The 5th Annual Mega Movie Guide

Article excerpt

STAR RATINGS

David Sterritt Monitor panel Meaning

**** **** Excellent

*** *** Good

** ** Fair

* * Poor

DUD DUD The Worst

Red stars denote the reviews of Monitor movie critic David Sterritt unless otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor panel (blue stars) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other moviegoers. Information on violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the Monitor panel.

Motion picture Association of America ratings are as follows:

G General Audiences: All ages admitted.

PG Parental Guidance: Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

R Restricted: Children under 17 require accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 No Children Under 17 Admitted: Age may vary in certain areas.

THEATER RELEASES

Pusher (Not rated) *** Director: Nicolas Winding Refn. With Kim Bodnia, Laura Drasbaek, Zlatko Buric, Slavko Labovic. (105 min.)

The life and times of a Danish drug dealer in trouble with dangerous colleagues. The action is horrific at times, but it adds up to a vigorous message about the hazards of a criminal life. In Danish, with subtitles

Pushing Tin (R) ** Director: Mike Newell. With John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett. (120 min.)

Romance and rivalry among a group of air-traffic controllers, portrayed as suburban roughnecks with a penchant for rowdy behavior. The movie bids for novelty by focusing on a profession that Hollywood rarely notices, but there's nothing fresh about the smart- alecky characters or love-triangle plot. Such an appealing cast deserves more appealing material. ** Tense, stretches credibility, mildly entertaining, pointless.

Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes of implied sex including some brief partial nudity in one of the scenes; some innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes including a scuffle. Profanity: 42 expressions. Drugs: 10 scenes involving alcohol, smoking, or both.

The Rage: Carrie 2 (R) * Director: Katt Shea. With Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno, Amy Irving, Rachel Blanchard. (104 min.)

Rachel is a fragile and unpopular high schooler who possesses the ability to move things with her mind. As a web of deceit is being spun to humiliate her at a party, she unleashes a rage more horrifying than Carrie 1 did at her prom. Flashbacks of the original Carrie are the only worthwhile portions of this abysmal movie. By John Christian Hoyle

Random Hearts (R) ** Director: Sydney Pollack. With Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles Dutton, Bonnie Hunt. (133 min.)

A policeman and a congresswoman are brought together in the aftermath of a plane crash by the discovery that their deceased spouses were having an affair. The shock of the accident is well- observed, but the burgeoning love affair between the lead characters is awkward. Their partners' infidelity isn't explained, while a contrived thriller subplot seems to have wandered in from another movie. As clumsy as its title. By Stephen Humphries **1/2 Stagnant, romantic, one-dimensional.

Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of implied sex. Violence: 4 scenes with fairly graphic violence. Profanity: 13 instances, mostly mild. Drugs: 12 scenes with alcohol.

Ravenous (R) ** Director: Antonia Bird. With Robert Carlyle, Guy Pearce, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies. (105 min.)

A horror movie disguised as a western, with cannibals stalking victims in the mountainous terrain of the American frontier. …