Nick Schager, Village Voice

  1. Journey To The West 2014 The camera swoops and whooshes about but never generates any compelling energy - Chow's film proves endlessly manic but devoid of much mirth. full review
  2. Beyond Outrage 2013 Beyond Outrage is the very sort of tiresome tough-guy retread that, with 2007's meta drama Glory to the Filmmaker! and 2008's darkly comic Achilles and the Tortoise, Kitano seemed to have outgrown. full review
  3. The Brass Teapot 2013 Even The Twilight Zone would have struggled with the cutesy conceit of The Brass Teapot ... full review
  4. Dead Man Down 2013 It's all so much turgid brooding, dialogue underlined with import, and leaden symbolism involving Rapace's white and red dresses, none of which is salvaged by a typically understated Farrell performance. full review
  5. The English Teacher 2013 The English Teacher reveals that a respectable cast and much noisy boisterousness isn't enough to generate a single laugh. full review
  6. Family Weekend 2013 Quirky indie hell, thy name is Family Weekend. full review
  7. The Guillotines 2013 A corny saga of social and generational conflict, it's ultimately yet another Chinese period epic that functions as a thinly veiled treatise on the nobility of socialist equality. full review
  8. Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction 2013 A film that's in perfect sync with its subject. full review
  9. I Used To Be Darker 2013 Scripted like a series of chronological snapshots seen from a slight distance, the film exhibits a contemplative quiet and attentiveness to detail that enhances its issues of regret, bitterness, and confusion ... full review
  10. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 Most of Chapter 2 is unintentionally hilarious. full review
  11. The Jeffrey Dahmer Files 2013 Thompson assembles his footage with an expert's touch, but what his film lacks is its own perspective on these atrocities. full review
  12. Just Like A Woman 2013 A multicultural mini-Thelma and Louise but far duller than that description implies, Just Like a Woman peddles feminist empowerment with one-note didacticism. full review
  13. The Last Gladiators 2013 Gibney celebrates hockey's fisticuff traditions while also recognizing how such brutality ultimately takes its greatest toll on those who perpetrate it. full review
  14. Last Love 2013 Mawkishly adapted from Francoise Dorner's novel by Sandra Nettelbeck (Mostly Martha), the proceedings are so gentle that no dramatic momentum materializes. full review
  15. Men at Lunch 2013 Shots of modern men rebuilding One World Trade Center stirringly evokes the majestic photo's continuing connection to the present. full review
  16. My Amityville Horror 2013 Whether it was all a haunting or a hoax is left unanswered, but the film leaves little doubt that Amityville's greatest source of evil was, fundamentally, parental in nature. full review
  17. Newlyweeds 2013 Far from preachy, Newlyweeds treats its subject matter with increasingly sobering gravity, and both Cheatom and Harris embody their characters not as cartoons but as lonely, misguided souls too blazed to realize the error of their ways. full review
  18. Pandora's Promise 2013 Alas, its argument against fear-driven orthodoxy is undercut by the fact that, as with so many of this subgenre's entrants, there are no substantial competing voices included in the mix ... full review
  19. Resolution 2013 Ambiguity enlivens the smart, knotty Resolution, which routinely nods to its own artificiality while positing storytelling as a constantly evolving beast apt to save your life one moment and consume you the next. full review
  20. Savannah 2013 The story overflows with reverence but is drastically short on passion or suspense ... full review
  21. Shadow Dancer 2013 The film rests on the desperate chemistry of a paunchy, weathered Owen and a tense, quietly ferocious Riseborough. full review
  22. The Smurfs 2 2013 Its tolerant messages remain buried beneath lame pop-culture references, hectic slapstick, fart jokes, and endless Smurf-puns that-Azaria's funny, over-the-top cartoon villainy aside-make one pine for the Smurfpocalypse. full review
  23. Thale 2013 Soon the wealth of exposition is accompanied by the appearance of hoofed CG wilderness she-beasts devoid of any terrifying personality. full review
  24. Tiger Eyes 2013 Treating teenage growing pains with a sensitivity that frequently trips into singer-songwriter-ish mushiness, Tiger Eyes nonetheless stands as a respectable first cinematic adaptation of a Judy Blume novel. full review
  25. Turbo 2013 Content to be merely cheerfully cliched, it's an assembly-line kids' film that, unlike its daring protagonist, risks little, and thus reaps only modest rewards. full review
  26. V/H/S/2 2013 There isn't a scare to be found ... full review
  27. Assassin's Bullet 2012 Fans of incessant flashbacks and endless whooshing zooms into close-ups will find much to love about Assassin's Bullet; less satisfied, alas, will be those with a fondness for lucid plotting, compelling intrigue, and credible performances. full review
  28. A Burning Hot Summer 2012 Although Angele's religious faith and Frederic's belief in luck seem like strained attempts at adding heft to the material, the film nevertheless works up a potent dramatic restlessness... full review
  29. Caught in the Web 2012 Caught in the Web finds director Chen Kaige vainly stumbling about in search of a tone or point. full review
  30. Crooked Arrows 2012 Despite referring to the tribe as "my people," Routh is wholly miscast, yet his ill-fitting presence is part and parcel of the plotting's general illogicality. full review
  31. The Good Doctor 2012 The film is anchored and greatly bolstered by Bloom, who delivers a performance of quietly escalating madness. full review
  32. Grassroots 2012 Grassroots disingenuously has it both ways, reducing politics first to a David-versus-Goliath adventure, and then to an everyone-is-cool bowl of mush. full review
  33. Loosies 2012 Loosies has a bevy of colorful character actors -- from Michael Madsen and William Forsythe to Vincent Gallo and Joe Pantoliano -- but little character. full review
  34. The Magic of Belle Isle 2012 It's predictably ironic that The Magic of Belle Isle champions the unparalleled power of imagination while displaying absolutely none of its own. full review
  35. The Moth Diaries 2012 Lesbian desires, fears of mortality, and adolescent jealousies are all handled as bluntly as the unintentionally corny black-and-white flashbacks and gauzy dream sequences. full review
  36. The Pact 2012 There's no pact in The Pact, which is indicative of this faux spooky tale's guiding illogicality. full review
  37. The Possession 2012 Delivers second-rate horror cliches unbefitting the imprimatur of producer Sam Raimi. full review
  38. Red Hook Summer 2012 Potently expresses, both aesthetically and narratively, a sense of inclusiveness and diversity. full review
  39. Reincarnated 2012 The film is as lightweight as the ganja-puffing is plentiful, little more than a vanity project that allows its subject to wax philosophical on his past triumphs, tragedies, and spiritual development ... full review
  40. Storage 24 2012 A monster from a familiar mother. full review
  41. Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale 2012 The film's alternating talky torpor and frantic mayhem makes Warriors feel like it's operating in either fast-forward or slow motion... full review
  42. Apollo 18 2011 Reconfirms that most entries in the "found-footage" horror subgenre should remain lost. full review
  43. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography 2011 The film risks self-importance, but when Peralta admits through tears just how much he loves his skater charges, it imparts what every parent knows ... full review
  44. Gun Hill Road 2011 Though two late plot developments are borderline-contrived, Green's direction is marked by mature dramatic and aesthetic understatement. full review
  45. An Invisible Sign 2011 Jessica Alba gets plain-Jane crazy for An Invisible Sign, a syrupy A Beautiful Mind redux. full review
  46. Keep the Lights On 2011 Sachs creates an intensely intimate stew of fear, anger, longing, and regret. full review
  47. Knuckle 2011 Palmer's grainy, handheld camerawork won't win any aesthetic prizes, but it's in tune with his subject. full review
  48. My Piece of the Pie 2011 A feeble stab at topicality from that master of overripe Gallic melodrama, Cedric Klapisch. full review
  49. The Reunion 2011 The resultant smorgasbord is a misshapen mess, short on humor, tension, or chemistry among its bickering protagonists. full review
  50. True Legend 2011 In countless over-the-top set pieces, Yuen delivers striking combat clarity without sacrificing the visceral editing and crazy digital effects of modern bloodbaths. full review
  51. Bhutto 2010 Bhutto conveys a forceful sense of tectonic social and geopolitical shifts, as well as the courageous, heartbreaking personal sacrifices its subject made in service to both her homeland and ideals. full review
  52. Ip Man 2010 Legend trumps fact in Ip Man, a kickass fictionalized biopic of the titular grandmaster of Wing Chun martial arts and mentor to Bruce Lee. full review
  53. /titles/200115 Alas, listening to De Niro's criminal bigwig Dragna casually describe how he was motivated to take up his underworld profession by an episode of Full House isn't enough to salvage David Grovic's dreary directorial debut. full review
  54. /titles/198490 Sheridan's tale soon segues into an unevenly paced whodunit pockmarked with lame CG nightmare sequences and populated by hollow ciphers whose every word and action is less believable than the last. full review
  55. /titles/199934 Tognazzi shoots her material with stately grace but a distinct lack of energy, which is also true of Buy's composed but inert lead performance. full review
  56. /titles/197616 Nate comes across as an insufferably arrogant twerp stupid enough to believe there's loyalty in the underworld. full review
  57. /titles/197764 Rarely has the terminal seemed as interminable as it does in Lullaby, writer-director Andrew Levitas's tedious saga of a family reuniting at the deathbed of their paterfamilias. full review
  58. /titles/197536 The Machine brings little new to the subject save for an ominously ambiguous conclusion about the consequences of making computers more advanced than their human masters. full review
  59. /titles/199743 Fairbrass proves a hulking wannabe ass-kicker without much distinctive charisma, and his leaden performance is matched by sleepy, one-note supporting turns by the slumming-it Patric and Caan. full review
  60. /titles/197091 It's a techno-thriller of brain-dead proportions ... full review
  61. /titles/197426 Eschews repugnant gore for a sly goofiness that makes Jaa come across like a real-life Looney Tunes character. full review
  62. /titles/198389 A mushy concoction that's not only unfulfilling, it's gag-worthy. full review
  63. /titles/199977 A captivating go-for-broke lead turn by Juri lends the film a poignancy to help offset the juvenile shock-tactic impulses. full review