The Movies

Culture | The top 5 movies in popularity as measured by box office receipts from 1/21/2000 to 1/23/2000

Issue: "Cuban conundrum," Feb. 5, 2000
Next Friday $8 million
2 weeks in release
$31.8 million to date
Cast / Director / Studio Ice Cube, Tamala Jones / Steve Carr / New Line Cinema
Content Rated R for bad language, drug use and sexual content.
Plot Obnoxious sequel to 1995 blaxploitation hit Friday, about a pothead trying to get even with a local bully who escaped from jail.
Message Hedonism: Live fast, die young.
Down To You $7.6 million
1 week in release
$7.6 million to date
Cast / Director / Studio Freddie Prinze Jr., Henry Winkler / Kris Isacsson / Miramax Films
Content Rated PG-13; contains bad language, drug use, and sexual situations.
Plot Dull comedy about a collegiate couple that meets, breaks up, and reunites. Other characters drop out of school, sleep around, and do drugs and porno movies.
Message Cinematic Prozac: Romance conquers all.
The Hurricane $6.5 million
4 weeks in release
$22.9 million to date
Cast / Director / Studio Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber / Norman Jewison (Fiddler on the Roof) / Universal Pictures
Content Rated R for violence and bad language.
Plot A boxing champ spends years in jail for a murder he didn't commit; based on the life of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.
Message Prison redemption: Hope can be found even in horrible situations.
Stuart Little $6.4 million
6 weeks in release
$117.1 million to date
Cast / Director / Studio Geena Davis, Michael J. Fox (voices) / Rob Minkoff / Columbia Pictures
Content Rated PG for bad language.
Plot Movie version of E.B. White's book about a family that adopts a mouse as one of the family.
Message In any family, every member is important, including adopted ones.
The Green Mile $5.4 million
7 weeks in release
$109.6 million to date
Cast / Director / Studio Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan / Frank Darabont / Warner Bros.
Content Rated R for bad language, violence, and sexual situations.
Plot Adaptation of a non-horror Stephen King story about a prison guard on death row whose life is changed by a prisoner he must execute.
Message Pop supernaturalism: Miracles happen in unexpected places.
In the Spotlight
Magnolia is an R-rated movie. Its language will curl the hair of even the most jaded. So beware. And yet, this exceedingly strange movie comes closer to a biblical Message than anything to come out of Hollywood in years. In this movie, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, life is not meaningless after all. We follow five sets of characters whose lives parallel and sometimes intersect. They have lived as if they could create their own meanings, but in facing up to death they wake up to the fact that they have sinned and desperately need forgiveness. The narrative center is a man on his deathbed (Jason Robards), wanting to reconcile with the son (Tom Cruise) he abandoned; the son has become a brutal, obnoxious motivational speaker on how to use women as sex objects. The moral center, though, is a good-hearted cop (John C. Reilly), a Christian who prays, talks about Jesus, and is presented in a wholly positive light. And watch for biblical symbolism like the signboard "Exodus 8:2," along with other 8's and 2's scattered through the movie. If you want to be surprised, look up the verse afterward and contemplate the out-of-the-blue sign of God's judgment, and the grace that intervenes to release sinners from bondage.

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