Latest Film Reviews
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
The screenplay by playwright Jose Rivera skillfully translates the straightforward diaries into quietly compelling dramatic terms.
The Mother (2004)
Film too rarely dares to tread where classic modern drama lived at the turn of the century: states of complex and stormy emotional realism. Ibsen and Chekhov shone a harsh light on human foibles, and...
The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)
Puts Sean Penn through his actorly paces, which would be enough for most movies, but also intelligently explores the development of a [desperate] man.
The Woodsman (2004)
Raises a number of interesting and disturbing questions...[but] takes artistic and intellectual missteps...deserves some credit for its performances and provocation.
The Machinist (2004)
Though Brad Anderson's new film The Machinist proves a diverting exercise, it breaks no new ground in the psychological thriller genre. In fact, many viewers will get the nagging feeling that they've...
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005)
The gentle, G-rated documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill records the sort of story that used to simply pass into urban legend. In the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, one-time...
The Last Shot (2004)
Has the blunt energy of a teamster's truck taking on speed bumps...watch underrated actors Broderick and Baldwin try to outdo each other.
The Forgotten (2004)
Mood over matter...[If] a puzzle is more about spending time with the pieces than regarding the finished picture...you can enjoy
as a matinee trifle.
The Cookout (2004)
Jerryrigged out of painful stereotypes...so offensive, crude, and dumb that the occasional legitimate satire and good-natured family-values message are effectively negated.
The Brown Bunny (2004)
That Gallo's narrative never allows Daisy to be more than a foil for Bud betrays...that the director has it in for those darn women, leaving—well, a bad taste in our mouths.
Bride and Prejudice (2005)
Chadha has an eye for casting and visual color, and a knack for goosing the story along with modernized references...[and] musical numbers...
The Hitch pitch probably went something like this: Alfie meets Cyrano de Bergerac. Hitch is an urban fantasy, with florid observations about life and love ("Life is not the amount of breaths you take...
Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005)
Ever since 1966's animated short "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," Walt Disney Pictures has happily mined A.A. Milne's classic stories of the tight-knit (pardon the pun) community of lively stuff...
Born Into Brothels (2005)
An account of a random act of kindness more than it is an exposé of the red-light district....Kauffman and Briski illuminate the potential and promise inherent in any child.
Edited too spastically to be of any use....a slow-leaking tire which goes flat before we reach a destination.
Alone in the Dark (2005)
Dear Alone in the Dark, I'm afraid it's just not working out between us. It's not you, it's me. No, if I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, it is you. It's all the little things: your laughabl...
Rory O'Shea Was Here (a.k.a. Inside I'm Dancing) (2005)
Differently abled characters are too seldom portrayed on screen [but] the overall impression of the film is rather mawkishly obvious.
Conspiracy of Silence (2004)
Conspiracy of Silence
is well-meaning but has has no faith in its audience.
Aliens of the Deep (2005)
[Though] he's like the Joe Garagiola of the deep...Cameron's unadvisable whims are excusable: as a coffee table book,
Aliens of the Deep
is a beaut.
A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004)
Qualifies, barely, as a guilty pleasure...with its generous scrapbook of literary wisdom and pleasantly overcooked performances.
Hide and Seek (2005)
Hide and Seek
is trashy, but there's no fun to be had in its ugly child-endangerment psychoses....The hidden-in-plain-sight "secret": another crappy movie.
In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)
Skillfully paints a portrait of a reclusive and mysterious man by embracing his mystery and primarily letting [Darger], through his work, speak for himself.
Are We There Yet? (2005)
[Alternates] rocket-fueled slapstick with soft-piano sentiment....Then again, it's not every day you see Ice Cube, on a horse, charging after a train.
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
Plays more like
Die Hard 2
on a budget than a remake in spirit of Carpenter's scrappy original....When the remake is so flavorless...it's time to hit the video shelves.
Appurushîdo (Appleseed) (2005)
[A] warrior babe cradles [an] injured cyborg bunny in her arms and weeps for him. Take that,
Travellers and Magicians (2004)
A dual story of accidental spiritual journeys [that] illuminates storytelling's scriptural capacity to impart life lessons...a charming little film [to see] on a big screen.
Racing Stripes (2005)
While no one will walk out quoting killer punchlines, the requisite fart jokes and pop cultural references are slightly zestier than usual.
White Noise (2005)
As inherently unthrilling, incoherent, and unsatisfying as scrambled porn.
Beyond the Sea (2004)
Kevin Spacey's Beyond the Sea is a wonderful and terrible thing. Some will take to its old-school melodrama and movie-musical virtuosity. Cinematic dog-lovers will come to gawk. Either way, Spacey's...
In Good Company (2004)
Has a pleasant whiff of Capra about it, with its accessible story, good humor, and insinuating themes.
Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) (2004)
When Jeunet attempts to achieve dramatic heft, with no commensurate change in style, he falls distressingly short.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Million Dollar Baby
makes the line between subtle and obvious seem finer than it is, and delivers its one-two punches Old-Hollywood-style.
Writer-director David Mamet's unpleasantly truthful paranoid thriller Spartan should contribute to our turn-of-the-century zeitgeist as Alan J. Pakula's The Parallax View did to the post-Watergate '7...
Touching the Void (2004)
Early on in Touching the Void, Joe Simpson explains a basic principle of Alpine Style mountain climbing: "At some point, you're going to have to rely, wholly, on your partner." On that point turns Si...
Meet the Fockers (2004)
DeNiro is pretty much the only reason to see
Meet the Fockers
...[betrays] creative exhaustion.
Fat Albert (2004)
"Hey hey hey," Fat Albert exclaims, "How did I get this way?"
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.
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