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Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

  1. The Act Of Killing 2013 [It] may be one of the most horrifying films you'll ever see, and one of the most edifying. full review
  2. The Angels' Share 2013 [Mr. Loach] has gone and directed a comedy from a script by his longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, and it's so delightful that his fans will be clamoring for more. full review
  3. The Attack 2013 Remarkably accomplished and self-confident. full review
  4. Blackfish 2013 After watching "Blackfish," you come away with a sense of orcas' singular intelligence, to be sure, even their astonishing playfulness, but most of all their glorious power, and the majesty of their existence in their natural habitat. full review
  5. The Brass Teapot 2013 Ms. Mosley, who directed from a screenplay by Tim Macy, struggles to fill her debut feature with a slender notion, but the premise defeats her, even if the story operates at the outset on the pleasure principle. full review
  6. Caesar Must Die 2013 What works best is what's readily accessible, the startling power of performers who understand the drama all too well. full review
  7. Cutie And The Boxer 2013 Viewed in its entirety, "Cutie and the Boxer" is more than a great documentary. It's a great film. full review
  8. Europa Report 2013 "Europa Report" goes ploddingly where bolder films have gone before. full review
  9. G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 I won't pretend that I had a great time watching "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." full review
  10. Gimme The Loot 2013 Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson are terrific in the main roles. So is Zoe Lescaze as Ginnie, a spoiled white kid who teaches the taggers a thing or two about drift and being dissolute. full review
  11. The Grandmaster 2013 For those who aren't ardent students of kung fu's schools and styles, however, the movie is, for most of its length, a lifeless snore. full review
  12. Haute Cuisine 2013 Ms. Frot brings a sympathetic mix of determination and passion to Hortense, who dedicates herself to making dishes that suit the president. full review
  13. A Hijacking 2013 This feature film shows how much tension, telling detail and sheer dramatic expertise can be squeezed into a running time of less than two hours. full review
  14. How I Live Now 2013 The production feels tentative and underpopulated: I thought not only of Katniss Everdeen but of the marvelous pandemonium in Danny Boyle's zombie epic "28 Days Later." full review
  15. In the House 2013 A celebration of storytelling's power. full review
  16. Inequality For All 2013 Mr. Kornbluth's documentary argues eloquently for such unassailable goals as investment in education and infrastructure, and complements Mr. Reich's exposition with compelling interviews ... full review
  17. John Dies at the End 2013 When you're having great fun at a movie and suddenly you're not, where's the fun? full review
  18. The Last Stand 2013 The movie isn't about eloquence, it's about giving Mr. Schwarzenegger a chance to take on new enemies that include advancing age. full review
  19. Mud 2013 It's a movie that holds out hope for the movies' future. full review
  20. Olympus Has Fallen 2013 A nitwit extravaganza that makes you long for the intellectual depth of Independence Day. full review
  21. Only God Forgives 2013 Nicolas Winding Refn's excruciatingly-though definitively-pretentious exercise in ritual violence gives chiaroscuro a bad name. full review
  22. A Place at the Table 2013 In addition to the dismaying facts and figures is a fuller sense of what hunger can look like, and feel like, among the millions of Americans classified as "food-insecure" ... full review
  23. Room 237 2013 [It] may be the surpassingly eccentric-and enormously entertaining-film that Kubrick deserves. full review
  24. Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's 2013 The energy in "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's"-what a great title!-is genuine, infectious and superabundant. full review
  25. Side Effects 2013 The film as a whole is consistently enjoyable and sometimes thrilling, a classic Soderbergh showcase for provocative storytelling and marvelous acting. full review
  26. Something in the Air 2013 Worth seeing for what it says of the turbulent state of France in the early 1970s, when Mr. Assayas was a high-school student in Paris ... full review
  27. The Square 2013 "The Square" stands as a valuable document of a tormented time, an anatomy of a revolutionary movement doomed by a paucity of viable institutions, and by the movement's failure to advance a coherent agenda. full review
  28. Stand Up Guys 2013 Fisher Stevens directed from Noah Haidle's script, which is obviously the work of a young writer. full review
  29. Starbuck 2013 "Starbuck" is more than the sum of its calculations, though not a whole lot more. full review
  30. Upside Down 2013 At a time when so many movies look alike, and studio productions sometimes look aggressively ugly, here's a quirky vision at the intersection of sci-fi and romance. full review
  31. Wish You Were Here 2013 Even a drug-sniffing police dog gives a vivid performance. full review
  32. 56 Up 2012 "56 Up" reminds us that change is ceaseless and often dramatic, bringing growth we could never have dreamed of as little kids. full review
  33. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 2012 The film's greatest distinction is its intimacy. full review
  34. Arbitrage 2012 It could readily be mistaken for the work of an experienced and justifiably self-confident filmmaker with a nose for newsy stories, a knack for telling them tersely, and a gift for directing actors full review
  35. Marvel's The Avengers 2012 A slow start, a single star performance surrounded by indifferent acting and an onslaught of computer effects that range from seen-it-all-in-"Transformers" to a whole sky full of spectacular stuff in the midtown Manhattan climax. full review
  36. Ballplayer: Pelotero 2012 The next time I see some superstar athlete giving an interview that suggests the absence of a functioning soul, I'll think of the two tense, joyless boys at the center of this quietly devastating documentary. full review
  37. The Cabin in the Woods 2012 Zest counts for a lot, and resonance carries the day. full review
  38. The Central Park Five 2012 Watching "The Central Park Five" is a deeply affecting experience. full review
  39. Compliance 2012 Too condescending to be trusted, too manipulative to be believed, too turgid to be enjoyed, too shameless to be endured and, before and after everything else, too inept to make its misanthropic case. full review
  40. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel 2012 Makes a compelling case for the late Diana Vreeland as the 20th century's pre-eminent tastemaker, not to mention one of its most extravagant personalities. full review
  41. The Dictator 2012 Now [Cohen is] turning material both fresh and rancid into tepid gruel. full review
  42. Dredd 2012 What's exceptional is the orchestration of color, form, light and dark (lots of dark), 3-D technology and digital effects into a look that amounts to a vision. full review
  43. The Flat 2012 Goes from intriguing to astonishing by way of unfathomable. full review
  44. Flight 2012 Shameless, though effective, melodrama. full review
  45. The Forgiveness of Blood 2012 A work of fiction, based on present-day fact, that's quietly affecting and surprisingly dramatic, so long as you're willing to watch it unfold at its own deliberate pace. full review
  46. Friends With Kids 2012 It's shrill in tone, awash in unexamined narcissism-kids are just pretexts for laughs, rather than objects of love-and afflicted by explosive verbal diarrhea. full review
  47. The Guilt Trip 2012 Andrew [Rogen], who has invented an organic cleaning compound, pitches it to retailers in a succession of meetings across the country that have no grounding in any known reality. full review
  48. Headhunters 2012 "Headhunters" is smart, funny, scary and surprising, so it's hardly any wonder that an American version is in the works. The big question is whether the remake can measure up. full review
  49. How to Survive a Plague 2012 Tune in to the passionate voices in David France's brilliant documentary ... full review
  50. The Hunger Games 2012 The first book of Suzanne Collins's prodigiously popular trilogy has been brought to the screen with a Jumbotron sensibility, a shaky camera to emphasize the action and a shakier grip on the subject's emotional core. full review
  51. I Wish 2012 This wise and funny film, in Japanese with English subtitles, works small miracles in depicting the pivotal moment when kids turn from the wishfulness of childhood into shaping the world for themselves. full review
  52. The Intouchables 2012 The film fulfills its feel-good promise, as long as it's seen as the fairy tale it was meant to be. full review
  53. The Island President 2012 "The Island President" personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives. full review
  54. Jack Reacher 2012 This movie is a turkey gone rancid. full review
  55. Jiro Dreams of Sushi 2012 At the age of 85, the subject of this fascinating documentary not only dreams of sushi but still drives himself to make it better. full review
  56. Little White Lies 2012 A movie built from strung-together set pieces. full review
  57. The Loneliest Planet 2012 Though the film moves as slowly as its hikers, it demands, and deserves, to be watched closely. full review
  58. Lore 2012 The pace is deliberate, verging on slow-Australian filmmakers aren't keen on short takes or quick cuts-but the content is constantly surprising. full review
  59. Marley 2012 The director, Kevin Macdonald, searches for clarity amid the contradictions of Marley's life and reaches no conclusions, but that's a tribute to his subject's complexity in a film of fascinating too-muchness. full review
  60. Monsieur Lazhar 2012 What makes the film enthralling is the wisdom and grace with which it addresses the twin subjects of grief and healing, and the quiet beauty of Mohamed Fellag's performance in the title role. full review
  61. The Other Dream Team 2012 The production's focus is split-properly and effectively-between basketball and realpolitik. full review
  62. A Royal Affair 2012 With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper. full review
  63. Skyfall 2012 The movie's smartest suit is emotional intelligence: Skyfall keeps us caring, intensely, for a hero who, by any rational measure, is a vestige of a vanished era. full review
  64. This Is Not a Film 2012 Against all odds, an unquenchable artist has made yet another piece of powerful art. full review
  65. The Adventures of Tintin 2011 The action grows wearisome as it grinds on, and the film becomes a succession of dazzling set pieces devoid of simple feelings. full review
  66. Bellflower 2011 A daring feature debut by Evan Glodell, "Bellflower" looks like it was shot with the digital equivalent of a Brownie box camera, and generates an almost palpable aura of anxiety. full review
  67. Buck 2011 It keeps you fascinated, even enthralled; elicits astonishment, even wonderment, and makes you grateful for the chance to meet someone remarkable. full review
  68. Coriolanus 2011 Riches of character are revealed, with copious visual invention. full review
  69. First Position 2011 Beneath the jetes and bleeding feet, First Position is about toughness of mind as much as visions of beauty. In one case it's about a transformation so profound as to be unfathomable. full review
  70. Hugo 2011 Thematic potency and cinematic virtuosity -- the production was designed by Dante Ferretti and photographed by Robert Richardson -- can't conceal a deadly inertness at the film's core. full review
  71. I Don't Know How She Does It 2011 Why was a string of sitcom problems stretched to 91 minutes? full review
  72. Make Believe 2011 Terrifically likable without trying too terribly hard. full review
  73. My Week with Marilyn 2011 A dubious idea done in by Adrian Hodges's shallow script and Simon Curtis's clumsy direction. full review
  74. The Other Woman 2011 I didn't like a single one of these insufferable narcissists, the kid included. full review
  75. Polisse 2011 What makes it such a singular experience is the convergence of fine acting, moral urgency and a willingness to linger on moments of great intensity. full review
  76. Revenge of the Electric Car 2011 Fascinating in its own right. full review
  77. This Must Be The Place 2011 Bizarre can be good when it's done deftly. In this case, however, it's done ponderously and sententiously. full review
  78. Trishna 2011 Spectacular visually, though awfully somber dramatically. full review
  79. The Women on the 6th Floor 2011 Think of Philippe Le Guay's French-language comedy, set in the 1960s, as a fairy-tale version of "The Help." full review
  80. All Good Things 2010 The script draws insistently obvious psychological connections. full review
  81. The American 2010 Mr. Clooney's performance as Jack -- a last name would have made him less existential -- keeps you attentive, and the drama's seriousness finally earns your respect. full review
  82. Cave of Forgotten Dreams 2010 The unknowable or the mysteriously ambiguous in human behavior is what sets Mr. Herzog's synapses to firing with singular intensity. full review
  83. City of Life and Death 2010 This is hardly a film to recommend as entertainment. As an act of remembrance, though, it is singular and, in its way, soaring. full review
  84. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 2010 Say what you will about Eliot Spitzer, he's a marvelous subject for a documentary, and Alex Gibney has made a film worthy of him... full review
  85. Heartbeats 2010 The film couples high comedy with spiritual solitude. That's not just a slo-mo stunt, it's a cockeyed triumph. full review
  86. If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle 2010 I was strongly impressed. full review
  87. Inhale 2010 All of the beatings, betrayals and bitter ironies leave a bad taste in your head. full review
  88. Monsters 2010 What brings Monsters down from its extremely low perch is a conspicuous lack of monstrosity -- the best the filmmaker's laptop has come up with is fleeting glimpses of supersize squid -- together with the vacuousness of the hero and heroine... full review
  89. Night Catches Us 2010 Merits admiration as an ambitious debut feature, though the impact of its splendid cast is blunted by the awkward structure of its screenplay. full review
  90. Restrepo 2010 This movie will stir your heart and open your mind. It's a group portrait of practicing patriots. full review
  91. Somewhere 2010 The movie stands on its own terms as a slow-burning drama of life in a Hollywood purgatory where you can not only check out but leave. full review
  92. An American Affair 2009 This is not, by any reasonable definition of the term, a professional film, even though several experienced and established actors have been inveigled to inhabit it full review
  93. Antichrist 2009 By turns repellent, powerful and ludicrous, Antichrist piles horror on horror with pitiless passion. full review
  94. The Art Of The Steal 2009 I found it fascinating for a number of reasons, balanced reporting not among them. full review
  95. Cairo Time 2009 [Clarkson] makes yearning palpable. She turns mysterious silences into a language of love. full review
  96. Fish Tank 2009 Fish Tank is a coming-of-age story for Mia, who will at least have a shot at happiness, and a coming-into-mastery story for the writer-director, Ms. Arnold, whose prospects seem limitless. full review
  97. The Fourth Kind 2009 Mr. Osunsanmi's chutzpah exceeds his skill. full review
  98. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 2009 An overgenerous helping of recapitulation, a long procedural that's more about Lisbeth's persecutors and protectors than about her. full review
  99. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2009 A stylish thriller with real complexity, people with interesting faces, a sensational actress cast as an ambisexual Goth hacker heroine -- the news about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is nothing but good. full review
  100. The Road 2009 You hang on to yourself for dear life, resisting belief as best you can in the face of powerful acting, persuasive filmmaking and the perversely compelling certainty that nothing will turn out all right. full review
  101. The Secret of Kells 2009 The soul of the film lies in its ravishing colors, and in exuberantly stylized images that pay homage to Celtic culture and design, together with techniques and motifs that evoke Matisse, Miyazaki and the minimalist cartoons of UPA. full review
  102. Let the Right One In 2008 [Director Tomas] Alfredson's style is as elegant and laconic as Twilight is amateurish and campy. full review
  103. Man on Wire 2008 Part of what makes Man on Wire so enthralling, and so entertaining, is the filmmaker's skill in laying out the illegal caper's logistics, mainly through interviews with Philippe and his support team. full review
  104. Management 2008 The plot is too sprawling for the structure. That's often the way with debut films: so many notions, so little time. full review
  105. New York, I Love You 2008 What's remarkable here is the consistency of the mediocrity, the uniform fraudulence of the minipremises, the reliable awkwardness of such almost-English lines as "Your eyes would suffice to give tired men hope." full review
  106. Valkyrie 2008 Mr. Cruise's performance turns out to be brisk and reasonably plausible, though unexceptional, while the production as a whole succeeds as an elaborate procedural, impressively staged in historical locations. full review
  107. Zack and Miri Make a Porno 2008 Seth Rogen is totally out of control. He's been marvelously funny in the past, and will be again, but get that party animal back in his cage. full review
  108. Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side) 2007 An exquisitely mysterious feature by the German-born Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin. full review
  109. Into the Wild 2007 full review
  110. Paranoid Park 2007 In the space of 78 minutes, Mr. Van Sant and his cinematographer, the peerless Christopher Doyle, manage to suffuse that state with haunting sadness, ubiquitous danger, pulsing power and flickers of hope. full review
  111. Phoebe in Wonderland 2007 It's that kind of movie, full of therapeutic notions paraded as poetry and scenes that seem to carry explanatory labels. full review
  112. Trumbo 2007 The substance of those letters, along with documentary footage and a touching appearance by Kirk Douglas, throws a baleful light on a bleak chapter of American history. full review
  113. Click 2006 [Click] is an abomination. full review
  114. Deep Water 2006 An enthralling documentary about an Englishman named Donald Crowhurst who, in 1968, set off on a solitary, nonstop circumnavigation of the globe. full review
  115. Maxed Out 2006 James Scurlock's documentary serves up cautionary tales of epic abuse, though the overall tone is faux cheerful and sometimes genuinely entertaining, especially in the use of clips from an old educational film that looks too fatuous to be faux. full review
  116. Penelope 2006 Penelope was in a trough of trouble before the oink on the script was dry. full review
  117. Scoop 2006 It's full of funny lines and clever inventions. full review
  118. The Italian Job 2003 full review
  119. Touching the Void 2003 full review
  120. Panic Room 2002 full review
  121. Spider-Man 2002 Coarse mayhem notwithstanding, Spider-Man will probably provoke a pandemic of arachnophilia. full review
  122. Amelie 2001 full review
  123. The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999 full review
  124. Pi 1998 full review
  125. Beautiful Girls 1996 full review
  126. Big Night 1996 full review
  127. Silent Running 1971 full review
  128. Some Like It Hot 1959 full review
  129. Jane Eyre 1944 full review
  130. Dumbo 1941 full review

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