Latest Film Reviews
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.
The Man From Nowhere (2010)
Seen in a forgiving light, it's a perfectly acceptable way to scratch your action-movie itch, but anyone feeling such a tingle will also have to concede that
The Man From Nowhere
never met a cliché it didn't embrace.
The Music Never Stopped (2011)
Skews to fantasy over fact, but when it blinks at you with those puppy-dog eyes, just see if you don't sniffle.
Colin & Brad: Two Man Group (2011)
Mochrie's skill at mime is nearly matched by his encyclopedic, happily groan-inducing punnery, while Sherwood has a penchant for zingers and a well-honed sense of the absurd.
Four Lions (2010)
Audacious...As much in the Ealing tradition as the
posits terrorists on a spectrum of dimwitted to moronic when it comes to the understanding of their cause and its effect.
It would be easy to be cynical about
, the Walt Disney-produced film that launched a thousand anthropomorphic animal movies. But its pre-ironic simplicity has, in many ways, only improved with age.
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
As interpreted by first-time director George Nolfi (screenwriter of
The Bourne Ultimatum
), Dick's story transforms into an endearingly silly allegory of the mysterious interaction of free will and fate.
I suspect the young'uns will...take a shine to the hero of
: a chameleon that's part Kermit the Frog, part street-corner kook (and all Johnny Depp, who supplies the often hilarious voice).
127 Hours (2010)
Like Ralston, Boyle is an adrenaline junkie, and the film's opening moments establish the searching energy of filmmaker and subject.
Even the Rain (2011)
Though obvious, Bollaín's morality tale dramatizes vital issues facing the global economy, forcing the audience to experience them on a human level.
Au revoir, les enfants (1987)
As ever, Malle's sensitivity is supreme and his delicate style evocative.
Made in Dagenham (2010)
While the story of these striking seat-cover seamstresses is well worth telling (and sadly still relevant, given the need for last year’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), screenwriter William Ivory and director Nigel Cole...do not tell it well.
The Tourist (2010)
Venice is pretty alright, but like its namesake (or, for that matter, like a kidney stone),
is just passing through.
The promise of extraordinary brain power isn't fulfilled.
The Tillman Story (2010)
It's no mistake that the film's (anti-)resolving image is a statue of Tillman, frozen in time as a heroic but Sphynx-like riddle.
Writer Paddy Chayevsky's prescient 1976 satire of lies, injustice and the American way...has lost none of its sting.
Still Walking (2009)
Taking place over little more than a day in the life of a family, Kore-eda's film locates the profound in the mundane.
All site content © 2000-2014 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 12/18/2014 03:20:38AM.