Her Royal highness

For years I had an anti-acknowledgement policy Re: Charlize Theron's involvement in any film. Post-Monster, of course, her personal life was thrust into the limelight, and her award-winning performance did what it was supposed to do: expand her fanbase to include sour, old, cynical fucks like me. Onscreen, all her shaking and duress are inherently more profound, once you learn she survived a real-life domestic incident in which her mother shot her father dead after he threatened to kill them in cold blood. Method freaks: How's that for something to draw on? It's time to revisit and reevaluate Ms. Theron's performances, and recognize her for the Oscar-winning talent that she is.

- The Devil's Advocate (1997)--I hadn't really seen this because, well, it's Keanu and Charlize, together. As it turns out, Pacino's performance as the Devil is as quotable as it is incendiary. Charlize and Keanu actually do a spectacular job as Floridian lambs to the slaughter, so to speak. If you haven't yet, see it. Especially if you're satanic, or fancy yourself aligned with darkness.

- Trapped (2002)--Again, I didn't exactly rush out to see this B thriller; anything prominently featuring Courtney Love scares me. This delightful train-wreck of a kidnapping movie is set in the Northwest; its plot is equal parts Panic Room, Ransom, and The Vanishing. For Charlize, getting within one degree of Kevin Bacon was an important strategy for putting her career securely in the lap of popular culture. Rife with stunts and creepy suspense, Trapped will entertain you thoroughly, especially if you're baked. - The Cider House Rules (1997)--This is a great film in which Charlize gets to co-star with an ether-huffing Michael Caine, who utters the memorable line, "Goodnight you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England!" Charlize plays Candy, a life-loving woman who decides to fuck Spider-Man (Tobey McGuire) after her husband is shipped off to war. Not the most popular or responsible decision, but without it, the title would have to be changed to Michael Caine's Ether-Induced Collapse. LANCE CHESS