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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

16 Blocks (2006)

The title specifies the distance over which an NYPD detective must transport a garrulous witness from jail to courthouse in Lower Manhattan, weaving through a whole platoon of murderously corrupt cops; and the hour-and-a-half duration approximates the time limit allotted to get him there. Overextended even at that tidy length, ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Accepted (2006)

A seven-time college reject (Justin Long) creates his own fictitious college -- South Harmon Institute of Technology, or SHIT for short -- to appease his parents and to accommodate fellow rejects. "A bad idea from the get-go," counsels a close friend -- a movie review within the movie. A couple ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

After the Wedding (2006)

A fair-haired Danish do-gooder at an insolvent Bombay orphanage is summoned against his will to his native Copenhagen on a hat-in-hand fundraising mission, and upon arrival is summoned additionally to the wedding of Mr. Moneybags's daughter. To our surprise (and who else's?), Mrs. Moneybags turns out to be an old ... (R)

2.0 starsScott Marks

Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

An eleven-year-old black girl (the appealing Keke Palmer) in the South L.A. ghetto braves the taunts of "freak" and "brainiac" to enter the Scripps National Spelling Bee and, on her first try, go clear through to the televised finals in Washington, D.C., where it all comes down to "logorrhea" and ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

Boys, girls, 60mm lenses (in the case of Amber Heard, one can make allowances for suffocating anamorphic close-ups), even snakes love Mandy Lane. She’s the hottest high schooler this side of Cybill Shepherd’s Jacy Farrow in The Last Picture Show and this is the summer that Mandy blossoms. But at ... (R)

2.0 starsScott Marks

All the King's Men (2006)

Inflated remake of the Robert Penn Warren Pulitzer-winner, with the pseudonymous "Willie Stark" as Louisiana governor Huey Long, and Oscar-winner Sean Penn as Oscar-winner Broderick Crawford. Penn, sporting a Trotskyite haircut as the backwater populist politician ("Ain't nobody ever helped a hick 'cept a hick hisself"), speaks in an accent ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alpha Dog (2006)

Another occasion to be shocked, shocked, at the behavior of America's youth, specifically drug-dealing middle-class SoCal white kids who have embraced a black gangsta ethic ("Chill out, dog"). A true-crime wallow, with the names changed to protect the exploiters; long-drawn-out; overacted like mad. Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin, Ben ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American Dreamz (2006)

Spongy satire divides its feeble forces between the Bush Administration (à clef) and the TV talent contest, American Idol, aligning the two targets when the mush-brained President agrees to appear as a guest judge on the season finale, a showdown pitting a "white-trash girl from Ohio" against an undercover Iraqi ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

An American Haunting (2006)

Old-fashioned spook story, as well it ought to be, set as it is in the Eighteen Teens, and based on a documented case in Tennessee. Fumbling direction (by Courtney Solomon), crude shocks, and dull color shatter any illusion. With Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and James D'Arcy. (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Annapolis (2006)

By-the-numbers military training exercise: a sensitive riveter, not content just to build ships, joins the Naval Academy on a promise to his late mother. There's a withholding father, a hard-ass drill instructor, a roly-poly lagging roommate, a foxy female officer, and a boxing tournament for proving manhood. James Franco might ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Ant Bully (2006)

Preachy computer cartoon, holding up the communal spirit of an ant colony against the every-man-for-himself ethos of humankind. As in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (but by another method: the potion-in-the-ear method of Hamlet), a human being gets to see the world from an ant's-eye view. Notwithstanding some clever touches, ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Apocalypto (2006)

Evidently Mel Gibson is in it only for the barbarity. Scouring the globe, roaming the pages of history, he has alighted here on the illuminating example of the Mayan people, past their civilized peak, where a happy, peaceable, practical-joking tribe of jungle dwellers (sample joke: the prescription of a red-hot ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Aquamarine (2006)

Pallid mermaid comedy aimed at tween girls or lower. Two representatives of that group, unnaturally perky, advise a more mature mermaid on the do's and don'ts of the mating game as played on dry land. No reason why that shouldn't have been fun (and educational) for all. With Emma Roberts, ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Art School Confidential (2006)

The reunion of director Terry Zwigoff with the writer of his Ghost World, graphic novelist Daniel Clowes, seemed to bode well for his recovery from the badness of his Bad Santa. Boding even better, the subject matter -- the lowdown on high art in higher education -- must be one ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Ask the Dust (2006)

Depression-period romance, written and directed by Robert Towne, in a largely dark, nocturnal, unsunny Southern California, a star-crossed affair between a gringo and a Chicana, or more disparagingly a "dago" and a "spic," an impoverished young novelist taken under the wing, at long distance, of H.L. Mencken (whose voice in ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd