In the hours before the riot-inspiring Rodney King verdict, a grizzled L.A. cop and his idealistic young partner negotiate a day of increasingly dark and twisted crime-fighting, until... the Los Angeles jury acquits the officers responsible for beating Rodney King, and ka-BOOM. Sadly, director Ron Shelton (White Men Can't Jump) stumbles repeatedly en route to his explosive conclusion. (David Schmader)
Gods and Generals
The story of civil war hero Stonewall Jackson. The prequel to the 1993 "hit" Gettysburg.
The Life of David Gale
The Life of David Gale is like watching an episode of Scooby Doo unfold--heavy-handed non-villains, meddling kids and all. It's a shame, as the premise--a look at capital punishment and redemption--could have allowed for something of an interesting exercise. With lead balloon pacing and embarrassingly slack-jawed cinematography, however--not to mention another impossibly smug Kevin Spacey performance--David Gale has all the subtle artistry of a Twinkie. Without all the suspense. (Zac Pennington)
At the First Breath of Wind (Italy)
Franco Piavoli's exploration of the inner lives of a family as they sit around doing nothing in their Italian villa is beautifully shot and a pleasure to look at. That being said, it is a piece of crap. Regardless of how talented a cinematographer might be, no audience should be tricked into paying their hard-earned dough to watch 80 minutes of clouds, sleeping dogs, insipid oversimplifications of the meaning of "life and death" and most of all rich Italians sitting around moping. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)
Blissfully Yours (Thailand)
After escaping into the Thai countryside, an illegal Burmese immigrant and two Thai women get down with picnics and luv-making.
Freddy, an illegal immigrant from Bolivia goes to Buenos Aires in hopes of making some money so his family can come join him. While he does get a job, Freddy is unhappy and misses his family, and when one of his few friends turns on him, he loses his shit.
Deserted Station (Iran)
A couple who has had two stillborn children goes to the holy city to pray for the live birth of their third. On the way, their car breaks down in a small town where the local mechanic, barber, and school teacher are one in the same. The wife helps out by teaching and becomes transformed by the charm of the isolated world and of course, the children.
Divine Intervention (Palestine/Morocco)
Elia Suleiman writes, directs, and stars in this film about a Palestinian man tending to his sick father in the midst of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
The screenwriter of the original Insomnia takes another murky look at the evil that men do, and then helplessly obsess over. A generation-gapped couple's idyllic farm life gets torn asunder with the arrival of a figure from the past. (Andrew Wright)
Sugihara is a Japanese teen of Korean ancestry who just can't fit in anywhere, and spends much of his time outrunning subway trains and beating the crap out of anyone who challenges him. Happily for those who have been getting their noses bloodied, he meets Sakurai; a hottie who teaches him about love. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)
House with a View of the Sea (Venezuela)
After his wife dies, a farmer in the Andean foothills commits a desperate act of violence to prove himself to his 12-year-old son. The man is thrown in jail and the boy is left to farm on his own.
Invisible Children (Colombia)
Another one of those movies about that one fateful summer when the lives of three boyhood friends are forever changed. This one has a twist, though, because the boys can turn invisible and spy on the girls they have crushes on.
A story about a suicidal man who changes his mind in order to help an old lady.
Laurel Canyon (USA)
An outwardly airtight couple (Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale) reluctantly relocate to the crumbling, groupie-haunted manse of his rock producing, partying mother (Francis McDormand). Romantic entanglements, Oedipal spit-takes, identity crises, and Kip Wingeresque excess swiftly follow. (Andrew Wright)
Two brothers try to escape their families' cycle of violence and drug use in New York City's Washington Heights.
Somewhere between X-Files, The Stalker, and Dark Angel is Minoes. The film is about a cat that is accidentally transformed into a beautiful woman with cat-like tendencies--she likes to hang out on roof tops, cover her shit with dirt, and, with one leg in the air, lick her own pussy. (Charles Mudede)
Mondays in the Sun (Spain)
Portlanders will probably dig this one; it's about shipyard workers trying to deal with the hardships of being unemployed. Plus, there's a character named Santa, and indignant yet kind-hearted man who rages against the broken promises of modern capitalist society.
Monrak Transistor (Thailand)
The director of the Tarantinoesque 69 is already back with another film about hopelessness, desperation, and broken dreams. His new film involves a singer who has tried hard to become something but has achieved absolutely nothing. (Charles Mudede)
Morvern Callar (Great Britain)
Based on the Alan Warner novel, the film is supposed to be about a rave culture gal whose boyfriend offs himself leaving her with some money and opportunity. The film version, however, has almost no dialogue, no good rave scenes, and no compelling story. (Katie Shimer)
Nine Good Teeth (USA)
A grandson interviews his 102-year-old grandmother and she reveals secrets of family mob ties, affairs, and even murder.
Rodrigo returns to the town where he grew up to find he not only has a daughter, but also a granddaughter, Octavia. When she is rebellious against his old ways, it serves as a mirror of his younger self.
The Only Journey of his Life (Greece)
The 19th Century Vizyenos is locked away after "expressing" his obsessive love for a local 12-year-old. There, his reality mixes up with fantasies about his grandfather dressing up as a young girl.
Open Hearts (Denmark)
A shocking accident brings two couples together. Half of one couple falls in love with half of the other, and naturally, things start to get a wee bit complicated. This film is a Dogme film, which means no frills; no special effects, no music, no sets, no nothing. Just pure story, filmed on location.
Safe Conduct (france)
In WWII Paris, two men in the film industry cope with the German occupation. One takes a job working for a German film company, and the other, having no money, hops from one woman's bed to another.
Behind the scenes at the national junior high spelling bee...
the supplement (poland)
A little trip to the monastery yanks one man off his track of being a mountain climbing doctor and into a self-reflexive spin that threatens his relationship.
This is Not A Love Song (Great Britain)
Two petty, on the lam criminals are like a punk version of Of Mice and Men. Bending and remolding the bonds of loyalty, this pair flees through Scotland, pursued by a relentless posse of farmers.
Waiting for Happiness (Mauritania)
A 17-year-old boy goes to a small Mauritanian villiage to say goodbye to his mother before departing for Europe. Even though he does not speak the native language, the simple goings on of the town intrigue him and he is sucked into the villiagers' stories.
The Wild Bees (Czech)
This depressing but beautifully shot film centers on a group of twentysomething dreamers bored with life, but too poor and drunk to get out of town. (Pat Kearny )