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David Denby, New Yorker

  1. Lovelace 2013 Seyfried, with her huge features crowding her small face, looks like Alice in a very strange Wonderland. But whatever possibilities she may have as an actress are eradicated by the filmmakers ... full review
  2. Mud 2013 Nichols has a strong feeling for the tactility of natural elements-water, wood, terrain, weather. full review
  3. Olympus Has Fallen 2013 Fuqua doesn't deliver on what he has set up. full review
  4. Our Nixon 2013 [A] shrewdly edited collection of news footage and "home movies" taken by members of the Nixon White House staff ... full review
  5. Salinger 2013 Salinger is self-important, redundant, and interminable. full review
  6. 56 Up 2012 Inevitably, one looks in the mirror afterward and thinks, What have I lost? What have I gained? And at what cost? full review
  7. Arbitrage 2012 Part thriller, part character study, and it moves swiftly and confidently, with many details that feel exactly right. full review
  8. The Central Park Five 2012 Central Park is at first discomforting, then enraging, then illuminating. full review
  9. Compliance 2012 Watching Compliance recently, I also began to squirm and talk back, but not because I disliked the movie, which I think is brilliant. full review
  10. Cosmopolis 2012 Despite the constrictions, Cronenberg keeps the space handsome and active. For long stretches, Cosmopolis is dreamy and funny, in an off-centered way. full review
  11. Dark Horse 2012 Solondz is a minor master of black comedy-the flattened emotional responses, the grotesque non sequiturs, the perverse desires lurking under a bland surface. full review
  12. Detropia 2012 This documentary film, about the deconstruction of a great American city, is surprisingly lyrical and often very moving. full review
  13. The Dictator 2012 The film has a vicious edge that the Marx Brothers didn't have, and it's too low-minded to achieve their enchanting blend of anarchy and surrealism. full review
  14. End of Watch 2012 Jumpy and exciting. full review
  15. Flight 2012 At a certain point, great actors want to show us the truth of something that may be far from their lives but that somehow they understand, intimately, all too well. full review
  16. Holy Motors 2012 Carax produces the startling dislocations of reality that Bunuel pulled off, but without the gleeful wit. full review
  17. The Hunger Games 2012 Even when two people are just talking calmly, Ross jerks the camera around. Why? As the sense of danger increases, he has nothing to build toward. full review
  18. The Imposter 2012 The movie is fascinating, but it leaves you uneasy, because you don't always know who you're watching (actor? family member?), and you begin to feel that you're being scammed, too. full review
  19. The Paperboy 2012 It's a good story about people who are not what they seem, about identity wavering in the heat-a true swamp tale-but the movie is messily ineffective. full review
  20. Red Hook Summer 2012 A clear failure, yet Lee is getting at things that mystify him. full review
  21. Skyfall 2012 The director, Sam Mendes, has taken a pop concept and solemnized it with Freud, which is not, perhaps, the best way of turning Bond into grownup entertainment. full review
  22. Friends With Benefits 2011 Friends with Benefits is fast, allusive, urban, glamorous -- clearly the Zeitgeist winner of the summer. full review
  23. Keep the Lights On 2011 The two characters are ciphers, and the script, which Sachs co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, is by turns underwritten or banal. full review
  24. Page One: Inside the New York Times 2011 It ignores the many other things the paper does well, such as foreign, financial, and national-affairs reporting, and Rossi misses the underbrush, the secret life and murmured music of the place. full review
  25. Somewhere 2010 The movie is funny in a dryly sardonic way about movie-colony rituals and easy sex, but the funk of a noodling movie star is hardly a revelation of the absurdity of the human condition -- or whatever Coppola was getting at. full review
  26. Tabloid 2010 Morris's subject is sexual fantasy and a particular kind of American stupidity-the ability to substitute self-justification for self-knowledge. His tone is merry. full review
  27. Food, Inc. 2008 An angry blast of disgust aimed at the American food industry. full review
  28. Zack and Miri Make a Porno 2008 Kevin Smith turns out to be reverent after all: he wants to separate true love from mere copulating for money, but his story mixes romance and porn so inextricably that he seems confused, and the movie trips over its own conceits. full review
  29. Into the Wild 2007 Sean Penn's Into the Wild is certainly visual -- it's entirely too visual, to the point of being cheaply lyrical. full review
  30. No End in Sight 2007 We need to hear the story again and again, for no amount of rage and disbelief can turn what the Bush Administration did into someone else's problem. full review
  31. Zodiac 2007 Any honest neurotic could probably tell you: the emotional payoff of an obsession is not attaining some longed-for goal -- it's the obsession itself, which fulfills certain needs. full review
  32. Nacho Libre 2006 Nacho Libre, naively made kids' stuff, lacks such minor attributes as a decent script and supporting cast.
  33. Casanova 2005 I admit that the picture is handsomely designed in gold and pale blue, but none of the tumult and pomp have any dramatic, comic, or erotic effect whatsoever.
  34. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price 2005 For all its missteps, the movie powerfully suggests that Wal-Mart is capable of demoralizing a community so thoroughly that it doesn't have the spirit to carry on its life outside the big box.
  35. Saved! 2003 A minor work, yet it has a teasing lilt to it, and to make it at all took courage and originality.
  36. The Blair Witch Project 1999 A cunningly conceived and crafted exercise in suggestibility and terror. full review

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