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Playing at local movie theaters

Beyonce Knowles and Cuba Gooding Jr. in "The Fighting Temptations," which is being screened Saturday.
Beyonce Knowles and Cuba Gooding Jr. in "The Fighting Temptations," which is being screened Saturday.
David Lee, Paramount Pictures

NEW FILMS FRIDAY

AMERICAN SPLENDOR — Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature from this year's Sundance Film Festival, this drama stars character actor Paul Giamatti as iconoclastic comic book writer Harvey Pekar. R (profanity, vulgarity, ethnic slurs, brief sex). (Broadway.)

THE BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE, VOL. 1: THE JOURNEY — The first part of director Gary Rogers' ambitious live-action series covers the first two books of Nephi. Noah Danby stars as Nephi, while Jacque Gray ("God's Army") co-stars as his wife. PG-13 (violence). (5-Star, Gateway, Holladay, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Ritz.)

CABIN FEVER — Already receiving comparisons to the "Evil Dead" cult films, this gory horror movie follows a group of unfortunate college students who are trapped in the woods and who have been infected with a flesh-eating virus. R (gore, profanity, violence, vulgarity, sex, drug use, brief nudity, racial epithets). (Carmike 12, Century, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Ritz.)

THE CUCKOO — Set during World War II, this Russian-made war film looks at what happens when soldiers fighting on opposite sides meet away from the battlefield. In Finnish, Russian and Sami, with English subtitles. PG-13 (violence, mild profanity, vulgarity, brief gore, brief partial nudity, brief sex). (Tower.)

MATCHSTICK MEN — One of the title characters of this comedy-drama is a neurotic con man (Nicolas Cage) who is about to pull off a big score when his teenage daughter (Alison Lohman) suddenly shows up. PG-13 (profanity, violence, drugs, vulgarity, brief gore, brief partial nudity). (Carmike 12; Century; Gateway; Holladay; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 12; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "My Boss's Daughter"; Ritz.)

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO — This sequel of sorts to 1995's "Desperado" finds Antonio Banderas' mariachi character seeking revenge once again. Johnny Depp and Salma Hayek co-star. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs). (Carmike 12; Century; 5-Star; Holladay; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 12; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "The Medallion"; Ritz.)

THE SEA — This Icelandic drama looks at a family torn apart by indiscretions, suspicions and recriminations when the members come together for a reunion. A selection of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. In English, Icelandic and French, with English subtitles. R (profanity, nudity, sex, violence, vulgarity, brief gore, ethnic slurs). (Madstone.)

SNEAK PREVIEWS

THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS — Musical-comedy starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as a man who must put a gospel choir together if he's going to collect his inheritance. Beyonce Knowles co-stars. To be reviewed when it opens next week. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, slapstick violence). (Saturday: Century, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Jordan Landing.)

SECONDHAND LIONS — Haley Joel Osment stars in this comedy-drama as an insolent teen sent to the country to teach him a lesson. Robert Duvall and Michael Caine play his colorful uncles. To be reviewed when it opens next week. PG (vulgarity, profanity, violence). (Sunday: Century, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Jordan Landing.)

UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN — Adapted from the novel of the same name, this drama stars Diane Lane as a depressed, writer's-blocked divorcee who gets a second lease on life when she buys an Italian villa. To be reviewed when it opens Sept. 26. PG-13 (profanity, sex, vulgarity). (Saturday: Century, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Jordan Landing.)

MIDNIGHT MOVIE

MEMENTO — *** 1/2 — A deserved hit at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, this neo-noir piece is a mind-blowing thriller about a partial amnesiac (Guy Pearce) who is trying to figure out who is friend or foe before it's too late. Great performances, as well as a clever, labyrinthine plot that begs for repeated viewings. Running time: 116 minutes. R (profanity, violence, gore, vulgarity, brief drug use, brief nudity). (Tower, tonight and Saturday.)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

ADRENALINE RUSH: THE SCIENCE OF RISK — ** 1/2 — This adventure can't make up its mind between being a documentary or an "extreme-sports" travelogue. Sky-diver Adrian Nicholas puts to a real-life test Leonardo da Vinci's 500-year-old sketch for a parachute. Shown in the large-screen format. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive). (Megaplex 17.) (April 22, 2003) — Ivan M. Lincoln

BEAVERS — *** 1/2 — Cleverly tagged "the biggest dam movie ever made," this large-screen documentary is timed to be just long enough for most youngsters' brief attention spans — and it's packed with plenty of interesting activity, both on land and underwater. Shown in the large-screen format. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive). (Clark Planetarium IMAX Theater.) (May 23, 2003) — Ivan M. Lincoln

BUGS! — *** — The 3-D format both helps and hurts this British-made documentary, which looks at the life cycles of butterflies and praying mantises. At times the 3-D effects are too gimmicky and distracting. However, Judi Dench makes the perfect narrator. Shown in the large-screen format. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (violence). (Clark Planetarium IMAX Theater.) (Aug. 1, 2003)

SPACE STATION 3-D — **** — Tom Cruise narrates, but the real stars of this breathtaking 3-D film are the U.S. astronauts, Russian cosmonauts and the global crew assembling the International Space Station. There's humor and suspense in an adventure that blends "in your face" with "larger than life." Shown in the large-screen format. Running time: 47 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive). (Clark Planetarium IMAX Theater.) (April 22, 2003) — Ivan M. Lincoln

CONTINUING FILMS

AMERICAN WEDDING — ** 1/2 — The third "American Pie" movie is sour and nearly offensive, yet the central story line — about the marriage of Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) — is surprisingly sweet. Running time: 96 minutes. R (vulgarity, profanity, nudity, sex, slapstick violence). (Jordan Landing.) (Aug. 1, 2003)

BAD BOYS II — turkey — Bad is right! This sequel is sickeningly violent and grotesquely cartoonish. And Will Smith and Martin Lawrence make one of the least likable screen teams ever. Running time: 150 minutes. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, drugs). (Redwood, with "S.W.A.T.") (July 18, 2003)

BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM — *** — More cute than it is funny, this still-winning British comedy follows two teens (Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley) whose mothers are horrified when they join a soccer team. The message about tolerance is a welcome one. Running time: 112 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, brief sex, violence, ethnic slurs). (Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Trolley Corners.) (April 11, 2003)

BRUCE ALMIGHTY — ** 1/2 — Jim Carrey mines a few guilty laughs from this sloppy, irreverent comedy — a virtual retread of "Oh, God!" in which a man is given omnipotence to teach him a lesson about humility. Running time: 100 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, brief sex, brief drugs). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 23, 2003)

CAMP — *** — Of interest to musical theater fans, this musical-comedy follows musical theater students hoping to get their big break. The music's the selling point, and the gay subplot is kept to a minimum. Running time: 114 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, slapstick violence, brief drugs). (Broadway.) (Aug. 29, 2003)

CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS — *** — Questions about its truthfulness aside, this documentary about two New York men accused of child sexual abuse is so effective in the way it challenges our perceptions about what we believe and what we think we know that it qualifies as a must-see. Running time: 106 minutes. Not rated, probable R (profanity, vulgarity, nude artwork). (Madstone.) (Aug. 15, 2003)

CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE — ** — Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu return for this meaner, not-as-fun sequel to the tongue-in-cheek 2001 hit. This time they have to face-off against a former "angel" gone bad (Demi Moore). Running time: 105 minutes. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, bikini babes). (Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (June 27, 2003)

DADDY DAY CARE — * 1/2 — Eddie Murphy practically phones in his performance in this lame comedy about a man who, when he is laid off, starts his own day-care center — with predictable results. Running time: 93 minutes. PG (vulgarity, slapstick violence, profanity). (Sandy, Valley Fair.) (May 9, 2003)

DICKIE ROBERTS: FORMER CHILD STAR — * 1/2 — David Spade has never been an unlikable as he is in this unfunny comedy, in which he plays a man trying to become a star again — or to at least recapture his youth, with help from a "foster family." Running time: 99 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, slapstick violence, profanity). (Carmike 12, Century, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Ritz.) (Sept. 5, 2003)

DIRTY PRETTY THINGS — *** 1/2 — It's occasionally heavy-handed, but director Stephen Frears' latest is also an effective dramatic thriller about a Nigerian immigrant (newcomer Chiwetel Ejiofor) who runs into trouble in London. Audrey Tautou is terrific in a supporting role. Running time: 107 minutes. R (profanity, drugs, sex, gore, violence, vulgarity). (Broadway.) (Sept. 5, 2003)

FREAKY FRIDAY — *** — Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan are terrific as a squabbling mother and daughter who switch bodies is this surprisingly charming remake of the 1977 Disney hit. Running time: 97 minutes. PG (vulgarity, slapstick violence, mild profanity). (Carmike 12; Century; 5-Star; Gateway; Holladay; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 12; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"; Ritz.) (Aug. 6, 2003)

FREDDY VS. JASON — * 1/2 — The long-awaited throwdown between movie monsters Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and Jason Voorhees occurs in the final third of this gore-fest. And then it's not that spectacular. Running time: 95 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, drugs, nudity, sex, vulgarity). (Redwood, with "Jeepers Creepers 2"; Ritz.) (Aug. 15, 2003)

GRIND — * 1/2 — This skateboarding comedy contains too little of the good stuff — extreme-sports action — and too much plot. At least when it's that stupid. Running time: 99 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, brief sex, violence). (Sandy, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Aug. 15, 2003)

THE HEART OF ME — ** — This long, runny costume drama, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Williams, is almost a delightfully trashy piece of "Masterpiece Theatre." But it insists on going on at an interminable length. Running time: 96 minutes. R (sex, vulgarity). (Madstone.) (Sept. 5, 2003) — Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

HOLES — *** — This off-beat adventure/mystery, based on the young-adult novel, has a pleasant "Goonies"-like vibe to it. And Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight have fun in showy supporting roles. Running time: 111 minutes. PG (vulgarity, violence, mild profanity). (Sandy.) (April 18, 2003)

HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE — ** — The first 90 minutes of this lame comic thriller starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett is a set-up for a 20-minute car chase at the end. Running time: 111 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, brief sex, gore, vulgarity, brief drugs, racial epithets, nude artwork). (Sugar House.) (June 13, 2003)

HULK — ** 1/2 — The live-action adaptation of the Marvel Comics series only comes to life when the CGI version of the title character is seen. Otherwise, it's too cerebral (talk-heavy) for its own good. Running time: 138 minutes. PG-13 (violence, drugs, brief gore, brief nudity, mild profanity). (Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Trolley Corners, Valley Fair.) (June 20, 2003)

THE ITALIAN JOB — ** 1/2 — The final third is an extended car commercial, but this remake of the 1969 European hit does feature some exciting vehicular action. Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton and Charlize Theron star. Running time: 104 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17.) (May 30, 2003)

JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 — * 1/2 — Jeepers, creepers. Why'd they make these features? It's tough enough to figure why the nonsensical, unimaginative first film had to be made, let alone this unasked-for sequel. Running time: 101 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity). (Century; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "Freddy vs. Jason"; Ritz.) (Aug. 29, 2003) — Phil Villareal, Arizona Daily Star

JOHNNY ENGLISH — ** — Rowan Atkinson is annoying as the bumbling title character of this spy spoof. There are a couple of guilty laughs. But many more dead spots. Running time: 87 minutes. PG (violence, vulgarity, profanity, brief partial nudity, brief drugs). (Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (July 18, 2003)

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN — ** — Sean Connery stars in this dumbed-down version of the comic book in which literary characters team up to stop a worldwide threat. Not nearly thrilling or smart enough. Running time: 110 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore, vulgarity, mild profanity). (Sandy, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Aug. 11. 2003)

LE DIVORCE — ** — This European comedy-drama starring Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts as two young Americans in Paris wouldn't be so bad . . . if it could make up its mind about what it wants to be. In English and French, with English subtitles. Running time: 115 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, brief sex, brief gore). (Broadway, Century.) (Aug. 29, 2003)

LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED, WHITE AND BLONDE — ** 1/2 — Reese Witherspoon's as charming as ever in this otherwise sketchy sequel to the 2001 comedy hit. In this one, crusading attorney Elle Woods (Witherspoon) goes to Washington, D.C., to lobby on animal rights. Running time: 94 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity). (Kaysville, Sandy, Showcase, Sugar House.) (July 2, 2003)

THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO — ** — This feature film stretches a thin premise (also the inspiration for the BYU-produced short film from the 1960s) too far. It looks good, but at times it feels like a 90-minute "infomercial." Running time: 90 minutes. G (mild vulgarity, slapstick violence). (Carmike 12, Gateway, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 17, Ritz.) (Aug. 29, 2003)

LUCIA LUCIA — ** — Proof that you can strand a great actress — in this case Cecilia Roth — with mediocre writing and a directorial style that has a lot in common with Mexican soap operas. In Spanish, with English subtitles. Running time: 113 minutes. R (sex, profanity, brief drug use). (Madstone.) (Sept. 5, 2003) — Ivan M. Lincoln

THE MATRIX RELOADED — ** 1/2 — This sequel to the 1999 smash sci-fi is like its predecessor in the fact that its action scenes are terrific. But the plot is nonsensical mumbo-jumbo and the performances are awful. Running time: 138 minutes. R (violence, profanity, sex, vulgarity, brief gore, brief partial nudity, brief drugs). (Kaysville, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 15, 2003)

THE MEDALLION — * 1/2 — Yet another Jackie Chan movie in which the out-takes are better than the film itself. And frankly, this action-comedy was done better as "Highlander." Running time: 89 minutes. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity, torture). (Carmike 12; Jordan Landing; Redwood, with "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"; Ritz.) (Aug. 22, 2003)

A MIGHTY WIND — *** — Writer-director Christopher Guest returns with this gentle send-up of folk music, which not only features funny performances by Guest regulars Fred Willard and Eugene Levy, it also features some surprisingly listenable, original songs. Running time: 92 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, sex, profanity). (Trolley Corners.) (May 9, 2003)

MY BOSS'S DAUGHTER — * — This tasteless, borderline-offensive Ashton Kutcher vehicle wants us to believe it's a comedy. But there's little evidence here to back that claim up. Running time: 85 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, drugs, profanity). (Carmike 12; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "Matchstick Men.") (Aug. 23, 2003)

OPEN RANGE — ** 1/2 — Kevin Costner the director fares better than Kevin Costner the actor in this derivative Western about cowboys taking revenge on the men who killed their friend. Robert Duvall is superb as always, though. Running time: 135 minutes. R (violence, profanity, brief gore, brief drugs, vulgarity). (Carmike 12, Century, Gateway, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Ritz.) (Aug. 15, 2003)

THE ORDER — * 1/2 — Writer/director Brian Helgeland's religious "thriller" (starring Heath Ledger) is a mess — little more than a series of random plot points and religious babble. Running time: 102 minutes. R (violence, profanity, sex, gore). (Carmike 12; Century; 5-Star; Gateway; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 12; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "28 days later . . . "; Ritz.) (Sept. 6, 2003) — Joe Atkinson, Scripps Howard News Service

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL — *** — Johnny Depp's a hoot as a besotted pirate captain in this swashbuckling adventure based on the popular Disneyland attraction. One of the few movies this summer that's actually fun. Running time: 138 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore, mild profanity, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Century; 5-Star; Gateway; Holladay; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 12; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "Freaky Friday"; Ritz.) (July 9, 2003)

RUSSIAN ARK — *** — In essence, director Aleksandr Sokurov's odd fantasy is a filmed tour of St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum — as fun as that sounds. Still, it's handsome-looking and Russian history scholars will probably be enthralled. In Russian and French, with English subtitles. Running time: 96 minutes. Not rated, probable PG (violence, mild profanity, vulgarity). (Madstone.) (Aug. 15, 2003)

SEABISCUIT — *** 1/2 — Now here's something that's really worth cheering for. Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper all shine in this low-key drama, based on the best-selling non-fiction novel about the famous race horse, as well as its owners and jockey. Running time: 141 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Century, Gateway, Holladay, Jordan Landing, Megaplex 12, Megaplex 17, Ritz.) (July 25, 2003)

THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS — *** — At times it's as fun as a real trip to the dentist's office, but the drama features superb performances by Campbell Scott and Hope Davis as married tooth-pullers whose suspicions of infidelity get the best of them. Running time: 104 minutes. R (profanity, sex, brief drugs, violence, vulgarity, brief gore). (Broadway.) (Sept. 5, 2003)

SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS — ** — One of the more nondescript animated features in recent, this adventure stars Brad Pitt as the legendary sea captain. He sounds bored, and most audiences will be as well. Running time: 86 minutes. PG (animated violence). (Kaysville, Sandy, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (July 2, 2003)

SPELLBOUND — *** 1/2 — As enthralling and as riveting as a particular heated sports competition, director Jeffrey Blitz's Oscar-nominated documentary follows eight of the more than 250 contestants in the 1999 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee competition. Included are interviews with the young contestants, as well as previous winners. Running time: 95 minutes. G (mild profanity). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older.) (July 18, 2003)

SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER — ** 1/2 — The third film in the series overuses its 3-D gimmick. Still, Sylvester Stallone does seem to be having fun as the villainous Toymaker, who menaces the title characters. Running time: 87 minutes. PG (violence). (Carmike 12, Jordan Landing, Ritz.) (July 25, 2003)

S.W.A.T. — *** — Better than it has a right to be, this crime thriller based on the '70s television series is surprisingly exciting. Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson star. Running time: 117 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, brief gore, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Century; Jordan Landing; Megaplex 12; Megaplex 17; Redwood, with "Bad Boys II"; Ritz.) (Aug. 8, 2003)

TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES — ** 1/2 — Arnold Schwarzenegger looks old as the nearly indestructible cyborg, who again treks to the past to save mankind from the robotic threat. But there's still life in the character and this franchise. Running time: 109 minutes. R (violence, profanity, brief nudity). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older.) (July 2, 2003)

28 DAYS LATER . . . — *** 1/2 — Creepier than any other movie in recent memory, this clever sci-fi/horror film from Danny Boyle examines what happens when a virus turns the population of London into murderous, bloodthirsty zombies. Running time: 108 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, drug use, brief nudity, vulgarity). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older; Redwood, with "The Order"; Showcase.) (June 27, 2003)

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS — ** — In this even-sillier sequel to the 2001 hit "The Fast and the Furious," street-racer Paul Walker take down a Miami crime lord. Co-star Tyrese is good, but the plot's howlingly bad. Running time: 109 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, torture, bikini babes). (Valley Fair.) (June 6, 2003)

UPTOWN GIRLS — * 1/2 — Brittany Murphy is irritating in this supposed comedy about a New York socialite who winds up becoming a nanny to a spoiled rich brat (Dakota Fanning). Lazy, unfunny and it seems twice as long as it actually is. Running time: 89 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, mild profanity, slapstick violence, brief drugs). (Jordan Landing, Megaplex 17, Ritz.) (Aug. 15, 2003)

WHALE RIDER — *** 1/2 — Newcomer Keisha Castle-Hughes impresses as the title character of this New Zealand drama, which explores the relationship between a girl and her tradition-minded grandfather. Sweet without becoming treacly, and it's refreshing to get a glimpse into the Maori culture. Running time: 105 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, brief violence, brief drugs). (Broadway, Century, Jordan Landing.) (June 27, 2003)