David Edelstein, Slate

  1. Aeon Flux 2005 Folks, I'll never understand studios. Aeon Flux is not that terrible. It's certainly more fun than a lot of films that get lovingly showcased. full review
  2. Broken Flowers 2005 Broken Flowers is Jarmusch's most conventionally entertaining film, but it's still visually rigorous, swimming in pregnant silences, and un-filled-in in a way that's tantalizing. full review
  3. The Producers 2005 The stage performances haven't been scaled down: Everything is pitched to the second balcony. And Mel Brooks' material -- especially the retro queeny stereotypes -- is excruciatingly dated. full review
  4. Rent 2005 It's real -- and, on screen, it's really cringe-worthy. Not quite Phantom of the Opera cringe-worthy, but not as much fun to blow raspberries at, either. full review
  5. Serenity 2005 I mean Serenity no disrespect when I say it's enjoyably junky. full review
  6. Spanglish 2004 The movie is what in Hollywood they call 'character-driven,' and it does take its sweet time. But much of that time is sweet indeed. full review
  7. Anger Management 2003 Strenuous, spottily amusing. full review
  8. Bulletproof Monk 2003 They made a ton of junky movies in Hong Kong, but those were dazzlingly fluid and high-flying junky movies. This American retread has the same sort of hack plot but none of the bravura. full review
  9. Gigli 2003 The movie is bafflingly boring and ridiculous. full review
  10. Hollywood Homicide 2003 It's a great piece of mindful escapism. full review
  11. The Italian Job 2003 A pandering, debased, generic little nothing of a movie. And I'm still trying to figure out why I loved it so inordinately. full review
  12. A League of Ordinary Gentlemen 2003 You're left with a haunting vision -- of a go-for-it, romantic, fame-and-fortune template featuring quasi-athletes who can't seem to climb out of the lower middle class. full review
  13. Love Actually 2003 It's terrific fun for an hour, but by the last of its 129 minutes you might find yourself going into insulin shock. full review
  14. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 At, say, 85 minutes, this would have been a jolly little swashbuckler, but at 143 it turns into an unholy trial. full review
  15. Something's Gotta Give 2003 The movie itself reveals nothing, but it's entertaining. full review
  16. The Station Agent 2003 [A] blessedly serene comedy. full review
  17. Swimming Pool 2003 Swimming Pool seduces and annoys. full review
  18. Tears of the Sun 2003 full review
  19. Irreversible 2002 There is nothing moral about Irreversible -- only sneeringly superior and nihilistic, like Johnny Rotten at his most fatuous. full review
  20. Lost in La Mancha 2002 A fascinating glimpse at the fragile ecosystem of a movie shoot, but I'm bound to say that I don't share its view of Gilliam. full review
  21. Roger Dodger 2002 Even at its grimmest, the movie hums along, thanks to the edgy, hand-held, on-the-fly cinematography and the snappy performances. full review
  22. Spider-Man 2002 At its best, Spider-Man takes the adolescent yearning at the heart of most superhero sagas and gives it a lovely swing. full review
  23. Star Trek - Nemesis 2002 This tenth feature is a big deal, indeed -- at least the third-best, and maybe even a notch above the previous runner-up, Nicholas Meyer's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. full review
  24. America's Sweethearts 2001 The movie is a polished muddle, fitfully amusing but with no spine. full review
  25. The Animal 2001 Next to Joe Dirt, The Animal is tolerably amusing. full review
  26. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001 You need a roadmap to find the hidden masterpiece. full review
  27. The Deep End 2001 Has a cool, glassy appeal -- but then, so does a fish tank. full review
  28. Hannibal 2001 Simply a fat slab of sadism. full review
  29. Riding in Cars with Boys 2001 The way that the screenwriter, Morgan Upton Ward, has shaped the material, Donofrio seems a bystander in her own life, a passive (if seething and resentful) victim of forces beyond her control. full review
  30. The Score 2001 A droning, high-toned little heist picture with no dash and no raison d'etre. full review
  31. Shaolin Soccer 2001 It's the sort of movie that leaves you smiling like an idiot. full review
  32. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider 2001 [Jolie's] glittering, libidinous impudence gives this packaged piece of corporate schlock a strange integrity -- perhaps even a soul. full review
  33. American Psycho 2000 American Psycho is nearly perfect for what it is, but before we go on, we should ask what that actually amounts to. Can something with so rigid a thesis be a real work of art? full review
  34. Amores Perros 2000 Just keeps coming at you, switching characters, tones, and rhythms to keep you off-guard. full review
  35. Diamond Men 2000 Cohen doesn't fall into the Mamet trap of equating crafty salesmanship with macho flim-flam. full review
  36. The Blair Witch Project 1999 I could tell you the story -- give away every detail -- and The Blair Witch Project would still freeze your blood. full review
  37. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 1999 Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels is the laborious title of an even more laborious Cockney action movie. full review
  38. The Prince of Egypt 1998 This is sensational cinema: crowds swarming among pyramids in eye-popping 3-D, camerawork that's distinctly Spielbergian in its fluidity. full review
  39. Cop Land 1997 Cop Land shares its leading man's slow-wittedness, but also his likability. full review
  40. Jackie Brown 1997 The film is more Jarmusch than Peckinpah -- its soul is in the minutiae. full review
  41. Gojira 1954 The most emotionally authentic fake monster movie ever made. full review

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