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Movie Guide

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Ratings and comments by David Sterritt and Monitor staff. Staff comments reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other moviegoers. Information on violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the Monitor panel.

STAR RATINGS MEANING

**** Excellent *** Good ** Fair * Poor DUD The Worst

New Releases

Animal Factory (R)

Director: Steve Buscemi. With Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Mickey Rourke, John Heard, Seymour Cassel, Steve Buscemi, Tom Arnold, Danny Trejo. (94 min.)

Sterritt *** Sent to prison by a politically ambitious DA who wants to make an example of him, a first-time felon tries to serve his time quietly with the help of a thick-skinned inmate who befriends him, but one misstep after another gets him entangled with the jail's worst elements. Buscemi's directing blends hard-hitting visual qualities with great emotional energy and a refusal to let the story's message - that potentially valuable lives can be lost rather than redeemed in the brutal penitentiary system - get lost in the gut-wrenching violence that runs through it.

Diary of a Chambermaid (Not rated)

Director: Luis Bunuel. With Jeanne Moreau, Michel Piccoli, Georges Geret, Jean-Claude Carriere. (98 min.)

Sterritt **** Storytelling ingenuity, surrealistic imagination, and sheer cinematic mischief are brilliantly intertwined throughout this sardonic 1964 melodrama about a self-assured servant who takes a job in a peculiar and perhaps dangerous French household. Moreau is superb in every way, but top honors go to Bunuel's subtly dreamlike telling of the tale. In French with English subtitles

Just One Time (Not rated)

Director: Lane Janger. With Joelle Carter, Jennifer Esposito, David Lee Russek, Lane Janger. (111 min.)

Sterritt * A young woman agrees to act out her fiance's fantasy of a menage trois if he'll reciprocate by indulging her own sexual whims. The comedy isn't quite as crude as it sounds, but there's not much of value here beyond a little lively acting.

The Ladies Man (R)

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