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
After garnering raves for Punch-Drunk Love and About Schmidt, Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson return to the mainstream. The former plays a meek businessman remanded to an anger management program after an incident on a plane; the latter is his therapist.
DOWN WITH LOVE
Doris Day gets the Far From Heaven makeover in this homage to Pillow Talk. No gay subtext here: Miramax princess Renée Zellweger plays a smart-aleck advice columnist who falls for Ewan McGregor's sexist cad.
Lukas Moodysson, erstwhile Swedish maestro of feel-good, shifts gears with this relentlessly feel-bad evocation of cyclical despair in the former Soviet Union. In the lead, teenage Oksana Akinshina endures disappointment and degradation with astonishing poise.
MAROONED IN IRAQ/CALL
Get it? Female/male? Rom-com drivel via Sundance.
LOVE AND DIANE
First-time documentarian Jennifer Dworkin follows Diane, a Brooklyn mother reunited with the six children she abandoned during a years-long crack addiction, focusing on her relationship with teenage daughter Love (a new mother herself) as they struggle with jobs, government bureaucracy, poor housing, and HIV.
A MIGHTY WIND
MONDAYS IN THE SUN
Jacques Perrin (Microcosmos) brings us this documentary about the migratory patterns of birds. Shot over three years with five teams of filmmakers.
Stuck in a Paris traffic jam, two strangers in the night get in the mood for love. Claire Denis's blissful waking dream is, above all, a sustained swoon of magnified gesture and microscopic detail.
HOUSE OF FOOLS
When a Russian asylum is taken over by Chechen troops, a young patient falls in love with one of the soldiers, to the dismay of her boyfriendBryan Adams, playing himself!
James Mangold tries his hand at Fincher-esque boogie-boo. Ten strangers are stranded at a Vegas motel and then start dying on each other.
IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY
Douglas Family Values. Kirk, Michael, and Cameron play three generations of a feuding New York family. Fred Schepisi directs.
PEOPLE I KNOW
In his most entertaining performance in years, Al Pacino plays a grizzled publicist who stumbles into a New York netherworld of secret opium dens and high-level Jewish conspiracies.
THE DANCER UPSTAIRS
A Peruvian detective tracks down a Marxist terrorist in John Malkovich's directorial debut. The tragic foreshadowing is thick, but not as thick as Javier Bardem's accent.
ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE
O brothers where art thou? A Pennebaker/Hegedus production that covers similar territory as Standing in the Shadows of Motown, in a similar way: lots of recent performances by classic soul musicians, this time Wilson Pickett, Mary Wilson, Rufus Thomas, and Sam Moore.
The X-Men are back, still misunderstood victims of mutant bigotry. Now they must find a way to combat the forces of psychotic military leader William Stryker.
AND NOW . . . LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
Notable mainly for being acquired by Miramax on September 10, 2001 (and kept under wraps since), Gregor Jordan's softer-than-Wilder satire imagines a U.S. Army base near Stuttgart in 1989 as an iniquitous frat house.
DADDY DAY CARE
Eddie Murphy takes on unruly tykes; his movie career, meanwhile, takes on new levels of irrelevancy.
THE SHAPE OF THINGS
Adapting his own stridently glib and specious Off-Broadway play, Neil LaBute keeps the claustrophobia at a sadistic maximum.
DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN'S DIARY
Hired by Canadian TV to shoot a Royal Winnipeg Ballet production of the Bram Stoker novel, Guy Maddin combines dead silent-movie language with newfangled digital manipulations to create a dementedly brilliant, richly allegorical fever dream.
THE MATRIX RELOADED
Real-life tragedy delayed the rapid reload of Andy and Larry Wachowski's sci-fantastic mega-sequel (cast members Aaliyah and "Oracle" Gloria Foster both died during filming). But somberly, work continued, resulting in two more installments of our high-flying cadre's battle with the mindfuck technogogues who put reality down, flip it, and reverse it.