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Movie Guide

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Ali (R)

Director: Michael Mann. With Will Smith, Mykelti Williamson, Giancarlo Esposito, Jamie Foxx. (140 min.)

Sterritt *** See review, page 15.

Charlotte Gray (R)

Director: Gillian Armstrong. With Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Michael Gambon. (120 min)

Sterritt ** Blanchett gives an intermittently forceful performance as a British woman who becomes an undercover agent for the French resistance during the Nazi occupation, searching for news of a missing pilot she loves while carrying out spy activity and getting involved with a French family endangered by its Jewish roots. The story has inherent emotional power, but Jeremy Brock's formula-bound screenplay rarely soars beyond cliches. Still, vivid cinematography and a few suspenseful scenes give the picture some bursts of energy.

Gosford Park (R)

Director: Robert Altman. With Eileen Atkins, Bob Balaban, Alan Bates, Charles Dance. (137 min.)

Sterritt **** See review, page 15.

In the Bedroom (R)

Director: Todd Field. With Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei. (138 min.)

Sterritt *** See review, page 15.

Last Orders (R)

Director: Fred Schepisi. With Tom Courtenay, Helen Mirren, Michael Caine, David Hemmings. (109 min)

Sterritt ** After the death of their closest chum, four old friends go for a long drive to dispose of his ashes by the seaside, reminiscing about the past in flashbacks that gradually reveal the complex ways in which their lives have intersected over the years. Good performances by a distinguished cast don't quite overcome the weaknesses of the disappointing screenplay, which takes turns as predictable as the road traveled by the characters.

Monster's Ball (R)

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