Movies reviewed in detail are listed in the navigation bar at left; capsules only below.
The MPAA rating (or our best guess at it as these are not always readily available) is given in the capsule summary.


Principals in The Day
Trippers.
The Day Trippers points on a 10-point scale
This lightly comedic treatment of middle- and working-class existence and the quiet lives of desperation strewn about it has a wife (Hope Davis) discovering her husband's (Stanley Tucci) infidelity and her mother's (Anne Meara) manipulation of all the lives around her. There are some worthy performances and a little diversion but little that's fresh here. Not rated by the MPAA; would be R for language.


James Spader and Deborah Kara Unger co-star.
Crash points on a 10-point scale
This pornographic waste of time explores the redemption to be found in vehicle crashes and why so many moviegoers like films with lots of wreckage. It might provide some insight into those who find carnage a turn-on. But why would anyone care? NC-17-sexual content, language, violence.


Gabriel Byrne and
Julia Ormand co-star.
Smilla's Sense of Snow points on a 10-point scale
A classical thriller in the Alfred Hitchcock great-moviemaking tradition. Locations in Denmark and Greenland are worth the investment. R-language.


Christopher Guest
created and stars as
Corky.
Waiting for Guffman points on a 10-point scale
Delightful comedy about how off-off-off-off Broadway changes lives of everyday people---all of them hams---in Blaine, Mo. R-language.

 

Hard Eight

points on a 10-point scale

Though the milieu is gambling, this is an excellently plotted film about a murderer's attempt at self-redemption. R-language, sexual content.


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Kama Sutra

points on a 10-point scale

Mira Nair, the director of Mississippi Masala, tries her hand at soft-core pornography. R-nudity, sexual content.


Lost Highway

points on a 10-point scale

David Lynch is up to his old tricks, but without the imaginative flare of Twin Peaks. Nothing here but lots of skin. R-language, nudity, sexual content.


Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan as two mothers united in tragedy.
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Some Mother's Son

points on a 10-point scale

This film about the hunger strike in Northern Ireland in 1981 dramatizes the real-life crisis faced by 21 mothers whose sons resolved to die if necessary for their cause. Provides new insights into the centuries-old struggle between nationalist Irish and imperialist England. R-language.


Glenn Close and
Leonardo DiCaprio play mother and son.
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Marvin's Room points on a 10-point scale
Glenn Close and Diane Keaton are excellent as estranged sisters with vastly different value systems, and Leonardo DiCaprio shines in his best role yet in this story of the temporal salvation to be gained through self-sacrificing agape love. R-language.


Jackie Chan is king of incredible stunts.
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Jackie Chan's First Strike

points on a 10-point scale

This campy send-up of the James Bond genre is delightfully funny and full of incredible thrills from the king of stunts, Jackie himself. PG-violence.


Kenneth Brannagh,
center, created and has lead role in the latest production of Hamlet.

Hamlet

points on a 10-point scale

Kenneth Brannagh has produced a masterpiece four-hour-long cinema version of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the tale of intrigues in the Danish royal palace. Though a tragedy, it has lots of comic moments. PG, mature themes.


Gena Rowlands,
Marisa Tomei, and Gerard Depardieu star.

Unhook the Stars

points on a 10-point scale

Gena Rowlands plays a grandmother-to-be who finds new meaning in life through an act of kindness, looking after her neighbor's young child. Though often poignant, the film doesn't always seem to know what point it's trying to make. R-language.


Muhammad Ali
when he was king.
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When We Were Kings

points on a 10-point scale

This documentary about the 1974 'Rumble in the Jungle' when Muhammed Ali and George Foreman met in Zaire for a world-championship boxing match is about far more than sports. Worth seeing for the insight on what made George Foreman the heroic figure he is today, alone. Not rated; would probably be PG.

All photos by the respective film companies. All rights reserved.

1997 Jon Kennedy