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Nick Schager, Village Voice

  1. 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
  2. The Brass Teapot 2013 Even The Twilight Zone would have struggled with the cutesy conceit of The Brass Teapot ... full review
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Family Weekend 2013 Quirky indie hell, thy name is Family Weekend. full review
  6. 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
  7. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 Most of Chapter 2 is unintentionally hilarious. full review
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Pieta 2013 An intriguing tale of redemption and rebirth ... that eventually segues into a more conventional revenge drama. full review
  15. 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
  16. Savannah 2013 The story overflows with reverence but is drastically short on passion or suspense ... full review
  17. Shadow Dancer 2013 The film rests on the desperate chemistry of a paunchy, weathered Owen and a tense, quietly ferocious Riseborough. full review
  18. 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
  19. V/H/S/2 2013 There isn't a scare to be found ... full review
  20. 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
  21. Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story 2012 Piercing... full review
  22. 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
  23. Butter 2012 Plays like one long, slow descent into cloying moralizing and uplift that's well past its expiration date. full review
  24. California Solo 2012 Any transformation feels like a device, and any modest hopefulness comes across as simply the unearned wishful thinking of the filmmaker. full review
  25. 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
  26. Electoral Dysfunction 2012 Just a voting-for-dummies primer. full review
  27. Goats 2012 Christopher Neil directs with a mechanical blandness made more tedious still by a score of gentle guitar strumming so aggravatingly benign it might inspire you to partake in one of Wendy's climactic, cathartic primal screams. full review
  28. The Good Doctor 2012 The film is anchored and greatly bolstered by Bloom, who delivers a performance of quietly escalating madness. full review
  29. 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
  30. Last Ride 2012 Ivin conveys both facts and emotions with efficient brushstrokes (a spied glance, an offhand comment) that are matched by an understated, evocative lyricism. full review
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. The Pact 2012 There's no pact in The Pact, which is indicative of this faux spooky tale's guiding illogicality. full review
  34. The Possession 2012 Delivers second-rate horror cliches unbefitting the imprimatur of producer Sam Raimi. full review
  35. Pusher 2012 Pusher faithfully mimics Nicolas Winding Refn's 1996 Danish crime saga while missing its nasty, grungy spirit. full review
  36. Red Hook Summer 2012 Potently expresses, both aesthetically and narratively, a sense of inclusiveness and diversity. full review
  37. 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
  38. Silent Hill: Revelation 2012 With horror altogether absent and a plot drowning in insipid convolutions, it's a film whose early warning to Heather should be heeded: "Don't go to Silent Hill." full review
  39. Storage 24 2012 A monster from a familiar mother. full review
  40. 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
  41. Apollo 18 2011 Reconfirms that most entries in the "found-footage" horror subgenre should remain lost. full review
  42. Bodyguard 2011 Even more than its overwrought music-video numbers and needlessly complicated finale, Khan ups the movie's ridiculousness. 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. Born and Bred 2011 By valuing the complexity of individuals' stories over superficial competition drama, Born and Bred bucks the unwelcome nonfiction trend fostered by Spellbound. full review
  45. 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
  46. An Invisible Sign 2011 Jessica Alba gets plain-Jane crazy for An Invisible Sign, a syrupy A Beautiful Mind redux. full review
  47. Keep the Lights On 2011 Sachs creates an intensely intimate stew of fear, anger, longing, and regret. full review
  48. Knuckle 2011 Palmer's grainy, handheld camerawork won't win any aesthetic prizes, but it's in tune with his subject. full review
  49. My Piece of the Pie 2011 A feeble stab at topicality from that master of overripe Gallic melodrama, Cedric Klapisch. 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

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