Director: Peter Bogdanovich. With Edward Herrmann, Kirsten Dunst, Cary Elwes, Jennifer Tilly. (112 min.)
Sterritt ** The place is newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst's yacht in the mid- 1920s, and the characters include comedian Charlie Chaplin, gossip columnist Louella Parsons, film producer Thomas H. Ince, and Hearst himself. They're hoping for a good time on their pleasure cruise, but the sea breezes carry whiffs of jealousy and danger. Based on a real-life murder case, this amiably dull comedy-drama resembles its setting: Everything is arranged for fun and diversion, but the vehicle takes too long to get us where we're going.
Director: Roger Michell. With Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Affleck, Amanda Peet, Sidney Pollack. (96 min.)
Sterritt *** A corporate lawyer and an insurance salesman become adversaries after a highway fender-bender, sparking a day-long ordeal of threats and counter-threats. The filmmakers meant to whip up a high-tension thriller. What they ended up with is a psychological satire that's quite engrossing if you regard it as an absurdist morality tale rather than a straight-ahead suspense yarn. It loses its bite in a last-minute happy ending that's even less plausible than the rest of the picture, but much of the way it's a refreshingly novel ride.
Sex/Nudity: 3 instances innuendo. Violence: 5 scenes, including assault. Profanity: 13 strong expressions. Drugs: 3 instances drinking.
Director: John McKay. With Andie MacDowell, Imelda Staunton, Anna Chancellor, Kenny Doughty. (110 min.)