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Bug / ***1/2 (R)
William Friedkin's latest film, "Bug," begins as an ominous rumble of unease, and builds to a shriek. The last 20 minutes are searingly intense: A paranoid personality finds its mate, and they race each other into madness. For Friedkin, director of "The Exorcist," it's a work of headlong passion. Its stars, Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, achieve a kind of manic intensity that's frightening not just in itself but because you almost fear for the actors. They're working without a net. The film is based on a play by Tracy Letts, an actor and playwright at Chicago's Steppenwolf theater, that was a hit here and in New York.

May 25, 2007 / * ()
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Once

Commentary: Coen country
Gene Siskel and I came back from our vacations and went to a screening the next morning -- for a movie named "Fargo." We knew nothing about it. Sounded like a Western. After the lights came up after that great film, we gasped at the credits: Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was and it wasn't a "Coen Brothers film." It didn't have the deliberate quirkiness and flywheel plot, but it had the intelligence, the humor, the human nature pushed to extremes, the violence raised to the level of classical irony.

Commentary: Pondering 'Pirates'
Not a review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” Just some idle speculation: 1. Does the word “shipshape” mean nothing in the pirate navy? Their ship, the Black Pearl, looks like it should be dipped in Easy-Off Oven Cleaner. 2. By what evolutionary pathway did nature supply Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) with a face of squirming octopus tentacles? What is the advantage? To help him win a hot-dog eating contest?

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Previous Weeks On Roger Ebert Review

Weekend Box Office: May 25-28, 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End tops the box office with an estimated $142.1 million

Daily Box Office: Monday, May 28, 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End tops Monday's box office with an estimated $27.0 million

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