Latest Film Reviews
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.
Rapturous cinema of the senses...proves once again that nobody does swoony romantic longing, and heartache, like Wong Kar-Wai.
Going Shopping (2005)
Like the funky little shop at its heart,
may not look like much from its exterior, but a little browsing turns up unexpected treasures.
Save the Tiger (1973)
Lemmon turns in showy, theatrical work that's appropriate to the not-terribly subtle film around him, but the whole enterprise is one that's best avoided...
Ellie Parker (2005)
Watts' performance is brave and jazzy, but Coffey's riffing lacks lasting impact.
The Universal Studios brand famously adorns the best Hollywood monster movies. Now two men named Lee have joined forces to reinvent the monster movie and the comic-book movie in one collective stroke...
Mysterious Skin (2005)
Araki embraces the mysteries of human sexuality with a refreshing lack of hysteria and a brace of empathy.
Diverting and well-acted...There are eight million stories in the naked city, and
is five of them.
Like the rest of Johnston's oeuvre, Jumanji puts vivid characters through paces that will quicken any child's pulse.
Just Friends (2005)
Brush aside the pratfalls, cheap-shot fat jokes, and creative variety of crotch attacks, and what's left? Not a lick of emotional sense.
Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)
Plays like a giant warning to get out of town before
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
[Afield] from its off-Broadway origins, but the intimacy afforded by the camera and...most of the original cast occasionally restore the emotional vitality of the piece.
Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
Though Agrelo blunts the competitive drama by visually excluding the opposition, the kids' talent and infectious spirit carries the day for
Mad Hot Ballroom
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Wright's ability to evoke sympathy for even the marginal characters--partly by exercising ingeniously economical staging to catch them in private moments--distinguishes this
Pride & Prejudice
Ballets Russes (2005)
The utterly charming dance-history doc Ballets Russes traces the legendary ballet company from its 1909 inception to its 1962 dissolution. Clearly, the Ballets Russes, in its various incarnations, re...
Chicken Little (2005)
Far more manic than funny,
tries to spin the kiddie standard about a little chick convinced the sky is falling into a depressingly "hip," Shreky-green comedy act.
Bee Season (2005)
Myla Goldberg's novel Bee Season becomes one of the fall's funkiest pictures, as directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel. A husband, wife, teenage son, and 11-year-old daughter comprise the appare...
Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)
On the evidence of Jumanji and its sideways sequel Zathura, children's author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg has a thing for exorcising childhood trauma by elaborately laying waste to family home...
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)
Writer-director Shane Black's Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Black wrote the influential buddy-cop movie Lethal Weapon and the underlooked The Long Kiss Goodnight, but also overkilled with the profane The Las...
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)
Triumphant coming-of-age drama (complete with horses!) [aimed] at little girls and their captive-audience fathers.
North Country (2005)
Feature films about sexual harassment are hardly a dime a dozen, so Niki Caro's
—gawky though it may be at times—comes as welcome.
Quality of Life (2005)
Benjamin Morgan's provocative debut Quality of Life is a true San Francisco movie. Shot and edited in the Mission District, this fly-on-the-wall drama about graffiti writers makes brilliant use of lo...
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