Ararat -- When distinctions are made between art that's heavy and art that's light, Atom Egoyan will always wind up on the somber, sober, Canadian side of the equation. He has said that this attempt to come to terms with the 1915 Armenian genocide, in which a third of the country's population was killed (including many members of his family) has many rewards in its complex tapestry. In contemporary Toronto, a film is being made about historical fact, with movie-style romanticism, while directors, screenwriters, consultants, actors and production assistants all swirl around each other, dervishes of thematic explication. There are other scenes of visual and emotional power -- some epic, many interpersonal. With Charles Aznavour as the director of the fictional Ararat; Eric Bogosian as its screenwriter; Egoyan's wife Arsin & eacute;e Khanjian as the project's advisor; and Christopher Plummer as a particularly curious customs officer. Playing at the Met on Feb. 4-7. Rated: R (RP)
Biker Boyz -- Laurence Fishburne plays real-life California motorcycle club president and racer Manuel Galloway in this action-packed, gasoline-soaked and machismo-scented homage to black biker clubs. Best of all, it's been described as a "modern-day Western on motorcycles." Also starring Orlando Bloom, Kid Rock and Djimon Hounsou. Rated: PG-13
Final Destination 2 -- Logging trucks wreaking fiery havoc all over the freeway... idiots who spill their coffee and try to clean it up while driving... garbage disposals itchy for human flesh... This movie's got it all! Plus teenage hotties and, well, death.
The Recruit -- Al Pacino is the CIA recruiter, Colin Farrell is the man he wants to work for the agency. And that's about the only straightforward part of this twisting and turning thriller. Someone inside spook central is up to no good, but the script purposely keeps viewers and characters guessing as to who it really is. Pacino bangs out another great low-key performance; Farrell edges ever closer to stardom. High-tech visuals are presented terrifically, but the been there, done that ending is a letdown. Still, the film's intensity makes it a winner. (ES) Rated: PG-13
& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &
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The world could always use another cautionary tale about bachelor parties. This time it's Jason Lee as the groom-to-be, who has just woken up next to Julia Stiles (incidentally, not his intended). Rated: PG-13