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Capsule reviews of recently released movies

Black Gold, Come Early Morning, A Good Year, Stranger than Fiction, others.

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Opening Friday

BABEL 4 stars (R) See review.

BLACK GOLD 3 stars (Not rated) See review.

COME EARLY MORNING (R) Joey Lauren Adams, best known for playing Amy in Chasing Amy, writes and directs this tale of a thirtysomething single woman (Ashley Judd) in a small Southern town as she tries to take stock of her life and her family.

A GOOD YEAR 2 stars (PG-13) See review.

HARSH TIMES (R) Christian Bale and "Six Feet Under's" Freddy Rodriguez play old friends trying to stay on the straight and narrow but increasingly drawn to the lifestyle of crime and drugs on Los Angeles' mean streets.

THE RETURN (PG-13) In this supernatural thriller, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a young woman haunted by visions of a murder and tries to solve the mystery before the killer targets her.

STRANGER THAN FICTION (PG-13) When an unseen voice begins narrating his life, an accountant (Will Ferrell) discovers that he's a character in a novelist's (Emma Thompson) work in progress. Finding Neverland director Marc Forster helms this twisty tale that co-stars Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Duly Noted

ENLIGHTENED BY FIRE (2005) (NR) This gritty co-production from Argentina and Spain explores the senselessness and emotional cost of the Falklands Islands War. $7. Sat., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4570.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH 4 stars (PG) Former Vice President Al Gore lays out the scientific underpinnings of global warming to devastating effect. Essentially a filmed lecture interspersed with biographical material, Davis Guggenheim's documentary contains some narrative limitations but otherwise presents a profoundly disturbing portrait of an impending global catastrophe, delivered by Gore with unexpected humor and passion. Nov. 3-16. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). Cinefest, GSU University Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. 404-651-3565. -- Curt Holman

NEWS FROM AFAR (2004) (NR) This haunting family drama follows a young man's passage from a town so small and remote it doesn't even have a name to the metropolitan bustle of Mexico City. $7. Fri., Nov. 10, 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4570.

OUT ON FILM FESTIVAL (NR) The 19th Annual Out On Film, Atlanta's gay and lesbian film festival, offers short and feature-length films. Runs Nov. 10-16. See feature.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meat Loaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Peachtree Cinema & Games, Norcross.

•WHO IS BOZO TEXINO? (NR) Bill Daniel's experimental documentary focuses on the 100 year-old tradition of hobo and railworker graffiti. Thurs., Nov. 9, 8 p.m. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Drive, Suite 8, $5-$10. 404-522-0655.


BORAT: CULTURE LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN 4 stars (R) British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pranks the United States by traveling the nation in his guise as Borat Sagdiyev, a disarmingly cheerful but sexist, anti-Semitic and colossally ignorant journalist from Kazakhstan. The satiric humor stems partly from Borat's unbelievably filthy and inappropriate behavior, but also from his unsuspecting dupes, whose reactions range from polite horror to apparent agreement at his offensive statements. Briefly touching on such notions as the quality of the national character and what makes for "acceptable" comedy, Borat's silly mockumentary turns out to be more than the sum of its naughty parts. -- Holman

CATCH A FIRE 3 stars (PG-13) In South Africa circa 1980, a black factory foreman (Derek Luke) finds himself framed by circumstantial evidence for an act of sabotage, motivating him to become an actual freedom fighter. Despite some heavy-handed narrative touches by director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games), Catch a Fire looks past the superficial, apartheid-sure-was-bad themes of films such as Cry Freedom to find intriguing post-9/11 resonances. South Africa's War on Terror turns a flawed but decent man into an enemy of the state, troubling the conscience of a privileged white interrogator (Tim Robbins). -- Curt Holman

CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD (PG) Henry Czerny plays author Neale Donald Walsch in Stephen Simon's adaptation of Walsch's books about New Age spirituality.

DEATH OF A PRESIDENT 2 stars (Not Rated) British filmmaker Gabriel Range presents a simulated documentary retrospective that "looks back" at the 2007 assassination of George W. Bush. The deliberately inflammatory premise and creative, low-budget storytelling combine to make an undeniably compelling story. But Death of a President spends more time on minor points, such as establishing that anti-Bush activists have the right to protest, than carry its future history into thought-provoking areas. The Bush-bashing themes prove too modest to justify the tastelessness of the enterprise. -- Holman


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