Tabulations are based on an exit poll averaging at least 300 film-goers per movie. Viewers rate the movie between 1 and 4 stars. "Audience Approval" is the percent who gave the film either 3 1/2 or 4 stars.
Janeane Garofalo may be one of Hollywood's hottest up-and-comers. Equally adept with comedy, drama and romance, her defining virtue seems to be a sincere, natural charm. In "The Matchmaker," Garofalo stars as a senatorial aide sent to a rustic Irish town to research her boss' ancestry, a gambit intended to grab Irish votes and invigorate a failing election campaign. Instead, she stumbles onto one of those quaint and inexplicable cultural events that the Irish seem to stockpile: the matchmaking festival. Garofalo quickly becomes the target of matchmaker/charmer Milo O'Shea, who orchestrates shenanigans designed to hitch her with local David O'Hara.
Moviegoers said: "Scenery was spectacular," "The profanities were out of place and embarrassing in parts," "Funny, warm, spirited, but not nearly as good as I thought it was going to be." (Buffalo News Critic Jeff Simon: "A beguiling and near-irresistible charmer. Of all the warm and wonderful humanist movies from the British Isles recently, this is one of the best." He gave it 4 of 5 stars.)
"Kiss the Girls": A serial killer is abducting beautiful and intelligent young women, torturing them into submission, and then brutally raping and murdering each. Detective and forensic psychologist Morgan Freeman is in unauthorized pursuit of the maniac after Freeman's niece is abducted. He partners with surgeon/kick boxer/psychologist Ashley Judd, who has valuable information.
Moviegoers said: "The suspense was as good as any movie of this type," "Morgan Freeman has a presence on the screen that is phenomenal" and "It is intense and involved. It really held me for the whole time." (Buffalo News Staff Reviewer Scott Thomas: "A well-crafted and well-executed thriller with a black, black heart. Morgan Freeman, terrific, stars as a detective tracking a psychopath." He gave it 3 1/2 stars.)
"U-Turn": World-class loser Sean Penn, minus two fingers claimed by gambling agents, sets out on a tiresome journey toward Vegas with the intent of paying his gambling debts. His car breaks down in a seedy desert town, thus connecting him with the lives of all manner of self-absorbed societal rejects.
Viewers said: "Weird and expected," "Stupid. Just not what you would expect from Oliver Stone" and "Doesn't leave you with anything." (Jeff Simon: "A scabrous dirty joke of a movie from Oliver Stone, who thought he was making a film noir. It turns out that when he doesn't want to revise American history, Stone is a pretty funny fellow, in a very dark and nasty and sardonic way." He gave it 3 stars.)