Snap Judgement

Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Directed by Jan de Bont

Nobody would claim that the first "Tomb Raider" was a tough act to follow, and this action-crammed sequel is a definite step up. The tale has the silly/ solemn flamboyance of an old Saturday-matinee serial, as Lady Croft (Angelina Jolie, looking swell) tries to find Pandora's box before an evil scientist (Ciaran Hinds) gets there first. It's not half bad, with cool locations and a great stunt leap from the top of a Hong Kong high-rise. Unlike the wink-winking "Charlie's Angels," "Croft 2" mostly, and wisely, keeps a straight face.


Directed by Todd Graff

A hilarious, rousing musical comedy set at a summer camp where nobody plays sports and everybody worships Stephen Sondheim. Writer-director Graff went to a theater camp when he was a kid; it shows in the dead-on details and the deep sympathy he has for these misfit showbiz kids. The boys, natch, are all gay, except for heartthrob Vlad (Daniel Letterle), the narcissistic love object of cross-dressing Michael (Robin de Jesus) and sweet, plain Ellen (Joanna Chilcoat). "Camp" may not be as slick as "Fame," but it's twice as funny and loads more honest.

Dirty Pretty Things

Directed by Stephen Frears

Like Frears's marvelous "My Beautiful Laundrette," this hypnotic, chilling thriller deals with people living in the margins: in this case, London's exploited immigrants. The movie gets its hooks in you when our Nigerian hero (Chiwetel Ejiofor) discovers a human heart in a hotel toilet. Audrey Tautou plays his virginal Turkish roommate, and Sergi Lopez is the night manager who runs a horrific black-market business. Steven Knight's smart, if overly plotted, script delivers social insights tautly wrapped in genre thrills.