Choice: The critics

FILM
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The Independent Culture
The American President Rob Reiner's most likeable film since This is Spinal Tap is a simple (but not simple-minded) romantic comedy. Michael Douglas, as Mr Prez, and Annette Bening as the ordinary Jo he falls for, have never looked so relaxed, or felt so fresh.

Babe A jolly farmyard adventure which follows a pig who thinks he's a sheepdog. So far, it's had no problem appealing to carnivores and vegetarians alike, probably because, for all the threat of the slaughterhouse, it feels like it's set in a world without walls. It may make you go "aah" at pigs every now and then, but chances are it won't stop you eating them.

Devil in a Blue Dress (left) Down-at-heel private detective "Easy" Rawlins (Denzel Washington) is hired to find a missing woman but, as is the way with film noir old or new, becomes embroiled in a Spaghetti Junction of betrayal, deceit and duplicity. Carl Franklin brings Walter Mosley's novel to the screen with considerable style and aplomb, even if it never quite feels as shady as it should.

RYAN GILBEY

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