Despite featherweight acting from Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson, Shekhar Kapur's adaptation of A.E.W. Mason's 1902 novel is a ripping yarn. The plot concerns a disgraced British Army officer (Ledger) who ventures to Africa to restore his honor. The filmmakers respect the tale and tell it with feeling, and ace cinematographer Robert Richardson beautifully captures the desert landscapes. (Pat Holmes)

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Holden Caulfield meets his match in Igby Slocumb, a jaded teenager played by Kieran Culkin. To the disgrace of his upper-crust mother (Susan Sarandon), Igby flunks out of every prep school on the East Coast and hides out in New York City. The dialogue is razor sharp, and the cast Ñ which includes Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Phillippe and Claire Danes Ñ doesn't miss a beat. Writer and director Burr Steers' pitch-black sense of humor may prove too strong for some tastes, though. (Stephen Blair)

Fox Tower


Reese Witherspoon stars as Melanie Carmichael, a New York fashion designer. Before she can marry the New York sophisticate of her dreams, she must head south to her native Alabama to divorce her childhood sweetheart. The film delivers everything that we've unfortunately come to expect from mainstream Hollywood comedies. The plot is nothing but boilerplate clichŽs, and the script assumes that the target audience is too stupid to realize that they've seen this exact same movie a hundred times before. (Dawn Taylor)

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Clothes don't make the man in this lame tale of a chauffeur (Jackie Chan) who winds up wearing the gadget-happy tuxedo of his superspy boss. The titular threads are good for a few laughs. But the movie is woefully short on real Jackie Chan action, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is a total bust in her role as scientist. (PH)

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