Latest Film Reviews
Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) (2006)
Carion old-fashions the true story of the 1914 Christmas truce into sentimental melodrama....it's easy to imagine the story being told more effectively with less labor.
Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days) (2006)
Rothemund's film, like last year's
, benefits from its scrupulous treatment of history and generally restrained performances.
16 Blocks (2006)
The grabber premise of trying to evade a cordon of enemies to transport a man just 16 blocks runs low on ingenuity at the halfway point, bogging down in a too-familiar hostage standoff.
A character plans out a 42-hour-and-11 minute journey accompanied by a 16-CD soundtrack....
feels every bit as long and music-saturated...
Buster Keaton Collection (DVD Compilation) (2006)
Keaton's Columbia shorts inspire a certain amount of sympathy and ruefulness at a star's misuse, but also inspiration as Keaton occasionally spins gold out of chaff.
Oliver Twist (2005)
With intelligence and style (inspired by the art of Gustave Doré and Francisco Solé), Polanski makes a rewarding contribution to Dickens' legacy on screen.
La Bête humaine (1938)
[Renoir's] expertise behind the camera--and his driving curiosity for human constructs and human nature...elevate
La bete humaine
to an unforgettable filmic experience.
Running Scared (2006)
Kramer stokes kinetic energy and hard-R intensity...may amount to no more than a punch to the gut, but...it's all in bad fun.
When Trudell expounds on his political philosophies, the film is fascinating, but Rae lets style obscure substance.
The unabashed melodrama of the flashbacks and present-day climax can't compete with the theatrical oomph provided by Douglas and Marasco...at the picture's spine.
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2006)
More movie-biz spoof than postmodern adaptation of the novel, but Winterbottom's film miraculously succeeds in doing both goals a degree of justice.
Unknown White Male (2006)
Gives a sturdy treatment to an inherently fascinating story.
That Man: Peter Berlin (2006)
An intriguing portrait of what happens to a pretty boy as he ages, That Man: Peter Berlin catches up with the pornographic gay icon who specialized in self-portraiture. His distinctive image as a tor...
When a Stranger Calls (2006)
Download the trailer. It's cheaper, quicker, and efficiently shows you everything you think you want to see from the movie.
Eight Below (2006)
Marshall sort of gets away with murder by walking the line of pitiless Antarctic cold and family-film warmth.
The uncommon flavor and unconventional rhythms of Price's writing make
Final Destination 3 (2006)
Morgan and Wong's snarky iterations on their initial premise don't show much development...a fair diversion but, make no mistake, a waste of time.
Curious George (2006)
The skillful 2D-CGI animation hybrid starts out charmingly enough, with cute sight gags and general monkeying around, but...even kids may lose interest in the labored story.
Play[s] it safe...to sit through this home-invasion scenario yet again, I think we're owed a dead kid. Or at least a contusion. Maybe lightly stun the dog? Toss us a bone here!
A Good Woman (2006)
Strained of much of its Englishness...
A Good Woman
earns most of its good will from those Wildean epigrams.
Sincere performances--under the director's sympathetic eye--allow humanity to overshadow the machinery of plot.
Big Momma's House 2 (2006)
Is it too much to hope that the sequel will be "Nanny McPhee vs. Big Momma"? Just asking...
Roving Mars (2006)
The latest IMAX extravaganza, Roving Mars tells a NASA success story (whew!), writ large on giant screens, with sound effects you can—at least during the launch sequence—literally feel. W...
A corny, eighties throwback, with thematic mushiness, regressive sexual politics, and cheesy montages to match.
After Innocence (2005)
A growing cause celebre in the U.S. is the plight of the innocent inmate. With over 150 U.S. exonerees thus far counted, Barry Sheck and The Innocence Project toil on behalf of exhausted clients who...
Imagine Me & You (2006)
The empty-headed Imagine Me & You is a lesbianism-at-first-sight romantic comedy. The entire picture hinges on that first sight, which writer-director Ol Parker frankly botches. Piper Perabo and...
Nanny McPhee (2006)
Thompson can't or won't diverge much from standard fairy-tale plotting, but enlivens the familiar situation comedy with some pleasingly tart lines.
The New World (2005)
Reveries and fever dreams of early America--Malick casts not for dry history but a psychic projection of spirit from beyond the centuries.
Underworld: Evolution (2006)
Underworld: Evolution will probably please the presumable fans of the first film, but newcomers may nap through the convoluted exposition. The latest in Goth fashions, Len Wiseman's amped-up sequel a...
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
The essentially sanctified Melquiades...is the least developed character...Jones and Arriaga instead focus on the redemption of Estrada's white neighbors.
The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2006)
Too much of this self-congratulatory one-man-show in the guise of a documentary remains real...muddy.
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2006)
Albert Brooks has always spun gold from self-absorption and gulfs of misunderstanding.
Though the acts don't have the heft required for concert-film greatness, they do comprise a sort of screen capture of the decade's musical movement.
In the callused hands of director David Mackenzie...the rigorously tough-minded
lives up to its potential as a modern masterpiece of psychological terror.
Following Sean (2006)
Without belaboring his narrative shaping, Arlyck asks big questions about life paths and philosophical drift.
Too seldom clever, too often tiresomely busy, and wasteful of its voice cast, it's
that is the crime.
Glory Road (2006)
When coach Don Haskins sent out five African-American starters to face off against an all-white Wildcat team, barriers were broken, but
just hits the wall.
Tristan + Isolde (2006)
Bypasses the mythic tone of Richard Wagner's opera...without forsaking storybook romance. The inoffensive results get the job done, but sadly fail to excite.
Hustle & Flow (2005)
Howard's work as Djay is sort of dazzling, but his character's unrelentingly selfish behavior makes audience identification an uphill battle.
The Matador (2005)
Writer-director Richard Shepard speeds through the hairpin turns of a pure-comedy 'what if?' premise....as quirkily suspenseful as it is ticklish.
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