Originally created 02/08/02

Mini reviews


Movies are listed with theater location for today through Thursday. Reviews without star ratings are from critics other than Roger Ebert. Listings are subject to change. Call theaters for times.

For an online movie guide, check out augusta.com/movies. The service provides theater locations and movie times.


BIG FAT LIAR (***, PG) Frankie Muniz stars with Amanda Bynes as 14-year-olds who go to Hollywood seeking justice after sleazy producer Paul Giamatti steals the boy's homework and turns it into a movie. Ideal for younger teens, not painful for their parents. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE (***, R) Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a Los Angeles fireman who sees his wife and child killed by a terrorist bomb and goes to Colombia seeking revenge against the guerrilla who carried out the attack. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

IN THE BEDROOM (****, R) Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson star as the parents of a teen-age son (Nick Stahl) in love with an older woman (Marisa Tomei). An assured, powerful directing debut by actor Todd Field, based on a story by Andre Dubus. Augusta Exchange.

ROLLERBALL ( 1/2 -*, PG-13) An incoherent mess. In 2005, the start-up sport of Rollerball pits skaters and motorcyclists on a track too small for both, in a violent game even the players say they don't understand. Chris Klein is way too nice as the violent hero. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.


13 GHOSTS (*, R) A father, son, daughter, nanny and two ghostbusters enter the strange house of Uncle Cyrus, which contains 12 grotesque ghosts in containment cages. Flash-frames attack the eyes, and the noise level is painful. Maybe the filmmakers thought turning up the volume would convince the audience that something was happening. Augusta Village.

A WALK TO REMEMBER (***, PG) Mandy Moore stars as a high school outsider; Shane West is a popular boy who begins to fall in love with her. But, no, this isn't another dumb movie about who will take the class nerd to the prom. Instead, it tells a quietly touching story of a love based on values and respect. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Masters and Evans.

A BEAUTIFUL MIND (PG-13) Russell Crowe's brilliant performance in the story of John Forbes Nash Jr., a man who is one of the world's greatest mathematicians and a victim of schizophrenia. Evans and Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange.

BIRTHDAY GIRL (**, R) A lonely British bank teller (Ben Chaplin) orders a Russian mail-order bride (Nicole Kidman), who is not as advertised: She chain-smokes and speaks no English, but certain of her other skills intrigue him - until her two cousins (Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitz) turn up. The movie is kind of sour; although it wants to be a comedy, it takes some darker turns, and the characters seem to be toys of the plot. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

BLACK HAWK DOWN (****, R) Ridley Scott's gripping, incisive story of a U.S. military raid that went disastrously wrong in Somalia in 1993. With Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Sam Shepard. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Evans, Masters and Pastime.

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (***, R) A great-looking, cheerfully preposterous French film about werewolves, aristocrats, secret societies, Iroquois Indians, martial arts, occult ceremonies, sacred mushrooms, swashbuckling, incestuous longings, political subversion, animal spirits, slasher scenes and bordellos. Augusta Exchange.

CORKY ROMANO ( 1/2 *, PG-13) A desperately unfunny gangster spoof starring Chris Kattan as the kid brother in a Mafia family, so naive he believes his father (Peter Faulk) is in landscaping. Augusta Village.

DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE (* 1/2 , PG-13) Nice guy John Travolta beams benignly while his ex-wife (Teri Polo) marries the new rich guy in town (Vince Vaughn). Only Mr. Travolta's son Danny (Matthew O'Leary) knows how evil the new husband is - and no one will believe him. Augusta Village.

GOSFORD PARK (****, R) Robert Altman's wonderful film begins with the formula for an Agatha Christie mystery (murder in an English country house, everyone a suspect) and transforms it into a comedy about selfishness, greed, snobbery, eccentricity and class. With Maggie Smith, Alan Bates, Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon, Kristen Scott Thomas, Emily Watson, Derek Jacobi and many more. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

HARDBALL (** 1/2 , PG-13) Keanu Reeves stars as a compulsive gambler who finds redemption as coach of an inner-city youth baseball team. The film sticks to the formula. Augusta Village.

HOW HIGH (R) Rappers Redman and Method Man star as Jamal and Silas, a couple of guys from the 'hood who stumble across some magical weed that allows them to ace their college placement exams and land scholarships to Harvard. Augusta Exchange.

I AM SAM (**, PG-13) Sam (Sean Penn), who has the IQ of a 7-year-old, is trying to raise the daughter (Dakota Fanning) he fathered with a homeless woman. But social workers want to place her with an adoptive family. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS (***, G) The adventures of a boy inventor who launches a satellite before breakfast and converts amusement park rides into intergalactic vessels. Augusta Exchange.

KATE & LEOPOLD (PG-13) A fantasy romance with Meg Ryan as a modern career woman who falls for a time traveler (Hugh Jackson) from the 19th century. Pal.

KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST (PG-13) Martial-arts spoof with Steve Oedekerk (who wrote scripts for Patch Adams and both Eddie Murphy Nutty Professor films) serving as the writer, director and star. Aiken Mall and Augusta Exchange.

LIFE AS A HOUSE (** 1/2 , R) Kevin Kline discovers that he has months to live and determines to win the love and respect of his pierced, doper son (Hayden Christensen) by tearing down his ocean-cliff home and building another. Augusta Village.

OCEAN'S ELEVEN (***, PG-13) Steven Soderbergh's remake of the 1960 Sinatra caper is slick and superficial - and, on that level, amusing. With George Clooney, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts. Augusta Exchange.

ORANGE COUNTY (***, PG-13) Colin Hanks plays a surfer whose life changes when he reads a novel and decides he wants to study under its author, a Stanford professor. Alas, Stanford rejects him, so his dopehead brother (Jack Black) and loyal girlfriend (Schuyler Fisk) accompany him to confront the dean of admissions (Harold Ramis). Augusta Exchange.

OUT COLD (PG-13) High-altitude high jinks come to an abrupt halt for Rick (Jason London) and his slacker buddies when a good ole boy entrepreneur (Lee Majors) buys the Alaskan mountain resort where they work and turns it into a yuppie haven. Augusta Village.

SERENDIPITY (* 1/2 , PG-13) John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale play a couple who meet, separate, meet again, are attracted, are dating others and decide to leave future meetings in the hands of fate. Augusta Village.

SHALLOW HAL (***, PG-13) Jack Black plays Hal, a shallow party animal who is programmed by guru Tony Robbins to see inner beauty. He meets Rosemary, a Peace Corps volunteer who weighs about 250 pounds but looks, to Hal, like Gwyneth Paltrow. Augusta Village.

SLACKERS (0 stars, R) Not funny-sexy, but offensively dirty-minded, a vulgar campus comedy in which a creep (Jason Schwartzman) blackmails a nice guy (Devon Sawa) to "deliver" a beautiful girl (James King). Several scenes so tasteless we cringe. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

SNOW DOGS (PG) Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as a Florida dentist who goes to Alaska to collect an inheritance that turns out to be a mischievous team of sled dogs. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Masters and Evans.

SPY GAME (R) Robert Redford plays Nathan Muir, a veteran CIA agent on the brink of retirement. He spends his last day on the job trying to free Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt), a former protege, who is imprisoned in China on charges of espionage and scheduled to die in 24 hours. Augusta Village.

THE BLACK KNIGHT (PG-13) Catapult Martin Lawrence back in time six centuries or so to the age of knights, and poof, a ready-to-serve comedy about a bad-boy street jester going medieval. Fans of Mr. Lawrence's goofy physical comedy and wisenheimer attitude will eat this movie up. Augusta Village.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (***, PG-13) James Caviezel portrays Edmond Dantes, a low-born 18th-century adventurer betrayed by his friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce). Condemned to solitary confinement on the prison island of Chateau d'If, he meets a fellow prisoner (Richard Harris) who tutors him in the martial and philosophical arts and enlists his help in digging a tunnel. Based on the Alexander Dumas classic, it's the kind of adventure picture the studios churned out in the Golden Age. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Masters and Evans.

THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES (**, PG-13) Richard Gere plays a Washington Post reporter whose life takes a turn toward the twilight zone. Aiken Mall, Augusta Exchange, Masters and Evans.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS (***, PG-13) J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece has been transmuted into a modern sword-and-sorcery epic, heavy on action and special effects, at the cost of the book's naive and guileless vision. Director Peter Jackson has mounted a state-of-the-art action fantasy with inspired special effects. With Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

THE ONE (* 1/2 , R) There are 124 parallel universes, and if Jet Li can kill the 123 other Jet Lis he will have the strength of 124 men and be The One. Augusta Village.

TRAINING DAY (***, R) Denzel Washington plays a Los Angeles cop so vile and violent he makes The French Connection's Popeye Doyle look like Officer Friendly. Augusta Village.


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