instantwatcher.com

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

  1. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me 2014 Elaine Stritch's strength, along with the film's, comes from her honesty. She is herself, even when - maybe especially when - she knows she's being watched. full review
  2. Generation War 2014 It's as retrograde - if also as perversely intoxicating - as an old Hollywood melodrama. full review
  3. Like Father, Like Son 2014 In general, the speed and stoicism with which Keita and Ryusei adjust to the familial maneuvering is, quite frankly, weird. full review
  4. The Missing Picture 2014 As haunting as it is haunted, "The Missing Picture" leaves viewers' heads rattling with ghosts. full review
  5. 20 Feet From Stardom 2013 An engaging look at the nexus of art and commerce, talent and hard work. It's a story of standing out and blending in, sometimes at the same time. full review
  6. The Attack 2013 The Attack spreads the blame around for what is undeniably a nasty situation, any way you look at it. full review
  7. Augustine 2013 Fiercely yet faithfully imagined by... Alice Winocur, [the film] is not exclusively a mystery. It's also part love story, part horror story, as well as a parable of gender, power and the enduring enigma that is the mind-body connection. full review
  8. Bettie Page Reveals All 2013 The best thing about this documentary portrait of the beloved 1950s pin-up is its meaty narration, courtesy of Page herself, speaking in the low, slightly gravelly register of an aging Southern belle. full review
  9. Concussion 2013 It's on the dull side, despite a fair amount of tasteful, non-explicit sex. full review
  10. The Croods 2013 "The Croods" is light fare, but it explores a serious theme, if only superficially. full review
  11. Crystal Fairy 2013 Part drug comedy, part psychological drama, the movie is slight, but only superficially so. full review
  12. Cutie And The Boxer 2013 Movies twice as long are often half as eloquent. full review
  13. Dirty Wars 2013 It's shocking stuff, even if much of it has already been in the news. That's mostly because of the way that Scahill strings it together into a coherent, convincing argument. full review
  14. Escape From Planet Earth 2013 Just like its hero and his grounded starship, Escape From Planet Earth is, for much of the film, a decidedly earthbound adventure. full review
  15. Escape From Tomorrow 2013 Are the fantasies of a dirty middle-age man, drooling over underage girls in short shorts and grown women dressed as cartoon characters, really something to aspire to? full review
  16. The Frankenstein Theory 2013 Fourteen years after "Blair Witch," has the whole found-footage-horror genre jumped the shark? Maybe. Weiner, however, manipulates its well-worn tropes deftly. full review
  17. God Loves Uganda 2013 You'd never guess the subject matter of "God Loves Uganda" from its innocuous-sounding title. full review
  18. A Hijacking 2013 To refuse to call A Hijacking a thriller is not to say it isn't thrilling, in a dryly cerebral way. full review
  19. The Host 2013 It's a mushy and unsuspenseful melodrama. full review
  20. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 Considering how creatively bankrupt and stylistically profligate this second installment of the franchise is, the new movie should really be called Insidious: Chapter 11. full review
  21. Instructions Not Included 2013 The film's counterintuitive success is largely due to Derbez, who demonstrates why he is beloved, both south and north of the border. full review
  22. Jobs 2013 There's a void inside the man that Kutcher never manages to fill. full review
  23. John Dies at the End 2013 I stopped taking notes when the woman disintegrated into a ball of writhing snakes. full review
  24. Lovelace 2013 Its maudlin third act mars what is, for much of the film, a pretty nuanced and well-acted biopic, as well as something of a cultural critique. full review
  25. Machete Kills 2013 Uses a dull blade to hack away at the same targets that the first film so deftly eviscerated, namely B-movies. full review
  26. Magic Camp 2013 The film is, at times, very funny. At the same time, Ehrlich tries to show us not just the budding magician, but the budding person. full review
  27. Man of Tai Chi 2013 Will anyone other than hardcore martial arts junkies pay good money to watch this stuff, which I admit, in smaller doses, holds a powerful visual/visceral fascination? full review
  28. Movie 43 2013 Movie 43 is a near masterpiece of tastelessness. The anthology of 12 short, interconnected skits elevates the art form of gross-out comedy to a new height. full review
  29. Mr. Nobody 2013 Never mind that several characters seem to gain or lose British accents throughout the course of the film. The lack of continuity only enhances the sense of deliciously dizzying disequilibrium. full review
  30. Muscle Shoals 2013 A mesmerizing documentary ... full review
  31. My Brother The Devil 2013 A story of brothers that's both tough and tender. full review
  32. Narco Cultura 2013 After watching "Narco Cultura," it's hard to imagine any "recreational" user of pot wondering whether the joint he or she just smoked isn't soaked in human blood. full review
  33. Pandora's Promise 2013 In the end, its somewhat equivocal message - that nuclear power might just be the lesser of several evils - is more convincing than you'd think. full review
  34. A Place at the Table 2013 It deserves to be seen, along with "Food, Inc.," "King Corn" and other muckraking food docs of recent years. full review
  35. Populaire 2013 Roinsard, who wrote his feature debut with Daniel Presley and Romain Compingt, is unabashedly in love with cheesy, cornball sentiment, which he dusts off and polishes to a fair-thee-well. full review
  36. Starbuck 2013 It's silly and a bit sappy, but it works, in a crowd-pleasing way. full review
  37. The Summit 2013 It's frustrating not to know exactly what occurred when, how and to whom. Of course, some of this is due to the fact that nobody really knows everything that happened, except, as someone notes, the mountain itself. full review
  38. Terms And Conditions May Apply 2013 A depressing reflection of a pervasive and thoroughly modern malaise. full review
  39. Upside Down 2013 "Upside Down" paints a pretty picture, as long as you don't think about it too much. full review
  40. We Are What We Are 2013 There's some fun to be had, as long as your idea of fun includes being grossed out. full review
  41. We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks 2013 Despite its wonky-Washington theme, We Steal Secrets ends up being a surprisingly soulful and, yes, even moving story of hubris, good intentions and mistakes. full review
  42. Winnie Mandela 2013 Despite the marquee names and their obvious talent, the film feels like a made-for-TV movie. full review
  43. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 2012 A useful primer, though it also focuses a bit more on the activism than on the art. full review
  44. Any Day Now 2012 The film is sometimes swamped by its own tears. full review
  45. Bachelorette 2012 It's a sour, only fitfully funny affair, wasting the abilities of its otherwise talented cast, which includes Kirsten Dunst, James Marsden, Adam Scott and Isla Fisher. full review
  46. Beware Of Mr. Baker 2012 "Beware of Mr. Baker" is comprehensive, if somewhat overly glowing. full review
  47. The Big Picture 2012 It moves, with supple muscularity, toward a twisty and satisfying conclusion. full review
  48. Blue Like Jazz 2012 It is - somewhat surprisingly, given the heavy-handed subject - neither sanctimonious nor preachy. full review
  49. Casa de mi padre 2012 It's perfect for a short clip on FunnyorDie.com. Padded out to feature length, with a bunch of other slight and unmemorable laughs, it wears thin. full review
  50. The Central Park Five 2012 How could this second crime have occurred? The film asks that question but only partly answers it, and in the process it raises an even more troubling one. full review
  51. Chasing Ice 2012 "Chasing Ice" aims to accomplish, with pictures, what all the hot air that has been generated on the subject of global warming hasn't been able to do: make a difference. full review
  52. Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 2012 What the movie lacks, unfortunately, is coherence. full review
  53. The Collection 2012 Dull and repetitive, even by the standards of an already repetitive genre. full review
  54. Crooked Arrows 2012 The lacrosse angle aside, "Crooked Arrows" seems less interested in breaking ground than in following a path that has been trod a thousand times before. full review
  55. Deadfall 2012 A genre characterized by often grisly violence, high style and a distinctly nihilistic outlook. full review
  56. The Details 2012 "The Details" wears its quirky heart on its sleeve, signaling (and smirking at) its own silliness, at every opportunity, with an intrusively antic score that makes everything sound like a giant joke. full review
  57. Elles 2012 The acting by Binoche and her two young co-stars is more nuanced than the film deserves. full review
  58. End of Watch 2012 A portrait of law enforcement under pressure that is as ennobling as it is gritty. full review
  59. The Forgiveness of Blood 2012 It's a thriller that feels like a documentary. full review
  60. The Intouchables 2012 More than a little unrealistic. full review
  61. Last Ounce of Courage 2012 The sheer volume of what I like to call "eyebrow acting" -- in which thespian intensity is directly proportional to the angle and depth of one's forehead furrows -- is staggering. full review
  62. Lore 2012 "Lore" is not a love story, nor the story of a friendship. Rather, it's a story of healing and of how breaking, sometimes painfully, is often necessary before that process can begin. full review
  63. More Than Honey 2012 What's really frightening about Honey isn't what a hive of angry bees might do to us, but what we've done to them. full review
  64. The Paperboy 2012 The entire cast of "The Paperboy" glistens with a golden sheen, as if they've been sprayed with Pam cooking oil. full review
  65. Pusher 2012 We're ... left to cheer someone simply because there's really no one else to root for. full review
  66. Red Dawn 2012 Despite the more realistic battle scenes, nothing in it feels more fateful than a football game. full review
  67. Safety Not Guaranteed 2012 "Safety Not Guaranteed" is most vibrant and vital at its edges, in the way that the characters interact with each other while waiting for something to happen. full review
  68. Silent House 2012 A scary, yet thoughtful - some might even say deep - art-house frightfest. full review
  69. Special Forces 2012 If you turned the sound off and removed the subtitles, you might actually think you were watching an old Hollywood shoot-'em-up. full review
  70. Starlet 2012 "Starlet" is like a flower growing out of a septic tank. full review
  71. Tai Chi Zero 2012 A martial-arts adventure with more video-game and comic-book DNA than the traditional kung fu flick, "Tai Chi Zero" is good, if empty-headed, fun. full review
  72. Take This Waltz 2012 In the end, it's a story of misplaced faith. In what? Not love exactly, but in the rush of infatuation, and the illusion that this feeling can be maintained, indefinitely, without crashing. full review
  73. Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie 2012 At times, the movie has the look and feel of the cheaply made late-night commercials that it mercilessly, and occasionally hilariously, mocks. full review
  74. Waiting For Lightning 2012 Only for the converted. full review
  75. We Have a Pope 2012 "We Have a Pope" is a nuanced, moving and profoundly humane exploration of doubt, faith, weakness and resolve. full review
  76. Whores' Glory 2012 "Whores' Glory" takes a deadpan, nonjudgmental approach, which generally works well, even if the fly-on-the-wall technique makes clear that what attracts flies usually stinks. full review
  77. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 2011 The film is filled with so much insider Muppet lore that, at times, it strains even the goodwill that Clash generates. full review
  78. Bellflower 2011 After a while, "Bellflower" feels like it can't stop checking itself out in the mirror. It's a pose, not a movie. full review
  79. Gerhard Richter Painting 2011 Richter offers multiple explanations of how he knows when a painting is done. They range from the mundane to the lofty. full review
  80. Hell and Back Again 2011 The film suggests that it doesn't really matter whether Harris ever gets back in uniform. He's forever carrying around a piece of unexploded ordnance in his head. full review
  81. I Don't Know How She Does It 2011 The film is so bad it's hard to imagine anything saving it. full review
  82. Magic Trip 2011 It isn't exactly boring. But it's hard being the designated driver at someone else's bacchanal. full review
  83. Page One: Inside the New York Times 2011 The movie is a clear-eyed and engrossing look at an important subject. full review
  84. Polisse 2011 It's messy, boring, funny, suspenseful, touching, jubilant and tragic. full review
  85. The Reunion 2011 If John Cena wants to follow in the footsteps of fellow wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, he might want to learn to smile. Or at least to pick better material than "The Reunion." full review
  86. The Robber 2011 "The Robber" is one of the most abstemious thrillers in recent memory. full review
  87. Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview 2011 The most fascinating aspect of listening to him talk comes not from what he says about what he did, but how he talks about it. full review
  88. Surviving Progress 2011 Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks's powerful but pessimistic documentary look at the corner we humans seem to be painting ourselves into, economically, ecologically and otherwise. full review
  89. Sympathy for Delicious 2011 You can't make this stuff up. Or maybe you can, but you shouldn't. full review
  90. This Must Be The Place 2011 If you give Penn (and the movie) a chance, the character works, movingly and somewhat miraculously. full review
  91. The Women on the 6th Floor 2011 [It] has drama, comedy, romance and class politics. It also introduces an element of ethnic prejudice to the mix. full review
  92. Casino Jack 2010 Spacey's portrayal of Abramoff gets at the man's contradictions - his ostensibly devout Jewish faith next to an almost sociopathic blindness to his misdeeds - but it never even partly explains them. full review
  93. City of Life and Death 2010 It's a muscular, physical movie, pieced together from arresting imagery and revelatory gestures, large and small. full review
  94. Cool It 2010 Some of it sounds, quite frankly, nuts. And a few of Lomborg's enemies have said as much. But throwing tons of money at the problem with little result? That also sounds kind of crazy. full review
  95. Freakonomics 2010 [It] isn't freaky enough. full review
  96. Hatchet II 2010 Suffers from lamentable acting, murky cinematography and, for the most part, lamely unfunny dialogue. full review
  97. Henry's Crime 2010 A felony of a movie ... tedious and improbable... full review
  98. Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work 2010 The insecurities that seem to feed Rivers's often angry humor -- and that have left her face looking like a mask frozen in horror -- are left unexamined. full review
  99. Love Ranch 2010 Try though she might, Mirren can't save the hackneyed and singularly unerotic story... full review
  100. Monsters 2010 "Monsters" is no ordinary horror film. If it were, it might be a bit better than it is. As the movie stands, it's a less-than-compelling relationship drama, with aliens. full review
  101. Rubber 2010 "Rubber" is a silly thing. But it doesn't stop at silly. full review
  102. Tabloid 2010 For fans of Morris's work, which often grapples with the nature of truth and memory, it's a must-see film. full review
  103. Today's Special 2010 It's a film where the plating outshines the flavor. full review
  104. Best Worst Movie 2009 full review
  105. The Fourth Kind 2009 At a recent preview screening, the most common audience response to this nonsense was laughter, not gasps of horror. full review
  106. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 2009 The final, deeply satisfying conclusion to the trilogy of Swedish thrillers based on Stieg Larsson's bestselling novels. full review
  107. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2009 It's the rare 2 1/2 -hour film that doesn't make you look at your watch once. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is such a film. full review
  108. Ondine 2009 Silkies aren't the only creatures who can inhabit two worlds. As Annie knows, and as Jordan's film makes clear, stories enable us to step outside the quotidian world and dream, if only for an hour or two. full review
  109. The Perfect Game 2009 Anyone much older than, say, 10, will likely find the underdog saga sappy and manipulative, not to mention filled with sports movie cliches, including the following statement: "It will take a miracle to make them into a real team." full review
  110. Survival of the Dead 2009 It has been six days since the dead began to walk, and a powerful emotion is gripping the land. Boredom. full review
  111. Management 2008 [Steve Zahn] is the single biggest reason why Management is a delightfully screwball romantic comedy and not a crazed-stalker film. full review
  112. Rachel Getting Married 2008 The film is Demme-esque, harking back to the darkness and emotional complexity of The Silence of the Lambs and the madcap energy of Something Wild. full review
  113. Phoebe in Wonderland 2007 Elle Fanning, and her audience, deserve better. full review
  114. My Summer of Love 2005 full review
  115. Jersey Girl 2004 The filmmaker drowns his trademark edgy stew of smutty humor, stiff acting and dime-store insight into human nature with a gravy of glutinous bathos, making for a singularly unpalatable dish.
  116. Kill Bill: Volume 2 2004 A comic book at heart, albeit a thoroughly, grandly romantic one in the end. full review
  117. Mean Girls 2004 Mean Girls has a sharp, grown-up sensibility that belies its marketing as airhead comedy.
  118. The Passion of the Christ 2004 Puts us in a situation where we can't help but feel Jesus's pain. If only Gibson had taken the time to tell more of us why it mattered.
  119. Wicker Park 2004 A limp and exceedingly uninvolving melodrama about -- gasp! -- a series of unfortunate miscommunications. full review
  120. Coffee and Cigarettes 2003 Myself, I loved it -- as much for the self-conscious banality and surreal pointlessness of its dialogue, which unravels over the course of 11 more or less unrelated vignettes, as for its austerely retro black-and-white photography. full review
  121. DysFunKtional Family 2003 One of the funnier and, in an odd way, disturbing stand-up concert films in a long while. full review
  122. Hollywood Homicide 2003 A buddy film starring two people who, even as the closing credits roll, appear to have just met. full review
  123. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead 2003 The spare and unsparing tone of I'll Sleep When I'm Dead makes it as existential -- and as original -- a whodunit as they come. full review
  124. Love Actually 2003 There's enough that's right about Love to compensate for what's wrong with it. full review
  125. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 Isn't so much a pirate movie as it is the idea of a pirate movie.
  126. Radio 2003 Gooding once again embarrasses himself in public with a performance that knows no shame, a habit he's getting frighteningly at ease with these days.
  127. The Triplets of Belleville 2003 Feels simultaneously cutting-edge and a new classic of the cartoon genre.
  128. Uptown Girls 2003 It's all too, too cute and too, too forced for words.
  129. Bukowski: Born into This 2002 A portrait of a sometimes surly, often foulmouthed, always brilliant artist that is at once humane, horrific, hilarious and deeply moving. full review
  130. Equilibrium 2002 Just because it's a good idea doesn't mean it's easy to do well. full review
  131. Girls Will Be Girls 2002 Humor that takes as its apparent premise the assumption that all women are catty, sexually voracious, weight-obsessed whores ... is more than anyone in this day and age, even in the context of a cartoonish farce, should be expected to take. full review
  132. Maid in Manhattan 2002 Little more than a bedtime story for 12-year-old girls. full review
  133. Pumpkin 2002 Although I often found it hysterically funny, I was never quite sure if I was laughing at it or with it.
  134. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 Rodriguez seems to have forgotten that making a spectacle is not the same thing as creating a sense of wonder.
  135. Star Trek - Nemesis 2002 The cheesiness so endemic to the Star Trek franchise ... is back in full force.
  136. The Animal 2001 Schneider manages to make it all more palatable than nauseating, genial rather than an affront to good taste. full review
  137. Scary Movie 2 2001 It's a lot more tightly focused than the first outing. full review
  138. Shaolin Soccer 2001 Shaolin Soccer really loves what it mocks, after all, and that grandly goofy affection -- nay, joy -- for all things chop socky is purely, utterly contagious.
  139. The Wash 2001 Just not particularly amusing.
  140. With A Friend Like Harry 2000 Very funny, in that morbid sort of way that makes you laugh even as you shudder with horror. full review
  141. Superstar 1999 Sluggish and predictable. full review
  142. The Wood 1999 The Wood spends too much time wallowing in arrested adolescence to make you feel you've traveled anywhere. full review
  143. Can't Hardly Wait 1998 John Hughes must be spinning in his grave. full review
  144. Two Girls and a Guy 1998 The young actresses Graham and Wagner here create two characters who feel whole, distinct and weighty. full review
  145. /titles/197111 Adler nicely harnesses the mounting volatility of this situation, which builds to an intense if tragic conclusion. full review
  146. /titles/197134 Stinks like the unrefrigerated ham its studio sent me as a promotion several months ago. full review
  147. /titles/197050 [It] isn't Statham's best - or most brutal - work, but it's not bad. full review
  148. /titles/197090 It plays out with all the suspense of a thriller. full review
  149. /titles/197118 It's like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the Catskills. full review