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List of "M" Movies

M (1931) NR thriller

This expertly made chiller, based on a true story, is about a psychotic child murderer (Peter Lorre in an utterly astounding performance) and the eventual capture of him. This masterpiece is simply a must for all wannabe avid film buffs! This is Lorreís movie debut, and it immediately launched him into stardom. Starring: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Grundgens, Theo Lingen, Theodor Loos, Georg John, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur, Paul Kemp. Directed by: Fritz Lang. A

Mad City (1998) PG-13 drama

John Travolta unintentionally triggers a serious hostage alert inside a museum, which attracts massive media and public attention. Dustin Hoffman, news reporter, just happened to be in the museum at the time and ends up advising Travolta in his actions. The film starts off wonderfully, but greatly loses its steam toward the end. Its unpredictable conclusion tries to be inspirational but falls flat. Starring: Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Alan Alda, Mia Kirshner, Ted Levine, Robert Prosky, Blythe Danner, William Atherson. Directed by: Constantin Costa-Gravas. C+

Mad Dog and Glory (1993) R comedy

A great cast and script are put to good use in this memorable comedy. Robert De Niro stars as a lonely cop who saves the life of a notorious gangster (Bill Murray). To share his gratitude, he lets De Niro borrow a woman (Uma Thurman) for a week. At first, De Niro finds the situation disgusting, but he soon grows attached to her. This is an entertaining and marvelous film. Starring: Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Uma Thurman, David Caruso, Mike Starr, Kathy Baker, Tom Towles, Derek Anunciation, Jack Wallace. Directed by: John McNaughton. A-

Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) PG documentary

This engaging documentary chronicles a year of the innovative ballroom dancing program of New York City's public school system and the final competition. It's fun watching the charming kids dance, it's inspiring to hear what they have to say about their future, and funny hearing their thoughts on the opposite gender. Most importantly, however, this film puts up an excellent case for keeping the arts alive in public schools. Directed by: Marilyn Agrelo. A-

Mad Max (1979) R action

Mel Gibson stars as a cop in this wonderfully entertaining action-fest. In the near future, vicious motorcycle gangs are terrorizing the world. When the gang kill his wife and kid, Gibson goes on a crazed rampage! Excellently action sequences alone makes viewing the film worthwhile. Try to watch the film in the original Australian English. The redubbing in American English was done dismally. Starring: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keyes-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward. Directed by: George Miller. B+

Madagascar (2005) PG comedy

A zoo zebra (voice of Chris Rock) wishes to be released in the wild on his 10th birthday. He gets his wish much to the dismay of his friend the lion (voice of Ben Stiller) who, along with a hippo and giraffe, unwittingly tags along. This four-some find themselves in the title-country where they are forced to face the (not-so-tough) elements. They seem to do OK until the lion becomes hungry, and he starts looking at his friend in a different light. The jokes aren't funny and story isn't exciting, but the energy is maniacal enough to be entertaining. Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter. Directed by: Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath. C

The Madness of King George (1994) PG-13 drama

This is a great, but not extraordinary, film about King George IIIís (Nigel Hawthorne) sudden decent into mental illness and his eventual recovery. The cast is full of colorful and memorable characters, and the set is marvelous. The story didnít seem to be milked to its full potential, however. Itís an entertaining film featuring an excellent performance by Hawthorne. Starring: Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Amanda Donohoe, Rupert Everett, Rupert Graves, Ian Holm, Julian Wadham, Anthony Calf, John Wood, Jim Carter, Julian Rhind-Tutt. Directed by: Nicholas Hytner. B+

Mafia! (1998) PG-13 comedy

This goofy Jim-Abrahams-directed comedy spoofs chiefly The Godfather and Casino. Even though this is no comedy classic, it has some very funny moments mostly at the conclusion. This is a recommended film if you donít mind so many misses. Starring: Jay Mohr, Billy Burke, Christina Applegate, Pamela Gidley, Olympia Dukakis, Lloyd Bridges, Jason Fuchs, Joe Viterelli, Tony LoBianco, Blake Hammond, Phil Suriano. Directed by: Jim Abrahams. C+

Magnolia (1999) R drama

Even though this film is three hours long, I didn't notice the time fly by. What's more, indulgent films like this usually don't work too well, but it's excellent here. Weaving in and out of the lives of several people living in Los Angeles, this is a sweeping character study about life's insecurities. The poetic movements of the camera, fantastic performances from the cast, stunning character development, and an unexpected ending makes this an essential film for anyone who likes art movies. Starring: Jason Robards, Jr., Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Melora Walters, Jeremy Blackman, Melinda Dillon, Emmanuel Johnson, April Grace, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Felicity Huffman, Ricky Jay, Luis Guzman, Alfred Molina, Henry Gibson. Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson. A

The Maid (1991) PG-13 romantic comedy

This might be stupid, but it can also pass as agreeable entertainment. Martin Sheen stars as a swingin' bachelor who goes to Paris on business. There, he runs across a beauty (Jacqueline Bisset) who Sheen deems worthy to chase after. He learns that she has a young daughter who is such a miserable brat that she manages to ward off every nanny that her mother hired. So, Sheen shows up at their house and tries his hand at being the nanny. The sappy ending is disgraceful, although I canít say that watching this was a total waste. Starring: Martin Sheen, Jacqueline Bisset, Victoria Shalet, Jean-Pierre Cassel, James Faulkner, Isabelle Guiard, Dominic Gould, Catherine Lachens, Joe Cosgrove, Carina Barone, Jerry Di Giacomo, Jean Martin, Philippe Dehesdin, Catherine Alcover, Remy Burkel. Directed by: Ian Toynton. C

The Maid in Manhattan (2002) PG-13 romantic comedy

It's pleasant, but itís nothing new. Jennifer Lopez (or J.Lo. or Fer.Pez.) stars as a hotel made who is mistaken as a viable suitor for a U.S. Senator (Ralph Fiennes, sporting a horrible American accent). It has nearly 8 billion cliches, but this is a nice film overall. Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richatrdson, Stanley Tucci, Tyler Posey, Frances Conroy, Chris Eigeman, Amy Sedaris, Marissa Matrone, Priscilla Lopez, Bob Hoskins, Lisa Roberts. Directed by: Wayne Wang. C+

The Majestic (2001) PG drama

Jim Carrey stars as a blacklisted writer in the '50s who jumps into a river, gets amnesia and wakes up on a beach. He is discovered by an old man (Martin Landau) who claims that Carrey is his son who was lost during World War II. Carrey, who doesn't remember anything about his past, begins living this life in the small town -- whether it is his real one or not. Carrey gives a decent serious performance and this film is rather entertaining, but it is just too dull in spots for a full recommendation. Starring: Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Martin Landau, Gerry Black, Brent Briscoe, Karl Bury, Jeffrey DeMunn, Catherine Dent, Amanda Detmer, Shawn Doyle, Allen Garfield, Hal Holbrook. Directed by: Frank Carabont. C+

Major League (1989) R comedy

A new owner takes over the Cleveland Indians and she wants the team to move to Miami. Unfortunately for her, she can't move the team because of a lease. However, if attendance falls behind, the lease is void. So, she drafts a horrible team of misfits and has-beens. Can this unlikely mixture of misfits pull through for Cleveland? It's overall an entertaining sports/comedy but falls short of excellence. The character development was fine, but should have been explored further. Starring: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, Bob Uecker, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes, Charles Cyphers, Chelcie Ross, Dennis Haysbert, Andy Romano. Directed by: David S. Ward. B

A Man For All Seasons (1966) NR drama

King Henry VIII wants to divorce his barren wife. The Pope won't approve of this, so Henry decides to kick the Catholic Church out of England and start a new one: the Church of England. Thomas Moore (Paul Scofield in an excellent performance) refuses to sign allegiance to this new church, and he is charged for treason and is sent to jail. This slow-paced but exuberant film illustrates one of English historyís most controversial topics with accuracy and style. The scenery is just terrific! It deservedly won six Oscars. Starring: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, Susannah York, John Hurt, Vanessa Redgrave. Directed by: Fred Zinnemann. A-

The Man of La Mancha (1972) PG musical

Peter O'Toole plays Miguel Cervantes, the idealist Spanish novelist who is put into prison for insulting the Catholic Church where the inmates are less than friendly. They steal his Bible and the only way he can get it back is if Cervantes entertains them with the intriguing tale of Don Quixote. Adapted from the enormously fantastic Broadway musical, this film adaptation is a complete disappointment. Neither OíToole nor Sophia Loren (all singing in their real voices) could do these brilliant songs justice. Even besides that debacle, the film just wasnít well made. This is a waste. Starring: Peter O'Toole, Sophia Loren, James Coco, Harry Andrews, John Castle, Brian Blessed. Directed by: Arthur Hiller. D+

Man of the House (2005) PG-13 comedy

Tommy Lee Jones is typecast as a straight-laced Texas Ranger who is assigned to protect a sorority house full of ditzy cheerleaders who witnessed a significant murder. The premise is nothing more than a male fantasy and the majority of the jokes fall flat. Certain plot points (such as Jones purchasing a powerful air conditioner just to get the girls to dress up) are unbelievable, and the overall script lacks continuity. It's somewhat amusing at times, however, but this isn't worth going out of your way to see. Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, Paula Garces, Monica Keena, Vanessa Ferlito, Kelli Garner, Anne Archer, Brian Van Holt, Shea Whigham, Terry Parks, R. Lee Ermey. Directed by: Stephen Herek. D+

Man on Fire (2004) R action

An entertaining but too far-fetched story stars Denzel Washington as a bodyguard who is hired to protect a 10-year-old (Dakota Fanning) from a very wealthy family in Mexico City from kidnapping. Inevitably, Washington fails at his task and, using all sorts of grisly violence, tracks her down. Itís average as far as action films go these days; itís Washingtonís solid lead performance that keeps it flowing well. Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Giannini, Radha Mitchell, Marc Anthony, Rachel Ticotin, Micky Rourke. Directed by: Tony Scott. C+

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) R sci-fi

This is a bizarre film starring the typecast David Bowie (even though itís his feature film debut) as an alien who comes down to Earth in search of water for his family, but he gets caught up in the general pleasures of being on Earth. An interesting film, but it certainly isnít light entertainment. For Bowie fans, this is a must. The DVD version contains about eight billion sex scenes. Starring: David Bowie, Candy Clark, Rip Town, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey, Jackson D. Kane, Rick Riccardo, Tony Mascia. Directed by: Nicolas Roeg. B+

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) NR thriller

Alfred Hitchcock remakes his own 1934 film with gusto. James Stewart and Doris Day star as a vacationing married couple who travels to Northern Africa. Suddenly, they find themselves mixed up in an assassination and then discover that their son was kidnapped! Determined to get things right, this couple travels to England to find out what's going on. Wonderfully thrilling Hitchcock film and is a great example of his ability to play our senses like Beethoven could play a piano. This is clearly one of Hitchcockís more underrated films. Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Miles, Ralph Truman, Daniel Gelin, Alan Mowbray, Carolyn Jones, Hillary Brooke. Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock. A

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) NR western

This classic western, directed by John Ford, is nothing short of excellent as it follows the adventures of a fragile yet ambitious attorney-at-law (James Stewart) who stands up to vicious outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). John Wayne costars as a tough fellow who doesn't like Stewart, but watches his back anyway. This is a highly entertaining film filled with juicy characters and an exciting plot. Recommended! Starring: John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, Ken Murray, John Carradine, Jeanette Nolan, Strother Martin. Directed by: John Ford. A-

The Man With One Red Shoe (1985) PG comedy

Tom Hanks stars as a professional violin player who is mistaken as a secret agent. This film is usually entertaining, but overall, it's nothing special. A remake of the 1973 French comedy "The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe." The cast, full of familiar faces, was put to good use. Starring: Tom Hanks, Dabney Coleman, Lori Singer, Charles Durning, Carrie Fisher, Edward Herrmann, James Belushi, Irving Metzman, Tom Noonan, Gerrit Graham, David L. Lander, Ritch Brinkley. Directed by: Stan Dragoti. C+

The Man With Two Brains (1983) R comedy

Steve Martin stars in this slight-plotted but uproariously funny comedy as a wealthy brain surgeon who is tricked into marrying an evil but lovely lady (Kathleen Turner). When he's in a colleague's laboratory, he notices that he is able to telepathically talk to a brain kept alive in a special liquid. Upon further conversing with it, they fall in love. This goofy early Martin flick is a must see for the fans. Starring: Steve Martin, Kathleen Turner, David Warner, Paul Benedict, Richard Brestoff, James Cromwell, George Furth, Randi Brooks. Directed by: Carl Reiner. B

The Man Without a Past (2002) PG-13 drama

A compelling drama and Finnish export about a man (Markku Peltola) who loses his memory after being brutally mugged and is forced to start over again in life (but he can get neither a job nor a house because he cannot remember his name). Fortunately for him, the Salvation Army takes care of him, and he soon becomes romantically involved with one of the volunteers (Kati Outinen). Itís slow going, but rewarding. Starring: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Juhani Niemela, Kaija Pakarinen, Sakiri Kuosmanen, Annikki Tahti. Directed by: Aki Kaurismaki. B+

The Manchurian Candidate (2004) R thriller

Itís certainly solid remake of the classic thriller from 1962, but it hardly surpasses the breadth of the original. Unfortunately, director Jonathan Demme favors seat-shifting grizzly violence to the original filmís sense of class. At any rate, the actors in here are extremely good, and the plot is quite a bit different, which should at least give a little bit of surprise to fans of the original. Starring: Denzel Washington, Live Schrieber, Meryl Streep, Jon Voight, Kimberly Elise, Jeffrey Wright, Ted Levine, Bruno Ganz, Simon McBurney, Vera Farmiga, Robyn Hitchcock, Miguel Ferrer. Directed by: Jonathan Demme. B

Manhattan (1979) R comedy

An excellent movie from Woody Allen is quite similar to his other famous comedy, Annie Hall. He plays a 42-year-old man who deals with several interesting relationships with people, including one with intellectual Diane Keaton. Many funny moments (but not nearly as funny as Annie Hall), the George Gershwin musical score and the abundant plot substance makes Manhattan delightful and highly entertaining. Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michel Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Anne Byrne, Karen Ludwig, Michael O'Donoghue. Directed by: Woody Allen. A

The Manhattan Project (1986) PG-13 drama

It may be too cheesy and unbelievable for many viewers, but this is fairly good nonetheless. Smart teen, Christopher Collet, discovers the laboratory his mother's boyfriend works at secretly makes atomic bombs. He sneaks inside the lab, steals some plutonium, and makes his own bomb to bring this out in the open. However, the Feds find out. The film contains well-constructed suspense toward the end. Starring: John Lithgow, Christopher Collet, Cynthia Nixon, Jill Eikenberry, John Mahoney, Sully Boyar, Richard Council, Robert Schenkkan, Paul Austin, Adrian Sparks, Curt Dempster. Directed by: Marshall Brickman. B-

Manny & Lo (1996) R drama

This is a sluggish movie about two drifting sisters (Aleska Palladino and Scarlett Johansson) who are without parents. Palladino becomes pregnant, so she kidnaps a maternity store employee (Mary Kay Place) and they squat in a seldom-occupied summer home. Though the plot is unlikely (hampered by a few ridiculous turn-of-events), it's saved by a thoughtful conclusion. Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Aleska Palladino, Mary Kay Place, Glenn Fitzgerald, Angie Phillips, Dean Silvers. Directed by: Lisa Krueger. B-

Mansfield Park (1998) R comedy

This is a hugely entertaining if loose film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. It is not only well acted but engaging and funny. Frances OíConnor stars as the meek Fanny Price who was born poor but given the opportunity to grow up with rich relatives. As she grows up, she is more well spoken and educated than the other children she lived with, but her class always gets in her way. She also has to decide whether or not she wants to accept a marriage proposal from her wealthy neighbor (Alessandro Nivola). This is a well done period piece with marvelous scenery. Starring: Frances OíConnor, Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, Embeth Davidtz, Harold Pinter, Lindsay Duncan. Directed by: Patricia Rozema. A-

Marathon Man (1976) R thriller

This film is incredibly exciting (but not without the occasional slow-spot). Dustin Hoffman stars as a man who is caught up with an internationally wanted Nazi. The plot is somewhat difficult to follow, but the film is vastly entertaining, nonetheless. Laurence Olivier is wonderfully frightening as the Nazi! Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane, Marthe Keller, Fritz Weaver. Directed by: John Schlesinger. B+

March of the Penguins (2004) G documentary

This is one of the most celebrated documentaries, and for good reason. Not only is this an educational film, which documents the mating habits of penguins, but it's a poetic one as well. It's also pretentious, but it managed to capture my attention quite well. The cinematography is utterly spellbinding. The filmmakers truly did a nice job with this one. Starring: Frances OíConnor, Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, Embeth Davidtz, Harold Pinter, Lindsay Duncan. Directed by: Luc Jacquet. A

Marnie (1964) NR thriller

This tense and exciting Alfred Hitchcock feature stars Tippi Hedren as a troubled thief whose misdeeds go noticed by Sean Connery. He uses this information as blackmail and forces Hedren to marry him (very un-Bond-like). However, Connery soon realizes that there is something mental this woman that is making her go berzerk; perhaps she's slowly going crazy, or maybe it's something else. Marnie doesnít deserve a spot on Hitchcock's finest, but it's nevertheless one that fans should not miss. Starring: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham, Bob Sweeney, Milton Selzer, Alan Napier. Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock. B+

Mars Attacks! (1996) PG-13 comedy

Tim Burton directs this whacked-out comedy about strange looking aliens (that sound like Donald Duck) coming to earth with questionable motives. Burton succeeds once again in creating an abnormal and though oddly familiar world that is incredibly eye dazzling! A great cast with many famous faces, most of whom die by the end credits, make this even more merrier. Starring: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Martin Short, Pierce Brosnan, Luke Haas, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman, Rod Steiger, Paul Winfield, Annette Bening Sylvia Sidney, Danny DeVito, Tom Jones, Pam Grier, Jim Brown, Lisa Marie. Directed by: Tim Burton. B+

M*A*S*H (1970) PG comedy

From director Robert Altman comes this fresh and funny comedy about a bunch of surgeons in the Korean War. There isn't much of a plot to speak of; it's more like a bunch of skits strung together of the same theme that are oftentimes hilarious! The film does seem to get off track toward the end, but thinking twice, there was never a track in the first place. It picks up its pace at the end during the pivotal inter-army football game, which is the funniest part. Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, Jo Ann Pflug, Rene Auberjonois, Roger Bowen. Directed by: Robert Altman. A

The Mask (1996) PG-13 comedy

A timid bank clerk (Jim Carrey), sick of being Mr. Nice Guy, finds a mask lying in the river. When he puts it on, he magically turns into an energetic, green cartoon-like wise guy. A delightful twist on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story makes a fun family film (for families with older children). Peter Riegert stands out as the grim police chief. Starring: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Green, Peter Riegert, Amy Yasbeck, Orestes Matacena, Richard Jeni. Directed by: Chuck Ressell. B

The Mask of Zorro (1998) PG-13 action

This excellently fun update of the Zorro legacy didn't come a second too soon. When the original Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) passes his torch to novice-Zorro Antonio Banderas, he must stop the evil Don Rafael Montero from buying the land of California from Mexico with Mexico's own gold that was secretly dug-up by suffering slaves. This is a winning swashbuckler! Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Letscher, Mauray Chaykin, Tony Amendola, Pedro Armendariz, L.Q. Jones, William Marquez, Jose Perez, Victor Rivers. Directed by: Martin Campbell. B+

Masterminds (1997) PG-13 thriller

Patrick Stewart plays a high-tech criminal who takes a high-profile private school hostage to receive 75 million dollars from the rich parents. However, he didn't anticipate a child mastermind to get in his way. Unfortunately, the film is unlikely and never gets exciting. It can't seem to decide whether it wants to be a film featuring a kid's bag full of tricks like Home Alone, a technical-genius-takes-on film like WarGames, or a hopeless situation solved by an insignificant person like Independence Day. It fails at all those aspects. The only redeeming quality of the film is the mere chance to see Patrick Stewart on the screen again. Starring: Patrick Stewart, Vincent Kartheiser, Brenda Fricker, Bradley Whitford, Matt Craven, Annabelle Gurwitch, Jon Abrahams. Directed by: Roger Christian. D

The Matador (2005) R comedy

This fun crowd pleaser features a fantastic performance from Pierce Brosnan who plays an assassin on the verge of a mental breakdown. Also starring is Greg Kinnear, a chronically unlucky man on a business trip in Mexico. They meet and become good friends (and Brosnan's only friend). The plot falls apart toward the end, but there are still some wicked-good laughs throughout the film. Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis, Philip Baker Hall, Adam Scott, Dylan Baker. Directed by: Richard Shepard. B+

Match Point (2005) R drama

Woody Allen directs (but doesn't star) in this engaging drama about a handsome young tennis pro (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who finds that his life is totally secured once he marries the daughter (Emily Mortimer) of a wealthy businessman (Brian Cox). However, he actually falls in love with a beautiful American actress (Scarlett Johansson), and they undergo a steamy affair. Allen tells a solid story with an ample amount of human emotion in the mix! This is one of his best films. A British film, this is one of the few Allen movies not to take place in New York, and it's a refreshing change of pace. Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, Penelope Wilton, Ewen Bremner, James Nesbitt, Rupert Penry-Jones, Margaret Tyzack. Directed by: Woody Allen. A

Matilda (1996) PG comedy

Adapted from Roald Dahl's beloved children's novel, this is a fun fantasy/comedy about an amazingly smart child, her scumbag parents, her sadistic principal and her sweet kindergarten teacher. It's astonishingly eye pleasing with an out-of-this-world set, cast and plot. Definitely recommended for family viewing! Iíd wager Dahl would have been happy with this. Starring: Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Pam Ferris, Paul Reubens, Tracey Walter, Brian Levinson, Jean Speegle Howard, Sara Magdalin. Directed by: Danny DeVito. B+

Matinee (1993) PG comedy

This entertaining comedy is about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how a small Florida town reacts to rumors that a nuclear war could be triggered at any moment. John Goodman plays a big time B-grade sci-fi movie producer who's coming in town to sneak preview his new monster flick. Even though Matinee is sometimes sappy, it remains a fun flick with good special effects. There are also moments of sheer hilarity. Starring: John Goodman , Cathy Moriarty, Simon Fenton, Omri Katz, Lisa Jakub, Kellie Martin, Jesse Lee, Lucinda Jenny, James Villemaire, Robert Picardo, Jesse White, Dick Miller, John Sayles, David Clennon, Luke Haplin. Directed by: Joe Dante. B+

Maverick (1994) PG comedy

Mel Gibson stars in this delightful comedy as a cowardly but sharp poker player who wants nothing in the world but to participate in the biggest, most expensive poker tournament on the planet. First, however, he must raise twenty thousand dollars. He has most of it by the time the film starts, and he travels around finding his debtors to collect from, win on some minor poker games, and some other humorous methods. Along the way, he meets the conniving but irresistible Jodie Foster (in a remarkably effective comedic performance), the aging sheriff James Garner, and a couple of bad guys. The actors all give funny performances to make this a highly entertaining film. Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene, Alfred Molina, James Coburn, Dub Taylor, Geoffrey Lewis, Paul L. Smith, Dan Hedaya, Dennis Fimple, Denver Pyle, Clint Black. Directed by: Richard Donner. A-

Maybe Baby (2001) R comedy

Hugh Laurie stars as a screenwriter who is trying to conceive a child with his wife (Joley Richardson). They continue to be unsuccessful, along with Laurie's career. Then, taking it as inspiration, he begins writing a secret screenplay about their experiences. Considering the fantastic cast and the subject matter, this film shouldn't have been so tame. This could have and should have been funnier. Starring: Hugh Laurie, Joley Richardson, Rowan Atkinson, Dawn French, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Joanna Lumley, James Purefoy, Rachael Stirling, Emma Thompson, Paul Tripp. Directed by: Ben Elton. C+

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) R western

Robert Altman directs this interesting art flick that surely those interested in analyzing cinema probably already know by heart. Warren Beatty stars as a whorehouse owner who doesn't have much of a knack for business until a British businesswoman (Julie Christie) joins him. This film is said to have upturned all the cliches of typical westerns, and it does just that. As far as cinematic entertainment goes, however, this isn't too mainstream! Nevertheless, this is one of Altman's more celebrated films, and it deserves the status. Starring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois, William Devane, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck, Corey John Fischer, Keith Carradine, Tom Hill, Graeme Campbell, Linda Sorenson, Janet Wright. Directed by: Robert Altman. A-

McHaleís Navy (1997) PG comedy

This terrible cinematic update of the '60s classic sitcom features horrible acting by Tom Arnold, who plays McHale, a goof-off, who hangs around the navy base supplying soldiers with booze, ice cream, bikini calendars, etc. It's a rather peaceful situation until an incompetent jerk-of-an-officer kicks him off and an East German terrorist, played by Tim Curry whose comic abilities are below-par, threatens. The plot is unlikely, the jokes are unfunny, the characters are unbelievable, and the movie just plain stinks. However, Ernest Borgnine, TV's original McHale, makes a guest appearance. This is for nobody but undemanding kids. Starring: Tom Arnold, Tim Curry, Dean Stockwell, David Alan Grier, Debra Messing, Ernest Borgnine, Brian Baley, French Stewart, Danton Stone, Henry Cho, Bruce Campbell, Anthony Jesse Cruz, Tommy Chong, Scott Cleverdon. Directed by: Brian Spicer. D

Mean Creek (2003) R drama

This heavy-hitting drama involves a group of kids who decide to play a mean prank on a bully whilst on a boat trip down a river. However, this prank turns out to have disasterous consequences. This is an effective and unforgettable drama from first-time director Jacob Aaron Estes. Starring: Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, Carly Shroeder. Directed by: Jacob Aaron Estes. A-

Mean Girls (2004) PG-13 comedy

A surprisingly striking comedy written by head Saturday Night Live writer Tina Fey contains bizarre humor, astute social observations about high school cliques, and plenty of great chuckles. Lindsay Lohan heads this film comfortably as a student going to school in the U.S. after living all her life in Africa. However, she discovers that in many ways, life in U.S. high schools is more strenuous than the African Savannah. Noting one particular clique, The Plastics, to be particularly deplorable, she decides to pretend to be one of them to secretly expose them for what they are Ö only to discover that she is slowly evolving into them. A fantastically funny comedy. Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Neil Flynn, Jonathan Bennett. Directed by: Mark Waters. A-

Meatballs (1979) PG comedy

Before I sat down to watch Meatballs, I thought it would be an immature and idiotic flick ridden with stupid and tasteless jokes. Well, I was right, but what I didn't expect is that it actually does it quite well! The tasteless jokes are actually quite humorous, but the end is sometimes disgustingly heartwarming. Though far from a comedy classic, it did (unfortunately) inspire a whole army of crappy summer camp comedies. Bill Murray (who is almost always fun) plays the head of the camp counselors in his first starring role. Starring: Bill Murray, Harvey Atkin, Kate Lynch, Russ Banham, Kristine DeBell, Sarah Torgov. Directed by: Ivan Reitman. C+

Medicine Man (1992) PG-13 drama

This film about a man who finds the cure for cancer in the tropical rain forest of South America is a little bit better than it was cracked up to be. However, all it boils down to is a lame politically correct message that "the rain forests must be saved!!!Ē and it's put rather bluntly at that. Not the perfect of scripts, but the always-watchable Sean Connery will hold your interest. Starring: Sean Connery, Lorraine Bracco, Jose Wilker, Rofolfo DeAlexandre, Francisco Tsirene Tsere Rereme, Elias Monteiro DaSilva, Edinei Maria Serrio Dos Santos. Directed by: John McTiernan. B-

Meet the Fockers (2004) PG-13 comedy

Ben Stiller returns in this sequel to Meet the Parents. Having successfully met the parents of her fiancťe (Teri Polo), Stiller introduces them to his parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand), the highly eccentric Fockers. Unfortunately, itís not nearly as funny as its predecessor, but Robert De Niro who reprised his role as the ex-CIA agent Jack Byrnes, is always worth watching. Starring: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Tim Blake Nelson, Alanna Ubach, Ray Santiago. Directed by: Jay Roach. C

Meet the Parents (2000) PG-13 comedy

Ben Stiller stars as a male nurse who eventually meets his fiancťeís parents (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner). De Niro, over-protective of his daughter, scrutinizes Stiller at every step, and anything that could possibly go wrong for Stiller does. This is a funny and clean film. Starring: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Nicole Dehuff, Jon Abrahams, Tom McCarthy, Phyllis George, James Rebhorn, Owen Wilson, Kali Rocha. Directed by: Jay Roach. B+

Melinda and Melinda (2004) PG-13 comedy

Woody Allen (who directs but doesn't star) delivers this film that is too talky and not witty enough. This is a film that's supposed to try to explain the blurred lines between comedy and tragedy, but it comes off as utterly pretentious. However, there are some good flares of entertainment in here that should please Woody Allen's greatest fans. Starring: Radha Mitchell, Chloe Sevigny, Johnny Lee Miller, Will Ferrell, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Wallace Shawn, Josh Brolin, Gene Saks, Vinessa Shaw, Steve Carell. Directed by: Woody Allen. C+

Memento (2000) R thriller

Lenny (Guy Pearce) is a man who is on a revenge mission. Only, he has a rare brain condition in which he cannot make new memories. For him to know what he's doing, he has to continuously make notes to himself. This film is unusual not necessarily in the story-line, but how the story is told. It is told backwards. The first thing we see is Pierce succeed in his mission, and then we see step-by-step the events that led up to it. This is a phenomenally exciting thriller directed brilliantly by Christopher Nolan. The only hiccup is that some the supporting actors aren't very good. Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Stephen Toblowsky, Mark Boone, Jr., Harriet Sansom Harris. Directed by: Christopher Nolan. A

Memphis Belle (1990) PG-13 war

This is an account of a World War II airforce unit that is about to perform its 25th mission (the cut-off point to where the pilots are sent home). Of course, things donít quite go as pleasantly as the pilots were hoping for! This is a fine film that doesnít quite excel, but itís fairly entertaining, and a fitting tribute. Starring: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeny, David Strathairn, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, John Lithgow, Harry Connick Jr., Courtney Gains, Neil Giuntoli. Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones. B

Memron (2004) NR comedy

This mockumentary charts the exploits of a handful of ex-employees at the bankrupt title-company (an obvious reference to Enron). They start a company that sells different scented air. The over-the-top humor employed in this film rarely produces laughs even though it desperately tries hard to. Maybe you'll feel sorry for it and laugh once through your teeth. It was a nice try. Starring: Christopher Liam Moore, Christopher Wells, John Lehr, Jeffrey Hayenga, Mary Pat Gleason, Tim Bagley, Shirley Prestia, Susan Saunders, David Wiater, Evie Peck, Michael McShane, Clare Forlani. Directed by: Nancy Hower. D+

Men at Work (1990) PG-13 comedy

In this remarkably bad comedy, brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez star as garbage men who discover a dead body in a trash can one day. Charlie Sheen doesn't want to turn this case over to the cops (because he shot the exact same guy in the rump the night before with a BB gun) so they go out and save the environment (it doesn't make sense in the movie either). This is a dumb and hardly watchable comedy that gains its only sparks from Sheen's and Estevez's comedic performances. Starring: Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Leslie Hope, Keith David, Dean Cameron, John Getz, Hawk Wolinki, John Lavachielli, Geoffrey Blake, Cameron Dye. Directed by: Emilio Estevez. D

Men in Black (1997) PG-13 comedy

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith star in this amazing sci-fi/comedy as two undercover agents who specialize in the monitoring of alien activity on earth. Smith, who is a newbie, goes on his first assignment with Jones to make sure the evil alien (known as "The Bug," which is an over-evolved cockroach) doesn't get a hold of the galaxy and it is returned to the rightful owner. If they fail, the earth will blow up. This film is both funny and is full of great action sequences. Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, Siobhan Fallon, Mike Nussbaum. Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld. A-

Men in Black 2 (2002) PG-13 sci-fi

This is long-awaited but ultimately disappointing sequel to the 1997 smash-hit finds our hero J (Will Smith) bringing back his former partner K (Tommy Lee Jones) to the extraterrestrial-policing agency. Only K knows how to save the world from an alien that's dressed as an underwear model. Some of the jokes are OK, but the script is not nearly as fun and witty as the original. Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Rip Torn, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rosario Dawson, Tony Shalhoub, Patrick Warburton, Johnny Knoxville, Jack Kehler, David Cross, Colombe Jacobsen. Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld. C-

The Merchant of Venice (2004) R drama

This is a nicely done and excellently shot rendition of William Shakespeareís classic tale. A powerhouse cast includes Al Pacino (a Shakespeare buff) as Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, and an excellent performance from Jeremy Irons. Itís a lengthy and heavy-hitting film thatís somewhat difficult to follow, but it was a highly respectable undertaking. Starring: Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins, Zuleikha Robinson, Kris Marshall, Charlie Cox, Heather Goldenhersh, Mackenzie Crook. Directed by: Michael Radford. B+

Mercury Rising (1998) R action

This is an entertaining action film starring the typecast Bruce Willis as a loner FBI agent who discovers that a powerful governmental agency headed by Alec Baldwin wants to kill a severely autistic boy (Miko Hughes) who accidentally deciphered a multi-billion dollar code. Despite the rather ridiculous plot, this film manages to keep the thrills and suspense coming. Starring: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes, Chi McBride, Kim Dickens, Robert Stanton, Bodhi Elfman. Directed by: Harold Becker. B

Mermaids (1990) PG-13 comedy

Cher stars in this unusual film as a single mother of two daughters who canít seem to stay in one spot. When she finds herself living in a small Massachusetts town, she runs across a few reasons to stay. Winona Ryder plays the eldest child who disapproves of her mother's uncouth way of socializing. The film is interesting, sometimes funny and likable. The plot has some clever ideas, but it sometimes doesn't exuberate on them well enough. Starring: Cher, Winona Ryder, Bob Hoskins, Michael Schoeffling, Christina Ricci, Caroline McWilliams, Jan Miner, Betsey Townsend, Richard McElvain, Paula Plum, Dossey Peabody. Directed by: Richard Benjamin. B+

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) R prison/war

A very entertaining and engaging film that centers on a brutal Japanese POW camp. The characters of the film are multi-dimensional and generally interesting, making Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence a recommended film. David Bowie (whoís top-billed, but not really the star) turns in a particularly good performance as the defiant, sharp-witted Jack Celliers. Itís a unique film in the POW genre. Starring: Tom Conti, David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jack Thompson, Johnny Okura, Alistair Browning, James Malcolm, Chris Broun, Yuya Uchida, Tamio Ishikura, Christ Broun. Directed by: Nagisa Oshima. B+

Meteor (1979) PG sci-fi

The Earth is about to get hit by a meteor! Oh no! Sean Connery stars in this extraordinarily repulsive disaster flick about Russia and the US combining missiles to destroy an oncoming meteor. The film is so terrible that I could honestly care less whether or not the earth survives this fiasco. The script is incredibly tedious and is a complete and utter waste of this perfectly talented cast. A heinous crime. Starring: Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Henry Fonda, Martin Landau, Trevor Howard, Richard Dysart. Directed by: Ronald Neame. D-

Miami Vice (2006) R action

This forgettable adaptation of the popular '80s TV show is burden with an overlong running time. The plot had something to do with drug smugglers, and there's a lot of violence. The plot doesn't actually matter. At least director Michael Mann has style, which makes it passable entertainment. Starring: Colin Farrell, Jaime Foxx, Gong Li, Naomie Harris, Ciaran Hinds, Justin Theroux, Barry "Shahaka" Henley. Directed by: Michael Mann. C+

Michael Collins (1996) R drama

Overlong but effective portrayal of NRA leader Michael Collins who fought for Irelandís independence in the 1920s. The film features amazing cinematography, fantastic set designs, and one of Liam Neesonís finest screen performances. Starring: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart, Paul Hickey. Directed by: Neil Jordan. A-

Micki + Maude (1984) PG-13 comedy

Dudley Moore gives a charming performance in this highly amusing romantic comedy as a TV journalist who agrees to divorce his neglectful wife (Ann Reinking) to marry an attractive cellist (Amy Irving) who he got pregnant. But when heís about to break the news to his wife, she announces her own pregnancy. So, he settles for two wives. Naturally, he keeps this secret from everyone except his trusted friend (Richard Mulligan). This is a good farce with a few hilarious scenes. Starring: Dudley Moore, Amy Irving, Richard Mulligan, Ann Reinking, George Gaynes, Wallace Shawn, John Pleshette. Directed by: Blake Edwards. B+

Midnight Cowboy (1969) R drama

This amazingly emotional art-house film was rated X at the time of release, but it's nothing more than a mild R today. Jon Voight stars as a Texan who moves to New York to earn a living as a male prostitute, but this wasn't as simple as he had hoped. He becomes the unlikely pal of a grimey crippled man (Dustin Hoffman) as they attempt to survive a harsh winter in an unheated abandon building. Raw and heartbreaking, this is a film that you're sure not to forget. Starring: Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes, Ruth White, Jennifer Salt, Gil Rankin, T. Tom Marlow, George Epperson, Al Scott, Bob Balaban. Directed by: John Schlesinger. A+

Midnight Lace (1960) NR suspense

While this marginally suspenseful thriller is not exactly Hitchcock worthy, it remains to be fine entertainment. Doris Day stars as a homemaker, residing in London, who is frightened one foggy day when she hears a male voice behind a statue that says that he will kill her. She runs to her husband (Rex Harrison), who merely thinks it is a silly prank. Then, she starts to receive death threats by telephone. Now she's really scared. It's a fine film with a good cast, but it's nothing to go out of your way to see. Starring: Doris Day, Rex Harrison, John Gavin, Myrna Loy, Roddy McDowall, Herbert Marshall, Natasha Parry, Hermoine Baddeley, John Williams, Richard Ney, Anthony Dawson, Rhys Williams, Richard Lupino. Directed by: David Miller. B

Midnight Run (1988) R comedy

A surprisingly successful pairing of Robert De Niro (a bounty hunter) and Charles Grodin (a criminal). They travel cross-country from Chicago to Los Angeles taking the long journey in order to send Grodin to jail. The pair runs into more than their fair share of troubles, which includes being confronted more than once by the suspicious FBI. Midnight Run is unexpectedly entertaining; Grodin and De Niro's comic flare greatly contribute to this action film. A nice script and great action sequences. Starring: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, Wendy Phillips, Richard Foronjy. Directed by: Martin Brest. B+

A Midsummer Nightís Dream (1999) PG-13 comedy

Michael Hoffman successfully produces and directs this magical adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedy taking place in 19th century Italy. It's about two mythical creatures casting a "love spell" over two individuals that will make them fall madly in love with the first person they see. However, problems arise when they see the wrong person. It's both a creative and funny and it remains faithful to Shakespeare's script. A wonderful set makes this a treat just to look at! The cast of Kevin Kline, Rupert Everett, Michelle Pfeiffer and Calista Flockhart (who gives a strikingly effective performance as a kooky maiden) are superb! Starring: Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Stanley Tucci, Calista Flockhart, Anna Friel, Christian Bale, Dominic West, David Strathairn, Sophie Marceau. Directed by: Michael Hoffman. A-

Million Dollar Baby (2004) PG-13 drama

It seemed like it came out of nowhere to nab the 2005 Best Picture Academy Award! This is a fine film that tells a gripping tale of an extremely determined female boxer (Hilary Swank) who tries to make it big in the world of women boxing. Eastwood stars as her reluctant (and practically elderly) manager. This is certainly an emotional film, which is undoubtedly what helped it win. There are several obvious cliches in the script, but who cares? Itís a good movie. Starring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Lucia Rijker, Brian F. OíByrne, Anthony Mackie, Margo Martindale, Ricki Lindhome. Directed by: Clint Eastwood. A

Millions (2004) PG comedy

An imaginative English boy (Alex Ethel) sees a big of money fall from the sky, and he thinks it was given to him from God to give to the poor. His older brother (Lewis Owen McGibbon), however, wants to use the money for his own purposes. Director Danny Boyle (known for edgy films such as Trainspotting) tones it down to make this a family friendly charmer. Amusing bits involve the imaginative boy talking to dead saints. Starring: Alex Ethel, Lewis Owen McGibbon, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan, Chrisopher Fulford, Pearce Quigley. Directed by: Danny Boyle. B+

Minority Report (2002) PG-13 sci-fi

I'm not about to rank this one among Spielberg's elite, but this is certainly among his more thought provoking efforts. Tom Cruise stars as a Precrime officer (one who arrests people for crimes that will be committed) who finds that he himself is being charged with a precrime. Will he run? "They all run," claims Cruise. So he does. I thought the entire synopsis of the movie was quite dumb. (Catatonic psychics predicting the future? Come on!) However, the movie gains huge points as it successfully tackles relevant issues and makes nearly profound comments on current society. A point for Spielberg whose previous sci-fi effort, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, was relatively crap. Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max Von Sydow, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare, Patrick Kilpatrick, Tim Blake Nelson, Steve Harris, Kathryn Morris. Directed by: Steven Speilberg. A-

The Miracle of Morgan Creek (1944) NR comedy

This is a thoroughly entertaining farce that even manages to challenge the ideologies of the 1944 society. A young, small town woman (Betty Hutton) is high on life and enjoys entertaining soldiers who are off to fight in the war. She has too much to drink one evening. The following morning, she wakes up and realizes that she had gotten married, but she doesn't remember with whom. Pretty soon, she also learns that she's pregnant. So, she implores a nerdy young man (Eddie Bracken) who has had a crush on her to claim to be the father and her husband. What happens after is a series of entertaining slapstick mayhem! Starring: Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, Diana Lynn, William Demarest, Brian Donlevy, Porter Hall, Al Bridge, Emory Parnell. Directed by: Preston Sturges. A

Miracles (1987) PG comedy

This is zany film stars Tom Conti as a surgeon and Teri Garr as his ex-wife. They get into quite a predicament when inept robbers (Paul Rodriguez and Christopher Lloyd) kidnap them. They end up in Mexico where they bicker a lot. There were still many kinks to work out in the busy script, but itís fun to watch. Starring: Tom Conti, Teri Garr, Paul Rodriguez, Christopher Lloyd, A. Martinez, Jorge Jussek, Jorge Reynoso, Charles Rocket. Directed by: M. James Kouf, Jr. C+

MirrorMask (2005) PG fantasy

What an impressive display of creativity! An imaginative young woman named Helena (Stephanie Leonidas), who accompanies her circus-performing parents on the road, is fed up with travelling. Then, her mother falls desperately ill. Devastated, Helena finds herself in an Alice in Wonderland world where nothing makes sense. This cannot be a miss for anyone who enjoyed Labyrinth. Starring: Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Rob Brydon, Gina McKee. Directed by: David McKean. B+

Misery (1990) R horror

James Caan plays a popular novelist who gets into an automobile accident in the snowy wilderness and is thankfully rescued by a woman (Kathy Bates) who also claims to be his number one fan. Bates nurses the man back to health while reading his latest edition to his wildly well loved Misery series. However, when the main character dies in the novel, she goes psycho and demands that Caan resurrect it. This is a frightening film that's worth watching, especially for Bate's excellent Academy Award winning performance. Starring: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall, Graham Jarvis, Jerry Potter. Directed by: Rob Reiner. B+

Miss Congeniality (2000) PG-13 comedy

Sandra Bullock stars as an FBI Agent who, against her wishes, goes undercover as a participant in the Miss United States beauty pageant. (Sheís trying to stop a terrorist who is apparently trying to bomb it). Bullock, who has always been a tomboy and never was bothered with things like make-up needs the help of a stylist (Michael Caine) to make her believable in two days. The movie is humorous with a few funny jokes, a good premise, and (perhaps best of all) it's highlighted by comically inspired but brief performances by William Shatner and Candice Bergen. Starring: Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, John DiResta, Candice Bergen, Heather Burns, Melissa De Sousa, Steve Monroe, Dierdre Quinn, Wendy Raquel Robinson. Directed by: Donald Petrie. B

Miss Congeniality: Armed and Fabulous (2005) PG-13 comedy

Apparently, FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) had such a personality makeover in the first film that she completely transformed to an annoying whiner in this totally unnecessary sequel. Because her appearance on the Miss United States pageant gave her so much publicity, she can no longer function as an FBI operative. So, she turns to PR, and acts as the 'face' of the bureau. When two of her pageant buddies (William Shatner and Heather Burns) are kidnapped for ransom, Hart oversteps her boundaries and tries to solve the crime for herself. The first Miss Congeniality was fun, and the script had a few funny and endearing moments. This sequel has none of these qualities, and I felt like an idiot for watching it. Starring: Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano Jr., William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns, Diedrich Bader, Treat Williams, Abraham Benrubi, Nick Offerman, Elieen Brennan. Directed by: John Pasquin. D-

The Missing (2003) R western

Cate Blanchett stars as a mother living in the Wild West whose eldest daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is kidnapped by a roving band headed by a Native American witch (Eric Schweig). Blanchett puts the rocky relationship with her Native American wannabe father (Tommy Lee Jones) aside and goes after these naughty people. Itís hardly anything new or amazing, but this is an altogether solid film thatís highlighted by an excellent cast. Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Eric Schweig, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenny Boyd, Steve Reevis, Ray McKinnon, Val Kilmer, Aaron Eckhart, Simon Baker. Directed by: Ron Howard. B

The Mission (1986) PG drama

The Academy Award winning cinematography from Chris Menges and the spellbinding musical score from Ennio Morricone are easily the most compelling aspects of this movie. The script is almost non-essential. Nevertheless, this is a period film about Christianizing South American natives starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons who give compelling performances. Unfortunately, director Roland Joffe (fresh from The Killing Fields) didnít make the greatest use of his resources. Starring: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Ronald Pickup, Monirak Sisowath, Asuncion Ontiveros. Directed by: Roland Joffe. B+

Mission: Impossible (1996) PG-13 spy

Not only is this spy thriller confusing as heck, but it's both classy and exciting! Such is a feat only James Bond flicks ever seem to accomplish. Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, an elite secret agent on a mission to stop the theft of the "NOC List," which contains names, addresses, serial numbers, whatever on members of his intelligence agency. The involved story is both confounding and delightful. Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart, Henry Czerny, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave, Emilio Estevez, Dale Dye, Marcel Iures. Directed by: Brian De Palma. B+

Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) PG-13 spy

Tom Cruise returns to the mission in this uninspired sequel. This time Cruise must save the world from a deadly virus that an evil supervillian created only to make serious cash on the antidote. The plot is much more comprehensible than its predecessor, but it is lacking the class and the punch that made it such a delight. This is less of an intriguing spy movie (even though characters still pull off masks left and right) and more of a run-of-the-mill action flick. Nevertheless, as far as run-of-the-mill action flicks go, this oneís all right. Starring: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, Anthony Hopkins, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Sherbedgia, William R. Mapother. Directed by: John Woo. B-

Mission: Impossible III (2006) PG-13 action

Tom Cruise reprises his role once again as super-secret-agent Ethan Hunt who uses his spy-skills to foil the kidnapping of a fellow agent. However, this mission goes wrong when the bad guys have implanted a sort of charged bullet in her brain, and it kills her. Cruise is then led to perform many super-stunted tasks, but he's never sure who's a good guy and who's a bad guy. And, for some reaons, he doesn't seem to care. This is an enjoyable action film and a clear improvement over its predecessor. The plot zigzags (though not nearly as much as I would have liked) and the action sequences keep you on your toes. Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Laurence Fishburne, Simon Pegg, Sasha Alexander. Directed by: J.J. Abrams. B+

Mission to Mars (2000) PG-13 sci-fi

Overall, an impressive film but with a horrible plot. In the year 2020, a group of astronauts selected to become the first people to set foot on Mars do so successfully, but they find something that they didn't expect. It's a white pyramid-like thing and when they shot a radar at it to analyze it, a huge hurricane occurred and it ended up killing most of them. Several months later, a rescue crew arrives, and they find something else they never expected; an enormous face where the pyramid used to be. The special effects are eye dazzling and the characters are well developed. This film tries too much to be like 2001: a Space Odyssey, but its ridiculous plot falls miles short of the boat. Nevertheless, it's full of surprises and is worth a look one time around. Starring: Gary Sinse, Connie Neilsen, Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, Jerry O'Connell, Peter Outerbridge, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Kavan Smith, Jill Teen, Elise Neal. Directed by: Brian De Palma. B

Mrs. Miniver (1942) NR drama

Greer Garson stars as the title character, an English woman who strives to keep her wits despite the violent onslaught of German bombings. It is utterly obvious that this is a piece of propaganda meant to gather support for U.S. involvement in World War II, but this remains a worthwhile view today. It exemplifies the reason why itís important to keep a societyís culture alive despite its threats. Starring: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Witty, Reginald Owen, Henry Travers, Henry Wilcoxon, Richard Ney. Directed by: William Wyler. A

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) NR romantic comedy

Alfred Hitchcock uncharacteristically directs this romantic comedy thatís both charming and hilarious. Robert Montgomery stars as a lawyer who, rather casually, says to his wife (Carole Lombard) that he wouldnít marry her if he could do it over. As it turns out, through a technicality, the couple is not legally married. Lombard takes the opportunity to throw the nonchalant Montgomery out of the house and start calling herself by her maiden name. She also starts to date Montgomeryís gentlemanly best friend (Gene Raymond). Montgomery, who is more madly in love with his wife than ever before, makes some rather extreme attempts to win her back. This film is incredibly funny (even by todayís standards) and ought to be considered among the greatest fluff-flicks of all time. Way to go, Alfie. Starring: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond, Jack Carson, Philip Merivale, Lucile Watson, William Tracy, Charles Halton, Esther Dale, Emma Dunn. Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock. A+

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) PG-13 comedy

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a six-year-married couple who is unaware that they are both assassins working for two opposing spy organizations. That is, until they try to kill each other at an assignment. The chemistry between the two leads could have been more electrifying, but the premise is funny and it contains some very nicely done scenes. Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody, Kerry Washington, Keith David, Chris Weitz. Directed by: Doug Linman. B

Mr. Deeds (2002) PG-13 comedy

Adam Sandler makes a failed attempt to update Frank Capraís classic Ö Itís dumb like most of Sandlerís efforts except this oneís missing his zang. The script probably made Capra roll over in his grave a couple of times, and the dialogue is an insult to real dialogue writers. I liked John Tuturro on this film, however, as the sneaky butler, but Winona Ryder's performance is almost more embarrassing than her shoplifting charges. Starring: Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Peter Gallagher, Jared Harris, John Turturro, Conchata Ferrell, Steve Buscemi, Allen Covert, Erick Avari, Peter Dante. Directed by: Steven Brill. C-

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) NR comedy

Perhaps the most perfect comedy of all time, this undisputed cinematic classic from 1936 is still hilarious to this day. Gary Cooper stars as a small-town joe who suddenly inherits millions from a rich uncle. He goes to the city, where he discovers that the people arenít so pure. He meets up with a woman (Jean Arthur) whom he falls deeply in love with, but sheís actually a journalist who writes nasty things about him. This is a comedy that giving an A+ to is hardly good enough. Starring: Gary Cooper, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander, Douglas Dumbrille, Raymond Walburn, H.B. Warner, Margaret Matzenaur, Warren Hymer, Muriel Evans. Directed by: Frank Capra. A+

Mr. Destiny (1990) PG-13 fantasy/comedy

James Belushi stars as a man whose life went downhill ever since he struck out in a high school baseball game. Enter Michael Caine who shows what Belushi's life would have been like had he made a home run. Reminiscent of "It's a Wonderful Life," this film has its flaws, but itís an enjoyable comedy nonetheless. Starring: James Belushi, Michael Caine, Linda Hamilton, Jon Lovitz, Hart Bochner, Rene Russo, Bill McCutchoen, Kathy Ireland, Eddita Hill, Howard Kingkade, Terry Loughlin. Directed by: James Orr. B

Mr. Hulotís Holiday (1953) NR comedy

This is an enjoyable French comedy that thrives because so few words are spoken and creative and outrageous slapstick is put in its place. There is no plot (it goes right out and says that at the beginning) and the dated humor is not 100% funny, but "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" is a silly film that the entire family can enjoy. Starring: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Louis Perrault, Michelle Rolla, Andre Dubois, Suzy Willy, Valentine Camax, Lucien Fregis, Marguerite Gerard, Rene Lacourt, Raymond Carl. Directed by: Jacques Tati. B+

Mr. Mom (1983) PG comedy

This is a hilarious comedy about a young family man (Michael Keaton) who loses his job. His wife (Teri Garr) then becomes employed leaving Keaton to look after the kids. This novice "housewife" must face the mysteries of his own household. Keaton took John Hughesí already-funny script and launched it to the moon! Starring: Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Frederick Koehler, Taliesin Jaffe, Courtney White, Brittany White, Martin Mull, Ann Jillian, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, Tom Leopold, Graham Jarvis. Directed by: Stan Dragoti. B+

Mr. Nice Guy (1998) PG-13 martial arts

Another eye-dazzling Jackie Chan production. This time, he stars as a Chinese chef who gets caught up in a gang of drug lord's business. Very stylish martial arts moves makes this a delight to watch but the lack of plot undermines the film. It's still a wonderful addition to the whole Jackie Chan library. There are also some very funny moments. Starring: Jackie Chan, Richard Norton, Miki Lee, Karen McLymont, Vince Poletto, Berry Otto, Sammo Hung, Emil Chau. Directed by: Sammo Hung. B

Mr. Riceís Secret (2000) PG drama

Some weird pixie must have visited David Bowie one night and told him to headline this low-budget Canadian movie. No matter his motive, his 10-minute appearance in the film is about the only reason to watch this. This film is about a preteen kid called Owen (Bill Switzer) who is dying from cancer. However, Owen's beloved neighbor Mr. Rice (Bowie) snuffs it first, and Owen soon learns that Mr. Rice has left mysterious clues to a hidden treasure somewhere. This film is almost relentlessly cornballish. Starring: Bill Switzer, David Bowie, Garwin Sanford, Teryl Rothery, Campbell Lane, Tyler Labine. Directed by: Nicholas Kendall. C-

Mister Roberts (1955) NR comedy

An excellent comedy about an old-bucket-of-a-ship in World War II whose job it is to supply fighting ships with necessary supplies. The crew are doggedly bored with this task. Henry Fonda is excellent as the title character, an officer who persistently sends letters to get himself transferred much to the dismay of the incredibly strict captain, played by Jimmy Cagney. In one of his earliest roles, Jack Lemmon does a wonderful job as the cowardly but lovable Ensign Pulver, winning an Academy Award. This is one of my favorite movies. Starring: Henry Fonda, Jimmy Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon, Betsy Palmer, Ward Bond, Nick Adams, Philip Carey, Harry Carey Jr. Ken Curtis, Martin Milner, Pat Wayne. Directed by: John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy. A+

Mr. Show (1995) NR (but R-equivalent) comedy

The four seasons of Bob Odenkirk's and David Cross' hilarious late-night HBO show is not to be missed by comedy lovers. Most episodes adopt a non-linear story format similarly to Monty Python, and the scripts are just about as funny. The fourth season is the best by far in the series, which features 10 episodes the creaters were allotted plenty of time to develop. Starring: Bob Odenkirk, David Cross. A-

Mr. 3000 (2004) PG-13 comedy

Bernie Mac is funnier than the script in this amusing baseball comedy. He plays a super-talented but mean-spirited baseball player whose ego could fill up Lake Michigan. When he got his 3,000th hit, he called it quits. Nine years later, the guy is still not in the hall of fame (much to his dismay) and a recalculation of his career found that he actually only had 2,997 career hits. So, the out-of-shape Mac goes back to the majors to get those final three hits Ö but itís not even a hundredth as easy as he assumed it would be. The premise is good, but the almost unrelentingly contrived script keeps Mr. 3000 from being a potential comedy classic. Bernie Mac fans, however, have much to celebrate about. Heís very funny. Starring: Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Brian J. White, Michael Rispoli, Chris North, Paul Sorvino, Dondre Whitfield, Amaury Nolasco, Evan Jones. Directed by: Charles Stone III. B-

Mr. Write (1994) PG-13 comedy

Paul Reiser stars as a playwright who takes a gig as a commercial actor where he falls in love with the producer (Jessica Tuck). What ensues is a disjointed and bizarre comedy thatís not very funny either. Starring: Paul Reiser, Jessica Tuck, Doug Davidson, Jane Leeves, Calvert Deforest, Gigi Rice, Eddie Barth, Wendie Jo Sperber, Thomas F. Wilson. Directed by: Charles Loventhal. D+

Mixed Company (1974) PG comedy

Despite that this film is a horribly dated statement on 1970s race relations and some instances in the script are awful, this is a surprisingly enjoyable film. A basketball coach (Joseph Bologna) learns that he cannot have anymore children with his wife (Barbara Harris). So, Harris adopts some. But one of them is black, one is Vietnamese and another is a Hopi. Can this mixed-race family get along? This script needed a sense of humor, but the kids are cute and the end is genuinely heartwarming though cliched. Starring: Joseph Bologna, Barbara Harris, Tom Bosley, Stephen Honanie, Rodney Hundley, Darrell L. Garretson, Bob G. Anthony, Jina Tan, Ron McIlwain, Charles J. Samsill. Directed by: Melville Shavelson. C+

Modern Problems (1981) PG comedy

A terrible Chevy Chase vehicle that has everything from terrible jokes to an absolutely dreadful theme song! Clumsy Chevy Chase is splattered with nuclear waste and develops telekinetic capabilities, which causes problems. Fortunately, fans of Chevy Chase might only find his performance slightly repulsive. Starring: Chevy Chase, Patti D'Arbanville, Mary Kay Place, Nell Carter, Brian Doyle-Murray, Mitch Kreindel, Dabney Coleman, Arthur Sellers, Sandy Helberg. Directed by: Ken Shapiro. D+

Modern Romance (1981) R comedy

Pales severely to the impossibly high standard Brooks would later set for himself in 1985 with Lost in America. At any rate, this is a funny and engaging picture (if a slight bit pretentious) that examines the screwy relationship between two people. Itís not his funniest film, but it probably contains his best performance ever with his scenes of unbridled love angst. Starring: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Bruce ďBrunoĒ Kirby, Jr., Jane Hallaren, James L. Brooks, George Kennedy, Bob Einstein, Gene Garvin. Directed by: Albert Brooks. B+

Modern Times (1936) NR comedy

In one of his most beloved comedies, Charlie Chaplin stars in this hilarious spoof of society that is surprisingly still relevant today. The first thirty minutes or so must be among the funniest moments ever in a film; the parts thereafter are only moderately funny with sentimentality mixed throughout. Chaplin succeeds in creating a wonderfully great and enjoyable film that makes wonderful use of strange sound effects. Modern Times marks the first time that audiences get to hear Chaplin's voice in one of his movies even though it's in gibberish. Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Chester Conklin, Stanley "Tiny" Sandford. Directed by: Charlie Chaplin. A

The Money Pit (1986) PG comedy

Tom Hanks and Shelly Long play a yuppie couple who buy a "paradise house" only to find that it is worthless. There isn't anything in that house that doesn't need some sort of repair. So they end up spending more than their entire money stock in order to fix it up. It's somewhat of the same story as Cary Grant's Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, except without the charm. Starring: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov, Maureen Stapleton, Joe Mantegna, Philip Bosco. Directed by: Richard Benjamin. C+

Monster (2003) R drama

You'd almost think that Charlize Theron, who puts on ugly make-up for this flick, was miscast as a serial killing highway prostitute, but she turns in a phenomenal performance. Likewise, Christina Ricci also does a fine job in her role as Theron's insecure love interest. This gritty drama is not for all audiences, but it is engaging and will certainly stick with you. Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Scott Wilson, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Lee Tergenson, Annie Corley, Marco St. John. Directed by: Patty Jenkins. A-

Monster-In-Law (2005) PG-13 comedy

This is an enjoyable film, but it's entirely disposable and forgettable, which makes it strange that Jane Fonda came out of 15 years of retirement to star in this film. Maybe she just wanted to have fun. She plays a cranky old talk show host who just lost her job to someone more hip. Then, she finds out that her son (Michael Vartan) is getting married to a dog-walker (Jennifer Lopez). She utterly rejects the marriage, so she tries to break it up by the driving dog-walker nuts. But the dog-walker catches on, so she gives her a taste of her own medicine. This film wasn't handled well neither by the lame screenwriter nor by-the-book director. However, it's good to see Fonda back on the screen, and she is fun to watch. Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scot, Monet Mazur, Annie Parisse. Directed by: Robert Luketic. C

Monster's Ball (2001) R drama

Halle Berry won the Academy Award for her performance as a poor woman who ekes by life and undergoes several tragedies. She lives in America's South, where shadows of the era's once-prevalent racism still linger. She meets Billy Bob Thornton, a starkly different person, but they are brought together through different tragedies. This is a sad and engaging film that's thought-provoking. Director Mark Foster wisely keeps the film emotions understated. Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Halle Berry, Peter Boyle, Sean Combs, Mos Def, Will Rokos, Milo Addica. Directed by: Marc Foster. B+

Monsters Inc. (2001) G animated

The unstoppable Pixar animation studio strikes again with this fantastically funny tribute to the monsters little kids think are under their bed. Except they're really there and they're not really that scary. The story is full of good humor that will make children laugh giddily and constantly make adults smile. There are no flaws worth noting in this fantastic release. Voices of: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Rob Petterson, John Ratzenberger, Frank Oz, Daniel Gerson, Steve Susskind, Bonnie Hunt, Jeff Pidgeon, Sam Black. Directed by: Pete Doctor, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich. A

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) PG comedy

The Monty Python troupe in their second film farts on the King Arthur legends. The film comes fully equipped with killer rabbits, snooty French-types, and witches and things. A now classic film that's utterly side-splitting, the dialogue is full of Python humor which seems to get better every time it's viewed. The actors are all great and can never be replaced. Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin. Directed by: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. A+

Monty Python and the Meaning of Life (1983) R comedy

The final film by the famed British troupe is surely not to miss. This movie is a collection of interrelated short films that attempts to explain the meaning of life. Though more forced than the others, there are still plenty of laughs to be had. If you can't stand gross-out humor (brought to hilarious extremes), then pass this one by. Others should check it out. Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, Simon Jones, Patricia Quinn, Mark Holmes, Valerie Whittington, Jennifer Franks. Directed by: Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. B+

Moon Over Parador (1988) PG comedy

It's mildly entertaining, but it isn't nearly as good as it should have been. Richard Dreyfuss stars as an actor forced to mimic the recently deceased dictator of the fictional country, Parador. At first, he isn't thrilled at the ordeal, but he soon grows to enjoy it. Dreyfuss' comic performance is wonderful and the rest of the cast is fine. However, the film is greatly missing substance! Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, Jonathan Winters, Michael Greene, Polly Holliday, Charo, Marianne Sšgebrecht, Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Cavett, Ed Asner, Ike Pappas. Directed by: Paul Mazursky. C

Moonlight Mile (2002) PG-13 drama

You know what? I'm searching and searching and searching to find a flaw with this film and I can't find one. However, at the same time, this film didn't particularly enthrall me or bring me to tears. It's a well-polished affair, and with such a powerhouse of excellent actors and actresses, I highly doubt I would have received this film nearly as well. The film is about a family's reaction to the death of their college-aged daughter. Her fiancťe (Jake Gyllenhaal) sticks around with the family basically out of his own good heart. I was talking about finding a flaw--well I guess there is a major flaw in that the emotion that should have swept me off my feet, failed to. Still, the movie is very worthwhile and the cast make their respective roles very memorable. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Holly Hunter, Ellen Pompeo, Richard T. Jones, Allan Cordunder, Dabney Coleman, Aleksia Landeau, Mary Ellen Trainor. Directed by: Brad Silberling. A-

Moonstruck (1987) PG romantic comedy

Cher stars in this marvelous romantic comedy as a middle-aged woman who falls in love with her boyfriend's pathetic cousin (Nicolas Cage). The wonderfully deranged plot is heavily supported by spirited and crazy performances by the cast. This film also sports excellent scenery and great Italian background music. Cher won a best actress Oscar in this role. This is a remarkable off-beat venture. Starring: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso, John Mahoney. Directed by: Norman Jewison. A-

Mostly Martha (2002) PG-13 drama

This intelligent German import packs on the emotion heavier than your average American You've Got Mail, and so I give this one my thumbs up. However, the Germans can't even seem to avoid predictability in their romantic comedies, either. The film centers around Martha, a temperamental chef, whose best friend dies (of course leaving her mentally anguished) and she is left to look after her bratty kid. Meanwhile, at the restaurant, they hired a goofy co-chef who Martha doesn't like. There's not much left to be desired here. A formidible foreign flick. Starring: Martina Gedeck, Maxime Foerste, Sergio Castellitto, August Zirner, Sibylle Canonica, Katka Studt, Antonio Wannek, Idel Uner, Oliver Brournis, Ulrich Thomsen, Gerhard Gerbers. Directed by: Sanda Nettelbeck. A-

Mother (1996) PG-13 comedy

A funny and heartwarming and a wrongly ignored film starring Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds (who is in her first starring role for over 25 years). Brooks plays an author with a strong case of writer's block and decides to move back in with his mother to get more in touch with his roots. The mother, who never fully bonded with her son, eventually comes to know him much better. Reynolds is often-times hilarious in her role. Definitely worth seeing; very entertaining! Starring: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Rob Morrow, Lisa Kudrow, John C. McKinley, Isabel Glasser, Peter White. Directed by: Albert Brooks. A-

Mothra (1961) NR sci-fi

A pretty good Japanese monster flick involving a group of scientists who explore a radiation-infected island and abduct a pair of telepathic one-foot-tall women. Mothra, a caterpillar, hatches out of its shell to save them. Production levels are very low (the scenes involving obviously toy models are sometimes hysterical), but the film is otherwise generally entertaining. Starring: Jerry Ito, Ken Uehara, Yumi Ito, Emi Ito, Takashi Shimura, Hiroshi Koizumi. Directed by: Ishiro Honda. B-

Moulin Rouge (2001) PG-13 musical

A breathtaking musical and tribute to pop music from the previous 50 years, this film is truly a wonder. From the warped visions of Baz Luhrmann, the appeal to this film is mostly generated from the rich and glamorous set design and old radio pop songs delightfully revisioned. The end left me speechless. This is a masterwork. Starring: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jom Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Garry McDonald, Jacek Koman, Matthew Whittet, Kerry Walker, Caroline O'Connot, David Wenham. Directed by: Baz Luhrmann. A

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) PG-13 romantic comedy

A very good adaptation of William Shakespeareís comedy starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Itís in that Shakespearian English, but most people should get the general idea whatís going on. "Much Ado About Nothing" is bright, cheery and enjoyable with good stars and great performances. Starring: Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Robert Sean Leonard, Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Briers, Brian Blessed, Gerard Horan, Richard Clifford, Ben Elton. Directed by: Kenneth Branagh. A-

The Mummy Returns (2001) PG-13 action

The Mummy returns for a second go-round. This time, after everyone spent so much time trying to destroy it in the first film, bandage-wrapped beast returns, and Brendan Frasier must, once again, send it back to where it came from. This time, however, they have kidnapped Frasier's kid, which makes it personal! If you thought the original was awesome, you will find much of the same in this sequel. There is actually a bit more plot and more action, which some viewers (not all) will find favorable. Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Wiesz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velasquez, Freddie Boath, Alun Armstrong, Dwayne Johnson, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbage, Shaun Parkes. Directed by: Stephen Sommers. B

Munich (2005) R drama

Steven Speilberg directed this historical fiction film set in the aftermath of a Palestinian terrorist group's murder of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympic. Five assassins are sent out in Europe to kill those responsible for planning the attack. This is a strikingly relevant film for today's world, because it explores the ambiguity between right and wrong on both sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This is one of Speilberg's most serious efforts, and thanks to his solid directorship, it's an effective film. However, the slow pacing and the 164-minute running length makes it difficult to sit through at times. The on-location European scenery is fantastic. Starring: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zichler, Ayelet Zorer, Geoffrey Rush, Michel Lonsdale, Lynn Cohen. Directed by: Steven Speilberg. B+

The Muppet Movie (1979) G comedy

In the first of the many Muppet movies, Kermit the Frog attempts to sorta explain how the gang got together on his way to make it big in Hollywood. Entertaining but sometimes gets too carried away. The plot is uneven, but it is most definitely made up by its jokes and the countless cameos. An entertaining film that's one of the best (but not the best) of all the Muppet flicks. Very likable; there is enough material to keep children and adults entertained. The songs, however, are horrible. Followed by The Great Muppet Caper. Starring: Charles Durning, Austin Pendelton, Edgar Bergen, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Steve Martin, Carol Kane, Paul Williams, Bob Hope, James Coburn, Dom DeLuise, Elliot Gould, Cloris Leachman, Telly Savalas, Orson Welles. Voices of: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz. Directed by: James Frawley. B

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) PG comedy

The Muppets return in a joyous third feature about Kermit and the gang traveling to New York City to get their musical produced on Broadway. Like nearly everyone who goes down this avenue, Kermit experiences pitfalls and troubles trying to accomplish this. The Muppets are at their peak here, and this is the last that involved its creator, Jim Henson. Starring: Dabney Coleman, Art Carney, James Coco, Joan Rivers, Gregory Hines, Linda Lavin, Liza Minnelli, John Landis. Voices of: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire. Directed by: Frank Oz. A-

Murder By Death (1976) PG mystery/comedy

An enjoyable and oftentimes outright hilarious parody of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. Lionel Twain, an absurd dinner host, invites five of the most famous fictional detectives to dinner. He makes the promise to confuse the heck out of everybody and presents the most baffling murder left for the five to solve. A winner and a must see for all mystery buffs. The great downfall to this film is that the end is confusing. Notable for its excellent cast doing a superb job at mimicking some of literature's most beloved mystery detectives. Starring: Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, David Niven, Maggie Smith, James Coco, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, Eileen Brennan, Nancy Walker, James Cromwell, Estelle Winwood, Truman Capote. Directed by: Robert Moore. B+

Murder in Three Acts (1986) NR mystery

Only a so-so movie adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel, but there have been far worse. Peter Ustinov is always appreciated reprising his role as the brilliant Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. This time, he is invited to a dinner party hosted by an actor (Tony Curtis) when a death happens. Although, Poirot doesn't initially suspect it to be foul play, he pretty soon finds himself in the middle of another bloody murder mystery. Starring: Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis, Concetta Tomei, Emma Samms, Nicholas Pryor, Rene Pereyra, Diana Muldaur. Directed by: Gary Nelson. B-

Murderball (2005) R documentary

This documentary is about a sport I never thought existed: Paraplegic rugby. Another name for this sport is the title-name. It's every bit as intense, and perhaps more so, than any other sport, and its wheel-chair-bound participants want nothing more than to take home gold at the international championships. This film is not only exciting, but it is also resonant because before most of these people turned to rugby, they never thought life would be worth enjoying as a paraplegic. Directed by: Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro. A

The Muse (1999) PG-13 comedy

A unique Albert Brooks film where he stars as a movie screenwriter who runs across a "Muse" (supposedly a Greek Goddess who causes one to be inspired and come up with a darn good screenplay). A top-notched cast (who seem to have fun in their roles) serves this film well. If you love Albert Brook's previous comedies then this film's for you. It isn't without its flaws, but it's lighthearted and delightful. Starring: Sharon Stone, Albert Brooks, Jeff Bridges, Andie MacDowell, Steven Wright, Mark Feuerstein, Cybill Sheperd, Monica Mikala, Lorenzo Lamas, Jennifer Tilly, Rob Reiner, Wolfgang Puck, Martin Scorsese. Directed by: Albert Brooks. B

The Music Lovers (1971) R drama

This fictionalized biography of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky directed by Ken Russell is to no surprise bizarre. It is also not hard to believe that the script is somewhat puzzling. Richard Chamberlain plays the composer, on the verge of worldwide stardom, who has to suppress his homosexual tendencies to function better in society. This was an overall misfire for Russell, but itís too weirdly fascinating to snub. The cinematography is fantastic, and parts can only be described as magic. The intense performances from the cast arenít always on-target, but they add to the filmís odd appeal. Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian, Christopher Gable, Isabella Telezynska, Kenneth Collet, Joanne Brown, Bruce Robinson, Victoria Russell. Directed by: : Ken Russell. B

The Music Man (1962) NR comedy

Traveling salesman trickster, Prof. Harold Hill (Robert Preston), who is notorious for selling instruments, uniforms and instruction books for boys under false pretentions, makes it to small-town River City, Iowa. The only person in town who can see through his guise is the music teacher (Shirley Jones), so he attempts to win her over by his charm. But that's easier said than done. This is an endearing musical, with an excellent cast and music. Starring: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Paul Ford, Pert Kelton, Ron Howard. Directed by: Morton Da Costa. A+

Music of the Heart (1999) PG drama

Wes Craven curiously directed this drama about an inspirational public school violin teacher (Meryl Streep) whose job is threatened due to budget cuts. It is based on a true story. Meryl Streep's performance in this overall fine film earned her one of her billion Academy Award nomination. This is an endearing and literate film that's also good for those who love classical music. Starring: Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Angela Bassett, Cloris Leachman, Gloria Estefan, Josh Pais, Jay O. Sanders, Charlie Hofheimer, Kieran Culkin. Directed by: Wes Craven. B+

Must Love Dogs (2005) PG-13 romantic comedy

If a romantic comedy features two leads (Diane Lane and John Cusack) who generate zero romantic sparks together, and it isn't funny at all, then what good is it? Well, insufferable dog lovers at least should appreciate the fact that, yes, there are dogs in this movie. Christopher Plummer as Lane's "swinging" widower father looked positively embarassed. Starring: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermont Mulroney, Stockard Channing, Julie Gonzalo, Ali Hillis. Directed by: Gary David Goldberg. D+

My Best Friendís Wedding (1997) PG-13 romantic comedy

This overly cutesy and artificial but fun romantic comedy starring the lovely Julia Roberts who tries to steal her longtime friend (Dermot Mulroney) from his fiancťe (Cameron Diaz) packs enough laughs to be considered worthwhile. Itís a chick flick, but at least thereís a catfight. Starring: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco, M. Emmet Walsh, Rachel Griffiths, Carrie Preston, Susan Sullivan, Christopher Masterson, Raci Alexander. Directed by: P.J. Hogan. B

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) PG romantic comedy

This fun film has a high entertainment factor and is an inoffensive comedy for the masses. It's like cotton candy; it has no value whatsoever, but it will give you a great sugar rush. An average looking Greek woman, Toula, whose family is fanatically proud of being Greek, was once feared to never find a husband. That is until Ian stumbles into her life (or rather she stumbles), who to the family's despair isn't Greek. Despite the flaws, I enjoyed it. Many dumb jokes are prevalent, but half of them are snicker-inducing. Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Joey Fantone, Christina Elusiniotis, Kaylee Viera, John Kalangis, Marita Zouravlioff. Directed by: Joel Zwick. B

My Blue Heaven (1990) PG-13 comedy

Steve Martin stars in one of his offbeat roles as a smooth-talking New York criminal on the FBI's Witness Protection Program. Martin is sent to Fryberg, a suburb of San Diego, in order to protect himself from the people he's testifying against. However, keeping crime away from this criminal is difficult to do, even if he's in a goody-goody all American town. The premise is rather corny, but entertaining dance numbers and jokes keeps the audience entertained. Rick Moranis and Jane Cusack also star, but their acting is only second rate. Steve Martin, on the other hand, proves he can play a different kind of role with success. Starring: Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Jane Cusack, Melanie Mayron, Bill Irwin, Carol Kane, William Hickey, Deborah Rush, Daniel Stern, Ed Lauter, Julie Bovasso, Colleen Camp. Directed by: Herbert Ross. B-

My Boyfriend's Back (1993) PG-13 horror/comedy

Stupid, disgusting, rude, offensive, sappy, poor, devastating and idiotic. Those are only a few words to describe this dumbass movie. Teenage guy gets shot defending the gal he loves and at the last minute of his life, he asks her to the prom. Thinking he would be dead soon anyway, she agrees. A day later, teenage guy crawls out of the grave to keep the promise. He is a zombie and soon discovers that he must eat living human flesh to stay in his state of "alive". Bury this one so that it'll never come back. Starring: Andrew Lowery, Traci Lind, Danny Zorn, Edward Herrmann, Mary Beth Hurt, Matthew Fox, Philip Hoffman, Austin Pendelton, Cloris Leachman, Paul Dooley. Directed by: Bob Balaban. F

My Brilliant Career (1979) G drama

Stupid, disgusting, rude, offensive, sappy, poor, devastating and idiotic. Those are only a few words to describe this dumbass movie. Teenage guy gets shot defending the gal he loves and at the last minute of his life, he asks her to the prom. Thinking he would be dead soon anyway, she agrees. A day later, teenage guy crawls out of the grave to keep the promise. He is a zombie and soon discovers that he must eat living human flesh to stay in his state of "alive". Bury this one so that it'll never come back. Starring: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Rubert Grubb, Patricia Kennedy, Max Cullen, Alan Hopgood, Max Meldrum, Dorothy St. Heaps. Directed by: Gillian Armstrong. A+

My Cousin Vinny (1992) R comedy

This is a terrific comedy about a gumshoe lawyer (Joe Pesci) defending his nephew for a murder that he didn't commit. Pesci realizes that in order to successfully do this, he must overcome a one-sided jury and judge. The film is joyously jam-packed with comedy. The performances are amazing. Starring: Joe Pesci, Ralph Maccio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne, Lane Smith, Austin Pendleton, Bruce McGill. Directed by: Jonathan Lynn. A-

My Date With Drew (2003) PG documentary

This surprisingly joyous documentary about one man's life-long dream to go on a date with Drew Barrymore gives a flicker of hope to all geeky nerds the world round. The film succeeds primarily because Brian Herzlinger, the main subject of the film, is charismatic, and his pleasant disposition keeps him from being what many are in his predicament: a stalker. He spent only $1,100 he won from a game show to make the film (using a camera from Circuit City with a 30-day return policy and then returning it when the filming is done). Ambitious, offbeat filmmaking such as this is a treat, and it was quite suspenseful seeing if he'd actually get this date or not. Starring: : Brian Herzlinger, John August, Corey Feldman, Eric Roberts, Drew Barrymore. Directed by: Jon Gunn. B+

My Dinner With Andre (1981) NR drama

Two intellectuals, playing themselves, have dinner and talk about life. Andre Gregory sits down with his good friend Wallace Shawn and tells him about how he came to be more in touch with reality. This film is 100 percent talk and no action whatsoever. It'll be boring to anybody who doesn't enjoy listening to philosophical talk. However, those who enjoy thinking in the abstract will eat it up. Starring: Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory. Directed by: Louis Malle. B+

My Dog Skip (2000) PG drama

Offering nothing new to the class of sentimental dog movies, this film takes place in the 1940s and is about a boyís childhood dog and how it supposedly changed his life. For some odd reason, they also put stuff in the film relating to soldiers fleeing the front in World War II. The film is very syrupy and leaves you wondering why thereís a big commotion over a dog. A depressing movie that's also dull. Starring: Frankie Muniz, Kevin Bacon, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Bradley Coryell, Dylan Honeycutt, Cody Linley, Caitlin Wachs. Directed by: Jay Russell. C

My Fellow Americans (1998) PG-13 political comedy

Unlikely political comedy about two ex-presidents of the opposite party (Jack Lemmon and James Garner) having to run for their lives because vicious killers are after them. The reason for this has something to do with a political scandal that the current president would rather blame these two guys for (and it's easier to do that when they're dead). The appeal of this film results from the Grumpy Old Men formula but the dialogue is too full of vulgarities. Starring: Jack Lemmon, James Garner, John Heard, Dan Aykroyd, Sela Ward, Wilford Brimely, Everett McGill, Bradley Whitford, Lauren Bacall, James Rebhorn, Esther Rolle. Directed by: Peter Segal. C

My Friend Flicka (1943) NR drama

This is a so-so film about a young farm kid (Roddy McDowall) who gets to choose his own colt to raise. Against the wishes of his father (Preston S. Foster), he chooses the title-horse that has a wild streak. This is a sweet movie, but itís too sweet and will doubtfully be entertaining to anyone over the age of 10. I thought McDowall talked funny for a fun kid--turns out heís British. Starring: Roddy McDowall, Preston S. Foster, Rita Johnson, Jeff Corey, James Bell. Directed by: Harold D. Schuster. C

My Giant (1998) PG comedy

Billy Crystal makes a film remotely resembling his relationship with the late Andre the Giant. Crystal is miraculously pulled out of a car wreck somewhere in Romania by a seven and a half foot giant, played by NBA star Gheorghe Muresan, and they almost immediately bond with each other. Billy Crystal is a movie star agent who feels that Muresan would be perfect in a film that's being shot close by. Crystal wants to turn this guy into a movie star, but Muresan only wants to visit his childhood sweetheart who moved to the United States a long time ago. While this family friendly movie certainly isn't Crystal's best effort, it is entertaining and good enough for his fans. Starring: Billy Crystal, Kathleen Quinlan, Gheorghe Muresan, Joanna Pacula, Zane Carney, Jere Burns, Harold Gould, Dan Castelleneta, Raymond O'Connor, Rider Strong, Steven Segal. Directed by: Michael Lehmann. B-

My Girl (1991) PG comedy/drama

This is a poignant tale about an 11-year-old girl with a troubled childhood. Her mother died a few days after she was born, her dad is going to marry someone she doesn't like, she lives in a funeral parlor and is haunted by the corpses, among other things. A decent film with a nice cast. Don't forget Kleenex. Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Richard Masuer, Griffin Dunne, Ann Nelson, Peter Michael Goetz. Directed by: Howard Zieff. B

My Left Foot (1989) R drama

A very well done, yet somewhat boring look at the life of Christy Brown, a handicapped young man whose only movable limb is his left foot. Flickers of humor are in all the right places, but story isn't supposed to be funny. The acting is great, especially by Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker, who won Academy Awards for their performances. Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Ray McAnally, Hugh O'Connor, Fiona Shaw, Cyril Cusack, Adrian Dunbar, Ruth McCabe. Directed by: Jim Sheridan. B

My Life as a Dog (1985) PG-13 drama

This is a charming Swedish film about the life-and-times of a child who has a dying mother as well as a sexual awakening. Itís engaging and entertaining even though I wouldnít want to see this twice. Starring: Anton Glanzelius, Anki Liden, Manfred Serner, Melinda Kinnaman, Tomas von Bromssen. Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom. A-

My Man Godfrey (1936) NR drama

William Powell stars as a hobo who takes a position as a butler at a mansion full of difficult and flighty characters. Powell (who is really a millionaire himself) decides to stick around and teach them a few things! A fairly entertaining film from the Depression era, and it really does teach a good moral Ö if you want one, that is. Starring: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette, Alan Mowbray, Jean Dixon, Mischa Auer. Directed by: Gregory La Cava. A-

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) G animated

An animated adventure that is not to be missed. Hayao Miyazaki directs this charming fairytale about two little girls who move to the countryside and discover all sorts of fantastic creatures residing there. The mother of these being Totoro, a giant rabbit/cat/thing that can do all sorts of magical things. Itís a joyous film that is perfect for kids Ö and perfect for adults who want to feel like kids for 86 minutes. Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki. A+

Mystery Alaska (1996) R comedy

A small townís hockey team challenges the New York Rangers to a game in this horribly scripted film about the love of sport and the pursuits of fame. The melodrama involving the hollow personalities of the townspeople is overbearing and pretentious. Itís only when the film finally gets to the pivotal hockey game when it takes flight. Starring: Russel Crowe, Hank Azaria, Mary McCormack, Burt Reynolds, Colm Meaney, Lolita Davidovich, Maury Chaykin, Ron Eldard. Directed by: Jay Roach. D+

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) PG-13 comedy

I am not a fan of the television show (but Iíve seen an episode or two of it), so I canít review this film through the eyes of a fan. But more of a casual observer, I did find this to be pretty entertaining. An evil scientistís dastardly deeds are to subject a man and two robots to the worst films ever made and see how long it takes for them to finally crack. So, we get to see them watch the bad movie, a B-movie science fiction picture This Island Earth, and talk through it making very silly comments. About one in ten of the comments made inspires a chuckle, which is a pretty good ratio as far as comedies go these days. Itís witty enough to deserve a peek. Starring: Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Jim Mallon, John Brady. Directed by: Jim Mallon. B


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