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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

24-Hour Party People (2002)

Michael Winterbottom's re-creation of the Manchester pop scene from the mid-Seventies through the Eighties: i.e., from punk to rave. Breathless, chaotic, self-consciously "postmodern" -- which translates into raggedy, uneven visuals and a main character who addresses the camera with full knowledge of future events and full awareness that he's in ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

25th Hour (2002)

Pretentious, heart-on-sleeve New York movie pointedly set post-9/11: the blue beacons of light that stand where the Twin Towers once stood; the clean-up operations in the pit below the windows of one of the main characters; the Osama bin Laden wanted posters; the firefighter shrine at an Irish pub; the ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

40 Days and 40 nights (2002)

Can a healthy young heterosexual male keep a vow of celibacy for the duration of Lent? Can he get over his old girlfriend and make a true "connection" with a new one in that time? Can we care? Very youthy, very hip, very glib, very one-track-minded, very cocksure. Not very ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

8 Mile (2002)

Screen debut of rapper Eminem, a pop-star acting vehicle not unlike some of the more serious (everything being relative) of the early Elvis vehicles: Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, Wild in the Country. (The Eminem character is even addressed on occasion as "Elvis.") On the score of "realism," one ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

8 Women (2002)

François Ozon offers up, for specialized tastes, a cinephiliac musical-comedy whodunit, set at a snowbound country house in the late Fifties or early Sixties, with an all-female cast (exclusive of the faceless male corpse). The deliberate staginess and theatricality -- it was adapted from a forgotten play by Robert Thomas ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Abandon (2002)

Directorial debut of Stephen Gaghan, "Oscar-winning" screenwriter of Traffic. An unmoored, becalmed suspense film about a missing-person case on a college campus. Every now and then he does a scene, or a shot, in blue or gold (more often blue), and every now and then he jiggles the camera -- ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

About a Boy (2002)

A conscience-free cad (e.g., inventing a two-year-old son so as to cruise a single-parents support group for dates) is rescued from his self-absorption by a twelve-year-old misfit with a dotty mother. Conventional in form and sentiment, despite such a dark-comic bit as the dead duck in the park (slain by ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

About Schmidt (2002)

Alexander Payne's late-life-crisis comedy about a retired Omaha insurance executive who now begins to wonder what it was all about. Jack Nicholson may be too big a star, or too hip a one, in relation to his surrounding cast (chosen with care down to the smallest role), but you cannot ... (R)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

Animated holiday greeting card — Christmas and Hanukah both — addressed to Adam Sandler's flock: juvenile tastelessness sprinkled with sugar. Besides being the model for the bah-humbug protagonist, Sandler supplies four different voices, all of them irritating in different ways. And the brand names and corporate logos on parade — ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Adaptation (2002)

The reteaming of the writer and the director of Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze, has produced no less madness but much more method. Or anyhow more meaning. Kaufman, playing fast and loose with the truth, evidently set out in reality (though it doesn't seem his sort of ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All about the Benjamins (2002)

Light-hearted, ham-handed caper film about a bounty hunter, a con artist, some diamonds, and a lottery ticket. Too brutal to be seen as funny, too shticky to be taken straight. With Ice Cube and Mike Epps; directed by Kevin Bray. (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All or Nothing (2002)

Mike Leigh comes back from his change of pace and change of scene in Topsy-Turvy, back to his normal pace and his old stomping ground, a working-class milieu in modern-day London, more exactly a utilitarian housing complex and three downtrodden families therein. He gives us (among other things) over a ... (R)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Amen (2002)

Costa-Gavras's valuable addition to the Holocaust canon. As an adaptation of The Deputy -- Rolf Hochhuth's pedagogical stage play of forty years earlier, and a hotly controversial one at the time in pointing an accusatory finger at the Catholic Church, among others, for complicity or at least acquiescence in the ... (NR)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Analyze That (2002)

The obligatory token of respect and appreciation for 1999's Analyze This. In a word, the sequel, likewise directed by Harold Ramis. The revised concept: the vulnerable mobster gets himself released from prison, and into the custody of his former therapist, by singing the entire score of West Side Story nonstop. ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Antwone Fisher (2002)

Written by the selfsame Antwone Fisher, in recollection of the time in his life when he was (by this account) a bottled-up, cork-blowing sailor who, through the solicitude of a nice girl and a Navy psychiatrist ("I love you, son"), confronted and conquered his inner turmoil over his abandonment by ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd