Dana Stevens, Slate

  1. Child's Pose 2014 It's well worth seeing, both for its merciless anatomization of the country's post-Ceausescu social order and for Gheorghiu's stupendous central performance as a mother so monstrous she makes Medea look like a pushover. full review
  2. Blue Is The Warmest Color 2013 What makes this melancholy relationship drama play out as more than a hot lesbian remake of Annie Hall is the vibrant connection between the two gifted actresses at its center. full review
  3. Frances Ha 2013 Has the earnest, wonky charm of a homemade valentine. full review
  4. The Iceman 2013 Shannon inhabits this character so completely that by the end of this hard-to-watch, hard-to-look-away-from movie you feel you can, if not understand Richie, at least wish he had found some redemption in life. full review
  5. Jobs 2013 It's a film whose plea to the audience resembles Jobs' appeal to the crowd in that iPod-unveiling scene: "Believe this is important and exciting," it asks, "because I say so." full review
  6. John Dies at the End 2013 John Dies at the End is joyously heterodox in its method, an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink melange of sci-fi, black comedy, and action, with disquieting body-horror sight gags that at times recall David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch. full review
  7. Like Someone in Love 2013 Like Someone in Love is a movie that never quite lets you through to the other side of the glass, but it's dazzling to watch whatever drifts by on the surface. full review
  8. Much Ado About Nothing 2013 This Much Ado About Nothing-while perhaps not an adaptation for the ages in every respect-is as bracingly effervescent as picnic champagne. full review
  9. Shadow Dancer 2013 Riseborough's ever-mobile face is a study as Collette cycles from hopelessness to panic to mama-bear rage. full review
  10. Star Trek Into Darkness 2013 For two movies in a row now -- and possibly even more in the second than the first -- [Abrams has] caught some of the spark of the first Star Trek without either mimicking or desecrating the original. full review
  11. Stories We Tell 2013 If a personal memoir film by a beautiful, successful young woman from a nice Toronto family sounds to you like it can only be an excuse for self-absorbed navel-gazing, well, you must not have seen a Sarah Polley movie yet. full review
  12. World War Z 2013 Given how efficiently World War Z has delivered jolts and screams over the course of its sleek 116-minute running time, it's easy to forgive [its] rushed and slightly muted finale. full review
  13. Marvel's The Avengers 2012 Its primary purpose is not to explore or subvert the superhero movie, but to lay the groundwork for more of them. full review
  14. Bachelorette 2012 A nasty little piece of work -- a phrase I use not with contempt but with grudging admiration. full review
  15. Casa de mi padre 2012 I regard Casa de Mi Padre as an interesting but failed experiment. full review
  16. Compliance 2012 It's a deeply moral movie about the failure of morality, as grueling to watch as it is necessary. full review
  17. Cosmopolis 2012 I took a strange pleasure in submitting to this movie's stilted but weirdly poetic rhythms. But I freely acknowledge that for others, enduring Cosmopolis may be less fun than a backseat prostate exam. full review
  18. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel 2012 The movie is saved from feeling like a promotional puff piece by the legitimate fabulousness of Vreeland herself ... full review
  19. The Dictator 2012 Most of The Dictator had me neither laughing nor shocked, but just staring at the screen in anxious is-that-all-there-is? silence. full review
  20. Friends With Kids 2012 Pleasant but overfamiliar. full review
  21. The Grey 2012 For all its macho standoffs and action set pieces and menacing off-screen howling, The Grey is at heart a simple moral fable about how true heroism consists in helping other human beings to live as long and die as well as they can. full review
  22. Holy Motors 2012 If nothing else, you'll come out of it feeling perceptually refreshed, as if you'd just had a ride on an aesthetic and philosophical log flume. full review
  23. The Hunger Games 2012 Director Gary Ross' adaptation, co-scripted by Collins herself, isn't quite as crackingly paced as the novel, but it will more than satisfy existing fans of the trilogy and likely create many new ones. full review
  24. Katy Perry: Part of Me 2012 We're left with zero sense of what she's really like as a granddaughter, sister, boss, or friend. full review
  25. Lawless 2012 There's something at the movie's heart that remains flimsy and inauthentic, a kid in his older brother's ill-fitting shoes. full review
  26. Marley 2012 Chronologically organized and voiceover-free, the movie is a 145-minute patchwork of old concert footage and talking-head interviews -- lots and lots of them -- from people who knew, loved, and worked with the reggae giant. full review
  27. Red Hook Summer 2012 A movie that's alive and spontaneous and surprising is a rare enough thing to encounter-especially one that manages to address subjects as divisive and painful as inner-city black poverty without getting maudlin or preachy. full review
  28. Safety Not Guaranteed 2012 A slight, wistful comedy that, at least up to the ambitious but unsatisfying final scenes, combines sci-fi and rom-com to pleasing effect. full review
  29. Skyfall 2012 Skyfall leaves you wondering whether this incarnation of the character has anywhere left to go. It's the portrait of a spy at the end of his rope by an actor who seems close to his. full review
  30. Take This Waltz 2012 This romantic drama, starring the always-extraordinary Michelle Williams as a restless married woman contemplating an affair with her neighbor, is chock-full of individual moments of great power and beauty, including visual beauty. full review
  31. This Is Not a Film 2012 The triumph of This Is Not a Film is not only an artistic one -- the very existence of this movie is a gift. No wonder it came to us in a cake. full review
  32. Albert Nobbs 2011 A movie that, like its title character, never quite dares to let itself discover what it really wants to be. full review
  33. Brighton Rock 2011 All in all, this new Brighton Rock strikes me as a minor but effective exercise in neo-noir style. full review
  34. Coriolanus 2011 The questions Coriolanus poses are so timeless and urgent they could be pullquotes from today's op-ed page. full review
  35. First Position 2011 First Position is an unabashedly inspirational portrait of what even very young people can accomplish with discipline and dedication. full review
  36. Friends With Benefits 2011 Friends With Benefits is a dumb, by-the-numbers romantic comedy. Yet I kept finding small things to enjoy in it, mainly because of the two hard-to-hate leads. full review
  37. I Don't Know How She Does It 2011 I Don't Know How She Does It purports to be about the difficult choices of modern motherhood, but it's too prim and cautious a movie to dip a pedicured toe into the murky waters of real choice. full review
  38. The Other Woman 2011 Natalie Portman may have the black swan and the white swan down, but she's still working on the gray. full review
  39. Pearl Jam Twenty 2011 Crowe has assembled some top-drawer ephemera -- old show posters, home movies, and candid backstage footage -- but he overestimates his audience's patience for present-day talking-head interviews. full review
  40. The American 2010 If you're willing to let go of your Hollywood-bred expectations for a movie of this type, The American is a great pleasure to watch, an astringent antidote to the loud, frantic action movies that have been clogging our veins all summer. full review
  41. Biutiful 2010 It's the kind of film that congratulates the viewer on her tolerance for the spectacle of unrelieved misery. full review
  42. Blue Valentine 2010 This is a marvel of a movie, but in the interest of perpetuating the human race, I'd counsel dewy young couples embarking on life's journey to check into a sex motel instead. full review
  43. Cave of Forgotten Dreams 2010 If you're interested in the history of the human race -- if you're a member of the human race -- you owe it to yourself to see this movie. full review
  44. The Company Men 2010 The venerated American export that The Company Men most recalls isn't seagoing vessels -- it's hourlong dramatic television shows. full review
  45. I Am Love 2010 I Am Love isn't just a bedazzlement to the eyes and ears. It's a feast--or maybe just a small but divine dish of prawns--for the soul. full review
  46. The Kids Are All Right 2010 The Kids Are All Right is the movie we've been waiting for all year: a comedy that doesn't take cheap shots, a drama that doesn't manipulate, a movie of ideas that doesn't preach. full review
  47. Nowhere Boy 2010 The story of Lennon's early years is dramatic and painful enough to survive an imperfect retelling, even if you're already familiar with the stations of the cross. full review
  48. Senna 2010 Senna feels a touch too short to be fully realized -- but then again, so was Ayrton Senna's life. full review
  49. The Switch 2010 The sadness comes from the audience's sense that inside this slick, conventional romantic comedy there's a tender, scruffy little movie struggling to get out. full review
  50. Tabloid 2010 Though the events Tabloid recounts took place in the pre-digital age, the film also functions as a kind of prehistory of modern celebrity culture and tabloid journalism. full review
  51. Tiny Furniture 2010 For a DIY second feature from a very young director, Tiny Furniture feels surprisingly assured, even elegant. full review
  52. Agora 2009 The human story of Agora is not only smaller in scale than the sweep of geohistory but considerably less interesting. full review
  53. Antichrist 2009 After the infantile bludgeoning that is Antichrist), I feel no need to keep accompanying von Trier's career at all. full review
  54. Extract 2009 Like Judge's first two live-action films, Extract seems destined to do minor business at the box office but achieve a kind of immortality as a cult DVD. full review
  55. The Road 2009 Unless you're far better at walling yourself off from identification than I am, you walk out in a state of untreated shock. Rather than thinking about the movie afterward, you wait for it to wear off. full review
  56. Bottle Shock 2008 Why did I feel such affection for this scruffy, hokey little movie? Maybe it's the same logic that applies to wine-drinking itself: Sure, a great claret would be ideal, but an OK rosé is better than washing down your dinner with water. full review
  57. The Business of Being Born 2008 [It's] so selective in its presentation of information that it makes Michael Moore look like a fat lady in a blindfold holding a pair of scales. full review
  58. In Bruges 2008 Overplotted, choppy, and contrived, it nonetheless has a curious vitality that makes you wonder where McDonagh will go next. full review
  59. Management 2008 Despite the essential implausibility of the story, Management remains for the most part as endearing as its leads. full review
  60. Encounters at the End of the World 2007 Herzog the crank is a flimsy cover for Herzog the wonderstruck little boy, marveling at everything from the viscosity of seal milk (it pours like wax) to the spiderlike crab creatures that skitter along the ocean floor beneath the Ross Sea. full review
  61. Phoebe in Wonderland 2007 [Elle Fanning is] an astonishingly natural and unmannered actress who carries this rather ungainly movie on her narrow shoulders. full review
  62. Year of the Dog 2007 Year of the Dog asks how far we should be willing to go for the love of animals, and for that matter, for love itself. full review
  63. Zodiac 2007 Zodiac is long -- over two and a half hours -- but when it's over, you almost wish it had gone on for another 20 minutes. full review
  64. Click 2006 Click manages to sneak some surprisingly moving moments in between the gross-out gags and the schmaltzy resolutions. full review
  65. United 93 2006 ... left me feeling curiously unmoved and even slightly resentful. full review

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