instantwatcher.com

Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

  1. The Wait 2014 Ms. Sevigny is the unsteady center of a movie that uses awkward silences, cryptic dialogue and self-consciously arty images to signify emotional limbo. full review
  2. Absence 2013 Mundane conversations and outings drag on while the central mystery takes baby steps forward, suggesting that a shorter running time or a more developed script might have better served the originality of the premise. full review
  3. Aftershock 2013 The violence is quick and occasionally inventive, with little of the attenuated nastiness that characterizes so many genre pictures, and the photography ranges from brightly sun-kissed to down-and-dirty. full review
  4. As Luck Would Have It 2013 Combines lecture, farce and soapy sentiment in a single misshapen package. full review
  5. Bad Milo! 2013 What could have been a very funny short film about self-control and befriending your id instead becomes a rambling commentary on father-son dysfunction and the limits of proctology. full review
  6. Big Words 2013 "Big Words" explores weighty themes with a very light touch. full review
  7. Blackfish 2013 Through the rueful voices of former trainers and whale experts, a narrative driven by disillusion and regret unfolds as the trainers point to a gap between SeaWorld's public image and behind-the-scenes reality. full review
  8. C.O.G. 2013 Despite smatterings of wit and a stable of skilled performers, "C.O.G." struggles to find a consistent tone, its episodic structure veering from farcical to poignant to dangerously raw. full review
  9. The Citizen 2013 The story's accumulation of contrived setbacks strains credulity. full review
  10. Cockneys vs Zombies 2013 As subtle as its title, "Cockneys vs. Zombies" is mildly funny and easily likable. full review
  11. Come Out And Play 2013 The film maintains a deliberately unhurried pace that builds tension naturally and with minimum interference from the soundtrack. full review
  12. Dark Touch 2013 Wielding his camera with jumpy precision, Mr. Conroy infuses even chaotic motion with stabilizing elegance. full review
  13. Dead Man's Burden 2013 Small in scale but with a grand visual ambition, "Dead Man's Burden" draws nourishment from its burned-out desert setting and ambling pace. full review
  14. The Dirties 2013 Remarkable as much for its insights as for its audacity, "The Dirties" approaches school violence with a comic veneer that slowly shades into deep darkness. full review
  15. Dog Pound 2013 Without a strong political point (unlike its source material), "Dog Pound" feels hollow and hopeless. full review
  16. Drift 2013 This poor-surfers-make-good drama from Morgan O'Neill and Ben Nott relies more than it should on toned thighs and taut gluteals. Be grateful; there's nothing to see on dry land that's anywhere near as compelling. full review
  17. Erased 2013 A bearable if unremarkable composite of the "Taken" movies and "Three Days of the Condor." full review
  18. Europa Report 2013 This sincerity, coupled with a documentary-style approach, can feel a little dry, but the script's refusal to go to extremes only raises its plausibility. full review
  19. A Girl And A Gun 2013 No matter how moving or morally ambivalent these women are, Ms. Czubek seems content to hop from one anecdote to another, unwilling to shape her findings into a larger investigation or deeper analysis. full review
  20. Good Ol' Freda 2013 A generic jaunt down memory lane ... full review
  21. Graceland 2013 The sins of the fathers are visited upon their daughters in "Graceland," a tense and tough-minded family drama in which young girls are as likely to be victimized by plenty as by poverty. full review
  22. The Happy Sad 2013 Romantic confusion and youthful insecurity drive "The Happy Sad," a New York relationship roundelay as restless as the city itself. full review
  23. Here Comes the Devil 2013 A muddled supernatural thriller that fails to capitalize on either its horrific prologue or eerie location. full review
  24. High Tech, Low Life 2013 A narrow, albeit intriguing window into a technological revolt that deserves a more far-reaching film than this one. full review
  25. How I Live Now 2013 Mr. Macdonald struggles to balance a nebulous narrative on tentpole moments of rich emotional resonance. full review
  26. I Give It a Year 2013 A smutty script and a passel of objectionable characters form an imperfect rom-com union - one that will, with any luck, fade from the mind long before its title suggests. full review
  27. Inch'Allah 2013 However beautiful, a blank slate is, finally, just that. full review
  28. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 A mess from start to finish -- though, judging by the ending, this story won't be over any time soon -- Insidious: Chapter 2 is the kind of lazy, halfhearted product that gives scary movies a bad name. full review
  29. The Jeffrey Dahmer Files 2013 Compellingly illuminates how the monsters among us leave more than corpses in their wake. full review
  30. Kiss Of The Damned 2013 "Kiss of the Damned" tries to give the vampire movie something it most definitely does not need: class. full review
  31. My Best Enemy 2013 An awkward blend of anti-Semitic atrocities and identity-swapping absurdity, the World War II drama "My Best Enemy" struggles to find a convincing tone. full review
  32. My Brother The Devil 2013 Nuances of faith, politics and sexual identity enrich what initially presents as a classic good son-bad son tale, and although the film's melting-pot patois is occasionally too dense to decipher, we get the gist. full review
  33. The Numbers Station 2013 This dreary spy drama is as flat and airless as the concrete bunker in which it unfolds. full review
  34. Off White Lies 2013 Making the most of its likable leads, the script (by Ms. Kenig and Dana Dimant) maintains an amused, nonjudgmental tone ... full review
  35. On The Job 2013 Even at its most incomprehensible, the propulsive thriller "On the Job" is never less than arresting. full review
  36. Phantom 2013 The basis for the film's confusing, cliche-stuffed plot is the mysterious sinking of a Soviet submarine in 1968 - an event around which Mr. Robinson spins a yarn of unpardonable monotony. full review
  37. Pieta 2013 Filled with feisty women and cowering men, "Pieta" twists human emotions into pretzels of perversion. full review
  38. A Place at the Table 2013 Revealing little that a moderately informed viewer will not already know, the film shies away from the outrage and bare-knuckle journalism that this shameful topic deserves. full review
  39. Simon Killer 2013 Though the film's ice-cold blend of the cerebral and the atavistic can be off-putting, it enables a queasy portrait of moral disengagement that lingers long after Simon has slipped from the screen. full review
  40. Stolen Seas 2013 Magnificent in its thoroughness and nuance, this dense, multifaceted study of Somali piracy really needs to settle down. full review
  41. The Sweeney 2013 Mr. Winstone chews on this Cockney cops-and-robbers caper with foulmouthed glee. full review
  42. Toad Road 2013 Mr. Banker teases us with a dizzy, dislocating shooting style that throws up a succession of eerily arresting images. Even so, his film never overcomes the fact that watching drugged-out wastrels is rarely interesting ... full review
  43. Trash Dance 2013 A warm thank you to those whose work is mostly invisible and entirely necessary. full review
  44. We Are What We Are 2013 It's all a little silly, but Mr. Mickle's restrained gravity stifles the impulse to laugh. full review
  45. White Reindeer 2013 A cool, kinky tale of sudden bereavement, sexual adventure and hard-won hope. full review
  46. 16-love 2012 Pablum tarted up with tennis racquets, "16-Love" is, in a sense, the perfect movie for teenagers: you can text and tweet to your heart's content and never miss a thing. full review
  47. The ABCs of Death 2012 At its best when merging shocks with social commentary, this halting compilation improves significantly as it nears the end of the alphabet. full review
  48. Assassin's Bullet 2012 Mr. Slater valiantly tries to appear turned on by his leading lady's shimmying midsection, but he might as well be watching a performing dog for all the heat mustered between them. full review
  49. The Assault 2012 In place of emotional stakes, we get gleaming, stylized, occasionally slow-motion violence, filmed in such extreme close-ups and cramped spaces that it's impossible to differentiate gunman and victim. full review
  50. Backwards 2012 Pairing a dull romance with an even duller sport (at least as represented here), this cliche-ridden vanity project is more suited to the ABC Family channel than to the inside of a movie theater. full review
  51. Big Boys Gone Bananas!* 2012 A provocative look at what can happen when corporate power takes aim at independent film. full review
  52. Blood 2012 Suffers from a crippling lack of back story and characters whose relationships are fraught with unexplained complexity. full review
  53. Buffalo Girls 2012 A story that, though sickly fascinating, is as crudely rendered as its images. full review
  54. Butter 2012 Drippy sentiment and coarse political satire vie for control of "Butter," a two-faced sendup of heartland obsession that wants to have its toast and eat it too. full review
  55. California Solo 2012 A wry, mournful study of midlife crisis ... full review
  56. Citadel 2012 Has an atavistic pulse, evoking a decaying society where elevators fail and bus drivers cower behind mesh grills. full review
  57. Citizen Gangster 2012 A good-looking but passionless affair that remains stubbornly aloof from its audience. full review
  58. Detropia 2012 Moving from union hall to town hall, from brutal salary negotiations to contentious plans to create urban farms out of concrete wasteland, the film listens and moves on. full review
  59. Dinotasia 2012 Despite a welcome lack of Disneyfied sentimentality - no tears are solicited for banged-up young'uns - the film never acquires a rhythm. full review
  60. Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey 2012 Ms. Diaz settles for a flabby, repetitive showcase for the songs and an attaboy for their newest singer. full review
  61. The Flat 2012 A film that begins as a family quest but evolves into a gripping study of know-don't-tell reticence and the umbilical tie of a lost homeland. full review
  62. Friends With Kids 2012 In the crumbling passion of a once hot-to-trot couple (a perfect Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm), [it] locates a jagged heart that no amount of zingers can surpass. full review
  63. The Giant Mechanical Man 2012 Replete with eye-roll-inducing contrivances and heavy-handed symbolism - both lovers share dreams of their teeth falling out - this arrested-development comedy panders to the work-averse by taking easy aim at ambitious careerists. full review
  64. Girl Model 2012 Filled with blind eyes and unspoken agreements, "Girl Model" opens a can of worms, then disdains to follow their slimy trails. full review
  65. Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters 2012 With marvelous discipline, Mr. Shapiro crams a wealth of material into a tight 77 minutes, smoothly communicating the group effort required to achieve the perfect shot. full review
  66. High Ground 2012 Brown ... translates a collage of experiences - some desperate, some hopeful, all tragic - into a first-person commentary on the malign reverberations of war. full review
  67. Hitler's Children 2012 Quiet, simple and soaked in sorrow, "Hitler's Children" takes a stripped-down approach to an emotionally sophisticated subject. full review
  68. K-11 2012 A sordid prison drama that struts an unsteady line between full-on camp and "Oz"-style Darwinism. full review
  69. Kill List 2012 The film's title may draw you in, but it's the texture that keeps you watching. full review
  70. Least Among Saints 2012 Though both actors deliver performances more credible than the plot that frames them, their authenticity only highlights the script's affection for improbable coincidences and an ending even Garry Marshall might consider too pat. full review
  71. Let My People Go! 2012 Reuben is a whiny and uncoordinated prodigal son. His constant chafing at himself and the world is the film's biggest problem; by the midway point we're all wishing him back in Finland where he belongs. full review
  72. Lovely Molly 2012 Generating suspense without blowing the special-effects budget, Mr. Sanchez paints an intimate portrait of a tormented personality. full review
  73. The Moth Diaries 2012 Roiling with jealousy, suicide and latent lesbian urges, "The Moth Diaries" dances on the border between hallucination and reality without fully committing to either. full review
  74. North Sea Texas 2012 A simmering drama powered by fully drawn characters and fine performances. full review
  75. October Baby 2012 Like the bloodied placards brandished by demonstrators outside women's health clinics, the film communicates in the language of guilt and fear. full review
  76. The Other Dream Team 2012 Augmented by a trove of archival footage reaching back to the 1930s, Jesse Feldman's buoyant cinematography merges political history and sports mania into a triumphant timeline. full review
  77. Painted Skin: The Resurrection 2012 Blindingly gorgeous to look at and exceptionally well acted, at least by the women. full review
  78. Pink Ribbons, Inc. 2012 For all the stellar intentions; revelatory evidence; and thoughtful, wall-to-wall interviewees, this frustratingly overstuffed documentary indulges more in spraying buckshot than stalking a target. full review
  79. The Possession 2012 Even if you resist the film's claims of being based on one family's actual experiences, "The Possession" is eerily enjoyable pulp. full review
  80. Putin's Kiss 2012 A portentous, rather creepy documentary that masks its lack of historical context with an atmosphere of accumulating threat. full review
  81. The Rabbi's Cat 2012 The film presents an often sharp commentary on dueling beliefs and idiocies that unfolds in lush pastel hues and distinctively retro drawings. full review
  82. Red Lights 2012 They should have known that a levitating De Niro was simply a seance too far. full review
  83. Seeking Justice 2012 Donaldson ... seems to have lost all talent for pacing. full review
  84. Sleepless Night 2012 Charging from one beating to another, wrenching diminishing returns from drunken camera angles and cat-and-mouse games, Mr. Jardin makes Vincent's predicament as hollow as a sustained scream. full review
  85. The Snowtown Murders 2012 This distressing infiltration of a family of young boys by a charismatic psychopath rewards with a stylistic talent that feels entirely new. full review
  86. Stella Days 2012 Relaxed performances and pillow-soft photography compensate somewhat for the story's narrow ambitions, but they're not enough to invigorate a movie that clearly would rather charm than challenge. full review
  87. Unraveled 2012 Like the Upper East Side penthouse in which it unfolds, the documentary "Unraveled" is cool and elegant, echoing with spaces for our imaginations to fill. full review
  88. Until They Are Home 2012 Swelling music and Kelsey Grammer's refined narration supply the appropriate sobriety, but the film is too intent on promoting the nobility of its cause to worry about engaging the uninitiated. full review
  89. An African Election 2011 As we join throngs of excited citizens at a public vote-counting, their uninhibited zeal for the process only highlights the jaded cynicism that threatens to overwhelm our own. full review
  90. Born and Bred 2011 The fights are unexciting and the brothers uncharismatic, yet the film finds a soft, soulful center... full review
  91. Crime After Crime 2011 [The] moral outrage is magnificent, swelling from hushed to howling without the help of narration or posturing from the unfailingly dignified Ms. Peagler or her quietly dedicated lawyers. full review
  92. Farmageddon 2011 A movie whose claims, if accurate, should give us all food for thought. full review
  93. Forks Over Knives 2011 Makes a pedantic yet persuasive case for banishing meat and dairy from the dinner table. full review
  94. Gun Hill Road 2011 The writer and director, Rashaad Ernesto Green, relies too often on gender cliches... full review
  95. An Invisible Sign 2011 Cuter than a basket of puppies licking a litter of kittens, "An Invisible Sign" is an excruciatingly whimsical collision of adult themes and kid-friendly aesthetic. full review
  96. Klitschko 2011 For those who care about the winning and losing of championship belts, the film's slow-motion attention to pugilistic style and powerhouse punches is thrillingly instructive. full review
  97. Last Days Here 2011 Unexpectedly flouting its doomy title, "Last Days Here" invests the standard, washed-up rock-star tale with surprising sweetness. full review
  98. Leap Year 2011 Shocks only with its candor and complete lack of dramatic manipulation. full review
  99. The Other F Word 2011 What begins as an amusing fluff piece ("Daddy's messed up," mumbles one woozy subject after dropping his gurgling infant) slowly emerges as a compelling and often touching peek at punk paternity. full review
  100. Septien 2011 This low-budget paean to indoor plumbing and rampant facial hair doesn't unfold so much as unravel. full review
  101. Stake Land 2011 Ryan Samul's cinematography and Jeff Grace's score pick up the slack, smoothly maintaining an unstable atmosphere of lurking horror. full review
  102. The Ward 2011 Continues the painful decline of a director who seems more nostalgic for past glories than excited about new ideas. full review
  103. Where Soldiers Come From 2011 In its compassionate, modest gaze, the real cost of distant political decisions is softly illuminated, as well as the shame of a country with little to offer its less fortunate young people than a ticket to a battlefield. full review
  104. Wrecked 2011 "Wrecked" is mostly free of dialogue - and, unfortunately, suspense. full review
  105. The Best and the Brightest 2010 A repellent comedy that's less fun than a parasite infection... full review
  106. Black Death 2010 Slams Christians against pagans with little love for either. full review
  107. Countdown to Zero 2010 This scarily convincing argument that the end, if not quite nigh, is at least foreseeable urges us to wake up and smell the highly enriched uranium. full review
  108. Exit Through The Gift Shop 2010 Exit could be a new subgenre: the prankumentary.
  109. Hatchet II 2010 Swift and amusingly brainless, Hatchet II more than delivers on splatter expectations. full review
  110. I Saw the Devil 2010 A droll Nietzschean fable that's fully aware of its lapses into absurdity. full review
  111. The Killing Jar 2010 Strains to wring tension from a tired premise and an airless script. full review
  112. A Little Help 2010 Though the enjoyable prickliness of the film's early scenes soon dissolves into cozy solutions, a sturdy supporting cast - even Ron Leibman's scenery-chewing turn as Laura's blowhard father is more amusing than annoying - balances the scales. full review
  113. Marwencol 2010 Woven together by Jeff Malmberg -- if not seamlessly, then with illuminating patience -- these disparate strands honor an individual as unique as the miniature universe on which he depends. full review
  114. Monsters 2010 Effortlessly compels. The ending may be pure sci-fi schmaltz, but it's schmaltz that this viewer, at least, could believe in. full review
  115. Red White & Blue 2010 An engrossing -- and profoundly distressing -- tale of random connection and specific revenge. full review
  116. Best Worst Movie 2009 Tries to pin down the alchemy that transports a film from reject bin to cult favorite.
  117. Blood: The Last Vampire 2009 Suffers from abusive close-ups, repetitive fight sequences and uninspired demon design. full review
  118. Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi 2009 [A] stunning documentary. full review
  119. Great Directors 2009 This spasmodically entertaining documentary from Angela Ismailos chronicles her globe-trotting goal of interviewing 10 of her personal cinematic heroes.
  120. Survival of the Dead 2009 Placidly photographed and lacking in urgency, Survival shows us the living flailing at fate and the dead just flailing. full review
  121. The Trouble with Romance 2009 An airless, fragmented feature that's been kicking around since 2007. full review
  122. I Can't Think Straight 2008 Plugging the same two actresses into different Sapphic scenarios may be a valid filmmaking strategy but it can be an extremely boring one.
  123. Never Back Down 2008 Never Back Down offers extreme fighting as the modern-day alternative to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
  124. NoBody's Perfect 2008 An exemplar of fresh-air filmmaking that addresses the devastating legacy of the drug thalidomide with acidic wit and grumpy honesty. full review
  125. Our City Dreams 2008 Our City Dreams is a lyrical documentary about the intersection of location and imagination. full review
  126. Adrift in Manhattan 2007 An all-too-familiar wallow in urban woe and artfully photographed isolation.
  127. Arranged 2007 In Arranged two devout Brooklyn schoolteachers clutch hands across the religious divide as their respective families prepare to marry them off. full review
  128. Ben X 2007 There's not a moment of warmth or ease in Ben X, Nic Balthazar's punishingly cacophonous debut.
  129. 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama 2006 "10 Questions for the Dalai Lama" is a tedious title for an anything-but-tedious film that expertly merges the mystical and the mundane. full review
  130. I'm Reed Fish 2006 Filled with painfully awkward men with painfully bad haircuts, I'm Reed Fish exhibits less energy than a sloth on Seconal.
  131. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie 2006 Trailer Park Boys: The Movie is like a feature-length version of the television sitcom My Name Is Earl, only Canadian -- and not funny. full review
  132. Cowboy Del Amor 2005 Michèle Ohayon's documentary is a slyly insightful portrait of conflicting expectations in the search for the perfect partner.
  133. The Devil's Miner 2005 Directors Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani go underground themselves to expose a form of near-slavery instituted by the Spanish conquistadors more than four centuries ago. full review
  134. Freshman Orientation 2005 A campus comedy with a dirty mouth, an innocent heart and a surprisingly wise mind, Freshman Orientation uses identity politics as a road to romance and emotional maturity. The naked breasts are a bonus.
  135. The Outsider 2005 The Outsider, Nicholas Jarecki's starstruck documentary about the writer and director James Toback, is a tragically missed opportunity to illuminate one of the more unusual cinematic talents working today.
  136. Psychopathia Sexualis 2005 Not even necrophilia and the imaginative deployment of leeches can relieve this exercise in unrelenting dullness.
  137. The Goebbels Experiment 2004 Lutz Hachmeister and Michael Kloft's fascinating documentary provides a chilling glimpse inside the brilliant but toxic mind of Joseph Goebbels via his extensive diaries. full review