Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (PG-13) Not only does this fourth Potter movie scripted once again by Steve Kloves (who also wrote the first two) and directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) assume prior knowledge of the other films; it even assumes you've already read the book. If you somehow missed the last three, this isn't likely to be the one to break your pattern. But some things in the Harry Potter universe are much more fun to see than read about the aerial sport of Quidditch is a prime example, and the sequence where Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has to steal a golden egg from an angry dragon is right up there. Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) finally shows up, but he's upstaged by Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson). Newell doesn't have much of a distinctive vision; his is a CliffsNotes version of the book, which is to be expected. (Luke Y. Thompson) ARN, CGX, DP, EG, J14, MR, MOO, RON, SP, STCH, STCL
Paradise Now. (PG-13) The mere mention of a Palestinian movie about martyrdom seems to raise immediate defensive postures, but Paradise Now, while taking a definite anti-violence stance, ventures even deeper into controversy by daring to be a black comedy. All the marketing focuses on how it's a call for peace, but the movie also has the sheer brazenness to find humor in the suicide bomber's experience. Saïd (Kais Nashif) and Khaled (Ali Suliman) have been informed by their friend that they've been chosen for the next suicide mission against the Israelis. Neither one wants to be involved without the other, but together they agree to go for it, and undergo all the necessary religious and practical training. But when the time comes to slip through the fence into Israeli territory, things don't go as planned. Some won't appreciate the mix of tones, but none of the humor cheapens the film's final blow, nor is it designed to condone terrorism in any way. (Thompson) PF
Walk the Line. (PG-13) Reviewed in this issue. ARN, CPP, CGX, EG, GL, J14, KEN, MR, OF, RON, SP, STCH, STCL
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.