instantwatcher.com

Janet Maslin, New York Times

  1. Sasquatch 2003 full review
  2. 42 Up 1999 When this hugely ambitious project began, it was a longitudinal study of class divisions among English schoolchildren. But time and persistence have turned it into much more. full review
  3. Double Jeopardy 1999 Ms. Judd looks too dainty to throw herself into anything more reckless than a manicure. full review
  4. eXistenZ 1999 [It's] meant to have a whiff of the philosophical, even if its intellectual ambition seems mostly limited to spelling affectations. full review
  5. The General's Daughter 1999 For all the stars' intensity as investigators, nobody in this whodunit really seems interested in the upshot. full review
  6. The Haunting 1999 A lavish illustration of how to take a fairly modest black-and -white horror film from 1963 and amplify it so relentlessly that the sight of the flying cow in Twister would not be all that amiss. full review
  7. In Dreams 1999 At heart In Dreams is just a campfire story, and a pretty loony one at that. But Neil Jordan has directed it furiously, with a lush, insinuating visual style that gets right under the skin. full review
  8. In Too Deep 1999 The characters are blur and not vivid. full review
  9. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 1999 The punchy little flourishes that load this English gangster film with attitude are perfectly welcome, because there's no honest, substantial part of the movie they can hurt. full review
  10. Music of the Heart 1999 Boring as it may have become for Meryl Streep to show up for awards ceremonies, count on her to be doing it again. full review
  11. Runaway Bride 1999 It works without exactly showing signs of life. full review
  12. Superstar 1999 A comedy with several good laughs but no convincing cohesion. full review
  13. Teaching Mrs. Tingle 1999 Newly benign, and noticeably clumsy. full review
  14. The Thomas Crown Affair 1999 A guilty pleasure. full review
  15. A Walk on the Moon 1999 full review
  16. The War Zone 1999 full review
  17. Another Day In Paradise 1998 [Clark's] second, more benign film delivers what his first promised: bad times with a wicked way of looking good. full review
  18. Antz 1998 Antz works best just showing off its prodigious voice talent and playing lightheartedly with the curious possibilities of a buggy world. full review
  19. Can't Hardly Wait 1998 Flip through any yearbook, and you'll find the stock characters who amusingly populate the teen-age comedy Can't Hardly Wait. full review
  20. Following 1998 full review
  21. Gods and Monsters 1998 full review
  22. Jack Frost 1998 It's just cheerful and bogus enough to keep children reasonably entertained. full review
  23. Kurt & Courtney 1998 full review
  24. Little Voice 1998 full review
  25. The Prince of Egypt 1998 A well-made work with much to recommend it! full review
  26. Shakespeare in Love 1998 Clever, exhilarating, ingenious. full review
  27. Velvet Goldmine 1998 full review
  28. Waking Ned Devine 1998 Delightful. full review
  29. Wild Things 1998 Lucky John McNaughton. Best known for the harder-edged Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Mad Dog and Glory," he hits the 90210 jackpot with a slick, steamy tale of nonstop treachery... full review
  30. Amistad 1997 The best parts of Amistad are those that simply bring their pride, fear and outrage to life. full review
  31. The Apostle 1997
  32. As Good As It Gets 1997 Wicked, but it works. full review
  33. Breakdown 1997 Mostow knows his Hitchcock as well as his Spielberg. full review
  34. Chasing Amy 1997 As Chasing Amy redefines the boy-meets-girl formula for a culture where anything goes, including perhaps another boy or girl, it thrives on Smith's dry, deadpan direction. full review
  35. Cop Land 1997 Whatever its limitations, Cop Land has talent to burn. full review
  36. Donnie Brasco 1997 An affirmation that the director, Mike Newell, has a gift for talkative, intelligent films that make his actors shine. full review
  37. The Fifth Element 1997 Mr. Besson directs with ceaseless flamboyance and with an obvious enthusiasm for his film's comic book conceits. But the tone of The Fifth Element is often terribly shrill, especially when attention shifts to grating minor characters. full review
  38. The Frighteners 1997 The actors can't keep the film's mood from verging on hysteria as the story roams all over the map. "The Frighteners" has flitted everywhere, even to heaven and hell, before it's over. full review
  39. Gattaca 1997 An impressively fine-tuned first feature from Andrew Niccol.
  40. Hercules 1997 On any level, earthly or otherwise, the ingenious new animated Hercules is pretty divine. full review
  41. I Love You, I Love You Not 1997 full review
  42. The Ice Storm 1997 Lee daringly chooses to keep his story's motivational mysteries unexplained, leaving this richly observed film open to the viewer's assessments. Yet the sense of imbalance is ever-present and strong. full review
  43. Inventing the Abbotts 1997 full review
  44. Jackie Brown 1997 For all its enthusiasm, this film isn't sharp enough to afford all the time it wastes on small talk, long drives, trips to the mall and favorite songs played on car radios. full review
  45. A Life Less Ordinary 1997 full review
  46. Mimic 1997 full review
  47. Mouse Hunt (Mousehunt) 1997 full review
  48. Mrs. Brown 1997 full review
  49. The Peacemaker 1997 full review
  50. Private Parts 1997 [A] sure-fire hit comedy. full review
  51. The Rainmaker 1997 Despite Mr. Coppola's taste for moodier and more eclectic material, this mainstream opportunity pays off. full review
  52. She's So Lovely 1997 full review
  53. Welcome to Sarajevo 1997 However closely they mirror the real experience of Mr. Nicholson and others, some of the shocks here are too sadly predictable. full review
  54. Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live 1997 full review
  55. Michael Collins 1996 Played with great magnetism and triumphant bluster by Liam Neeson, the film's Michael Collins easily lives up to his nickname. full review
  56. 101 Dalmatians 1996 full review
  57. Albino Alligator 1996 full review
  58. Basquiat 1996 full review
  59. Beautiful Girls 1996 Portman, a budding knockout, is scene-stealingly good even in an overly showy role. full review
  60. Big Night 1996 full review
  61. Citizen Ruth 1996
  62. The English Patient 1996 A stunning feat of literary adaptation as well as a purely cinematic triumph. full review
  63. Fargo 1996 The Coens are at their clever best with this snowbound film noir. full review
  64. Flirting With Disaster 1996 full review
  65. The Ghost and the Darkness 1996 full review
  66. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996 The latest and most uncertain of Disney's animated efforts, with its manic mood swings and cloying, none-too-cuddly hero. full review
  67. James and the Giant Peach 1996 James and the Giant Peach, the latest animated film from Disney, is a technological marvel, arch and innovative with a daringly offbeat visual conception. But it's also a strenuously artful film with a macabre edge that may scare small children. full review
  68. Love Serenade 1996 full review
  69. The Pallbearer 1996 full review
  70. Pocahontas 1996 Any damage such revisionist history may impose on young minds is offset by the honestly inspiring thoughts Pocahontas offers. full review
  71. Restoration 1996 Since the robust 17th-century picaresque tale is not enjoying any current vogue, the success of "Restoration" can be considered a very pleasant surprise. full review
  72. Ridicule 1996 full review
  73. Scream 1996 Not even horror fans who can answer all this film's knowing trivia questions may be fully comfortable with such an exploitative mix. full review
  74. Stealing Beauty 1996 For all the film's missteps, there is cause to echo the uncritical compliment bestowed by the playwright (Jeremy Irons) upon the film's ingenue (Liv Tyler): 'I so enjoyed watching you.' full review
  75. Trainspotting 1996 For better or worse, sometimes strictly for the sake of shock value, the stylish irreverence of "Trainspotting" mimics that drug high and delivers its own potent kick. full review
  76. A Very Brady Sequel 1996 The new film hints mischievously at the kind of dysfunction that would truly bring the Brady bunch up to date. full review
  77. Walking and Talking 1996 full review
  78. Blue in the Face 1995 full review
  79. The Brady Bunch Movie 1995 The actors try hard, but the screenplay isn't solid enough to keep any of them consistently clever. full review
  80. Clueless 1995 While Miss Silverstone guides Cher through the witty costume changes that serve as character development, she's backed up by a solid supporting cast. full review
  81. Congo 1995 This glib, overheated film about vicious primates delivers little suspense... full review
  82. The Crossing Guard 1995 full review
  83. Desperado 1995 Mr. Rodriguez may be good enough to make a film about anything, but Desperado would collapse if its characters had to do anything but play with guns. full review
  84. Devil in a Blue Dress 1995 The role of Easy looks as tailor-made for Mr. Washington as his suit, and it shows off the full effect of this actor's movie-star dazzle. full review
  85. The Doom Generation 1995 Sledgehammer direction, heavy irony and the easiest imaginable targets hardly show talent off to good advantage. full review
  86. Four Rooms 1995 The less said about this career-denting fiasco, the better. full review
  87. The Journey of August King 1995 full review
  88. Jumanji 1995 full review
  89. Picture Bride 1995 full review
  90. Sense and Sensibility 1995 We need no further proof that this material is ageless. full review
  91. Smoke 1995 full review
  92. Strange Days 1995 full review
  93. Stuart Saves His Family 1995 The plotting is surprisingly banal, involving even talk of a property easement and turning Stuart into the executor of a relative's estate. And the relatives' problems are taken semi-seriously, which is more than this lightweight film can handle. full review
  94. Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead 1995 full review
  95. Unzipped 1995 full review
  96. The Usual Suspects 1995 This movie finally isn't anything more than an intricate feat of gamesmanship, but it's still quite something to see. full review
  97. While You Were Sleeping 1995 This is a formula film, but it has the kind of good cheer and fine tuning that occasionally give slickness a good name. full review
  98. Airheads 1994 There should have been enough material here for six sitcoms. Instead, there's not even enough for one movie. full review
  99. Clerks 1994 A buoyant, bleakly funny comedy chronicling a day's worth of activity at two adjoining stores. full review
  100. Fresh 1994 full review
  101. Heavenly Creatures 1994 Stylish and eerily compelling before it overplays its campy excesses, Heavenly Creatures does have a feverish intensity to recommend it. full review
  102. Intersection 1994 Tespite the glossiness, it winds up seeming profoundly uneventful, perhaps because the car crash is the story's only real dramatic turn. full review
  103. Killing Zoe 1994 full review
  104. Love and a .45 1994 full review
  105. Monkey Trouble 1994 full review
  106. Pulp Fiction 1994 A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity and vibrant local color. full review
  107. Sirens 1994 full review
  108. Swimming with Sharks 1994 Mr. Spacey's Buddy is a caricature so dazzling that even Buddy might have to say something nice about it: cool, withering, studiously suave, and spurred by impulses that might seem peevish even in a 2-year-old child. full review
  109. Coneheads 1993 Coneheads falls flat about as often as it turns funny, and displays more amiability than style. full review
  110. El Mariachi 1993 It goes without saying that Mr. Rodriguez, having made such a clever and inventive debut, is prepared for a big future of his own. full review
  111. The Good Son 1993 The Good Son has a handsome, scenic look that sustains interest, and a suspenseful ending that is quite literally gripping. full review
  112. Heart and Souls 1993 full review
  113. The House of the Spirits 1993 full review
  114. Indecent Proposal 1993 full review
  115. Map of the Human Heart 1993 Even by Mr. Ward's own high standards in the area of idiosyncrasy, this is a daringly peculiar tale. full review
  116. The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas is a major step forward for both stop-motion animation, which is stunningly well used, and for Mr. Burton himself. He now moves from the level of extremely talented eccentric to that of Disney-style household word. full review
  117. What's Eating Gilbert Grape 1993 Particularly impressive are the sweet, weirdly idyllic tone of Mr. Hallstrom's direction and Johnny Depp's tender, disarming performance as the long-suffering Gilbert Grape. full review
  118. American Me 1992 full review
  119. Bad Lieutenant 1992 When Abel Ferrara calls something bad, better believe it: he means business. full review
  120. Boomerang 1992 There's something paradoxical about the ease he radiates in playing a man who is supposed to be a smashing success. As an underdog, Mr. Murphy worked much harder. full review
  121. Enchanted April 1992 The ladies are well bred, the scenery is lovely and the dialogue is polished and polite. It helps that the same villa in Portofino where Miss von Armin wrote the novel has been used to fine effect as the film's principal setting. full review
  122. Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth 1992 full review
  123. Incident at Oglala 1992 full review
  124. Juice 1992 Mr. Dickerson, whose cinematography has been the reason Spike Lee's films look so good, has a terrific eye and some juice of his own. full review
  125. Leap of Faith 1992 full review
  126. Passion Fish 1992 full review
  127. Patriot Games 1992 full review
  128. Sarafina 1992 full review
  129. Strictly Ballroom 1992 full review
  130. The Addams Family 1991 The film's aimlessness and repetitiveness eventually become draining. full review
  131. All I Want for Christmas 1991 full review
  132. Bugsy 1991 full review
  133. Dutch 1991 If a film like this is to be funny at all, it had better work when the warring principals still hate each other, before the rich boy is shown to be a sweet kid and the whole story turns to mush. full review
  134. The Fisher King 1991 For every wild ride through Manhattan by an imaginary Red Knight trailing billows of flame, there is a small, comic encounter in a more down-to-earth mode. full review
  135. For the Boys 1991 full review
  136. Grand Canyon 1991 For long stretches of this offbeat and innovative film, the viewer truly has no idea what will happen next and many reasons to care. full review
  137. Soapdish 1991 Uneven but often sidesplitting. full review
  138. Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 Mr. Cameron has made a swift, exciting special-effects epic that thoroughly justifies its vast expense and greatly improves upon the first film's potent but rudimentary visual style. full review
  139. Berkeley in the Sixties 1990 full review
  140. Cry-Baby 1990 Mr. Depp, who smolders naturally when he isn't trying so hard, acts this role about as well as Elvis would have; under the circumstances, that's fine. full review
  141. Days of Thunder 1990 It's one thing to market a film solely on the strength of its star. It's quite another to go ahead and make the film that way. full review
  142. Ghost 1990 Ghost' is too slow moving at times, and a few of its special effects look incongruously silly, particularly those showing what happens to ghosts not as virtuous as Sam. full review
  143. King of New York 1990 [Ferrara] works unapologetically in B-movie territory, but does it with A-movie style. full review
  144. The Krays 1990 full review
  145. Look Who's Talking, Too 1990 full review
  146. The Rescuers Down Under 1990 The film's direction, by Hendel Butoy and Mike Gabriel, is spectacularly inventive even when not fully appropriate to either the film's subject or the very young viewers it can be expected to attract. full review
  147. Rocky V 1990 A sloppy but good-natured reminder of just what it is that has kept Rocky Balboa afloat for 14 years. full review
  148. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie 1990 hanks to casting that is savvier than the horror norm, and to direction by John Harrison that is workmanlike and sometimes even witty, at least it's fun. full review
  149. The Fly II 1989 full review
  150. Bull Durham 1988 Bull Durham is a film with spring fever, a giddy, playful look at life in baseball's minor leagues. full review
  151. Cocoon: The Return 1988 full review
  152. Colors 1988 Though its story has the makings of standard stuff, and is sometimes sketchily told, nothing about 'Colors is ordinary. full review
  153. The Great Outdoors 1988 full review
  154. The Lair of the White Worm 1988 full review
  155. The Last Temptation of Christ 1988 What emerges most memorably is its sense of absolute conviction, never more palpable than in the final fantasy sequence that removes Jesus from the cross and creates for him the life of an ordinary man. full review
  156. The Naked Gun - From the Files of Police Squad! 1988 High spirits may be all that a film like this really needs. full review
  157. She's Having a Baby 1988 full review
  158. The Thin Blue Line 1988 full review
  159. Who Framed Roger Rabbit 1988 Although this isn't the first time that cartoon characters have shared the screen with live actors, it's the first time they've done it on their own terms. full review
  160. Beverly Hills Cop II 1987 full review
  161. Fatal Attraction 1987 Years hence, it will be possible to pinpoint the exact moment that produced Fatal Attraction, Adrian Lyne's new romantic thriller, and the precise circumstances that made it a hit. full review
  162. Less Than Zero 1987 full review
  163. Planes, Trains and Automobiles 1987 The film does have its scattered moments. But too often, the audience has as much reason as Del and Neal do to wonder where, if anywhere, they are going. full review
  164. The Serpent and the Rainbow 1987 The Serpent and the Rainbow has a screenplay that often breaks its spell. full review
  165. Surf Nazis Must Die 1987 full review
  166. Brighton Beach Memoirs 1986 full review
  167. Down and Out in Beverly Hills 1986 As a comedy of manners it has a dependably keen aim, with its most wicked barbs leavened by Mr. Mazursky's obvious fondness for his characters. full review
  168. The Golden Child 1986 full review
  169. Over the Top 1986 full review
  170. Pretty in Pink 1986 Miss Ringwald's pouty naturalness remains her biggest asset, and her performance is once again appealing. full review
  171. The Breakfast Club 1985 Mr. Hughes, having thought up the characters and simply flung them together, should have left well enough alone.
  172. Clue 1985 full review
  173. Day of the Dead 1985 full review
  174. Explorers 1985 full review
  175. Fright Night 1985 Its tone is never exactly comedic and its horrific touches are more disgusting than scary. full review
  176. Girls Just Want to Have Fun 1985 full review
  177. Just One of the Guys 1985 The film is a bit too fashion conscious to make a very strong point about appearances not meaning anything. full review
  178. The Man with One Red Shoe 1985 full review
  179. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 - Freddy's Revenge 1985 Mr. Patton and Miss Myers make likable teen-age heroes, and Mr. Englund actually turns Freddy into a welcome presence. full review
  180. One Magic Christmas 1985 full review
  181. Re-Animator 1985 All of this, ingenious as it may be and much as it will redound to Mr. Gordon's credit in hard-core horror circles, is absolutely to be avoided by anyone not in the mood for a major bloodbath. full review
  182. Rocky IV 1985 Even the hint of political power that Rocky garners by the end of this latest battle is made to seem like more of the same empty glory. full review
  183. Silverado 1985 A sweeping, glorious-looking western that's at least a full generation removed from the classic films it brings to mind. full review
  184. 28 Up 1984 The effect of 28 Up is to bring a dimension of wisdom and insight to the earlier footage, and in doing this Mr. Apted has been subtle and selective. full review
  185. Beverly Hills Cop 1984 Mr. Murphy knows exactly what he's doing, and he wins at every turn. full review
  186. Dreamscape 1984 Mostly maladroit, without the kind of high gloss or confidence that might help carry its audience along. full review
  187. Footloose 1984 Like the rest of today's video-happy teen-age entertainments, Footloose doesn't expect to be watched closely or taken seriously. It wants to fill the screen with catchy music and pretty kids, and this it certainly accomplishes. full review
  188. Ghostbusters 1984 There is more attention to special effects than to humor. full review
  189. The Terminator 1984 This is a monster movie, and the monster's role fits Mr. Schwarzenegger just fine. full review
  190. Bad Boys 1983 full review
  191. Flashdance 1983 The story doesn't help Miss Beals either, because she's at her least convincing when having to register any emotion other than rapture. full review
  192. The Pirates of Penzance 1983 full review
  193. Terms of Endearment 1983 A funny, touching, beautifully acted film that covers more territory than it can easily manage. full review
  194. Trading Places 1983 [A] shrewd but very likable movie. full review
  195. Without a Trace (1983) 1983 full review
  196. 48 HRS 1982 [It] is more memorable for its characters than for its high style, more a series of energetic scenes than a collection of handsome imagery. It has life, ferocity and humor in place of icy, stylized elegance, and that seems more than a fair trade. full review
  197. Deadly Blessing 1981 full review
  198. Dragonslayer 1981 Mr. Robbins's overall accomplishment is one of creating a mood, and he does this well enough to make up for the film's occasional cumbersomeness. full review
  199. Endless Love 1981 Anyone unfamiliar with the story of Scott Spencer's novel is bound to be mystified by Franco Zeffirelli's latest film, which reduces Endless Love to a whimperingly latter-day Romeo and Juliet with a little pyromania thrown in. full review
  200. Airplane! 1980 Airplane! is more than a pleasant surprise, in the midst of this dim movie season. As a remedy for the bloated self-importance of too many other current efforts, it's just what the doctor ordered. full review
  201. Bad Timing 1980 full review
  202. My Bodyguard 1980 A sweet little movie about characters who really seem to be people, and that sort of verisimilitude is rarer than it ought to be nowadays. full review
  203. Seems Like Old Times 1980 full review
  204. Where the Buffalo Roam 1980 full review
  205. The Jerk 1979 The laughs aren't steady, but they're persistent, and the film moves fast enough to compensate for its unevenness. full review
  206. Breaking Away 1979 Here is a movie so fresh and funny it didn't even need a big budget or a pedigree. full review
  207. North Dallas Forty 1979 The leading man, Nick Nolte, has a physical authority and a clowning, irreverent manner that lend the film some semblance of continuity, even when it's about to flounder. full review
  208. The Onion Field 1979 The film is generally crisp and at times exciting, but it's also full of incidents that are only sketchily explained, and minus the all-important narrative thread that might have provided a clear point of view. full review
  209. Rocky II 1979 Rocky II has a waxy feeling, and it never comes to life the way its predecessor did. full review
  210. Same Time, Next Year 1978 full review
  211. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1978 This isn't a movie, it's a business deal set to music. full review