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Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

  1. Below 2002 Twohy's overwrought, comic-book theatrics work against him, as does the hokey script. full review
  2. Irreversible 2002 Is there a point to this spew, a cry against the mongrel violence of men? Or is Noe merely a sadist who enjoys inflicting ugly, pitiless images on his audience? full review
  3. Ram Dass: Fierce Grace 2002 A generous, inspiring film that unfolds with grace and humor and gradually becomes a testament to faith. full review
  4. America's Sweethearts 2001 Doesn't contain a single genuine emotion. It's just as bogus and hollow as the movie business it portrays. full review
  5. Apocalypse Now Redux 2001 The new Redux version isn't a better film, but for Coppola fans and film lovers, it's essential viewing. full review
  6. Dogtown and Z-Boys 2001 Exhilarating but blatantly biased. full review
  7. The Glass House 2001 Hollywood delivers new junk every week, but this is junk with a vindictive, sadistic edge. full review
  8. Heartbreakers 2001 Unless you're a Hackman aficionado, there's no reason to bother with Heartbreakers. full review
  9. Riding in Cars with Boys 2001 Neither Barrymore, who's never played a role this ambitious before, nor director Penny Marshall, who peppers the movie with sight gags and sitcom broadness, ever comes to terms with Beverly. full review
  10. Vanilla Sky 2001 The film's aim -- to dazzle and inspire -- is sapped by Cruise's vein-popping, running-the-marathon performance. full review
  11. All the Pretty Horses 2000 An elegiac, visually hypnotic film about love, honor, reverence for nature and the loss of tradition. full review
  12. American Psycho 2000 Funny-one-minute, horrifying-the-next film. full review
  13. Presque rien (Come Undone) 2000 Sticks to a standard of emotional honesty in following Mathieu's journey, and casting a shrewd eye as he stumbles toward self-awareness. full review
  14. The Gift 2000 Logic is mocked, plot strands capriciously abandoned. Actors chew upholstery, and the heroine has so many 'Don't open that door, lady!' moments that the movie starts to play like an unintended parody of overblown hokum. full review
  15. The Golden Bowl 2000 Makes the viewer wish that Ivory had cast a more accomplished actress -- Kate Winslet, perhaps, or Cate Blanchett -- who could give dimension to the character and indicate subtext in a way that Thurman can't. full review
  16. Highlander - Endgame 2000 Even the sound effects get tiring: How many times can you hear swords being clanged, yanked from the Earth or sinking squishily into quivering flesh without getting bored? full review
  17. Memento 2000 Bound to be talked about, debated and eviscerated far more than it's understood. full review
  18. Merci Pour le Chocolat 2000 Merci Pour le Chocolat has a restraint and rigor that we don't see in commercial American films, the kind that a director creates when he has no interest in sentimentality or in soliciting the audience's favor. full review
  19. Our Song 2000 The movie's soul isn't its plot but the relationships among the girls. full review
  20. Scream 3 2000 Fulfills its modest ambitions by delivering a glib slasher spoof for the mall crowd. full review
  21. The Taste of Others 2000 Rich with vivid characters and revelations about the illogical yet human ways in which we crash and intersect. full review
  22. Traffic 2000 With Traffic, his most ambitious and complex film to date, Soderbergh again proves himself one of our most inventive filmmakers. full review
  23. 42 Up 1999 At its best, the Up series does what art is meant to do: It binds us to others, helps us to identify our feelings and reminds us of our shared humanity. full review
  24. The Blair Witch Project 1999 There's no denying the terror in The Blair Witch Project. It's fierce, it's palpable and it gets deep under the skin. full review
  25. An Ideal Husband 1999 [T]his Husband plods and ambles and bears the burden of a soundtrack that resembles a wimpy meditation tape. full review
  26. Ravenous 1999 full review
  27. Superstar 1999 Delivers plenty of laughs and succeeds on a level that recent SNL movies didn't. full review
  28. The War Zone 1999 full review
  29. East Is East 1998 full review
  30. Kurt & Courtney 1998 full review
  31. The Replacement Killers 1998 full review
  32. Velvet Goldmine 1998 full review
  33. Amistad 1997 In Amistad, an admirable but disappointing effort...[Speilberg] veers between stoic political correctness and mushy Hollywood platitudes. full review
  34. The Apostle 1997 full review
  35. Chasing Amy 1997 Lacks insight and finesse, and feels like a boldfaced Rorschach for Smith's own hang-ups. full review
  36. The Frighteners 1997 An object lesson in what to avoid when making the transition from low-budget films to studio productions. full review
  37. The House of Yes 1997 Presumably it worked far better onstage, where MacLeod's absurdist tale and self-conscious, Beckett-like wordplay probably found a friendlier context. full review
  38. The Ice Storm 1997 [An] impressive adaptation of the Rick Moody novel. full review
  39. A Life Less Ordinary 1997 full review
  40. Meet Wally Sparks 1997 full review
  41. Mrs. Brown 1997 full review
  42. My Son the Fanatic 1997 full review
  43. Office Killer 1997 It can't decide what it wants to be -- slasher fest, social satire or revenge comedy -- and ends up being an awkward goulash. full review
  44. Welcome to Sarajevo 1997 A compelling but jumbled film that examines the line between journalistic detachment and passion. full review
  45. The Wings of the Dove 1997 full review
  46. Albino Alligator 1996 full review
  47. Basquiat 1996 full review
  48. Beautiful Girls 1996 It's the women who break the monotony of this dudes-in-flux saga... full review
  49. Boyfriends 1996 full review
  50. Down Periscope 1996 After that auspicious opening, it sinks. full review
  51. Flirting With Disaster 1996 full review
  52. Happy Gilmore 1996 It may smell awful from a distance, especially if you have low tolerance for lowbrow humor, but up close this yarn about an unlikely golf star is fairly painless. full review
  53. Ridicule 1996 full review
  54. Walking and Talking 1996 full review
  55. The Brady Bunch Movie 1995 A gentle, passable spoof. full review
  56. Clockers 1995 Has the strengths of Spike Lee's best work without the preachiness and gimmicky camera moves of his weakest. full review
  57. The Crossing Guard 1995 full review
  58. Dead Man 1995 full review
  59. Dead Man Walking 1995 Acting rarely gets better than this. full review
  60. Fallen Angels 1995 Wong brings tremendous vigor and audacity to the effort, asking us to question the most basic rules of storytelling and commercial filmmaking. full review
  61. First Knight 1995 ...a handsome, entertaining twist on the King Arthur legend... full review
  62. Four Rooms 1995 The result is a batch of shrill, self-indulgent sketches that turn so wretched in spots you start to wonder if the filmmakers wanted them to be bad. full review
  63. Smoke 1995 full review
  64. Strange Days 1995 Bigelow is so enamored of high-tech thrills, and so mesmerized by the violence she seeks to condemn, that her efforts at 11th-hour moralizing seem limp and halfhearted. full review
  65. Forrest Gump 1994 Hanks is so charming as Gump, so heroic in his guilelessness and belief in simple virtues, that you want to excuse the film's excesses and overlook Zemeckis' weakness for easy, maudlin sentiment. full review
  66. Heavenly Creatures 1994 full review
  67. Apocalypse Now 1979 Apocalypse Now is a mixed bag, a product of excess and ambition, hatched in agony and redeemed by shards of brilliance. full review
  68. Grease 1978 The friskiness of the performers, the choreography by Patricia Birch and most of all Travolta's phenomenal charm give it its value. full review
  69. Don't Look Now 1973 A haunting, beautiful labyrinth that gets inside your bones and stays there. full review
  70. Barbarella 1968 Fonda looks sensational and glides through this romp like a dazed, ripe-to-the- touch innocent. full review
  71. All About Eve 1950 Is there anyone alive who hasn't seen All About Eve -- anyone who doesn't love movies, that is? full review

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