Originally created 03/07/03

Mini reviews


Movies are listed with theater location 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.


BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE (**, PG-13) Steve Martin and Queen Latifah are paired, he as an uptight, rich lawyer, she as an escaped con who says she is innocent and needs a defender. They meet in an Internet chat room. He's expecting a blond bimbo, and when that's not the case they have comic struggles and misunderstandings. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

TEARS OF THE SUN (***, R) Bruce Willis plays a Navy SEAL who is assigned to airlift some U.S. nationals, and ends up leading a mission doctor (Monica Bellucci) and her patients through the jungle ahead of rebel troops. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.


8 MILE (***, R) Eminem's debut film is a faithful reflection of his myth. Eminem proves that he can act, but not that he can smile. With Kim Basinger as his slattern mother and Brittany Murphy as his maybe girlfriend. Augusta Village.

BIKER BOYZ (**, PG-13) A top cast in a good idea that doesn't pay off. Based on an article about bike clubs that meet for illegal street racing. Sounds like The Fast and the Furious but isn't nearly as supercharged and has nicer characters -- maybe too nice. Augusta Exchange.

CHICAGO (***1/2, PG-13) Renee Zellweger as Roxie Hart, Chicago's favorite murderess, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly, Chicago's previous favorite murderess, in a jazzy, brassy version of the hit Bob Fosse musical. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Pastime.

CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE (**, R) Jet LI and DMX in a movie that makes a sincere attempt to one-up previous cop-crook-buddy-sex-chase-caper-martia l-arts thrillers by exaggerating all the usual elements. But it's on autopilot. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

DAREDEVIL (***, PG-13) Ben Affleck plays a Marvel superhero who was blinded as a youth by an accident that gave him superpowers in his other four senses. By day he's a lawyer, by night a crime-fighter, up against Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell). Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans, Masters and Pastime.

DARK BLUE (***, R) Kurt Russell and Scott Speedman star as two detectives who prowl the streets like free-lance buccaneers; we know this type and even their veteran-rookie relationship from Training Day, Narc and many other movies. It isn't a great movie, but it has moments that go off the meter and find visceral impact. Augusta Exchange.

DARKNESS FALLS (PG-13) A young man returns to his hometown, which has been plagued by a mysterious evil for more than 150 years. Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield and Joshua Anderson star. Augusta Exchange.

DELIVER US FROM EVA (**, R) Gabrielle Union plays Eva, oldest of the four Dandridge sisters. After the untimely death of their parents, Eva took on the task of raising the girls, and has never been able to stop giving the orders -- not even now that they're grown up. Augusta Exchange and Masters.

DIE ANOTHER DAY (***, PG-13) Bond is back in his 20th movie in 40 years, and Pierce Brosnan fits convincingly into the role. The plot this time involves North Koreans and a heat-focusing satellite laser beam, and Halle Berry focuses heat as well, as the latest Bond girl. Augusta Village.

DRUMLINE (***, PG-13) Nickelodeon's Nick Cannon plays a gifted drummer from Harlem, recruited for the championship marching band at Atlanta A&T. He's a hotshot, but also a showoff in need of maturity. Augusta Village.

FINAL DESTINATION 2 (*1/2, R) Inferior retread of the earlier film, in which characters who are doomed to die are saved -- only to find they owe a life to death. Augusta Exchange and Big Mo.

FRIDAY AFTER NEXT (**, R) Ice Cube and Mike Epps as roommates who are out of work and behind on the rent, and a ghetto Santa has stolen their Christmas presents. Lots of jokes involving drugs, sex and epic flatulence.Augusta Village.

GODS AND GENERALS (*1/2, PG-13) A Civil War movie that Trent Lott might enjoy. Less enlightened than Gone With the Wind, obsessed with military strategy, impartial between South and North, and religiously devout. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (****, PG) Harry and his friends investigate a hidden chamber that may contain a monster and keys to old secrets. Augusta Village.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS (*1/2, PG-13) Another one of those contrived movies where people make bets about love. Matthew McConaughey bets he can make Kate Hudson fall in love in 10 days, and she bets she can drive him away in 10 days. They deserve what they get, and we deserve better. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

KANGAROO JACK (PG) Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson star in this family comedy about two best friends asked to deliver an important package to a mysterious man in Australia. The friends wind up pursuing a marsupial into the outback to retrieve the package. Evans.

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (***, PG-13) Director Peter Jackson's film is a visionary epic with mastery of its special effects, and it has a triumph in the character Gollum, completely computer generated but cheerfully ingratiating and loathsome at the same time. Big Mo.

MAID IN MANHATTAN (PG-13) Sneak preview of romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes. Augusta Village.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (***, PG) Warm-hearted slice of life about a 30ish Greek-American woman from Chicago (Nia Vardalos) who meets Mr. Right (John Corbett) -- but he's not Greek! Augusta Village.

NARC (***, R) A cold, hard film about Detroit narcotics detectives. Ray Liotta and Jason Patric star, as a veteran whose partner has been killed, and a younger cop assigned to join him in the investigation.Augusta Village.

OLD SCHOOL (*, R) Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, who clock in at an average age of 34, abandon their adult lives to return to campus and run a series of party houses at which they can meet hot chicks. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

SHANGHAI KNIGHTS (***, PG-13) A nice mix of calculation and relaxed goofiness, as Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson once again team and enjoy playing their ridiculous roles. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Pal.

SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS (***, PG-13) Carmen and Juni Cortez, the original Spy Kids, face the snot-nosed new kids Gary and Gerti Giggles. Augusta Village.

THE HOT CHICK (1/2H, PG-13) Through an exchange of magic earrings, a thug played by Rob Schneider finds himself changing places with the sexiest girl in high school in a movie that is vulgar, tasteless, dumb and not funny. Augusta Village.

THE HOURS (***1/2, PG-13) Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep co-star with Stephen Dillane, John C. Reilly and Ed Harris in three stories that do not add up neatly, but illuminate mysteries of sex, duty and love. Augusta Exchange.

THE JUNGLE BOOK 2 (*1/2, G) So thin and unsatisfying it seems like a made-for-DVD version, not a theatrical release. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE (0 STARS, R) Kevin Spacey stars as a famous opponent of capital punishment, who, in what he must find an absurdly ironic development, finds himself on Death Row in Texas, charged with the murder of a woman (Laura Linney) who was also opposed to capital punishment. Kate Winslet is the journalist determined to prove his innocence. This movie is corrupt, intellectually bankrupt and morally dishonest. Aiken, Augusta Exchange and Evans.

THE PIANIST (***1/2, R) Roman Polanski's film is based on the experiences of Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jewish pianist who survives the Holocaust by hiding out in the city, in an increasingly desperate struggle. Evans.

THE RECRUIT (**1/2, PG-13) CIA veteran Al Pacino recruits MIT whiz-kid Colin Farrell for the agency's training program on The Farm, where Mr. Farrell falls in love with another agent (Bridget Moynahan), and is trapped in a web of intrigue. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

THE RING (**, PG-13) Newspaper reporter Naomi Watts learns of a video that kills those who watch it within seven days. Her investigation, also involving her young son (David Dorfman) and his father (Martin Henderson), leads into gruesome discoveries. Augusta Village.

THE WILD THORNBERRY'S MOVIE (***, PG) Young Eliza has the gift of being able to speak to animals; her best friend is a monkey, and soon they're saving a herd of elephants from poachers. With the voices of Lacey Chabert, Tom Kane, Flea, Tim Curry, Rupert Everett, Marisa Tomei and Alfre Woodard. Augusta Village.


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