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Gene Seymour, Newsday

  1. Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) 2007 Despite its contrivances and flashiness, City of Men somehow wins you over with its steady, underlying flow of intimacy and compassion. full review
  2. Nanking 2007 Nanking submits yet another reminder, if any more were needed, of how wickedness in the 20th century achieved dimensions previously considered unimaginable -- or unbearable. full review
  3. The Benchwarmers 2006 Let the vomit-and-gas jokes begin! full review
  4. Freedomland 2006 Freedomland, the movie, doesn't flow at all. Joe Roth, who as a director makes an excellent producer, tries hard and you can see the effort throughout. full review
  5. Agnes and His Brothers 2004 There's fierce energy and -- thanks to the performances -- affecting emotion in the movie that almost makes you forget that Rainer Werner Fassbinder told a similar story much better 28 years ago with In a Year with 13 Moons. full review
  6. Secuestro Express 2004 Secuestro Express leaves you feeling as much a hostage as the story's victims -- more to the point, as if you've slept in the same clothes for more than three days. full review
  7. Darkness Falls 2003 If you need to be really scared of the dark, you're better off making up stuff from the shadows in your own room. full review
  8. A League of Ordinary Gentlemen 2003 Christopher Browne's nonfiction chronicle of the Professional Bowlers Association's quest to retrieve its once-widespread popularity carries more warmth, intimacy and grit -- and still manages to be as witty and engrossing as any Hollywood comedy. full review
  9. Bukowski: Born into This 2002 Speaks for the idolaters without apology. Yet it maintains just enough level-headedness to show the darker, not-so-admirable aspects of the Bukowski legend. full review
  10. The New Guy 2002 An unintentional parody of every teen movie made in the last five years. full review
  11. Secret Things 2002 For those who like their erotic melodramas frosty and lavish, Secret Things is as elaborately whipped up as such treats ever get. full review
  12. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 The imagery snaps and pops with such jumpy, carefree energy that the movie seems to be making itself up as it goes along. full review
  13. XXX 2002 It's hard to tell with all the crashing and banging where the salesmanship ends and the movie begins. full review
  14. The Animal 2001 There's a whole lot of stuff like The Animal to the point that there's no longer anything outrageous about its outrageousness. full review
  15. Pootie Tang 2001 Its calculated crudity and sledgehammer gags offer the same ephemeral pleasures one gets when heckling a campy blaxploitation thriller. full review
  16. Riding in Cars with Boys 2001 You can see how hard it works from top to bottom. But it never quite gets what it wants. full review
  17. Blow Dry 2000 Director Paddy Breathnach, who made the criminally underrated I Went Down, struggles to counteract the hackneyed plotting with visual grace. All the actors likewise struggle to rise above the mawkish sentimentality. full review
  18. Croupier 2000 Not since 1971's Get Carter has British director Mike Hodges made a movie as deep, dark and compelling as this thriller.
  19. The Emperor's New Groove 2000 The best Warner Bros. cartoon ever created by the Walt Disney Studios. full review
  20. The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick 2000 Tells a lot more than it shows about its subject, looking more like an infomercial for Dick's legend than a true window into his art and influence. full review
  21. The Original Kings of Comedy 2000 Mac fires his comic salvos with the authoritative ease of a champion boxer.
  22. Iron Monkey 1993 As with other, similar movies, you do have to buy into brazen pulp operatics to get through it. Still, there's a rough-hewn energy to the movie's pre-digital flying-fist sequences that all but neutralizes the unapologetic hokum. full review
  23. /titles/198238 Skip it. Just fill in the blanks and you too can brew the same bland, goopy mixture. full review
  24. /titles/198243 ...a sluggish courtroom potboiler about racism, murder and due process. full review
  25. /titles/197832 There's barely more invention in the animation than in the concept. full review
  26. /titles/197467 There is nothing in the personalities of J.D., Wayne or Darren that makes me believe that they don't deserve to be slapped upside their heads for being pathetic losers. full review
  27. /titles/197207 Shooter eventually gets in its own way by hitting things too hard, too loud and too long. full review
  28. /titles/197841 This is the first Nickelodeon big-screen spinoff that will leave you feeling as if you've been through a real movie instead of an expanded TV segment. full review