Born Into Brothels -- Winner of the 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Born Into Brothels is a devastating portrait of impoverished Calcutta children who are born into prostitution, yet the film is also an inspiring document about human possibilities and the need to strive despite impossible odds. Brothels acknowledges that the world that isn't bereft of all possibilities while also recognizing its cruel realities. (Marjorie Baumgarten). Rated: R. Showing at the Met April 11-14.
Fever Pitch -- Peter and Bobby Farrelly just don't have the edge that's expected from them in this standard romantic comedy. Jimmy Fallon plays a baseball - make that Red Sox - nut who meets business analyst Drew Barrymore, who doesn't know what the term "foul ball" means. They're happy, they fight, they're happy, they fight, and in the background the Sox go nuts and break their 86-year-old curse. Too much extraneous material - some business about a pregnancy brings the film to its knees - and lots of sight gags. Not much else. (ES) Rated PG-13
Melinda and Melinda -- Standing alone, Melinda and Melinda is a rotten movie. Two playwrights argue the merits of comedy versus tragedy, then challenge each other to tell a comic or tragic version of the same premise: In both, an unhinged woman named Melinda (played by Radha Mitchell in both) crashes a dinner party and proceeds to wreak havoc. It's a terrific premise, but director Woody Allen botches it -- there are few laughs in the comedic version, and the tragic version mostly just irritates. (Kimberley Jones) Rated: PG-13
Sahara -- Matthew McConaughey plays Dirk Pitt, an explorer in search of a lost Civil War battleship. What's it doing in West Africa? We dunno. But Dirk does, and he and his buddy Al (Steve Zahn) hope to find it - and its possible galley o' treasure - before anyone else does. Penelope Cruz costars as the sexy killjoy neurologist who warns that perhaps the legendary Ship of Death, as the battleship is called, is what's making all the locals sick. Based on the bestseller by Clive Cussler; also starring William H. Macy. Rated: PG-13
Publication date: 04/07/05