"Little Black Book." Chaotic, contradictory, cloying, cynical mess of a romantic comedy about a woman (Brittany Murphy, in cuteness overdrive) working for a tacky TV talk show; urged on by a colleague (Holly Hunter) with dubious motives, she starts spying on her boyfriend's (Ron Livingston) ex-girlfriends. Much sexual innuendo, mild except for crass jokes implying masturbation and vaginal warts; low-grade profanity; rare toilet humor; smoking. More for high schoolers.
"The Village." Well-acted, artfully filmed but stilted, stagy non-thriller is really a parable with a weak surprise ending; isolated 19th-century villagers fear unnamed creatures in the woods; blind intuitive daughter (Bryce Dallas Howard) of village elder (William Hurt) braves woods to get medicine for her injured love (Joaquin Phoenix). A stabbing; skinned dead animals; mysterious hooded figure with spines; verbal recollections of long-ago violent deaths. Not for preteens.
"The Bourne Supremacy." Matt Damon deftly blends innocence and experience in long but satisfying jittery, brainy thriller sequel about former CIA assassin roused from his safe haven and amnesia by folks who want to frame and kill him. Intense but non-gory mayhem shows stylized assassination, a gun suicide, strangulation, snapped necks; harrowing chases; rare profanity; drinking. Not for preteens.
"Code 46." Grim, cerebral tale set in near-future of overcrowded cities and global-warming-induced deserts, where human cloning is so common that accidental incest within gene pools invokes Orwellian "Code 46" sanctions; Tim Robbins as insurance investigator tracks down a forger of travel passes for privileged citizens (Samantha Morton), then falls in love with her, pitting their subversive passion against the system. Sexual situation; nudity; adultery theme. 17 and older.
"Touch of Pink." Likable if contrived comedy about gay Asian Canadian (Jimi Mistry) living in London with partner (Kristen Holden-Reid); his clueless mother (Suleka Mathew) visits, wanting her boy to find a nice girl; he eventually clues her in, coached by his imaginary pal, Cary Grant (Kyle MacLachlan). Film celebrates South Asian Muslim culture in diaspora; mild bedroom scene, sexual innuendo; profanity; nude back-view photo. 16 and up.
"Open Water." Tense, grimly effective, no-frills thriller, marred by bland dialogue and acting; a couple (Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis) on an island vacation are mistakenly left behind in ocean by a boat of scuba-diving tourists; they hope for rescue as predators size them up. Scary, non-graphic shark attacks; non-gory wounds, some blood; brief nudity; subtly implied sexual situation; profanity. 17 and older.
"Collateral." Sleek, gripping if not always credible thriller about timid L.A. cabdriver (Jamie Foxx) hijacked by hit man (Tom Cruise) for all-night killing spree. Stylized mayhem still intense: shootings, stabbings, fights, body hurled out window, stowed in car trunk; strong profanity; mild sexual innuendo; scary stalking sequence in empty building; Cruise's cool man could seem oddly heroic to impressionable younger teenagers. 16 and older.
"Garden State." Sweet, likable, offbeat story about struggling actor (writer-director-star Zach Braff of TV's "Scrubs") who comes home for mother's funeral, faces cold psychotherapist dad (Ian Holm), his own numb alienation, hangs with ne'er-do-well pal (Peter Sarsgaard), meets a really nice girl (Natalie Portman). Scary plane-crash dream; drug use, smoking, drinking; profanity; briefly graphic sexual situation, mild sexual innuendo; crocodile attacks deer on TV. 17 and up.
"Maria Full of Grace." Painfully naturalistic, riveting drama about 17-year-old Colombian girl (Catalina Sandino Moreno), tired of her demanding family, low-paying job, who agrees to smuggle heroin to United States, carrying wrapped pellets in her stomach on trip fraught with danger, tragedy. Glimpses of a bloodied body, blood-spattered room where murder occurred; verbal threats; scenes of Maria swallowing heroin pellets; mild sexual innuendo; out-of-wedlock pregnancy; profanity; drinking. Spanish with subtitles. 17 and older.
"The Manchurian Candidate." Thrilling, acerbic remake of 1962 thriller, its brainwashing paranoia updated from communism to corporations; Denzel Washington as Army major wracked by conflicting memories of Gulf War incident; Liev Schreiber as decorated war hero now running for vice president; Meryl Streep as his ruthless senator mom. Surreal, fairly bloodless killings; non-graphic war flashbacks; surgical drill whirs into a head, electroshock therapy, someone cutting into his own back; rare profanity; mild sexual innuendo. High schoolers.