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Culture

Issue: "Bush: 'We will not fail'," Oct. 20, 2001
1
Along Came A Spider $7.59 million
1 week in release
$7.62 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter / Lee Tamahori (The Edge) / Paramount Pictures

PLOT
A Secret Service agent and a police detective unite to find the kidnapper who abducted a congressman's daughter; based on the James Patterson novel.


Rated R for violence and bad language.

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BOTTOM LINE
Admittedly implausible and occasionally flat, but nonetheless a thriller without sex or extreme violence.

2
A Knight's Tale $4.99 million 1 week in release $5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell / Brian Helgeland (Payback) / Columbia Pictures

PLOT
A brave swordsman pretends to be a noble so he can become a knight.


Rated PG-13 for action violence, some nudity, and sex-related dialogue.

BOTTOM LINE
Jousting appears as an arena sport like football or soccer, and the era of chivalry has no disease, war, or religious conviction.

3
Spy Kids $4.38 million
2 weeks in release
$10.3 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino / Robert Rodriguez (The Faculty) / Miramax Films

PLOT
When their secret agent parents are captured during a mission, a brother and sister set off to track them down and reunite their family.


Rated PG for action sequences. Also contains some bad language.

BOTTOM LINE
A fun-filled adventure with quality storytelling and a pro-family message.

4
Blow $3.08 million
3 weeks in release
$14.78 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz / Ted Demme (Life) / New Line Cinema

PLOT
The real-life story of George Jung, credited with mainstreaming the use of cocaine in the U.S. during the 1970s and early '80s.


Rated R for pervasive drug content and bad language, some violence and sexuality. Also contains brief nudity.

BOTTOM LINE
Sympathetic but sad portrayal of an unrepentant drug dealer that makes no moral judgments.

5
Someone like you $2.68 million
2 weeks in release
$6.17 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear / Tony Goldwyn (The 6th Day) / Twentieth Century Fox

PLOT
A daytime TV talk show producer tries to understand men while trying to get over a broken relationship.


Rated PG-13 for sex and bad language.

BOTTOM LINE
Dumb romantic comedy that treats men like beasts-literally-as the heroine believes that the opposite sex lives like animals.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Are audiences ready for a chick flick just one month after the terrorist attacks? Serendipity (rated PG-13 for bad language and a brief sex scene) takes the soulmate concept to its logical extreme: Fortune destines the perfect person for everyone and nothing can keep a perfect couple apart. Jonathan (John Cusack), a TV producer, meets his true love Sara (Kate Beckinsale) at Bloomingdales during the Christmas rush. They spend a few hours together before the woman departs, saying she's seeing someone else. If they're meant to be together, she says, "fate" and "destiny" will reunite them. Most of Serendipity takes place several years later, when the two start trying to track one another down. Serendipity pushes the "date movie" button hard, but it falls apart by pounding the audience with its concept. While never showing Jonathan and Sara growing as a couple, the movie drones on about kismet and how someone is out there for everyone, just waiting for perfect romance. As fantasy, this would be tolerable if self-help circles weren't littered with these ideas as real-world advice.

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