Latest Film Reviews
Its goal is humble: to walk the line between bubblegum pop that indulges trends, and a halfhearted critique of shallowness. I don't think this is what feminists mean by 'having it all'...
The War (2007)
at times leaves one yearning for more intellectually curious analysis, it remains a potent emotional montage...
The Secret World of Arriety (2012)
That relaxed pace allows the story to breathe—forget the franticness of most American animation—and along with the gorgeously detailed art, lush color, and swoony music...the film is all but guaranteed to entrance children.
Bringing Down the House (2003)
You'll empathize with Plowright's appropriation from Dorothy Parker: 'What fresh hell is this?'
Dark Shadows (2012)
By asking the audience to take far too much on faith,
can only be an interesting failure.
Darling Companion (2012)
Currish...the film's niche audience is indiscriminate aging dog lovers; people lovers should look elsewhere.
Operation Condor 2: The Armour of God (1999)
Plenty fun: as per the Jackie Chan standard, it's total nonsense, but unpretentiously entertaining and occasionally ingenious.
A mood piece, as abstract and engrossing as the many Bach piano selections laid on the soundtrack.
The Avengers (2012)
It's quite possible that
has more action than any movie ever made...[but] for all its thrill-ride clutter,
is just about as simplistic as them fightin'-robot pictures...
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Pessimism, sweetness, raunch and loopiness make for a pleasantly offbeat blend.
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
The airy Novak makes a strong impression, Stewart's comic chops remain in fine fettle, and the distinctive supporting cast can't be beat...
This story framed as a historical account of the only woman to stand up to Napoleon doesn't quite conquer our interest, though it is itself an intriguing piece of Hollywood history due to the presence of Brando in an iconic role.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Those who identify as fans of the Halloween films will want to see Halloween: Resurrection, the eighth in the series; those who don't care about Halloween won't. That said, Halloween: Resurrection co...
Torchwood: Miracle Day (2011)
A reasonably entertaining miniseries...made with obvious attention to (if not always success in) pleasing genre fans.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
, a self-referential horror film that tongue-in-cheekily deconstructs its own genre.
War Horse (2011)
'How Green Was My Valley, How Smart Was My Horse.'
American Reunion (2012)
Predictability is the fatal flaw of any
sequel, and while this one comes closest in tone to the original film, that's a decidedly double-edged sword.
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Let me begin by saying something nice about Cameron Crowe’s
We Bought a Zoo
: kids will probably like it. Okay, that’s all I’ve got.
The Deep Blue Sea (2012)
This exquisite realization is as vital as can be in depicting the timeless tortures of the romantically damned.
Mirror Mirror (2012)
By toning down his excesses for a mass audience of largely children, the self-billed Tarsem hits his sweet spot, serving up lavish sets and costumes to create a fantasy world that doesn't make us want to scratch our eyeballs out.
Largely concerned with the prickliness and delicacy around legacy, and the attendant patrilineal complications...But it's as much about the egotism and dysfunction of academia, reflected in the complex personalities of Eliezer and Uriel.
Being Flynn (2012)
It's simply difficult to throw in with the film's reality-if not its essential story, then its details:
feels indie art-directed instead of observed.
That '70s Show: Season One (1998)
Though the jokes are strictly standard setup-punchline stuff, the cast brings a freshness to the material.
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Williams is better than the picture, but within the screenplay's constraints, she nails every possible nuance of physical and emotional expression. It's dazzling work, and reason alone to spend ninety-nine minutes 'with Marilyn.'
Happy Feet Two (2011)
'It brings out my happy.' For kids facing a potentially rough adulthood, it's probably a message worth hearing, maybe more than once.
Silent House (2012)
may be a built on a shaky foundation, but its scare tactics are sound, and its gimmickry is enough to stand out in a crowded genre neighborhood.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)
An annoying provocation with too little to say, a serious credibility deficit, a whiff of misandry, and a miscalculated, unseemly gusto for abusing its hero. Instead of having catharsis, the audience just gets had.
J. Edgar (2012)
Despite the odd sharp observation, somehow
comes off like the Max Fischer Players' production of
Take Shelter (2011)
A Rod Serling-esque social allegory for these days of economic collapse, environmental sea change, and increasing talk of 'end times.'
Malcolm X (1992)
Spike Lee called 1992's
'the picture I was born to make,' and star Denzel Washington referred to the titular civil-rights leader as 'the role of a lifetime.' They're both right...
Big Miracle (2012)
Perhaps the title sets an expectation Ken Kwapis’ movie can’t quite deliver.
The Big Year (2011)
If the mere mention of the blue-footed booby sends you into paroxysms,
The Big Year
is the film for you.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Intensely juvenile, casually sexist, and blatantly stupid in ways that few if any over the age of 'T for Teen' or bereft of a Y chromosome could enjoy.
The Grey (2012)
Though it does thrill with intense, close-cropped action photography, swift editing, and vivid sound design,
makes as much of an impression by being unexpectedly emotional.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)
Except as a tool for pediatric grief counseling,
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
amounts to a fetishization of its own trappings (the boy, NYC, 9/11) more interested in Oscar than Oskar.
Finds Soderbergh keeping it simple, stupid, by filling the story's hollowness with kick-butt action and elements of style.
The Moment of Truth (a.k.a. Il momento della verita) (1965)
This fable of the disposable performer rising above his class transcends ordinary fiction to be an expressive visual record of the art of bullfighting: primal, brutal, repellent and magnetic in equal measure.
A stylish genre exercise...one might just as well say the L.A. story unfolds at the corner of Michael Mann and David Lynch.
plays cleverly with the arcane mysteries of game theory, and if it's only a game, happily, it's one worthy of exhibition.
The Whistleblower (2011)
Condurache and Weisz’s 'small corrections' make a big difference in steering the movie right, enough to make
a decent entry in the genre of political passion plays.
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