April 17, 2006 12:00 PM

On a Clear Day
Not to be confused with the similarly titled, silly 1970 Barbra Streisand musical about reincarnation, this small, affecting drama is about a middle-aged Scotsman (Peter Mullan, left) who, after being laid off from his longtime job at a Glasgow shipyard, decides to swim the English Channel. He keeps his plan secret from his loving wife (Brenda Blethyn) and estranged adult son (Jamie Sives). Without pushing too hard, Day manages to earn both laughs and a tear or two. (PG-13)

Free Zone
Natalie Portman (center), born in Jerusalem in real life, returns to star in an uneven drama about an American traveling to Jordan’s free zone (where Arabs and Israelis come to buy and sell cars). Her driver is an Israeli (Hanna Laslo) and, once there, the pair are joined by a Palestinian woman (Hiam Abbass). Obviously intended as an allegory, the film is at its best when characters actually interact. (Not rated)

95 Miles to Go
This no-frills documentary accompanies Everybody Loves Raymond’s Ray Romano (near left, with director pal Tom Caltabiano) on an eight-day road trip from Miami to Atlanta for stand-up concert dates. Romano, who dislikes flying, rents a car and drives between gigs, joking and scarfing fast food all the way. He comes off as an essentially nice guy, albeit a tad neurotic (don’t ask him to pick up litter). (Not rated)

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