Movies

These movies are showing at local theaters this weekend. Check daily listings for show times. Capsule reviews and ratings are from wire services and staff reports.

Butterfly

A village in Galicia becomes a microcosm for the personal and political dynamics of the looming Spanish Civil War. A bleak, but rewarding and compassionate film with a superb performance from the great Spanish actor Fernando Fernan Gomez. R.

  • ** Liberty Hall Cinemas, 644 Mass.

Bring It On

Kirsten Dunst, perky and pliable, stars as the captain of a high school cheerleading squad in this likable fluff about two top teams -- one white, one black -- going for the national championships. Of course, most of the actors are in their 20s, and the there's a lot of catty backstabbing in the locker rooms. PG-13.

  • ** Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

The Crew

Burt Reynolds and Richard Dreyfuss are among a group of goodfellas seeking a peaceful Florida retirement. But they resent the infiltration of yuppies into their neighborhood. PG-13.

  • * Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

The Art of War

Wesley Snipes plays an agent who uncovers a plot to overthrow the United Nations. Anne Archer and Donald Sutherland co-star. R.

  • ** Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

The Cell

The never-bashful Jennifer Lopez plays a child therapist who discovers the means to explore the mind of a comatose serial killer. Co-stars Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio. R.

  • * Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Godzilla 2000

Produced in the giant reptile's native Japan, this flick pits Godzilla against a 6,000-year-old alien. PG.

  • * Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

The Replacements

Keanu Reeves plays quarterback to a group of replacements called in when pampered football stars go on strike. Gene Hackman coaches them in this raucous comedy. The climactic game is with Dallas. PG-13.

  • ** Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Autumn in New York

Playboy Richard Gere falls for Winona Ryder, who's not only decades younger but also has a terminal ailment. Manhattan, Richard and Winona are all bound to be prettily photographed. PG-13.

  • Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

Space Cowboys

Clint Eastwood directs and stars with Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner as codgers recruited by NASA to save a damaged '60s satellite that's heading for Earth. PG-13.

  • ** Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Hollow Man

In Paul Verhoeven's gritty, sexy remake of "The Invisible Man," Kevin Bacon plays an arrogant scientist who injects himself with an invisibility serum. Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin are puzzled colleagues. R.

  • * Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

Coyote Ugly

Aspiring songwriter Piper Perabo winds up with an intriguing day job in an outrageous bar run by sexy young women. PG-13.

  • * Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Eddie Murphy returns as shy, slovenly Professor Klump and his abrasive alter ego Buddy Love. The alter-ego theme didn't serve Jim Carrey well in "Me, Myself & Irene." But the lure of Eddie Murphy playing a variety of Klumps while co-starring with Janet Jackson may prove irresistible to the public. PG-13.

  • * Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

What Lies Beneath

Longtime happily marrieds Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer think their house could be haunted -- and that the poltergeist is the ghost of a dead student with whom Professor Ford had a fling. PG-13.

  • * Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Chicken Run

From the creators of "Wallace and Gromit" comes this animated tale of hens who stage a great escape from the frying pan. Voices include Mel Gibson, Brenda Blethyn, Jane Horrocks and Joan Plowright. G.

  • ** Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

Whipped

Amanda Peet made a strong impression in "The Whole Nine Yards" and was one of the few semi-good things about "Isn't She Great." Here she plays a "perfect woman" who causes three chauvinistic buddies to question their savvy at the dating game. When all three fall for the perfect Peet, they also question their friendship. R.

* Plaza Six, 24th and Iowa.

But I'm a Cheerleader

An undeniably funny if utterly obvious premise is squandered in the first feature film of Jamie Babbit, who sends wholesome teen-ager Natasha Lyonne to a rehab camp on the suspicion she's a lesbian; after all, she likes tofu and isn't turned on by her jock boyfriend's tongue-ramming make out style. For a film seeking to satirize the stereotyping of gays, "Cheerleader" is as shamelessly hypocritical as it is hopelessly unfunny; it's rah-rah-sis-boom-bah bad. R.

  • * Liberty Hall, 644 Mass.

Highlander: Endgame

Some franchises just won't surrender. Christopher Lambert, who once made an appealing Tarzan in "Greystoke," returns as the never-say-die Highlander who joins forces with another immortal to rid normal Earthlings of the Ultimate Evil. R.

** Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Saving Grace

Brenda Blethyn is sympathetic and appealing in a pleasantly formulaic British comedy of a middle-class widow raising some very illegal crops in her greenhouse. With Craig Ferguson, Martin Clunes. R.

*** Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

The Watcher

Keanu Reeves, such a nice guy in "The Replacements," is a real killer here, causing James Spader and Marisa Tomei all sorts of grief. R.

No rating yet. Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

The Way of the Gun

Ryan Phillippe and Benicio del Toro play a modern-day Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in "The Way of the Gun," a Western thriller with a noir spin. The two outlaws kidnap a surrogate mother (Juliette Lewis), hoping for a hefty ransom from the wealthy couple whose child she's carrying. The movie is full of clever dialogue and plot twists. But first-time director Christopher McQuarrie, who won an Oscar for his screenplay of "The Usual Suspects," doesn't seem to know when to cut himself off. During the last half hour, the film drags through a series of generic shootouts. Everyone is dirty in this movie, including James Caan, who has some funny, memorable moments as one of the wealthy father's hired guns. R.

No rating yet. Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Nurse Betty

"Nurse Betty" is the year's most enjoyable -- and most surprising -- fairy tale. Its heroine is a modern-day Don Quixote, a romantic living out her fantasies more than even she could have imagined. The director is Neil LaBute, who in "Your Friends & Neighbors" seemed cold to romance of any kind, much less a fairy tale. Renee Zellweger stars as Betty Sizemore, a diner waitress from Fair Oaks, Kan. When two hit men (Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock) destroy her home for good, she lives out her version of the American Dream: Get in your car, drive West and prepare to meet a man who doesn't exist. "Nurse Betty" is a model for how the fairy tale should work; you know it couldn't happen in real life, but you believe it could happen in this movie. R.

No rating yet. Southwind Twelve, 3433 Iowa.

Cecil B. Demented

John Waters makes endless, delicious and deserved fun of those who worship at the art of cinema in this satire about a gang of underground moviemakers who kidnap a star (Melanie Griffith) and force her to star in their movie. But he had better hope they can take a joke; only a cultural sponge like Waters or a movie worshipper is likely to get gags about Werner Fassbinder and Kenneth Anger.

Stephen Dorff is adequate playing Orson Welles as terrorist, but aside from the gags, the film's primary attributes are Griffith, having fun with her Hollywood image, and Alicia Witt as a horny porn star with artistic aspirations. R.

  • * Liberty Hall, 644 Mass.

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