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By Inlander Staff


About Schmidt -- Jack Nicholson delivers a different-than-usual tour-de-force in this seriocomic road movie about a just-retired and just-widowed fellow who tries to make his aloof daughter see that she's marrying the wrong guy -- and getting the wrong in-laws to boot. (ES) Rated: R





Adaptation -- The newest creation from director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman isn't as surreal as their Being John Malkovich, but it's just as insane. "Based" on the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean, it's about her tribulations writing it, while at the same time it's about the book's subject, the loopy John Laroche, and about Kaufman himself, struggling to adapt a screenplay from the book. Wonderfully freaky turns from Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper. (ES) Rated: R





A Guy Thing -- 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





Antwone Fisher -- Derek Luke plays the titular hero of this autobiographical film, based on the life of screenwriter and producer Antwone Fisher. Once a troubled sailor whose repeated fistfights land him in the office of Navy psychiatrist Denzel Washington, Fisher turns his life around by finding the family who abandoned him and landing a job. Rated: PG-13





Catch Me If You Can -- Spielberg lightens up considerably from recent films in this comedy (with a serious undertone about broken families) inspired by the real-life adventures of teenage con man extraordinaire Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio). Chased for years by a no-nonsense FBI man (Tom Hanks), his life probably wasn't as carefree as the film presents it. But this is one good romp, with terrific support from Christopher Walken and Nathalie Baye as his parents. The opening credits are very cool. (ES) Rated PG-13





Chicago -- Everyone's calling it this year's Moulin Rouge, except instead of one femme fatale/dance hall girl, there are two. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Velma Kelley, who gains instant notoreity (and jail time) for shooting her philandering husband. Renee Zellweger is an up-and-coming starlet who, secretly hoping for similar fame, tries a similar tactic on her abusive boyfriend. Richard Gere is the celebrity-chasing lawyer who tries to represent them both. Rated: PG-13





Die Another Day -- The James Bond pictures always seem from another time. What's freshest about this installment is that Pierce Brosnan is given the chance to draw on the darker side of his personality, and the game voluptuousness of Halle Berry as his partner in smirk, Jinx. (RP) Rated: PG-13





Frida -- For all director Julie Taymor's (Titus) visual splendor, the life story of painter Frida Kahlo still falls flat due to an overdone performance by Salma Hayek. Alfred Molina, however, is splendid as her complex husband Diego Rivera. (Marty Demarest) Rated: R





Gangs of New York -- Martin Scorsese and innumerable conspirators have struggled for almost three decades to produce Gangs of New York, and yet it is a terrible movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is a puffy cipher as a young man with vengeance on his mind; Daniel Day-Lewis offers epic hamming as the villain. (RP) Rated: R





Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets -- Director Chris Columbus returns, and he has loosened up, keeping in more of the second book's dark edge. So amid the terrific visual effects and the story of Harry and pals searching out a possibly deadly secret at school, there's a solid sense of menace and some truly frightening stuff. (ES) Rated PG





The Hours -- The supposedly unfilmable novel by Michael Cunningham becomes a mesmerizing, almost intoxicating movie that tells the stories of one real and two fictional women -- Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) and Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) -- and how they're tied together over the decades by Woolf's book Mrs. Dalloway. All three are emotionally troubled, possibly due to the men in their lives. An elegant film, featuring one of Kidman's best performances. (ES) Rated PG-13





Just Married -- Even though there's no discernable chemistry between them (either as characters or actors), the rich cute girl (Brittany Murphy) and the working class cute guy (Ashton Kutcher) decide to get hitched practically upon meeting one another. Kutcher yells too much and is kind of a jerk, and Murphy giggles too much and is too sweet. (ES) Rated: PG-13





Kangaroo Jack -- Kangaroo Jack's brain weighs less than a hard-boiled egg, and yet he's still capable of stealing $100,000 from two hapless New Yorkers. The New Yorkers are a musician (Anthony Anderson) and his best friend (Jerry O'Connell). Rated: PG





The Lion King -- The ultra smash Disney hit from 1994 now gets the IMAX treatment, making it bigger, but not necessarily better. The lion cub Simba witnesses the terrifying death of his father, then is convinced by an evil uncle to run away from home without taking the throne that's rightfully his. (ES) Rated G





Maid in Manhattan -- Lopez is a chambermaid at a ritzy New York hotel, and a series of contrivances lead her into romance with dryly patrician politician Ralph Fiennes. Lopez is charming; Fiennes is surprisingly at ease on romantic comedy turf, and the entire film twinkles. (RP) Rated: PG-13





My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- This is the slobbo American version of Four Weddings and a Funeral, getting no marks for subtlety but laughs from those of us who can laugh at the idea of an obnoxious ethnic family getting into the marital spirit. (RP) RATED: PG





National Security -- Steve Zahn (Happy, Texas) plays a down-on-his luck ex-LAPD officer who's reduced to working as a security guard. Even worse, his new partner (Martin Lawrence) is the same guy he was falsely accused of beating years ago during a traffic stop. Rated: PG-13





Narc -- Ray Liotta and Jason Patric are cops partnered up against their wills to find the man who murdered Liotta's former narcotics officer partner. Taking it to the dismal streets of Detroit, the film explores the case, but also looks quite deeply into the makeup of each of these men. (ES) Rated: R





Real Women Have Curves -- Thank goodness for director Patricia Cardoso, who not only makes a movie in which women celebrate their bodies -- love handles and all -- but who also makes it with a light touch. This story of a young Mexican-American teenage girl coming of age makes its point with simple, unpretentious moments of humor and insight. (Marty Demarest) Rated: PG-13. Showing Jan.23-24 at the Met.





Star Trek: Nemesis -- Yet another reason to long for the good old days of Kirk, Spock and Bones, as well as the early days of the Next Generation. This film just never takes off, with a muddled story about Captain Picard having been cloned and his younger clone coming to get him and his ship and Earth. This one goes where it's gone before. (ES) Rated PG-13





Treasure Planet -- The team that brought you The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules now animates the buried-treasure-hunt classic by Robert Louis Stevenson, fusing the worlds of spacers and swashbucklers. Rated: PG (Michael Bowen)





The Two Towers -- This magnificent sequel to last year's magnificent original welcomes back most of the same characters (including a new, improved version of Gandalf), and features many new ones, with the CGI creation of the hideous, piteous and chilling Gollum standing out. This one is darker and more violent than the first, with a more intense and epic approach to the battle scenes. (ES) Rated PG-13





Two Weeks Notice -- Hugh Grant plays the sort of charming, shallow cad he's become so adept at, this time as a billionaire who happily lets his lawyer (Sandra Bullock) handle all the troublesome little details, legal or otherwise. Rated: PG-13





The Wild Thornberrys Movie -- Young Eliza (magically able to converse with animals) has a ball with her adventuresome parents in Africa. Strong environmentalist message. (ES) Rated PG





& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &





Follow these links for movie times and tickets at & lt;a href= "http://www.movietickets.com/house_detail.asp?exid=amc & amp;house_id=6584 & amp;.submit=Search " target= "_blank " & & lt;font size= "2 " & AMC & lt;/font & & lt;/a & & r & and & lt;a href= "http://www.regalcinemas.com/cgi-bin/theatre_search/getResults.cgi?zip=99202 & amp;submit=Search%21 " target= "_blank " & & lt;font size= "2 " & Regal & lt;/font & & lt;/a & & r & .

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