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ON THE SCREEN

The following movies are playing this weekend at local theaters. The Tech suggests using <http://www.boston.com> for a complete listing of times and locations.

HHHH Excellent

HHH Good

HH Fair

H Poor

Alice et Martin (HH1 2)

A simple, yet poignant love story. The screenplay, however, is far outdone by the cinematography. Numerous images and scenes stand out, thanks to the careful direction of AndrÉ TÉchinÉ, making this film a refreshing break from the usual empty summer blockbuster. -- Lianne Habinek

The Art of War (HH)

Wesley Snipes is a special agent for the United Nations trying to negotiate a trade agreement from behind the scenes with hi-tech espionage and explosives. The film’s plot is completely implausible and the action sequences are poorly lifted from The Matrix. -- Erik Blankinship

Bring it On (HHH)

One of the better movies of the summer merely because of its amusing banter and exaggerated characters. Stupid jokes and predictable conflicts are delivered throughout the film, but Bring It On doesn’t lose its cheer. Kirsten Dunst plays the captain of the Toros, a cheerleading squad that goes head-to-head with members of a Compton squad, which includes the members from R&B group Blaque. The one-liners and catty attitudes are let loose in director Peyton Reed’s silver-screen endeavor. -- Solar Olugebefola

The Cell (HH)

While this film is full of amazing visual images, it seems the sole purpose of such digital effects is to divert the audience’s attention from the fact that The Cell is completely lacking in the story department. The acting, also, is sub-par. If you must see it, go only to treat your eyes, and leave your brain at home. -- Rebecca Loh

Chuck and Buck (HHH)

A heart-felt look at an uneven friendship, severely underscored by Buck’s case of arrested development and Chuck’s resulting embarrassment of Buck. At times sad, amusing and shocking; this is a cleverly written and fondly watchable indie flick, if you can get past the low-budget grainy film texture. -- Karen Feigenbaum

Girl on the Bridge (HHH1 2)

An enchanting film that is never boring. Director Patrice Laconte emphasizes the visual and the actor-audience relationship to convey the story of two very different people who nonetheless form the perfect match. -- LH

Nurse Betty (HH)

Renee Zellweger stars in this film as the neurotic Nurse Betty, a small-town soap opera aficionado traumatized into an alternate personality. Obsessed and dedicated, she seeks out soap opera star Dr. David Ravell, played by actor George McCord (Greg Kinnear), on A Reason to Love under the misconception that he is her ex-fiancee. Along the way, she is followed by two hit men played by Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock and as this illogical but humorous story continues, it stumbles somewhere between humorous originality and perplexing irrationality. -- Ryan Klimczak

Psycho Beach Party (HH1 2)

A mildly amusing film that spoofs the mindless beach party films of the 60s. Lauren Ambrose enthusiastically plays a multi-personality beach bunny, who hangs with colorful beach bums, only to find them being murdered. The satire includes dance showdowns, blue-screen surfing effects, loud bathing suits, and a surfer who speaks in rhyme.--LH

Requiem For a Dream (HH1 2)

Requiem for a Dream, directed and co-written by Darren Aronofsky (the writer/director of Pi), employs an intense visual style to describe the personal hells of four drug-addicted characters and their interconnected spirals into madness and depravity. Aronofsky has overstepped his ability as a filmmaker in his sophomore effort, and for all the flashy pyrotechnics, Requiem falls flat on an unfocused plot and mediocre acting. Viscerally, however, Requiem is as satisfying, if not more so, than Pi. If you liked Pi, Requiem is a must see. If you didn’t, don’t bother. -- Jed Horne

The Way of the Gun (HH1 2)

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects screenwriter), this crime thriller starts and ends with a bang, staging thrilling, superbly choreographed gun battles. However, the middle drags with endless expository sequences that all look and sound alike. Also, Ryan Phillippe is no Kevin Spacey. --Vladimir Zelevinsky

What Lies Beneath (HH1 2)

You may think you already know the story from the trailer: there’s a woman who looks like Michelle Pfeiffer haunting a house. But what follows the painfully slow beginning is a somewhat suspenseful thriller with a surprisingly creative ending. Obviously, you can’t rely on the trailers: you’d have to go to the theaters to find out what lies beneath the surface of this movie. -- KF