Opinions are by Los Angeles Times reviewers.
Angela's Ashes -- A restrained and artful re-creation of Frank McCourt's literate bestseller, beautifully acted by Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle and three young Irish boys. But despite all this good work, director Alan Parker's creation is hampered by the absence of McCourt's elegant and witty language. (2:26. R for sexual content and some language.)
The Beach -- A tedious and unsatisfying film about a young American vagabond (Leonardo DiCaprio) who journeys to a hidden Thai paradise after being given a secret map. DiCaprio's character is naive, self-involved and pretentious and the island's community of dropouts and slackers seems slightly weird and even sinister almost immediately. Virginie Ledoyen and Tilda Swinton co-star; directed by Danny Boyle. (1:59. R for violence, some strong sexuality, language and drug content.)
Boiler Room -- Giovanni Ribisi shines as a college dropout driven to get rich by greed and a misguided desire to please his dad. But this sometimes intriguing look at the testosterone-driven world of a sleezy New York brokerage firm suffers in comparison to the better films (''Wall Street,'' ''Glengarry Glen Ross'') that it constantly, deliberately evokes. The movie is marred by too many poorly drawn subplots populated by cardboard characters. Nia Long and Ben Affleck co-star. (2:00. R for strong language and some drug content.)
Hanging Up -- The idea of Meg Ryan coping with her irascible dying father (Walter Matthau), a phone addict, and two-self absorbed sisters (Diane Keaton, who also directed, and Lisa Kudrow), sounds promising as a serious comedy, but the father and the sisters are so unlikable and the relationships so underdeveloped that the result is synthetic and contrived. (1:33. PG-13 for language and some sex-related material.)
The Hurricane -- Denzel Washington does exceptional work, perhaps the best of his career, as boxer and unjustly imprisoned murder suspect Rubin ''Hurricane'' Carter. Regrettably, the rest of this conventional, middle of the road biopic is not up to his level, but the story and performance are so strong no one may notice. Directed by Norman Jewison. (2:26. R for language and some violence.)
Next Friday -- Sequel to the 1995 hit comedy takes Ice Cube's slacker hero from South Central L.A. to a multicultural suburban enclave. Much raunchier and far less funny than the last ''Friday.'' Tommy ''Tiny'' Lister Jr., John Witherspoon and Mike Epps co-star. Written and produced by Cube. (1:29. R for strong language, drug use and sexual content.)
Scream 3 -- Director Wes Craven and writer Ehren Kruger bring the smart, darkly amusing -- though very bloody -- horror trilogy to a bravura finish, as that elusive serial killer terrorizes the set of ''Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro,'' the trilogy within the trilogy, so to speak. Neve Campbell is back to face down evil once again, and so are Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette, as that seemingly mismatched couple, a ruthlessly ambitious TV newscaster and a small-town cop. Parker Posey heads a large supporting cast as the actress playing Cox Arquette's character -- Gale Weathers -- in ''Stab 3.'' (1:55. R for strong horror violence and language.)
Snow Day -- Made by writers and a director out of Nickelodeon's farm team, ''Snow Day'' is a harmless -- if somewhat dull -- film targeted at pre-teens. The presence of Chevy Chase, Pam Grier, Chris Elliott and Jean Smart suggests that there is more for adults than there really is. (1:30. PG for brief mild peril and language.)
Stuart Little -- The shy and pleasant mouse of E.B. White's famous children's book has been turned into a rodent whose ready line of patter would make him at home on the Tonight Show. The computer animation is excellent, but though the film won't harm tiny viewers, there's nothing very involving about it either. Stuart is voiced by Michael J. Fox. (1:32. PG for brief language.)
The Tigger Movie -- This brightly colored, upbeat animated film centers on Tigger, Winnie the Pooh's rambunctious tiger friend, who goes on a search for other tiggers. Small children will be pleased but parents and older siblings may grow impatient. (1:16. G.)
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