By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
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
Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses) directs this story about an Iranian Kurd who ventures into war-torn Iraq in search of his wife.
Get it? Female/male? Rom-com drivel via Sundance.
Globetrotting kung fu master (Chow Yun-Fat) mentors punk-ass white boy (Seann William Scott). From the director of Mariah Carey's video "Honey."
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
Christopher Guest deconstructs more mystifying Americana, this time in the form of the Folksmen, a Carnegie Hall-bound trio of "eclectified folk" singers.
MONDAYS IN THE SUN
This story of unemployed dockworkers swept the Goyas and edged out Talk to Her as Spain's official Academy Award entry.
Jacques Perrin (Microcosmos) brings us this documentary about the migratory patterns of birds. Shot over three years with five teams of filmmakers.
What begins as a typical mentoring relationship between an English teacher (David Strathairn) and his troubled 18-year-old student (Agnes Bruckner) soon evolves into something more complicated.
Edward Burns didn't write or direct, but he's singing the same old tune: Small-time thug gets in too deep. This time with bigger-time thug Dustin Hoffman.
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.
Jeff Blitz's documentary follows eight young obsessive teenagers (and their oft-bewildered parents) on their way to the National Spelling Bee.
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.
Richard Kwietniowski follows Love and Death on Long Island with the most understated and deglamorized of gambling moviesPhilip Seymour Hoffman plays the depressive compulsive of the title.
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
In Claude Lelouch's latest, Jeremy Irons, having already starred as Humbert Humbert, plays Valentin Valentin, a British jewel thief who tries to leave his old life behind.
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.