Domino (15) <br></br>Guy X (15) <br></br>Lord of War (15) <br></br>Le Grand Voyage (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Just when you thought Tony Scott had done his vulgarian worst (Man on Fire), he gouges out a movie even dumber than his last.

This tells of the short life and times of Domino Harvey, the daughter of the English film star Laurence Harvey, a wild-child drop-out who became a bounty hunter. Keira Knightley plays her as a gun-toting Lara Croft type, eyes caked with kohl and an accent straight from Cheltenham Ladies, although her tough-chick façade is rather undermined by the movie's chosen metaphor: a dead pet goldfish that Domino has mourned since childhood. Try not to laugh. Mickey Rourke plays her grizzled boss, with Christopher Walken as a reality TV mogul on the prowl.

The slam-bang shoot-em-ups and flash MTV-style editing are exactly what you would expect from Scott, although it is an unpleasant surprise to find Richard Kelly's name credited for the appallingly muddled screenplay. He's come a long way down from Donnie Darko.

Guy X (15)

Jason Biggs plays a young soldier dumped in the wastes of Greenland, where a US military base is run along the lines of a madhouse. His conscience is awoken on discovering a secret hospital wing and a forgotten casualty of the Vietnam war. Metzstein directs from a novel by John Griesemer, who was perhaps aiming for the hallucinatory anti-authoritarianism of Catch-22.

The film partially succeeds in duplicating that spirit but is rather tough going, and its finale is maddeningly inconsequential. Jeremy Northam and Natascha McElhone are decorative but underused.

Lord of War (15)

From its opening shot - a vast carpet of spent bullet-cartridges - Niccol's drama is determined to blow the gaff on the shadowy world of arms trading. Nicolas Cage plays Yuri Orlov, a chancer who leaves Little Odessa behind to become a hugely successful international arms dealer ("I supplied every army but the Salvation Army"), wooing his dream woman (Bridget Moynahan) along the way and somehow managing to elude the investigations of a dogged Interpol agent (Ethan Hawke).

There are parallels with the drugs drama Traffic, though Niccol casts it as black comedy rather than as a brow-furrowing "issue" picture, and Cage resists audience sympathy by playing his title character as a Graham Greene-like amoralist: he knows he's damned, so arms-trafficking with Third World kleptocrats won't prick his conscience.

It's an uncommonly intelligent study in the economics of modern warfare, and in the face of the more usual Hollywood heroics, its cynicism is almost refreshing.

Le Grand Voyage (PG)

Ismael Ferroukhi's feature debut is ostensibly a road movie, yet it also manages something deeply unfashionable at the moment: it gives Islam a good press.

Initially exasperated by the necessity of driving his morose, tyrannical father (Mohamed Majd) on a pilgrimage to Mecca, young Reda (Nicolas Cazalé) gradually emerges from his generational hostility to appreciate his old man's steadfast faith.

The film is timely as a comment on the East-West divide, and as a portrait of filial duty and reconciliation, it's very touching.

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