Reviews > Culture

The Movies

Culture | The top 5 moviesin popularity as measured by box office receipts for the week ending April 9.

Issue: "Back to no future," April 22, 2000
rules of engagement Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson / William Friedkin (The French Connection) / Paramount Pictures

PLOT
A Marine colonel faces a court-martial when a mission to save an ambassador results in civilian deaths.

MESSAGE
There's a big gray area between combat and murder.

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CAUTION
Rated R for bad language and war violence.

Erin Brockovich $10.1 million 4 weeks in release $89.9 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Julia Roberts, Albert Finney / Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight) / Universal Pictures

PLOT
Title heroine fights evil utility company because it is poisoning the water supply.

MESSAGE
With hard work, a passion for justice-and good looks-people from humble backgrounds can pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

CAUTION
Rated R for bad language.

The road to el dorado $8.9 million 2 weeks in release $25 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Voices of Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh / Bibo Bergeron, Will Finn, Don Paul / DreamWorks

PLOT
Two con men stumble across the lost city of gold and impersonate the local pagan gods to grab some treasure.

MESSAGE
Trying to pull off a big scam risks paying a big price.

CAUTION
Rated PG for brief cartoon nudity and bad language.

return to me $8 million 1 week in release $8 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
David Duchovny, Minnie Driver / Bonnie Hunt / MGM

PLOT
Romance about a woman who gets a heart transplant and later falls in love with the widower of the organ donor.

MESSAGE
Life goes on after someone dies-and death doesn't always leave an unhappy ending.

CAUTION
Rated PG for bad language.

The skulls $6.4 million 2 weeks in release $20.2 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Joshua Jackson, Craig T. Nelson / Rob Cohen (Dragonheart) / Universal Pictures

PLOT
Curiously timed suspense thriller about an elite Ivy League secret society that loosely resembles Yale's real-life Skull and Bones, whose most famous members are the George Bushes.

MESSAGE
Powerful people can do horrible things behind closed doors.

CAUTION
Rated PG for bad language.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Here's a 21st-century quandary: a priest and a rabbi in love with the same woman. That's the two-second summary of Keeping the Faith (Touchstone; rated PG-13 for language and sexual situations). You see, Rabbi Jacob (Ben Stiller) and Father Brian (Edward Norton) have been buddies since childhood. They even attend one another's services, which are more like standup acts. Enter their old junior-high pal Anna (Jenna Elfman, one of Hollywood's Scientologists), who re-enters their lives and tests their friendship. Jacob wants to get married so he can move up the ranks at the synagogue, but Anna isn't Jewish. Brian isn't really a contender for Anna's affections; he's just neurotic because he's never been attracted to a woman before. This isn't as bad as it could have been. It has some genuinely funny moments, but quickly gets boring when it tries to be serious. Although tame compared to some of the rank blasphemy that has hit the screen in the last year (from Dogma to Superstar), Keeping the Faith still ranks low.

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