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Movie Picks

Believing he is a doctor at the hospital where she works, Brenda (Amy Adams) accepts the marriage proposal of Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Catch Me If You Can
  • Believing he is a doctor at the hospital where she works, Brenda (Amy Adams) accepts the marriage proposal of Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Catch Me If You Can

25th Hour (R)
Displaying his auteurial might, Spike Lee assembles a formidable cast in this tale of a New York City homeboy's last hours of freedom before heading for prison -- Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brian Cox to name a few. Lee gets plenty of things right, like incorporating a post 9-11 New York without resorting to undue sentimentality. The shots of impromptu fireman shrines and Bin Laden posters not only ring true, but lend a larger framework to the film's elegiac tone. But Lee falters with his heavy-handed direction, including his now patented over-scoring that too often drowns out the dialogue. There are didactic montages to drill home various "messages" and a final voice-over flight fantasy that sucks the drama out of Norton's moment of consequence. -- John Dicker


*About Schmidt (R)
The story of a browbeaten insurance salesman rendered with loving disenchantment by Jack Nicholson. The role is new territory for Nicholson -- easily his most interesting film since the sexual dramas of the '70s. It's a prime pick of an otherwise unremarkable Academy Award homestretch. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16

Biker Boyz (PG-13)
Guys in leather, including Laurence Fishburne and movie newcomer Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher) burn rubber on motorcycles in this "Western on wheels."

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills

*Bowling for Columbine (R)
An all-you-can-eat buffet of food for thought on the following question: Why, more than any other industrialized nation, do Americans kill each other with guns? Some pretty insightful commentary from unlikely places in spite of the filmmaker's antics. -- John Dicker

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

*Catch Me If You Can (PG-13)
From its stylish, animated opening credits to its peppy John Williams score, Catch Me If You Can exudes the innocence that colors many Spielberg efforts. The central character, Frank Abagnale Jr., is a notorious con man portrayed as a boy wonder, a Spielbergian creation enamored of life's endless possibilities, played pitch-perfectly by Leonardo DiCaprio, -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Chicago (PG-13)
Directed by musical theater veteran Rob Marshall, Chicago's social commentary is biting and apt if slightly clichd: Fame is fleeting; the media is fickle. Catherine Zeta-Jones is cold and powerful as Velma Kelley, a hoofer with a heart of steel. Her singing is top-notch and her dancing is lurid and assured. Rene Zellweger gives it her all as Roxie Hart, but her singing pales next to Zeta-Jones and supporting star Queen Latifah. Richard Gere is suitably smarmy as attorney Billy Flynn and John C. Reilly is Chicago's most pleasant surprise, turning in a tour de force performance as Roxie Hart's hapless and devoted husband Amos. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Tinseltown, Chapel Hills

*Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (R)
See full review, page 39

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills

Darkness Falls (PG-13)
A mysterious dead woman, a lighthouse, a boy who draws disturbing pictures, a murdered mother and the legend of a tooth fairy who comes back and visits. A horror flick in the tradition of The Ring.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills

Final Destination 2 (R)
Sequel to the 2000 supernatural thriller, in which a young girl, Clear Rivers (Ali Lauter) can foresee harrowing events.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills

Galapagos Island (Not Rated) (In IMAX 3D)
Giant sea turtles and insects and amphibians and birds and seascapes and flowers and trees and rare and endangered species -- oh my! All is 3D on the big IMAX screen.

Cinemark IMAX

*Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PG)
Let's accent the positive: This film is a better movie than its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. -- Andrea Lucard

Chapel Hills

*The Hours (PG-13)
How to turn Michael Cunningham's introspective novel The Hours into a cinematic piece that wouldn't put audiences to sleep? That was the challenge of Brit director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) who made the brilliant choice of hiring David Hare to write the screenplay and cast Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep in the three lead roles. Moore is Laura Brown, a disaffected 1950s housewife and mother. Streep is Clarissa, a New York book agent coming to grips with the certain demise of her former lover (Ed Harris), a poet dying of AIDS. Nicole Kidman is author Virginia Woolf in the 1920s, wasting away in the suburbs of London under the watchful eye of husband Leonard (Stephen Dillane). Woolf's book Mrs. Dalloway, depicting a woman's entire life in one day, is the literary thread that ties them all together. One of the best films of 2002. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16

Just Married (PG-13)
That '70s Show goofball Ashton Kutcher teams up with Brittany Murphy in this goofball comedy about a couple of clumsy newlyweds. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Kangaroo Jack (PG)
A musician and his childhood friend, a New York hairstylist, get mixed up with the mob and must go to Australia to deliver $100,000. They're put to the test when a kangaroo runs off with the money. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Lion King (G)
Disney re-releases this well-loved animated tale to IMAX large-format theaters. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX Theater

*The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PG-13)
Peter Jackson's The Two Towers is the best film about hobbits, elves, orcs and wizards since last year's Fellowship of the Ring. But seriously, Jackson does a masterful job of stitching together three separate plots and though the story itself doesn't advance much, it almost sustains its three-hour length. Jackson's strength in The Two Towers is combining a visual realization of Middle Earth's inhabitants, and utilizing the New Zealand landscapes to instill a sense of pending dread and ephemeral beauty. -- John Dicker

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown; also in 35mm on the IMAX screen, Cinemark IMAX

National Security (PG-13)
Earl (Martin Lawrence) and Hank (Steve Zahn) met on opposite sides of the law during a routine traffic stop, but now they're teamed up as harebrained security guards.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Pianist (R)
See full review, page 38

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Real Women Have Curves (PG-13)
Sundance Audience Awardwinner Real Women offers some meaty cultural commentary in a sweet family drama. America Ferrera is Ana, a second-generation Mexican-American teen-ager in East L.A., eager to broaden her horizons and leave home for college. But her stubborn mother Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros) won't hear of it, insisting that Ana must take her place in the family's garment factory, overseen by sister Estela (Ingrid Oliu). The production quality is rough, as are some of the supporting performances, but the film's honesty and good intentions outweigh aesthetic considerations. Highly recommended for young girls. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

The Recruit PG-13)
Al Pacino is a hardened CIA operative, training an idealistic young agent (Colin Farrell) to always look over his shoulder - even at the pretty girl he's falling in love with.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills

Two Weeks Notice (PG-13)
Hugh Grant plays billionaire George Wade, who realizes that he's in love with his attorney (Sandra Bullock) just as she's about to leave his employment. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

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