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Mark Jenkins, NPR

  1. Boys of Abu Ghraib 2014 Boys of Abu Ghraib is a credible depiction of the tedium, frustration and humiliation of wartime service. full review
  2. Jimmy P. 2014 Jimmy P. tells the more-or-less-true story of two men's friendship and one man's recovery. Beneath that, though, is a meditation on exile and lost identity in which very different people share remarkably similar circumstances. full review
  3. Arthur Newman 2013 Arthur Newman fails to finesse an essential problem: how to make a boring man interesting. full review
  4. The Attack 2013 Suliman, who plays Amin, also starred in Paradise Now, and it's no stretch to say The Attack is the most urgent, unblinking movie about the Israeli-Palestinian divide since that 2005 stunner. full review
  5. Augustine 2013 Visually, the film conjures the past with shadowy interiors and harsh light. Winocour, who also scripted, often makes her points without words. full review
  6. Bidder 70 2013 Seems designed primarily for teach-ins and rallies. full review
  7. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me 2013 The story that writer-director Drew DeNicola and producer-director Olivia Mori reconstruct has the power to move even those who prefer Mozart or Lil Wayne. full review
  8. Drug War 2013 The story's apparent hero is a police captain without the quirks and complications of To's usual cops. But a scriptwriting team that includes co-producer and longtime collaborator Wai Ka-fai takes the story in satisfyingly unexpected directions. full review
  9. Europa Report 2013 While Europa Report recalls such small-ensemble stuck-in-space flicks as Moon and Sunshine, it's basically The Blair Witch Project relocated to the vicinity of Jupiter. full review
  10. G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 What's the difference between an action figure and an action star? Very little in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which features no performances of note, even from such combat-tested thespians as Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce and Dwayne Johnson. full review
  11. How I Live Now 2013 As Macdonald deftly presents a subjective viewpoint, Ronan endows her overly schematic character with authentic desire, resentment and willfulness. full review
  12. Inequality For All 2013 Animated charts and graphs, on-the-road interludes and humorous asides designed to show that the speaker isn't too dislikably severe about the crisis that threatens Life As We Know It. full review
  13. Jobs 2013 [A] merely serviceable film ... full review
  14. Like Someone in Love 2013 Like Someone in Love boasts gently insightful moments, but sometimes Kiarostami just seems like a wide-eyed tourist in unbuttoned Tokyo, the anti-Tehran. full review
  15. Lovelace 2013 Ultimately, the movie relies as heavily as any porn feature on its intrepid female lead. Rather than exploiting Seyfried, however, Lovelace just sort of wastes her. full review
  16. Man of Tai Chi 2013 Reeves has clearly seen many Hong Kong films, and with the help of two veterans, Hollywood cinematographer Elliot Davis and HK editor Derek Hui, he's replicated one. full review
  17. Museum Hours 2013 Ultimately, the movie's easygoing narrative turns to loss, but without melodrama. An awareness of life and art offers perspective, and perhaps a measure of consolation. full review
  18. My Brother The Devil 2013 El Hosaini fights the conventions of the brotherly gangster melodrama, but the conventions win. full review
  19. Narco Cultura 2013 "I think we can be the next hip hop," boasts a narcocorrido impresario, who's surely kidding himself. full review
  20. Paradise: Love 2013 Paradise: Love is startlingly frank if narratively underdeveloped. full review
  21. Phantom 2013 Phantom offers no more plausible a vision of the doomed K-129 than A Good Day to Die Hard does of post-meltdown Chernobyl. full review
  22. Populaire 2013 While Populaire would still have suffered from being overlong and overfamiliar, a smoother leading man could have done much to boost the intended Cary Grant vibe. full review
  23. Renoir 2013 The performances are assured, the ambiance impeccable and the themes resonant. full review
  24. The Rocket 2013 Disamoe demonstrates the resourcefulness he learned during a period when he was a street seller and beggar. It's his exuberant performance, as much as the pungently naturalistic setting, that lifts The Rocket's scenario above the generic. full review
  25. Side Effects 2013 The movie maintains its sense of style throughout, but that hardly matters as the story just gets stupider and stupider. full review
  26. Something in the Air 2013 Viewers who didn't live through the period may not find them evocative. But this movie is about the choices that turn children into adults, and the attempt to balance conflicting enthusiasms. full review
  27. The Sorcerer and the White Snake 2013 These showdowns feature spectacular, Lord of the Rings-style CGI settings, but not much in the way of thrills or terror. full review
  28. The Square 2013 Ultimately, one of the principal appeals of the D.C.-born Egyptian-American filmmaker's documentary is its intimacy. full review
  29. A Touch of Sin 2013 The most dramatic and even lurid of writer-director Jia Zhangke's movies. full review
  30. We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks 2013 Even the movie's title, or rather the source of it, is a surprise. full review
  31. 56 Up 2012 It offers a few insights, and fascinating updates on the most compelling characters. full review
  32. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 2012 Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a portrait of a brave (or simply stubborn) eccentric in action. full review
  33. The Big Picture 2012 This existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else. full review
  34. Buffalo Girls 2012 Stam, Pet and their families don't seem to think much about what they're doing. Neither does Buffalo Girls. full review
  35. A Burning Hot Summer 2012 This existential-romantic roundelay barely simmers, and certainly doesn't scorch. full review
  36. The Central Park Five 2012 In addition to recent interviews with the five, the filmmakers deftly marshal news footage, clips from the supposed confessions, and trenchant analysis. full review
  37. Chasing Ice 2012 What sustains the film are neither words nor music but spectacular images of places few people have ever seen. full review
  38. Dangerous Liaisons 2012 This is a relatively shallow entertainment, but its glossy surfaces certainly are, well, seductive. full review
  39. Deadfall 2012 For Ruzowitzky, Deadfall seems nothing more than work for hire. full review
  40. Elles 2012 The sex scenes are attention-getting, but Elles is most remarkable as a naturalistic portrait of a woman. full review
  41. For Ellen 2012 By concentrating so intently on the psychically unattached Joby, Kim hinders dramatic and character development. full review
  42. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai 2012 Ryuichi Sakamoto's score, Nobuyasu Kita's cinematography and the performances are all impressive. full review
  43. The House I Live In 2012 Jarecki's documentary assembles [its arguments] deftly, with much help from former crime reporter David Simon, who left the Baltimore Sun to become the auteur of such mean-streets TV dramas as The Wire. full review
  44. The Invisible War 2012 The movie depicts the military's culture of intimidation and assault as global, not as an aberration that might be explained by the pressures of combat or the tedium of life on secluded posts. full review
  45. Last Call at the Oasis 2012 [It] may be slick enough to reach people who aren't already familiar with such substances as "new water," atrazine and hexavalent chromium. full review
  46. Last Ride 2012 Weaving, best known for The Matrix and the Lord of the Rings trilogies, brings subtlety and poignance to the hoodlum's mercurial character. full review
  47. Little White Lies 2012 Little White Lies simply tries too hard. full review
  48. The Loneliest Planet 2012 The Loneliest Planet does have a quiet power, which is amplified by the movie's rugged landscape. full review
  49. More Than Honey 2012 An amiably shaggy combination of science lesson, whimsical musing and alarm bell ... full review
  50. Not Fade Away 2012 Alas, Not Fade Away is far less pungent than the period it attempts to evoke. full review
  51. Orchestra Of Exiles 2012 Orchestra of Exiles will interest anyone who's concerned with European Jewry or classical music in the first half of the 20th century. But it provides mostly the facts of Huberman's legacy and little of the flavor. full review
  52. Oslo, August 31st 2012 In its depiction of a man who's considering death, the film is never less than fully alive. full review
  53. Playing for Keeps 2012 Is it a heartwarming romantic drama? Or a cynical sex and sports comedy? There is no wrong answer, dear ticket buyer. full review
  54. Post Mortem 2012 Post Mortem is - intentionally - not an engaging movie. full review
  55. Red Dawn 2012 [Its] portrayal of violence derives more from video games than from history. full review
  56. Red Lights 2012 Cortes continues to challenge magical thinking, but ultimately submits to it. The only mystery is which of the characters will turn the screw of the twist ending. full review
  57. Tai Chi Zero 2012 Fung is enjoying himself so much that he doesn't want the movie to end - and his delight is infectious. full review
  58. We Have a Pope 2012 It's a half-sweet, half-rueful existential drama in which the satire comes secondary. full review
  59. Whores' Glory 2012 To combine stories of exploited Third World women with feisty songs by female Anglo-American rockers is to flirt with glamorization. full review
  60. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 2011 The Black Power Mixtape includes plenty of interest, but it would be stronger if the filmmakers had dug a little deeper into the footage from 1967 to 1972 and skipped the final years altogether. full review
  61. Magic Trip 2011 The movie fails to make the cross-country jaunt function as a metaphor for the country's mid-century passage. Minus that, the Pranksters' everything-changing adventure looks a lot like just another road trip. full review
  62. My Piece of the Pie 2011 A stirring if occasionally over-obvious clash of capital and labor. full review
  63. One Lucky Elephant 2011 While its story is inherently bittersweet, the movie has many charming moments. After all, it's about one smart elephant. full review
  64. Polisse 2011 As humane as it is disturbing, Polisse rifles the files of Paris' Child Protection Unit in search of successes, failures and all the shades of ambiguity in between. full review
  65. Surviving Progress 2011 A provocative if scattershot documentary from directors Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, who wander off topic more than once as they introduce myriad other voices. full review
  66. The Women on the 6th Floor 2011 Luchini, who played the condescending patriarch in Potiche, is very experienced at this sort of thing. He conveys not just the foolish vanity of the middle-aged male, but also moments of genuine empathy, gallantry and hurt. full review
  67. Freakonomics 2010 The movie version of Freakonomics functions as a reasonably effective trailer, but for a book whose moment has already passed. full review
  68. Tabloid 2010 Tabloid spins a heck of a yarn, while implicitly warning viewers not to be so entertained that they believe every gamy detail. full review
  69. /titles/197763 A better history lesson than it is a drama. full review
  70. /titles/198368 Unlike most movies that rely on TV-news reports to drive the story, Dormant Beauty is complex and humane, and never shrinks to mere spectacle. full review
  71. /titles/197144 In the first comedy of a 40-year career that includes A Sunday in the Country and The Princess of Montpensier, director and co-writer Bertrand Tavernier tries to do too much. full review
  72. /titles/197589 Anyone seeking to establish an incubator for suicide bombers could hardly improve on Sidi Moumen, a slum on the fringe of Casablanca. full review
  73. /titles/198134 Radnor seems pretty impressed with the version of himself he's playing. full review
  74. /titles/197678 Manakamana doesn't answer any questions, yet makes its point: Nepal, like the rest of our planet, is a picturesque but far from peaceable kingdom. full review
  75. /titles/197051 [An] unusually deliberate but otherwise predictable drama. full review
  76. /titles/197628 The results are poignant, yet show the difficulties of applying fiction templates to true stories. full review

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