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Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle

  1. 360 2012 Much like its own characters, it dithers too much - and it dares too little. full review
  2. Arbitrage 2012 Features an exceedingly dapper Richard Gere in a series of nice suits and handsome close-ups that serve no purpose other than to remind us how exceedingly dapper Richard Gere looks in nice suits and handsome close-ups. full review
  3. Marvel's The Avengers 2012 Whedon, a pop-genre magician best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is a master of viewer manipulation - because he never gives up his own seat in the crowd. full review
  4. Casa de mi padre 2012 It's really strange, and it's really subtitled. full review
  5. Compliance 2012 We feel like gutless witnesses to a crime. full review
  6. Dark Horse 2012 [Solondz] pulls one too many narrative stunts, with one too many dream sequences, calling into question the reality of everything that's happened - including that soap-operatic finale. full review
  7. God Bless America 2012 In this "Falling Down" of pop-cultural observation, Goldthwait forgets the thrill of the chase; he's more concerned with piercing verbal barbs than actual suspense. full review
  8. The Grey 2012 A handsome but gabby take on the standard survivalist thriller that's more concerned with lofty metaphysics than which poor blockhead is about to bite it next. full review
  9. How to Survive a Plague 2012 When it's over, this documentary lingers as a testament to extraordinary human bravery. It stands as one of the most heartbreaking and suspenseful sagas of the year. full review
  10. The Imposter 2012 This is as much a film about self-deception as it is about deception, and as such, it is a study in pain. full review
  11. The Invisible War 2012 It is far too difficult to watch. Which means we must. full review
  12. L!fe Happens 2012 Coiro ... mixes an off-beat premise and smart, spiky dialogue with the tired old rhythms of a standard romantic comedy. full review
  13. Last Call at the Oasis 2012 One can argue the movie's finer points, but in the end, there's no escaping its creeping pile-up of evidence that Mother Earth is critically dehydrated - and we need to do something, fast. full review
  14. The Queen of Versailles 2012 Through a clear lens unclouded by politics or blame, it offers insight into the hazardous American practice of living beyond our means. full review
  15. Red Lights 2012 By strict definition, any movie featuring Robert De Niro as a spoon-bending clairvoyant superstar ought to hold a few cards up its sleeve. full review
  16. Sleepwalk With Me 2012 It all adds up to a fine, funny exercise in disheveled self-deprecation: a self-portrait of a guy who can't control a major portion of his life. full review
  17. War of the Buttons 2012 It does not attempt to provide a complete or even vaguely realistic depiction of the rural French resistance in the endgame to World War II. full review
  18. Extract 2009 Extract isn't an instant classic, but it bumps along agreeably, its humor culled from serial bad decisions, mock-romantic discontent and lots of spirited overacting ripe with good intentions. full review
  19. The Fourth Kind 2009 Ultimately, the film's narrative segments are far too glossy and over-stylized, larded with ponderous scoring, obvious melodrama and split-screen visuals that offset the "reenactments" with the "real." full review
  20. World's Greatest Dad 2009 There's more going on here than the age-old struggle between maturity and its surly teen antithesis. full review
  21. Food, Inc. 2008 A mind-boggling, heart-rending, stomach-churning expose on the food industry. full review
  22. New York, I Love You 2008 It's a bit too arty, and a bit too cute, but it charms and cajoles with the pluck of a native New Yorker. full review
  23. /titles/197118 There is no casting decision or character nuance or plot turn too obvious to indulge. full review

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