EVELYN (PG, 94 minutes) Pierce Brosnan is a quiet charm as Desmond Doyle, a drunk of an Irish dad who loses his wife and, even worse, custody of his children because of longstanding Irish laws. Through Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies), a barmaid he befriends, Desmond becomes acquainted with Bernadette's brother and solicitor Michael (Stephen Rea), barrister Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn) and super-lawyer Tom Connolly (Alan Bates), who loves to take on the big boys. The story, based on a true incident, has its happy ending in plain sight from the very beginning, but it's full of good heart, and you can't help but like its unequivocal sentimentality. And it's nice to see Brosnan winning the day with an Irish (not English) accent and without James Bond gadgetry. Contains nothing objectionable except too much drinking and too little money. At the AMC Mazza Gallerie, Cineplex Dupont Circle and Shirlington 7.
-- Desson Howe
GOD IS GREAT, I'M NOT (Unrated, 95 minutes)
First-time feature film director Pascale Bailly's movie is definitely not great. It's too infuriatingly quirky and taken with its own style to get down to telling a story. And it depends almost entirely on the intrinsic sweetness of Audrey Tautou. Best known for her star turn in "Amelie," she plays Michele, a 20-year-old model who's just weathered an abortion and a romantic breakup, and is now trying to find a spiritual path. Tossing her Catholicism aside, she takes up Buddhism but tends to fall asleep during meditation. When she meets 32-year-old veterinarian Francois (Edouard Baer), a non-practicing Jew, she decides to convert to his religion. But Francois is uncomfortable with her newfound zealousness. Matters come to a head when his family visits from Israel and she demonstrates her lack of knowledge. From its stop-and-start editing at the beginning through its clunky zaniness, the movie's never really right. It's for Tautou (or Baer) gazers only. In French with subtitles. Contains mature themes. At Visions Cinema/Bistro/Lounge.
-- Desson Howe
THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE (PG, 79 minutes)
My wife and I enjoy listening to Tim Curry's veddy veddy British accent as wildlife documentarian Nigel in "The Wild Thornberrys" television series. And the shows also feature a fascinating central character: Eliza (voiced by Lacey Chabert), Nigel's 12-year-old daughter who can secretly speak with wild animals. In this story, the Thornberrys, a family who travels the globe to film and observe wildlife, have a run-in with dastardly poachers. Eliza, with her chimp friend Darwin (Tom Kane), who, for reasons that escape me, speaks very posh English, must save some captured cheetahs. This movie version, which reprises Chabert's Eliza and Curry's Nigel and the other elements, doesn't do more than expand a TV show to movie length. However, it's pleasant enough and its ecological, pro-wildlife sentiments are certainly welcome. The movie comes from the same team that made "The Rugrats," a much zippier series (with its own spinoff movies.) I never thought I'd catch myself saying this, but "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" is no "The Rugrats Movie." Contains some dramatic peril. Area theaters.
-- Desson Howe