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July 11, 2002|Kevin Thomas

* New this week: That Cate Blanchett is outstanding under Gillian Armstrong's direction unfortunately makes their "Charlotte Gray," in which she plays a British secret agent in Vichy-controlled France, all the more disappointing. Instead of the sharp World War II spy thriller that it is reasonable to expect, the film is a bore. Neither the leading men--Billy Crudup and Rupert Penry-Jones--nor Jeremy Brock's plodding and unimaginative adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel is up to the challenge. The lesson is as simple: Strong stars and directors must be teamed with equally strong material and co-stars to succeed.



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1. A Beautiful Mind

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3. Black Hawk Down

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5. I Am Sam

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