1. EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
$6 million in one week
Because of recurring brutal violence, promiscuous sexual situations,
some nudity, brief drug abuse and frequent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference
classification is O - morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -
restricted. "Eye of the Beholder" is a pathetic psychological thriller about a British agent
(Ewan McGregor) who becomes obsessed with an icy American murderer (Ashley Judd) he has been assigned to investigate. The trashy melodrama is unintentionally laughable,
presenting an absurdly smitten agent who chooses to protect the serial killer instead of her
2. NEXT FRIDAY
$5.75 million last week:/ $39.5 million in three weeks
Because of sexual situations, intermittent violence, recurring recreational drug
use, bathroom humor and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is
A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -
restricted. "Next Friday" is an unfunny sequel to the juvenile 1995 "Friday" in which central
character Ice Cube moves to his uncle's home in the Los Angeles suburbs trying to escape a
bully only to find trouble with his uncle's Chicano neighbors. The characters become
caricatures as the cast squeezes out nothing but cheap laughs from the thin material.
3. THE HURRICANE
$5.7 million last week:/$30.9 million in five weeks
Because of brief violence, fleeting rear nudity, some profanity and
recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The
Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Hurricane" is a powerful
fact-based account of the 20-year struggle of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (played by
Denzel Washington) to regain his freedom, aided by an African-American teen (played by
Vicellous Reon Shannon) and his Canadian guardians, after Carter was wrongly convicted of
a 1966 New Jersey barroom triple murder. An a study of institutionalized racism, the movie
chronicles a man's personal agony and triumph as he spiritually transcends his confines
while helped by those committed to social justice.
4. STUART LITTLE
$4.8 million last week:/ $123 million in seven weeks
Because of scenes of menace and a few cuss words, the
U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents..
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance
suggested. "Stuart Little" is a fetching live-action fantasy in which a talking
white mouse (voice of Michael J. Fox) is happily adopted as the younger
son in a human family (in which Geena Davis plays the mom) only to be
targeted as a meal by mean neighborhood alleycats. As loosely adapted
from E. B. White's 1945 classic, the cheery tale has ample visual appeal,
though purists may find the neatly happy ending a cop-out to the author's
more probing tale of self-discovery.
5. THE GREEN MILE
$4.2 million last week/ $115 million in eight weeks:
Because of some violence including an horrific electrocution, occasional profanity and
intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Green Mile" is a prison drama set in 1935 Louisana where death-row head guard Tom Hanks comes to believe in the innocence of a huge, gentle black man played superbly by Michael Clarke Duncan whose miraculous healing powers affect those around him in startling ways. Adapted from the serialized 1996 Stephen King novel, the movie is unduly long but presents affecting character studies of good and evil men with spiritual undertones and a sobering depiction of capital punishment.
6. DOWN TO YOU
$4.1 million last week:/ $13 million in two weeks
Because of implied affairs, sexual references and an instance of rough
language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III - adults. The Motion Picture
Association of America rating is PG-13 - parents are strongly cautioned that some material
may be inappropriate for children under 13. "Down to You" is a romantic comedy about college
sweethearts (played by Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles) who become serious when the are too young to cope with the work involved in making a relationship last. The cookie-cutter
film romanticizes the thrill of first love then wraps up all the loose ends too predictably.
7. GALAXY QUEST
$3.4 million last week/ $58.8 million in six weeks:
It's hard to believe this humorous film has been out for a month and a half and still no available review from the NCCB on this film as of yet, but it has received favorable reviews and is rated PG so it can't be all bad. Actually is quite funny with Tim Allen as a mock William Shatner from "Star Trek" fame.
8. GIRL, INTERRUPTED
$3.3 million last week:/ $21.2 million in six weeks:
Because of a suicide, implied sexual encounters, crude references,
occasional profanity and much rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is
A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In "Girl,
Interrupted" a half-hearted suicide attempt lands a spoiled teen (played by Winona Ryder) in
a late 1960's private asylum where living with the more seriously disturbed, especially a
charismatic sociopath (played by Angelina Jolie), allows her to gain some insight into her own
problems. Although unevenly adapted from an ex-mental patient's memoir, the movie is
basically engrossing in spite of some melodramatics and sketchy characterizations.
9. THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
$2.8 million last week/ $72.2 million in six weeks:
Because of occasional gory violence, and implied affair,
discreet homosexual innuendo, fleeting full nudity and a few instances of rough language, the
U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture
Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is a disquieting
melodrama set in 1958 Italy where, after befriending a rich expatriate couple (played by Jude
Law and Gwyneth Paltrow), an impoverished young American assumes his identity and
stops at nothing to keep the risky charade going. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith's 1955
novel, a chilling cautionary tale of materialism expanding to grotesque evil unfolds replete with
seductive visuals and sleek performances -- but an ambiguous ending.
10. TOY STORY 2
$2.3 million last week:/ $234 million in eleven weeks
The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The
Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. In "Toy Story 2" the
animated adventures of toys that come to life when humans aren't around continues as
cowboy Woody (with Tom Hanks as the voice) is stolen by a greedy toy collector, sending Woody's toy buddies, led by Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), on a breathless rescue mission. Featuring even better animation, the briskly paced cartoon sequel is slightly less original, but zippy action scenes and gentle humor should amuse small fry and grown-ups alike.
While the reviews by the NCCB are very good and provide the ratings, we have discovered another site which will give you a much more detailed survey of what to watch out for. Just click on Christian Analysis of Culture Alert.