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Missing the Marx

Children of the Revolution and Commandments could've been great black comedies

But it's still too heavyweight a treatment for what could have been a nifty black comedy. I realize that writer/director Daniel Taplitz is after something meatier -- the funereal atmosphere and portentous jabber tell you that.

But at least Children of the Revolution didn't dress up its high dudgeon in black threads. Commandments, which also stars Courteney Cox and Anthony LaPaglia, comes on like one of those particularly didactic Twilight Zone episodes. It offers a moral: We're all Jobs looking for redemption. Hey, some of us are just looking for a few good movies.

-- Peter Rainer

Children of the Revolution.
Directed by Peter Duncan. With Judy Davis, F. Murray Abraham and Geoffrey Rush.

Rated R.
103 minutes.

Commandments.
Directed by Daniel Taplitz. With Aidan Quinn and Courtney Cox.
Rated R.
87 minutes.

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