SEVEN SAMURAI One of 'em is playing hide and seek!

recommended 127 Hours
See Film, this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Carlos
See review this issue. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Eliot Spitzer was a damn good attorney general; known as "The Sheriff of Wall Street," he cleaned up corruption and had planned to do the same thing as governor of New York. He only had two problems: The enemies he'd made during his crackdowns, and his proclivity toward expensive hookers. Client 9 is a well-made documentary by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney; while it's too long and sometimes feels like a commercial paid for by Spitzer, it gets to the root problem of politics: If the rich and powerful desire, you're going down. MARISSA SULLIVAN Living Room Theaters.

Due Date
Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) wants to be an actor. He is also a moron. Wearing his finest Lilith Fair T-shirt for his journey to Hollywood, Ethan insists Shakespeare is "a famous pirate" named "Shakesbeard," believes ejaculate is what happens "when your urine turns white," and runs a Two and a Half Men fansite. Meanwhile, Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is a clever, high-strung guy in an expensive suit and expensive sunglasses; constantly clenching his teeth, he embarks on a flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles. If you're guessing Peter and Ethan have an awkward meeting at the airport, you guessed right. If you're guessing Peter and Ethan get kicked off their flight, you guessed right. If you're guessing that, despite the obvious stupidity of the plan, Peter will hop into Ethan's rented Subaru Impreza for a cross-country road trip to California, you guessed right. And if you're guessing you saw this movie when it was called Planes, Trains & Automobiles, you guessed so, so right. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Earth
Deepa Mehta's 1998 drama, set in India in 1947. Fifth Avenue Cinema.

Enter the Void
People get addicted to crack. Heroin, alcohol, meth, ecstasy, sure—but it's unusual to find someone claiming "junkie" status in regards to a psychedelic like DMT. Director Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) just might be one of these rare cases who, if not physically addicted, is so in love with the visual hallucinations and sense of mind-blowing wonder that psychedelics provide that he pays tribute in a nearly two-and-a-half-hour-long simulacrum of the circular epiphany familiar to anyone who ever ate a bitty piece of paper and thought Big Thoughts. The acting is abysmal, and the "plot" (reincarnation à la The Tibetan Book of the Dead, as is explicitly articulated at least twice) only exists to provoke explicit sex scenes (including a triumphant money shot from inside the cervix), startling bloodshed, and nauseating humanity delivered in nervous, stuttered flashes of editing. To many people, this will be a form of Hell. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.

Everyday Exercise: Tomonari Nishikawa
Many people make movies to capture memories. Others press "record" for entertainment. But Tomonari Nishikawa shoots video for an image of what film can be. Wherever he goes, he brings a Super-8 and a formalist lean, documenting the essential elements of his medium. Plot isn't an intention, and representation is often incidental to form and abstraction. In a video made via pinhole techniques, few recognizable objects are shown—only flashes of fences, walls, and light (what he calls "apparent shapes and movements"). In another, entitled Tokyo-Ebisu, shots of 10 train stations are layered at varying degrees of transparency, and as the movie progresses, the screen is sectioned into a checkerboard of coterminous film fragments. From November 19-21, Nishikawa will be at Disjecta to present his newest installation and video, Yamanote Loop (Fri Nov 19), screen his old works (Sat Nov 20), and give a talk (Sun Nov 21). More info: cinemaproject.org. MATT STANGEL Disjecta.

recommended Fair Game
While we may not need to be reminded that the most recent Bush administration was built on lies, it never hurts to recall a few particulars. In 2003, Washington Post reporter Robert Novak wrote a column outing and effectively ending the career of Valerie Plame—a CIA operative who had been gathering intelligence on Iraq's supposed "weapons of mass destruction" program. When Plame's husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of manipulating this intelligence to "exaggerate the Iraqi threat," a plot of revenge was hatched, and Plame's identity was leaked to the press. In Fair Game—partially based on Plame's autobiography of the same name—Naomi Watts and Sean Penn recreate the couple's professional, marital, and internal struggles during this time... to varying degrees of illumination and annoyance. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Fox Tower 10.

For Colored Girls
Tyler Perry's latest, based on the Ntozake Shange play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. Not screened for critics. Lloyd Mall 8.

recommended Four Lions
Four Lions humanizes terrorism. Don't misunderstand: This is a very different statement than "Four Lions makes terrorism understandable and sympathetic." I mean to say that Four Lions does, in fact, humanize terrorism, by reminding the audience that human beings can be incomprehensibly dumb and clumsy animals. One has to be a special sort of idiot to think dressing in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume to suicide bomb a charity fun-run is going to win you any sort of heavenly reward, but this is the humanity Four Lions concerns itself with, and those are the sorts of terrorist plots incompetently employed, and these are the confused, chucklefucked faces of terrorism. BOBBY "FATBOY" ROBERTS Fox Tower 10.

recommended The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
See review this issue. Cinema 21.

recommended Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended The Hidden Fortress
Screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's Japanese Currents: The Samurai Tradition series; see My, What a Busy Week! Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended I Vitelloni
As a director, Federico Fellini's first successful effort was not in the arthouse style he later became synonymous with. I Vittelloni is an understated work of neo-realism, and a look at a changed Italy through the eyes of the generation that came of age during the second World War. Fausto Moretti and his friends are men on the brink of responsibility; privileged enough to live off their parents into their 20s, they avoid adulthood until it sneaks up on them through sudden marriages and small tragedies. Fellini's tragicomic portrait of youthful malaise would greatly inform later films like Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming and Scorcese's Mean Streets. DAVE BOW Clinton Street Theater.

recommended Inside Job
"The crisis was not an accident," wholesome narrator Matt Damon tells us at the beginning of Charles Ferguson's Inside Job, referring to the 2008 economic crash that crippled the world's economy, kicked off a seemingly endless run of foreclosures and job losses, and destroyed several generations' faith in economic systems. "It was caused by an out-of-control industry," Damon continues, and then Inside Job proceeds to show us how—not only how the crisis happened but also how easily it could happen again. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.

The Law
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

Leaving
French filmmaker Catherine Corsini's drama/romance starring Kristin Scott Thomas. Living Room Theaters.

Monsters
Here's the one-sentence premise: A snotty photographer (Scoot McNairy) is under orders from his newspaper to retrieve the boss' daughter (Whitney Able) from the "Infected Zone"—a decimated, largely abandoned strip of Mexico settled by giant interplanetary octo-crabs after a space probe crashed six years previous. Now take that one-sentence premise, stretch it over 94 minutes, and subtract pacing, acting, tension, atmosphere, and almost all the monsters. What's left is a film that moves with all the passion and energy of a stifled yawn. BOBBY "FATBOY" ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.

Morning Glory
Rachel McAdams stars as Becky, a young and ridiculously dedicated morning show producer who gets hired to pull the lowest-rated morning show, Daybreak, out of the dumps. You couldn't be blamed for thinking this film was a romantic comedy based on the trailer, but Becky's relationship with love interest Adam (Patrick Wilson, practically making a cameo) could scarcely be more tangential. The real center of drama is Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), an ornery, formerly great hard-news anchor who Becky manipulates into co-hosting Daybreak. Pomeroy's disdain for the position and Becky's outsized, sunny determination to force him to do his job is the drama that counts here, though the impact it amounts to can be shrugged off by the time you find your car in the theater parking lot. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.

Never Let Me Go
Mark Romanek's adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's low-key sci-fi novel lends a chilly creepiness to its setting, a boarding school where clones (including Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield) are raised and harvested for their organs. But the film doesn't know how to deal with the basic interiority of its most crucial themes. The amount of time the children spend at their boarding school, growing indoctrinated with and accustomed to the purpose of their existence, is given short shrift, and as a result a key concept—how horrific circumstances can come to seem perfectly normal—is jostled to the side by the bigger question of why the hell these attractive, healthy teenagers don't just run away. ALISON HALLETT Hollywood Theatre.

The New Tale of Zatoichi
Screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's Japanese Currents: The Samurai Tradition series; see My, What a Busy Week! Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended The Next Three Days
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Red
Hey old people! Turn down the Andy Rooney for a second! Put a bookmark in that Bette Midler profile in AARP The Magazine! Hop in the trusty ol' Buick and drive in an incredibly unsafe manner to your local multiplex—because here's Red, a film made just for you! Unlike so many of today's confusing, loud, gosh-awful films you frequently fall asleep during, Red features a phenomenal cast of retirees... who aren't quite ready to retire! Bruce Willis (who you might remember from that delightful Moonlighting program a few years back) plays Frank Moses, a retired black-ops agent who's dragged back into the world of espionage. Luckily, Moses has a few lifelong friends who'll help him get out of this pickle—friends like Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy), John Malkovich (Secretariat), Brian Cox (Frasier), and Helen Mirren (rowr!)! And get ready to see a couple of other non-threatening faces, too, like Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine! ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Reel Injun
Okay, let's get the disappointment over with: Reel Injun is not directed by that Neil Diamond. Rather, this Neil Diamond is a Cree documentary filmmaker who's looking to tell the history of Native Americans as depicted in American cinema. It's a surprisingly rich and fascinating topic. In many ways, Hollywood used the Western genre to rewrite America's history, and in doing so villainized the Native American, marginalizing the myriad tribes by giving them shared attributes (they all wore feathers and were expert horsemen!) and a violent, primitive sensibility. It's an unfair depiction, of course, and Diamond—again, NOT that Neil Diamond—looks to correct nearly a century's worth of misconceptions. With this warm and beautiful film, he succeeds. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Seven Samurai
Screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's Japanese Currents: The Samurai Tradition series; see My, What a Busy Week! Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Skyline
A sci-fi flick by Greg and Colin Strause, who are the culpable parties for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Perhaps not surprisingly, Skyline was not screened for critics. Various Theaters.

Unstoppable
Director Tony Scott is a terrible director known for making terrible movies—but usually they're just boringly terrible (Enemy of the State, The Fan, Man on Fire, and let's stop there). However, his Unstoppable is a revelation in terribleness. Like the subject of his movie—an unmanned freight train loaded with explosive killer chemicals speeding out of control on a collision course with New Jersey—it's a film whose terribleness leaves the station slowly but eventually builds to a wildly obvious and UNSTOPPABLE juggernaut of unintentionally hilarious donkey shit. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.

Waiting for Superman
Waiting for Superman is a documentary about the failure of the American educational system, and it's compelling. It's hard to watch the movie and not feel outraged—the film points fingers directly at bad teachers, complaining that it's impossible to fire them thanks to out-of-control teachers unions. But once you leave the theater, you start to notice some discrepancies. The pat answer the filmmakers arrive at, very early on, is: It's the bad teachers, stupid! This feels overly simple. For instance, all the parents in the film are perfect: They work long hours to send their kids to private school or tutoring. They research every alternative possible to get their kids to better schools. They support their kid's educations wholeheartedly. Never once does Superman even begin to suggest that any of the problems of our educational system might be due to lack of interest on behalf of the parents. This is probably savvy filmmaking—you wouldn't pay to see a documentary that explicitly identifies you as a problem, would you?—but it feels as though an enormous part of the issue isn't addressed. To point fingers at a union and suggest that workers' rights are the sole source of difficulty makes me feel itchy on an ideological level. PAUL CONSTANT Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre.

Welcome to the Rileys
A film that wants to be hard and gritty, but has all the dramatic complexity of a Hallmark card. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.