Maze (R) Rob Morrow, the doc in Northern Exposure, wrote, directed and stars in this reportedly touching story of an artist with Tourette's syndrome who falls in love with his best friend's pregnant girlfriend. Also stars Laura Linney and Craig Sheffer.
Monsters, Inc. (G) Imagination runs rampant in the best possible way in this latest animated treat from the folks at Pixar Studios (Toy Story 1 & 2, A Bug's Life). Cute, likable monsters that is, who belong to a community of multi-shaped beasties who accidentally come into contact with one of the adorable little children they're charged with scaring.
The Mothman Prophecies (PG-13) Welcome to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, creepiest little community outside of Twin Peaks. Strange things have begun happening here — people having visions, folks bleeding from the ears and eyes, mysterious messages foretelling the future, not to mention the occasional eight-foot tall winged creature turning up in the back yard. Richard Gere plays a Washington Post reporter who's sucked right into the mystery, and Laura Linney is the local cop at his side. The movie starts and ends on a fairly predictable, even generic note, although in between there's enough odd and unsettling atmosphere to keep us mildly interested. Bottom line is the film would have made a much better half-hour Twilight Zone episode. Also stars Will Patton and Alan Bates.
Mulholland Drive (R) David Lynch's latest exercise in non-linear dream logic features an amnesiac woman dubbed Rita (Laura Harring) and her perky friend Betty (Naomi Watts) playing Nancy Drew in an effort to discover who the memory-challenged lass is. The material that comprises Mulholland Drive isn't exactly what might be called fascinating in and of itself, but there's a relentless, slow-motion car-crash momentum at work here that's highly watchable. Also stars Ann Miller and Dan Hedaya.
Not Another Teen Movie (R) A spoof of all those teen-of-the-month-movies, from the spoof specialists responsible for Scary Movie, and pretty much in the same mold. Just about every convention and cliche of every teen movie of the last few years is skewered, with humor that veers from the extremely raunchy boobs and bodily function variety. Some of the jokes hit home, but t after 45 minutes or so we're ready for it to be over.
Ocean's Eleven (PG-13) Steven Soderbergh's briskly entertaining remake of the 1960 Rat Pack vehicle is about as disposable as the original but, as with the original, it's so much fun you'll hardly notice. About all that really happens here is the planning and execution of an elaborate Las Vegas casino heist, but Soderbergh stages and shoots the action with such an appealingly economic style and immediacy that we find ourselves sucked right into the proceedings.
Orange County (PG-13) A smart surferboy has just 24 hours to get into his dream college by proving that his high school guidance counselor accidentally sent in the wrong transcripts. Stars Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O'Hara and Lily Tomlin.
The Royal Tenenbaums (PG-13) Tragedy has rarely been so much fun as in this latest black comedy extravaganza from director Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore). This time out, Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson (who also stars) give us the epic tale of the rise and fall of a brilliant, relentlessly bizarre and fatally damaged American family — the cumulative effect of the film being a sort of cross between The Magnificent Ambersons, a J.D. Salinger short story and The Addams Family.
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (PG) An engaging mix of history, drama, fascinating archival footage and breathtaking, state-of-the-art photography, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure tells the incredible true tale of an epic battle for survival in the wake of a failed expedition to cross Antarctica in 1914.
Slackers (R) A terminally obnoxious nerd (Rushmore's Jason Schwartzman) threatens to expose a trio of college con artists unless they hook him up with the girl of his dreams. Outside of a few scattered moments of inexplicable savvy, this is an astonishingly inept and unfunny comedy in which perhaps one joke out of every 10 manages to not fall flat on its face. The movie is filled with the requisite poop, fart and blow-job jokes, but still can't quite seem to make up its mind if it wants to be an American Pie-styled gross-out comedy or something more meaningful. It's not very good at either. Also stars Devon Sawa, James King and Jason Segel. Opens Feb. 1 at local theaters.