Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News

  1. The Passion of the Christ 2004 The extreme violence does not teach a lesson; it's an end in itself, more suited to the S&M crowd than to anyone seeking an uplifting sermon on everlasting redemption.
  2. Holes 2003 A slightly better-than-average tale of friendship, sacrifice and survival. full review
  3. Tears of the Sun 2003 Propaganda doesn't get any more entertaining. full review
  4. Ararat 2002 Given the convoluted approach -- and tongue-tied delivery -- we're left to conclude that Egoyan's emotions got the better of him this time. full review
  5. The Believer 2002 See it. Debate it. Remember it. full review
  6. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002 Clooney, who on the basis of this movie has a big career ahead of him behind the camera, demonstrates a real flair for visual comedy.
  7. The Dancer Upstairs 2002 Smart, upmarket entertainment. full review
  8. Maid in Manhattan 2002 Made-to-order for the singer-actress's target audience, preteen girls and their obliging moms. full review
  9. Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002 Noyce has worked wonders with the material. full review
  10. Treasure Planet 2002 It's a pleasant enough way to mark time, which is exactly what the rest of the Disney crew is doing -- until inspiration, like a beam from the far end of the galaxy, strikes again. full review
  11. The United States of Leland 2002 Leland is nothing if not well meant and sincere. Unfortunately, it's also pretentious, overwritten, derivative.
  12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001 The smartest and smartest-looking action movie of the year.
  13. The Gift 2000 Unfortunately, Raimi and Thornton -- who collaborated as director and star on the genuinely creepy A Simple Plan -- have only enough material this time to sustain half a movie.
  14. Merci Pour le Chocolat 2000 A sun-drenched masterpiece, part parlor game, part psychological case study, part droll social satire. full review
  15. Strictly Ballroom 1992
  16. /titles/197415 As fragmented and heavy-handed as the first installment was smart, funny and, yes, at times unexpectedly sweet. full review
  17. /titles/199824 Clocking in at two hours, it runs way too long for a flight of fancy, packs a couple of false endings, and, a first for Burton, feels flat and familiar, like recycled Ray Bradbury. full review
  18. /titles/199795 If you can overlook its lapses in character logic, you'll have a ghoulishly good time at this more-ambitious -than-usual shocker. full review