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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. Penelope 2006 If only Penelope knew what it truly wished to be and how to go about it. full review
  3. Saint of 9/11 2006 You come away from this movie with a bracing recognition that grace and perfection don't always share the same corners of the soul -- which doesn't and shouldn't prevent you from doing good works for others. full review
  4. Unknown 2006 It's not nearly as risky or as inspired as the movies it borrows from. But it keeps its audience's collective head in the game, thanks in large part to an impressive cast enacting the sometimes ludicrous proceedings with conviction. full review
  5. The Outsider 2005 Jarecki's tour of Toback's world may glean more than probe. But as these kinds of trips go, even looking at the scenery yields fascinating sights and stirs worthwhile curiosity. full review
  6. 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
  7. Following Sean 2004 What emerges from Arlyck's musings is a penetrating cinematic essay on how generations in the last century struggled to take hold of history and reconfigure the shape of daily life. full review
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. A Guy Thing 2002 It's one of those movies whose sole conviction is that no gag is so tired or gross or easily grasped the first time that it cannot be run into the ground. full review
  13. The New Guy 2002 An unintentional parody of every teen movie made in the last five years. full review
  14. 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
  15. XXX 2002 It's hard to tell with all the crashing and banging where the salesmanship ends and the movie begins. full review
  16. 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
  17. Pootie Tang 2001 Its calculated crudity and sledgehammer gags offer the same ephemeral pleasures one gets when heckling a campy blaxploitation thriller. full review
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. The Emperor's New Groove 2000 The best Warner Bros. cartoon ever created by the Walt Disney Studios. full review
  21. 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
  22. The Original Kings of Comedy 2000 Mac fires his comic salvos with the authoritative ease of a champion boxer.
  23. Vertical Limit 2000 There's a huge surplus of edge-of-your-seat whatevers in this thin-air thriller about a rescue mission on K2. But by the end, you can't tell who's got more bruises: the actors or your nerves. full review
  24. Girl, Interrupted 1999 Unrelenting grimness settles over the movie like a soupy fog, changing shape only to add unnecessary suspense to the more ominous -- and obvious -- plot turns.