Picks and Pans Review: Crossover

UPDATED 09/11/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/11/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

Anthony Mackie, Wesley Jonathan

Equal parts Harlem Globetrotters and hip-hop grit, flashy underground basketball battles called "streetball" unite two Detroit friends. Crossover's tricked-out hoop moves are thrilling, but off the court, writer-director Preston A. Whitmore II tosses nothing but air balls. When one boy is told his new motorbike "is gonna be the death of you," start counting the moments until the inevitable teary hospital scene. (PG-13)

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This Film Is Not Yet Rated

In Hollywood an NC-17 (formerly X) rating really means DOA. Most theaters won't book NC-17 films, and Blockbuster doesn't stock them. The Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board holds all the cards, but we know nothing about its members, whose identities are kept secret. As a result, a system that is supposed to protect our children ends up, in essence, censoring for all.

This riveting documentary from Kirby Dick (Twist of Faith) makes a compelling case that the system needs a reboot. He speaks with filmmakers about their eye-opening tussles with the board and hires investigators to piece together the members' identities. Finally, Dick throws down with the MPAA over the rating for This Film itself. It's the most apt finale in years. (NC-17)

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