Amelie Audrey Tautou plays a naive, innocent, wide-eyed gamine seeking love in one corner, one quartier, of the City of Light. There's little more you should know than this before taking this intricately constructed and brightly decorated ride, and reviews will certainly spoil some of the better giggles for you. Let's just say Amelie is a snapshot of an idealized version of Paris' Montmarte district, and a summary of narrative and fate, joy, momentary despair and still more joy. (RP) RATED: R

A Beautiful Mind Based on the life of mathematician John Nash, who claimed some fame at Princeton and MIT in the '40s and '50s, the film also delves into his family life (Jennifer Connelly plays his wife), and -- here's what it's all about -- his longtime battles with inner demons. The movie achieves greatness in the way Howard has managed to let viewers see the world through Nash's eyes. And it rides a quirky road stretching from solving complex math problems to shooting it out with the bad guys. (ES) RATED: PG-13

Beauty and the Beast Disney's 1991 animated masterpiece more than stands the test of time in this new version, digitally remastered for the IMAX screen. The new format shows what an astonishing piece of art the original was. A song intended for the original makes its debut here, complete with two new scenes (including a stunning waltz sequence in the ballroom). The original songs are just as witty, the familiar characters just as loveable, but most of all, Beauty and the Beast survives on the strength of its narrative. (Sheri Boggs) RATED: G

Big Fat Liar Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) plays a boy whose school essay winds up in the hands of a Hollywood producer (Paul Giametti). Not only does the producer make a big-budget movie out of the humble essay, he also steals all the credit. When Frankie sees the finished film and realizes what has happened, Frankie goes to Hollywood -- along with pal Amanda Bynes -- bent on revenge. RATED: PG

Black Hawk Down Leave it to director Ridley Scott to create one of the most visceral film experiences ever (a feat he has accomplished before, with Alien and Blade Runner). This time it's the look and the feel of war, as we're plopped right in the middle of the horrific and badly botched American military action in 1993 Somalia. This is an incredibly powerful film in which atmosphere is more important than story, in which it eventually becomes almost impossible to tell the players apart, and in which Scott makes it quite clear that war really is hell. (ES) RATED: R

Brotherhood of the Wolf For three years, the French town of Gevaudan has been haunted by a mysterious wolfish creature that has killed more than 100 people (mostly women and children) but has never been caught. Alarmed, King Louis XV sends in his best soldiers, including Gregoire de Fronsac and his friend Mani, a Mohawk Indian he met in New France during the Seven Years War. This costume drama, kung-fu monster movie romance is as sleek and nonsensical a ride as you'll find. Director Christope Gans knows landscapes, faces and bodies, and captures them in all manner of motion, from stop-motion martial arts, to ravening fear, to caressing lust. (RP) RATED: R

Collateral Damage Director Andrew Davis's new action movie isn't very good, but its intentions, both politically and melodramatically, are honorable. Davis is one of the great, unpretentious craftsmen of action filmmaking: there are moments in The Fugitive and Above the Law that are about as smart and unflashy as you can get. But this terrorist-themed script for Arnold Schwarzenegger is just silly and labored. (RP) RATED: R

The Count Of Monte Cristo It's hard to figure out how many times this film has been made, but they definitely got it right this time. Jim Caviezel is the dashing but unlucky fellow who bumps into Napoleon Bonaparte, naively helps him deliver a message, and ends up in solitary confinement for a loooong time. Upon escape, he lives only for getting revenge upon those who wronged him, including longtime "friend" Guy Pearce. This is a handsome, well-told, well-acted production, with action, romance and laughs. And, as many know, the story is one of the best. (ES) RATED: PG-13

Crossroads Britney Spears is not the one who has the most to answer for in this nonsensical Viacom-Paramount-MTV distributed bore of a road movie. She demonstrates the old adage that what a talking dog says is not remarkable, but the fact that it speaks at all is, Director Tamra Davis shows that an incompetent female filmmaker can make a piece of garbage just as awful as any male filmmaker. PS: Britney does have a shower scene, and she has a karaoke scene, and she has a scene singing along with Madonna in her bedroom, using a spoon as a mike. You have been warned. (RP) RATED: PG-13

The Fellowship of The Ring The world of Tolkien's Middle-earth comes vividly to life in Kiwi director Peter Jackson's adaptation of the story of little Frodo (Elijah Wood), big Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the other hobbits, elves and humans. Together, they undertake a long trek to the land of Mordor, where they must conduct some business about a powerful magic ring. The film is of epic proportions, with great performances in front of and among stunning visuals. The monsters are scary, the violence level is high. I can't wait for Part Two. (ES) RATED: PG-13

Gosford Park Robert Altman returns to the large-ensemble format with about 200 major characters (I'm joking) meeting up for a weekend of hunting and eating and drinking and, it turns out, a murder or two, in the 1930s English countryside. A fabulous cast (Helen Mirren, Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Emily Watson and many more) plays the "upstairs-downstairs" game, with the rich ignoring the servants and the servants hating the rich. Altman lets things run a bit long, and the ending isn't neatly tied up, but it makes for a wonderfully atmospheric visit. (ES) RATED: PG-13

Harry Potter The kids will like this one more than the adults, but there's still plenty for everyone to gawk and laugh and flinch at. Upon turning 11, orphaned Harry is taken from a miserable upbringing and signed up at Hogwarts, a school for young wizards. Much adventure ensues, as do tons of special effects, along with positive messages about living a full life and helping friends. Well made and extremely faithful to the book. (ES) RATED: PG

Hart's War Second-rate World War II POW camp drama pits young American Irish Colin Farrell against scowl-of-steel Bruce Willis in a tepid battle to define honor. It's TV with more F-words. Directed by Gregory Hoblit. RATED: R (RP)

I Am Sam Sean Penn plays developmentally disabled Sam, who watches social service agents take away his young daughter (Dakota Fanning). He is told that, in spite of their obviously loving relationship, his mental age of about seven years makes him an unfit parent for the girl. Sam turns to Michelle Pfeiffer's aggressively polished hotshot lawyer for help in getting the child back. RATED: PG-13

In the Bedroom Based on a short story by Andre Dubus, In the Bedroom manages to be several things, including thriller, melodrama and, most affectingly, a masterfully mournful family portrait that diligently confronts ideas about loss and grieving. In the Bedroom's measured pace, stylistic rigor and aching performances mark director Todd Field as a talent to watch. All of his discursive knowledge of photography and film history is brought to bear on one of the most shattering, human stories you will see all year. The narrative unfolds with such deceptively minute details as a coil of cigarette smoke. With Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei. (RP) RATED: R

John Q "Your hospital's under new management now," says Denzel Washington in an Arnold-worthy toss-off-line for Nick Cassavetes' new thriller John Q. When John's (Washington's) little boy is suddenly in need of a heart transplant, he is told his insurance doesn't cover the procedure and he's not eligible for any of the other supposed medical safety nets. There's only one thing left to do -- take the hospital hostage -- and John does it in typical Denzel style. With Anne Heche, Robert Duvall and Ray Liotta. RATED: PG-13

The Mothman Prophecies Based on "events" from the 1960s, Richard Gere plays a reporter who stumbles upon the weirdest story of his career -- about a large, moth-like creature who might visit cities and towns just before major tragedies are about to strike. Gere inexplicably finds himself in what might be one of those towns. Lots of real creepy stuff, and a startling, superbly photographed finale. With Laura Linney as a cop trying to assist Gere, even though she doesn't believe him. (ES) RATED: PG-13

Ocean's Eleven An easygoing lark, Steven Soderbergh's all-star Vegas heist caper takes its basic form from the definitely not-so-hot 1960 Rat Pack prank, memorable only for its cast. As director, cinematographer and driving force behind the 2001 edition, Soderbergh focuses on the mechanics of how $150 million could be stolen on the Strip in a single night during a heavyweight championship fight. (RP) RATED: PG-13

Return to Neverland The sequel to Disney's 1953 animated feature Peter Pan opens in World War II London, where Wendy's daughter Jane is disillusioned by the war and no longer believes in fairy tales. She quickly discovers that fairy tales are quite alive and well: Captain Hook hopes to kidnap Wendy (whom he doesn't realize has become an adult) as bait for Peter Pan, but mistakes Jane for his quarry and kidnaps her instead. Then it's Peter, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys to the rescue. RATED: G

Rollerball The 1975 action flick gets a makeover with Chris Klein (American Pie) reprising James Caan's original role. The plot is simple -- Rollerball is bigger than either God or the Beatles in this futuristic society. Players fly around on motorcycles or inline skates, whacking a silver ball around. The only catch is that this sport is played gladiator-style, which, as you all know by now, means that people die. With L.L. Cool J and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. RATED: PG-13

The Royal Tenenbaums Director Wes Anderson lives up to the reputation he achieved with Rushmore in his newest look at outsiders, this time a whole family full of them, trying to cope with one another. Gene Hackman is the father who fakes illness in order to get back with his wife and adult kids, after having been tossed out 22 years earlier. It's very funny and quite sad, about broken-down people put in quirky comic situations. And the music, as always in an Anderson film, is terrific. (ES) RATED: R

Snow Dogs Can't get enough of those computer-animated talking dogs? Well, you're in luck, because Snow Dogs has a whole dogsled team full of 'em. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a mild-mannered dentist who moves from Miami to Alaska, inherits his father's award-winning team and enters the big dogsled race. RATED: PG

Super Troopers Four Vermont State Troopers working on the Canandian border while the days away by ripping off speeders; budget crunches lead to a comedy about busting drug runners crossing the border. It's the second feature from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, but I'm not convinced this Sundance 2001 offering will win many laughs. RATED: R (RP)

A Walk to Remember Nicholas Sparks' popular novel about unlikely love between two teenagers in 1950s North Carolina gets the big screen treatment, this time set in the present day. The son of quite wealthy parents (Shane West) and the daughter of a minister (Mandy Moore) meet as they work together on the town's Christmas pageant, and despite their differences, fall in love. RATED: PG

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

Spokane Archaeology Day @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Sat., Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
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