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Staff **1/2 Predictable but entertaining, Berry is a tough match, action galore.

Sex/Nudity: 13 instances of innuendo or implied sex. Violence: 18 scenes of extended violence, including explosions and shootings. Profanity: 1 harsh expression. Drugs: 11 scenes of drinking, smoking; several bar scenes.

The Emperor's Club (PG-13)

Director: Michael Hoffman. With Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsch. (115 min.)

Sterritt ** An idealistic classics teacher sticks to his principles when less scrupulous folks let their moral values slide. Kline is excellent as the lovable hero, and the story makes valuable points about the importance of ethics in a society driven by money and prestige. But at a time when public education is in a state of decay, one wonders whether this sentimental ode to old-school dignity is in touch with today's pressing realities.

Staff **1/2 Inspiring, moralistic, well acted.

Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: 8 expressions. Drugs: 1 scene of smoking. 4 scenes of drinking.

Far From Heaven (PG-13)

Director: Todd Haynes. With Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert. (107 min.)

Sterritt **** The time is the 1950s, and the heroine is a well-to-do housewife struggling to understand her feelings and find a pathway back to happiness after her husband realizes he's gay and her friendship with a black gardener causes vicious gossip among her friends. Haynes works cinematic and emotional miracles in this near-remake of Douglas Sirk's masterpiece "All That Heaven Allows," reviving conventions of '50s melodrama that have gone out of fashion but haven't lost their ability to touch moviegoers' minds and hearts.

Staff *** Nuanced, inspired, wrenching, uneven.

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes, including domestic abuse. Profanity: 1 harsh expression. Drugs: 18 scenes drinking, smoking.

Friday After Next (R)
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