Hardball $8 million 2 weeks in release $19.2 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane / Brian Robbins (Varsity Blues) / Paramount Pictures
PLOT A compulsive gambler becomes the coach of an inner-city little league baseball team.
Living for others helps one find satisfaction.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for bad language (mostly from foul-mouthed children) and some violence.
The Others $5 million 7 weeks in release $80 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan / Alejandro Amenabar / Miramax Films
PLOT Post-WWII ghost story about a woman with two kids and a missing husband living in an old Victorian mansion.
Your own fears can be worse than the actual danger.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for frightening moments of suspense.
The Glass House $4.4 million 2 weeks in release $11.6 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane / Daniel Sackheim / Columbia Pictures
PLOT Thriller about two teenagers who become suspicious about the couple that adopts them after their parents' death.
Paranoia isn't necessarily an irrational fear.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for horror, violence, drug content, and bad language.
The Musketeer $3.54 million 3 weeks in release $22.6 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Justin Chambers, Catherine Deneuve / Peter Hyams (End of Days) / Universal Pictures
PLOT Martial arts-based update of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers.
Courage can help one through great challenges.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for sex and intense action violence.
Rush Hour 2 $3.52 million 8 weeks in release $215.6 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker / Brett Ratner (The Family Man) / New Line Cinema
PLOT Cops from Hong Kong and L.A. reunite to chase a gangster who bombed an American embassy.
Even the best people need to learn a few new tricks.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for action violence, bad language, and some sexual material.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Hardball was the first successful movie released after the Sept. 11 bombings-and its somber tone fits the mood. It darkly mixes elements of Remember the Titans into the old Bad News Bears formula with Keanu Reeves managing a group of foul-mouthed 9-year-olds from the south side of Chicago. The coach takes over to settle a gambling debt, and his addiction to sports betting takes up much of the movie. The kids live in housing projects and baseball is their only safe recreation. They live with danger, violence, and gunfire as part of everyday life. All in all, this is not the upbeat experience hinted at by Hardball's catchy title. The language and graphic content make the movie completely unsuitable for young children. For adults, this is simply depressing. Even the big win at the end is overshadowed by tragedy: a little kid dying in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. Slowly, we see the coach finding his desire to help troubled kids, but that point gets lost along the way. Subject matter so noble deserves better craftsmanship.