I can't fault 2046 for what it decidedly chooses not to be (i.e., "comprehensible"). Because even though it opts to go in some frustrating and vague directions, Wong Kar-Wai's latest film is—as has been pointed out by pretty much every critic on the planet—brilliant. Yet among all its impenetrable genius, I can't shake the feeling that 2046 could have been much more, if it wasn't so content to be what it is: gorgeous and superficial. (Erik Henriksen) Broadway Metroplex

The 40-Year-Old Virgin
A giddily puerile and surprisingly sweet film that heartily deserves its R rating. Steve Carell earnestly plays Andy, a—well, duh—40-year-old virgin. When his coworkers discover that the dorky, uptight, and weirdly adorable Andy has never—how shall I put this?—fucked, they decide to do something about it. Hi-jinks, of course, ensue. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc

Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Based on a story of the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro, who led an expedition into a Peruvian rain forest in 1560, Aguirre is an extreme film about madness and civilization. Though early in the movie we learn the Spaniards are looking for the elusive City of Gold, it quickly becomes evident they won't find it, that this is not an adventure story, and the sinister river they are following is leading them only to death. This movie has the most haunting ending in all of cinema; the image of the little monkeys swarming on the Spanish raft fueled my nightmares for weeks. (Charles Mudede) PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats is about a joke, and the film's title is that joke's punchline. I know that sounds like a spoiler—and well, maybe it is, a little bit—but the punchline is hardly the point of The Aristocrats. So what exactly is the point of a 90-minute documentary about a joke in which the punchline doesn't really matter? Well, depending on your constitution, it's either an elaborate excuse for dozens of comedians to wax indulgently about infants being paw-fucked by the family dog, or a brilliantly left-handed examination of the very nature of humor itself. Either way, I nearly pissed myself with laughter—and I defy anyone with even the faintest appreciation for sophomoric humor not to do the same. (Zac Pennington) Fox Tower 10

Being Caribou
Two well-intentioned Canadian environmentalists follow a herd of caribou across Canada and Alaska to illustrate what would be lost if we begin drilling for oil in the National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, there's nothing more boring than a well-intentioned Canadian. Despite the sincerity of the husband and wife filmmaking team, Being Caribou feels amateurish and flat, devoting far too much screen time to the narrators and not nearly enough to the caribou. Particularly in the wake of this summer's crop of stunning nature documentaries, Being Caribou is ultimately nothing more than a reminder that good intentions do not a good documentary make. (Alison Hallett) Clinton Street Theater

Clocking in at a staggering total of six hours, Best of Youth plunges viewers into the intimate labyrinth of an Italian family. To retell the plot would be a monumental task; suffice it to say that Best of Youth masterfully seduces the attention, guiding it through a seamless tapestry of emotionally complex relationships and revelations that are consistently interesting enough to merit its marathon length. (Evan James)

The Brothers Grimm
Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm is a film that seems tailor-made for the former Monty Python animator—yet suffers from general incoherency, murky cinematography, and irretrievably bad performances from the two lead actors. Matt Damon (doing his best Eddie Izzard impression) and Heath Ledger (who still hasn't been good in anything besides 10 Things I Hate About You) are the titular siblings, who roam the mythical European countryside bilking peasants into thinking that their villages are haunted by the very curses that befall the characters in the beloved Grimm Fairy Tales. Then the brothers encounter some real monsters, discover their inner creative selves, learn to love, and blah, blah, blah; while there are a few nice moments here and there, most of the film is a big mess, clearly the result of committee editing and directorial abandonment. (Sean Nelson) Regal Cinemas, etc

Colors of Darkness
A short dramatic film made by Jefferson High School students under the guidance of filmmaker George F. Hood. Guild

The Comedians of Comedy
See review this issue. Guild

The Constant Gardener
A valiant adaptation of an utterly lame John LeCarre novel. I certainly don't fault great director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) for wanting to try his hand with a crossover thriller; I do, however, fault LeCarre for writing such a bland, paint-by-numbers plot—which features Ralph Fiennes as an ineffective diplomat investigating the death of his wife, Tessa (Rachel Weisz), via a shopping list of clichés: Mysterious black cars, anonymous death threats, and gripping dialogue such as "I suggest you quit all this snooping around and put Tessa's death behind you!" (Chas Bowie) Regal Cinemas, etc

Corpse Bride
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc

Cry Wolf
Not screened for critics, this film has high schoolers creating a joke about a serial killer named—you guessed it—"The Wolf." Then—you guessed it—people start dying. That'll teach them to... Cry Wolf! Featuring—you didn't guess this—Jon Bon Jovi! Regal Cinemas, etc

El Crimen Perfecto
See review this issue. Cinema 21

The Endless Summer II
There's a whole lot of surfing in this sequel to the 1966 classic, though whether it holds a candle to Michael J. Fox surfing on top of Stiles' van in Teen Wolf is up for debate. Pix Patisserie

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
When I was a kid, I had terminal insomnia because of a fear of being possessed by the Devil. So while I should have been terrified of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I wasn't—while the movie's ads would have you think it's a horror movie, Emily Rose is actually a manipulatively marketed courtroom drama, and one that ranks well below an episode of Law & Order. Oh, and if you don't believe that this movie is crap, simply examine the rating: A neutered PG-13. If anything deserves to be exorcised, it's supposedly scary movies bearing a kid-friendly rating. (Katie Shimer) Regal Cinemas, etc

See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc

Grizzly Man
For 13 straight summers, Timothy Treadwell really did go up and camp out in Alaska's Grizzly Maze, home to thousands of burly, wild grizzly bears. At close range, Treadwell really did coo baby talk at these vicious, hungry creatures, and he really did stroke their fur with his bare hands. And in October of 2003, Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, really were killed and eaten by a grizzly bear. For Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog dug into more than 100 hours of film footage that Treadwell shot while living among the bears—footage that is frequently hilarious, occasionally profound, and sometimes terrifying. (Justin Sanders) Fox Tower 10

IT (Independent Tuesdays)
Nocturnal's homemade film and video event—now at Acme! Acme

A classic tale of a city mouse going country. There's a lot of drama goin' on in Junebug, and the film hinges on the ability of its actors to convey a remarkable range of emotion with a relatively taciturn script. But while the script isn't anything special, the cast's compelling acting results in a modest, thoughtful film that quietly exceeds the low standards it sets for itself. (Alison Hallett) Hollywood Theatre

Just Like Heaven
A moralizing fable that's sneakily disguised as a vapid romantic comedy. Reese Witherspoon, on her way to meet a blind date, gets into a car accident. Mark Ruffalo moves into her now-vacated apartment, which, natch, is promptly haunted by the unresolved specter of Witherspoon. Slapstick trials and flirting ensue. It's striking how Just Like Heaven preaches about how abnormal it is to live a life without a romantic relationship—I mean, it's as if the filmmakers are telling you it's more natural to fall in love with a ghost than be single. (Evan James) Regal Cinemas, etc

The Lonely Trainmen: Bill Daniel & Vanessa Renwick
Obsessed with mythological American iconography, travel, folk art, and film, Vanessa Renwick and Bill Daniel are the spiritual godparent veterans of Portland's experimental film scene. For Who is Bozo Texino?, Daniel spent years riding freight trains with his Super-8 camera, studying the hobo graffiti on the side of the cars. Of the hundreds of signature tags, "Bozo Texino" was the most ubiquitous of them all. Interviewing hobos, train inspectors, and railway men, Daniel crosses fields and rivers on flatbed cars in search of the elusive tagger in this lush, gritty black and white film. Meanwhile, Renwick has become an unofficial archivist and supporter of the Lovejoy columns—a series of mystical paintings on the freeway columns near the old downtown train yard. In the late '90s, that section of the freeway was torn down, and a massive (but funky) campaign to preserve the columns was initiated. Renwick was there to document it all in her scratchy, melancholy style, resulting in her new film, Lovejoy. (Chas Bowie) (Chas Bowie) Hollywood Theatre

Lord of War
As arms dealer Yuri Orlov, Nicolas Cage has his shit together: A confident strut, expensive suits, cool sunglasses, and an easy amorality. He's even got coy, cat-and-mouse banter with Agent Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke). If nothing else, Orlov knows that he's untouchable, despite his trade—the selling of weapons to the highest bidder, an act that furthers the world's dirtiest wars. So with a character like Orlov, it's too bad that almost everything else about Lord of War is so damn lousy. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc

The Lovers
A jaded housewife's carefully modulated hopscotch between husband and lover goes awry with the appearance of a lower-class wildcard. A monster hit in France, and subsequently banned in the USA's Bible Belt on an obscenity charge (later overturned by the Supreme Court), Louis Malle's third film finds his elegant, patient wit well in place. The director's depiction of the hermetic rich comes close to overdosing on its own bourgeois ennui at times, but is redeemed by a magical, almost wordless third act, in which the unlikely couple swoons their way through Eden. (Andrew Wright) Whitsell Auditorium

The Man
If the prospect of watching Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy in a buddy/action comedy is appealing to you, go see The Man immediately! You will undoubtedly be doubling over at the film's inventive fart jokes, and you'll surely cry with joy when Levy, playing a diminutive dental supplies salesman who's embroiled in a dangerous police investigation, slaps Jackson, a hardened Detroit cop, and calls him his bitch. However, it is Mr. Jackson who needs to have a similar interaction with his agent, as watching his commanding screen (and scream) presence go to waste on this end-of-summer stinker is the equivalent of gilding a turd. (Kip Berman) Vancouver Plaza

The Memory of a Killer
Angelo Ledda (Jan Decleir) is an aging assassin in Belgium who abruptly throws down his gun when he's asked to kill a 12-year-old-girl. When the girl winds up dead anyway, Ledda embarks upon a vigilante campaign to destroy those responsible for her death—but his attempts to bring justice are hindered by an advancing case of Alzheimer's disease, which results in nightmares and weird flashbacks. While the idea of an assassin with Alzheimer's was probably intended to heighten the urgency of the film, I was more worried that Ledda was taking his pills regularly. (Alison Hallett) Fox Tower 10

Occupation: Dreamland
There are so many documentaries about Iraq that I have to stop from time to time and remind myself that the war isn't a reality TV show. Fortunately, some of them manage to bypass notions of "good" and "bad" and just add complexity to our idea of what happens at war. Occupation: Dreamland follows a unit of soldiers stationed in Fallujah in early 2004: cameras roll as they tell how they joined the army, what they think about the war, and how they feel about their responsibilities as soldiers. Regardless of your ideological bias, this documentary can, thankfully, only serve to complicate your understanding of the war in Iraq. (Evan James) Clinton Street Theater

Portland Solid Gold!
A hilariously titled program of music videos from local musicians and filmmakers, including Cat Solen's video for Bright Eyes' "At the Bottom of Everything," Matt McCormick and Greg Brown's video for the Shins' "Past and Pending," E*Rock's "Ratatat's Cherry," and McCormick's video for Sleater Kinney's "Jumpers." Whitsell Auditorium

See review this issue. Fox Tower 10

Roll Bounce
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
Enlisting the smart, chatty alt-Florida musician Jim White as his guide, British filmmaker Andrew Douglas visits the Deep South's prisons, swamps, juke joints, and chicken fried steak restaurants that double as houses of worship. The movie is peppered with musical performances by White and other songwriters who draw inspiration from the region; while the music provides one of the year's best soundtracks, the film's showcasing of these musicians in "natural" settings, like barbershops and junkyards, jars the film out of its documentary premise, making it feel more like a succession of music videos. (Chas Bowie) Hollywood Theatre

Transporter 2
An unnecessary sequel to an unnecessary original. Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin, the well dressed gun-for-hire who likes to drive fast and snap limbs. His car is a black Audi, his enemies are Eurotrash bent on poisoning government officials, and his means are both overblown and ridiculous—so much so that it had the audience I watched it with (all eight of them) buckled over in laughter. If you loved the first film you're sure to love this one. On a related note, if you loved the first film there's something wrong with you. (Bradley Steinbacher) Century Eastport 16, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Lloyd Cinemas, Tigard Cinemas, City Center 12, Division Street, 99W Drive-In, Vancouver Plaza

An Unfinished Life
Lasse Hallström's An Unfinished Life is, in many ways, a return to old-fashioned cinema—in which the men are brave, wise, and strong; the women are desperate, determined, and beautiful; and everyone's pain is easy to relate to. There are no plot twists, and the story's events are predictable from the film's opening. The victims of domestic abuse, Jean (Jennifer Lopez) and her daughter Griff (Becca Gardner) flee to Wyoming, where they're grudgingly sheltered by the father of Jean's dead husband, Einar (Robert Redford), who blames Jean for his son's accidental death. The film plays to everybody's strengths, and while Life is certainly formulaic, there's a worthy comfort in its familiarity—that "It'll be okay" pat on the head that serves as cinematic solace. (Marjorie Skinner) Regal Cinemas, etc

A Louisiana gas station attendant mistakenly opens a suitcase chock full o' voodoo snakes, only to be reborn as an evil peckerwood corpse with a penchant for crowbars. Many WB favorites get mulched. Not to discount the awesome idea of a tow-truck-drivin' zombie, but this Kevin Williamson-produced flick otherwise goes strictly by the established pseudo-slasher numbers. To be charitable, director Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Last Summer) does know this turf well, and manages to squeeze in some genuinely nice Bayou atmosphere between the expected truckloads of false scares, semi-revealing tank tops, and god-awful nü metal. That, plus the scene where Bijou Phillips gets menaced by a sandblaster, may well be enough for those in search of air conditioning. (Andrew Wright) Century Eastport 16, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Lloyd Mall

Zazie Dans le Métro
When a subway strike messes up her holiday plans, a demonic little cherub kicks France's reality to the curb, wreaking havoc on a Biblical scale. In what has to be one of the largest about-faces in history, director Louis Malle ditches his usual sly reserve for all-out insanity, concocting a Mad Magazine of a movie filled to the brim with double takes, visual puns, and enough fast-motion foot chases to give Benny Hill a migraine. Hyperbole aside, this may very well be the goddamndest thing you'll ever see. On the acting front, future legend Philippe Noiret valiantly holds his own against pasta fights, cartoon bombs, and (in one of the film's more lucid scenes) a guy in a polar bear suit on top of the Eiffel Tower. Mon Dieu, and then some. (Andrew Wright) Whitsell Auditorium