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This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

Okay, cinema buffs, it's time to write a movie review. Choose any film you wish, past or present. Praise it or pan it as you see fit. Shine your smile, or spill your bile. You're the critic.

There's just one hitch. We want your review to be an acrostic of the movie's title. That is, the first letters of the words in your blurb, taken in order, must spell the name of the film.

You may have noticed that our contest's title is an acrostic of JAWS. As a review it might seem a bit impassive. A more excitable critic might have written: "Jolting action! Wild shocker!" Or: "Joking aside... we scream!" Then again, an unenthused viewer might have said: "Juvenile atrocities, with splashing." Or: "Jabbering actors, wet screenplay." Get the idea?

The writers of the three neatest or most guffaw-inducing entries will each receive fame, glory, prestige, televised awards banquets, sneaker endorsements, confetti-filled parades--or at any rate, their choice of a free book from The Atlantic Monthly's online bookstore.

Okay, action!

--EC and HR

Just Another White Shark Contest Results

(All names without @ symbols are AOL screen names.)

We thought this assignment (to write a movie review in which the words' first letters spell out the movie's title) was going to be a killer. But you folks responded brilliantly as usual, with virtually every contestant squeezing something apt or funny out of the cinematic acronyms. Siskel and Ebert should try this sometime!

As a rule, longer titles presented greater challenges to the reviewer, and we salute those of you who bravely tackled films of epic proportion. Most notable in this regard was Dstoveken's entry:

"Commercially, leaning on Spielberg's expertise ensures nightly crowds of untold number. Those expecting real subtlety or finesse, though, head elsewhere! The hero is Richard Dreyfuss, kindly if not dramatic."
At the same time, some of our biggest laughs were induced by the shortest blurbs, such as Mezzomezzo's put-down of NELL ("Nothing ever lasted longer") and MrsToonces' casual remark about Norman Bates in PSYCHO ("Perhaps, someone you can't have over...").

We went through countless bags of popcorn while screening the many admirable entries. Our three final prizewinners are below, followed by the rest of our top favorites in the alphabetical order of the movies' titles. (If the ingenious entry from contestant Guy seems initially confusing, remind yourself of the movie's officially rendered title!) Our congratulations to Guy, Newtarheal, and Rickwins, each of whom will receive a book of his or her choice from the Atlantic's online store (and, for the latter pair, 5 free AOL hours).

The Oscar Winners

Movie started Altman's stardom. Sutherland's startling (Hawkeye). (guy@research.att.com)

A nice American finds fulfillment and intrigue roaming the ocean. Reunion expected; mistake ensues; movie becomes enduringly romantic! (Newtarheal)

What aquatic twaddle! Egregious "Road Warrior" once-over reaches lowest depths! (Rickwins)

And Our Other Top Favorites

An inspired riot... perfect lunacy abounds nearly everywhere! (QuipRosen)
Ack! Large insect eats navigators. (Lawlss)
Aggravated lifeform is eating nastily. (Sleepnkidz)
A large ill-bred extraterrestrial, nasty! (VioletKid)
Alternative life intelligence encounters nymph. (BooBaer)
Alarming look in every nook! (ToriLady)
Action!... labyrinthine intrigue... extraterrestrial nightmare! (BLRygg)
Action!... labyrinthine intrigue... extraterrestrial nightmare... Sequel! (BLRygg)
Adolescent nirvana! Imagine maniacal Athenian lunatics hosting outrageously unscrupulous, sadistic extravaganza! (Patunia58)
Astronauts' peril of losing life. Obviously, triskaidekaphobics hold it roundly to exemplify evil numerology. (SFaber)
Asinine reel--tippler hurls. Utterly revolting! (MissLJV)
"Antonio," super sexy actor, surpasses Sly! Instant notoriety slated! (Catspaw417)
Action, Sylvester Stalone! Another Sly sizzler. Intense. Nonstop suspense. (Stilwillin)

Boar's adventure becoming enlightened. (CarlosdSF)
Bachelor activist tackles magnificent archvillains nonchalantly. (MFletc)
Bold! Entertaining! Nervy Hebrew upstages Romans! (ToriLady)
Boy is growing! (Inadcon)
Brawny reactionaries attempt violent eviction. Hair extensions are really tops. (Perdenales)
Beautifully romantic impressions. Daring gestures. Eastwood/Streep organization flatters movie-makers and directors incessantly. Streep's onstage nimbleness catches onlookers unaware. Notable, theatrical yarn. (SummerLove)

Come and see! A Bogart ladies all now can adore! (MrsToonces)
Cinema-goers applaud sentimentality as Bogart leaves audiences nodding complete approval. (Ravensegg)
Cooled affair, Sam asks? Blonde leaves and never calls again. (Newtarheal)
Classic about seeing a beautiful love and never calling again. (WORD DR)
Casbahs and secret alleys betray lovers arranging nighttime clandestine appointments. (ShedPot)
Cuddly apparition seeks permanent earthly residence. (SMaroon188)
Can a spook possibly enjoy romance? (Medever)
Councilman Huston introduces nose abatement to Oscar winner Nicholson. (G8ly)
Charming hobo attracts people loving introspective nuances. (Ash2Ash)
Chaplin is tremendous. You'll love it. Go--Hurry. Ten Stars! (Mezzomezzo)
Crystal is the yuppie seeking liberation in cattle kingdom. Entertaining rejuvenation story. (TdMadden)
Crystal, in typical Yankee style, learns incredible cowboy knowledge, evoking real skill! (B Cardona)
Cluttered, legendary epic. Overdramatic portrayals attend tempestuous, racy affair. (Perdenales)
Codgers old, codgers older, outcome nausea. (MJTreetop)
Corny orangutans never get offscreen. (SFaber)
Chilling opus. Psychotic yahoo crazily attacks townspeople. (LostnAustn)
Canine's unfriendliness jinxes occasion. (MJH12656)
Can you remember a NOSE openly discharging emotion beyond expectations--Roxanne's gallantly endearing, Rostand-authored cavalier? (Ismite)

Dynamic acting! Naturally, Costner excelled! Scenic wonders in the hazardous wilderness often leave viewers exceedingly satisfied. (Summerlove)
Diverting epic. Stranger pursues elusive rival. Antonio's dangerously obsessed. (Yesrad)
Demi's idiot egotist has a rough day. (Tdmadden)
Demi initiates sex; co-worker's lack of submissiveness unleashes retaliation efforts. (MJH12656)
Darling Omar's cinematic tour of Russia. Zeal, humanity, indiscretion, violence and great orchestration. (Darvna)
Depp osculates nicely. Johnny unscrupulously awes normal dames, exciting many. All romanced cried out. (Inadcon)
Don't rook now, OO7. (G8ly)
Disney's usual magic, big overhead (SqueezePly)

Extrication, telemetrically. (kttylttr)
Eccentric tourism. (ANDERDW)
Evokes tears! (HelenVS)

Floozy attempts inane relationship, giving a moviegoer ennui. (Newtarheal)
Flimsy acting. Idiotic repartee. Gawky action. Model embarrassing. (LostnAustn)
Fun little excursion to Comedy Heaven. (BooBaer)
Fun! Reviewers enthusiastic! Escaping whale illicitly loves lively youngster. (Lawlss)
Fanny unplugged! Nettlesome narration, yet genuine implications. Re-examines Love. (SummerLove)

Grandiloquence about noxiously dull Hindu idol. (ToriLady)
Glib, enigmatic thug sways Hollywood overnight. Rate this Yes! (Newtarheal)
Genially entertaining teaser sends Hollywood overboard. Russo, Travolta yummy! (TDarsey)
Gangland enforcer Travolta should harvest Oscar rewards this year. (Bherbold)
Goldberg haunts "Other Side" tale. (ToriLady)
Genuinely irresistible Gallic idyll. (Mezzomezzo)
Gable's outstandingly natural emoting wins instantly. Tolerant husband takes her endless whining, issues no "Damn." (Newtarheal)
Great retro experience and superbly entertaining! (Ceejayyy)

Harmless and curious kids entering restricted space. (EricZuerch)
"Ham" actor Mel's limitless ego triumphs. (Mezzomezzo)
He often wonders about romance. Does she? Ending not delightful. (Medever)

Idiots scavenger hunting through Arabian ruins (Savh miss)
Incredibly stinko, horrible, terrible, abominable reel! (RHorton508)
I sit here thoroughly appalled, retching. (Rickwins)
I should have taken a rest. (WORD DR)
Inexplicably terrorizing! (AuthorDB)
Incredibly terrifying. (Ash2Ash)

Just ugly raptors? A silly speculation. ILM's computer puppets are REAL KILLERS! (WendiSidy)

Kindergarten intercourse! Disease spreaders! (august2)
Kinky. Idiotic, diseased sex. (Yesrad)

Lugubrious, oleaginous, vacuous, Erich Segal's tepid outing: Romantic? Yecch! (Mezzomezzo)

Mel always defies many aggressive xenophobes. (Ash2Ash)
Memorable Army show! Hilarious! (LauraJMN)
Medics attempt sick humor. (ToriLady)
Madcap army surgical hijinks. (SeisSix6)
More Army shenanigans! Hilarious! (EmlyPostlt)
Magnificent! Australian voices expletives. Rowdy, ignorant cowboy kvetches! (Lawlss)

Needs extensive language lessons! (MJTreetop)

Pompous, overbearing Colonials assault humble, obscurant natives turning amour sour. (NFFA)
Painfully lurid, action-packed tale of overwrought non-coms. (Lawlss)
Pacific ocean seacruise ends in disaster. Occupants nauseous and disoriented, venting expletives, now trapped unless rescuers extricate. (Tdmadden)
Production of wonder! Delightful ending! Riveting! (Pianist264)
Pasty, overachieving wunderkind. Didn't endear reviewer. (StilWillin)
Paranormal oddball wows damsel. Electrically riveting. (LostnAustn)
Perkins slashes young cutie. Horror overwhelms! (Lawlss)
Perkins' sagacity yields cross-dressing Hitchcock original. (Ravensegg)
Prohibit showering! You'll cry Hitchcock's overpowering! (Repfan)
Pithy underworld labyrinth. Pure fun. Intriguing cast. Tarantino is our Nestor. (StilWillin)
Pompous ugly lowly punks firing in cinematic tumultuous indecent overacting nonsense! (FEEDEELEE)

Ridiculous adventure movie. Bamboo overkill (ToriLady)
Ride a wild horse in denim! Excellent! (ToriLady)
Recently educated adults learn irony through years being in tough employment situations (HEADCHEK)
Reed epic doesn't swing. (Mezzomezzo)

Snorting cocaine almost religiously, felonious Al combats ennui. (Rickwins)
Supercop entraps renegade police in covert operation. (Perdenales)
Sinners exacerbate vengeful executioner's nuttiness. (LostnAustn)
Sick. Evil. Violent. Entertaining? Not! (Yesrad)
Sadistic, evil villain escapes nevermore! (Catspaw417)
Sickeningly evil villain entertains nonstop. (Newtarheal)
Salacious hoofers, overblown wantonness, gratuitous idiocy--remarkably lascivious sleaze. (WORD DR)
See how Orson Welles' grave is rising, levitating, spinning. (Rickwins)
Stone's landlord, immature voyeur, eyeballs residents. (WORD DR)
Slightly lewd, incredibly voracious erotica. Repulsive! (RBerk1001)
Sex! Lust!...in virtually every room! (LauraJMN)
Small neurotics obtain woman; wizened hag interrupts their escapades. (Hehir)
Swiftly paced entertainment--ending dynamite! (ToriLady)
Sizzling pace. Electrifying, explosive drama. (DarkGate13)
Smashing plot! Exciting explosives! Dynamite! (VioletKid)
Sensational! Takes a ride wildly around reckless space! (Lawlss)
Spielberg takes a risk with adorable R2D2. Sequel? (WORD DR)
Storm troopers against rebels...Will Alliance reign supreme?? (M2ME)
Sex? Tell anybody that ever flirted around Iowa! Ridiculous! (CopyKate)
Sees underwear, punishes every rogue, masquerades as nerd. (Edengill)

Tale about prepubescent soldiers. (TONY WARDS)
Time-traveling esquire rescues maiden in nail-biter; Arnold tramples over Reseda. (wayne@thumper.bellcore.com)
The effects really make it! Nasty Arnold takes out revenge! (WORD DR)
This has everything! Emperors, magic, pyrotechnics, icecaves, robots, excitement! Skywalker takes rebellion into killer Empire Star. Ben, alas, calculatingly killed. (M2ME)
Tough hitting... Enthralling... Ford uses great ingenuity thwarting investigators. Very effective! (WendiSidy)
Then Harrison escapes, finds unexpected graft in time, initiates vengeful ending. (BobCork)
Thoroughly horrific entertainment! Good opening--disastrous finale. And the happy ending? Repetitive! (TheKid1955)
This hilariously entertaining gem of delightful satire makes us savor talismans; beleaguered, errant "civilization" relishes a zany yarn. (ShedPot)
Tantalizing, high-spirited entertainment. Labyrinthine, amusing Sondheim tale of felony. Surprisingly, homicide's expose involves latent acrostic. (QuipRosen)
The heroic, exciting leads make apologies archaic. Newly defiant ladies outwit unprincipled individuals. Shocking end. (LostnAustn)
Terrifying, huge entomological mutations! (QuipRosen)
Tragic. Hedonistic. Evocative. Pleasure in adultery not overlooked. (Lawlss)
Titillating! Highly erotic! Pulsating images are nearly orgasmic. (SPMCKENZIE)
Terrifying Hawthorne event! Some charlatan altered realistic literate ending. The literate embargoed the theater! Excruciating rubbish! (RHorton508)
This Hester expected some cool action. Really loose, easy tart let everyone touch. Tsk... evermore Red. (Newtarheal)
Terrible! Horrible! Even Stephen had increased nightmares involving Nicholson's grimace. (MJH12656)
Totally horrendous experience: spooky hotel, icy night, interminable Nicholson grins. (LesDan)
Take heed, everyone!! Seems only undersexed nannies desirous of finding marriage ultimately succeed in childcare. (MOOMOMMY)
The High Entity tells everyone: No corruption or murder, messing around, Nazarene damning, materialistic envy, nor token stealing. (MJH12656)
This one has a very exciting and nicely developed heartfelt and visual emotion. Nab one ticket! (MrsToonces)

What a terrible experience, really! (HEADCHEK)
Waste abounds. This erratic ripoff wants otherworldly reality. Loses direction. (TDarsey)
Watch a young nincompoop's excellent success, wittily outmaneuvering Rob Lowe's deceitfulness. (WORD DR)
When enmity segregates teens, social issues do eventually start to overwhelm romantic youths. (CopyKate)
With infectious zeal, adorable ruby-slippered Dorothy oozes Flemings' outre Zeitgeist. (Ravensegg)
Western? Yes, and the three Earps are really powerful. (Mnussbaum)

Zzzzzzzzzz. (QuipRosen; also Ravensegg)

Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.