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by THE INLANDER & r & & r & 10,000 BC & r & & r & The story of some vaguely caveman-like people who get abducted by some vaguely Arab-looking dudes who schlep them all over the place, from what looks like Argentina to what looks like Japan until they finally arrive at the bank of a great river in the middle of a huge desert and are sold as slaves to ... wait for it ... the Egyptian empire. Anachronisms abound. (LB) Rated PG-13





THE BAND'S VISIT


An Egyptian police band, scheduled to perform in a ceremony, gets lost in a remote Israeli town. Israel wanted this film as its Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film, but was denied on grounds that half the dialogue is in English. Which exemplifies the kind of narrow-mindedness that keeps Arab-Israeli relations so chilly. (MB) Rated PG-13





THE BANK JOB


A heist caper about a 1971 British safe-deposit box burglary becomes ridiculously entertaining in director Roger Donaldson's retelling, mostly because of the subsequent newspaper gag order and government cover-up. Jason Statham leads a bunch of patsies who think they're clever when they're actually being set up. (MJ) Rated R





THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY


POV is everything in Diving Bell. Director Julian Schnabel wants us to experience what "Locked-In Syndrome" is like, so he adopts the viewpoint of Jean-Dominique Bauby's left eye -- the only part of his still-alert body that's not paralyzed. Schnabel does a miraculous job of making his film feel hemmed-in without seeming claustrophobic. It's relentlessly compelling. (LB) Rated PG-13





DRILLBIT TAYLOR


Three kids hire Owen Wilson as protection (a "Budget Bodyguard") from playground bullies. Seth Rogen (who co-wrote this movie) has failed in restraining himself from indulging in every geeks-punch-meanies-and-get-the-babes gag he could muster. (MB) Rated PG-13





HORTON HEARS A WHO!


This mostly computer-animated adaptation tells of a happy-go-lucky elephant (voice of Jim Carrey) who believes he can save a miniscule world inside a speck of dust, and it hits every mark. Cute, frantic and funny for kids; hip for adults. (ES) Rated G





IN BRUGES


Here's the story of two hitmen who have to lay low in the Belgian town of Bruges after a successful killing. Problem is, Bruges is so damn boring, they go stir crazy, causing them to miss a few important phone calls from their employer. Soon, the jumpy target has put a price on their head as well. Colin Farell seems funny here, rather than a complete and utter creep, like in all his other movies. (LB) Rated R





LEATHERHEADS


George Clooney's Leatherheads wants to combine zany comedy with an exploration of what was lost and what was gained when professional football moved from sandlot excitement to the predictability of a commissioner's office overseeing all the players and their agents. Leatherheads, in other words, wants to be a screwball comedy with social significance. While they shoulda stuck with the screwball stuff, the banter between Clooney and Renee Zellweger is the best part of the film. (MB) Rated PG-13





NIM'S ISLAND


Jodie Foster in a kids' movie! She plays an adventure writer who's afraid of having adventures. At least Gerard Butler and cute little Abigail Breslin (stranded on a remote island) will be able to teach Foster one valuable lesson: Leaving your apartment can be way scarier than dealing with Travis Bickle or Hannibal Lecter. (MB) Rated PG





THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL


Is Natalie Portman the scheming minx while Scarlett Johansson is the adulterous harlot? Or is it the other way around? No matter. A soap opera in Renaissance finery like this one doesn't trouble itself with characterization as long as it can get some of its characters coupled up. (MB) Rated PG-13





PROM NIGHT


Prom night at swanky Bridgeport High School turns into a night from hell when a past admirer/stalker of Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow), three days out of prison, decides to crash the party. See if the subtitle, A Night To Die For, comes true. (DN) Rated PG-13





THE RUINS


Just for kicks, some friends go on an archaeological dig deep, deep in the Mexican jungle. Don't they realize that these ruins continue to be places of human sacrifice? Didn't they read the guidebooks' warnings? (MB) Rated R





RUN FAT BOY RUN


David Schwimmer's directorial debut misses the mark. The story of a nice-guy loser (Simon Pegg) who panics and literally runs away from his pregnant bride-to-be (Thandie Newton) on their wedding day, and years later still pines for her -- even vows to run a marathon to win her back -- has a scattered script by Pegg and Michael Ian Black. The actors give their all, but it's only funny in starts and stops. (ES) Rated PG-13





SMART PEOPLE


Dennis Quaid plays a smart, but socially inept college professor with several strikes against him: He's in a mid-life crisis, a seizure limits his ability to drive and he has to rely on his freeloading brother (Thomas Haden Church) to get around, and he has a wisecracking teenage daughter (Ellen Page) who's got her own problems. Oh, and he falls in love with his doctor, a former student of his (Sarah Jessica Parker). Did we mention this is a comedy? (DN) Rated R





STOP-LOSS


Director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) taps Americans' collective angst about the war in Iraq by depicting troops (Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose position is untenable in Iraq (especially when they're compelled to return for a second, involuntary tour of duty), untenable back in the States, untenable even in their own minds. (MJ) Rated R





STREET KINGS


Keanu Reeves is the veteran detective who does things his own way, and whose life is going down the tubes. When he's caught in a situation where other cops have been killed, he turns to self-preservation while trying to figure out what went wrong. And wouldn't you know it, Internal Affairs is watching his every move. Good acting from Reeves, surprisingly bad acting from Forest Whitaker, and familiar territory for crime film fans. (ES) Rated R





21


A based-on-fact, Hollywoodized story about the fellow (Kevin Spacey) who masterminded, along with a group of sharp MIT students, a plan to take Vegas for large sums of money. They succeed, they get caught, things go awry, then turn bad. Fresh from his lead role in Across the Universe, Jim Sturgess puts on a solid American accent and acts convincingly frightened when casino heavy Laurence Fishburne turns tough on him. (ES) Rated PG-13





VANTAGE POINT


Eight different perspectives from an attempted assassination of the U.S. president twist and turn this action thriller in all directions. Dennis Quaid stars as a Secret Service agent uncovering a massive plot against America. Forest Whitaker and Sigourney Weaver co-star as witnesses and possibly plotters in this political whodunit. (TLM) Rated PG-13

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