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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

15 Minutes (2001)

Socially conscious monstrosity on the stitched-together topics of violence in America, tabloid television, and the cult of celebrity. A couple of new-generation American Dreamers ("You think I came to America to work?"), a Russian and a Czech whose feverish sweat and shifting glances unaccountably fail to set off any alarms ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

Casino heisters disguised as Elvis impersonators (including Kurt Russell, who had plenty of practice in John Carpenter's made-for-TV biopic on the King). Not the most logical starting point, this, for the slo-mo bloodbath that soon follows. The tone never does stabilize: coolness, callousness, phony sentiment, ga-ga action scenes, sadism and ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Acts of Worship (2001)

Maudlin, minibudgeted tale of drug addiction. (The tone is set with the opening slide-show of childhood photos, to the tune of "Paper Doll.") The autobiographical nature of the work makes it more personal for the filmmaker, Rosemary Rodriguez, though not necessarily more interesting for the outsider. With Ana Reeder and ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Skulduggery in and around the court of Louis XVI, based on fact, with interpretive leeway. So stuffy and stilted a costume piece ("How skillfully you play the rogue. Yet even you cannot mask such impenetrable loneliness") that it approaches parody. When Christopher Walken turns up in the part of Cagliostro, ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Steven Spielberg's futuristic tale (a project taken over from the late Stanley Kubrick) of the first robot programmed to love. Not, let's be clear, one of those old-hat technological advances on the porn-shop inflatable love-doll, equipped with "sensuality simulators" and such. But rather, a "mecha-child" (short for mechanical child), placed ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Ali (2001)

Will Smith's impression of the self-proclaimed "Greatest," Cassius Marcellus Clay. For entertainment purposes, it can't touch Billy Crystal's impression of him. (Though, for those same purposes, there can be no quibble with Jon Voight's Howard Cosell: a glued-on nose as phony as the hairpiece.) The two-and-a-half-hour skim through the prime ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alias Betty (2001)

Twisted and twisty psychological thriller, with a large cast of largely unsavory characters, and an almost farcical final act. The nervous, jumpy visual style lacks some of the solidness of the performances, especially the central one of Sandrine Kiberlain. Based on Ruth Rendell's The Tree of Hands. With Nicole Garcia ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All over the Guy (2001)

Gay romantic comedy, not to say lighthearted and jovial especially, about an imperfectly matched couple (one's all-time favorite movie is Gone with the Wind, the other has never seen it: he doesn't like black-and-white) who make repeated and painful attempts to fit together anyway. The original stage play by co-star ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Along Came a Spider (2001)

Effective kidnap thriller, even if some of its effect is achieved by cheating. And even if, too, some of the effect is subjected to insufficient elucidation. And even if, in any case, the total effect is cheap and empty. For all that, once we get over the rocky start (the ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Amélie (2001)

Cutesy art-house item looks at the world (at Paris, more precisely) through the primrose-colored glasses of Jean-Pierre Jeunet: a delayed-meeting romance à la And Now My Love, Sleepless in Seattle, et al., and a fashionable juggling act of fate, chance, coincidence, etc. The dementedly winsome heroine (Audrey Tatou), prone to ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The American Astronaut (2001)

Sci-fi musical in black-and-white, written and directed by Cory McAbee, who also stars. (NR)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American Outlaws (2001)

Hagiographic portrait of Jesse James, minus the ultimate martyrdom to bum you out. For the parched Western fan, staggering for months and years across the wasteland of the genre, it amounts to a canteen of sand. The first gorge-rising moment comes early, when pretty-boy Colin Farrell (the blackest brows since ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

An American Rhapsody (2001)

Heartfelt and personal but maudlin and awkward account of the maladjustment of a six-year-old Hungarian émigré in Eisenhower-era America. It gets off on a bad foot with some remedial first-person narration, corroborative newsreel footage, and a black-and-white flashback that arbitrarily turns to color after a quarter of an hour. It ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

America's Sweethearts (2001)

An alternative-universe Hollywood where a married pair of superstars -- it will not be helpful to think of Cruise and Kidman, Burton and Taylor, Bogart and Bacall -- have appeared together in nine consecutive boffo blockbusters (the samples we see of their work are on a par with the standard ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Amy's Orgasm (2001)

A me-myself-and-I film, starring as well as written, directed, edited, and co-produced by Julie Davis (I Love You, Don't Touch Me). For all her outward independence (or anyway, lack of big-studio support), Davis adheres to the strictest conventions, a balmily optimistic romantic comedy that brings together two opposites, a "feminist ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd