Originally created 06/03/04

Mini reviews



THEATERS, RATINGS

Movies are listed with theater locations through Wednesday. Reviews without star ratings are from critics other than Roger Ebert. Listings subject to change. Call theaters for times. For an online movie guide, see augustachronicle.com/movies.

COMING FRIDAY

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (HHH, PG) Harry returns to Hogwarts under a cloud: The sinister Sirius Black, who murdered his parents, has escaped from prison and may intend Harry as his next victim. While ghoulish Dementors guard the school's entrances, Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) meet new faculty members played by David Thewlis and Emma Thompson, and find that their friend Hagrid the gamekeeper (Robbie Coltrane) has obtained a hippogriff, half-bird, half-horse. Director Alfonso Cuaron provides a darker palette and a few more chills, but the plot grows murky toward the end and the third Potter film is not quite as good as the first two. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Aiken

ONGOING

50 FIRST DATES (HHH, PG-13) A kinder and gentler Adam Sandler, playing a marine biologist in Hawaii who falls in love with a girl (Drew Barrymore) who has short-term memory loss. Augusta Village and Masters

AGENT CODY BANKS: DESTINATION LONDON (HH, PG) Another summer, another assignment for the CIA's ace teenage James Bond. Frankie Muniz teams up with Anthony Anderson in London to foil a plot to implant mind-control devices in people's teeth. Augusta Village

BARBERSHOP 2 (HH, PG-13) Calvin's Barbershop is back in business, but threatened by a big chain shop across the street. Masters and Augusta Village

BREAKIN' ALL THE RULES: (HHH, PG-13) A magazine writer (Jamie Foxx) is dumped by his fiancee. He quits his job and writes a best seller about how to break up with a girl before she can break up with you. Augusta Exchange, ends today at Aiken

DAWN OF THE DEAD (R) Zombies attack victims in a shopping mall. Augusta Village, ends today at Masters

HIDALGO (HHH, PG-13) Rousing adventure story about a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his horse. Augusta Village and Masters

JERSEY GIRL (HHH, PG-13) After he loses his wife and his job in quick succession, Ben Affleck moves back to New Jersey to live with his father (George Carlin) and his young daughter (Raquel Castro). Long years pass in celibacy before a video clerk (Liv Tyler) tries to convince him that she is preferable to a porno movie.

Begins Friday at Augusta Village and Masters

LAWS OF ATTRACTION (HH, PG-13) Allegedly a comedy about opposites who attract, but Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore play divorce lawyers who aren't opposites, and who are immediately attracted. They do what they can, but the movie undermines the comic tension by making their romance a foregone conclusion. Augusta Village, begins Friday at Begins Friday at Augusta Village

MAN ON FIRE (HH, R) Denzel Washington is a former terrorism expert, now depressed and an alcoholic, who gets a job as the bodyguard for a Mexican industrialist's family. He begins to love their little girl (Dakota Fanning), and when she's kidnapped and he is almost killed, he seeks revenge. Augusta Exchange, ends today at Evans and Aiken

MEAN GIRLS (HHH, PG-13) Lindsay Lohan is home-schooled in Africa by her parents, who are anthropologists, and so is a fish out of water when she lands in Evanston High School. She makes friends with two smart geeks (Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese), who egg her on to become close to the most popular girl in school (Rachel McAdams) so they can sabotage her. Evans, begins Friday at Big Mo, ends today Augusta Exchange

PASSION OF THE CHRIST (HHHH, R) A harrowing, graphic depiction of the suffering and death of Jesus, filmed without compromise. Masters

RAISING HELEN (HH, PG-13) Kate Hudson unexpectedly inherits her sister's two small children, loses her high-powered job at a Manhattan modeling agency, and has to move to Queens and work as a receptionist on a used-car lot. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Aiken

SECRET WINDOW: (HHH, PG-13) Johnny Depp in another one of those performances of amusing eccentricity, as a thriller writer who is living alone in a cabin in the woods after splitting with his wife (Maria Bello). A gaunt, threatening stranger (John Turturro) accuses him of stealing one of his stories. Augusta Village

SHREK 2 (HHH, PG) Shrek frees Princess Fiona with a kiss, but it has the unanticipated result of turning her into an ogre. The two fall in love, are married, and summoned to the Kingdom of Far, Far Away to meet her royal parents, who are astonished to see that their daughter has become large and green. Eddie Murphy steals scenes as the voice of Donkey, Mike Myers is Shrek, and John Cleese and Julie Andrews play the parents of Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans, Pal, Pastime and Big Mo

SOUL PLANE (R) Snoop Dogg stars in a comedy as the questionable Capt. Mack, who learned how to fly by taking lessons on a flight simulator while in prison. With Tom Arnold, Mo'Nique, Method Man, D.L. Hughley, Kevin Hart and Sofia Vergara. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Aiken

STARSKY & HUTCH (HHH, PG-13) Often inspired retread of the 1970s TV series, with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in the title roles. Augusta Village, ends today at Masters

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: (HHH, PG-13) Sudden global warming floods Manhattan and then freezes it, along with most of the Northern Hemisphere, as billions die but the movie's characters survive and occupy preposterous subplots. Still, the special effects are awesome, and if the movie is ridiculous, it is sublimely ridiculous; the disaster scenes are gripping, the action scenes are well done, and some of the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious. With Dennis Quaid as a scientist, Jake Gyllenhaal as his son, Sela Ward as his wife, Ian Holm as a wise, sad meteorologist, and Kenneth Welsh as the obstructive vice president. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Aiken

THE PRINCE AND ME (HH, PG) Julia Stiles is the Wisconsin farm girl and Luke Mably is the prince of Denmark in the latest version of the age-old formula. Masters, ends today at Augusta Village

THE WHOLE TEN YARDS (H, PG-13) A fog of gloom, as actors who know they're in a turkey try their best to prevail. Bruce Willis plays Jimmy the Tulip, former hit man, hiding out in Mexico while his new wife (Amanda Peet) works as a hit woman. His old friend Oz the dentist (Matthew Perry), now married to Jimmy's former wife (Natasha Henstridge), also gets involved when the crime boss Laszlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) gets out of prison and seeks revenge for the death of his son. Begins Friday at Augusta Village and Masters

TROY (HH, R) Brad Pitt stars as the great warrior Achilles in a movie that sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie cliches, and proves we're getting tired of computer-generated armies. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

VAN HELSING (PG-13) Hugh Jackman stars as the monster-hunting Dr. Van Helsing, in pursuit of Dracula and the Wolfman. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Aiken

WALKING TALL (HH, PG-13) The Rock stars in a remake of the 1973 hit inspired by Sheriff Buford Pusser and his big oak club. In the modern version, the town mill has shut down, a casino has opened, and The Rock's old enemy from high school (Neal McDonough) is selling drugs to the children. Elected sheriff after a passionate courtroom speech, The Rock goes to war. Augusta Village and Masters

YOU GOT SERVED (PG-13) Rarely do you encounter a movie without a shred of originality, but this is such a cinematic vacuum. Teen poster boys and brothers Omari Grandberry and Marques "Batman" Houston star as David and Elgin, the leaders of a street dance troupe. Augusta Village

ENDS TODAY

13 GOING ON 30 (HH, PG-13) Jenna, 13, wishes herself an adult and becomes a 30-year-old Manhattan magazine editor (Jennifer Garner). Lonely and scared, she looks up her best childhood friend (now played by Mark Ruffalo), only to find she was mean to him and they haven't spoken in 17 years. Evans, Aiken, and Big Mo

BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF GENIUS (HHH, PG) Jim Caviezel stars in a respectful biopic that shows golfing great Bobby Jones as a tortured man who seems to find little joy in golf, and is often in pain. Evans

COLD MOUNTAIN (HHH, R) Epic Civil War romance with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Augusta Village and Masters

CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN (PG) Painfully unfunny affair despite earnest performances from Lindsay Lohan and her teen co-stars. Augusta Village

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (HHH, PG-13) At last, the full arc is visible, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy comes into final focus. Augusta Village

NEW YORK MINUTE: (H, PG) Designed as a vehicle to edge the Olsen twins into adolescence, but without any other appreciable qualities except their tireless cheerfulness. Evans

SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED (HH, PG) A silly machine that whirls goofy antics before the eyes of easily distracted audiences. Aiken

METRO GOLDWYN MAYERSnoop Dogg (right) and Godrey are among the stars of Soul Plane, a comedy about the maiden flight of an airline. Snoop plays Capt. Mack, who learned to fly from a flight simulator in prison.