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Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

  1. Kill Bill: Volume 2 2004 I've lost my sweet tooth for slice-and-dice escapism, and perhaps this is why I feel the need to see movies that don't simply glamorize or fetishize or supernaturalize brutality. full review
  2. The Stepford Wives 2004 full review
  3. Anger Management 2003 This is the kind of coarse comedy where a fart serves as a punch line. full review
  4. Camp 2003 full review
  5. Coffee and Cigarettes 2003 What unites everything is Jarmusch's playful, hang-dog absurdism. full review
  6. Hollywood Homicide 2003 full review
  7. The Human Stain 2003 full review
  8. 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
  9. Kill Bill: Volume 1 2003 There is no ironic overlay in Tarantino's movies, no 'commenting' on the pop schlock he's replicating. He simply wants to remake in his own way the kinds of movies he's always loved, and he's about as uncynical as a movie geek can be. full review
  10. Loser 2003 full review
  11. Love Actually 2003 A highly engineered puffball. full review
  12. The Missing 2003 full review
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. The Triplets of Belleville 2003 It's impossible to watch this movie without gasping at its graphics, and yet we're so drawn into Chomet's way of seeing that, after a while, his genius erases the distinction between animation and live action. full review
  17. The Hours 2002 A puzzling and forbidding strangeness. full review
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. The Pianist 2002 It's Roman Polanski's strongest and most personally felt movie. full review
  21. 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
  22. We Were Soldiers 2002 full review
  23. Black Hawk Down 2001 full review
  24. Ali 2001 Ali is a far more complex creature than this movie allows for. full review
  25. 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
  26. America's Sweethearts 2001 Both harmlessly cynical and deeply fatuous. full review
  27. Baran 2001 full review
  28. Children Underground 2001 Almost unbearably sad. full review
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. Heartbreakers 2001 full review
  32. 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
  33. Scary Movie 2 2001 Scary Movie 2 isn't scary, funny-scary, or even just plain funny. full review
  34. The Score 2001 full review
  35. 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
  36. Vanilla Sky 2001 full review
  37. Waking Life 2001 If there was ever a film that made ontological exploration fun, this is it. full review
  38. Zoolander 2001 Doesn't Stiller realize that the fashion world is already its own parody? full review
  39. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle 2000 full review
  40. All the Pretty Horses 2000 full review
  41. American Psycho 2000 Clearly, Harron is sold on the Bateman-as-metaphor bit, and, like Ellis, she overconceptualizes everything. full review
  42. Amores Perros 2000 It's a truly prodigious piece of work, resembling a career summation far more than a maiden voyage. full review
  43. The Gift 2000 full review
  44. Gladiator 2000 Without Russell Crowe's dynamism holding it all together, Gladiator might have devolved into a rash of overblown pandering. full review
  45. The Golden Bowl 2000 full review
  46. 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
  47. Love's Labour's Lost 2000 The froth quickly curdles. full review
  48. Memento 2000 It's all pretty confusing, but then again, so were many of the classic film noirs. full review
  49. 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
  50. Our Song 2000 full review
  51. Shaft 2000 full review
  52. 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
  53. Vatel 2000 It's too turgid with its own upholstered pomp. full review
  54. With A Friend Like Harry 2000 full review
  55. 42 Up 1999 The grand, class-society-embracing conception of this film has become too rich for its narrow stylistic confines. full review
  56. 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
  57. Boys Don't Cry 1999 The film is framed, too unquestioningly, as a transgender Rebel Without a Cause, with Brandon the martyred innocent who dies for her infatuations. full review
  58. The Haunting 1999 full review
  59. 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
  60. 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
  61. 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
  62. The Ninth Gate 1999 full review
  63. Ravenous 1999 full review
  64. 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
  65. Tarzan 1999 Perhaps Disney thought the best way to get around the ooga-booga stereotype was to eliminate blacks altogether. full review
  66. The Wood 1999 Inane coming-of-age comedy. full review
  67. East Is East 1998 full review
  68. My Son the Fanatic 1997 full review

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