Reviews > Culture

Video Rentals

Culture | The top 5 videos in popularity as measured by rental receipts for the week ending April 9.

Issue: "Cracking the code," April 29, 2000
Sixth Sense $20.67 million
2 weeks in release
$43.25 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment / M. Night Shyamalan / Hollywood Pictures

PLOT
Child psychologist must rescue a little boy who sees ghosts.

MESSAGE
Counseling doesn't help the boy, showing that secularism doesn't have a clue about dealing with spiritual issues..

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CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for bad language, violent images, and gore, typically ghost-story ghouliness.

Star Wars: Episode I $11.95 million
1 week in release
$11.95 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor / George Lucas / Twentieth Century Fox

PLOT
Darth Vader-to-be Anakin Skywalker opens the saga by flying away from slavery and hooking up with the Jedi.

MESSAGE
Zen Lite: The Force is everywhere and strange organisms living in people's bodies channel its power.

CAUTION
Rated PG for mild violence.

The bone collector $6.47 million
4 weeks in release
$32.87 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie / Phillip Noyce / Universal Pictures

PLOT
A paralyzed forensics expert recruits a policeman to help him chase a serial killer.

MESSAGE
Gothic-style film noir that descends into an urban nightmare with death and terror at every turn.

CAUTION
Rated R for bad language, violence, and gore.

For love of the game $5.21 million
1 week in release
$5.21 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston / Sam Raimi / Universal Studios

PLOT
Veteran star baseball pitcher playing his last game of the season ponders his life and whether to play another season.

MESSAGE
Man knows not his time: Yesterday's MVP may be tomorrow's forgotten legend.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for bad language, sexual situations, and blood from accident.

Double Jeopardy $5.02 million
7 weeks in release
$60.86 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones / Bruce Beresford / Paramount Pictures

PLOT
Innocent woman convicted of murdering her jerk husband discovers hubby isn't dead.

MESSAGE
Revenge is mine! Since she already did jail time for "killing" her husband, she decides she can hunt him down with impunity.

CAUTION
Rated R for bad language, violence, and sexual situations.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Who wants to be a recovering substance abuser? Sandra Bullock plays a character spending 28 Days (Columbia Pictures, rated PG-13 for bad language, sexual situations, drinking and drug use) in a drug rehab center. She plays a spoiled party animal whose fun abruptly crashes. She is forced to choose between treatment and jail time. So she goes through the program, fighting it at first and eventually deciding to go clean and sober. The film is well made, but its inescapable air of phoniness leaves it playing like a TV movie. Hollywood's drug problems are pervasive and tragic, so why should an audience trust a movie about kicking the habit? The story is too neat, with all the right crises, colorful background characters, and Big Moments. The real pain of drug abuse-and treatment programs with very low success rates-is papered over. This is the secular equivalent of those old Christian movies where the young rebel is insufferable and unrepentant until he converts at the right part of the movie. Except the religion here is the recovery movement, which 28 Days doesn't even take seriously.

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