15 Minutes
Robert DeNiro demonstrates how much time someone will waste if you give them enough money in this derivative film about the influence of the media on the criminal justice system.

Along Came a Spider
Morgan Freeman's continued effort to prove he is smarter than the criminally insane is explored once again in this latest thriller. (Collect all 12!) Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

* Before Night Falls
The real-life story of Cuban writer Reynaldo Arenas, from his childhood in Cuba, to joining Fidel Castro's revolutionaries, to later being persecuted for homosexuality. A politcal film which centers on one man's loneliness. Koin Center

* Best In Show
Christopher Guest's latest with Eugene Levy follows several dog owners on their quest for the blue ribbon at the 2000 Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A well-executed, ridiculous little film lovingly mining ridiculous little people's ridiculous little lives. Avalon , Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

* Bike-In Theatre
On Sundays, from sundown until midnight, the fabulously scrappy art pranksters at P.S. What? will open the side of their house-llery for anybody with a bike to ride in and watch films. As of press time, they weren't sure what they're going to be showing this week. But the fact that they're so dedicated to providing art and fun to the community they're opening up their freakin' house to the public makes it so you should go even if they're showing Gladiator or something. (Julianne Shepherd) P.S., What?

Blow
Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) makes another comeback attempt in this cocaine thriller, in which he plays a gay drug dealer. Oh yeah, Johnny Depp is in it, too. See review this issue. 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

The Brothers
The Brothers is a coming-of-age comedy/drama about four successful young black men coming to terms with commitment and adult relationships--a sort of Waiting to Exhale for men. I'm a brother myself. And I learned on BET the other night that although the average life expectancy in America is 80 years, the life expectancy of a black man in America is 57 years. So if I do the math right, whereas this movie is two hours of insignificance in Whitey's run time, it's damn near three hours of Black time disappeared from my life. I will, however, vindicate this film, if only because seeing four black men in the same place at the same time is such a novelty in the Northwest. (Kudzai Mudede) City Center 12, Division Street, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Westgate

Cast Away
Have you seen the trailer for this movie? Then you have seen the ENTIRE movie, from opening to final shot. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Evergreen Parkway

Caveman's Valentine
Caveman's Valentine is about a madman named Romulus Ledbetter (Samuel L. Jackson) who lives in a cave in Central Park. A classical whodunit, set in the decadent sphere of New York's art elite. The process of solving a murder mystery leads not only to the person who committed the murder, but more importantly to a warm, glowing place where the mad father is finally forgiven by his bitter daughter. (Charles Mudede) Fox Tower 10

Chocolat
Today I'm not weak. The film critic in me has control over my emotions; it can and will repress my wolflike desire to fill this review with hungry words that praise the celestial beauty of Juliette Binoche. That being said, the movie itself is unremarkable, and has absolutely nothing new to offer. (Charles Mudede) City Center 12, Fox Tower 10, Kiggins Theater, Lloyd Cinemas, Moreland Theater, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

* Chunhyang
In the movie Chunhyang, a nobleman, secretly married across class lines, is separated from his wife, Chunhyang. Her virtue assailed, she resists, even under threat of death. Will the noble return in time? The pleasure of such a tale is in the telling, and this movie tells it wonderfully. (Barley Blair) Hollywood Theatre

* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Legendary warrior Chow Yun Fat can never declare his love for fellow martial-arts expert Michelle Yeoh. Instead, he entrusts her with Green Destiny, his nearly magical sword. But in the dark of night a hooded thief steals it, which leads to a fight held mostly in midair. An attempt to wed emotionally reticent drama with the exhilarating freedom of Hong Kong-genre filmmaking, but director Ang Lee can't quite pull off the combination; for too long a time, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's shifting gears only jam. The film finds its rhythm and earns the accolades it has received once it leaves the stars behind and gives its heart over to the young and engaging Zhang Ziyi, as the aristocratic daughter of privilege who opts instead for the dangerous yet thrilling occupation of thief. (Bruce Reid) 82nd Avenue, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

* Dark Days
Dark Days was the triple-threat audience favorite at Sundance this year. Singer's five years of shooting the denizens of the tunnels beneath New York train stations, living with them, and enlisting them as his crew, shows in the familiarity we feel for his resilient urban refugees. Mission Theater

Down To Earth
I could write a million words on this stupid film. And not words filled with bile but sheer delight! Directed by the men who gave us American Pie, and starring comedian Chris Rock, Down to Earth, which is based on Warren Beatty's Heaven Can Wait, which in turn was based on some old film I've never seen, is the most original race comedy ever! The story? A black bike messenger is suddenly killed by a truck and goes up to heaven. The angels, who look like mafia hit men, realize that the death was premature, and so return the brother back to earth in a body once owned by a white billionaire (who is a second-rate Bill Gates). With this white, bloated body he must win the heart of a beautiful soul sister from the hood. Need I say more? Simply amazing. (Charles Mudede) Avalon , Laurelhurst Theater

Enemy at the Gates
This film by Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years in Tibet) tells a story of two men in love with the same woman, set against a backdrop of international conflict. The action scenes are great, concentrating mostly on a game of wits and nerves between Vassily and an opposing sniper, a German aristocrat (Ed Harris) called in to squelch the popular Vassily. The only trouble is, the alternating love story sequences are utterly boring. (D.K. Holm) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

Exit Wounds
Exit Wounds tells the story of how Steven Seagal, with the help of rapper DMX, cleans up a corrupt police precinct one bad cop, and unattended jelly donut at a time. Steven Seagal has had a tough time in recent years with his rampant pot belly and poor box office performances. He's lost a bit of weight for this one, though; he's healthier, younger looking, his flexibility is once again bordering upon functional and there is a lot of chemistry between he and his onscreen partner,DMX. Unfortunately for DMX, however, the chemistry between Steven Seagal and any actor will always result in the organic compound that I like to refer to as shit, and really that's no fun to watch at all. (Kudzai Mudede) Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

Finding Forrester
A kid from the Bronx excels at both basketball and composition, befriends a hermit writer, undergoes a crisis from which the writer must extract him, thereby helping the writer overcome his own reclusive, blah blah blah. (Barley Blair) Kiggins Theater, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Washington Square Center

Hannibal
Hannibal is a mess; an overblown, audacious, painstakingly long, gratuitous mess. Hannibal Lecter in his second outing is an annoying little old man, the sort you'd just love to push down a flight of stairs. Worse still he's a limey, a fish-and-chip-worshiping limey! That the man has killed over 15 Americans isn't a case for the fucking FBI; it's a case for immigration! Stick the INS on him and by lunch he'll be deported, disenfranchised, and the concern of only Miss Moneypenny and about fifty thousand tea ladies. (Kudzai Mudede) Cinema 99, Lloyd Mall

Heartbreakers
Part of the premise for the movie Heartbreakers, in which Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play a mother-and-daughter con team, is a fervent understanding that men will screw women over, and that women must beat those suckers at their own petty game. But as every cool-headed dealer knows, the revenge con never works; emotions, invariably, will trip you up. Heartbreakers is certainly amusing, but its unimaginative approach will disappoint viewers who want to feel the wicked cinch of the complex con. What it offers, instead, is the candy-rush sweetness of Hollywood true-love romance; a payoff, in a way, but one that proves unsatisfying in oh so many ways. (Traci Vogel) Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

* High Noon for Gangsters
One of Kinji Fukasaku's first films, this ass-kickin' flick features two gangs that get the bright idea to bump off the same Army base. Hilarity (and naturally, violence) ensue! Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

* Honky Tonk Dirt/Music Videos
With anxious debates over gentrification, there is perhaps no more appropriate adage for Portland right now than "stop and smell the roses." Honky Tonk Dirt , a peculiar and simple documentary, does just that. With little fanfare, a camera mediates on a hapless and aging street musician, Lucky Buster. For 15 years, Lucky stood along the corners in Northwest Portland, playing remedial chords on his guitar and bellowing like a hound dog with tonsillitis. The film's effect is a charming and disarming passing of time; any inclination to mock the poorly tuned crooner is defused and replaced with sincere admiration. A benefit for KPSU; includes locally produced music videos of Built to Spill and Slawjaw. (Phil Busse) See review this issue. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* The House of Mirth
British director Terence Davies' The House of Mirth, starring Gillian Anderson and Dan Aykroyd, adapts Edith Wharton's 1905 novel about New York high society--the tragic story of a beautiful young woman looking to marry a rich husband and finding herself torn between her need for financial security and her desire for personal integrity. Koin Center

* In the Mood for Love
The most achingly beautiful film in years. Jilted spouses always find themselves circling one painful step away from seeking comfort in each other's arms. Every moment of this film snaps with perfection. Koin Center

Just Visiting
Just Visiting is the American version of 1993's Les Visiteurs, the most lucrative French film of all time (in France, that is). The interesting part is that Just Visiting stars Jean Reno and Christian Clavieröthe, very same Frenchies who made the first movie. Reno plays Count Tibault of Malfete, a knight stranded in modern Chicago with nothing but sword, a suit of armor, and a manservant (Clavier). He must somehow find his way home to the 12th century to prevent the treacherous death of his new wife Rosalind (Christina Applegate), so he enlists the help of a distant ancestor (also Applegate). Slapdash, sloppy, and vapidly fun about half the time; the American version removes even the most light-hearted social criticism and replaces it with some really terrible digital effects. Cinema 99, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center

Le Beau Marriage
A young, chatty art student persues a middle-aged lawyer, with comedic results. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Me, You, Them
Regina Case is Brazil's current silver screen pin-up; but the big difference from America's female sex symbols is that she is broad-shouldered and buxom and could kick some serious bulimic butt. Case plays Darlene, a sweetly conniving country girl, who effortlessly charms the pants off the first three men set meets and forms an oddly balanced menage a quatre. In this entertaining fable of female equality, Darlene simultaneously takes on the role of wife, lover, and mother--each with a different man. (Phil Busse) Cinema 21

* Memento
Memento has a lot of starch in it; the film sticks with you for days, as you rehearse it over and over in your mind. It's also a movie so good that you almost fear a critical backlash against it. You come out of it feeling almost resentful at how good it is, and given that almost everyone is an aspiring filmmaker these days, this resentment is unvarnished jealousy. But this reviewer is pure of spirit, or at least spite: I may have seen a better film so far this year than Memento, but if I have, I've forgotten it. (D.K. Holm) Fox Tower 10

The Mexican
This movie was never meant to be a singular entity: It feels like two movies, hemorrhaged by nature, that have been forcefully welded together. The first of these movies is The Mexican; it features Brad Pitt, an antique gun, and the mob. It is vaguely interesting and Brad Pitt is very handsome. Secondly, there is what I will call National Lampoon's Seventh Circle of Hell, it stars Julia Roberts, a green V.W., and a sensitive hitman. It is a disgrace and Julia Roberts' performance is criminal. (Kudzai Mudede) Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Koin Center, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center

The Million Dollar Hotel
The phrase "directed by Wim Wenders" should probably be enough to make this a must-see film, but for you freakazoids who don't think Wings of Desire and Paris Texas are the best films ever made, here are some other elements of The Million Dollar Hotel that might be of interest: Detectives. The 1930s. Hotel-turned-mental asylum. Sounds cool, right? Now, for the bad part (news that will affect Wenders fans and freakasses alike): The stars are Mel Gibson and Milla Jovovich. It's already out on video on April 3, and it was only released on February 2. And, worst of all, the screenplay was co-written by Wenders and the most annoying person in the entire universe--the man whose idiocy eclipses that of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Sting put together--BONO, LEAD SINGER FROM U2. Oy! Even Mel Gibson, the epitome of drag city and the film's male lead, has been quoted as saying it's a boring movie. Let us all weep in unison. (Julianne Shepherd) Hollywood Theatre

* O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Set in Depression-era Mississippi, George Clooney stars as Everett Ulysses McGill, a suave and well-groomed petty criminal doing hard time on a chain gang. Shackled to Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), he convinces them to join him in escaping by promising to split a fortune in buried treasure with them. (Andy Spletzer) City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Tigard Cinemas

Pauline at the Beach
Director Eric Rohmer takes on French farce in this comedy about the mishaps and misunderstandings of a group of lovers at a Normandy resort. Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

Pokemón 3
The press kit for this film boasts that this is "the third big-screen installment of this infinitely popular series." Infinite means never-ending. Either they're lying, or we're doomed. Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

Pollock
Another attempt from the film industry to mine the romantic lie of Bohemian life. This is actor Ed Harris' directorial debut (he also stars), and seems too hurried to establish the iconic events of painter Jackson Pollock's life--see Pollock urinate in Peggy Guggenheim's fireplace, see Pollock overturn the Thanksgiving table, see Pollock accidentally discover drip painting--instead of letting any of these moments achieve any natural resolution. City Center 12, Fox Tower 10

Quills
Quills is loosely (very loosely) based upon the latter years of the Marquis de Sade's life. Shortly after the French Revolution, de Sade resides locked away in the Charenton mental hospital where he is allowed, briefly, to continue writing his pornographic prose. Though meant for private consumption only, the writings are secreted out of Charenton by the laundry maid, Madeleine (Kate Winslet), and their popularity on the streets of France causes outraged apoplexy among the powers that be. Unfortunately, this film seeks to rehabilitate de Sade's image into that of Brave Soldier in the Noble Battle against Hypocrisy. Which not only flattens and dulls the film's subject, it also makes for one hell of a hypocritical movie in its own right. (Bruce Reid) Bagdad Theater, Laurelhurst Theater

Shadow of the Vampire
In this piece about the filming of the classic silent horror flick Nosferatu, Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich are hilarious, providing many quotable quotes and actions that will provide hours of fun for fans of high camp (much like similar lines from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Austin Powers). [Note to Post-ironic Mockers: it's not bad enough to be THAT funny. It's just plain bad.] (Julianne Shepherd) Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater

Snatch
Guy Ritchie (a.k.a. Mr. Madonna) knows how to use a camera like nobody else. Too bad he doesn't know how to make a film. The technique is clear: heaps colorful characters together who are walking around in nicely lit areas doing nasty things, throw in a few twists, pile on a few more characters and a lot more nasty things, a couple more twists, and then you're done. (Jamie S. Rich) Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

Someone Like You
If cuteness becomes a commodity, Ashley Judd will become an enormous, publicly-traded, multinational corporation. Please think twice before you go see this film. 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza

Spy Kids
Fellow earthlings, I regret to inform you that even now as we speak, it is too late. Spy Kids is headed towards us like a juggernaut and only the childless have means of escaping. When a brother and sister set out to rescue their parents (played by Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino)--and, subsequently, the world--from a malignant army of robotic children, they simultaneously deliver us straight into the jaws of humanity's most lethal foe, consumerism. The jet-packs are corporate fueled. The adrenaline rushes are company sponsored. And as we leave, the advertisers wave goodnight as they wish us, and especially the children, many many sweet McDreams. (Suzy Lafferty) Cinema 99, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, St. John's Theater, Tigard-Joy Theater, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

* State and Main
Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and David Paymer descend on a small Vermont town to make a movie, bringing their sophisticated mores with them. The town end is held down by Charles Durning, Clark Gregg, Ricky Jay, Patti LuPone, Matt Malloy, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Julia Stiles... Do you begin to see a problem here? The cast is as fixedly big-city as a traffic jam. Though to tell you the truth, I was laughing too hard to worry about small inaccuracies. David Mamet has said that he was thinking of Preston Sturges when he put this film together, and it's a worthy successor to the Master. (Barley Blair) Laurelhurst Theater

* A Time for Drunken Horses
Even if Iranians don't celebrate Christmas, this movie is bound to be a holiday classic. Sure, it doesn't have the gooey sentimentality of It's A Wonderful Life, but it does have sweeping panoramas of the snowy and rugged Iranian border. After his father is killed by a mine, a stoic teenage boy is forced to smuggle tires and whatnots across the border in order to earn enough money to pay for his siblings schoolbooks and an operation for his dying, invalid brother (hello, Tiny Tim, anyone?). Nominated by the Academy for Best Foreign Film, it will keep you by the short hairs. (Phil Busse) Laurelhurst Theater

* Tokyo Eyes
Bullets and generational discontent fly fast and furious in this story, which navigates the much-traveled gray area between Godard and Tarantino. Like many a movie vigilante before him, K starts killing people to stop crime. Along the way a wacky hairdresser falls in love with him. Featuring a cameo by Takeshi Kitano. Clinton Street Theatre

Tomcats
Evidently, a lot of people have been missing the Porky's franchise. At least, that's the only explanation we can find for this slop-fest. 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

Traffic
What with Hollywood throwing Oscars at director Steven Soderbergh, this film is perhaps the most over-hyped film of the year. By now, unless you've been hiding up Richard Gere's butt, you know the scoop: With jumpy camera movements and "edgy" editing, the film braids together three loosely connected stories about the--gasp--drug war. What you may not have heard, though, is that one of these three stories is about as challenging as an after-school special, and another a blatant Miami Vice rip-off. The only truly lasting quality of the film is Benicio Del Toro, whose unflinching performance explores the conflicts between loyalty and self-preservation. (Phil Busse) City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Hilltop, Koin Center, Lloyd Cinemas, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas, Westgate

* Waiting for Guffman
Christopher Guest is Corky St. Clair, (way, way off) Broadway Director, in this "funny because it's true" mockfest about the big-city aspirations of small-town theater. With Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara, and Eugene Levy as the soon-to-be-famous players of Blaine, Missouri.

The Wedding Planner
Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) is the baddest-assest Wedding Planner that ever there was. The sad truth, though, is that poor, gorgeous Mary can't seem to find a date! One day, outta nowhere, a runaway dumpster is just about to mow Mary down, and who's there to save her, but Matthew McCon! Before you know it they're dancing under the stars, then he vanishes, only to magically reappear as--how did you know?--the groom-to-be of Mary's latest client! O. My. Gawd! Avalon , Edgefield Powerstation, Mt. Hood Theater

The Widow of St. Pierre
In 1849, on Saint-Pierre, a French-ruled island off the Newfoundland coast, a sailor, after getting drunk and killing a man as a kind of stupid prank, is sentenced to death by guillotine. And the nearest one is far to the south. While waiting for it to arrive, Neel is taken under the wing of "Madame La" Pauline (Juliette Binoche) and a kind of love grows not only between them, but between Neel and the community, as well. You couldn't ask for a more ready-made parable (based on the historical record, yet) of the horror of the death penalty, the inhuman machinery of the state, and the grandeur of the human spirit. Fox Tower 10

* Wolves, Pigs and People
Fukasaku's Wolves, Pigs and People is a veritable cacophony of brutality and honor. It is the story of three brothers: a gutter-dwelling punk kid; his older brother, who enlists his help in a robbery; and their eldest brother, who is with the gang that the younger brothers are trying to rob. The heist they plan goes painfully awry when the youngest brother realizes that he and his cronies are being short-changed on their share of the loot. Everything gets pretty messy--a gang of youths beat a dog to death with sticks and cook it into stew, half the characters get their hands smashed into a bloody pulp with a vice grip, and the youngest of the brothers smashes his own hand with a brick. Fukasaku may be working within a rather conventional genre, but his style (replete with a musical number, brilliant use of still image montage, and effectively dank and grimy interior photography) make this film well worth at least one viewing, if not several. (Pablo de Ocampo) Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

* You Can Count on Me
This is the sort of well-crafted, nutritious drama that gets critics burned out on adrenalized hoopla all tied up in knots. It's fine work, featuring Laura Linney's best performance since Congo (or maybe even before) as a single mom in the quaint burg of Scottsville. Her pothead drifter of a brother, also well played by Mark Ruffalo, shows up, spurring an eventual, earnest realization of the importance of family. Matthew Broderick has an amusing role as Linney's new boss, who says things like "I like paperwork." The latest product of the Culkin Family Factory Farm for Cuteness, Rory, plays the precocious eight-year-old. Playwright Kenneth Lonergan has, for his first film, created a movie for grown-ups that hardly ever surprises, but somehow that's OK. (Marc Mohan) Koin Center