CAST: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgard, Lauren Bacall, Blair Brown, Patricia Clarkson, James Caan, Philip Baker Hall, Jeremy Davies, Ben Gazzara, voice of John Hurt
SYNOPSIS: In this allegorical tale, a stranger (Kidman) is accepted by a Depression-era town and given an opportunity to show she's needed. But the town turns nasty when it's discovered that she's wanted for a crime. The arrival of her mob pursuer (James Caan) signals the end of allegory and the start of von Trier's revenge fantasy against oppression, a climax as violent as the prologue was peaceful.
WHAT WE SAID: Times film critic Steve Persall gave it an A, writing: "Dogville is a cinematic attack on America's immigrant history launched from abroad, a political allegory so pointed that, in keeping with election times, we expect the creator to step before the camera and announce: "I'm filmmaker Lars von Trier, and I approve this message'."
MPAA RATING: R; sexual situations, violence, profanity
RUNNING TIME: 177 min.
DIRECTOR: Robert Harmon
CAST: Jim Caviezel, Rhona Mitra, Frankie Faison, Gordon Currie, Colm Feore, Paul Mota
SYNOPSIS: When a serial killer whose weapon of choice is his '72 El Dorado strikes, the husband of a victim (Passion of the Christ star Caviezel) and the only woman to survive an attack (Mitra) team up to find the killer.
WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this 2003 release, which was not shown in local theaters.
MPAA RATING: R; violence, gore, language
RUNNING TIME: 80 min.
DIRECTOR: Tommy O'Haver
CAST: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver, Vivica A. Fox, Eric Idle, Joanna Lumley, Jimi Mistry
SYNOPSIS: Ella (Hathaway) received the "gift of obedience" at birth from a fairy godmother named Lucinda (Fox), leaving her at the mercy of everyone's whims. She tries to break the spell so she can date her prince (Dancy), which means she must travel through various perils to find Lucinda.
WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave Ella an F. "Maybe moviegoers still exist who think using 1970s radio hits in a medieval setting is clever. Perhaps someone out there isn't tired of facelift jokes, urinating babies and banners used to make Tarzan-style swings to safety . . . Moviegoers should share Ella's gift of obedience and be ordered to stay far, far away."
MPAA RATING: PG; brief crude humor
RUNNING TIME: 98 min.
The Girl Next Door
DIRECTOR: Luke Greenfield
CAST: Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert
SYNOPSIS: In this Risky Business-like venture, Emile Hirsch gets the 1983 flick's Tom Cruise role as Matthew, an honor student with scholarship dreams whose hormones are getting in the way. The new neighbor, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), who doesn't know how to close her window shades, is a porn movie star. Before you can say "old time rock 'n' roll" they're dating.
WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this movie.
MPAA RATING: R; sexual content, language, substance abuse
RUNNING TIME: 100 min.
Laws of Attraction
DIRECTOR: Peter Howitt
CAST: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen, Parker Posey, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn
SYNOPSIS: Audrey Miller (Moore), a Harvard-educated lawyer who has all but given up on love, finds a courtroom nemesis - and, eventually, love - in Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan).
WHAT WE SAID: Times reviewer Philip Booth gave it a D for leaden dialogue and predictable action: "Maybe what Laws of Attraction needs is a TV laugh track. That way, we'd know what's supposed to be funny in this so-called screwball comedy."
MPAA RATING: PG-13; sexual situations
RUNNING TIME: 90 min.
DIRECTOR: Stephen Chow
CAST: Stephen Chow, Lee Wai, Vicki Zhao Wei, Ng Man-Tat, Cecilia Cheung, Cheung Ming Ming, Law Kar-Ying.
SYNOPSIS: Comedy about a group of young disciples of the art of Shaolin who eventually lose interest in the martial arts discipline until one of their number teams with a one-time soccer star. Together, they reunite the old Shaolin pals, whip them back into shape, and aim their sights on taking soccer to a whole new level. Cantonese with English subtitles.
WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this movie, which wasn't released in local theaters.
MPAA RATING: PG-13; action violence and thematic elements.