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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff

Beauty Shop -- They're beauticians, not magicians. Still, Queen Latifah and her sassy crew aren't beyond working a few hair-related and/or interpersonal miracles in this Barber Shop spinoff. The Queen reprises her role as the sassy, booty-proud Gina, who opens her own salon as an "in yo face, sucka" to ex-boss Jorge (Kevin Bacon, looking here like the love child of Kurt Cobain and David Spade). Also starring Mena Suvari, Alicia Silverstone, Alfre Woodard, Andie MacDowell and Djimon ("Love Interest") Hounsou. Rated: PG-13

Sin City -- The coolest movie of the year is also the most visionary and the most violent -- though the violence is too outrageous to be offensive. There's also loads of wild action, a stunningly stylized look, and a perfect adaptation of Frank Miller's twisted graphic novel into an insane film. There are three intertwining stories about the denizens of the title locale, with Bruce Willis as a retiring cop, Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen as bitter, dangerous enemies, a whole gaggle of very tough hookers (Rosario Dawson, Devon Aoki, and more) along with -- since no sets were used -- plenty of digital magic. Don't overlook Mickey Rourke in a career-high role as the big bruiser Marv. (ES) Rated R

The Upside of Anger -- A million miles away from director Mike Binder's sour HBO series, The Mind of the Married Man, The Upside of Anger is a gratifyingly bittersweet and bracingly dark comedy-drama. It's a stellar showcase for Joan Allen, the fierce, funny, shamelessly transfixing center of this haphazardly constructed yet rich drama of abandonment, denial, bargaining and acceptance. Kevin Costner is goofy/great as her alternately drunk/buzzed neighbor; the sexy, crackling slow burn of their courtship is marvelous fun. With Keri Russell, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood. (RP) Rated: R

Publication date: 03/31/05

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