Latest Film Reviews
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
The latest workmanlike entry in what must be regarded as an unprecedented film series has plenty of flaws, but also the franchise's reliable draws.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Emerson said, 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,' but in this franchise--where you’re likely to spot a hobgoblin or two--the consistency isn’t foolish but miraculous.
Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... - Season Two (2011)
Features the leading light of popular music today, Elvis Costello, as host and regular perfomer.
Reflects Roeg's views of the absurdity of American history and our compulsion to destroy beauty.
The Makioka Sisters (1983)
Well acted by a strong ensemble,
The Makioka Sisters
quietly, steadily (and almost imperceptibly as it happens) endears us to these women, investing us in their varied fates.
Cedar Rapids (2011)
Detailed and consistently funny observation of small-town sincerity muddling through a dog-eat-dog world.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
It's one thing to make a film that's violent and profane; it's another to make one that's a moral black hole, and to do it because black looks cool.
The Trip (2011)
Reunites the delectable pair of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, real-life actor-comic friends who play versions of themselves to highly amusing and oddly wistful effect.
Cuts the whimsy with melancholy...its case of the cutes isn’t terminal.
Being Human: Season Three (2011)
Turner's character of Mitchell, a century-old vampire, gets a go-for-broke story arc that sends him off in a satisfying way.
The Misfits (1961)
Deconstructs Hollywood's cowboy myth with a mythic Hollywood cast: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift.
Death at a Funeral (2007)
Proves you can spell funeral without 'fun.'
A not-bad thriller starring Liam Neeson. If that sounds like faint praise, it is, but at least this overgrown 'B'-movie tickles the brain just a tad...
Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Neuron-rotting brain candy: an empty action exercise made up of empty calories. That'd be fine, if only it were sweet.
Throbs with a simple truthfulness...Loach shows his complimentary interest in documentary-influenced social realism and the improvisational search for the authentic.
Super 8 (2011)
Let's be honest: the b.s. sci-fi plot is so much empty machinery, which becomes steadily more apparent as the film wends its way toward a heavy-metal climax that's narratively and emotionally questionable.
It's all here: the famous Bill Conti fanfare, the 'Gonna Fly Now' training montage, the inevitable 'David and Goliath' climax.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The preeminent comedy of anima...effervescent and breezily paced, from the car-chase opening to the big finish capped with one of the all-time-great punchlines.
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Has the distinction of including not one, but two of the greatest screen performances of all time...undeniably one of the most gut-churning emotional experiences of 1990s cinema...
Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season (2011)
This most unusual dramedy of errors is one of the most riveting hours on television...
continues to shock and delight.
Remains an intriguing blend of the political and the personal, with Stone turning his memories and his opinions about Vietnam into potent drama.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
Kipling's exhilarating and disconcerting tale of high adventure...
The First Grader (2011)
The weakness of the film is in its blandness of character and obviousness of storytelling: it’s all kept storybook simple...
The Hustler (1961)
Compelling from start to finish...with heartfelt speeches and dialogues that disturb hidden depths and allow the truth to rise to the surface.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)
The cosmic equivalent of hearing a Homeric epic in ancient times: we thrill to the battles, we wait with bated breath for the appearance of our favorite characters, and we root for noble, righteous warriors.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
And thus the old joke has finally been fulfilled of someone pitching
Romeo and Juliet
to Hollywood and hearing in response, 'Couldn't they live at the end? I mean, it's kind of a downer.'
The Usual Suspects (1995)
While it's fair to call
The Usual Suspects
a gimmick in search of a movie, one could say something similar of, say, an Agatha Christie mystery.
I Am Number Four (2011)
No creative inspiration gets in the way of the beautiful people running and jumping and kissing while things go boom in the forgettable teen sci-fi actioner
I Am Number Four
The Company Men (2010)
The TV-bred Wells...has written and directed
The Company Men
without ever coloring outside the lines: it’s all a bit too neat and obvious and predictable.
Just Go with It (2011)
Adam Sandler movies are for everyone! Unless you’re ugly, uncool, old, fat, gay, non-white or, heaven help you, all of the above.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Though the story is pat...there's pleasure to be had in the memorable one-liners, the irreverent humor...and the Western action against the backdrop of frontier scenery.
Gods and Generals: Director's Cut (2002)
Succumbs to turgidity. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy.
Gettysburg: Director's Cut (1993)
wins the day by giving a detailed account of the three-day battle (for the first time in a feature film), shot on the actual locations where the events took place.
Grand Prix (1966)
Yes, the driving scenes dazzle, but Frankenheimer also embeds his 1966 Cinerama epic with some interesting commentary about risk-taking professions in general and the Formula One driver in particular.
Carion's film admirably resists overselling the material: it's an adult espionage film, with no comic-book theatrics.
The Double Hour (2011)
The ostensible genre elements that seem to pitch
The Double Hour
somewhere between crime film and ghost story begin to look like the stuff of an allegory about modern relationships and the fright of commitment.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Agreeable enough fare for families craving a little action, comedy, and action-comedy.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Functions better as an emotional drama than a history lesson...remains an important and, at times, profounding moving film.
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.
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