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Ian Buckwalter, The Atlantic

  1. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 Though there's some admirably clever plotting to interweave the film's second half with events in the original, it's simply not as scary. full review
  2. Side Effects 2013 Soderbergh is less interested in making statements than he is in skillfully fulfilling genre expectations. full review
  3. Upstream Color 2013 Carruth may be something that the movies haven't yet seen, perhaps the first great realization of the democratization of filmmaking that digital technology and the Internet promised. full review
  4. Bully 2012 What Bully does is offer viewers the potential to connect a growing network of like-minded people, and does so with elegant storytelling. full review
  5. Casa de mi padre 2012 As a low-budget independent not necessarily intended for a broad audience, Casa doesn't have to bow to the middle-of-the-road multiplex appeal that handcuffs many SNL-pedigreed films. That works to the film's great benefit. full review
  6. God Bless America 2012 This is no simple wish-fulfillment revenge fantasy. It's an indictment of us as viewers and tacit supporters of the cultural trash heap. full review
  7. The Good Doctor 2012 Wants to be a twisty nail-biter, but never creates much suspense or surprise. full review
  8. The Imposter 2012 Centered on a 15-year-old cold case, there should be no real surprises here. Why, then, is the experience of watching The Imposter one of edge-of-the-seat disbelief and nerve-jangling thrills? full review
  9. The Innkeepers 2012 We can't dissociate ourselves from the evil because, as in much of the best horror, what's scaring us isn't external; it's everything we fear seeing when we look in the mirror. full review
  10. Safe 2012 The thoroughly mediocre Safe provides little more than an excuse for Statham to do what Statham does better than anyone else: look stern while punishing bad guys. That's just not enough. full review
  11. Silent House 2012 The camera's unblinking eye constantly stays with Olsen, and we feel in as much danger as she is. full review
  12. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning 2012 Day of Reckoning is somehow not just the best film in the series, but a damn fine piece of action filmmaking by any measure. full review