba (Golab Adineh) must balance her day job at a textile factory with a pregnant daughter at home and a son who wants to leave the country.
Crispin Glover stars in this remake of the 1971 creeper about a socially awkward boy with pet rats.
A suicidal man gets back to nature in Carlos Reygadas's widescreen sex-and-salvation epica brash update of Herzog and Tarkovsky, already notorious for its equine-copulation scene.
DOWN AND OUT WITH THE DOLLS
Inspired by the ass-kick-itude of the Rock 'N' Roll Camp for Girls (and presumably Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls), DIY-er Kurt Voss bring us the Paper Dolls, a four-girl Portland band trying to get by, get along, and clean Lemmy Kilmeister out of their closet, while rocking everybody else's world.
FULL TIME KILLER
Hong Kong action gets its art creds back with this story about a hotshot assassin (Andy Lau) and his bloody journey to the top of the heap.
VIEW FROM THE TOP
Delayed by more than one evening flight out of LaGuardia, this comedy about an aspiring stewardess will doubtless contain its share of airsickness and warm-nuts jokes. Gwyneth Paltrow channels Reese Witherspoon channeling Alicia Silverstone.
With his third feature, Jia Zhangke caps a remarkable trilogy of youth anomie, attuned as ever to provincial China's free-trade scars and the role of pop music in dead-end lives. No Joy Division on the soundtrack, but it wouldn't have been out of place.
Robert Duvall's ode to the Argentine dance is sure to feature several bravura tang-offs. No body doubles here: The tireless Duvall, 72, kicks up his own storm.
Reuniting for the first time after Pulp Fiction, John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson attempt mutual career resuscitation in this story of a missing army drill instructor and the DEA agent brought in to investigate.
HEAD OF STATE
Does Chris Rock have a Warren Beatty fetish? Having thoroughly defiled Heaven Can Wait, Rock takes Bulworth's cultural miscegenation to its logical conclusion, directing himself as a potty-mouthed presidential candidate.
RAISING VICTOR VARGAS
Casting a wry, empathic, utterly unpatronizing eye on some frisky Lower East Side teens, Peter Sollett's debut feature nails the timeless torpor of New York summers and the fear and excitement of adolescent hormone surges.
Hoop Dream-er Steve James delivers another long-term, lovingly composed documentary about his own attempt to check in with the man he mentored as a boy in the Big Brothers program years ago.
FELLINI: I'M A BORN LIAR
This documentary explores the life of the late Italian film titan through intimate interviews and never-before-seen footage from his films.
THE GOOD THIEF
BETTER LUCK TOMORROW
Your favorite Asian stereotypes are confirmed then reversed in this story of a group of high school overachievers who attempt to redefine "extra-curricular activities."
This adaptation of the violent Japanese anime series boasts a Mission to Mars and a deadly virus war fought by the Bebops, a team of intergalactic bounty hunters.
Gravity, more like. Billy Bob Thornton stars as a murderer just released from prison, searching for, you guessed it, redemption.
Sweet salvation?: Kati Outinen in Aki Kaurismäki's The Man Without a Past
photo: Marja-Lana Hukkanen
THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST
Good to see Aki Kaurismäki's triumphant victory lap on the festival circuit last year, even if this bittersweet deadpan romance ranks among the Finn's fluffier efforts. An amnesiac (Markku Peltola) winds up in a squatters' encampment and finds love with a Salvation Army worker (Kati Outinen, who won Best Actress at Cannes).
Colin Farrell answers a pay phone only to find himself embroiled in a deadly game with the caller.
Liliana Cavani's first non-TV film since 1994 is a rather staid adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's third Ripley novel (previously filmed by Wim Wenders as The American Friend), starring John Malkovich as the titular haut schemer.