Latest Film Reviews
The First Grader (2011)
The weakness of the film is in its blandness of character and obviousness of storytelling: it’s all kept storybook simple...
The Hustler (1961)
Compelling from start to finish...with heartfelt speeches and dialogues that disturb hidden depths and allow the truth to rise to the surface.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)
The cosmic equivalent of hearing a Homeric epic in ancient times: we thrill to the battles, we wait with bated breath for the appearance of our favorite characters, and we root for noble, righteous warriors.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
And thus the old joke has finally been fulfilled of someone pitching
Romeo and Juliet
to Hollywood and hearing in response, 'Couldn't they live at the end? I mean, it's kind of a downer.'
The Usual Suspects (1995)
While it's fair to call
The Usual Suspects
a gimmick in search of a movie, one could say something similar of, say, an Agatha Christie mystery.
I Am Number Four (2011)
No creative inspiration gets in the way of the beautiful people running and jumping and kissing while things go boom in the forgettable teen sci-fi actioner
I Am Number Four
The Company Men (2010)
The TV-bred Wells...has written and directed
The Company Men
without ever coloring outside the lines: it’s all a bit too neat and obvious and predictable.
Just Go with It (2011)
Adam Sandler movies are for everyone! Unless you’re ugly, uncool, old, fat, gay, non-white or, heaven help you, all of the above.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Though the story is pat...there's pleasure to be had in the memorable one-liners, the irreverent humor...and the Western action against the backdrop of frontier scenery.
Gods and Generals: Director's Cut (2002)
Succumbs to turgidity. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy.
Gettysburg: Director's Cut (1993)
wins the day by giving a detailed account of the three-day battle (for the first time in a feature film), shot on the actual locations where the events took place.
Grand Prix (1966)
Yes, the driving scenes dazzle, but Frankenheimer also embeds his 1966 Cinerama epic with some interesting commentary about risk-taking professions in general and the Formula One driver in particular.
Carion's film admirably resists overselling the material: it's an adult espionage film, with no comic-book theatrics.
The Double Hour (2011)
The ostensible genre elements that seem to pitch
The Double Hour
somewhere between crime film and ghost story begin to look like the stuff of an allegory about modern relationships and the fright of commitment.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Agreeable enough fare for families craving a little action, comedy, and action-comedy.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Functions better as an emotional drama than a history lesson...remains an important and, at times, profounding moving film.
Mao's Last Dancer (2010)
Like its defector hero,
Mao’s Last Dancer
is neither here nor there...determinedly dull, even in the flatly filmed ballet sequences.
The Terminator (1984)
A cyberpunk picture that flirts with emotional resonance but mostly focuses on the gut...testosterone-fueled, estrogen-boosted action melodrama.
Meek's Cutoff (2011)
An existential nightmare of maddening uncertainty, a notion only emphasized by Reichardt’s commitment to ambiguity.
Unfortunately, the film's postmodern staginess assists in keeping Porter endlessly at arm's length.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Branagh's highly entertaining and accessible take on one of the Bard's zestiest comedies.
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Sweet, sad and funny...an entertaining fable about the phenomenon of socially crippled singles.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
As a musical look at family, generational and cultural conflict, and faith,
Fiddler on the Roof
makes a virtue of its quaintness.
Benny & Joon (1993)
Any film that features Johnny Depp performing salutes to the great silent comedians (and, in particular, Buster Keaton) deserves a little slack...
Blue Valentine (2010)
A postmodern tragedy of two people at odds who are both right and both wrong in their argument, sharing responsibility for the birth and death of love.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Though the film's heart is in the right place, somehow it all winds up about as flat as one of the celebrated pies at Mystic Pizza.
Clobberin’ action, a touch of ’50s sci-fi, and a heaping portion of titan-clashing theatrics spell something a little different for the comic-book movie.
POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)
As a fast-food pitchwoman once asked, 'Where’s the beef?'
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)
A pointless, tired, sugary, pink and teal affront to Reese Witherspoon, Bob Newhart, any important political cause...
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
, and—oh, let's just say it—humanity.
Tron: Legacy/Tron (2010)
A touchstone in the development of CGI as a storytelling tool, and almost thirty years later...the basis for a surprising franchise revival, beginning with the big-budget theatrical sequel
Despite its exotic setting, the personal connection of Rio-bred director Carlos Saldanha, the odd eye-popping sequence, and a lot of literal color, the new CGI-animated
turns out to be figuratively colorless.
The Incredibles (2004)
An epic battle between conformity and exceptionality...which will be catnip for superhero buffs and a great time at the movies for everyone else.
Black Swan (2010)
most succeeds is in Aronofsky’s high-flying style, his approach to the story as a fever dream blurring the fine line between a performer playing a role and a psychotic succumbing to delusion.
Casino Jack (2010)
A mixture of light satire, light tragedy, political thriller, and domestic drama: a
of all trades, master of none.
Every Day (2011)
There's something oddly remote about
, which plays like a double-wide version of a perfectly acceptable Showtime pilot.
The Fighter (2010)
Doggedly obvious melodrama...But what makes the clichés palatable is a communal commitment to getting the story right.
Rain Man (1988)
There's something indelible about
, and not only to those of us who lived through the time when it was a zeitgeist movie.
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Took the world by storm with its strategy of sexual frankness and a towering performance by Marlon Brando.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)
A quickie sequel to a film released only last year,
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
surprisingly improves on its predecessor.
Wears its off-balance as a badge of pride.
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