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These two actresses are superb at being bitchy and seductive to each other as well as their enemies...

Don't cross the characters played by Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles in "The Business of Strangers." If you do, you'll think the male revenge film "In the Company of Men" to be a modest complaint about the battle of the sexes. "Business" is a raw polemic about corporate women treated ill by men in and out of the boardroom.

"Scotland, PA." is a Big Mac served with a side of Shakespearean noir...

"Scotland, PA." is a Big Mac served with a side of Shakespearean noir. The '70s McBeths plan the murder of their boss Norman Duncan to take over his burger restaurant. The parody of 1970's culture, especially fast food, works well from bellbottoms to drive-through windows.

"Lantana" is a psychological thriller that draws together four couples whose lives become as thickly entwined as the lantana's vines...

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
~Sir Walter Scott, "Marmion"

WCBE's "It's Movie Time" critics butt heads over the year's Top 25 picks and their Academy Award Choices...

Most of the year's box office block busters may be missing from "It's Movie Time's" John DeSando and Clay Lowe's list of Golden Oldies, but then why would anyone expect these two old curmudgeons to be in tune with what's hip at local multiplexes?

Why can't I learn about the artist's creative process in these films about artists?

"Iris" is not really about novelist/philosopher Iris Murdoch -— it is about her enduring romance with John Bayley and the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Her words from the lecture podium are often aimed at the thematic core of the film: the need for love.

Both stories appear to represent the director’s dark feelings about writing, filmmaking, and the critics who accuse him of being superior to his characters.

Todd Solondz's "Welcome to the Dollhouse" showed comic/absurd promise; his masturbation scene in "Happiness" overstepped the boundary of film taste but got everyone’s attention.

Denzel Washington, Kimberly Elise & Daniel E. Smith star in John Q.

In the most blessed country in the history of civilization, is it too much to think that all Americans could have adequate health care?

On Valentine's Day I discovered the love story of the year so tender and tentative I was annoyed when one of the loving couples went at it rather than talk about it...

Gabriele Muccino's "The Last Kiss" is a rapidly paced bedroom romp where everyone is either getting laid or just getting... you've got it... screwed.

For women, hope is the day she will be seen...

"Kandahar," is a sometimes-expressionistic drama about a disguised Afghani woman, Canadian reporter Nafas, trying to get to the city of Kandahar to stop her sister from committing suicide during the next solar eclipse.(Actress Nelofer Pazira went through a similar struggle).

"Behind Enemy Lines" or even "M*A*S*H" pale next to this Cannes winner for best screenplay...

The small town seaport of Camden, Maine rivals Peyton Place as a setting for romance and jealousy...

How director Todd Field (TV series: "Once and Again") gets so much right in his first feature film, "In the Bedroom," but lets it slip away is only one of the mysteries to be solved in this slow-moving story about wife abuse and retaliatory murder.

One of the best films of 2001 and one of the most stunning debuts of a director ever...

You'd think angst in the late '80s was reserved for those who could foresee Wall Street greed transform itself into a monumental crash a little more than a decade later. Then there's Donnie Darko, who could see the end of the world prophesied by a menacing Harvey-like bunny, a sort of guardian devil.

"Waking Life" or dreaming life? That is the question Linklater's cast asks in this clever new update of "Vivre Sa Vie" and "My Dinner With Andr?."

"Waking Life" or dreaming life? That is the question Linklater's cast asks in this clever new update of "Vivre Sa Vie" and "My Dinner With Andr?"...

When the car comes out of the darkness in Lynch's "Mulholland Drive," check out the babe in the backseat -- but don't try to figure her out.

"Mulholland Drive" is a kaleidoscopic thriller that everyone who's hip thinks they have to figure out. I guess that's what you get when you have a generation of movie goers spoiled by English teachers who made them decipher the allegories in Bergman and decode the religious symbols in Bunuel.

Nicole will win the Oscar for other films, not this one...

Nicole, Nicole, Nicole -— she’s everywhere —- in tabloids without Tom, in "Moulin Rouge" and "The Others," and now in "Birthday Girl." It might have been better if she were in her "Birthday Suit"; then we would have known what director Jez Butterworth had in mind. At any rate, here is a bummer birthday -- the humor is hidden and the pathos is annoying.

If you see "Innocence," you may never have to see another love story...

Writer, director Paul Cox's "Innocence" may be about senior-citizen love, but it really is about how we must be ready when love arrives or when it returns, no matter at what age. As a cautionary tale and a lyric expression of love's power, few current movies can match this film's quiet honesty.

"The Mothman Prophecies" is an X-Files-like trip into the paranormal, disorienting and interesting...

So you're looking for a classy heroic alternate to Julia Roberts' ragged Erin Brockovich? May I submit Cate Blanchett as Charlotte Gray....

So you're looking for a classy heroic alternate to Julia Roberts' ragged Erin Brockovich? May I submit Cate Blanchett as Charlotte Gray, a volunteer for British Special Operations in WWII looking for her missing RAF pilot lover in occupied France. This story has more holes than the crumbling walls of a chateau, but it is just as beautiful and inscrutable.

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