Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

  1. Mean Girls 2004 A smart little teen picture that, for a change, actually features recognizable teens. full review
  2. Anger Management 2003 This is the kind of coarse comedy where a fart serves as a punch line. full review
  3. Camp 2003 full review
  4. Hollywood Homicide 2003 full review
  5. The Italian Job 2003 This unglamorous approach has the odd effect of making them seem more glamorous -- we're free to soak up their star quality because there's no hard sell to fight off. full review
  6. Love Actually 2003 A highly engineered puffball. full review
  7. The Missing 2003 full review
  8. Saved! 2003 No doubt the filmmakers are bracing for -- even hoping for -- a display of ire from religious conservatives. But the truth is, nothing in Saved! stings. full review
  9. Tears of the Sun 2003 In a movie with so much graphic suffering by innocent Africans, it's a bit disconcerting that so much loving attention is paid to Bruce Willis's anguished mug. full review
  10. Touching the Void 2003 Most movies of this type re-create the action far from the actual scene of the crime, but Macdonald has invented a new subgenre: a docudrama in which the docu and the drama are equally authentic. full review
  11. The Hours 2002 A puzzling and forbidding strangeness. full review
  12. The Importance of Being Earnest 2002 Wilde subtitled his masterpiece "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People." This movie seems intent on being a trivial comedy for trivial people. full review
  13. Men in Black II 2002 The hang-loose grodiness of [the Men in Black films] has its charms, and the Ray-Banned team of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, at its best, is good vaudeville. full review
  14. Panic Room 2002 It's difficult to work up a strong case of the heebie-jeebies when you keep getting thrown out of the movie by all the atrocious acting. full review
  15. The Pianist 2002 It's Roman Polanski's strongest and most personally felt movie. full review
  16. Roger Dodger 2002 A fascinating, uneven first feature from the young writer-director Dylan Kidd. full review
  17. Spider-Man 2002 Despite all the computer-generated effects and highflying superhero theatrics, this roughly $120 million movie is, with few exceptions, remarkable only in its small human touches. full review
  18. The Sum of All Fears 2002 Phil Alden Robinson, who directed from a script by Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne, is an accomplished craftsman, but his movie has been upstaged by the sum of our fears. full review
  19. Black Hawk Down 2001 full review
  20. Ali 2001 Ali is a far more complex creature than this movie allows for. full review
  21. Along Came a Spider 2001 Even at half speed, Freeman excels: He knows how to whip out his badge at a crime scene and make it seem as if he had been doing it his whole life. full review
  22. America's Sweethearts 2001 Both harmlessly cynical and deeply fatuous. full review
  23. Baran 2001 full review
  24. Children Underground 2001 Almost unbearably sad. full review
  25. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001 It's rare to find a film that satisfies our craving for pop while giving us the transcendence of poetry. full review
  26. Hannibal 2001 Hannibal Lecter is the ostensible cannibal of this franchise, but the real cannibals are his creators. I wouldn't be surprised if the next time, they have him endorsing his favorite Chianti. full review
  27. Heartbreakers 2001 full review
  28. Riding in Cars with Boys 2001 Beverly is supposed to be a bad girl running with the wrong crowd, but most of the time she seems to be right out of a serioso episode of Laverne & Shirley. full review
  29. Scary Movie 2 2001 Scary Movie 2 isn't scary, funny-scary, or even just plain funny. full review
  30. The Score 2001 full review
  31. The Shipping News 2001 The movie has a modest but true feeling for the ways in which people are formed by the ravages of their natural surroundings. full review
  32. Vanilla Sky 2001 full review
  33. Zoolander 2001 Doesn't Stiller realize that the fashion world is already its own parody? full review
  34. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle 2000 full review
  35. All the Pretty Horses 2000 full review
  36. American Psycho 2000 Clearly, Harron is sold on the Bateman-as-metaphor bit, and, like Ellis, she overconceptualizes everything. full review
  37. Amores Perros 2000 It's a truly prodigious piece of work, resembling a career summation far more than a maiden voyage. full review
  38. The Gift 2000 full review
  39. The Golden Bowl 2000 full review
  40. Hamlet 2000 By equating the garish feudalism of the play's original setting with the megalopolis of today's New York, [Almereyda is] at least on the right track. The problem is, it's just about his only track. full review
  41. Love's Labour's Lost 2000 The froth quickly curdles. full review
  42. Memento 2000 It's all pretty confusing, but then again, so were many of the classic film noirs. full review
  43. Mission: Impossible 2 2000 Despite Cruise's attempts here to be Byronic, there's something strenuous about his soulfulness; he turns everything, even repose, into calisthenics. full review
  44. Our Song 2000 full review
  45. Shaft 2000 full review
  46. Traffic 2000 Soderbergh's jazzed stylistics can be smartly entertaining. Without them, an uneven movie like Traffic might seem more of a melange than it already is. full review
  47. Vatel 2000 It's too turgid with its own upholstered pomp. full review
  48. With A Friend Like Harry 2000 full review
  49. 42 Up 1999 The grand, class-society-embracing conception of this film has become too rich for its narrow stylistic confines. full review
  50. The Blair Witch Project 1999 You don't need buckets of moolah and a zillion computer-generated effects to get a rise out of an audience. Just a little imagination, a little suggestive terror, will do quite nicely. full review
  51. The General's Daughter 1999 The overriding tone is soggy. About the only thing that's crisp in this movie is the way everybody salutes. full review
  52. The Haunting 1999 full review
  53. An Ideal Husband 1999 Our familiarity with the actors, and their comfort in this period setting, lend the piece an unexpected air of naturalism. full review
  54. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 1999 An MTV-generation Peckinpah, Ritchie stages the splatter with a hideous giddiness. He's one to watch. full review
  55. Music of the Heart 1999 The tone of inspirational uplift is familiar from movies like Stand and Deliver and Mr. Holland's Opus -- which is to say, it's familiarly awful. full review
  56. The Ninth Gate 1999 full review
  57. The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999 It's a gorgeously unsettling film. You can hide in the shadows, but luminescence exposes who you are, and the only escape is into another identity. full review
  58. The Wood 1999 Inane coming-of-age comedy. full review
  59. East Is East 1998 full review

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