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Overall Rating
4.14

Awesome55.52%
Worth A Look: 22.78%
Just Average: 7.47%
Pretty Crappy: 8.54%
Sucks: 5.69%

12 reviews, 209 user ratings


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Beautiful Mind, A
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by MP Bartley

"What's So Beautiful?"
2 stars

As I sat up and watched the Oscar credits roll up at the end of last night, one thing was going through my head- was that it? That film starring Russell Crowe about a mathmatician was the best film of the year? That, and not Lord of the Rings or Moulin Rouge, was the pinnacle of film acheivement this year? Surely not...

...but sadly yes. This year, along with the year 'Shakespeare In Love' took it over 'Saving Private Ryan' and the year 'Driving Miss Daisy' won...anything, is destined to go down as one of those years that in the future people will be scratching their heads about and wondering just what kind of crack the Academy was on.

'A Beautiful Mind' is the purportedly true story of John Forbes Nash, a maths genius whose life was blighted by schizophrenia before eventually being honoured with the Nobel Prize for his revolutionary theories. His schizophrenic episodes included delusions that he was working for the CIA to help capture Russian spies.

It's immediately clear that this is one of those uplifting, true stories that the Academy just laps up. Mental illness? Check. Truimph in the face of adversity? Check. Love overcoming all trials and tribulations? Check. Noted actors doing a disabled? Check. It's manna from heaven for the awards and it's all wrapped up in a lovingly presented, conveniently packaged, fluffy little Hollywood box.

But would it be so welcome if all the facts were known? The fact that Nash had an affair leading to an illegitimate child and divorce from his wife, Alicia? The alleged bisexuality of Nash? Sadly none of these issues are addressed. I guess they must just be too difficult for the voters to think about.

Because let's face it, before the film how many of us had heard of John Nash? It's not like Micahel Mann's 'Ali' where a great deal of us know his life story anyway, for Nash we're depending on the film to give us all the facts. It's a cheat to us, Nash and the film-makers themselves to skip these details just so the film and his life are easier to watch. It's not the first time Hollywood has taken liberties with the facts, but for a Best Film there's a horrible stench of manipulation hanging around it.


But when it's so well designed for Oscars how could it fail? Crowe missed out on the Oscar here and frankly I'm glad. He's a great actor but one too many times I caught him acting here. Some of his early tics and mannerisms are irritating and seem stolen from Dustin Hoffman. It's 'Brain Man' if you like. Crowe's performance however does improve as the film goes on and he's especially effective when he goes into full breakdown and is eventually committed, while still convinced he's being spied upon. He makes the transformation from bumbling, socially inept young student to aged professor seamlessly aided by make-up that makes him resemble Marlon Brando by the end. He convinces, but it's a part that actors love to show off with and his performance does stray off too often at times.

It's the supporting parts that stand out the best. Jennifer Connelly as his devoted wife is easily the best thing in the film despite a badly underwritten part (when she first meets Nash he's an arrogant and short-tempered man. We never know why she's so attracted to him or why she's so devoted to him throughout his life. Love? Possibly, but again the film conveniently forgets that Nash had an affair with someone else). Paul Bettany adds another great supporting role to his c.v. as Nash's college room-mate and Ed Harris is superb as always as the shadowy CIA agent Parcher.

Ron Howard also took home an Oscar for this and again I would have to question why. Over Peter Jackson who created a whole new world while shooting three films at the same time? Over Ridley Scott's recreation of Somali warfare? Howard's a fine, if naive, director but his direction here rarely sparkles like it should to be Oscar worthy. Ironically it's in the potentially dull area of maths that he succeeds best, managing to make Nash's love of numbers invigorating and plausible. His recreation of Nash's descent into nightmares and madness is also hauntingly done at times. But otherwise the pace is flat and pedestrian (towards the last 20 minutes I kept on glimpsing at my watch wondering when the hell it was going to end. There were a good couple of occassions I thought we had reached a natural end only for Howard to stick another scene on), he never gets under the skin of Nash's relationship with other people, and perhaps more crucially we never find out why exactly the work that Nash did was so important and worthy of the Nobel Prize. We're told it was revolutionary but never why. A bit frustating to say the least.

With only a few lively patches, 'A Beautiful Mind' remains horribly frustating at times. We're guided, almost patronisingly at times, by Howard down a rose tinted view of a life ruined by mental illness. To this day Nash still suffers hallunications but Howard seemingly skips over this dark area to give us an uplift, no matter how false. It's as if Howard thinks we can't deal with this fact of life, like the other more controversial aspects that are glossed over.

Yes, it's decently made, and yes it's generally if predictably well acted, and it's enjoyable if you like your emotions easily fondled and manipulated. But I wasn't fooled for a second. This is a prime example of a dark, complex story, cut up and blended into easily taken Oscar friendly candy. Best film of the year? Don't make me laugh.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5681&reviewer=293
originally posted: 03/25/02 11:16:07
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell harrowing but entertaining look at mental illness 5 stars
3/02/15 john lasseter fellowship of the ring should have won best picture, it also won best film in bafta 2001 1 stars
9/18/13 Annie G Poor portrayal of the condition - can't recommend. 3 stars
9/16/10 Stephanie Favorite movie ever. I notice new things every time I watch it. 5 stars
6/21/10 RLan I wanted to like this movie, but I just didn't. 2 stars
6/14/10 LINDA DOWDY This is one of my favorite movies...a don't think it got enough credit! 5 stars
2/16/10 DJ Loved it. shows so much about 1 problem most dont know about. 5 stars
3/02/09 Samantha Pruitt great preformances, i loved Jennifer Connelly in this! 5 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting storyline. 3 stars
5/14/08 PAUL SHORTT AN INSPIRING STORY OF COURAGE AND TRIUMPH 3 stars
2/22/07 Weblynx sad, very sad but excellent and done well, great acting 5 stars
5/02/06 CrushU A great movie that shows how schizophrenia can be hard to diagnose, and treat. 5 stars
4/02/06 JRE it's really confusing, but still really good 4 stars
3/05/06 Wiseman Cinderella man was too quick, it was predictable, this was much better, Unique story 5 stars
9/02/05 Zack this is a very powerful movie 5 stars
8/27/05 Quigley russell crowe was incredible, but the story was lacking pace. cinderella man was better. 3 stars
8/12/05 ES No one i know liked this film= artsie and irrelevant, plus inaccurate to the real story 1 stars
6/27/05 dan movie was good because of jennifer 5 stars
6/04/05 Naka Without a doubt one of the most overrated films I've ever seen. Cloying and weak. 1 stars
5/10/05 Simon Russell Crowe sure is a deutsch in real life, but good god what a performance. 5 stars
4/03/05 Arlington Poad A Great Thriller 5 stars
3/25/05 Denise moving 4 stars
3/01/05 CanDance Walker Phenomenal movie & brilliant acting by Crowe 5 stars
2/20/05 david basile one of crowes better roles 5 stars
2/19/05 Carolyn Rathburn suspensefull, dramamtic, very well done 5 stars
2/19/05 Diane Stahlman DIFFERENT 4 stars
2/18/05 Sharon Davis a brillieant movie 5 stars
2/18/05 Shel An absolutely enthralling movie 5 stars
2/14/05 Carolyn Rathburn Love this intreging movie, Russell Crowe gave a great performance and keeps you wondering 5 stars
2/14/05 katrina burgess very good movie a little confusing toward the end 5 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Great acting, nicely adapted story! 4 stars
2/12/05 Charlene Javier Crowe was robbed!!! 5 stars
2/11/05 Kenneth Flickstein Mr. Crowe plays the mad and brilliant mathematic genuis well. 5 stars
2/11/05 rebecca gilbert long movie, but really worth seeing 5 stars
1/13/05 Nick Boyd Very powerful movie with outstanding performances all-around 5 stars
12/10/04 Lucas Stensland Howard alters the truth not for the sake of art but for sake of ticket sales. 1 stars
11/03/04 William Combs Great movie! 5 stars
9/08/04 Naka Waaaay to self-important. 2 stars
8/16/04 Peter James It's difficult to make a film solely about acting entertaing and brilliant but this was 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Any movie with go in it deserves five stars! 5 stars
5/25/04 R.W. Welch Neatly constructed stranger-than-fiction tale with uniformly fine performances. 5 stars
5/15/04 Mitch A good film DESTROYED by its disgusting self-importance. Just couldn't like it. 2 stars
3/30/04 maleeha great movie with great choice of casts 4 stars
2/20/04 john very good film with exceptional performances - great story too! 5 stars
2/16/04 Chris I loved this movie so much and did not see the twist coming. One of the best movies ever!!! 5 stars
1/15/04 Keith Leon this film is so intensy moving and absorbing. it is a beauctiful mystery! I love it 5 stars
10/07/03 Alex Moulin Rouge worthy of Best Picture, give me a break!! 5 stars
9/23/03 Joesco Crowe excellent & Connelly good in a story I knew nothing of 4 stars
7/02/03 ND good movie, but not worth winning best picture in Oscar 4 stars
6/23/03 Pete B Richy Cunningham cant direct movies!!! 2 stars
6/04/03 Picky critic It would have been more interesting if the professor's delusions were not delusions 1 stars
5/25/03 John40 phony Hollywood biopic 1 stars
4/19/03 Dillon Not as mainstream as you might think. Has a hook I've never seen in my life that shook me 5 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon If you're gonna get inside the mind of a genius, musn't you be a genius to understand it? 2 stars
3/12/03 Shadaan After all the hype the film was a major let down 3 stars
3/02/03 John Somewhat inspiring, but moreso overrated 4 stars
2/01/03 Sam Tan It's good teaching material to my students. 5 stars
12/30/02 Jack Sommersby Gives formulaic Hollywood fare a very good name. 4 stars
11/03/02 Rob I had trouble staying awake! 3 stars
10/23/02 Phil M. Aficionado I'm schizo about it. Great acting, but not accurately portrayed. I' ll take "Biography" 4 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock Bland boring bullshit. Another marketing triumph. 1 stars
9/24/02 Ken Deserved Best Picture Oscar. LOTR? Cliched and overrated. 4 stars
8/31/02 Judy Amazing film. I agree that the reasons for Alicia staying with Nash are unclear, but still. 5 stars
8/25/02 The Bomb 69 Crowe should not have won for Gladiator and should have won for this, Oscar sucks!!! 5 stars
8/13/02 Bryan Brooks Crowe=Oscar rob. 4 stars
8/04/02 David Great show, Russel Crowe was brilliant as Dr. Nash 4 stars
7/29/02 The Truth The only Oscar this movie should have received is for Russel Crowe who saved this movie 4 stars
7/27/02 sdjfsdkjf seems the oscars loved everything about the film except Crowe. They glossed over the facts. 4 stars
7/24/02 Vivian Cohn Amazing movie and excellent acting 5 stars
7/20/02 Film Guy Wow what an extremely good movie 4 stars
7/19/02 Valerie Cameron Jennifer Connelly deserved her Oscar, even if she does pick her nose. Crowe was ROBBED! 5 stars
7/18/02 STEVE THIS WON BEST PIC?!THIS MOVIE REAKS!! lOTR SHOULD OF WON OR MONSTERS BALL SHOULD HAVE GOTIT 1 stars
7/10/02 BrodieMan Wow. 5 stars
7/02/02 Justin It's awesome! 5 stars
6/27/02 Kyle Akiva Goldsman shocked us all. 5 stars
6/01/02 Chris I watch in awe and wondered how do you make a film this perfect. 5 stars
5/25/02 Danielle Ophelia AKIVA GOLDSMAN wrote this? Mother fucking a. It's Ron Howard's triumph, though, no doubt. 4 stars
5/20/02 Shrike Pretty good although it overstayed its welcome 4 stars
5/20/02 prem Yet another laurell for Russel's crown 5 stars
5/17/02 Kat Balue HBOTIS is a jackass. No decline in the works for Rusty, thx for the concern tho! 5 stars
5/17/02 viking you've got no taste, hbotis. Russell Crowe should have won back to back oscars !!! 5 stars
5/14/02 hbotis@hotmail.com The rapid decline of Russell Crowe. What's the point? 2 stars
4/26/02 Ivy S. Basitan Great movie! 4 stars
4/20/02 summer oh please this is just a moneymaking movie don't dare call it a film 1 stars
4/17/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite Jennifer Connelly got best-deserved Oscar of year; I don't care if she DOES pick her nose. 5 stars
4/11/02 Nick Green Weinberg should be reminded that Nash cracks a Russian code, not a German one. 5 stars
4/10/02 Mitja Podgajski Oh yeah. Such movies we need. 5 stars
4/06/02 Jessi Ron Howard does a awesome job showing the world about this dieses we should learn from this 5 stars
4/05/02 jeanne since when does Hollywood ever give a true account of anything,this film was no different. 4 stars
4/05/02 :) i can't believe people thought russelle's acting was worthy of an oscar!shameshameshame 1 stars
4/03/02 Ron Sorry I just didn't like any of the people, I felt the film maker was manipulating me. 1 stars
4/03/02 Katherine B. "A Beautiful Movie!" Amazing acting, script etc. Everything went right. www.modamag.com 5 stars
4/02/02 Joe Merc Mind illustrates the power of delusions- very realistically 5 stars
4/02/02 slick Slow, boring, contrived, hardly factual. The 'anti-semetic' truth should've been in it. 3 stars
3/31/02 Magnum Craphole Then leave, disillusioned. Maybe that will make the Internet a little better. 2 stars
3/30/02 malcolm Washington got the 'about-time' vote from the academy. Crowe got it last year. 5 stars
3/28/02 Renee Keener Jennifer C. got year's only deserved acting Oscar. Love her even if she does pick her nose! 5 stars
3/26/02 A Faithful Fan - JJ I'm ashamed the academy gave the oscar to DW. RC deserved it hands down! 5 stars
3/26/02 Chris żĄ It is the best picture of the year. It's moving, wonderful, and profoundly thought. 5 stars
3/26/02 disillusioned In a phrase: John & Alicia Nash were satisfied with the film. Internet= ignorant freak show 5 stars
3/25/02 Jessica Davis Who couldn't prefer portrayal of John Nash to a dickhead scumbag cop? ACADEMY EATS SHIT! 5 stars
3/24/02 Tomper I smell an Oscar for Ronnie 4 stars
3/24/02 Iris Dementia Praecox Good, but was Marcee imaginary from the start, or only after she should've been bigger? 4 stars
3/22/02 Monster W. Kung Yeah, not even average. This over Memento is final proof about the stupidity of the Oscars. 2 stars
3/20/02 lucy fur they were outta their Minds when they nominated this piece of crap 1 stars
3/18/02 Joe Long and tedious. A downer. 2 stars
3/13/02 Miguel Angel an excellent film 5 stars
3/11/02 louie its fantastic, Russell Crowe's best ever 5 stars
3/10/02 Connie Mulford Much more satisfying than I expected - however, the ending was corny and so 'Hollywood.' 5 stars
3/07/02 The Rock Can you smell what the Crowe is cooking. 5 stars
3/04/02 Joan This movie made me laugh and cry. Terrific acting and cudos to Ron Howard & Akiva Goldsman 5 stars
3/04/02 simon it's a product of an unbeautiful minds - another hollywood farce 1 stars
3/03/02 John Delaprut Unexpected great performance by R. Crowe. 5 stars
3/01/02 Alan Smithee Other than the beautiful Jennifer Connely's great performance, this movie sucked. 2 stars
2/28/02 Sular Floredana Laura A great film and a GREAT Russel Crowe 5 stars
2/26/02 Monster W. Kung A very average movie. Good acting, overdone sentimentality, not-so-true story. 3 stars
2/25/02 Bertha Venation Dickhead below wouldn't know the truth if it stood up in his Cheerios 5 stars
2/22/02 carol A truly excellent movie. It draws you in and takes you on an exciting ride. 5 stars
2/21/02 Monique Lalonde Sure Oscar win for Russell Crowe 5 stars
2/20/02 natasha traditional, old-fashioned Hollywood treatment of a fascinating subject; good performances 4 stars
2/18/02 suzieq russell crowe is truly amazing 5 stars
2/17/02 Eduardo Del Valle A stunning trip through thre mind of a schizophrenic genius. Amazing, unforgettable. 5 stars
2/17/02 Bert Wonderfully realistic look at different faces of madness. Great Movie. 5 stars
2/14/02 Michael Votto Best Film of the Year! 5 stars
2/13/02 Martine Morency Typical Hollywood melodrama. Crowe's performance not believable...a muscled mathematician? 3 stars
2/12/02 Patrick Blindauer Shooting in sequence really paid off for the performances - so theatrical 5 stars
2/12/02 anonymous Overall, good but not great. The love story, however, is one of the most moving I've seen. 4 stars
2/12/02 Kay Ann Just plain wonderful 5 stars
2/10/02 Mark Loved It. Also nizam aziz is a dumb ass. 5 stars
2/06/02 AgentDS Anyone who said Crowe did not deserve his Oscar can bite me! 5 stars
2/06/02 Margaret The most amazing film I've ever seen! 5 stars
2/06/02 nizam aziz is it awesome?! how this film can get the GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD. 'SAY NO' TO ACADEMY AWARD 1 stars
2/05/02 Shayla M. Incredible!! Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly have no flaws 5 stars
2/05/02 Albrect von Steikell Ya, the numbers will drive u insane... 5 stars
2/04/02 bobo justus whitewashed and dull story, but crowe makes it watchable. poor attention to period detail. 3 stars
2/03/02 S. Larsen Most memorable - so well crafted 5 stars
2/03/02 Rb excellent, will see it again and read the book to determine the missing information 5 stars
1/31/02 satex Fantastic in every way! Russell Crowe = Best actor EVER! 5 stars
1/31/02 rnmina GREAT movie 5 stars
1/31/02 Me Two Worth the price of admission to see Jennifer Connelly in anything, even this. 4 stars
1/29/02 W amazing 5 stars
1/28/02 jld incredible. best performance ever by all three main characters. good to see paul bettany. 5 stars
1/28/02 C. Ervin Excellent movie!! Superb acting 5 stars
1/28/02 Dave great movie 5 stars
1/27/02 Flick Chick very good, but not a masterpiece. 4 stars
1/27/02 Deborah Winter After leaving the theater I continue to think about this film. I enjoyed the movie! 5 stars
1/24/02 Brindlescruff Very insincere, sorry, don't like it 2 stars
1/24/02 Sparky Polastri Maximus, Opie and Jennifer -- get those speeches ready 5 stars
1/22/02 LeaLea unbelievably clever and inspiring 5 stars
1/22/02 Dan Russel Crowe's performance is one of the best ever on the silver screen and the movie rules 5 stars
1/22/02 kishuta Exellent performances. Entertaining if limited look at a very interesting person. 4 stars
1/21/02 Andrew Carden If Not For Ron Howard, This Movie Would Be Total Crap. 3 stars
1/20/02 devereuxxx@earthlink.net Not the book, but the book lacked JENNIFER C. 4 stars
1/18/02 Suzz good film but Crowe's performance was clownish 4 stars
1/15/02 Aliya This movie was simply magnificent. Definitely oscar worthy. 5 stars
1/14/02 The Man It was not as good as expectations because of overhype, but still very good. 4 stars
1/14/02 puckfreak Good movie...JC roxors my boxors! 4 stars
1/13/02 KCobain Astounding! 5 stars
1/13/02 Carly Plays out like a Ron Howard movie. Manipulative, trite. Why was Nash a genius? 3 stars
1/12/02 Gay Tooth Fairy A damn good movie. Toe to toe with Denzel in Training Day we'll see. 5 stars
1/07/02 F Panucci Departs from the true story, excellent anyway 5 stars
1/07/02 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Dissapointing that the gay & racist themes were deleted from the film. 3 stars
1/07/02 silent excellent excuse to stare at jennifer connelly. 5 stars
1/06/02 ellas What a great Movie!! Crowe deserves the Oscar 5 stars
1/05/02 specialK Oscar winning work from Crowe 5 stars
1/05/02 night unkempt riveting, great timing, and never boring. crowe became the story and lost all ego. 3 stars
1/04/02 raiven Great script, very well acted. Jennifer, I adore you, but you're so thin now! 5 stars
1/04/02 Mr Guy He didn't deserve it last year. This year he does. 5 stars
1/04/02 hi eh 2 stars
1/03/02 Matt Utt This movie stinks worse than Joe Stark's body odor!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/03/02 Clarance Outstanding acting, and WOAH! Jennifer Connelly!!!! 4 stars
1/02/02 David Headrick Good movie, not based on fact as presented, though. 4 stars
1/01/02 AC in DC Awesome. Best screen portrayal of mental illness I've ever seen, and in context 5 stars
1/01/02 Ross Nickow Gave a taste of what his mental disorder must have been like. Beautiful acting. 5 stars
1/01/02 Marilyn S. Downer Russell Crowe proves convincingly he is 'the best actor of his generation'. 5 stars
1/01/02 Claudia Rosenthal ABM is a wonderful film and Russell Crowe's performance is absolutely brilliant. 5 stars
1/01/02 Dave Markley One of the finest films I have seen, Period. Academy Award winning performance by Crow. 5 stars
12/31/01 D Pearson Excellent 5 stars
12/31/01 Corazon Gemil, M.D. Inspiring, entertaining. I am in awe at Crowe's talent. 5 stars
12/31/01 Pam Mravic Moving, inspiring, superb acting and direction. 5 stars
12/31/01 Lynne M. Butler The movie A Beautiful Mind is as concise and unexpected as an elegant proof. 5 stars
12/31/01 kcsusan "A Beautiful Mind" is the best movie of the year, starring genius actor Russell Crowe 5 stars
12/31/01 Sophy Lewis An astounding tour de force by Crowe and Connelly; a must-see and re-see! 5 stars
12/31/01 shannon a great , emotionally driven, movie !!! 5 stars
12/31/01 E Carrozza Russell Crowe is the best actor of this century. The movie keep you for two hours spellbou 5 stars
12/30/01 poetchuck I hate Russel Crowe but he is brilliant here 5 stars
12/30/01 Gibbo Highly inaccurate from a biographical perspective, but a good film 4 stars
12/30/01 jefftucson Crowe's acting is breathtaking. 5 stars
12/29/01 Kara You will be thinking about this movie for days after. 5 stars
12/29/01 Artist Freak Crowe's best performance ever, in a brainy and emotional movie with a great supporting cast 5 stars
12/28/01 Pat Bjorklund Russell Crowe's performance is extraordinary beyond words. And the film is excellent! 5 stars
12/28/01 Jerrrr A Solid Tear-Jerker, But The Events Do Not Stir You and it is ultimately Forgettable 3 stars
12/27/01 LC A n incredible film and an even more incredible performance by Russell Crowe. 5 stars
12/26/01 MF If you're going to do a biography, it helps if you don't make things up! 1 stars
12/26/01 Bada Bing Crosby Just incredible! 5 stars
12/26/01 Shawn Burden This movie fucking rules! 5 stars
12/26/01 Susan Winnie "A Beautiful Mind" is a showcase performance by Russell Crowe, as John Forbes Nash Jr. 5 stars
12/25/01 Peggy Guinan Profound performance by Russell Crowe .One of his best. 5 stars
12/25/01 Bobbie Outstanding. Crowe is brilliant. 5 stars
12/24/01 Ben An incredible film with incredible performances all around 5 stars
12/24/01 M. James Hill A handsomely crafted, entertaining, thought provoking, and touching film. 5 stars
12/23/01 La Belle Dominique A poignant, touching film. Mr. Crowe was absolutely awesome...just as I expected! 5 stars
12/22/01 Dianna Hastings Will stick with you long after you've seen it. 5 stars
12/22/01 Suzanne Berwind I was stunned but not surprised by Crowe's great acting or Howard's compassionate take. 5 stars
12/22/01 Joan King Outstanding! 5 stars
12/22/01 Mariah Bailey heart-wrenching yet humerous film...Russell Crowe blew me away 5 stars
12/22/01 Christine Nece Mesmorizing 5 stars
12/22/01 frank crowe, connelly, and howard all did their jobs very well 5 stars
12/22/01 Cindy Thought Russell Crowe wouldn't soon top his performance in The Insider, but he has. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Dec-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  07-Mar-2002




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