Latest Film Reviews
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
When Jim Carrey's Count Olaf sizes up the three perpetually out-of-focus orphans in his musty foyer, he purrs, "I must say, you're a gloomy-looking bunch." The Baudelaire children, it seems, have los...
Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
Flatly retells a high-concept
adventure story that's hard to break, but easy to bleed of its significance.
is guiltily mesmerizing; if it's instructive at all, it's as a cautionary tale of the fatality of lost perspective.
[Despite] an identity crisis...a surprisingly subtle and pleasantly off-kilter comedy-drama.
Kinsey's many contradictions and awkward personality get full attention from Condon's clever treatment and Liam Neeson's best screen performance in years.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
Admirably scruffy in its droll comic pursuits, but has all the storytelling aplomb of a Sunday-funnies section.
Cachorro (Bear Cub) (2004)
The Spanish dramedy Bear Cub tells the story of Pedro, a gay Madrid dentist who slows down his swinging ways to care for his sister's son, Bernardo. On paper, Bear Cub sounds like a sickly sweet, con...
Blade: Trinity (2004)
Instead of building on its predecessors,
feels cheap, compromised, and plumb tuckered out.
28 Days Later (2003)
"The mystic chords of memory stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the organ when again tou...
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Symbolic martial arts romance...sex and death offer a freedom but also a finality...colorful, sumptuous, and often gorgeous.
is unavoidably a problematic epic, but it has integrity and deserves an audience willing to engage in Stone's dialogue.
Strangers becoming lovers, lovers becoming estranged: the paradox of oh-so-modern coupling keeps the home fires burning in Patrick Marber's astringent
Touch of Pink (2004)
What do you get if you cross Play It Again, Sam with The Birdcage? You might get Touch of Pink, Ian Iqbal Rashid's sweet and gentle farce about the trouble with maintaining illusions. Unfortunately,...
We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004)
We Don't Live Here Anymore
frames with precision emotional moments in the lives of people who build their own prisons and, over time, plot escapes.
She Hate Me (2004)
A reminder that Spike Lee is one of our great American filmmakers, unafraid to address, directly and artfully, contemporary issues in a context of national history.
Silver City (2004)
A pastiche of
and the deeply sarcastic ensemble satires of Robert Altman...Cooper's English-mangling version of George W. is a certified hoot
Finding Neverland (2004)
A missed opportunity...recommendable to audiences looking for a warm-hearted, tearjerking movie, but not terribly commendable for cineastes in search of a sophisticated film.
La Mala educación (Bad Education) (2004)
True to form, Almodóvar gets unimpeachable performances from his cast (particularly Bernal...) and paints his frames with gleefully lurid strokes.
Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
A mildly abrasive satire of America's holiday lockstepping [which backpedals] desperately into toothless humanism.
Callas Forever (2004)
sequences, though consistent with
's washed-out '70s look, have a beauty and immediacy which the rest of the film lacks.
Vera Drake (2004)
The austerity of the film's latter part might seem merely maudlin had Leigh not so carefully established that life goes on in and around the film's central polemic.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Oscar winner Jim Broadbent turns up long enough to say, "I wish I was dead."
Lightning in a Bottle (2004)
Though many of the performers aren't, or arguably aren't, blues artists (but rather soul, R and B, or even folk artists)...a cheap seat for a fun-filled, big-ticket event.
After the Sunset (2004)
The plotting of this otherwise workmanlike comedy-adventure is as fundamentally ridiculous as it is predictable and lacking in tension.
smacks its dog with a rolled-up newspaper and then feels guilty about it. This one has star power and nothing else, y'know what I mean?
Saw opens with fair warning in the form of a production company logo for Twisted Pictures. Razor-sharp barbed wire twists into the center of the frame, where an iron spike impales the wire. No rain...
Being Julia (2004)
Not the stodgy costume drama it may appear to be...To Bening's triumph, the audience can only love Julia, warts and all, by picture's end.
No one in the film comes across as a flesh-and-blood character...
is overdressed with nowhere to go.
Worth seeing, mostly for its colorful period design and lively musical numbers, but this version of the "official story" takes some wrong turns.
Surviving Christmas (2004)
Some sort of Martian comedy hell I was doomed to misunderstand...like watching Ben Affleck burn Stanislavsky in effigy for ninety minutes.
Carruth's worthy entry in the
Blair Witch Project
sweepstakes is inordinately clever in making the most of modest resources.
Team America: World Police (2004)
Parker and Stone unleash the Jerry Bruckheimer id with the movie we all know Hollywood would seriously like to make...cannot be denied its humorous high points.
Stage Beauty (2004)
17th Century blogger Samuel Pepys called stage actor Edward Kynaston 'the loveliest lady that ever I saw'. Ned Kynaston's career playing women ended abruptly when King Charles II decreed that women,...
Shall We Dance? (2004)
Miramax's remake of their 1996 Japanese import Shall We Dance is ostensibly about romance and magic but actually about maximum exploitation of the property, done up in all the Hollywood trimmings. Ri...
Feux rouges (Red Lights) (2004)
bristles with subcutaneous fear at signals which Hollywood thrillers routinely run.
is some kind of triumph of personal expression [but] also maddening at times in Caouette's lack of restraint...defiantly [is] what it is: one of a kind.
Shark Tale (2004)
Is the fish fresh?...
believes it can foist off high-speed energy in the place of wit.
Ladder 49 (2004)
Conventional, lacking in depth, and reliant on the artifical tension of action scenes to goose along an otherwise watchable but dull movie.
Hearts and Minds (1974)
Elicits a palpable emotional and intellectual effect...strikes the same sad note of discord forty years later.
World War II and its attendant local metaphors serve as MacGuffins for a quiet tale of two people, if only Trojan would keep his focus on them.
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