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NEW FILMS FRIDAY

ALEXANDRE DUMAS' THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO — Jim Caviezel stars as the title character of this swashbuckling revenge tale, a sailor who is betrayed by his best friend (Guy Pearce) and seeks justice after spending time in prison. PG-13 (violence, gore, torture, brief sex, brief veiled nudity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Century, 5-Star, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz, Trolley North.)

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (LE PACTE DES LOUPS) — Already a sensation in Europe, this fantasy/thriller is based on the legend of two adventurers who uncover a conspiracy while investigating a series of mysterious murders. In French, with English subtitles. R (violence, gore, nudity). (Exclusive, Century.)

I AM SAM — Sean Penn is the title character, a mentally handicapped man who sues to regain custody of his biological daughter. Michelle Pfeiffer and Laura Dern co-star. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Century, Gateway, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz.)

KUNG POW!: ENTER THE FIST — Director Steve Oedekirk ("Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls") steps in front of the camera for this slapstick parody of martial-arts films, which includes footage from other movies. To be reviewed Saturday. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Century, 5-Star, Gateway, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz.)

LANTANA — Australian filmmaker Raymond Lawrence ("Bliss") returns after a 15-year hiatus with this dramatic thriller about a philandering detective (Anthony LaPaglia) investigating the disappearance of a prominent psychiatrist (Barbara Hershey). Geoffrey Rush co-stars. R (profanity, sex, violence, gore, brief drugs, brief partial nudity, vulgarity). (Exclusive, Tower.)

THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES — "Primal Fear" stars Richard Gere and Laura Linney reteam for this supernatural thriller about a reporter investigating mysterious sightings and premonitions in a small West Virginia town. Based on the best-selling novel by John A. Keel. PG-13 (profanity, brief sex, violence, brief partial nudity). (Carmike 12, Century, 5-Star, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz, Trolley Corners, Trolley North.)

A WALK TO REMEMBER — Pop singer Mandy Moore has her first starring role in this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' best-seller, about a minister's daughter who gets involved with a moody outsider (Shane West, from TV's "Once and Again"). PG (sex, brief violence). (Carmike 12, Century, 5-Star, Gateway, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz.)

RE-RELEASES

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST — **** — Disney's wondrous, Oscar-nominated 1991 animated musical has been remastered (both the picture and color) and "blown up" for the large-format screen for this 10th anniversary re-release. The new musical number, "Human Again," only adds to the splendor of one of the studio's all-time classics. G (violence). (Exclusive, Jordan Commons.)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

THE GOOD WAR AND THOSE WHO REFUSED TO FIGHT IT — Free screening of one-hour documentary looking at 40,000-plus conscientious objectors during World War II who decided to perform "alternative services" for their country during the war. This film is not rated but may contain some PG-rated material. (Friday only: Dumke Auditorium, University of Utah, 7 p.m.)

SHACKLETON'S ANTARCTIC ADVENTURE —*** 1/2 — This exploration of Ernest Shackleton's treacherous expedition into the Antarctic wilds is akin to interplanetary travel, with its vistas of the unearthly land- and seascapes surrounding the South Pole. Narrated by Kevin Spacey. In black and white and color. Shown in the large-screen format. Not rated, probable G. (Jordan Commons, Saturday and Sunday.) (Aug. 26, 2001) — Diane Urbani

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER — **** — It's been remade twice — most recently, as 1998's "You've Got Mail" — but this 1939 comedy is still the best, a sweet-natured, charming period piece about sparring co-workers (James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan) who unknowingly become romantic pen pals. In black and white. Made before ratings (1940), probable G (nothing offensive). (Jordan Commons.)

SOLARMAX — *** — This short documentary, examining scientific efforts to understand the sun, including unusually heavy solar activity, provides both thrilling escapism and astonishing views of reality. Shown in the large-screen format. Not rated, probable G. (Jordan Commons, Saturday and Sunday.) (Sept. 21, 2001) — Diane Urbani

SPIKE 'N MIKE'S SICK 'N TWISTED FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION 2002 — From the folks who "discovered" Beavis & Butt-Head, "South Park," Wallace & Gromit and the Powerpuff Girls comes this latest collection of animated shorts in questionable taste. Included are animator John Kricfalusi's music video for Tenacious D, as well as the clay-animated "Behind the Music That Sucks" parodies. Not rated, probable NC-17 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, sex, drug use, nudity). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older.)

TOP HAT — **** — Memorable for more than just the wonderful theme song, this period musical-comedy may be a bit dated (especially some of the dialogue and verbal humor), but it may also be the best of the big-screen teamings of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In black and white. Made before ratings (1935), probable G (nothing offensive). (Jordan Commons.)

CONTINUING FILMS

AMELIE — **** — Sure it's a bit off-beat (there are some unfortunate R-rated moments as well), but French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's comedy/fantasy is also clearly the best foreign film released this year. It's a delightful whimsy about a young woman (star-in-the-making Audrey Tatou) who meddles in the lives of others while neglecting her own personal affairs. In French, with English subtitles. Running time: 120 minutes. R (nudity, sex, profanity, brief violence). (Broadway.) (Nov. 9, 2001)

BANDITS — *** 1/2 — It runs out of steam about two-thirds of the way in, but this darkly comic caper still manages to charm, thanks its stellar cast — including stars Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, playing bank robbers who squabble over a hostage (Cate Blanchett). Not perfect, but funny and smart. Running time: 125 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, brief sex). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House.) (Oct. 12, 2001)

A BEAUTIFUL MIND — ** — An intellectually dishonest and highly fictional adaptation of Sylvia Nasar's best-selling biography of troubled, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. (Russell Crowe). Even the talented cast can't save this one. Running time: 129 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, brief sex, racial epithets). (Carmike 12, Century, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz, Trolley North.) (Dec. 25, 2001)

BEHIND ENEMY LINES — ** — This military thriller has a few exciting sequences, but it's ham-fisted and preposterous, and comic actor Owen Wilson isn't convincing as a U.S. Navy pilot shot down in enemy territory. Running time: 108 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older; Jordan Landing; Showcase.) (Nov. 30, 2001)

BLACK HAWK DOWN — *** — A cast of up-and-coming actors (including Josh Hartnett and Eric Bana) heads up director Ridley Scott's exciting but extremely gory military thriller, based on a real-life incident in which U.S. soldiers were stuck in the middle of a Somalian war zone. Running time: 143 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, racial epithets.) (Carmike 12, Century, Cottonwood, 5-Star, Gateway, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz.) (Jan. 18, 2002)

BLACK KNIGHT — * — Possibly the most painful adaptation of Mark Twain's much-filmed (in various forms) fantasy tale, with a never-more-unfunny Martin Lawrence playing the modern man sent back in time to a medieval kingdom. Running time: 93 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence). (Sandy, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 21, 2001)

DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE — * 1/2 — Tired stuff about an evil stepfather (Vince Vaughn), an unhappy kid who's cried wolf one too many times, his love-deluded mother and his lovingly upright dad (John Travolta). Unfortunately, it doesn't trust viewers enough to patiently build genuine suspense. Running time: 91 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Sandy, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 2, 2001) — Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

GOSFORD PARK — **** — Venerable director Robert Altman's best film in many, many years is a scathing class comedy/mystery/drama about a murder that occurs during a party at a guest house in London. The first-rate cast includes Emily Watson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ryan Phillippe and Maggie Smith, who's hilarious in a supporting turn. Running time: 137 minutes. R (violence, profanity, brief gore, brief sex, vulgarity). (Century, Megaplex 12.) (Jan. 4, 2002)

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE — *** — This big-budgeted adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's best-selling children's novels is perfectly cast — especially with newcomer Daniel Radcliffe starring as the young wizard-in-training. But some of the magic is missing, and it's too long for neophytes. Still, Potter-philes will be pleased. Running time: 153 minutes. PG (violence, mild profanity, mild vulgarity). (Cottonwood, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz.) (Nov. 16, 2001)

IN THE BEDROOM — *** — Great lead performances by Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson (both of whom are being touted for Oscars) highlight this tense little drama about a couple grieving over the death of their college-age son. The turn toward revenge thriller at the end is a little off-putting, but the acting is terrific. Running time: 130 minutes. R (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Broadway, Century.) (Jan. 4, 2002)

JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS —** 1/2 — An animated fea- ture starring the kid with big hair who's been playing havoc with Nickelodeon's programming. Frankly, the concept works better on television. Running time: 84 minutes. G (slapstick violence, mild vulgarity). (Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Trolley Corners.) (Dec. 21, 2001) — Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

JOE SOMEBODY — ** — Tim Allen has rarely been as charmless as he is in this leaden comedy, about a picked-on man (Tim Allen) who decides to fight back after being bullied on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. Running time: 98 minutes. PG (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Dec. 21, 2001)

KATE & LEOPOLD — ** — Hugh Jackman is charming as a time-lost 19th-century nobleman romancing a 21st-century career woman. But Meg Ryan is simply phoning this one in. Running time: 115 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity). (Century, Cottonwood, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz, Trolley Corners.) (Dec. 25, 2001)

K-PAX — ** — Despite fine performances by Jeff Bridges and, especially, Kevin Spacey, playing a homeless man who claims to be an extraterrestrial, this drama is too muddled and borrows too heavily from other, better films. Running time: 115 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, drugs, brief gore, vulgarity) (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Oct. 26, 2001)

LIFE AS A HOUSE — ** 1/2 — Fine performances salvage this weepy melodrama, about a dying, middle-aged architect (Kevin Kline) trying to reconnect with estranged family members — but just barely. Newcomer Hayden Christensen (the upcoming "Star Wars" prequel) really impresses as his troubled son. Running time: 123 minutes. R (profanity, drug use, vulgarity, sex, brief nudity, brief violence). (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 2, 2001)

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING — **** — New Zealand director Peter Jackson's big-budgeted adaptation of the first of the much-read fantasy trilogy is also the year's best, an awe-inspiring, thrilling adventure with plenty of "Wow!" moments. Also, the all-star cast (which includes Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and Christopher Lee) is top to bottom excellent. Running time: 178 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore). (Carmike 12, Century, Gateway, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz, Villa.) (Dec. 19, 2001)

THE MAJESTIC —** 1/2 — Filmmaker Frank Darabont's attempt at a Capra-esque fable is too long and too ambitious, though Jim Carrey is solid as a blacklisted Hollywood writer who becomes a theater owner after a car wreck causes him to lose his memory. Running time: 152 minutes. PG (profanity, violence). (Jordan Landing.) (Dec. 21, 2001)

MONSTERS, INC. — **** — The Disney-Pixar teaming strikes it rich again with this hilarious, digitally-animated comedy about the mishaps that occur when a little girl wanders into an alternate universe populated by monsters. The voice performers (who include Billy Crystal and John Goodman) have a ball, and so will audiences. Running time: 92 minutes. G (slapstick violence, mild vulgarity). (Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing.) (Nov. 2, 2001)

MULHOLLAND DRIVE — *** — It won't convert any newcomers, but the latest from always enigmatic director David Lynch should delight his longtime fans. This noir mystery/thriller (which began as a TV pilot) is classic Lynch, full of head-scratching moments but enjoyable dark humor as well. Running time: 146 minutes. R (violence, nudity, profanity, sex, brief gore). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older.) (Oct. 19, 2001)

OCEAN'S ELEVEN — *** — Director Steven Soderberg's all-star remake of the 1960 Rat Pack heist picture is a little shaky, materialwise, but it is fun to see George Clooney interacting with Brad Pitt and the others, and the script is pretty witty. Running time: 116 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity, racial epithets, nude artwork). (Carmike 12, Century, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz.) (Dec. 7, 2001)

ORANGE COUNTY —** 1/2 — It's got its moments, but this slightly disappointing comedy — about a high school student (Colin Hanks) trying to get into Stanford — stoops to lowest common denominator humor when things get tough. Running time: 95 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, drug use, slapstick violence, brief sex, brief partial nudity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Century, Cottonwood, Gateway, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz.) (Jan. 11, 2001)

THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN — ** 1/2 — Handsome-looking but too superficial drama, based on the harrowing real-life experiences of an LDS general authority when he was serving a mission to the kingdom of Tonga. A good cast, including Anne Hathaway ("The Princess Diaries"), helps, but it's a little too squeaky-clean for its own good. Running time: 113 minutes. PG (violence, vulgarity, brief gore). (Carmike 12, Gateway, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Ritz.) (Dec. 14, 2001)

OUT COLD —** — A low-rent remake of the 1984 low-rent teenage sex comedy "Hot Dog . . . The Movie." But the characters are pretty likable, and the cinematography is gorgeous. Running time: 89 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 21, 2001) — Christy Lemire, Associated Press

RAT RACE — * — Director Jerry Zucker's all-star screwball comedy is a "Bad Bad Bad Bad Rip-off" of "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," with one painfully unfunny gag after another. Running time: 108 minutes. PG-13 (slapstick violence, vulgarity, profanity, brief partial nudity). (Sandy.) (Aug. 17, 2001)

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS — **** — Sure it's quirky, but director Wes Anderson's third film is also his richest and funniest. It's a comedy a family patriarch (a never-better Gene Hackman) striving to reconnect with his estranged children (including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Stiller). Running time: 108 minutes. R (profanity, violence, drugs, brief sex, vulgarity, brief nudity, brief gore, racial epithets). (Century, Jordan Commons, Megaplex 12.) (Jan. 4, 2002)

SERENDIPITY — ** 1/2 — This uneven but watchable romantic comedy stars as John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as two would-be lovers who leave their relationship up to fate. Hilarious co-stars Jeremy Piven and Eugene Levy steal the film. Running time: 90 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, sex, vulgarity, brief slapstick violence). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House.) (Oct. 5, 2001)

SHALLOW HAL — *** — The Farrelly brothers' much-maligned, "weight-ist" comedy is actually a sweet, funny piece about an arrogant twentysomething (comic character actor Jack Black) who falls in love with a "plus-sized" woman (Gwyneth Paltrow in disguise) after being hypnotized into seeing her "inner beauty." Running time: 113 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, sex). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 9, 2001)

THE SHIPPING NEWS — ** — Director Lasse Hallstrom muddles the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, about a middle-aged man (a too-mannered Kevin Spacey) who relocates his family to Newfoundland after having a nervous breakdown. Co-stars Julianne Moore and Dame Judi Dench co-star nearly save it, though. Running time: 111 minutes. R (profanity, violence, brief sex, rape, vulgarity, brief gore, brief partial nudity). (Megaplex 12.) (Jan. 18, 2002)

SNOW DOGS — ** — This comedy, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as a dentist who inherits a team of sled dogs, is lightweight and predictable. And the animatronic dogs are so expressive they're spooky. Running time: 99 minutes. PG (mild vulgarity, slapstick violence). (Carmike 12, Century, Cottonwood, Gateway, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Ritz.) (Jan. 18, 2002) — Christy Lemire, Associate Press

SPY GAME — ** 1/2 — Robert Redford and Redford-for-the-New-Millenium Brad Pitt make this style-over-substance spy thriller better just by being in it. The rather convoluted plot is full of holes, though, and Tony Scott overdirects as usual. Running time: 126 minutes. R (profanity, violence, sex). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 21, 2001)

VANILLA SKY — ** — Director Cameron Crowe's enigmatic romantic fantasy-thriller doesn't do justice to its source material, the 1997 Spanish-language film "Open Your Eyes." Also, Tom Cruise is too showy and not very charismatic as the central character. Running time: 134 minutes. R (profanity, violence, sex, brief nudity, vulgarity, drugs, brief gore). (Jordan Landing, Trolley Corners.) (Dec. 14, 2001)

ZOOLANDER — *** — A surprisingly funny star vehicle for co-screenwriter and director Ben Stiller, who reprises his role as a dim-witted male supermodel brainwashed into becoming an assassin. Owen Wilson makes a strong bid to steal the film. Running time: 90 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, brief sex, nude artwork). (Sugar House.) (Sept. 28, 2001)