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TURBULENCE R, 1997, 101 minutes, HBO.

Ray Liotta soars as a homicidal beast aboard a storm-tossed jetliner. As this corpse-studded thriller works through its setup, we fear we're in for a two-hour spin through Airplane Terror Cliche Land. There's the passenger cabin gunplay, the incapacitated flight deck team, the frantic airport authorities at their microphones.

Why, there's even a freaked-out flight attendant (Lauren Holly) who ends up flying the plane. But director Robert Butler is working from a better-than-average script (by Jonathan Brett), so he's able to take us through some bloody good loops and swoops en route to the usual dicey landing attempt (this one in rainy L.A.). Contains several shooting deaths, a graphic stabbing and a graphic strangling; plus a few stray expletives.

-- Kevin McManus/Washington Post
MARS ATTACKS! PG-13, 1996, 106 minutes, Warner.

Tim Burton's spoof of classic sci-fi films doesn't have the madcap cheesiness its exclamation point implies. But it does have great special effects.

The invading Martians, bellicose, bigheaded and bug-eyed, are a Burton-style hoot. Unfortunately, this story's tired, episodic and dull. And the Earthling actors, including Jack Nicholson (as the president), Glenn Close (a wan, half-baked spin on Nancy Reagan), Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker seem to have been replaced with unfunny, look-alike pods, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"-style. Contains sexual situations, profanity and ray-gun violence.

-- Desson Howe/Washington Post
I'M NOT RAPPAPORT PG-13, 1997, 137 minutes, Grammercy.

The tricky task of turning a great play into a pleasing film has been accomplished with Herb Gardner's comedy about senescence, pride and friendship. Walter Matthau is Nat Moyer, a feisty leftist at constant war with the oppressors of his little world, including muggers, price-raising grocers, and his daughter (Amy Irving). And he's ably supported by Ossie Davis as Midge, Nat's gullible, elderly pal who makes a great audience for Nat's fanciful tales of his own derring-do. Contains mildly disturbing assaults on old men and a young woman.

-- Kevin McManus/Washington Post
RIDICULE R, 1996, 103 minutes, Miramax.

In French filmmaker Patrice Leconte's divertingly wicked parable, country gentleman Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) journeys to the court of Louis XVI to importune the king for funds to improve his mosquito-infested land. But the court is a nest of ambitious social climbers who deal in poisonous wit and mordant one-liners. Ponceludon's only route to the king is through his native wittiness and an affair with the Countess of Blayac (Fanny Ardant), a courtesan of the king.

But the countess gets jealous of Ponceludon's love for Mathilde (Judith Godreche), his host's bright, beautiful daughter, and she plots her revenge. Contains nudity, cloacal material, sexual situations and genteel profanity. In French with subtitles.

-- Desson Howe/Washington Post


(1) Jerry Maguire (Columbia TriStar). (2) The Rock (Hollywood). (3) 101 Dalmatians (Disney). (4) Riverdance -- The Show (VCI-Columbia TriStar). (5) Jurassic Park (MCA). (6) Lord of the Dance (PolyGram). (7) I'm Bout It (No Limit). (8) Playboy's Voluptuous Vixens (Playboy). (9) Das Boot: The Director's Cut (Columbia TriStar). (10) Happy Gilmore (MCA-Universal).

(1) Jerry Maguire (Columbia TriStar). (2) Ransom (Touchstone). (3) Michael (Warner). (4) The People vs. Larry Flynt (Columbia TriStar). (5) Mars Attacks (Warner). (6) Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (Paramount). (7) Scream (Dimension). (8) Daylight (MCA-Universal). (9) One Fine Day (Fox). (10) Marvin's Room (Warner).

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