LAST YEAR'S MOST POPULAR COLUMN was the one about smart 90s movies to rent during the dumb summer movie season. So in true 90s movie fashion, here’s the (late) summer sequel:

The Opposite of Sex—What starts as a gleefully un-PC comedy about a cynical teenage seductress (Christina Ricci) unexpectedly turns out to have real characters, too—Lisa Kudrow is particularly good.

Colonel Chabert—The great Gerard Depardieu as a Napoleonic soldier thought dead, who haunts his rich wife and her social-climbing new husband like a reproachful wraith.

Touch—If “off-kilter black comedy based on Elmore (Get Shorty) Leonard” isn’t enough to entice you, how about this: “Christopher Walken as an ex-televangelist”?

Vanya on 42nd Street—Another beautifully simple film from the stars and director of My Dinner With Andre: a group of actors (including the luminous Julianne Moore) gather to explore Chekhov in a NYC theater.

Unstrung Heroes—Michael (Kramer) Richards should have gotten a supporting Oscar nomination as one of the two crazy uncles in writer Franz Lidz’s bittersweet childhood memoir, sensitively directed by Diane Keaton.

Hard Eight—An aging gambler takes a loser under his wing—but why? First film by the director of Boogie Nights is as tight as that film is sprawling.


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