A.I.
All the performances are up to snuff (especially Jude Law as a cybernetic gigolo who serves as David's spirit guide of sorts) but Spielberg outdoes himself by taking us on an exhausting journey of a world that teeters on the brink of logic, sci-fi, and fairy tale. It's as if some futuristic scientist took Spielberg and Kubrick's brains out of their formaldehyde-drenched jars and shmooshed them together to create a film that strives to be nihilistic as well as kinda cute. While long enough to become boring, A.I. can be still be chalked up as a success for Spielberg, who has managed to put aside the cotton candy for a moment. WSH 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

Adventures in Wild California
See Califonia by sky, land, and water, and expierence extreme sports while you're at it. OMSI

America's Sweethearts
Julia Roberts used to be fat. Yeah, right. Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Moreland Theater, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

* Amores Perros
Amores Perros begins at a screaming dead run and maintains one kind of intensity or another over the next two-and-a-half hours. Pungently translated as Love's a Bitch, Amores Perros comprises three stories of life, love, and aggressively twisted fate in the most polluted metropolis on the planet. Alejandro Gonzàlez Iñàrritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have enrolled in the Tarantino school of storytelling, but Gonzàlez Iñàrritu's own style and vision is so distinctive and assured in this directorial debut that no one should dwell on that point. This is a breakthrough work for Mexican cinema. Laurelhurst Theater

The Animal
Rob Schneider stars as a man about whom nothing is funny, especially when he pretends to be a dolphin or a monkey or a dog. Jesus, world, have we really sunk so low? At least Colleen from Survivor is in it. The day is saved! Kennedy School Theatre

Animated Worlds
Award winning Portland animators come together in this great collection. Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

Anniversary Party
Inspired by her back-to-basics experience making the Dogma film The King is Alive, Jennifer Jason Leigh called up her pal Alan Cumming and said something like "Hey, do you have a digital video camera? Cuz I know how we could make our own movie with just us and all our friends and it would be sooo cool! You do?! Well, come over!" Then Jennifer and Alan made a sort of Cassavettes-lite tale where they play a recently reconciled couple--she's a actress past her industry-dictated prime; he's a predictably androgynous novelist who's about to direct a film of his most recent book. The guests at the titular get-together at their sumptuous Hollywood Hills home are played by folks like Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Beals, and Gwyneth Paltrow as the starlet who's stealing Leigh's thunder. She also provides the Ecstasy that pushes the emotional dysfunction and repressed insecurities of the partygoers into the open. Eventually, it all devolves into a fairly self-indulgent barrage of screaming, swimming, and sobbing that made me feel not a bit of sympathy for these pampered souls. (Marc Mohan) Koin Center

Atlantis
The myth of the city of Atlantis is super cool, even to a humorless person like myself. The movie, however, is not. A slow-then-fast and extremely contorted plot are to blame, as is the annoying voice of Michael J. Fox. (Katie Shimer) Clackamas Town Center, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Washington Square Center

Baby Boy
Baby Boy, John Singleton's companion film to Boyz N the Hood, follows a single, male character, Jody (played by the sexy-ass model Tyrese Gibson), through his struggle to grow up and become A Real Man. That's the plot. Beyond that, it gets kind of confusing. There's all this weird imagery through the whole movie, like the grown-up Jody writhing around in amniotic fluid and this nasty fake womb that looks like the leftover water from my eighth grade sea monkeys. And everyone acts like babies--thumb-sucking, whining, acting out--because the people in this hood (the same one from Boyz N the Hood, but ten years later and with different characters) are trying to figure out how to be responsible for themselves and their children. Lloyd Cinemas

Baise-Moi
Most people are calling Baise-Moi a feminist milestone. After all, it's a movie in which women are finally allowed to go apeshit onscreen! They're fucking, then murdering! Wahoo! However, I think this movie's message is very far from "pro-woman." In fact, I was surprised the film wasn't written by a man. Even with the supposed female-empowerment undertones, the whole thing seems like a stereotypical male fantasy--two hot chicks with guns--and falls into the tired trap of women finding empowerment by assuming stereotypically male characteristics. At the same time, the premise that men have the power to drive women batty enough to kill is rooted in dramatic, 1950s pulp. Though the graphic nature of Baise-Moi is a product of this age, it nevertheless plays into 50-year-old philosophies. (Julianne Shepherd) Clinton Street Theatre

Blow
Blow is Hollywood all the way to the bank. But despite all its predictability--a young man (Johnny Depp) rises to the top of the international drug trade and then falls to the bottom of the prison system--its portrayal of Mexicans, Central Americans, and middle America is unexpectedly sympathetic. Avalon, Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

Cats & Dogs
Freaky looking digital pets go paw to paw in this sterling monument to commerce. One word: woof. Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

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 said, the movie itself is unremarkable, and has absolutely nothing new to offer. (Charles Mudede) Bagdad Theater, Laurelhurst Theater

The Closet
An accountant at a condom factory realizes he's about to be fired. Divorced, alienated from his 17-year-old son, he contemplates suicide, but is instead given some rather odd advice from his neighbor, a retired psychiatrist: Announce that you are gay at work, and the powers that be will be too frightened to fire you, lest they get slapped with a nasty lawsuit. The accountant takes his neighbor's advice, and, well, hilarity ensues. Or, if not hilarity, at least a few laughs here and there. Actually, how well you like The Closet may in fact depend on just how high Three's Company ranked on your laugh-o-meter. If the answer is 10, then by all means, rush out and see it. If, on the other hand, the number is five (or four, or three), you might want to stay home. (Bradley Steinbacher) Fox Tower 10

* Crazy/Beautiful
Kirsten Dunst has finally reached maximum potential, and it's a beautiful thing. She's shed her Bring it on pom poms, and emerged heroin chic: the fucked-up, suicidal, and stoned high-school outsider. The plot: Kirsten meets Carlos (super, super hot Jay Hernandez) who is an overachieving Latina super-star; he rides the bus two hours each way just to get to the rich, white-kid school, where he's studying to become a pilot. He and Kirsten fall in love and Carlos takes it upon himself to straighten Kirsten out, who's been on self-destruct mode ever since her mother committed suicide. It's kind of like a contemporary fairy tale, except there's actually a lot of worthwhile character development as well as some touching, somewhat non-cliched exploration of issues of race and class. I cried in this movie: I NEVER cry in movies. (Katia Dunn) Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Washington Square Center

* Dancer in the Dark
Lars von Trier's new film may be a self-absorbed intellectual trainwreck, but Bjork is fucking awesome! Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* The Dish
Sam Neill and Puddy from Seinfeld come this close to screwing up the first televised moon landing in The Dish, a quirky Bill Forsyth-ish comedy about quirky small town folks given a great responsibility. Though almost too cute at times, director Rob Sitch captures the wonder and excitement of that awe-inspiring first trip to the moon. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Cinemagic

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Sam Raimi's horrific, funny sequel to the story of campers who get slaughtered on a trip into the wilderness. The group's only survivor returns to the campsite, and the madness continues.... Kennedy School Theatre

Evolution
This David Duchovny movie is so confused, banal, and cinematically retarded, I'm not sure where to begin. So fuck it, I won't. (Turkey McGoldenstein) Avalon, Kiggins Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

The Fast and the Furious
Burning rubber is the order of the day in this fuel-injected testosterone-pumped fluff piece from director Rob Cohen. Paul Walker is a SEXY undercover cop sent to infiltrate a gang of street racers (including the aptly named Vin Diesel) who he suspects of hijacking trucks, but what's this? He actually learns to love the big lugs, as well as the adrenaline rush of street racing. While the plot holes are big enough to drive two hijacked trucks through, and the story is an almost scene-by-scene ripoff of Point Break, everyone in the movie is H-O-T. HOT, and the cars are beautiful. But be sure to watch the papers, because this flick will surely inspire a nation of jar-head kids to begin racing and killing themselves at a record pace. For example, as soon as I left the theater I saw a kid in a Grand Torino peel out of the parking lot, lose control, and smash into the parking median. He might not have been fast...but he was FURIOUS! Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

Final Fantasy
Basically, you should go into Final Fantasy with the notion that you're about to be slapped on the forehead with a big slice of cheese. If you're already prepared for bad jokes, convoluted plot, yet very cool special effects, and a fairly standard anime storyline (peaceful Eastern philosophy vs. destructive Western decadence), Final Fantasy is going to be a decent way to spend two hours. But if you never actually enjoyed an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, it's time to dust off that Godard collection and forget you ever read any of this. (Julianne Shepherd) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

The Golden Bowl
The Golden Bowl is, in part, a drama of manners, and Merchant Ivory's production moves neatly upon the joints and hinges of a repressed society. But the filmmakers seem to think that a well-appointed costume drama with the weight of Henry James behind it doesn't need any creative help to succeed, so the neatness is plodding. People enter rooms, whisper to one another, make out passionately behind closed doors while holding lit candles, and glare portentously at photographs--but the movie remains too damp to make a spark. Koin Center

Inspired Chaos
Sketch comedy. Hollywood Theatre

Into the Arms of Strangers
The story of 10,000 children given refuge in Britin at the start of WWII. This is the story of their transport and loss of their families. Winner of the Oscar for best documentary. Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

* Invaders From Mars
In this gloriously cheapo sci-fi classic from 1953, a kid has the damndest time convincing the townsfolk they're under attack by Martians--perhaps because the townsfolk are Martians themselves! Cue creepy music! Hollywood Theatre

Jan Svankmajer Animation
Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer is known for the bizzare. Animation films including 3-D stop-motion animation, puppets, and live-action. Characters range from real people to socks to pencil sharpeners. You know, kind of like last week's "Dwarf Attack" comic. Ride the streetcar (it's free) to see the show. Cinema 21

Jurassic Park 3
Featuring 90 minutes of stomp-stomp and bite-bite, and very little else. See review this issue. 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

Kiss of the Dragon
Remember when Bridget Fonda actually had a promising career? What did she do to deserve this? Playing a North Dakotan-turned-Parisian hooker, Fonda fulfills the role of tonic to the high-octane Chinese chopsuey acrobat Jet Li. Fonda is, we learn, in the City of Lights trying to kick a heroin habit and longing her orphaned daughter. Jet Li is there dodging grenades and trying to bring down a corrupt police chief who runs a prostitute ring and (for reasons as obscure as an ancient Chinese secret) has killed an Asian diplomat. Would it kill them to hobble together a plot? (Phil Busse) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Sherwood 10, Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

A Knight's Tale
Closer in spirit to the video game Joust than to the Chaucer book from which it takes its name, this Heath Ledger vehicle makes ample use of '70s anthem rock and other anachronisms to create a really long, boring teenager movie. Avalon, Edgefield Powerstation, Mt. Hood Theater

* Legally BlondE
In Legally Blonde, Witherspoon plays a Southern California Barbie doll named Elle Woods. When her boyfriend dumps her (she's "not serious enough"), she decides to win him back by attending Harvard Law School, getting in even though her brain operates, with the savantish exception of matters of fashion, at the level of a 10-year-old. Legally Blonde is Witherspoon's show. She's committed and bizarre and fantastic, elevating the film's mediocrity into an enjoyably breezy farce without apparent effort. Her performance is a taunt to her contemporaries. And justifiably: No other actress of her generation could make Elle seem genuine, and none of them could take so much cinematic dross and spin it into silk. The fire of Witherspoon's talents should make them cower in fear. Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

The Magnificent Seven
Yul Brynner (along with six other studs) save a small Mexican village from a bunch of real jerk-offs. Laurelhurst Theater

The Man Who Cried
With a list of characters that should end with "...all walk into a bar," and scenes that often seem like they've been taken from romance novels, The Man Who Cried tells the story of a Gypsy (Johnny Depp), a Jewish refugee (Christina Ricci), and a Russian dancer's (Cate Blanchett) attempts at love in World War II Paris. Heavy on the pregnant pauses and aggressively poignant violin music, the whole two hours is an exercise in well acted depression, i.e. children kidnapped, villages burning, horses dying. (Nathan Albee) Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater

* 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 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, Lake Twin Cinema

The Mummy Returns
The first 30 minutes of this film are excruciating; the rest is better, thanks mostly to the appearance of John Hannah, but writer/director Stephen Sommers gets trumped by a ceaseless parade of god-awful digital effects. Digital mummy, digital scarabs, digital scorpions, digital armies, digital waterfall, digital river, digital drigible... even the city of London is digital. Avalon, Kiggins Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

* 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) Laurelhurst Theater

Otesanek
A child-obsessed woman carves a baby out of a tree stump and the baby comes to life. Careful though, this baby is hungry for human flesh. Stop-motion animation spliced with live action add to this film's moribidity and creativity. Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

* The Road Home
Yusheng's mother Di has called him home with an ancient request: He must gather a party of villagers to walk the body of his dead father home. Over the snowy mountains and all the way to their remote village, the bearers must tell the dead Mr. Luo, "This is the road home," so that he will always know. Some love stories could have happened anywhere. Others, like The Road Home, belong to their settings like the view from a particular hillside. The story of Di and Luo is communal territory, like the schoolhouse, and as necessary to the life of the village. Where director Zhang Yimou's Raise the Red Lantern was sweeping, The Road Home is tiny--and it's still completely overwhelming, especially when staring into Zhang Ziyi's doe eyes. (Evan Sult) Koin Center

Rust Never Sleeps
A concert film. Woop de do. Said to be a great one, starring old dog Neil Young when he was a younger dog in 1979. Clinton Street Theatre

The Score
Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, and Edward Norton play a bunch of crooks double and triple crossing one another. Like many a multi-star gumbo before it, this film (which was given no advance screening) bears the odor of too many cooks. Hopefully, it'll at least deliver on star power. 82nd Avenue, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
A recounting of the story of nine 13-19 year old African American boys accused of raping two white women in Painted Rock, Alabama. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

* Sexy Beast
Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) is a retired gangster, living high on a hill in the Costa del Sol, enjoying a lethargic existence. But he is as out of place here as the heart-shaped ceramic tiles on the floor of his pool. Bad news arrives in the shape of Don Logan (Ben Kingsley, so great), there to coax Gal back to England for a job. Gal resists, but Don won't take no for an answer, setting in motion a verbal boxing match so artful and intense it turns the sprawling Spanish vista into a pressure cooker in which Gal is forced to reckon for his ill-had comforts. A voice buried deep within Gal tells him and us that this can't last. Don is that voice, given brutal, relentless human form. In the fallout of their confrontation lies one of the finest films in recent memory. Fox Tower 10

Shrek
With fart and poop jokes aplenty, this computer animation flick is like a little boy's dream come true. Mike Myers puts on his Irish accent as the misunderstood Ogre Shrek, and Eddie Murphy ceaselessly yaks as his over-zealous, donkey sidekick. The most horrible actress in the world, Cameron Diaz, succeeds in making her character an inflamed, bloody ear sore that one would rather see squished than find true love and happiness. I found this movie kinda cute, but pretty annoying, while my boyfriend was doubled over in hysterics. Dads, take your sons, but be prepared for a lot of tooting and snickering afterwards. (Katie Shimer) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Koin Center, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Sherwood 10, Tigard-Joy Theater, Washington Square Center

Sound and Fury
If it's dramatic tension you're looking for, there's nothing like a family, and Sound and Fury depicts a house divided in a most unusual way. Two adult brothers, one deaf, one not, who differ on how to treat their own children's deafness. Chris (who can hear) and his wife Mari opt for a cochlear implant for their son, which will enable him to hear, while Peter and his wife, Nita (both of whom are deaf), decide their daughter will not have the operation, for fear of her losing her "deaf identity." The situation provokes passionate arguing on both sides of the issue (and both sides accuse the other of being abusive). If you can't conceive of why a person would say, given the choice, that they'd never want to join the "hearing community," this provocative film is a must-see. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Stag Party Special
Oh-so-dirty hardcore stag films from 1914-47. Included are How to Undress in Front of Your Husband, (starrring Mrs. John Barrymore) and Why Girls Walk Home. Sexy and informative! Clinton Street Theatre

* Startup.com
Two web enterpreneurs (former day-traders) start up their own internet business, and realize they've captured lightning in a bottle. They make tons of moolah, and hob-nob with the rich and famous...until everything goes to shit. Will their friendship survive? Though this documentary could've done a better job at fleshing out the characters and the business, Startup.com provides an interesting time capsule and explores how people are too often forced to choose between money and friendship. Laurelhurst Theater

Sweet Body of Bianca
A straight laced mathematician works at the super liberal "Marilyn Monroe High School." When he falls in love with the new French teacher, however, he realizes that tidy logic flies out the window. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater, Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

Sweet Dreams
If Nanni Moretti is the Woody Allen of Italy, like they say, then this is his "Stardust Memories." In it, Moretti return to the character of Michele which he inaugurated in "Ecce Bomba." Michele is now a film director (surprise!) who is returning from a hiatus with a picture about Sigmund Freud and his mother. Michele himself lives at home with his mom, whom he beats up at one point. You see, Michele is rather an asshole. He has total contempt for his audience and for other aspiring artists. Unlike Woody's character Sandy Bates in Stardust though, Michele utterly lacks a self-awareness of his own assholeosity, so it becomes more and more difficult to put up with his juvenile hijinks. There's some funny stuff here about the pretentiousness of critics and the horrible tastes of the masses, but it's obscured behind a truly annoying lead character. (Marc Mohan) Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

The Collected Filmworks of Tony Gault
Personal, experimental, documentary, and storytelling films by University of Colorado film instructor Tony Gault. Shot on 16mm and Super 8. Yeah. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

The Mass Has Ended
Nanni Moretti plays a young priest trying to pull a divided parish back together. The film explores love in many forms. Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

* The Princess and the Warrior
The second collaboration between director Tom Twyker and the stunning beautiful German actress Franka Potente. This time around, though, the pair has replaced the frenetic Nintendo plot of Run Lola Run with a carefully paced romance. No, we're not talking about a fawning Julia Roberts running around with her estrogen hanging out, but an eerie and tragic fairytale where castles are replaced by an insane asylum and Prince Charming by a stoic street punk. Cinema 21

Times Square
Two gals from different sides of the tracks form a punk band and storm the big apple. Made in 1980. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

VeggieTales
Animated vegetables teach kids lessons. Hollywood Theatre

* With a Friend Like Harry
This Hitchcockian thriller took France by storm last year, winning several Cesar awards (France's version of the Oscar). The blackest hue of comedy tints the tale of Harry (Sergi Lopez), a wealthy bon vivant with an unshakable affinity for Michel (Laurent Lucas). Harry, firm in his belief that Michel's child-strewn, moneyless life could be made more easy, begins to use his influence--and cash--to remove various obstacles to Michel's happiness. A new car here and a case of champagne there escalates to a predictably absurd degree. The film is plain in comparison to its obvious inspiration, Hitchcock's oeuvre. But a deft French wit, and that oh-so-well-done trick of Euro-allegory (this film is about the difficulty of making art) rise like cream to the top of this film: The first taste is awfully sweet, even if it doesn't linger long. (Jamie Hook) Cinemagic