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THE ABANDONED


Anastasia Hille is a young woman who learns she's just inherited a house -- in the middle of nowhere. When she arrives, she's joined by a man who may or may not be related to her, and they both face some wet, scary things. A decrepit haunted house is as good a setting as any for a horror film, but The Abandoned makes the mistake of setting much of the action in the main character's head. We never really learn just how real the ghosts are. (MD) Rated R





AMAZING GRACE


The song that would eventually come to be known as "Amazing Grace" arose out of the abolitionist movement. England's abolitionist movement. They did it first. The film chronicles the life of William Wilberforce, a British MP who spent his career fighting to end the British slave trade. (LB) Rated PG





THE ASTRONAUT FARMER


He's a rancher named Charlie Farmer. As played in low-key manner by Billy Bob Thornton, he's also a dreamer -- a wannabe astronaut who's building his own rocket. He's shooting for at least one orbit, you see, if not the moon. Everything about the film is implausible, but it's also a warm and inspirational family movie. And there are moments of both high comedy and nervous tension. (ES) Rated PG





THE NUMBER 23


Michael Jordan wore No. 23. I have a cousin who was born on the 23rd. Twenty-three is a prime number, and it's only one less than two dozen. Isn't that unreal? Let's fervently hope that Jim Carrey's intention is to send up everybody who's ever been taken in by numerology. If not, well -- for the one out of five high school science teachers who consider astrology "clearly scientific" (and their poor students), this movie will be a revelation. For the rest of us, it won't. (MB) Rated R





RENO 911!: MIAMI


The one in short-shorts is kinda cute. (Completely inept, but cute.) He and his fellow Keystone Kops travel to a police convention, all the way from Nevada to Florida (road trip! with car crashes!) where by a complete fluke (involving a beached whale, for real) they are compelled to practice what few police skills they possess. Visual gags typical of the Comedy Central series (gators snapping in swimming pools! jerks Tasered by bikini babes!) ensue. (MB) Rated R

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