Picks and Pans Review: Now Playing

UPDATED 01/15/2001 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/15/2001 at 01:00 AM EST

>All the Pretty Horses It's dang purty, but there's not much else nice to say about this botched adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's prize-winning novel. Matt Damon is a teenage Texas cowpoke who heads to Mexico to work as a ranch hand. Penélope Cruz plays Damon's love interest, but the two have zilch chemistry. (PG-13)

Cast Away It's a pleasure watching a terrific actor like Tom Hanks—as the lone survivor of a plane crash on an uninhabited Pacific island—make fire, forage for food and talk to a volleyball. Despite its pat ending, belongs on your must-see list. (PG-13)

Chocolat Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche star in a whimsical romantic comedy about a French village where folks go nuts over confectioner Binoche's chocolates. Too sweet for our taste. (PG-13)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Pure magic. Movies should transport you and this one does: to ancient China and a world filled with dazzling martial artistry and romance. Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh star. (PG-13)

The Family Man Formulaic Christmas comedy has Nicolas Cage on cruise control as a Manhattan mogul playboy who wakes up one morning to discover himself stuck in a parallel existence where—the horror, the horror—he's a married suburban dad in New Jersey. Téa Leoni shines, however, as his spirited wife. (PG-13)

The House of Mirth Gillian Anderson (X-Files) triumphs as Lily Bart, the tragic heroine of this splendid, heartbreaking film version of Edith Wharton's 1905 novel about a single woman making her way in New York society. (PG)

Miss Congeniality This comedy-drama stars Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent who goes undercover at a beauty pageant. It's no masterpiece, but it sure triggers a lot of laughs. Benjamin Bratt and Michael Caine (as a temperamental makeover artist) costar. (PG-13)

What Women Want Mel Gibson plays a skirt-chasing ad exec in Chicago who can read women's minds, including new boss Helen Hunt's. Never quite as funny as it tries (too hard) to be. (PG-13)

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