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Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

  1. Stranger by the Lake 2014 The writer-director's attention to the anarchic pull of lust, simultaneously celebrated and reproved here, is sharper than ever. full review
  2. Concussion 2013 Quickly devolves into a series of unconvincing scenes in service to an outlandish premise. full review
  3. Leviathan 2013 End of days or the beginning of new ways of seeing? full review
  4. LUV 2013 Although Common and Rainey make a well-matched duo, their chemistry is frequently squandered by a script (co-written by director Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson) that boxes them into impossible roles in one cliched scene after another. full review
  5. Safe Haven 2013 Hough emits all the charisma of a personal assistant ... full review
  6. Any Day Now 2012 Straining for "teachable moments," the film has one noteworthy, unintentional function: to remind us that though LGBT rights are continually evolving, the laws of kitsch remain immutable. full review
  7. The Babymakers 2012 Its 95 minutes feel like a trimester... full review
  8. Barbara 2012 A transfixing Cold War thriller set in the East Germany of 1980 ... full review
  9. Carol Channing: Larger Than Life 2012 Dori Berinstein's desultory, fawning profile of the nonagenarian performer devotes many of its padded 88 minutes to Channing's greatest success, playing the title yenta in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway in the 1960s. full review
  10. Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same 2012 The played-out scenarios in Olnek's first feature, such as Jane's sessions with her therapist, are soon outnumbered by inspired silliness, like tears shed over a revolving dessert tray in a diner. full review
  11. The House I Live In 2012 What's riveting and attention grabbing in Jarecki's recapitulations of failed policy are some of the talking heads he has assembled ... full review
  12. How to Survive a Plague 2012 Dispensing with voiceover narration, How to Survive a Plague is instead a compilation of first-person remembrances, a time-toggling polyphony emphasizing both individual struggles against illness and collective action-the we of me. full review
  13. The Island President 2012 Shenk's film is close enough to his subject to catch the leader who rails against carbon-dioxide emissions puffing on cigarettes in parking lots. full review
  14. L!fe Happens 2012 A blonde-brunette buddy comedy with a charmless cast (Rachel Bilson plays the third roomie, a Christian virgin) and banter as flat as Deena's favorite no-strings imperative, "Bone and bolt." full review
  15. Little White Lies 2012 The din of this crew's constant caviling and passive-aggressive insulting is further intensified by the puzzling, nonstop boomer soundtrack full review
  16. Playing for Keeps 2012 I'll long be haunted by Dennis Quaid's manic performance as a palm-greasing dad who seems to be under the influence of bath salts ... full review
  17. Post Mortem 2012 Often drolly, coolly morbid, Post Mortem also operates just as effectively in a more nakedly direct register. full review
  18. Radio Unnameable 2012 A sporadically hard-selling homage to a cult hero from an overchronicled era ... full review
  19. Starlet 2012 An empathic, absorbing tale of the old and the beautiful, Starlet tracks an unlikely intergenerational friendship in the San Fernando Valley. full review
  20. We Have a Pope 2012 Until the potent concluding scene, the humor and shallow profundities of We Have a Pope pivot on the cuteness of geriatrics, especially when they're spiking a volleyball in slo-mo. full review
  21. The Wise Kids 2012 [Flaws are] ultimately overshadowed by Cone's excellent young actors, particularly Torem, burrowing deeply into her character's zealotry and anguish about being left behind. full review
  22. Beautiful Darling 2011 Polite but poorly structured. full review
  23. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 2011 Constance Marks's documentary on Kevin Clash, the kind, gentle man who created the Muppet beloved by every single child in the world, rushes through the intriguing points its interviewees bring up to devote more time to banalities. full review
  24. Last Days Here 2011 An affectionate look at a self-destructing maniac and his supporters that bluntly reveals Liebling's total abjection without mocking him. full review
  25. One Lucky Elephant 2011 Admirably, and gently, raises questions about the folly and hubris of a relationship that may only ever be one-sided. full review
  26. The Other Woman 2011 Director Don Roos, who also scripted, wobbles tonally, sometimes disastrously. full review
  27. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow 2011 In equal parts mesmerizing and disorienting, Over Your Cities (the title comes from the biblical story of Lilith) plunges viewers into the earth, wind, and fire of Kiefer's massive-scale projects. full review
  28. Pina 2011 Pina gives us the supreme pleasure of watching fascinating bodies of widely varying ages in motion, whether leaping, falling, catching, diving, grieving, or exulting. full review
  29. Rapt 2011 The growing disgust of both his family and business associates, all hazily drawn, may knock the magnate down, but it's a limp substitute for the public fury that still burns after the fall of 2008. full review
  30. The Robber 2011 A nimble, dynamic character study of a fiercely guarded loner on the run. full review
  31. We Were Here 2011 A simple, powerful act of bearing witness, We Were Here is a sober reminder of the not-too-distant past, when gays were focused not on honeymoon plans but on keeping people alive. full review
  32. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 2010 Gibney's assiduous presentation of a payback plot against Spitzer is matched by his diligent investigation into the workings of the Emperors Club VIP. full review
  33. Legendary 2010 [A] slow drip of high-fructose corn syrup. full review
  34. Love Ranch 2010 Any performer, even a deity (and Dame) like Mirren, would struggle mightily to enliven a script this deadly. full review
  35. Night Catches Us 2010 Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's striking debut is the rare recent American-independent film that goes beyond the private dramas of its protagonists, imagining them as players in broader historical moments. full review
  36. The Art Of The Steal 2009 The Art of the Steal presents its aesthetes versus Phila-stines argument cogently, convincingly, and engagingly. full review
  37. Kings of Pastry 2009 Though Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker's food-fetishizing documentary offers a welcome break from the sensibilities and manufactured crises of Bravo and TLC shows, it, too, squanders opportunities to go beyond easily digested human-interest drama. full review
  38. Serious Moonlight 2009 Serious Moonlight has a backstory much more intriguingly dramatic than what's onscreen. full review
  39. Eldorado 2008 Lanners's film is smart and confident enough to acknowledge that certain lives are dead ends, while others get tired of just spinning their wheels. full review

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