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Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

  1. The Act Of Killing 2013 Whatever you call it, The Act of Killing is a must-see. full review
  2. Adore 2013 "Adore" at its core is a bore, nothing more. full review
  3. Blackfish 2013 It's hard to imagine anyone coming out of this movie and not swearing off the next vacation trip to Orlando, San Antonio or San Diego. full review
  4. Blue Is The Warmest Color 2013 A great movie. full review
  5. Camille Claudel, 1915 2013 Despite its austere beauty, elegant triptych-like structure and faultlessly disciplined performances, "Camille Claudel 1915" still raises more questions than it answers ... full review
  6. Computer Chess 2013 It's impossible not to see "Computer Chess" as both a humble, low-fi ode to evanescence and the deceptively cute baby picture of the digital disrupters who will soon bestride the Earth. full review
  7. The Hot Flashes 2013 Even though it earns an R rating for profanity and some risque material, it's too meek and mild-mannered to qualify as brave, or even slyly subversive. full review
  8. How I Live Now 2013 "How I Live Now" is a showcase for Ronan to prove that she's capable of more than pristine, angelic roles. full review
  9. Let The Fire Burn 2013 Osder creates both intensity and intimacy, inviting viewers simply to watch and listen as a tragedy - born of unchecked aggression, incoherent ideology and appallingly faulty logic - unfolds. full review
  10. Mud 2013 The film is drenched in the humidity and salty air of a Delta summer, often recalling the musical, aphoristic cadences of Sam Shepard, who happens to appear in a supporting role. full review
  11. Olympus Has Fallen 2013 "Olympus Has Fallen" at least possesses the frisson of timeliness amid otherwise hoary action-movie cliches. full review
  12. Only God Forgives 2013 The most objectionable thing about Only God Forgives isn't that it's shocking or immoral, but that it's so finally, fatally dull. full review
  13. Peeples 2013 A bland, quickly disposable romantic comedy. full review
  14. Phantom 2013 [Its] admirable air of realism dissipates once Robinson takes viewers outside the sub, where torpedo skirmishes are staged with too-perfect CGI bombast. full review
  15. Prince Avalanche 2013 "Prince Avalanche" is a work of eccentric but often profound beauty. That old Green magic, it seems, is back. full review
  16. Safe Haven 2013 "Safe Haven" is one of those Valentine's Day confections that satisfy your sweet tooth until you get to their weird, off-putting center. full review
  17. Short Term 12 2013 "Short Term 12" is that rare movie gutsy enough to tell the truth about love: that it's not a poetic longing or a magical-thinking happy ending, but a skill. And, the film suggests, we all have the capacity to learn it. full review
  18. Side Effects 2013 Like a gel cap in a sip of orange juice, the psycho-pharmacological thriller Side Effects goes down easily, even if its long-term impact turns out to be barely discernible. full review
  19. The Square 2013 Epitomizes nonfiction film not just as a way to deepen knowledge and understanding, but also as an art form. full review
  20. Stand Up Guys 2013 The degree to which "Stand Up Guys" succeeds at all is completely dependent on Walken, who elevates everything around him by seemingly doing nothing at all. full review
  21. Trash Dance 2013 That Garrison has created such a vibrant, moving document of such an evanescent state of grace is a small miracle in itself. full review
  22. What Maisie Knew 2013 What Maisie Knew gives the audience a ground-eye view of its mesmerizing title character, a plucky, charismatic New Yorker who navigates downtown bars and building lobbies with the street savvy of a pro. full review
  23. 5 Broken Cameras 2012 Takes the rough material of one man's life and transforms it into a story that is universal and urgent, offering firsthand witness to events that are too often portrayed as distant and impossible to understand. full review
  24. Arbitrage 2012 "Arbitrage" becomes far more complex than just dramatized anti-corporate polemic, or even a simple fall from grace. full review
  25. Marvel's The Avengers 2012 The performances are so well-pitched in The Avengers, meshing with such vividness and ease, that it's tempting to overpraise the good but not great movie that surrounds them. full review
  26. Barbara 2012 "Barbara" re-visits the quiet, everyday tragedies of the Iron Curtain era, when paranoia ran deep and for very good reasons. full review
  27. Bernie 2012 "Bernie" unfolds into many equally rich narrative strands: love story, southern Gothic slice-of-life and, finally tragedy and legal thriller... full review
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 2012 A pulpy, deceivingly insightful send-up of horror movies that elicits just as many knowing chuckles as horrified gasps. full review
  29. Compliance 2012 Fails its first test, which is that the audience believe every word of it. full review
  30. Dark Horse 2012 It would be unfair and patronizing to say that Solondz needs to grow up, but "Dark Horse" suggests that it's time for the bard of bourgeois hypocrisy to consider moving on. full review
  31. Detropia 2012 Grady and Ewing are exceptionally skilled and sensitive visual storytellers, adroit at recognizing decisive moments and smart enough to let viewers make of them what they will. full review
  32. Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey 2012 As infectious as Pineda's enthusiasm is, "Don't Stop Believin' " too often relies on his inherent appeal as a film subject, rarely probing more deeply than the narrative he and his bandmates provide. full review
  33. Flight 2012 Zemeckis reins in the story's potential for moralizing and melodrama, instead delivering a refreshingly sophisticated, mature human drama. full review
  34. Friends With Kids 2012 Too many sequences feel generic, from the unexamined privilege that serves as the movie's cultural backdrop to the now-requisite scene of a man changing a diaper while covered in baby poop. full review
  35. The Guilt Trip 2012 [A] lifeless comedy about an overbearing mother and her exasperated adult son ... full review
  36. How to Survive a Plague 2012 "How to Survive a Plague" captures a saddening, maddening era that seems like far too many lifetimes ago. full review
  37. The Invisible War 2012 Dick, whose films include a revealing expose about the movie industry's film ratings board, has created yet another galvanizing call to action with "The Invisible War." full review
  38. The Island President 2012 Shenk expertly weaves Nasheed's extraordinary personal story together with the Maldives' breathtaking natural beauty and a Capra-esque tale of dogged idealism and political courage to create wonderfully vivid cinematic portraiture. full review
  39. Jack Reacher 2012 A wildly ill-advised miscalculation, with Cruise's virtually unstoppable appeal butting uncomfortably against Reacher's alternately cocky and downright crude cynicism. full review
  40. Last Call at the Oasis 2012 "Last Call at the Oasis" represents nonfiction filmmaking at its most urgent, timely and stylistically smooth. full review
  41. A Late Quartet 2012 A half-glass of a movie, full of superlative performances and sublime music but empty when it comes to a story rife with melodrama and trite plot conventions. full review
  42. Monsieur Lazhar 2012 "Monsieur Lazhar" is good. Really good. full review
  43. Pink Ribbons, Inc. 2012 It's a well-argued polemic that, despite being one-sided, has loads of useful information to share, if only to begin a crucial argument about health care, allocation and coordination of research dollars, consumerism and the privatization of philanthropy. full review
  44. Playing for Keeps 2012 An undistinguished, impact-free watch-checker that will soon be vaguely distracting transatlantic travelers who forgot to carry on their iPads. full review
  45. The Queen of Versailles 2012 "The Queen of Versailles" turns out to be a portrait -- appalling, absorbing and improbably affecting -- of how, even within a system seemingly designed to ensure that the rich get richer, sometimes the rich get poorer. full review
  46. Red Hook Summer 2012 This coming-of-age portrait provides one more instance of Lee as one of this country's finest cinematic regionalists. full review
  47. A Royal Affair 2012 Even appreciated simply as a little-known chapter of European history, it proves consistently engrossing, edifying and affecting. full review
  48. Sleepwalk With Me 2012 Birbiglia proves to be as engaging a presence on the screen as he has been all these years onstage and over the radio waves. full review
  49. This Is Not a Film 2012 It's a cry from the heart of an artist compelled to create, tell stories and respond to hostile, confounding realities. full review
  50. The Waiting Room 2012 Eloquently portrays the faults and limitations of the American health care system, even as it punctures some of the most toxic stereotypes surrounding it. full review
  51. The Woman in the Fifth 2012 It's a curio, ripe with dreamy atmospherics and intriguing mysteries, but little else. full review
  52. Albert Nobbs 2011 [It] sneaks up on the audience with the quiet discretion of the enigmatic protagonist at its center. And, like him, it contains multitudes beneath its prim surface. full review
  53. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu 2011 Uses Soviet-era lies to uncover buried truths about its subject. full review
  54. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 2011 A film that suffers from a surfeit of credulity. full review
  55. Brighton Rock 2011 full review
  56. Footloose 2011 Brewer has delivered a largely unobjectionable note-for-note facsimile of Herbert Ross's ode to teenage rebellion, young love and the unfettered joy of movement. full review
  57. Friends With Benefits 2011 If "Friends With Benefits" ultimately succumbs to the very sins it so cleverly deconstructs, it still commits those infractions with a welcome degree of wit and, when it slows down enough, spirited flair. full review
  58. Hugo 2011 If ever the movie gods were to smile on an adaptation, it would be Scorsese's take on Selznick's bestselling book, a valentine to the cinematic artists whose work the filmmaker has toiled so tirelessly to champion and preserve. full review
  59. Into The Abyss 2011 What could have been a well-aimed examination of the most troubling contradictions of capital punishment instead becomes a maudlin, unrestrained wallow. full review
  60. The Iron Lady 2011 [Streep's] performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice. full review
  61. Keep the Lights On 2011 Such is the stuff of high drama, but "Keep the Lights On" maintains an oddly distant air. full review
  62. The Kid with a Bike 2011 Cyril is one of the most inspiringly resilient, self-aware young characters to arrive on-screen in recent memory... full review
  63. Like Crazy 2011 A serious, deeply felt romance for an audience Hollywood most often bombards with raunchy sex comedies and video-game adaptations. full review
  64. Our Idiot Brother 2011 Rudd has created a genuinely engaging character in the Candide-like Ned, but "Our Idiot Brother" gives him very little garden to cultivate. full review
  65. Trishna 2011 A rare unsatisfying swerve from an otherwise reliably provocative career. full review
  66. Undefeated 2011 [A] stirring, emotional portrait of a high school football team in the impoverished neighborhood of North Memphis, Tenn. full review
  67. We Were Here 2011 "We Were Here" pays eloquent homage to men and women who deserve to be celebrated and remembered as heroes. full review
  68. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward 2011 full review
  69. All Good Things 2010 As absorbing and detailed as "All Good Things" is, it never manages to levitate beyond tawdry movie-of-the-week voyeurism. full review
  70. The American 2010 While cinema-lovers can cheer a director willing to buck the fashion for sensory overload, The American can't rightly be called a success.
  71. Blue Valentine 2010 Almost unbearably harrowing but also deeply cathartic, as viewers create their own meanings within Dean and Cindy's singular downward spiral. full review
  72. Casino Jack And The United States Of Money 2010 full review
  73. Cave of Forgotten Dreams 2010 To call "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" a great movie isn't just an understatement, it's a wildly inaccurate way to describe an experience that, in its immersive sensory pleasures and climactic journey of discovery, more closely resembles an ecstatic trance. full review
  74. Centurion 2010 Centurion wraps itself in talk of duty and honor, but really it's just another cinematic death-trip. full review
  75. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 2010 It leaves the unmistakable impression that there's more to this iteration of a story that, animated by hubris, lust, self-deception and love of power, is sure to play out again. full review
  76. Countdown to Zero 2010 Alternately edifying and alarming.
  77. Greenberg 2010 The movie has the easy, unforced feel of the temporary timeout in life that Roger himself has embarked on. The script is full of funny, observant lines. full review
  78. I Am Love 2010 I Am Love is such a lush, deeply textured banquet of sights and sounds that it deserves more than a movie review. full review
  79. The Kids Are All Right 2010 Just about everyone who has been a parent, child or partner will find resonance in its bittersweet depiction of the joys and trials of lifelong intimacy. full review
  80. The King's Speech 2010 Go! Enjoy! full review
  81. Marwencol 2010 A fine, delicately nuanced portrait of an artist compelled by mysterious forces to create something utterly unique. full review
  82. Nowhere Boy 2010 The movie succumbs to maudlin sentiment and melodrama that Lennon himself might have dismissed with one of his signature cutting remarks. full review
  83. Senna 2010 What makes "Senna" essential viewing is the propulsive education it provides in one of the world's most popular sports, and the introduction it provides to an extraordinary athlete and human being. full review
  84. Somewhere 2010 "Don't tell, show" has been the writer's imperative for generations; Coppola takes that edict to its most visual and satisfying extremes. full review
  85. The Switch 2010 A warm, quirkily observant film, strengthened by some appealing performances and a low-key, easygoing vibe. full review
  86. Tiny Furniture 2010 Dunham's dramatic comedy (comic drama?) renders the artist's life with candor, wit and 360-degree clarity. More, please. full review
  87. The Woodmans 2010 The Woodmans tells the compelling, if slightly disturbing, story of a family coming to grips with love, ego, resentment and loss. full review
  88. The Proposal 2009 Just looking at the poster for The Proposal, a by-the-numbers romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, tells you exactly how it's all gonna go down. full review
  89. Agora 2009 Agora, Alejandro Amenabar's absorbing historical drama, proves that, in an era of movies made for iPhones with artistic ambitions to match, there are still filmmakers willing to swing for the fences.
  90. The Art Of The Steal 2009 The Art of the Steal ultimately gets mired in the legal weeds, a snare made all the more frustrating by the fact that the move is a fait accompli. full review
  91. Cairo Time 2009 Clarkson proves what her fans have known forever: She's ready for the spotlight. With luck she'll stay there for a while. full review
  92. Fish Tank 2009 Jarvis, whom the director reportedly discovered at an Essex train station, is nothing less than a revelation in a performance that is tender, spiky and utterly fearless in its physical and emotional range. full review
  93. The Road 2009 The Road possesses undeniable sweep and a grim kind of grandeur, but it ultimately plays like a zombie movie with literary pretensions. full review
  94. The Secret of Kells 2009 If filmgoers ultimately feel bogged down in its densely layered fable and allegory, it's a spectacular thicket to get lost in. full review
  95. World's Greatest Dad 2009 As a filmmaker seeking to master the art of satire without cynicism, Bobcat Goldthwait might be one sick puppy -- but he's also the sweetest one we've got.
  96. Food, Inc. 2008 This absorbing film looks terrific and does a superb job of making its case that our current food ways are drastically out of whack. full review
  97. Happy-Go-Lucky 2008 The British actress Sally Hawkins delivers a nervy, utterly captivating tour de force performance in Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh's transporting new film. full review
  98. Man on Wire 2008 It all makes for an absorbing, mischievously amusing yarn, whose climax unfolds with unexpected emotional force. full review
  99. The Babysitters 2007 It's bad enough that writer-director David Ross indulges in the very perverse kind of Lolita-tinged titillation the film pretends to lament, but then he ties everything up with an oh-well shrug. full review
  100. Day Watch 2007 Day Watch may not suit everyone, but it opens a big can of Russian whoop-de-whoop on anyone willing to take it. full review
  101. Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side) 2007 The Edge of Heaven is the movie Babel so badly wanted to be. full review
  102. Lars and the Real Girl 2007 Gosling's performance is a small miracle, not only because he's so completely open as a man who's essentially shut off, but because he changes and grows so imperceptibly before our eyes. full review
  103. Paranoid Park 2007 Even something as modest as Paranoid Park manages to reflect Van Sant's greatest strengths as an artist: his seemingly limitless fluency with his chosen medium and his willingness to tell even the oldest stories in bold new ways. full review
  104. The Pool 2007 The Pool takes viewers on a journey to Goa that is startling not only in the lush physical beauty it reveals but also in the subtle, finely wrought emotions it stirs. full review
  105. Year of the Dog 2007 There's an undeniable sweetness to the movie's celebration of surrendering to one's best self. full review
  106. Golden Door 2006 Italian director Emanuele Crialese has infused the age-old plot with dazzling visual style, dollops of magical realism and profound emotional truth that infuse what we think we know with new verve and resonance. full review
  107. Maxed Out 2006 A film all high school seniors should see. And their parents. And their siblings, neighbors, best friends and acquaintances. You should see it, too. full review
  108. Sherrybaby 2006 full review
  109. Unknown 2006 A nifty little psychological crime thriller that suggests a Treasure of the Sierra Madre for the postindustrial age. full review
  110. Brokeback Mountain 2005 A sweeping, solemn, self-serious chronicle of their relationship over several decades. full review
  111. Broken Flowers 2005 It takes someone with Murray's reservoir of audience goodwill to make such a maddeningly passive character even worth watching. full review
  112. Factotum 2005 Wins you over even as it dares you to keep watching. full review
  113. Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 Shockingly inert. full review
  114. Right at Your Door 2005 Right at Your Door is a tick-tock of post-apocalyptic paranoia and moral ambiguity that would have made for some taut psychodrama on The Twilight Zone. full review
  115. 13 Going on 30 2004 If 13 Going on 30 isn't exactly original, it's still reasonably cool, thanks to Garner's uninhibited portrayal of a nerd trapped in a Sex and the City body, and to the inspired casting of Mark Ruffalo as the grown-up Matt.
  116. Following Sean 2004 full review
  117. The Forgotten 2004 An uneasy mix between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the The X-Files, and one not nearly as smart as either. full review
  118. Hotel Rwanda 2004 The great strength of Hotel Rwanda is that it's not about superhuman heroism but simply about human decency. full review
  119. Me and You and Everyone We Know 2004 Delightfully light on its feet, suffused with a knowing humor that is more sweetly careworn than cynical. full review
  120. Mean Girls 2004 Boasts a one-two-three punch in star Lindsay Lohan, screenwriter Tina Fey and director Mark Waters, and, indeed, it delivers a knockout. full review
  121. The Passion of the Christ 2004 May have succeeded in exploiting Jesus's death for its most highly pitched emotion and drama. But in the process, for many believers, it may have served only to trivialize and further obscure the story's most central and sacred mysteries.
  122. The Puffy Chair 2004 A charming, if limited, romantic comedy that examines post-collegiate angst with easy, unself-conscious humor. full review
  123. American Wedding 2003 full review
  124. Camp 2003 Spiked with some genuine show-stopping musical numbers, and the sheer pluck of its young cast is nothing if not admirable. full review
  125. Control Room 2003 This engrossing portrait of competing notions of truth is at once a thrilling real-time chronicle of the birth of a free press and a sophisticated philosophical treatise on the nature of objective reality. full review
  126. CSA: Confederate States of America 2003 A piece of well-crafted righteous indignation. full review
  127. Darkness Falls 2003 Oy, how it falls. full review
  128. Love Actually 2003 If listing the cast of Love Actually is exhausting, it's even more tiring to watch it. full review
  129. The Missing 2003 The Missing hews in every way to the conventions of its genre.
  130. Party Monster 2003 The wanton fabulistas of Party Monster are as boring and insignificant as the very 'normals and drearies' they so contemptuously deride.
  131. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 [Johnny] Depp is the single best reason to see Pirates of the Caribbean if you're past the age of 10.
  132. Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over 2003 Differs from its predecessors in some important -- and occasionally unfortunate -- ways.
  133. The Station Agent 2003 The best advice to filmgoers who appreciate smart, mature, humanist movies is, simply, Go.
  134. Timeline 2003 Resembles a Star Trek episode by way of Scooby-Doo.
  135. Tokyo Godfathers 2003 As visually accomplished as Tokyo Godfathers is, the story is the most primitive form of drama, one that counts on improbable coincidence to propel the story to its sudden, implausibly symbolic conclusion.
  136. Changing Lanes 2002 The movie goes for the throat and keeps squeezing. full review
  137. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys 2002 Sharp, lively, funny and ultimately sobering film.
  138. A Guy Thing 2002 [Tries] desperately to lower the bar for scatological gags, rank sexual humor and cheap physical shots. full review
  139. The Importance of Being Earnest 2002 Offers a breath of the fresh air of true sophistication.
  140. Maid in Manhattan 2002 It's a warm, if pallid, romantic comedy that may not do much more to burnish Lopez's reputation, but will certainly not bruise it.
  141. Men in Black II 2002 They're going through the motions, but the zip is gone.
  142. The New Guy 2002 A particularly loathsome piece of cultural detritus.
  143. Pumpkin 2002 Remember: These are two hours of your life you'll never get back.
  144. Punch-Drunk Love 2002 A weird, arresting little ride.
  145. Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002 Searing dramatization of a story of remarkable courage, stamina and spirit.
  146. Roger Dodger 2002 A refreshingly unsentimental education.
  147. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 Manages to be wholesome and subversive at the same time.
  148. The Sum of All Fears 2002 Has something to disappoint nearly every constituency to which it appeals.
  149. Baran 2001 Further solidifies [Majidi's] growing reputation as one of the cinema's most gifted humanist filmmakers. full review
  150. Dogtown and Z-Boys 2001 The rare and wondrous nonfiction film that transcends its subject to become a thing of beauty in itself, a slice of pop-cultural history that shimmers with life. full review
  151. True Grit 1969 full review

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