Movies

Critical Mass

Here's how a sampling of critics from across the country grade 10 current releases.

BIG FISH B JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News B TY BURR Boston Globe A- MIKE CLARK USA Today B- JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer C+ ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times B LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail C MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle C+ TODD McCARTHY Variety B CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer B RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald B ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY B- CRITICS' AVERAGE

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN -- JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News C TY BURR Boston Globe D MIKE CLARK USA Today C+ JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer B- ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times C LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail -- MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle -- TODD McCARTHY Variety C CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer C RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald B ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY C CRITICS' AVERAGE

COLD MOUNTAIN C JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News B TY BURR Boston Globe A- MIKE CLARK USA Today A+ JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer B ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times A- LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail B MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle B TODD McCARTHY Variety B CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer B- RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald B- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY B CRITICS' AVERAGE

THE FOG OF WAR A JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News A TY BURR Boston Globe A MIKE CLARK USA Today A- JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer A ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times A LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail A MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle A- TODD McCARTHY Variety A CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer -- RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald A ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY A CRITICS' AVERAGE

HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG B JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News B+ TY BURR Boston Globe A MIKE CLARK USA Today A- JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer A ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times B+ LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail C+ MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle B TODD McCARTHY Variety B CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer B+ RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald B+ ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY B+ CRITICS' AVERAGE

MONA LISA SMILE C+ JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News C+ TY BURR Boston Globe C- MIKE CLARK USA Today C+ JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer B ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times C+ LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail B MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle -- TODD McCARTHY Variety C+ CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer C RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald D ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY C+ CRITICS' AVERAGE

MONSTER B+ JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News B+ TY BURR Boston Globe B MIKE CLARK USA Today -- JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer A+ ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times B+ LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail B MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle C+ TODD McCARTHY Variety B CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer -- RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald B ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY B+ CRITICS' AVERAGE

PAYCHECK -- JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News -- TY BURR Boston Globe D- MIKE CLARK USA Today -- JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer C ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times C+ LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail C+ MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle -- TODD McCARTHY Variety -- CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer C- RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald C+ ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY C CRITICS' AVERAGE

PETER PAN -- JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News B TY BURR Boston Globe C+ MIKE CLARK USA Today B JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer B+ ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times C LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail B MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle B- TODD McCARTHY Variety B- CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer C RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald B ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY B- CRITICS' AVERAGE

THE RETURN OF THE KING A+ JAMI BERNARD N.Y. Daily News A- TY BURR Boston Globe A- MIKE CLARK USA Today A JOANNA CONNORS Cleveland Plain Dealer B+ ROGER EBERT Chicago Sun-Times B+ LIAM LACEY Toronto Globe and Mail B+ MICK LASALLE San Francisco Chronicle A- TODD McCARTHY Variety A- CARRIE RICKEY Philadelphia Inquirer A+ RENE RODRIGUEZ The Miami Herald A ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY A- CRITICS' AVERAGE

CRITICAL MASS MOVIE POLL: Grade the movies yourself at ew.com (AOL Keyword: EW)

NEW IN PAPERBACK

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NEW IN PAPERBACK

HELL AT THE BREECH Tom Franklin (Perennial, $12.95) This tough yet nuanced and intermittently beautiful historical drama didn't quite make our Best Books of 2003 list last month, but it was close. Set in 1897 Alabama and starring guys named Mack and Tooch, it's about a wicked posse gone out of control and a pair of young brothers mired in the trouble.

ALL HE EVER WANTED Anita Shreve (Back Bay, $14.95) Awful marriage, bad husband, better wife, good book -- the latest from the superselling author of The Pilot's Wife is a reliably gripping page-turner.

BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE Ben Mezrich (Free Press, $14) ''The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions,'' according to the subtitle, is Mezrich's tense best-seller about brilliant blackjack cheaters.

WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA Carlos Eire (Free Press, $14) Eire's memoir of growing up in Cuba -- until 1962, when he was airlifted out, three years after Castro took power -- just won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Originally posted Jan 16, 2004 Published in issue #746 Jan 16, 2004 Order article reprints