Latest Film Reviews
The Skeleton Key (2005)
Ghosts threaten to make matters miserable for the living, sort of like
The Skeleton Key
. As Peter Sarsgaard says...too convincingly, 'All I know is the checks clear.'
The Ring Two (2005)
A sketchy horror plot slips from episode to episode with no particular momentum. As far as I can tell, Kruger made a list of scares, and Nakata ticked them off.
The Producers (2005)
Not for the resolutely politically correct or the shtick-averse. For everyone else, it's the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
Family-friendly films for girls...[usually] drip with phony commercialism and pettiness of character; by comparison,
is not only a class-act, but a godsend.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)
Thoughtful and energetic....Anderson has in Ryan's story a bittersweet exemplar for the unsung toil and love of prefeminist desperate housewives...
The Perfect Man (2005)
Who would've thought...that the certifiably awful/unaccountably popular Hilary Duff was daring enough to make a movie about having a lesbian relationship with her mother?
The Pacifier (2005)
To those who think critics are too hard on movies...I ask, can you tell the difference between a
School of Rock
? Family films don't have to suck.
The Man (2005)
I bow to the Buddha nature of Jackson and Levy....the average moviegoer in me can see the entertainment value in
. Just not $9 bucks worth.
The Man Who Copied (2005)
An unconventional romance...a complex crime movie, and a jaunty comedy...few will leave this stylish, adventurous film wanting for entertainment.
The Longest Yard (2005)
Just remember kids: as fun as it all seems, fast food, soda, candy, binge drinking, reckless driving, steroids, dirty ball and, well, yes, Adam Sandler movies are bad for you.
The Jacket (2005)
That Maybury's film avoids easy categorization (and the increasingly cheap twistiness of today's psychological horror thrillers) is one of its finest points.
The Island (2005)
Dimwitted, action-flailing mediocrity....Michael Bay...[said,] "I always say, '**** the critics'"...I'll tell you what I always say: "Michael Bay is a tool."
The Interpreter (2005)
A second-rate morality play, with red herrings and MacGuffins shoring up a tower of Babel. Do yourself a favor and rent
Death and the Maiden
The Ice Harvest (2005)
Zesty enough to make the ol' noir two-step seem worthwhile.
The Honeymooners (2005)
, though not bad, is hardly ever good, either.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Audiences can be grateful for the unique absurdist dimensions and freewheeling irreverence of Adams, which place the film in its own category of science-fiction comedy.
The Great Raid (2005)
Okay, so [it's] the hokiest war movie in the last 35 years....Bottom line: is the raid great? The answer is "yes," qualified by the film's unearned 132-minute running time.
The Edukators (a.k.a. Die Fetten Jahre sind vorbei) (2005)
Weingartner proves too ready to pat his inner rebels on their backs....[but asks] provocative questions about liberal revolt...and the effect of age on ideology.
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Remember: friends don't let friends go to
The Dukes of Hazzard
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Horror-punk, outlaw entertainment, an exploitation pic with a '70s aesthetic and endless scenarios of white-trash unpleasantness....[not for] Merchant-Ivory fans.
The Deal (2005)
Why would The Deal—a hot-button, Christian Slater conspiracy thriller about Arab-American war, oil reserves, and Wall Street skullduggery—slink into town from a little-known distributor?...
The Constant Gardener (2005)
A bit staid in its thriller mechanics...[but] engaging in its drama, amusing in its fragments of bone-dry wit, and suspenseful in its dual mystery.
The Cave (2005)
Now that Hollywood has manufactured enough
clones to fill a wall at Blockbuster, who needs another?
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Easy to recommend but hard to love, distinguished by Gilliam's extravagant and funny style, but compromised by creative warfare and budgetary limitations.
The Beautiful Country (2005)
If Moland is a bit more interested in romantic melodrama than anthropology, the plight of the refugee still makes the intended emotional impact.
The Baxter (2005)
is hobbled, and all Showalter has is his concept.
The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)
Miller freely uses the unusual as an allegory for the most usual of subjects: parentage and the rocky path from childhood to adulthood.
The Aristocrats (2005)
Gilbert Gottfried's version at a Friar's Roast just after 9/11 reminds us that irony will never be dead. It's the role of comedy to test our ...boundaries of comfort.
The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D (2005)
The injury of 3D eyestrain [adds] to the insult of garish production design...[looks] like a 94—minute Saturday-morning commercial for Marshmallow Toast Crunch...
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
Sweet and raunchy in equal measure, which I suppose makes it the aged-to-perfection version of
De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) (2005)
[Audiard's] hamhanded touch with the obviously symbolic plot elements results in a static accounting of polar personal themes...lacks spontaneity, authenticity, or suspense.
Les Choristes (The Chorus) (2004)
A conspicuously charming kids' film [but] adults who slobber over
are kidding themselves if they think it's sophisticated, realistic, or original.
Dopo Mezzanotte (After Midnight) (2004)
A beautiful and beguiling film about love, cinema, and love of cinema...has the quirky, breezy quality of a bicycle ride by night.
Paper Clips (2004)
Has powerful moments, mostly courtesy of the Holocaust survivors, but the interviews and narration sound overly coached, and...the film is given to repetitive overstatement.
Politiki kouzina (A Touch of Spice) (2004)
The Greek-Turkish co-production A Touch of Spice has a lot on its plate. In my neck of the woods, Greece's official selection for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Oscar is getting a Thanksgiving-week o...
Cirque du Soleil: Anniversary Collection—1984-2005 (DVD Box Set) (2005)
A bargain for lovers of splashy, outre entertainment.
Coach Carter (2005)
A rather exceptionally counter-cultural "teen movie"...raises authentic youth concerns and answers them with convincing integrity.
Saint Ralph (2005)
Light lessons about pain, endurance, and commitment...Likeable to a point, but in the end,
winds up incredible, manipulative, and strictly for the choir.
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
A bloated melodrama more interested in poses than inner lives (according to some Japanese-culture-vultures, it gets the poses wrong, too).
Bad News Bears (2005)
Profanity does not a creatively satisfying comedy make....slim characterization and an overfamiliar premise...[relegate]
to lazy, hazy, summer-daze mediocrity.
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