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The Monitor Movie Guide

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DECEMBER 15, 1995

Movies containing violence (V), sexual situations (S), nudity (N), and profanity (P) are noted. Ratings and comments by the panel (blue stars) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three Monitor staffers. Look for more guidance in our full reviews.

EVALUATION SYMBOLS

David Sterritt Staff Panel Meaning

O\ O\ Forget it

u u Only if it's free

uu uu Maybe a matinee

uuu uuu Wait in line

uuuu uuuu See it twice

New Releases

THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (R)

uu A little girl and a strongman search for a child kidnapped by a mad scientist, who steals children's fantasies because he's lost his ability to dream. Directed by the French team of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, this delirious film is overflowing with energy and effects, but it lacks the heart and soul that would have made it important as well as impressive. V P

CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY (PG-13)

uuu During the reign of South African apartheid, a black clergyman learns that his son has killed a white man known for opposing racism; he then receives unexpected comfort from the murdered man's father, a longtime apartheid supporter whose ideas are now radically changing. Although the film is slow and sometimes ungainly, it takes on surprising power from the quiet dignity of its performances and the moral strength of its ideas. James Earl Jones and Richard Harris star. Based on Alan Paton's novel. Directed by Darrell James Roodt. V P

HEAT (R)

uu Robert De Niro plays a nasty criminal and Al Pacino plays the obsessive cop who's determined to bring him down. The performances are persuasive but the plot rattles on much too long. Written and directed by Michael Mann in his usual moody style. V P

JUMANJI (PG)

u Two children meet an overgrown kid who's been trapped for years in the exotic world of an adventure board game. Mostly trite and tacky despite Robin Williams's strenuous acting. Based on Chris Van Allsburg's book. Directed by Joe Johnston. V

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