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Originally published April 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 27, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Movie review

Yeah, "Next!" is what we say, too

Julianne Moore spends most of her screen time in Lee Tamahori's confused sci-fi thriller "Next" looking royally pissed off, like she got tricked into...

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review1.5 stars


"Next," with Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, Tory Kittles, Peter Falk. Directed by Lee Tamahori

from a screenplay by Gary Goldman, Jonathan Hensleigh and Paul Bernbaum, based on the short story "The Golden Man" by Philip K. Dick.

96 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action and some language. Several theaters.

Julianne Moore spends most of her screen time in Lee Tamahori's confused sci-fi thriller "Next" looking royally pissed off, like she got tricked into making the movie on a sucker bet. You can't blame her; this film's audience is likely to look that way as well by the time the end credits roll.

Based (rather loosely, I imagine) on a Philip K. Dick short story, "Next" follows the adventures of one Cris Johnson, aka Frank Cadillac (Nicolas Cage), a Las Vegas magician with a handy extrasensory gift: He can see into the future — two minutes into the future, to be exact. This comes in handy in brawls, car accidents and picking up attractive women in diners, as he can try out pickup lines in his head and see which ones work. But when he picks up Liz (Jessica Biel), an angelic sort who teaches underprivileged children when she's not busy arranging her fabulous hair, she gets more than she bargained for: Cris is soon on the lam, trying to avoid an FBI agent (Moore) who wants to sign up his brain to help them catch a terrorist group.

Movie review1.5 stars


Showtimes and trailer

"Next," with Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, Tory Kittles, Peter Falk. Directed by Lee Tamahori from a screenplay by Gary Goldman, Jonathan Hensleigh and Paul Bernbaum, based on the short story "The Golden Man" by Philip K. Dick.

96 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action and some language.

And off we go, lurching along forward and backward through time as the terrorists (chic James Bond-type Euro-villains who all speak really slowly, as if their lines might make more sense that way) plot and the FBI agent fumes and Cris gazes adoringly at Liz, as if they've just watched "Moonstruck" together. Along the way, we find out that Cris' two-minute gift isn't exactly consistent (for example, it doesn't seem to work if he's in the bathroom), and that Liz is a pushover for men who can do magic tricks, like turning a burning piece of paper into a rose.

Late in the movie, Cris shouts at a bad guy, "I've seen every possible ending here. None of them are good for you." It's as if he's talking to the audience, and alas, he's right.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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