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James Berardinelli, ReelViews

  1. The Big Wedding 2013 It's tired and dated with too few laughs to justify the stultifying attempts at drama and the impossible-to-swallow plot contortions. full review
  2. Blue Is The Warmest Color 2013 It's an almost overpowering experience - a movie that transcends voyeurism and invites empathy. full review
  3. Dead Man Down 2013 Explores a common ground for noir thrillers before stumbling and imploding in a climax that feels like it might have been hijacked from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. full review
  4. The Family 2013 Besson's history is one of making crowd-pleasing entertainment and The Family is no different. full review
  5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 Everything in G.I. Joe: Retaliation is perfunctory - technically proficient but soulless. It's not exciting. It's boring. full review
  6. The Host 2013 The movie's structure is awkward. There's no real narrative thrust. full review
  7. The Iceman 2013 The Iceman offers a chronological view into the life of its title protagonist... and what a life it is. full review
  8. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 Insidious: Chapter 2 is not only unnecessary but it commits the cardinal sin of devaluing its predecessor. full review
  9. Jobs 2013 A missed opportunity. full review
  10. Lovelace 2013 Unfortunately, most of Lovelace is more generic and familiar, right down to the too-neat happy ending. full review
  11. Olympus Has Fallen 2013 While Gerard Butler is no Bruce Willis, his Mike Banning is a better facsimile of John McClane than the guy Willis is pretending to play these days. full review
  12. Paranoia 2013 The movie doesn't make a whole lot of sense and, when it does, it would be better off not doing so. full review
  13. Parker 2013 The action scenes are crisply directed, brutal, and invigorating. There are several of them and, in the aftermath of two, Parker is left a bloody mess. full review
  14. Phantom 2013 Much of what's contained in Phantom is at best speculative and at worst completely made-up. But, regardless of the accuracy, it makes for compelling viewing. full review
  15. Short Term 12 2013 An emotionally authentic examination of the lives of those who live in and work at a children's home where the lines between the inhabitants and the caretakers isn't as clear as one might suppose. full review
  16. 360 2012 A better title: A Few Famous and Not-So-Famous Actors Bump into Each Other and Don't Do or Say Much of Consequence. Wordy, yes, but accurate. full review
  17. Arbitrage 2012 The screenplay, written by first-time director Nicholas Jarecki, keeps us guessing, which is one of the best compliments one can pay to a movie of this sort. full review
  18. The Babymakers 2012 The sole function served by this motion picture is to illustrate how not to frame jokes in movies. full review
  19. Bachelorette 2012 Sometimes a movie is so bad it makes me want to go into seclusion and never see another film. Bachelorette is one of those. full review
  20. Cosmopolis 2012 Sometimes, even a little gratuitous nudity can't save a movie. This is one of those occasions. full review
  21. The Dictator 2012 One of the cleverest moments in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator comes during the first five seconds: a memorial dedication to Kim Jong Il. It's all downhill from there. full review
  22. Dredd 2012 Not much of what Dredd has to offer is new or groundbreaking, but the fusion of familiar elements generates a smartly-paced, suspenseful 90 minutes that's a vast improvement over the 1995 film ... full review
  23. The Expendables 2 2012 Does exactly what it's supposed to do - no more, no less. full review
  24. Flight 2012 Flight is a well-made motion picture, but not a fun or entertaining one. full review
  25. God Bless America 2012 A lot of what God Bless America has to say is on-target and is presented in such a straightforward, unvarnished fashion that it's impossible to miss the honesty beneath the comedy. full review
  26. The Grey 2012 The Grey is about raging against the dying of the light but also about accepting it with peace once the fight has been lost. full review
  27. The Guilt Trip 2012 [It] doesn't take every predictable detour, but it takes enough that the movie never ceases to feel overly familiar. full review
  28. Headhunters 2012 At a time when many mystery thrillers fall apart in the final fifteen minutes, Headhunters maintains its integrity. full review
  29. Hick 2012 Hick wants to come across as trippy and offbeat but its bizarre, surreal approach is more off-putting than effective. full review
  30. The Innkeepers 2012 Sometimes with horror movies, it's all about tone. full review
  31. Jack Reacher 2012 A clumsily condensed mystery/thriller novel made into a movie that offers little more than every other clumsily condensed mystery/thriller novel made into a movie. full review
  32. A Late Quartet 2012 Yes, A Late Quartet is disappointing. But it's also pretty bad. full review
  33. Lay the Favorite 2012 As forgettable a motion picture as can be found during the 2012 holiday season. full review
  34. A Little Bit Of Heaven 2012 What's missing is honesty. It has been supplanted by artifice. full review
  35. Little White Lies 2012 At times, it's amusing. At times, it's tragic. At times, it's romantic. But, like many vacations, it's way, way too long. full review
  36. Mirror Mirror 2012 Perhaps the overriding problem with Mirror Mirror is that it mines territory so overworked that there's nothing new or valuable to be found. full review
  37. Red Dawn 2012 Red Dawn suffers from a number of serious problems. The first, and most obvious, is that this is mini-series material compressed into a 95-minute movie. full review
  38. Safe 2012 It's hard to imagine a die-hard action fan being disappointed. full review
  39. Safety Not Guaranteed 2012 "Charming" and "sweet" are two words that can be applied to this movie, which is considerably gentler than the R-rating might imply. full review
  40. Seeking Justice 2012 It's one of those productions that is neither good enough nor bad enough to be enjoyable. full review
  41. The Artist 2011 For a movie that is so much about technique, it's surprising how affecting the story is. full review
  42. Coriolanus 2011 For Shakespeare neophytes whose primary familiarity with the Bard has been through the cinema, watching Coriolanus may seem like unearthing a lost treasure. full review
  43. Cracks 2011 Driven more by characters and relationships than narrative, Cracks explores the exclusionary power of cliques that develop within a closed society, the single-minded violence of the mob mentality, and the seductive charm of the charismatic individual. full review
  44. Hugo 2011 It's a fairy tale for mature viewers, but the airy exterior hides emotional depth. full review
  45. Into The Abyss 2011 Watching Into the Abyss, I had the overwhelming sense that, somewhere along the way, Werner Herzog lost his way. full review
  46. Like Crazy 2011 Although Like Crazy contains some emotionally on-target scenes, the movie as a whole feels glum and artificial. full review
  47. The Other Woman 2011 It's not good enough to warrant a theatrical showing but not bad enough to deserve universal derision. full review
  48. Paranormal Activity 3 2011 If the goal is to generate howls of both laughter and terror, Paranormal Activity 3 falls short. It's too by-the-numbers. full review
  49. All Good Things 2010 Although the movie posits a solution to an infamous missing person's case, it does so in a manner that is less than satisfying. full review
  50. The American 2010 Anyone who understands what The American offers should come away pleased with the final product. full review
  51. Blue Valentine 2010 An autopsy of a failed marriage, it contrasts the giddy honeymoon beginning with the sad denouement after dysfunction has devastated the groundwork of hope and newness. full review
  52. Centurion 2010 No one can claim the bloodshed was toned down in the quest for a PG-13 -- and I consider that to be a positive quality. full review
  53. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 2010 The portrait of Spitzer that emerges throughout Client 9 is of a straight-talking, no-nonsense individual whose non-political way of getting things done crafted a lot of enemies. full review
  54. Countdown to Zero 2010 Countdown to Zero is worthwhile to an extent, if that extent is largely to remind the viewer of certain facts that are easily shunted to the back of one's consciousness. full review
  55. Freakonomics 2010 Some parts of the movie are more satisfying and intriguing than others, but there are enough surprising and non-intuitive revelations that even the most jaded viewer will likely learn a thing or two. full review
  56. I Am Love 2010 I Am Love falls into the select category of films that are easier to admire than like. full review
  57. The King's Speech 2010 A fully satisfying and uplifting period piece that achieves its dramatic potential without sacrificing historical accuracy. full review
  58. Tabloid 2010 The viewer is left with no clear indication of what really happened, but with a vibrant portrait of a compelling character. That's what Morris is after. full review
  59. Fish Tank 2009 Watching Fish Tank is, as the title implies, like gazing through the glass of an aquarium at the lives of those trapped within, whose only chance of escape would seem to be through death and the indignity of being flushed down a toilet. full review
  60. Five Minutes of Heaven 2009 The movie might have been more tense had it been a little more quiet. Neeson and Nesbitt, however, are so good that narrative hiccups never threaten to lose us... full review
  61. The Fourth Kind 2009 Not entirely uninteresting, but it suffers from some ill-advised decisions. In fact, the film's "hook" may be its greatest detraction. full review
  62. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 2009 Unlike The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which can stand on its own, the other two films need to be seen as a set. Neither is complete without the other. full review
  63. Bronson 2008 The film does a good job of presenting in bloody detail the misdeeds of a misanthrope while italicizing his underdeveloped artistic abilities, but it is obtuse when it comes to character development. full review
  64. Deal 2008 The film has more of a checklist of cliches than an actual script and, when it comes to the cast, director Gil Cates Jr. is scraping the bottom of the barrel. full review
  65. Let the Right One In 2008 Its portrayal of the relationship between two improbably alike pre-teens is more believable than what we see in many 'realistic' dramas. full review
  66. Never Back Down 2008 This movie isn't bad just because it follows a formula slavishly but because it does so without verve or passion. full review
  67. Descent 2007 full review
  68. Eagle vs. Shark 2007 It becomes increasingly difficult to care one way or another about characters who act like they have undergone frontal lobotomies. full review
  69. Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side) 2007 The Edge of Heaven explores topics as varied as the tensions that accompany multiculturalism and globalization to the simpler human drama of how individuals cope with losses for which they bear a portion of the responsibility. full review
  70. Flawless 2007 It's good disposable entertainment that offers the right mix of character identification, plot unpredictability, and suspense to keep viewers interested throughout. full review
  71. Outsourced 2007 It's a celebration of cultural diversity and an affirmation that, despite differences in race, religion, and societal norms, people are essentially the same, with a lack of understanding being a key block to better relations. full review
  72. Paranoid Park 2007 Paranoid Park, while still off the beaten path, is less self-absorbed and pretentious than anything Van Sant has crafted since Finding Forrester. full review
  73. Puccini for Beginners 2007 Puccini for Beginners is littered with witty dialogue, although some of it is so obviously scripted that it can become off-putting. full review
  74. Cashback 2006 Cashback is light, smart, and enjoyable, and it makes me eager to see what Ellis has planned for his next outing. full review
  75. Charlotte's Web 2006 Charlotte's Web has all the requisite elements that a family film needs to succeed and endure: humor, drama, pathos, and an emotionally satisfying ending. full review
  76. Deep Water 2006 Deep Water is a documentary, but it's also one part adventure film, one part Greek tragedy, and one part meditation on the role of the 'hero' in modern society. full review
  77. Golden Door 2006 full review
  78. Jesus Camp 2006 Both disturbing and enlightening. full review
  79. Nacho Libre 2006 After a promising beginning, Nacho Libre goes off the rails with its over-the-top satire and intentional campiness failing to generate many laughs. full review
  80. Sherrybaby 2006 full review
  81. This Is England 2006 This Is England may be set in 1983 but it's as relevant today as it was then. full review
  82. 49 Up 2005 Whether we actually 'know' these individuals or not is beside the point; we feel we do, and this enriches the experience of watching the most ambitious documentary project ever committed to celluloid. full review
  83. Aeon Flux 2005 Although it would be difficult to laud this movie as being anything stronger than mediocre, it is superior to what one would reasonably expect from something Paramount was trying to keep under wraps. full review
  84. Dirty Deeds 2005 Movies like Dirty Deeds are supposed to be in bad taste -- but that's only excusable if they're funny, which isn't the case here. full review
  85. Freshman Orientation 2005 Freshman Orientation feels a bit like a missed opportunity. It's too bad the motion picture as a whole isn't as quirky and clever as its double-edged title. full review
  86. The Ice Harvest 2005 This is strictly B-movie fare. full review
  87. My Summer of Love 2005 My Summer of Love is one of those promising little gems that comes along and gets lost in the hype generated by Hollywood's flood of blockbusters. full review
  88. Prozac Nation 2005 In portraying Elizabeth Wurtzel, Ricci displays range, depth, and courage. full review
  89. Rent 2005 RENT is mediocre and recommended only to those who can claim a familiarity with the play. full review
  90. Right at Your Door 2005 While this is admittedly not lighthearted mainstream fare, the subject matter is interesting and is handled in a manner that offers a compelling and sometimes unsettling 95 minutes. full review
  91. Serenity 2005 Serenity isn't about effects. It's about narrative and characters, and it does a solid job in both areas. full review
  92. The Forgotten 2004 Has shocks and a solid performance, but no intelligence to go with them. full review
  93. Anger Management 2003 A one-joke movie that milks its central conceit long after there's nothing left. full review
  94. Beyond Borders 2003 An unconvincing melodrama that seems more interested in pushing an agenda and preaching than in developing legitimate, compelling characters. full review
  95. Bulletproof Monk 2003 Outside of the moments of kinetic madness that represent the action sequences, this movie is an amalgamation of lame comedy, campy Eastern mysticism, and dumb plotting. full review
  96. Dirty Pretty Things 2003 Throughout his career, Frears has taken chances, and only on rare occasions has he missed the mark. Dirty Pretty Things is right on target. full review
  97. Gigli 2003 This isn't a good film, but, when set alongside the likes of Dumb and Dumberer and Legally Blonde 2, Jen & Ben offer less pain. full review
  98. Holes 2003 It's smart, strange, unpredictable, and defies the formulas that typically define this sort of motion picture. full review
  99. My Boss's Daughter 2003 Sitting through My Boss' Daughter is the enactment of a critic's worst nightmare. full review
  100. Scary Movie 3 2003 The Naked Gun 33 1/3 wasn't the final insult from a founding ZAZ (Zucker/Abrams/Zucker) member; this is. full review
  101. Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over 2003 I like the movie, but hate its presentation. full review
  102. Touching the Void 2003 British filmmaker Kevin Macdonald has blended elements of docudrama and documentary into a satisfying whole that will keep even the most stoic movie-goer gripping the armrest throughout. full review
  103. Below 2002 While director David Twohy arguably doesn't mine the premise for all it's worth, he gets enough out of it to make it an effective Halloween treat. full review
  104. Changing Lanes 2002 It's watchable and compelling, and works on more than one level. full review
  105. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys 2002 While there are times when the film's reach exceeds its grasp, the production works more often than it doesn't. full review
  106. A Guy Thing 2002 It takes a truly awful motion picture to nullify the considerable appeal of Lee, Stiles, and Blair, but A Guy Thing has what it takes. full review
  107. The Importance of Being Earnest 2002 While The Importance of Being Earnest offers opportunities for occasional smiles and chuckles, it doesn't give us a reason to be in the theater beyond Wilde's wit and the actors' performances. full review
  108. Pumpkin 2002 The majority of the film is original and engaging, and Christina Ricci turns in another fine performance. This pair of assets alone is worth the price of admission. full review
  109. Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002 One of 2002's most memorable imports. full review
  110. Spider-Man 2002 This is a pure popcorn movie -- the kind of film one can unabashedly enjoy for what it is. full review
  111. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 Director Robert Rodriguez has once again caught lightning in a bottle. full review
  112. The Sweetest Thing 2002 Loses its sense of humor in a vat of failed jokes, twitchy acting, and general boorishness. full review
  113. View from the Top 2002 A mediocre diversion -- a movie better watched at home where the remote control can be used (if necessary) to fast forward to the film's best part: the obligatory end credit outtakes. full review
  114. Black Hawk Down 2001 One hell of a ride. For better or for worse, it will leave you stunned and reeling. full review
  115. Ali 2001 Even though the movie is too long and suffers from an inconsistent tone, the narrative is compelling, as are the performances. full review
  116. Along Came a Spider 2001 Sink under the weight of its own preposterousness despite the best efforts of the always-effective Morgan Freeman to stave off disaster. full review
  117. The Deep End 2001 An exceptionally involving and intelligent thriller. full review
  118. Donnie Darko 2001 Despite its flaws, this is a compelling motion picture, and offers the kind of 'fresh' experience extended by the likes of Pi and The Sticky Fingers of Time. full review
  119. Get Over It 2001 Offers a departure (albeit not a radical one) from the norm. full review
  120. The Glass House 2001 The film has two consistent attributes: stupidity and predictability. full review
  121. The Shipping News 2001 Deals with weighty issues and is intellectually intriguing, but I found myself uninvolved from start to finish. full review
  122. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider 2001 Of all this summer's mindless blockbusters, this is arguably the most fun. full review
  123. Gossip 2000 An inane bore. full review
  124. 28 Days 2000 28 Days possesses all the depth and insight of a made-for-TV movie. full review
  125. All the Pretty Horses 2000 full review
  126. Amores Perros 2000 Amores Perros is more than just a strong debut; it's good, gritty filmmaking. full review
  127. Blow Dry 2000 Blow Dry is enjoyable in a low-key way, but it's far from an unqualified hit, and lacks the infectious energy of Beaufoy's earlier effort. full review
  128. Butterfly 2000 full review
  129. Center Stage 2000 With a plot that is constructed entirely out of formula situations and familiar plot elements, Center Stage feels like a rerun of Flashdance grafted onto The Cutting Edge. full review
  130. Committed 2000 Overall, Committed is a disappointment. full review
  131. Hamlet 2000 Although it's virtually impossible to make a bad movie based on a play as strong as Hamlet, Almereyda almost succeeds. full review
  132. Happy Accidents 2000 Happy Accidents is about as unconventional a romantic comedy as you're likely to find - the only problem is that the lackluster science fiction elements keep getting in the way. full review
  133. Love's Labour's Lost 2000 Flaws (most of which are minor) aside, Love's Labour's Lost is an enjoyable trifle. full review
  134. Malena 2000 An affecting coming-of-age story. full review
  135. The Man Who Cried 2000 A mixed bag -- reasonably well-made and of some interest, but not the kind of movie to truly engage the viewer. full review
  136. Scream 3 2000 Unfortunately, there's nothing here that even the most inexperienced horror film fan would call innovative, and the predictable result is a movie that pales in comparison with its predecessors. full review
  137. With A Friend Like Harry 2000 A more energetic and interesting entry than what one has come to expect from this overpopulated genre. full review
  138. 42 Up 1999 There's something incredibly simple yet profound about what Apted has done with this series. It's an amazing achievement - not only is it a sociological masterpiece, but it's a fine example of how real-life drama can often be more compelling than fiction. full review
  139. Brokedown Palace 1999 full review
  140. But I'm A Cheerleader 1999 full review
  141. Double Jeopardy 1999 full review
  142. eXistenZ 1999 Because of the potential of the idea and Cronenberg's reputation as a film maker, it's a real disappointment to watch eXistenZ fall apart the way it does. full review
  143. The General's Daughter 1999 A consistently involving effort! full review
  144. Girl, Interrupted 1999 The inclusion of this picture on [Mangold's] resume will only enhance his future prospects. full review
  145. An Ideal Husband 1999 An irresistible concoction of brilliant dialogue, sumptuous set design, top-notch acting, and a plot littered with Machiavellian twists. full review
  146. In Dreams 1999 A disappointing, disjointed thriller that seems like it was cobbled together using elements from better films! full review
  147. In Too Deep 1999 The latest in a long line of mediocre August releases, this would-be thriller boasts several well acted, interesting characters stuck in a story that is unevenly paced and overly familiar. full review
  148. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 1999 This may be the first movie to capture the reckless exuberance of Pulp Fiction without seeming like a blatant rip-off. full review
  149. Mansfield Park 1999 A fine addition to the filmed Austen canon. full review
  150. Music of the Heart 1999 Music of the Heart is nothing if not a change of pace, and, unfortunately, Craven doesn't appear entirely comfortable in these new surroundings. full review
  151. My Life so Far 1999 full review
  152. She's All That 1999 To say this isn't original is to understate the matter. However, although it's questionable whether this story has ever been done well, that hasn't stopped filmmakers from repeatedly trying. full review
  153. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut 1999 While there aren't more than a handful of gut-busting, laugh-aloud moments, there is enough sly, slick humor to keep the average viewer chuckling throughout. full review
  154. Superstar 1999 There's really no reason for anyone to see this film except die hard Shannon fans. full review
  155. Teaching Mrs. Tingle 1999 The lack of surprises, plot twists, and clever dialogue makes this a distressingly lame offering. full review
  156. The Thomas Crown Affair 1999 Thomas Crown Affair comes across as a pale shadow of the 1968 original. full review
  157. The Virgin Suicides 1999 Tragic, haunting, and sometimes darkly comedic, this movie leaves a strong impression in its telling of a story about the destruction of innocence. full review
  158. A Walk on the Moon 1999 full review
  159. The War Zone 1999 full review
  160. The Wood 1999 The Wood is a solid debut for director Famuyiwa. full review
  161. Another Day In Paradise 1998 It aims to be powerful and gritty, but merely succeeds in being dreary and grungy. full review
  162. Antz 1998 Visually, it's more impressive than Disney's Toy Story. On a script level, it was developed as much with a mature audience in mind as with the usual pre-pubescent crowd. full review
  163. Can't Hardly Wait 1998 The title seems unexpectedly appropriate, as it accurately summed up my feelings about sitting in the theater and anticipating the arrival of the end credits -- I couldn't hardly wait. full review
  164. Caught Up 1998 full review
  165. Clay Pigeons 1998 This is one of those motion pictures where the director (David Dobkin, in his feature debut) and the writer (Matt Healy) are so concerned about developing a clever, serpentine plot that they forget that there has to be a credible ending. full review
  166. East Is East 1998 full review
  167. God Said, Ha! 1998 full review
  168. Gods and Monsters 1998 full review
  169. Jack Frost 1998 The snowman, which is the work of Jim Henson's Creature Shop, is the most glaring problem. It looks about as real as a man in a costume, and it's tough to suspend disbelief when you're trying to locate the zipper. full review
  170. Little Voice 1998 full review
  171. Nightwatch 1998 full review
  172. Pi 1998 Transports us to a world that is like yet unlike our own, and, in its mysterious familiarity, is eerie, intense, and compelling. full review
  173. The Prince of Egypt 1998 This movie is worth a trip to the local multiplex by viewers of all ages, races, and religious persuasions. full review
  174. Shakespeare in Love 1998 Shakespeare in Love is not a great film, but it's an excuse to have an evening of pure enjoyment with a little culture painlessly mixed in. full review
  175. Star Kid 1998 full review
  176. Velvet Goldmine 1998 full review
  177. Waking Ned Devine 1998 Although his movie is not entirely without substance (themes about religion, morality, and spirituality abound, as one can guess from the title character's name), it's basically designed to allow the audience to have fun. full review
  178. Wide Awake 1998 I was aware of the problems, but that didn't diminish the warm, fuzzy glow I was experiencing. full review
  179. Wild Things 1998 I've seen more convincing drama (with nearly as much bare flesh) on that pinnacle of narrative quality, Baywatch. full review
  180. Amistad 1997 Thematically rich, impeccably crafted, and intellectually stimulating, the only area where this movie falls a little short is in its emotional impact. full review
  181. The Apostle 1997 full review
  182. As Good As It Gets 1997 By the time we leave the theater, the warmth of love has melted the coldest heart. full review
  183. Breakdown 1997 A long, drawn-out bore where the fate of each character is all-but-inscribed on his or her forehead. full review
  184. Chasing Amy 1997 This movie is about something, and the deeper we get into it, the more we realize how emotionally on-target the script is. full review
  185. Cop Land 1997 A compelling, if imperfect, motion picture. full review
  186. Donnie Brasco 1997 Takes us into a world that the movies frequently open to us, but somehow this trip seems more real and less glamorized than most. full review
  187. Event Horizon 1997 full review
  188. Fairy Tale - A True Story 1997 full review
  189. The Fifth Element 1997 A lot of money was spent on this film, but $100 million doesn't guarantee a good product. Maybe someone should have thought of spending a few more dollars on a better script. full review
  190. The Frighteners 1997 full review
  191. Gattaca 1997 Gattaca doesn't just function as a science fiction thriller, but as both a cautionary tale about the dangers of letting scientific ability outstrip ethics and as a morality play about the irrationality of bigotry. full review
  192. Hercules 1997 Hercules has the dubious distinction of being the least-enchanting cartoon Disney has fashioned in over a decade. full review
  193. The House of Yes 1997 Not every chance taken by Mark Waters works, but enough are successful to produce some memorable motion picture moments. full review
  194. The Ice Storm 1997 The Ice Storm is perceptive about people, relationships, and human nature, and there's not a single moment in the entire 112 minute running length that rings false. full review
  195. Inventing the Abbotts 1997 full review
  196. Jackie Brown 1997 An entertaining diversion, but not a masterpiece. full review
  197. A Life Less Ordinary 1997 full review
  198. McHale's Navy 1997 Suitable only for movie-goers who have undergone frontal lobotomies. full review
  199. Mimic 1997 full review
  200. Mouse Hunt (Mousehunt) 1997 full review
  201. Mrs. Brown 1997 full review
  202. The Peacemaker 1997 full review
  203. Private Parts 1997 An entertaining motion picture. full review
  204. The Rainmaker 1997 The intelligence and subtlety of The Rainmaker took me by surprise. full review
  205. She's So Lovely 1997 full review
  206. Welcome to Sarajevo 1997 Welcome to Sarajevo isn't just the story of an outsider's perspective of the conflict; it's a compelling examination of the role the media played in reporting and shaping the average person's views of the war. full review
  207. The Wings of the Dove 1997 full review
  208. Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live 1997 This is quite possibly the worst documentary I have ever had the displeasure of watching on the big screen. full review
  209. Michael Collins 1996 While Michael Collins does distort elements of history, most of the changes and compressions are dramatically effective. full review
  210. 101 Dalmatians 1996 full review
  211. Adrenalin: Fear the Rush 1996 full review
  212. Albino Alligator 1996 full review
  213. Basquiat 1996 full review
  214. Beautiful Girls 1996 Borrowing heavily from other, better films, director Ted Demme and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg give each of their male protagonists a case of commitment angst. full review
  215. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America 1996 An old saying states that too much of anything isn't good, and this is a prime example. full review
  216. Big Night 1996 When it comes to seeing Big Night, two words say it all: Bon appetite! full review
  217. Brassed Off 1996 full review
  218. Citizen Ruth 1996 full review
  219. The Crow: City of Angels 1996 Little more than a subpar remake of the first outing. full review
  220. Down Periscope 1996 There are occasional laughs, but, as with most movies that think they're funnier than they actually are, most of the jokes fall flat. full review
  221. The English Patient 1996 This is one of the year's most unabashed and powerful love stories, using flawless performances, intelligent dialogue, crisp camera work, and loaded glances to attain a level of eroticism and emotional connection that many similar films miss. full review
  222. Escape from L.A. 1996 A significant improvement over the first Snake Plisskin adventure. full review
  223. Fargo 1996 It's easy to admire what the Coens are trying to do in Fargo, but more difficult to actually like the film. full review
  224. Flirting With Disaster 1996 full review
  225. The Ghost and the Darkness 1996 The camerawork is frenetic and confusing, and the big confrontations are as likely to provoke unintentional laughter as edge-of-the-seat excitement. full review
  226. Happy Gilmore 1996 Sandler's movie is worth a few laughs, but not many of the comic sequences are original, and even fewer are inspired. full review
  227. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996 This is the least-enjoyable animated feature to come from the studio since its 1989 rebirth. full review
  228. James and the Giant Peach 1996 This weird story has been transformed into a playful, visually arresting experience with more than a few allusions to The Wizard of Oz. full review
  229. Looking for Richard 1996 Looking for Richard is unlike any previous adaptation of the Bard's work, and that's reason enough to give it a shot. full review
  230. Love Serenade 1996 full review
  231. The Pallbearer 1996 full review
  232. Pocahontas 1996 Taking advantage of the studio's breathtakingly intricate animation, directors Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg have breathed vitality into this, the fifth 'new wave' Disney animated picture. full review
  233. Restoration 1996 Solid entertainment, especially in a season when Hollywood's releases are repeatedly causing grimaces. full review
  234. Ridicule 1996 full review
  235. Scream 1996 Scream is a rarity: a horror movie spoof that succeeds almost as well at provoking scares as laughs. full review
  236. Stealing Beauty 1996 What do you call a character study with shallow, sketchily-drawn characters, but a gorgeous setting? A scenery study, perhaps. Or an atmosphere study. full review
  237. Trainspotting 1996 This isn't an examination of the Scottish drug culture from the outside looking in, it's one from the inside looking out. full review
  238. Unhook the Stars 1996 full review
  239. A Very Brady Sequel 1996 No incarnation of the Brady Bunch, no matter how cleverly satirized, can use up an hour and a half's screen time without making the audience feel like they've overdosed. full review
  240. Walking and Talking 1996 full review
  241. Bad Boys 1995 Bad Boys takes the often-traveled road, and leads the audience to a dead end. full review
  242. Blue in the Face 1995 full review
  243. The Brady Bunch Movie 1995 The problem with The Brady Bunch is that, satirical or serious, ninety minutes is too much. full review
  244. Braveheart 1995 With its clashing armies, heartstopping action, and grand sense of romance, this is the sort of film it's a pleasure to see and review. full review
  245. Bushwhacked 1995 This is an occasion when it's far better to see the trailer and skip the actual film. Once the opening credits start rolling, it's all downhill. full review
  246. Clockers 1995 Clockers uses unexpected narrative turns to accentuate the themes of lost innocence and uncultivated potential, and affirms that tragic melodrama is not a prerequisite for emotional impact. full review
  247. Clueless 1995 As appealing as Alicia Silverstone is (and she possesses that ethereal 'star quality' which is sadly lacking in many of today's up-and-coming performers), her presence can't quite elevate this breezy comedy to the level of a modern classic. full review
  248. Congo 1995 This is easily the worst filmed version of anything penned by the prolific author. full review
  249. The Crossing Guard 1995 full review
  250. Cry, the Beloved Country 1995 full review
  251. Dead Man 1995 full review
  252. Desperado 1995 Bloated and overlong. full review
  253. Devil in a Blue Dress 1995 While Devil in a Blue Dress never develops the taut momentum of Franklin's previous effort, One False Move, it maintains audience involvement. full review
  254. Four Rooms 1995 Four Rooms has to be one of 1995's major disappointments. full review
  255. Jumanji 1995 full review
  256. A Month by the Lake 1995 full review
  257. Nick of Time 1995 full review
  258. Picture Bride 1995 full review
  259. The Prophecy 1995 full review
  260. Sense and Sensibility 1995 Told with deft skill and a pleasantly humorous romantic touch. full review
  261. Smoke 1995 full review
  262. Strange Days 1995 It's big, explosive entertainment and, although not directed by Cameron, is very much in the vein we've come to expect from him. full review
  263. Stuart Saves His Family 1995 Stretched out to an agonizing ninety-seven minutes, Stuart goes from being passably amusing to tedious to virtually unwatchable. full review
  264. Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead 1995 full review
  265. Unzipped 1995 full review
  266. The Usual Suspects 1995 The Usual Suspects is an accomplished synthesis of noir elements and, as such, is an entertaining entry to the genre. full review
  267. While You Were Sleeping 1995 A perfect example of this unoriginal-but-enjoyable type of film making. full review
  268. Black Beauty 1994 full review
  269. The Scout 1994 It's been a long time since there's been a good baseball movie. The Scout makes you wonder if there's ever going to be one again. full review
  270. Airheads 1994 Observing how fertile the field of heavy metal music is for satire, it's disappointing to watch Airheads bumble around, desperately trying to find something funny to say. full review
  271. Beverly Hills Cop III 1994 One wonders where the Eddie Murphy of 48 Hours and Trading Places has gone. The irreverence is still there, but there's no verve or freshness. full review
  272. Clerks 1994 full review
  273. Country Life 1994 full review
  274. The Crow 1994 The Crow allows no room for the viewer to take a breath, as it blazes with breakneck speed from scene to scene. full review
  275. Fresh 1994 full review
  276. Heavenly Creatures 1994 Revealed in unforgettable fashion by a capable director, the events that unfold in this film are not easily forgotten. full review
  277. Hoop Dreams 1994 This picture has a legitimate dramatic structure that is equally as compelling as a scripted slice of fiction. full review
  278. Intersection 1994 The concept sounds reasonable until the characters start reciting some truly dumb dialogue. full review
  279. It Could Happen to You 1994 If you're looking for a late summer, "feel good" romantic comedy, there aren't too many around more affable than this one. full review
  280. Killing Zoe 1994 full review
  281. Nobody's Fool 1994 The intelligent sensitivity of the script, coupled with Newman's powerfully understated performance, make this motion picture special. full review
  282. Pulp Fiction 1994 All the details are executed to perfection. Ironies abound in the smallest situations. full review
  283. Sirens 1994 full review
  284. Stargate 1994 A cinematic fireworks show without the grand finale. full review
  285. Swimming with Sharks 1994 There doesn't seem to be enough material here to satisfy a full length feature, and the movie, which starts with such promise, begins to drag around its midpoint. full review
  286. Two Bits 1994 full review
  287. Beethoven's 2nd 1993 full review
  288. Coneheads 1993 I expected stupid humor, silly humor, or bizarre humor, but not no humor. full review
  289. El Mariachi 1993 A gripping, tautly-paced action flick that outdoes most of Hollywood's similar output. full review
  290. The Good Son 1993 At best, this film is strictly cable fare. full review
  291. Heart and Souls 1993 full review
  292. The House of the Spirits 1993 full review
  293. Indecent Proposal 1993 full review
  294. The Innocent 1993 full review
  295. Last Action Hero 1993 The pulse-pounding, sizzling pull of a Die Hard is absent. full review
  296. Leprechaun 1993 full review
  297. Map of the Human Heart 1993 Despite its historical surrounding and a few stabs at thematic depth, Map of the Human Heart has all the flavor and plot complexity of a Harlequin romance. full review
  298. The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas has something to offer just about everyone. full review
  299. Only the Strong 1993 I expected it to be an obligatory late-summer, mindless, plotless action film. I was wrong. It's a late-summer, mindless, plotless action film with a message. I think I prefer this sorts of film when it doesn't try to preach. full review
  300. The Piano 1993 The Piano is a solid motion picture with a universal message and occasional splashes of genius, but it is remarkable only as Holly Hunter's performance is concerned. full review
  301. Robin Hood: Men in Tights 1993 full review
  302. The Snapper 1993 The marriage of humor and drama is admittedly imperfect, but it works well enough to occasionally spawn laughter and touch the heart, and there's a crucial scene between Colm Meaney and Tina Kellegher that is beautifully written, acted, and directed. full review
  303. What's Eating Gilbert Grape 1993 Well-written (albeit a little too long) and competently acted. full review
  304. American Me 1992 full review
  305. Bad Lieutenant 1992 As good as the lead actor is, he's not enough to save this picture from landing on the scrap-heap of uninspired, derivative, and grotesquely distasteful character studies. full review
  306. Enchanted April 1992 Personalities clash but are cheerfully reconciled, and marital tensions are swiftly resolved. full review
  307. Ethan Frome 1992 full review
  308. Glengarry Glen Ross 1992 For anyone who loves sharp dialogue, compelling characters, and a stinging social rebuke, Glengarry Glen Ross is not to be missed. full review
  309. Passion Fish 1992 full review
  310. Reservoir Dogs 1992 The writing is crisp and clean, providing line after line of snappy dialogue designed to leave the viewer alternately pondering and laughing aloud. full review
  311. Strictly Ballroom 1992 full review
  312. Supercop (Police Story 3) (Ging chaat goo si 3: Chiu kap ging chaat) 1992 Supercop is a better movie than Rumble in the Bronx, in large part because it's funnier. full review
  313. The Silence of the Lambs 1991 There is little doubt that the most memorable aspect of The Silence of the Lambs is Anthony Hopkins' incomparable performance as Lecter. full review
  314. Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 Few films have matched it within the science fiction genre for sheer white-knuckle exhilaration. full review
  315. Look Who's Talking Now 1990 This film has little to recommend itself. full review
  316. Say Anything... 1989 Smart, well-developed characters, believable situations, and a solid emotional investment for us in the film's people and circumstances full review
  317. Bull Durham 1988 If one was to make a list of the best baseball-themed movies of all time, Bull Durham would have to be in consideration. full review
  318. A Fish Called Wanda 1988 When it comes to comedians, everyone has their favorite. Mine is John Cleese. full review
  319. Planes, Trains and Automobiles 1987 It's a fine cinematic treat that doesn't demand much from a viewer, but gives back a lot, both in terms of laughter and good feeling. full review
  320. The Untouchables 1987 An unqualified triumph. full review
  321. About Last Night... 1986 A marriage between the creative talents of David Mamet and Edward Zwick might seem to be an unlikely union but, in the case of 1986 feature About Last Night..., it is surprisingly effective. full review
  322. The Breakfast Club 1985 In The Breakfast Club, Hughes has created a surprisingly enduring motion picture that is still effective 13 years after its theatrical debut. full review
  323. The Terminator 1984 The movie's strength is that, like The Matrix, it combines action with ideas. full review
  324. Flashdance 1983 Flashdance might be considered one of the first signs of Hollywood's Apocalypse. full review
  325. Airplane! 1980 The fact that the movie doesn't work as well today as it did in 1980 in no way diminishes its importance in recent motion picture history. full review
  326. Raging Bull 1980 There's no room for romanticism in the ring with inky black blood staining the canvas. During fight sequences, the director also uses a number of point-of-view shots designed to show the world, however briefly, from La Motta's perspective. full review
  327. Manhattan 1979 If Manhattan was only a romantic comedy, it would be a very good one, but the fact that the movie has so much more ambition than the 'average' entry into the genre makes it an extraordinary example of the fusion of entertainment and art. full review
  328. Star Trek: The Motion Picture 1979 Star Trek - The Motion Picture: Director's Edition is no 2001 (its obvious inspiration -- a fact that is more evident here than ever before), but it represents thought-provoking, well constructed science fiction. full review
  329. Days of Heaven 1978 One thing that certainly can be said about Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven: it's not sentimental or manipulative. Unfortunately, it's also not particularly involving. full review
  330. Grease 1978 Travolta is a riot. Alternately swaggering to prove his "coolness" and re-affirming his ability on the dance floor, the actor gives the kind of performance that's perfect for the role. full review
  331. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind is unquestionably a great movie. full review
  332. King Kong 1976 full review
  333. Rocky 1976 The basic storyline has been done to death over the years; this is still one of the most effective and successful applications of the formula. full review
  334. Switchblade Sisters 1975 A 1975 exploitation dud, this is the kind of movie Cinemax screens late at night. It's not just bad, it's execrable. full review
  335. Chinatown 1974 It takes a Herculean effort to transform this type into a character and to replace the formula with a story, and Chinatown's success in both of these regards is one of the reasons it is universally viewed as a classic. full review
  336. Tora! Tora! Tora! 1970 It's rare for a feature film to attain the trifecta of entertaining, informing, and educating. full review
  337. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969 Although Butch Cassidy wasn't the first movie to pair up a couple of wisecracking best friends in an action/adventure setting, this film became the model of how well that approach could work when done right. full review
  338. True Grit 1969 full review
  339. Planet of the Apes 1968 Planet of the Apes is one of those rare films whose historical impact outweighs its quality. It's a good film, but not a classic. full review
  340. Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964 The film is always saying something, and a viewer would have to be deaf and blind not to recognize the targets of the sarcasm. full review
  341. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962 full review
  342. West Side Story 1961 It still represents a brave and effective fusion of serious and fantasy elements, and offers two and one-half hours of solid entertainment. full review
  343. The Apartment 1960 With tremendous performances by the two leads (Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine), this is yet another "must see" title to be found on Wilder's resume. full review
  344. Gojira 1954 A great boon to monster movie fans, but will have limited appeal to others. full review
  345. Roman Holiday 1953 For lovers of romantic comedies through the ages, Roman Holiday remains a favorite. full review
  346. All About Eve 1950 A motion picture that, because of its priceless dialogue and unforgettable lead performance, will never lose its luster. full review
  347. Gentleman's Agreement 1947 The movie is as powerful today as when it captured the Best Picture Oscar a few years after Hitler's genocide ended in Europe. full review

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