instantwatcher.com

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

  1. The Act Of Killing 2013 Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary interviews leaders of Indonesian death squads responsible for deaths of millions & has them re-enact the killings. The combination of drama therapy and accidental self-exposure - utterly bizarre, unexpected and valuable. full review
  2. Augustine 2013 That the film raises interesting questions might be good enough, except that, while the movie goes about denying us information we want, it gives us details we don't need. "Augustine" churns slowly and doesn't make for compelling viewing. full review
  3. Blue Is The Warmest Color 2013 Make no mistake, "Blue Is the Warmest Color" constitutes a breakthrough, in addition to being the best film of 2013. full review
  4. Concussion 2013 This might sound, at the very least, titillating, but "Concussion" is anything but. full review
  5. Drinking Buddies 2013 This is a special movie. full review
  6. Hannah Arendt 2013 Balanced portrayal, makes a persuasive case that Arendt was a valuable voice, whose dedicated work in trying to unravel the causes of Europe's moral collapse was worthy of study and consideration. full review
  7. A Hijacking 2013 Methodical and tense ... has the feel of something based on real-life events ... boils down to an arresting portrait of two men, with different backgrounds and abilities, doing everything they can not to break. full review
  8. The Host 2013 Neither romantic nor fake romantic, and not at all ridiculous, The Host has an atmosphere that is cold, austere and sardonic. full review
  9. The Hot Flashes 2013 Better for what it is than for how it's done...provides a welcome opportunity for five actresses of a certain age to share the screen together and yet it's pretty much a bland outing because virtually every scene plays out in a programmatic way. full review
  10. How I Live Now 2013 "How I Live Now" makes World War III seem boring, which would hardly seem possible. full review
  11. Inequality For All 2013 Reich is no condescending intellectual. He has no contempt for people of the opposite point of view. He even has nice things to say about Bill O'Reilly. full review
  12. Jobs 2013 At its best, it's a good picture, and at its worst, it's almost good. full review
  13. John Dies at the End 2013 Nobody cares about John. full review
  14. The Last Days On Mars 2013 In the ways that "The Last Days on Mars" is like a horror movies, it's typical, and in the ways it's different, it's mostly flat. full review
  15. The Last Stand 2013 "The Last Stand" is the movie equivalent of an idiot who, to avoid scorn, starts acting like an even bigger idiot, so as to get in on the joke, too. full review
  16. On The Job 2013 "On the Job" is a sturdy and sophisticated crime drama from the Philippines that takes a pretty gruesome situation and enriches its presentation with lots of human detail. full review
  17. Only God Forgives 2013 Refn's nerve is admirable, even if his film often borders on unwatchable. full review
  18. Short Term 12 2013 Any director who sees "Short Term 12" will want to cast Larson in something. This movie puts her on the map. full review
  19. Side Effects 2013 It's a gripping, maddening and thoroughly satisfying thriller, made with artfulness and integrity. full review
  20. Stand Up Guys 2013 If you don't think Al Pacino still has it in him, this is a welcome chance to be proved wrong. full review
  21. The Sweeney 2013 This might just be a British thing that we don't understand - literally. full review
  22. Upside Down 2013 The only problem is that, after creating the most wonderful fantastic frame, "Upside Down" doesn't devise a picture worthy of it. full review
  23. 17 Girls 2012 The film captures a moment when irrationality and romantic self-delusion go viral -- and the difficulty of containing such elements. full review
  24. 2 Days in New York 2012 It's extremely funny, one of the funniest films of 2012, with a particularly winning style - far-fetched, extreme and nonstop. full review
  25. 56 Up 2012 We feel good, refreshed and depressed in watching these people get older, also embarrassed in moments and cautioned about the passage of time. full review
  26. The Babymakers 2012 The big disappointment of "The Babymakers" is that it doesn't come close to being worthy of its two stars, Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn. full review
  27. Backwards 2012 A movie whose main virtue was its honesty ultimately lands in a place that feels canned and unsatisfying. But on the way there, Backwards isn't so bad. full review
  28. Bernie 2012 It allows director Richard Linklater to explore his own roots while telling a remarkable real-life story, something too crazy for anyone to make up. full review
  29. Butter 2012 At 90 minutes it feels inflated, and though clearly intended as funny, it's difficult to locate, except in the most general terms, the focus of the movie's satire, and there's not a laugh to be had. full review
  30. The Central Park Five 2012 "The Central Park Five" is worth seeing, both for the ways it's timeless and for the ways it encapsulates an era. full review
  31. The Collection 2012 There's a bad movie every week, but it takes a special one to make you start anticipating the decline of Western civilization. full review
  32. Cosmopolis 2012 There's not really a movie there, nothing that sustains itself from scene to scene and nothing that's worth watching from beginning to end. full review
  33. The Details 2012 "The Details" is not just entertaining, but potentially useful. full review
  34. Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey 2012 It feels selectively edited toward a predetermined point of view. full review
  35. Elles 2012 Binoche is the disappointment. More than half the problem is that the script, co-written by the director, gives her little to do but fret and mope. full review
  36. Fat Kid Rules the World 2012 The movie is achingly slow, and by the time it's over, the story is about where it should have been after about 45 minutes. full review
  37. Flight 2012 It's 150 minutes long, goes by in a shot, and for at least 135 minutes, it's a thoroughly engrossing experience. full review
  38. For Greater Glory 2012 It is a scattered mess, as earnest as a folk song, but like a folk song that goes on for two hours and 23 minutes. full review
  39. The FP 2012 You need to find a room full of people who get the joke and see this movie there, because audiences will be laughing so hard they'll be screaming. full review
  40. The Intouchables 2012 Some of the elements in the film are inexplicable and some are undeveloped, but there are a handful of nicely crafted set pieces. full review
  41. Jack Reacher 2012 An average action film, made slightly better by Cruise, and more bizarre by Herzog, and more watchable by Pike, but still within the average range, a silk purse that still says oink. full review
  42. Katy Perry: Part of Me 2012 Any self-produced documentary about oneself is bound to be a propaganda film, but "Katy Perry: Part of Me" is a good one, and a persuasive one. full review
  43. A Late Quartet 2012 For those willing to enter this world and pay attention, "A Late Quartet" provides distinct and uncommon satisfactions. full review
  44. Lay the Favorite 2012 "Lay the Favorite" is a small and not particularly ambitious movie, but it's pleasing and exceptionally well made. full review
  45. A Little Bit Of Heaven 2012 In the long history of bad movies about bad illnesses, "A Little Bit of Heaven" just might be the worst. full review
  46. Little White Lies 2012 It's just that, when it's over, 2 1/2 hours seems too big an investment for just pretty good. full review
  47. The Magic of Belle Isle 2012 If this were real life and not a movie, Mr. Wildhorn would be written off as a crank and ostracized within a week. full review
  48. Mansome 2012 This complete waste of 82 minutes finds documentarian Morgan Spurlock taking a look at current trends in men's grooming, featuring interviews with a random sampling of people who have no idea what they're talking about - but they're famous. full review
  49. Marley 2012 Bob Marley wrote the same song about 8,000 times, and the documentary "Marley" makes sure to include each version. full review
  50. Mirror Mirror 2012 All we get are scattered bits of cleverness, some hit and some miss. full review
  51. My Worst Nightmare 2012 [Huppert] can't get laughs where there are none, and she can't buy a laugh in the movie's second half. full review
  52. Nobody Else But You 2012 "Nobody Else But You" takes a novel concept and a willing leading lady and squanders both through drab, lifeless storytelling. full review
  53. Nuit #1 2012 This is a different kind of movie, as graphic as porn, but not porn, not titillating and not unintelligent. full review
  54. The Paperboy 2012 The movie is definitely a mess. full review
  55. Playing for Keeps 2012 For a trifle - one that probably looked like one on the printed page, too - "Playing for Keeps" somehow attracted a strong cast. full review
  56. The Raven 2012 The story has its moments, and yet there is something about this tale of a serial killer's patterning his crimes on Poe's most gruesome works that doesn't completely satisfy. full review
  57. Red Hook Summer 2012 The story is static for about 90 minutes, then rises to action, but in a way that seems impromptu, either made up on the spot or ill-considered. full review
  58. A Royal Affair 2012 "A Royal Affair" is an engaging and entertaining film, one that might have been great, if only the history were different. full review
  59. Safety Not Guaranteed 2012 It's brisk and assured and never begs the audience's indulgence. No time is wasted. The movie is, at every moment, either funny or pushing the story forward, or both. full review
  60. Silent House 2012 The directors have come up with a new and powerful way to film a thriller: Silent House contains no quick editing in the active moments, and there is never an instance when the movie cuts unexpectedly to something scary as the soundtrack thunders. full review
  61. Skyfall 2012 "Skyfall" is a different kind of Bond movie, one that works just fine on its own terms, but a steady diet of this might kill the franchise. One "Skyfall" is enough. full review
  62. Take This Waltz 2012 At its worst, Polley's style veers toward the cornball. Yet, in the broad outlines of her story, she has clearly created something with a lot of hard truth. full review
  63. The Waiting Room 2012 This is human drama at its most intense and universal. This is the rare film that can change the way you think and see the world. full review
  64. What to Expect When You're Expecting 2012 "What to Expect" isn't an inspired movie, but a manufactured one, but one with some laughs and some moments. full review
  65. Whores' Glory 2012 To experience it is to be haunted by the bleakness and ugliness of prostitution, the hopeless trap of it, and the defeat of love that it represents. full review
  66. The Woman in the Fifth 2012 [It's] watchable and enjoyable, but it's fairly impenetrable, and it gets more peculiar as it goes along. full review
  67. Albert Nobbs 2011 Characters as out of touch and desperate as Albert Nobbs awaken an instinctive doubt and distrust in an audience. full review
  68. Another Happy Day 2011 Combines some of the stock elements of a family film with an extra something - a go-for-the-jugular quality, a kind of Ingmar Bergman-like honesty and viciousness that brings it up a notch. full review
  69. The Artist 2011 In many ways - in all ways - "The Artist" is a profound achievement. full review
  70. Buck 2011 Documentaries have a wonderful way of making us care about people and things way outside our own experience, and "Buck" is a prime example. full review
  71. Coriolanus 2011 In his first film as a director, Fiennes proves that he knows Fiennes the actor inside out, with a self-knowledge that's rare, even admirable. full review
  72. Footloose 2011 It's a vibrant youth musical that will appeal to audiences who haven't seen the 1984 original. And it has enough charm and life to it to compete with the memory of the earlier version. full review
  73. House of Pleasures 2011 It's about forcing us to think about people we never would otherwise and seeing their struggles and humanity. full review
  74. I Melt with You 2011 It really is good, albeit in ways that are different from other movies. full review
  75. The Iron Lady 2011 Streep's performance is so true and so uncannily accurate, so full and so complete in its understanding, that she is fascinating every second she is onscreen. full review
  76. Khodorkovsky 2011 "Khodorkovsky" is a curious and admirable documentary, the product of one filmmaker's inability to let go of a story. full review
  77. The Kid with a Bike 2011 Without diminishing the boy's intensity or making him in any way ingratiating, the Dardennes take us into his mind, and we begin to appreciate not only his predicament but his resiliency. full review
  78. Like Crazy 2011 A romantic drama that makes other romantic films look obvious and calculated in comparison. full review
  79. Magic Trip 2011 The first striking thing about the documentary is that nothing about it reads 1964. full review
  80. Make Believe 2011 I would have liked to see more tricks and fewer parental interviews, but in any case, this is a reasonably appealing documentary for anyone with a special interest in the subject. full review
  81. Our Idiot Brother 2011 Easily could have been mildly funny and phony but instead is really funny and true to life. full review
  82. Page One: Inside the New York Times 2011 For what it's worth, it's an accurate portrait. full review
  83. Polisse 2011 A fascinating multicharacter drama about the police who work in Paris' child protection unit. full review
  84. Rapt 2011 What distinguishes "Rapt" from other kidnapping movies is that, virtually as soon as he is abducted, details of his life start coming out. full review
  85. Revenge of the Electric Car 2011 The movie is interesting now and, given its subject, should even be more interesting in about a hundred years. Stick around. full review
  86. Surviving Progress 2011 Maybe the people in this movie really don't know what they're talking about. In any case, believing them gets you nowhere, because they offer nothing. full review
  87. This Must Be The Place 2011 The movie replaces emotional precision and intellectual honesty with syrupy sincerity and insistence. full review
  88. Tomboy 2011 Sciamma has wound back the clock to childhood to show us, with taste and sensitivity, something we have not seen. full review
  89. Trishna 2011 Winterbottom gives a bright panorama of Indian life, from the agrarian countryside to the tumult of Jaipur and the sophistication of Mumbai. full review
  90. We Were Here 2011 There is no turning away from the screen. full review
  91. The Women on the 6th Floor 2011 The period detail grounds it and gives us an interesting look into class as it existed in France some 45 years ago. full review
  92. Young Adult 2011 A dark comedy that confirms Diablo Cody as a screenwriter of importance, eliminates the last shred of doubt that Jason Reitman is a major director and gives Charlize Theron her best showcase since "Monster." full review
  93. All Good Things 2010 Dunst is not the only person doing quality work in "All Good Things," but she is the only one worth watching. full review
  94. Biutiful 2010 What Inarritu gives us is not a beautiful world or an amazing world. It is simply the world, and therefore, by definition, beautiful and amazing - and painful, awful and mysterious. full review
  95. Blue Valentine 2010 What do we expect of a spouse? "Blue Valentine" makes us ask that question. full review
  96. Cherry Tree Lane 2010 full review
  97. Greenberg 2010 Baumbach may paint miniatures, but his films are anything but quaint. They're as unsettling as meeting a harmless but difficult stranger. full review
  98. Henry's Crime 2010 "Henry's Crime" is a movie that eschews the details and tries to get by on charm, and it does have charm - just not enough to get by. full review
  99. I Am Love 2010 The characters seem reasonably interesting, and so we continue to watch them. But at no point do we care about them any more than we might care about attractive strangers sitting at another table in a restaurant. full review
  100. Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work 2010 It's one of the best documentaries ever made about show business, about what it really consists of and what it demands. full review
  101. The Joneses 2010 In an entertaining way, the movie says something challenging, that it's possible to lose your life to stuff -- and never even know it. full review
  102. Kaboom 2010 Much of the film seems to make no sense, and when all is finally resolved, it feels arbitrary and pointless. full review
  103. The Kids Are All Right 2010 It's a movie about basic things, about the meaning of family and the vulnerability of families, with the suggestion that the ones most subject to bombardment are the families least protected by custom and tradition. full review
  104. Last Night 2010 He's withheld and she's, frankly, grating. So we don't really care if they weather the current storm, because sooner or later they're bound to get divorced, anyway. full review
  105. Love Ranch 2010 Love Ranch is less than two hours long, but it feels longer. Much longer -- as in long enough for the Rostovs to marry off Natasha and for Napoleon to retreat from Moscow. full review
  106. Night Catches Us 2010 As a director, Hamilton makes Liv Ullmann look like an action movie director - and just for the record, Ullmann makes Ingmar Bergman look like Jerry Bruckheimer. full review
  107. Nowhere Boy 2010 To watch Nowhere Boy is to appreciate anew both the anger that drove Lennon and the strength of character it took for him to overcome it. full review
  108. Restrepo 2010 The filmmakers call Restrepo an experimental film; and in this case, the experiment wasn't entirely successful, but it was definitely worth making. full review
  109. Standing Ovation 2010 Standing Ovation is an innovative film in the sense that every minute or so it comes up with a different way of being annoying. full review
  110. The Switch 2010 Aniston and Bateman each bring a rare Bordeaux, and the writers bring Spam on white bread. You can skip the picnic or show up and have a glass of wine. full review
  111. Today's Special 2010 It's an easy movie to watch, and yet it's just as easy to forget or skip entirely. full review
  112. The Whistleblower 2010 Gradually, as her investigation deepens, and we see the true hideousness of what she is uncovering, the movie achieves urgency and clarity of purpose. full review
  113. Antichrist 2009 The movie's story and meaning are not mysterious but deliberately impenetrable, faint gestures in all directions, absent of artistic integrity, intellectual rigor or emotional significance. full review
  114. The Boys Are Back 2009 The Boys Are Back is based on a true story, and not in a good way. It's obviously true; otherwise why would anyone think it's worth telling a story so trivial? full review
  115. Bruno 2009 The bad outweighs the good and the cringes outnumber the laughs in Bruno, a disappointment from Sacha Baron Cohen, whose Borat was one of the funniest movies of the decade. full review
  116. Fish Tank 2009 As it stands, Fish Tank is a valuable movie, though it aspires to a social insight it doesn't attain and a psychological penetration it won't maintain. full review
  117. Great Directors 2009 The film never comes together into a cohesive whole and, ironically enough, the clips from the directors' films sometimes slow it down. full review
  118. Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel 2009 As ridiculous as Hefner's life sometimes seems, he has been an exemplary citizen, as this documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman spells out. full review
  119. Ondine 2009 If this movie were a human being, it would be intelligent and sincere but so depressed as to be unable to get out of bed without a forklift. full review
  120. Serious Moonlight 2009 It's difficult to say whether the script itself is a serious misfire or if the problem is Cheryl Hines, an actress making her directorial debut. full review
  121. Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen 2009 What we have here is the story of a very cool nun from a thousand years ago. full review
  122. Downloading Nancy 2008 You can't really blame Bello for taking every chance available to let her monster talent off its chain, even when the opportunity takes the form of something so ill conceived and unworthy (and dull and ridiculous) as Downloading Nancy. full review
  123. In Bruges 2008 In Bruges is not a great movie, but there's no mistaking that it's the product of a great talent. full review
  124. Management 2008 Management is just an average movie, but Aniston's performance is a very lovely thing. full review
  125. Valkyrie 2008 Think of Valkyrie as a reasonably entertaining drama about the time Tom Cruise tried to kill Hitler. Do that, and it becomes possible to enjoy the movie. full review
  126. Beaufort 2007 The audience becomes disheartened long before the protagonist does, and so a full hour before the movie has ended, the audience has received the message, digested it and is ready for the fadeout. full review
  127. Before the Rains 2007 It's definitely good, definitely a little bit boring. full review
  128. Evening 2007 Evening achieves a kind of wisdom, though it's a strange and bitter wisdom. The film arrives at a pessimistic and almost nihilistic view of life as something not very important -- and then invites us to take strength and comfort in the notion. full review
  129. Flawless 2007 Flawless is a fictional tale, but something in director Michael Radford's conscientious, methodical presentation gives it the feeling of true history. Watching it is like watching a historical dramatization of something that never really happened. full review
  130. The Hunting Party 2007 The Hunting Party is a complete bust, but the ways in which it fails are interesting. full review
  131. Into the Wild 2007 This is one of those movies I can imagine deciding is a masterpiece in a month's time. And by any measure, "Into the Wild" is a big leap forward for Penn as a director and deserves to be one of the most talked about films of the season. full review
  132. Lars and the Real Girl 2007 One could be led to expect something arch and knowing, but the film is anything but that. It's an emotionally invested movie about loneliness and the lingering scars of early trauma. full review
  133. No End in Sight 2007 No End in Sight is the most coolheaded of the Iraq war documentaries, the most methodical and the least polemical. Yet it's the one that will leave audiences the most shattered, angry and astounded. full review
  134. Phoebe in Wonderland 2007 It's a rare thing when a labor of love turns out to be worth both the labor and the love. full review
  135. Puccini for Beginners 2007 There's a drag on this film, and that's the character of the protagonist, Allegra. She's just not a nice person, which could have been OK, except it seems as though she's supposed to be. full review
  136. There Will Be Blood 2007 Individual scenes and sequences are too strange, haunting and emotionally right for the film to be dismissed. There should be no attempt or temptation to dismiss it. full review
  137. You Kill Me 2007 In the moment, You Kill Me is never less than mildly entertaining, and it's almost never more than that. full review
  138. Zodiac 2007 For all its dramatic flaws, Zodiac deserves praise for not choosing the easy route. full review
  139. Click 2006 One of the best American films of the year so far. The filmmakers take what might have been just a gimmicky premise and pursue it meticulously, following wherever it leads. Along the way, they create a shrewd and moving metaphor for the way people live. full review
  140. Failure to Launch 2006 This is a showcase for her [Parker's] sensitive intelligence, her watchfulness, and her way of thinking and reacting. The Family Stone did nothing for Parker, but Failure to Launch makes a strong case for life after Sex and the City. full review
  141. Keeping Up With The Steins 2006 The tribute to an aging parent is moving and gives this routine comedy an extra something. full review
  142. Nacho Libre 2006 The comedy is hit and miss, with good bits interrupted by dead patches. full review
  143. Scoop 2006 Scoop has something Match Point didn't, something that none of Allen's films have had to quite this degree in 10 years. It's really, really funny. full review
  144. United 93 2006 ... a powerful and thoughtful dramatization of the terrorist crash of United Flight 93 ... full review
  145. 49 Up 2005 Taken as a whole, these films constitute one of the greatest uses of cinema a documentary filmmaker has ever devised. Like the other films in the series, 49 Up is alternately touching and mundane. full review
  146. Aeon Flux 2005 One would figure, after 400 years of bad action movies, that leaders would learn: If a woman comes at you dressed in a tight jumpsuit, duck. full review
  147. Broken Flowers 2005 The movie doesn't come to a definitive point or make an explicit, but the movie does illustrate, in a penetrating way, the sadness of going through life emotionally disconnected. full review
  148. The Constant Gardener 2005 The Constant Gardener is beautifully structured, an artful mix of forward motion and flashbacks. full review
  149. Factotum 2005 It's a deadpan comedy that looks upon the world with an honesty and impassiveness worthy of its protagonist -- and of the author standing behind him. full review
  150. Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 Director Jim Sheridan and screenwriter Terence Winter have difficulty fashioning these events into a story that has a coherent point or purpose. full review
  151. The Outsider 2005 Toback is not a household name, but he tends to be a favorite among people who have seen his pictures, which are unlike anyone else's. full review
  152. The World's Fastest Indian 2005 The World's Fastest Indian might be the world's worst title for a charming, slice-of-life biopic starring Anthony Hopkins. full review
  153. 13 Going on 30 2004 Provides a lighthearted, amusing and yet mostly honest version of a daydream most of us have had at one time or another. full review
  154. Downfall (Der Untergang) 2004 There are many lessons to be gleaned from Downfall. Perhaps the most important is that absolute faith in one's own virtue is not a commitment to virtuous behavior but a commitment to one's own will. It's a license to commit atrocities. full review
  155. The Final Cut 2004 The concept of The Final Cut is so fascinating and has so many implications that it balances out some real flaws in the story. full review
  156. A Good Woman 2004 Something is wrong with A Good Woman: The lightning never strikes. It's never quite alive. full review
  157. Hotel Rwanda 2004 What makes the film not just harrowing but transcendent is Cheadle. He does nothing traditionally heroic. He just presents a picture of basic decency, showing how, when combined with courage, decency can result in an awe- inspiring moral steadfastness. full review
  158. Mean Girls 2004 A smart little comedy that tries, within the limits of the teen-movie form, to say some real things about high school girls and the struggle for popularity. full review
  159. The Passion of the Christ 2004 Instead of letting his reverence broaden him, Gibson uses his action-movie expertise to reduce the Crucifixion to something kinetic, literal and merely tragic. full review
  160. The Puffy Chair 2004 For the Duplass brothers and Aselton, The Puffy Chair looks like the beginning of fine careers. full review
  161. American Wedding 2003 The strain and desperation are apparent from the first scene. full review
  162. Anger Management 2003 A comedy that doesn't call for a review so much as a prospectus. full review
  163. Bulletproof Monk 2003 Bulletproof Monk has more going for it than a promising title. It has a life and style that other buddy action movies lack. full review
  164. CSA: Confederate States of America 2003 A brilliant and irresistible counterfactual overview of American history. full review
  165. Gigli 2003 The most thoroughly joyless and inept film of the year, and one of the worst of the decade. full review
  166. Holes 2003 As kids' films go, it's a thoughtful, superior piece of work, an entertaining picture that youngsters can enjoy on first viewing and perhaps fully grow into as they get a bit older. full review
  167. Hollywood Homicide 2003 It's a movie an audience can settle comfortably into, and it pays off as it goes along. full review
  168. The Italian Job 2003 This is pure entertainment but smart entertainment, plotted and executed with invention and humor and acted by a winning cast radiating good-movie energy. full review
  169. The Missing 2003 A routine thriller, with Western frills and fringes. full review
  170. Mona Lisa Smile 2003 It's hard to believe Katherine could become a beloved teacher or inspire her students, and in the case of Mona Lisa Smile that's the same as saying it's hard to believe the movie. full review
  171. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 A monotonous, repetitive spectacle of endless shipboard sword fights and pirate ghosts in the moonlight. full review
  172. Radio 2003 Cuba Gooding Jr. falls victim to the Nell syndrome, in which a vibrant, loquacious actor decides that the road to an Oscar nomination is to wear a slack expression and a set of Nutty Professor teeth. full review
  173. Something's Gotta Give 2003 The moments between the characters are absolutely full. It's a pleasure to watch such consummate professionals. full review
  174. Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over 2003 Starts off with a burst of energy but becomes tedious midway through. full review
  175. Tears of the Sun 2003 At its best, it's a little hard to sit through. At its worst, it's like every other picture about soldiers on a tough mission. What pushes it above mediocrity is that it ends better than it begins. full review
  176. American Dreamz 2002 American Dreamz is the rare case of a movie that gets better as it goes along. full review
  177. Assassination Tango 2002 It's hard to see what Duvall thinks is so interesting about the hit man, aside from the fact that he's playing him. full review
  178. Changing Lanes 2002 At its best, watching Changing Lanes is like watching controlled madness. full review
  179. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002 The movie makes a case for itself through sheer oddness and perversity. full review
  180. The Dancer Upstairs 2002 An adult piece of work, made up mainly of quiet, emotional scenes and detailed performances. full review
  181. Equilibrium 2002 It's super- violent, super-serious and super-stupid. full review
  182. Girls Will Be Girls 2002 In just observing and accurately reproducing women's facial expressions and physical gestures, the men create a wonderfully absurd spectacle. full review
  183. A Guy Thing 2002 What a childish, empty effort, and what a dispiriting thing to watch, or think back on watching. full review
  184. The Hard Word 2002 Nothing new or earthshaking here, but The Hard Word is tense and compelling, with the added charm of a mischievous spirit. full review
  185. Maid in Manhattan 2002 The movie would almost qualify as pleasant, were it not for a certain condescension in its treatment of working-class life and its offhand assumption that lives not buoyed by riches or aggrandized by fame are hardly worth living. full review
  186. The Master of Disguise 2002 At times, it actually hurts to watch. full review
  187. Men in Black II 2002 In every way an improvement over the original Men in Black. full review
  188. Morvern Callar 2002 Strange, moody film that could easily have seemed like a willful wallow in the macabre but for the odd truth of Morton's performance and the psychologically penetrating direction of Lynne Ramsay. full review
  189. Narc 2002 There are things to admire about Narc, but they're individual things, not the movie as a whole. full review
  190. Panic Room 2002 It might sometimes forget to make sense, but no matter, since it creates enough tension that the audience can hardly think anyway. full review
  191. The Pianist 2002 The Holocaust has been the subject of many films. The Pianist is one of the great ones. full review
  192. Spider-Man 2002 The superhero part of the movie will leave audiences with a flat feeling. full review
  193. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 Lacks the inspiration of the original and has a bloated plot that stretches the running time about 10 minutes past a child's interest and an adult's patience. But it also has many of the things that made the first one charming. full review
  194. Star Trek - Nemesis 2002 Stewart instead lends integrity and wry stoicism to Nemesis, but the movie is unworthy of him. full review
  195. The Sum of All Fears 2002 It's a movie that, frankly, I could not recommend to a friend, and yet I find no fault in the filmmaking. full review
  196. The Sweetest Thing 2002 At 87 minutes, The Sweetest Thing feels pumped up with air, with an extended end-credits sequence designed to stretch the movie to a respectable feature length. full review
  197. View from the Top 2002 This is a comedy with only one genuinely funny scene. full review
  198. XXX 2002 Its scale and audacity, its brashness and vulgarity make it a pleasure from beginning to end -- or a guilty pleasure for those prone to guilt. full review
  199. Amelie 2001 A movie whose embrace of cinema is so passionate it could be mistaken for an embrace of life. full review
  200. The Bank 2001 It blends an intriguing concept with a suspenseful plot, and the result is a gripping 103 minutes at the movies. full review
  201. Baran 2001 At the right time of day, in the right frame of mind, Baran can and should be appreciated as a work of delicate and unmistakable beauty. full review
  202. Get Over It 2001 Get Over It breaks the formula for teen romances. full review
  203. Hannibal 2001 There are disgusting movies that are worth seeing -- Silence of the Lambs, for one -- and others that are merely disgusting. Then there's Hannibal, which exists in its own category. full review
  204. Love the Hard Way 2001 [Brody] can be proud of his work here, and the movie is better than just a pre-stardom curiosity. full review
  205. Monkeybone 2001 The film becomes a flailing mess. full review
  206. Not Another Teen Movie 2001 The makers of Not Another Teen Movie should be embarrassed that, in parodying She's All That, they copied most of the plot and then made a movie that bogs down in the same places as the original. full review
  207. Novocaine 2001 The casting is peculiar, the tone is off, the plot is uninteresting and the ending is sorry. full review
  208. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider 2001 The herald of a cold, heartless, soul-dead cinema for a numbed audience with no interest in human emotion, just a craving to have its synapses jolted. full review
  209. Gossip 2000 A sense of unreality permeates the movie, which allows for some far-fetched plot turns. Far-fetched is OK. Close-fetched thrillers aren't worth watching. full review
  210. Hamlet 2000 In the end this noble experiment fails, not for its adventure but for its ultimate lack thereof. full review
  211. Love's Labour's Lost 2000 Love's Labour's Lost is a stink bomb of a movie. full review
  212. Malena 2000 [Tornatore] eludes sentimentality with a romantic vision wide enough to embrace the range of human experience. full review
  213. The Man Who Cried 2000 Potter's cinematic vision is what makes The Man Who Cried shimmer and levitate. full review
  214. Mission: Impossible 2 2000 It's fun. It's laughable. It has moments of excitement, moments of sheer idiocy and moments of sheer idiotic excitement. full review
  215. Reindeer Games (Deception) 2000 full review
  216. American Virgin 1999 full review
  217. But I'm A Cheerleader 1999 But I'm a Cheerleader is funny. full review
  218. Double Jeopardy 1999 full review
  219. The General's Daughter 1999 There's a line at which a movie stops being about something nasty and becomes one more example of the nastiness it's supposedly condemning. full review
  220. In Dreams 1999 full review
  221. In Too Deep 1999 In its exploration of the moral dilemma of the undercover life, In Too Deep breaks no ground. But Epps is a leading man on the rise, and Cool J is something to see. full review
  222. Music of the Heart 1999 Some people will warm to Music of the Heart, and for those people the idea of criticizing the film will be like kicking a puppy. full review
  223. My Life so Far 1999 full review
  224. She's All That 1999 It's a pleasing but routine effort. full review
  225. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut 1999 It's without any redeeming social value whatsoever. And it's funny from beginning to end. full review
  226. Teaching Mrs. Tingle 1999 Spiteful and shallow! full review
  227. Can't Hardly Wait 1998 The directors get good performances from a talented cast. full review
  228. Following 1998 Audiences will walk out of the theater shocked to find that only 70 minutes have gone by. full review
  229. Nightwatch 1998 full review
  230. Cop Land 1997 Though at first Cop Land seems as if it will be an ensemble piece, it is, in fact, Stallone's movie. full review
  231. Donnie Brasco 1997 A first-class Mafia thriller that is also, in its way, a love story. full review
  232. The Fifth Element 1997 The Fifth Element has to be the most creative visualization since Tim Burton's first Batman in 1989. On top of that, it's a whole lot of fun. full review
  233. Gattaca 1997 The hero's struggle in Gattaca would have been more compelling were he an average fellow going up against geniuses, and not a healthy fellow going up against somewhat healthier specimens. full review
  234. Good Burger 1997 Take any two young people off the street and throw them into a movie, and they'd be no worse. No one could be worse. full review
  235. Jackie Brown 1997 Scene by scene, Jackie Brown is amusing, but after two hours, it seems sluggish, and at that point still has a half-hour to go. full review
  236. McHale's Navy 1997 By the end, this soporific comedy makes 105 minutes feel more like a two-year hitch. full review
  237. Mimic 1997 full review
  238. The Peacemaker 1997 full review
  239. She's So Lovely 1997 full review
  240. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America 1996 It's as good as any animated feature about two teenage morons could ever hope to be. full review
  241. Citizen Ruth 1996 full review
  242. Curdled 1996 full review
  243. The Ghost and the Darkness 1996 The picture is too lightweight, too posturing and too self-important to go in an introspective direction. full review
  244. Looking for Richard 1996 The last half-hour drags. full review
  245. Stealing Beauty 1996 [Bertolucci] builds an homage to beauty around a sullen void. full review
  246. Trainspotting 1996 This is not dour social realism. It's a shot- from-a-cannon youth movie, with likable young people sticking needles in their arms in working-class Edinburgh. full review
  247. A Very Brady Sequel 1996 As a satire of a sitcom that wasn't funny, it's often at its funniest when it's purposely stale. full review
  248. Bad Boys 1995 A good half-hour's worth of nonsense in the middle keeps Bad Boys from being little better than a break- even proposition. full review
  249. Congo 1995 As you stand there with your $7, ask yourself, 'Do I really want to see a rubber gorilla smoke a cigar?' If necessary, ask yourself twice. full review
  250. Desperado 1995 The routine gets tiresome for the Mariachi, and for the audience, too, after about an hour. full review
  251. Devil in a Blue Dress 1995 The film also does a convincing job of re-creating Los Angeles of 1948 with both specificity and poetry. full review
  252. The Prophecy 1995 full review
  253. Sense and Sensibility 1995 An exuberant, well- crafted film that gets the audience involved on a gut level. full review
  254. Stuart Saves His Family 1995 All in all, it's a misfire -- but a misfire that's more interesting than a lot of successes. full review
  255. Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead 1995 full review
  256. Unzipped 1995 full review
  257. The Usual Suspects 1995 As entertainment, the film is a lukewarm experience. But as a piece of construction, The Usual Suspects is a slick bit of business. full review
  258. Airheads 1994 A spoof of heavy-metal culture that at the same time respects the vitality and pent-up passion behind it. full review
  259. Hoop Dreams 1994 A documentary that breathes new life into the subject by showing the everyday reality of that dream. full review
  260. It Could Happen to You 1994 The nastiness in the movie feels derived from life, while all the niceness feels canned -- imported from old Jimmy Stewart pictures. full review
  261. Killing Zoe 1994 full review
  262. Pulp Fiction 1994 It's the movie equivalent of that rare sort of novel where you find yourself checking to see how many pages are left and hoping there are more, not fewer. full review
  263. Stargate 1994 full review
  264. Two Bits 1994 full review
  265. Supercop (Police Story 3) (Ging chaat goo si 3: Chiu kap ging chaat) 1992 Supercop is a chance to get a full-strength blast of Chan. full review
  266. Switchblade Sisters 1975 Just good enough to make it understandable why someone else might really like it. And it's just bad enough to make you wonder about such a person. full review
  267. True Grit 1969 full review
  268. Gojira 1954 A collective metaphor and a collective nightmare, a message film that says more than its message, that captures, with a horrified poetry, the terrors that stomped through the minds of people 50 years ago. full review

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