Agent Cody Banks -- his MAD magazine-style take on the spy genre is intermittently goofball funny; the gags are sweetly earnest even when they're a little off the mark. Frankie Muniz and Hilary Duff are charming as the teen spies; the writers include the duo who brought us Problem Child and Ed Wood. (RP) Rated: PG
The Hunted -- Tommy Lee Jones plays Lt. Bonham, an instructor in the art of deep-woods guerilla warfare. Benicio Del Toro plays the soldier he's trained a little too well. When Del Toro goes loco, hunters end up muerto and suddenly the forests of Oregon aren't quite as safe as they used to be. Tommy Lee joins forces with an FBI agent (Connie Nielsen) to track Del Toro down. Rated: R
Talk to Her -- In this tear-stained male weepie about the love of women, Pedro Almod & oacute;var retains his irreverence while burnishing his knack for baroque d & eacute;cor and plot turns. Almod & oacute;var, who was just nominated for a best directing Academy Award for this film, says the movie is partly about silence and about how it partakes of "the eloquence of the body." You can smile with gratitude at each facial expression, framing of action and motion of an actor. The plot is filled with parallels, surprises and eccentric but assured turns. Almod & oacute;var always delivers a strange and beautiful treasure. (RP) Rated: R Playing at the Met Cinema on Tuesday, Mar. 18, Wednesday, March 19 and Saturday, Mar. 22
Willard -- The original movie about the young man who could control rats was unique, but a little slow. This one, with Crispin Glover taking over the Bruce Davison role, goes the over-the-top route. It's a darkly funny study of what loneliness, an overbearing parent and a really nasty boss can do to someone who has a lot of little friends with a lot of sharp teeth. Glover's angular face and purposely shaky performance is matched only by the film's terrific set design. It's a fun and only slightly grisly romp. But cat lovers might want to stay away. (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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Publication date: 03/13/03