Picks and Pans Review: Now Playing

updated 01/14/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/14/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ali Biopic about boxer Muhammad Ali lacks a strong point of view. It starts off brilliantly, then goes flat, though there's no faulting Will Smith's dead-on take as the Louisville slugger. (R)

A Beautiful Mind Russell Crowe gives a powerhouse performance in an intriguing film about troubled mathematician John Nash Jr., who won a Nobel Prize in 1994. Jennifer Connelly is lovely as his loyal wife. (PG-13)

The Lord of the Rings Yes, it's far superior to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but after three hours of nothing but fantasy and hobbits, we're Myst-ified as to its appeal. (PG-13)

The Royal Tenenbaums Director Wes Anderson (Rushmore) renders another entertaining, quirky film, this one chronicling a family of depressed geniuses. Gene Hackman stars. (R)

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