John Anderson, Newsday

  1. The Art of the Steal 2014 Snappy, clever, broadly comedic and too obvious for words, of which there are many. full review
  2. Child's Pose 2014 Perversely engrossing thanks to Gheorghiu's performance as the queen of denial. full review
  3. Generation War 2014 Certainly entertaining, possibly art, not always convincing but most assuredly a soap. full review
  4. Like Father, Like Son 2014 Wry, funny and wise, like most of the work of Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda. full review
  5. Omar 2014 "Omar" is a real thriller, a snake pit of plot twists, in which the perspectives shift, destinations change and the moral universe spins and sways. full review
  6. Adore 2013 The film has an impressive pedigree -- screenplay by Christopher Hampton, from a novel by Nobel laureate Doris Lessing -- but still feels like something of a bodice-ripper, if people bothered to wear that much clothing. full review
  7. Aftershock 2013 Cross "The Hangover" with the Apocalypse and that'll give you some idea of the level of debauched mayhem that makes "Aftershock" such a shameless and titillating exercise in horror. full review
  8. The Angels' Share 2013 Unexpectedly, and blithely, amusing. full review
  9. The Attack 2013 Delicately executed thriller balances its political baggage with unflagging suspense. full review
  10. Augustine 2013 The hysterics contained in Alice Winocour's "Augustine" -- and "hysteria" is what it's about -- can't obscure the understated, smoldering subtext of what is a sometimes playfully smart and irony-laden story. full review
  11. Blackfish 2013 Informative, earnest, but less than briskly paced. full review
  12. Blue Is The Warmest Color 2013 The more wondrous things about "Blue Is the Warmest Color" include its emotional honesty, precision, abandon and need. full review
  13. Crystal Fairy 2013 "Crystal Fairy" isn't going to be the mind-expanding movie buzz that blows your mind, but in its laconic, trippy way it gets under the skin. full review
  14. Diana 2013 One wants to say "too soon," but 150 years would be too soon for Oliver Hirschbiegel's close-to-comedic treatment of the princess' last chance at happiness. full review
  15. The Grandmaster 2013 "The Grandmaster" is the work of a director whose work throughout his career has been visually exhilarating, sensuous, even sublime. To that end, "The Grandmaster" doesn't disappoint. full review
  16. Hannah Arendt 2013 Mixed bag, fascinating in its treatment of the Eichmann case, but stilted in its treatment of Arendt and her coterie. full review
  17. Hava Nagila: The Movie 2013 The attitude is so much fun and the story so involving that a little naches is forgivable. full review
  18. The Iceman 2013 As both violent drama and character study, Israeli director Ariel Vromen's film does everything it should. full review
  19. In the House 2013 Ozon is an artful provocateur and observer of human nature. full review
  20. Like Someone in Love 2013 Masterful filmmaking bridges a few gaps in the narrative. full review
  21. Much Ado About Nothing 2013 Everyone acquits him or herself charmingly, and with a deep appreciation for why Shakespeare travels well, and in defiance of those who would dismiss him as dusty. The fact is, he's writing about us. It's as simple as that, and Whedon well knows it. full review
  22. Mud 2013 Nichols' wild narrative tributaries all eventually intersect, and at no time does he let one's attention stall. full review
  23. Nicky's Family 2013 What's nettlesome about director Matej Minac's clunkily constructed documentary is what it says about our perverse but understandable need to spin some kind of happy ending onto the Holocaust. full review
  24. Renoir 2013 Sumptuous, savvy study of art making, love and light. Much of the passion, however, is in the pictures. full review
  25. Room 237 2013 There's enough real evidence supporting the theory that Kubrick was a genius, and that's pretty entertaining all by itself. full review
  26. Salinger 2013 Cataloging what's missing from Salerno's movie -- for instance, why "The Catcher in the Rye" worked, or didn't, and what it meant and still means to the American novel -- would run into the sports section. full review
  27. Short Term 12 2013 Tender, funny and real as a kick in the ribs. full review
  28. Starbuck 2013 "Starbuck" is essentially a situation comedy, but what a situation. full review
  29. A Touch of Sin 2013 In addressing the two-pronged beast of westernization / corruption, Jia gives us a multipronged and engrossing set of plots. full review
  30. Unfinished Song 2013 Shamelessly sentimental, cute to a fault, but the acting is first-rate. full review
  31. Upstream Color 2013 Elliptical and utterly fascinating adventure in cinema, one that defies simple explanations, but worms its way into the brain. full review
  32. We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks 2013 Engaging, kinetic, revelatory and unexpected. full review
  33. What Maisie Knew 2013 Mischievous updating of the Henry James novel, made especially moving by young Onata Aprile. full review
  34. 2 Days in New York 2012 Much of the alleged humor is based on French-English language gags, or cultural differences or continental mores vs. the priggishness of Americans, but it's all more irritating than funny. full review
  35. 56 Up 2012 Apted creates a graceful back-and-forth from the earlier films to the present, and the experience of seeing people who have lived so much on screen is quite profound. full review
  36. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 2012 A movie that somehow mixes apprehension for Ai with a feeling of warmth and, certainly, fun. full review
  37. Any Day Now 2012 Generally abysmal. full review
  38. Barbara 2012 A sturdy suspense story, set in Stasi-infected East Germany, rich in moral compromise, individual integrity and general desperation, it's elevated by Hoss to something sublime and unforgettable ... full review
  39. Bernie 2012 Linklater, admirably unconcerned about how his film can be categorized, has made a comedy, a drama and most certainly a character study. full review
  40. Beware Of Mr. Baker 2012 Any movie that starts with the subject assaulting the director (Baker smacks plucky first-timer Jay Bulger squarely in the face with his cane) is already ahead of the game. full review
  41. Blancanieves 2012 Sensuous, mischievous, hotblooded retelling of the old Teutonic fairy tale. full review
  42. Dark Horse 2012 Even though Todd Solondz' latest journey into suburban dysfunction may seem dark (and is), it's also about joy, and how easily it's wasted. full review
  43. Detropia 2012 Just as the film finds an aesthetic in its dilapidated setting, the city's residents find hope in a desperate place, a place that once represented hope itself. full review
  44. Elles 2012 This is not an entirely new idea. Nor does "Elles" offer any new insights into either domestic slavery or sex work. But it does offer a lot of sex, which for some will be just fine. full review
  45. The Flat 2012 A fascinating and sensitive examination of Jewish-Nazi collaboration, generational amnesia and the delicate construction of the thing we call history. full review
  46. Jiro Dreams of Sushi 2012 As exhausting as Jiro may be, he's also inspiring. full review
  47. A Late Quartet 2012 Engaging, intelligent, but direction doesn't quite live up to a first-rate cast. full review
  48. A Royal Affair 2012 The film tells an intimate story with an enormous amount of grace. full review
  49. Seeking Justice 2012 It's a perfectly palatable and even engaging thriller, albeit one requiring several leaps of faith and/or disengagement with reality. full review
  50. Take This Waltz 2012 No one's a cliche; no one speaks dialogue the viewer could have muttered a beat or two ahead of the movie; no one hews to a mode of behavior fabricated to explain away his or her irrational behavior. full review
  51. This Is Not a Film 2012 There are fireworks -- and an ending that's as dramatic as anything made by any director making a film, which is something Panahi accomplishes with a bit of a wink, and no small amount of courage. full review
  52. We Have a Pope 2012 There's a sweetness to Italian director Nanni Moretti's "We Have a Pope" that belies its seemingly unholy premise... full review
  53. Bottle Shock 2008 A winning cast and a magnum's worth of subplots make Bottle Shock extremely watchable, perhaps a bit fruity, with grace notes of leather, oak and no ham. full review
  54. Before the Rains 2007 The film is well-acted, a broad colonial allegory, and again, visually gorgeous. full review
  55. Day Zero 2007 There's very little that rings true. full review
  56. For the Bible Tells Me So 2007 This rational, human and very serious documentary by Daniel Karslake gets at the historical distortions of the Good Book as well as the ease with which holy writings have been used in America to propagate hate. full review
  57. Mr. Untouchable 2007 Marc Levin, whose last documentary, Protocols of Zion, was a gutsy examination of post-9/11 anti-Semitism, has an even tougher job on his hands with Leroy 'Nicky' Barnes: making the man interesting. full review
  58. Sangre De Mi Sangre 2007 The grimy elegance of this Sundance award winner elevates it well above the standard-issue immigrant drama. full review
  59. Steal a Pencil for Me 2007 Some may think the Holocaust has nothing new to offer up, but Michele Ohayon says otherwise. full review
  60. Choking Man 2006 The film looks so good it could play without sound. full review
  61. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie 2006 Co-writer/director Mike Clattenburg is right on target with his trio of inept trailer-park criminals. full review
  62. Psychopathia Sexualis 2005 What Woods achieves in his arch, velvet-cushioned vignettes is a sense of the subjects being reduced to symptom and diagnosis. full review
  63. Stoned 2005 Played with such an utter lack of charisma by Leo Gregory, Jones comes across as a rocker so drug- and ego-addled he doesn't have enough sense to lie down. full review
  64. Jersey Girl 2004 Affleck may be a nice man, but he has a seemingly congenital inability to do anything convincingly, which is only made worse by Smith's apparent immunity to cloying sentiment. full review
  65. CSA: Confederate States of America 2003 Offensive? Yes, and creatively so. full review
  66. DysFunKtional Family 2003 If Pryor, whose influence is so obvious here, was the big wheel, Griffin is something stuck between the treads. full review
  67. Kill Bill: Volume 1 2003 An eye-popping, blood-soaked, ingeniously choreographed thriller and Hong Kong homage that ultimately adds up to ... not much. full review
  68. Tears of the Sun 2003 Painfully obvious, yet confusing. full review
  69. Ararat 2002 Hardly makes the kind of points Egoyan wanted to make, nor does it exist as the kind of monument he wanted to build, to victims whose voices have never gained the ears of the world. full review
  70. Changing Lanes 2002 Engaging, in a coldly intellectually fashion, but depressing sociologically, emotionally. full review
  71. Along Came a Spider 2001 Thoroughly surprising and far from unsatisfactory. full review
  72. America's Sweethearts 2001 Occasionally amusing, but also an irritating mess. full review
  73. Love the Hard Way 2001 The movie is of the sort that relies exclusively on charm and charisma. Love the Hard Way has neither. full review
  74. Shaolin Soccer 2001 With no inhibitions about whom or where he borrows from, Chow makes us complicit in his stylistic shoplifting. The result is the definition of guilty pleasure. full review
  75. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider 2001 Highly anticipated adaptation of the popular computer game is uneven, sometimes awkward, but Angelina Jolie makes the title character a virtual icon of female competence and coolth. full review
  76. Vanilla Sky 2001 [Crowe] should stick to more conventional narratives and leave the cerebral gymnastics to someone who can handle them. full review
  77. Zoolander 2001 A refreshingly funny movie. full review
  78. About Adam 2000 Smart, sexy and uncompromised. full review
  79. Diamond Men 2000 It provides a charming showcase for an actor [Forster] whose lack of stardom will never be adequately explained. full review
  80. The Gift 2000 Uneven and conventional. full review
  81. Hamlet 2000 Provocative!
  82. /titles/197111 "Bethlehem" is about the Arab-Israeli struggle, naturally, but finds its real emotional heat in the internecine conflicts that keep an insurgency raging and a people off-balance. full review
  83. /titles/197312 Director Costa-Gavras takes a vaguely facetious tone toward the evils of global finance, which he concludes is a game for gluttonous boys. full review
  84. /titles/199790 Touching. full review
  85. /titles/197763 A bracing courtroom drama whose every scene seems wreathed in mist, dust motes and cigar smoke, the better to suggest a nation befogged by grief. full review
  86. /titles/197487 Duplex confirms the suspicion among many of us that today's mainstream movies are simply vehicles for selling other things -- in this case, the cause of New York City landlords. full review
  87. /titles/199769 So blackly funny it hurts! full review
  88. /titles/197500 Fido, which feels original despite borrowing from a half-dozen genres, shouldn't be taken too seriously. full review
  89. /titles/197807 Spaceballs meets the Six Clueless Samurai. full review
  90. /titles/200166 The message, if one needs to look for one, is that the course of romance is no smoother at 50 than it is at 15, when heedlessness is an advantage to plunging into love. full review
  91. /titles/197516 Although it brings Scorsese together with people and techniques he hasn't worked with before, it also touches on themes close to his heart: the birth of cinema, and its preservation. full review
  92. /titles/197768 Things take off immediately and stay in motion for 90 solid, economical minutes. full review
  93. /titles/199336 Likely to remain the best movie of the year. full review
  94. /titles/197481 A thriller without a lot of thrills. full review
  95. /titles/199335 Murmelstein addresses Lanzmann's skepticism and questions with earnestness, passion and -- as if the rest of it wasn't troubling enough -- what seems like total recall. full review
  96. /titles/199626 "Le Chef" is vaguely reassuring proof that the French can make comedies as silly as ours -- which, of course, they do, though the films usually don't make it onto the menu here. full review
  97. /titles/199801 The otherwise good-naturedness of Mr. Deeds, with its embrace of sheer goofiness and cameos of less- than-likely New York celebrities ... certainly raises the film above anything Sandler's been attached to before. full review
  98. /titles/199770 Nothing new. And nothing much. full review
  99. /titles/197756 A handsome vehicle for Denueve, who drives it with elegant sanfroid. full review
  100. /titles/198367 [It's] unfair to allow grown-ups to wander into this alleged comedy without letting them know a few things first. One, that small children will be bored. Two, that they will be bored. Three: that they will be bored. Four: Zzzzzzzzzzz... full review
  101. /titles/199768 El Dorado is a cut above most action-adventure animated movies because of the integration of Kline and Branagh's comedic talents with their cartoon selves. full review
  102. /titles/198407 Part of what makes "Siddharth" so troubling and moving is the difficulty we have situating our sympathies. full review
  103. /titles/198197 A rococo exercise in mayhem, boldfaced allegory and ramped-up chaos. It's a summer movie with a social conscience. full review
  104. /titles/199794 A virtual eruption of special effects and sorcery, borrows a little here and a little there from a lot of espionage thrillers, which may amuse parents. full review
  105. /titles/198426 What would otherwise have been be a rather banal David-Goliath story ... is elevated by Cromwell into something more weighty, and even existentially profound. full review
  106. /titles/197854 Sophomoric, vulgar, obscene and brilliant. full review
  107. /titles/199845 Hamstrung by a feeling that its director was striving for oddity, purely for oddity's sake. full review
  108. /titles/197388 Morris doesn't "break" Rumsfeld, as some think he did McNamara. He has held a mirror up to the man, and found no reflection. The viewer simply has to realize that what's important is what's not there. full review
  109. /titles/198208 Frank, harsh, emotionally harrowing and, much like its subject, difficult. full review
  110. /titles/199977 Graphic, occasionally disgusting but sweet-natured and liberated. full review