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      • Standing in the Shadows of Motown poster image

        Standing in the Shadows of Motown

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" is an attempt to set the record straight or, rather, a whole lot of No. 1 records. Singers such as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops and the Temptations had their names on these hits, and Detroit's Motown Records earned much glory and money for releasing them. But the Funk Brothers, the collective name of the musicians who played on almost every Motown recording of the 1960s t... (read more)

      • Punch-Drunk Love poster image

        Punch-Drunk Love

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        "Punch-Drunk Love" is an Adam Sandler movie with class, and if that sounds like an oxymoron, so be it. The movie is a happy nightmare of silly-smart movie comedy that defies category - and challenges expectations involving Sandler and his pictures. Written and directed by one of the brainiest of the younger American auteurs, Paul Thomas Anderson ("Boogie Nights"), this offbeat romantic farce puts Sandler - the delight of college students and the bane of some of their elder... (read more)

      • Swept Away poster image

        Swept Away

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        "Swept Away" is the kind of bad movie that only talented people can make. This is a misbegotten, arty desert-island comedy on sexual politics that stars Madonna, is written and directed by her filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie ("Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") and is imprudently based on the Italian film classic by Lina Wertmuller. Wertmuller's movie, a frenetic satirical sex romp about a haughty socialite marooned on an island with an insatiable yacht crewman, made a bi... (read more)

      • Spirited Away poster image

        Spirited Away

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        The pictures are worth a thousand words in "Spirited Away," Disney Studios' delightful English-language version of the Japanese feature cartoon that holds that country's all-time box office record. In this case, popularity is not an index of expensive hype. Writer-director Hayao Miyazaki's spellbinding tale of a little girl named Chihiro who's lost in an alternative world of tricky ghosts and bizarre monsters is both universally engaging and deeply personal. It's a movie full of bew... (read more)

      • Windtalkers poster image

        Windtalkers

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        One of the great paradoxes of warfare is that, as it drives nations apart, it sometimes brings the people of one country together. A case in point: the ways World War II began to break down longstanding social and racial barriers in the segregated United States of the '40s. John Woo's "Windtalkers" is based on a notable example. It's a blisteringly exciting war movie taken from a little-known piece of history: the fact that the U.S. Army's only really uncrackable code during World W... (read more)

      • The Royal Tenenbaums poster image

        The Royal Tenenbaums

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        Director Wes Anderson and actor Owen Wilson have co-written three films, each more ambitious than the last and all inhabiting a world that spins on a different, more delightfully wobbly axis than our own. The filmmakers' trademark characters have ambitions that may be absurdly overblown yet take their setbacks with great equanimity (at least in the long run). The would-be heroes of "Bottle Rocket" (1996) see themselves as mastermind criminals without ever becoming more than harmless... (read more)

      • Moulin Rouge poster image

        Moulin Rouge

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Grandiose and whimsical, packed with oddball delights and bursts of passion, Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" is a rare picture that gets you intoxicated on the possibilities of movies. Luhrmann is a filmmaker of near-demonic energy and invention. He transforms the film's chestnut of a story a sensitive and penniless writer (Ewan McGregor) battles for the body and soul of a dazzling courtesan-entertainer (Nicole Kidman) into something mad and wonderful. "Moulin Rouge" is a ... (read more)

      • Shrek poster image

        Shrek

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        With "Shrek," DreamWorks stakes its claim to Disney's cutting-edge animation crown while blowing a raspberry in Mickey Mouse's face. This computer-animated film, which mostly chronicles the title ogre's adventures in rescuing a princess, aims to be not just a kids flick but a sassy mock fairy tale that appeals to all ages and sensibilities. Leaving few of its swamp stones unturned, "Shrek" is alternately sweet and mean, sophisticated and vulgar, witty and base, dazzling an... (read more)

      • Jurassic Park poster image

        Jurassic Park

        Roger Moore, Chicago Tribune

        Forget blowing the images up to Imax size and converting the lunging velociraptors and T. rexes into 3-D. The best reason to revive "Jurassic Park" for its 20th anniversary is Jeff Goldblum. Yes, children, there was a time when Goldblum was sci-fi's "ultimate explainer," as producer Dean Devlin labeled him in "Independence Day." Goldblum's bug-eyes said "scientist-smart," and his mannered, considered and hesitating line readings reinforce that. His very... (read more)

      • Godzilla poster image

        Godzilla

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        What would the 1954 Japanese monster classic "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" be without Raymond Burr? As it turns out, it would be a much better movie, something you can confirm for yourself at the Music Box by catching the original version of "Godzilla," director Ishiro (or Inishiro) Honda's epochal tale of a post-nuclear sea monster's assault on Tokyo. Godzilla, of course, is the oft-copied, never-duplicated, gigantic scaly monster who, mutated into super-monstrosity by... (read more)

      • Marie Antoinette poster image

        Marie Antoinette

        Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune

        Marie Antoinette has, in popular history, been accused of frivolity, irreverence and disdain for historical precedent. Sofia Coppola's indulgent, frothy biopic will be charged with precisely these same offenses. What more could a filmmaker ask for? Coppola's third movie, reportedly in the works for many years, has finally landed in the U.S. after a rocky premiere at Cannes, where the French media reaction was, shall we say, mixed. Wags there accused the young filmmaker of taking certain liber... (read more)

      • Ponyo poster image

        Ponyo

        Kenneth Turan, Chicago Tribune

        You'll be planning to see "Ponyo" twice before you've finished seeing it once. Five minutes into this magical film you'll be making lists of the individuals of every age you can expose to the very special mixture of fantasy and folklore, adventure and affection, that make up the enchanted vision of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. The great genius of contemporary animation, the only foreign director to win the Oscar for best animated feature (for "Spirited Away," which al... (read more)

      • Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure poster image

        Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure

        Michael Esposito, Chicago Tribune

        National Geographic's "Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure" dives into the toothy Cretaceous era's undersea world where the Great Plains were part of the seabed in an inland sea, a North American Mediterranean, 80 million years ago. The stories, narrated by Liev Schreiber, are based on fossil records. For example, the star of the film is a female dolichorhynchops or "doli" (pronounced "dolly"), a dolphin-sized marine reptile that fed mainly on fish and squid... (read more)

      • Lady Vengeance poster image

        Lady Vengeance

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Revenge is both sweet and violent in "Lady Vengeance," director Park Chanwook's latest foray into extreme cinematic retribution and its grisly consequences. "Lady Vengeance" is the third movie in Park's weird revenge trilogy, following 2002's "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and 2003's Cannes Grand Prize winner, "Oldboy." Like them, it's a film with the capacity to both sicken and delight, a dark thriller with an obsessive, shocking story, shot in gorgeous ... (read more)

      • Arrietty poster image

        Arrietty

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        Compared to so much American animation, which seems hellbent on putting a global audience of addled kids in a paradoxical manic stupor, the work of Japan's Studio Ghibli sets its own pace, establishes its own, meticulously observed realms of the fantastic and respects a moviegoer's senses -- any moviegoer's, of any age. "The Secret World of Arrietty" is the latest import from the collective responsible for "Princess Mononoke," "Spirited Away," "Howl's Moving... (read more)

      (115 reviews)

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        Bow Tie Cinemas Landmark 9
        5 Landmark Sq.
        203-324-3100
        Bow Tie Cinemas Majestic 6
        118 Summer St.
        203-323-1690
        AMC Classic Sunnyland 10
        40 Sunnyland Plz
        309-745-1314
        GQT Willow Knolls 14
        4100 W. Willow Knolls
        309-689-8463
        Frank Theatres Harbor 5
        271 96th Street
        609-368-7731