Latest Film Reviews
Fantastic Four (2005)
So much...is bungled with inept storytelling and watered-down dialogue, and Story is so powerless to right the course, that
winds up more dopey than fun.
Le Vieil homme et l'enfant (a.k.a. The Two of Us) (1967)
A story that hasn't gone out of style....Perhaps Berri spoke for himself through the old man's self-summation: 'I don't have a church bell for a heart, but I respect life.'
is sort of imaginative and considerably scattershot....succeeded only in making me groggy.
Never less than intriguing, and often adrenalized....[depicts] men who live harder than most "able-bodied" individuals.
Dark Water (2005)
doesn't run deep....Salles keeps his head above [it]...with superior acting, mise en scene, story, script, and photography.
War of the Worlds (2005)
Has all the mechanized ingenuity of one of those dazzling Tripods, but the bigger they are....it's the gutless ending that renders
War of the Worlds
In My Country (a.k.a. Country of My Skull) (2005)
A wasted opportunity to tell in filmic terms two important histories: the crimes of apartheid and the love with which they were answered.
Coming soon to a theatre near you: "Water Wings," with Adam Sandler coaching a swim team, and "With a Paddle," starring Eddie Murphy as a ping-pong coach.
George A. Romero's Land of the Dead (2005)
Romero delivers the satire and the gory action...[but this] isn't the masterpiece the posters claim. Still, lackluster Romero is better than no Romero at all...
Dance as an expression of the African collective unconsciousness, an expression of the anger born of oppression, and an expression of faith to overcome hardship.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
As needless remakes go, Dawn of the Dead ain't half bad. George Romero's 1979 original was a B-movie masterpiece blending brutal terror and sick humor. If Zack Snyder's "re-envisioning" "improves" on...
March of the Penguins (2005)
This G-rated charmer will make a guiltless and educational outing for parents of grade-schoolers...even if it does tenaciously anthropomorphize the cute, wee wobblers.
Der Tunnel (The Tunnel) (2005)
Overlong and a bit overcooked...but it's also properly grueling.
Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
Herbie: Fully Loaded
, with its emotional-roller-coaster story beats, will work like gangbusters with kids.
Man with the Screaming Brain (2005)
Cranial scars; a robot in a yellow jumpsuit; gypsy thugs; catfights; Ted Raimi doing hip-hop; a mauve, tasseled Vespa; and a salad bar....C'mon: you know you want it.
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
How bearable you'll find [the film] has everything to do with your tolerance for stylized indie poetry, played mostly in a quirky, anesthetized deadpan.
My Summer of Love (2005)
Press and Blunt['s] characterizations are expressively detailed and never rely on declamatory dialogue or excessive behavior.
Batman Begins (2005)
The ne plus ultra of comic-book films...an appropriately tough movie, busy but efficient, rich and thoughtful, and ornamented with visual appeal and exciting action.
Ozon presents no easy answers, but his often incisive "show, don't tell" character study makes touching emotional observations of marital folly.
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire (2005)
Many saw Hotel Rwanda, the docudramatic tale that celebrated local hero Paul Rusesabagina. Peter Raymont's documentary Shake Hands with the Devil covers similar ground, but traffics in ambiguity. It...
Hauru no ugoku shiro (Howl's Moving Castle) (2005)
Alice in Wonderland
puckishness in its characters and their absurd situations, and an underlying spiritual calm [unlike] the usual animated franticness.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
has a one-joke premise, and it's one we've seen before....But Liman fights valiantly to sustain the newfangled comic tango and largely succeeds.
King of the Corner (2005)
A modest film, and a messy one...about a modest, messy life...Reigert and Shapiro mine delicate humor from unpleasant situations.
Layer Cake (2005)
always pulls itself up by its bootsraps whenever its energy threatens to flag.
Lords of Dogtown (2005)
It's hard to shake the feeling that Hardwicke's film is a stunt itself, with talented young actors dolled up in skater drag to peddle Peralta's...self-mythology.
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
Two flop sequels to William Friedkin's 1973 fright classic The Exorcist—one in 1977 and one in 1990--should have been enough to convince Warner Brothers to leave well enough alone. Now, the pre...
I see no compelling reason to begrudge the kiddies of this mostly amiable timewaster, but this one's hardly destined to join the crowded top shelf of animated winners.
Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith (2005)
So sound in its construction and...[its] space-operatic catharsis that even the nitpickiest fanboy will likely adopt a humbly mumbled "All is forgiven" as a daily mantra.
Ladies in Lavender (2005)
Dance allows Dench to overact her lovestruck nervousness...By the time he stages a hay-baling montage, you'll have had enough of this close-but-no-cigar misfire.
House of Wax (2005)
A roughhouse between the Hayes's dingbatty script...and director Sera's winking and surprisingly skillful treatment of it...ultimately disappointing.
Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling (2005)
Too shapeless...but the topic is worthy, and the onslaught of trivia and quirky anecdotes hold interest for the film's 75 minutes.
The Dickensian trials of a poor shackled martial artist, but save your great expectations for the next summer action movie.
"At the end of the day, building a better mousetrap is just mechanics." Within that comment is the philosophy of director Renny Harlin...you'd best lower your expectations.
Kicking and Screaming (2005)
Something happens halfway through the movie: star Will Ferrell cuts loose...Suddenly, we're in a cauldron of blood and coffee and Gatorade.
Kings & Queen (2005)
Arnaud Desplechin's domestic comedy-drama spins emotions like plates in a variety show.
If you've ever wondered what Jane Fonda would look like while scaring off a bear, the ghastly
is the movie for you.
Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones (2002)
It's impossible...to dismiss a film with this much
: exotic production design, imaginative characters, and a wide variety of digital jedi fu.
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Begin by blaming leads that lack charisma outside of their model bodies, move on to the cheap technique of pounding soundtrack blasts...arrive at the comically clichéd script.
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2004)
Radford takes a stylish but decidedly low-key tack, demanding naturalist acting to crawl under the viewer's skin.
Todd Solondz is a man of many contradictions. Perhaps the pushme-pullyou nature of Palindromes, then, makes it the ultimate Solondz expression of his need to take his comedy black and his refusal to...
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