Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

  1. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 2010 It's the coolness of Gibney's account of the possibly systematic sabotaging of Spitzer's career, perpetrated by a strangely camera-friendly cast of enemies-cum-conspirators, that makes it such transfixing viewing. full review
  2. Countdown to Zero 2010 At least it makes you scared again. There's nothing more frightening than what we've learned to live with. full review
  3. Freedom Writers 2007 Freedom Writers confounds its own claims to veracity by coming across as a veritable textbook in itself -- a textbook of earnest, liberal, white-woman-in-the-blackboard jungle cliches. full review
  4. Into the Wild 2007 Super '70s in both style and sensibility, Into the Wild does for vagabond New Age souls what Deliverance did for misguided suburban macho. full review
  5. Lars and the Real Girl 2007 Lars and the Real Girl remains suspended somewhere between perversity and pap, with only Gosling hinting at the mingling that might have been. full review
  6. Zodiac 2007 It makes you want to study it even more closely, in search of things you might have missed, trailing after leads that flash by in the relentless momentum of going nowhere fast. If you're not careful, it might make you obsessed. full review
  7. Click 2006 Click is about an immature man's bumpy collision with maturity, and that's the perfect subject for the stubbornly frat-based talents of Adam Sandler. full review
  8. Curious George 2006 Despite eerie narrative parallels with King Kong, the most curious thing about Curious George is how gentle it is. full review
  9. Klimt 2006 Klimt comes across as a lovely but unfathomable object, and an inadvertent case study in the argument for the ultimate integrity of Klimt's art. full review
  10. Nacho Libre 2006 The film's sheer lack of everything that customarily passes for comic fuel -- energy, wit, character, fun, a plot -- renders Nacho Libre a torturous patience tester of the first order. full review
  11. Scoop 2006 If only it were funny instead of just passably amusing, and if only Allen's movies hadn't declined to such a state of rote self-repetition that even passably amusing is tantamount to a compliment. full review
  12. The Wind That Shakes the Barley 2006 ... you can feel the panic, rage and fear of the participants, and there's a rare sense in the movie of history being less recreated than relived. full review
  13. Free Zone 2005 Without fail, Gitai's determination to churn everything into metaphoric mud prevails. full review
  14. Karla 2005 You can call it guilty of exploitation, tastelessness or insensitivity if you like, but its greatest failing is a certain deadly pointlessness. full review
  15. My Summer of Love 2005 Pawlikowski doesn't spend much time explaining his characters or telling us why they do what they do, and that's exactly why they remain so compelling. full review
  16. Old Joy 2005 The real resonance of Reichardt's at once lean and profound little movie is that, without saying anything directly, it can seem to say so much. full review
  17. Downfall (Der Untergang) 2004 For emotional effect it trades less in the spectacle of ebbing power than the tragedy of power's mysterious thrall. full review
  18. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 2004 Doesn't require an interest in business affairs to be captivating. It unfolds like a Wall St. disaster movie with two eminently hissable villains presiding over the catastrophe. full review
  19. The Forgotten 2004 It's the central casting of the remarkable Julianne Moore that gives the movie both a core and a heart, particularly when Di Pego's script starts making its way further and further out along the limb of credibility. full review
  20. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra 2004 Stands out for its convincingly spellbound, Wood-like hermeticism: It feels like the very first '50s sci-fi parody ever made. full review
  21. The Passion of the Christ 2004 What graphic sex is to the use of the body in hardcore porno, graphic violence is to destruction of the body of Christ in this Passion. full review
  22. The Puffy Chair 2004 The irony is, it's a journey with no escape. full review
  23. Spanglish 2004 Feels like inadvertent misogynist psychodrama. full review
  24. American Wedding 2003 At this wedding, you can have your cake and barf it, too. full review
  25. Beyond Borders 2003 To imagine that there are those who would scoff at the idea that fashion cares! As Beyond Borders demonstrates with such lavish sensitivity, fashion cares like nothing else. When it comes to giving up food, fashion practically spews concern. full review
  26. Control Room 2003 Noujaim's documentary is clearly sympathetic to the journalists of Al-Jazeera, who all seem to be professional, intelligent and reasonable, but it is not blindly biased. full review
  27. CSA: Confederate States of America 2003 By slyly nudging both history and the language of television, this mock documentary about an America won by the Confederacy ... manages to be both shocking and strangely banal in equal measure. full review
  28. Gigli 2003 It is an exquisitely bad movie: One to be savoured, marvelled over, shared with friends and generally appreciated in a state of awestruck wonder. Gourmet fromage. full review
  29. Love Actually 2003 A form of emotional hardcore. full review
  30. The Missing 2003 At once racially fearful, and anxiously apologetic, patriarchal and post-feminist, pacifist and trigger-happy -- The Missing is engaged in one big, long desert showdown with itself. full review
  31. Mona Lisa Smile 2003 [Roberts] is an anachronistic pop-feminist on a mission. full review
  32. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 There is much by way of noise, computer-generated action, big sets and breezy laughs, and practically nothing to intrude on your thought processes afterwards. full review
  33. Saved! 2003 Something puts the fear of God into Saved! about halfway in. full review
  34. Stander 2003 Pumped by a soundtrack of period South African funk and dance music, propelled by whiplash montage sequences and rubber-burning Burt Reynolds-issue getaways, Stander is the very definition of good, old-fashioned outlawry. full review
  35. Tears of the Sun 2003 If you ever wanted a reason to root for a righteous invasion, this sequence -- like My Lai but improved because it's perpetrated by the bad guys -- provides it. full review
  36. Uptown Girls 2003 Can two over-pampered but fundamentally lonely persons of the blonde female persuasion bond meaningfully with each other while shopping? full review
  37. American Dreamz 2002 Like a commander-in-chief who's too good-naturedly dumb to be dangerous, the writer-director is ultimately too forgiving to do much bruising. (Or maybe too calculating, which kind of blurs into the same thing.) full review
  38. Changing Lanes 2002 Although dampened by intermittent preachiness and an unconvincingly pat and uplifting resolution ... Changing Lanes nevertheless taps into emotions so convincing it elevates the movie above its own shortcomings. full review
  39. Fidel 2002 Makes an aborbing if arguable case for the man's greatness. full review
  40. Irreversible 2002 At once overwhelming and inconsequential, harrowing and banal, gimmicky and humourless, overheated and undercooked, this mega-hyped French movie may represent the ultimate triumph of cynicism in the global trade in non-English-language movies. full review
  41. Maid in Manhattan 2002 Executed by The Joy Luck Club's Wayne Wang with the professional dispatch of someone delivering room service. full review
  42. Morvern Callar 2002 Maintains your sympathy for this otherwise challenging soul by letting you share her one-room world for a while. full review
  43. Narc 2002 Jason Patric and Ray Liotta make for one splendidly cast pair. full review
  44. The New Guy 2002 There's no getting around the fact that this is Revenge Of The Nerds Revisited -- again. full review
  45. Panic Room 2002 It feels less like a suspense movie than a video-game spinoff of a suspense movie. full review
  46. Poolhall Junkies 2002 Whatever you want to say about this Mars Callaghan -- who is an avid cue-man in real life -- he would seem to be able to sink anything. Darned if he doesn't make this whole movie disappear. full review
  47. Pumpkin 2002 [A] rather thinly-conceived movie. full review
  48. The United States of Leland 2002 A depressive, civics-lesson Donnie Darko variation. full review
  49. View from the Top 2002 Might be productively -- and quite reasonably -- assaulted on a number of fronts (for its class condescension, its lack of humour, its waste of talent or even its sheer visual ugliness), but it seems both cruel and unnecessary to do so. full review
  50. The Animal 2001 A lunkheaded, sorta gross-out comedy that manages to be likeable and funny. full review
  51. Atlantis - The Lost Empire 2001 The characters and story are mere narrative lubricant to get us from one digitally goosed sensory assault to the next. full review
  52. Children Underground 2001 Heartbreaking, urgent, unsentimental and unflinching. full review
  53. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001 By tapping into responses so primal they feel like magic, Lee's movie reminds you that the medium is never more powerful than when it makes myth feel fresh and new. full review
  54. Dogtown and Z-Boys 2001 This is pop history that blows your hair back. full review
  55. Hannibal 2001 Bears many of the wounds of the book's confusion. full review
  56. Lost and Delirious 2001 Barely skirting the lip of the ridiculous. full review
  57. The Mothman Prophecies 2001 Mark Pellington's The Mothman Prophecies stretches credulity even while it creeps you out. full review
  58. Pootie Tang 2001 A pretty inspired and consistently witty satirical skewering of three decade's worth of macho black pop cultural cliches. full review
  59. The Score 2001 A movie which gets the job done as simply, efficiently and intelligently as possible. full review
  60. Shaolin Soccer 2001 Catnip to those familiar with the conventions of Hong Kong martial arts movies. full review
  61. All the Pretty Horses 2000 Lovely but disengaging, mysterious but uninvolving, physical but strangely remote. full review
  62. Amores Perros 2000 Stylishly gritty. full review
  63. The Emperor's New Groove 2000 Funky, funny and free of ersatz Broadway cheese. full review
  64. The Golden Bowl 2000 In this movie, all displays of passion feel like gaudy pantomime. full review
  65. Love's Labour's Lost 2000 Love's Labour's Lost hops, bumps and skids along the ground like the flightless creature that it is.
  66. The Man Who Cried 2000 It's as though we're being dared not to take the movie seriously, although nothing but the pre-Holocaust setting compels you to do so. full review
  67. Memento 2000 Memento's boldest stroke is its ingenious synthesis of structure and theme. full review

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