Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

  1. 20 Feet From Stardom 2013 Loaded with stirring anecdotes and even richer music, Twenty Feet also makes for a fascinating study in ego sublimation. full review
  2. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me 2013 It feels thorough, and very affectionate. It just needs more of a narrative hook, a through-line from start to finish that can enhance the story for those not yet in the club. full review
  3. The Playroom 2013 Modest in scale, it's the kind of American independent film that brings some honor to that shopworn descriptor. full review
  4. Marvel's The Avengers 2012 Whedon knows how to be self-aware without getting overly cute about it. He has fun highlighting each character's neurosis and knows which personalities clash to greatest effect. full review
  5. Bad Kids Go to Hell 2012 With characters that come off more as collections of tics than people and a soundtrack stuck on earsplitting dance remix mode, Bad Kids plays like a straight-to-DVD bad dream. full review
  6. Bernie 2012 Watching Bernie is a little like sitting on a shady front porch and gossiping with the town tattlers. full review
  7. The Cabin in the Woods 2012 You needn't be a fanboy to enjoy the moment when the ride really takes off and the spectacle flowers. A scary imagination will do just fine. full review
  8. Flight 2012 Washington sells the hollow confidence of a practiced dissembler, and he conjures enough vulnerability and pure charm to make us wince as he circles the drain. full review
  9. Friends With Kids 2012 Not even the outcome's predictability (hint: romantic comedies have happy endings) can dampen the frothy results. full review
  10. How to Survive a Plague 2012 Plague isn't the history of a disease so much as the history of a movement, and a portrait of those who refused to suffer passively. full review
  11. Jack Reacher 2012 As the details mount, and the star does what stars do, it starts to seem like a good bag of potato chips. There's no nutritional value, but darned if you don't keep eating. full review
  12. My Way 2012 Given its aggressiveness in all cinematic matters, My Way manages to color in the personal stakes with enough clarity to keep you caring about the players set loose on its massive canvas. full review
  13. The Other Dream Team 2012 An inspirational if overly talkative new documentary that lives at the intersection of nationalism and sport. full review
  14. The Revisionaries 2012 Offers a balanced view of the fight over science and U.S. history standards for Texas schools, but lacks the punch it might have achieved with a stronger point of view. full review
  15. Take This Waltz 2012 Both the small moments and the end product of Waltz are quietly sublime. full review
  16. The Adventures of Tintin 2011 The Adventures of Tintin can be a delight to look at, even if motion capture isn't your particular cup of animation tea. full review
  17. Albert Nobbs 2011 Men in drag are usually played for laughs. Women passing as men? Expect a tragic twist. full review
  18. The Artist 2011 The Artist is charming as all get-out, a delightful little movie about the movies. full review
  19. Footloose 2011 Give credit to Craig Brewer, the filmmaker behind the new Footloose, for realizing a new step was in order. full review
  20. The Interrupters 2011 Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra used to instigate Chicago street violence. Now they live for nipping it in the bud, block by treacherous block. full review
  21. Page One: Inside the New York Times 2011 If you're reading this article, chances are you have at least a passing interest in the role and value of newspapers. You like original reporting and writing enough to pay for it, online or on newsprint. And you'd probably enjoy Page One. full review
  22. Young Adult 2011 The comedy of discomfort, so long defined by Curb Your Enthusiasm and its ilk, gets a new hue with Young Adult. full review
  23. The American 2010 This is Serious Clooney, starring in a deliberative film that could have sprung from mid-'60s France or Italy. full review
  24. Bill Cunningham New York 2010 Equally at home chronicling the latest fashions on the street and the biggest celebrations among Manhattan's aristocratic swell set, he might as well be the city that forms his vast canvas. full review
  25. Biutiful 2010 Boasts quality of acting and an overall intensity level that make up for a lot of narrative shortcomings. full review
  26. Exit Through The Gift Shop 2010 Like Banksy's best street work, it pushes and prods our gullibility buttons and sends the mind swirling with questions of artistic authenticity and intent. full review
  27. The Kids Are All Right 2010 A comedy of modern manners with the texture of a great short story. full review
  28. The King's Speech 2010 With its rich source material shaped from real-life events, The King's Speech doesn't need to overplay its hand -- especially not with a king waiting in the hole. full review
  29. Marwencol 2010 This one's a keeper. full review
  30. Nowhere Boy 2010 It relishes its myth-making enterprise without getting too cute about it. full review
  31. Tabloid 2010 Tabloid, Errol Morris' latest wild and woolly portrait of human self-delusion, is a scandal-sheet dream come to life. full review
  32. Great Directors 2009 This is a meat-and-potatoes espionage yarn that passes by quickly enough and meets the requirement of making us try to guess: Who is Salt? full review
  33. Crazy Love 2007 Dan Klores' crazy relationship doc Crazy Love takes a tale tailor-made for sensationalist treatment and sculpts it into a riveting three-act drama. full review
  34. Freedom Writers 2007 It's not a great movie, but at-risk teens could do a lot worse. full review
  35. A Mighty Heart 2007 He [Winterbottom] approaches his subjects as very, very real, not just fodder for topical films. full review
  36. Paranoid Park 2007 It's always exciting when a film that plays with cinematic language can squeeze in among the flotsam and jetsam of repetitive mediocrity. full review
  37. There Will Be Blood 2007 A haunting enigma that refuses to conform to any recognizable pattern, period or otherwise. I suppose you could see it as a descendent of Citizen Kane. But such comparisons aren't really fair to either film. full review
  38. Last Holiday 2006 The Queen is in fine form, but this particular throne is a bit rickety. full review
  39. United 93 2006 United 93 is an exhausting but commanding work of art. full review
  40. The Constant Gardener 2005 The Constant Gardener manages to fight through its own pretensions to deliver a tale you care about, featuring characters you care for. full review
  41. Neil Young: Heart of Gold 2005 Few artists are so adept at addressing the past and embracing the future all at once. And few recent films have so gracefully captured a musician at a specific point in his time. full review
  42. Me and You and Everyone We Know 2004 It's a sturdy piece of writing wed to an utterly unique visual style. full review
  43. The Battle of Shaker Heights 2003 It's a nice little movie, amateurish in some expected first-time-filmmaker ways but usually competent and never a disaster. full review
  44. Party Monster 2003 You haven't seen this many outrageous costumes since the Halloween parade on Cedar Springs. full review
  45. Stander 2003 Worth a look, thanks mostly to Mr. Jane's troubled swagger and Ms. Hughes' sharp eye. full review
  46. Swimming Pool 2003 Works as a character study and a quiet thriller. full review
  47. Touching the Void 2003 A white-knuckle adventure that combines the suspense of great drama with the veracity of documentary. full review
  48. Punch-Drunk Love 2002 Even if he turns around and makes Mr. Deeds 2, [Sandler] has shown that his range goes beyond mindless fisticuffs and easy laughs. full review
  49. Roger Dodger 2002 You won't like Roger, but you will quickly recognize him. And that's a big part of why we go to the movies. full review
  50. Russian Ark 2002 The camera work is fluid, the concept intriguing. full review
  51. The United States of Leland 2002 The performances range from solid to excellent (Mr. Gosling and Mr. Donovan are among the standouts), and the ubiquitous teen angst is handled with a minimum of condescension. full review
  52. Ali 2001 Loaded with bravura filmmaking flourishes, and exceptional performances. full review
  53. Baran 2001 Matches neorealism's impact by showing the humanity of a war-torn land filled with people who just want to live their lives. full review
  54. Donnie Darko 2001 Donnie Darko may be too ambitious for a debut feature, but ambition and imagination still trump mediocrity any day of the week. full review
  55. Lost and Delirious 2001 Their characters may feel lost, but Ms. Perabo and Ms. Pare rank among the finds of the year. full review
  56. Novocaine 2001 The action takes on the two-dimensional quality of a clever joke and does a disservice to the actual suspense. full review
  57. Pootie Tang 2001 The rule is pretty simple: The thinner the skit, the thinner the big-screen spin-off. full review
  58. Scary Movie 2 2001 When did comedy become so lazy? full review
  59. The Wash 2001 Overall, the phrase 'It is what it is' has never seemed more appropriate. full review
  60. Diamond Men 2000 Stilted, bland and two-dimensional. full review
  61. The Golden Bowl 2000 A handsome production and a story well told. full review
  62. In Too Deep 1999 Some solid acting; a great-looking film. full review
  63. True Grit 1969 full review
  64. Rosemary's Baby 1968 The devil may come in many forms, but few have been more entertaining. full review
  65. All About Eve 1950 Mankiewicz's 1950 gem is a wickedly cynical cocktail of laughter and deceit in which everyone has an angle to play. full review

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