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Love Actually


Kam's Kapsules by Kam Williams

Bad Santa (R for violence, pervasive profanity, and strong sexual content). Irreverent holiday flick with Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox as con men disguised as St. Nick and an elf, respectively, who go on a mall crime spree chased by a detective (Bernie Mac) till they get the Christmas spirit from an 8-year-old kid. Includes the final screen appearance of the late John Ritter.

Cheaper by the Dozen (PG for mild epithets and mature themes). Remake of the 1950 classic about the trials and tribulations of a football coach (Steve Martin) and a writer (Bonnie Hunt) raising 12 kids in Chicago after relocating from the country.

Cold Mountain (R for violence and sexuality). Nicole Kidman stars opposite Jude Law in this Civil War saga set in the waning days of the Confederacy. Anthony Minghella directs this costume drama depicting the ordeals encountered by a wounded Confederate soldier while returning home to North Carolina to his pining sweetheart.

Elf (PG for crude humor and mild epithets). Roots comedy about the search for his biological father by a man (Will Ferrell) raised as an Elf by Santa Claus (Ed Asner) at the North Pole.

The Haunted Mansion (PG for frightening images, mild epithets, and adult themes). Fresh on the heels of the phenomenal success of Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney adapts another amusement park ride into a feature film. Eddie Murphy stars in this horror comedy as a workaholic who learns a valuable lesson about life from a ghost that appears during a job interview at a haunted house.

Honey (PG-13 for sexual references and drug content). Jessica Alba stars in this inner-city saga about an aspiring dancer who has to choose between being blacklisted and the casting couch. Street credibility comes courtesy of earthy Mekhi Phifer and rappers Jay-Z, Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott, Lil' Romeo and Tweet.

The Human Stain (R for nudity, sex and expletives). Anthony Hopkins is a distinguished professor posing as a Jew who has hidden his African-American roots for years. Disgraced for making a racial slur, the Viagra-popping poser takes refuge in a steamy affair with a janitor (Nicole Kidman) who has a very jealous husband.

In America (PG-13 for sex, expletives, drug use, and violence). Five-time Academy Award-nominee Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father) serves up more Oscar bait with this drama about an impoverished Irish family which moves to New York to pursue the American Dream.

The Last Samurai (R for graphic violence). Tom Cruise stars as a grizzled gun-slinging Civil War vet, who develops second thoughts about wiping out Japan's remaining samurai warriors. In Japanese and English with subtitles.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (PG-13 for battle scenes and scary images). The J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy is completed with Frodo and friends returning for a final showdown for control of Middle Earth.

Lost in Translation (R for sex content). Drama about an over-the-hill movie star (Bill Murray), in Tokyo to tape a TV commercial, who befriends a bored housewife (Scarlett Johansson) neglected by her workaholic husband.

Love Actually (R for sex, nudity and profanity). Irreverent British holiday comedy about 8 London couples in crisis whose lives become hopelessly intertwined by Christmas Eve.

Love Don't Cost a Thing (PG-13 for off-color humor). This blackface remake of Can't Buy Me Love (1987) has Nick Cannon as the high school nerd who pays a cute cheerleader (Christina Milian) to pose as his girlfriend to improve his social status. Cast includes comedian Steve Harvey and rapper Fabolous.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (PG-13 for battle scenes and intermittent expletives). Peter Weir's adaptation of the Patrick O'Brian seafaring adventure, set during the Napoleonic Wars, stars Russell Crowe as the Captain of a British man-of-war chasing a French frigate around Cape Horn.

Mona Lisa Smile (PG-13 for sex content and mature themes). Julia Roberts stars as a pre-feminist era Wellesley professor who inspires students played by Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Tori Amos and Maggie Gyllenhaal to aspire to more than marrying well.

Mystic River (R for profanity and violence). Clint Eastwood directed this labyrinthine whodunit starring Sean Penn as a man whose daughter has been murdered. Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne co-star as the detectives handling the investigation, and Tim Robbins surfaces as the prime suspect.

Peter Pan (PG for perilous action sequences). Full-length version of the James M. Barrie book first brought to the big screen in 1924. Jeremy Sumpter stars in the title role as the ageless lad from Never Never Land who won't grow up. With Lynn Redgrave and Olivia Williams among back cast in this Australian version of the children's classic.

Pieces of April (PG-13 for sensuality, expletives, drug content, and nudity). Katie Holmes stars in the title role of this comedy of errors as a Greenwich Village bohemian from a staid, suburban family who invites her folks to her tiny, dilapidated apartment for a holiday feast with her black boyfriend (Derek Luke).

Shattered Glass (PG-13 for epithets, sexual references, and brief drug use). Illuminating biopic recounts the rise and fall of Stephen Glass, the Washington, D.C. journalist who was later exposed as a fraud.

Something's Gotta Give (PG-13 for profane language and sexual content including brief nudity). Complicated comedy involving a love quadrangle with a young doctor (Keanu Reeves) who falls for the mother (Diane Keaton) of his heart patient's (Jack Nicholson) girlfriend (Amanda Peet).

The Station Agent (R for profanity and drug use). Jersey-based drama about a reclusive dwarf living in an abandoned train depot whose oasis is invaded by an artist mourning the loss of her son and a motor mouthed hot dog vendor.

Stuck on You (PG-13 for profanity and crude off-color humor). Latest Farrelly Brothers comedy pairs Matt Damon with Greg Kinnear as Siamese twins who find fame in Hollywood but at the cost of their compatibility. Supporting cast includes Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Jessie Ventura, Eva Mendes, and Luke Wilson.

Under the Tuscan Sun (PG-13 for sex and expletives). Romantic comedy, loosely based on Frances Mayes' 1966 memoir, stars Diane Lane as a 35-year-old American lawyer who escapes her cheating husband by vacationing in Italy where she impulsively buys a fixer-upper and gets involved with a tall, dark and handsome stranger.

 
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