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Rafer Guzman, Newsday

  1. 20 Feet From Stardom 2013 This illuminating documentary looks into a small corner of the music industry to find deeper truths about talent, artistry and success. full review
  2. The Act Of Killing 2013 "The Act of Killing" works on so many levels -- psychodrama, horror movie, Orwellian nightmare, Poe story -- that sifting through your reactions could take days. full review
  3. Dead Man Down 2013 This blend of Scandinavian gloom and Hollywood hokum never jells. full review
  4. Don Jon 2013 Rarely has a film offered such raw and honest talk -- with visuals, too -- about male sexuality. full review
  5. Frances Ha 2013 Late-blooming 20-somethings have never been so perfectly captured -- and Gerwig has never been more appealing -- than in this funny, tender, life-affirming movie. full review
  6. The Host 2013 A sci-fi writer like Philip K. Dick ("Blade Runner") might have used this premise to explore notions of memory and identity. Meyer uses it to create a teen soap opera. full review
  7. Insidious: Chapter 2 2013 [The film] might have been wackily entertaining if the whole thing weren't so sluggishly paced, poorly lit and dispiritingly unoriginal. full review
  8. Jobs 2013 "Jobs" turns out to be the IBM PCjr of biographical dramas, hampered by creaky formatting and thinking entirely inside the box. full review
  9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain 2013 Any comic who can play the Garden must be good, but you wouldn't know it from this jumble of random routines and on-the-bus footage. full review
  10. The Last Stand 2013 "The Last Stand," Arnold Schwarzenegger's first star vehicle in more than a decade, is not a sci-fi film, though it does travel back in time. full review
  11. Lovelace 2013 This movie is short on nuance, but at least it treats Lovelace with a respect she didn't often find in her difficult life. full review
  12. No Place On Earth 2013 "No Place on Earth" depends heavily on re-enactments, but Tobias handles them delicately and keeps a lid on any overemoting. full review
  13. Parker 2013 "Parker" winds up with the worst of both worlds: It's pointlessly violent and nauseatingly cute. full review
  14. Peeples 2013 "Peeples" is a just-this-side-of-legal knockoff of "Meet the Parents," altered only by minor script details and an African-American cast. full review
  15. Phantom 2013 A challenge that offers zero rewards. full review
  16. Stand Up Guys 2013 "Stand Up Guys" is mostly a string of low-key, almost-amusing chats over breakfast tables and pool tables, as if just watching these actors exhale should be entertaining enough. full review
  17. Turbo 2013 "Turbo" has just enough heart to make it to the winner's circle. full review
  18. Bully 2012 A deeply moving but highly selective look at the effects of bullying on children and teenagers. full review
  19. The Cabin in the Woods 2012 Everything about "The Cabin in the Woods" is a delicious practical joke... full review
  20. Casa de mi padre 2012 For a movie with basically one idea -- spoofing the telenovela -- "Casa" is determined to take it as far as possible. full review
  21. The Central Park Five 2012 A skillfully told and important story, though less factual blow-by-blow and more time spent with the five would have been more compelling. full review
  22. Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 2012 Loyal fans may love the nonstop riot of imagery and music, though others may not even comprehend what's happening on screen. full review
  23. Compliance 2012 Zobel, a second-time feature filmmaker, has put together a skillful, sympathetic but unsparing re-enactment of a small-scale atrocity, and his cast plays it out with natural, understated performances. full review
  24. End of Watch 2012 Ayer ... keeps wrecking the sense of realism he's trying to build. full review
  25. The Expendables 2 2012 Yeah, yeah, I get it: "The Expendables 2" is a fun-loving throwback to the gloriously bad action films of the 1980s. Here's what I don't get: Why couldn't it be a throwback to the good ones? full review
  26. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas 2012 A genuine charmer with appealingly natural performances and the kind of holiday warmth that can't be manufactured. full review
  27. Flight 2012 "Flight" performs a daring wing-walk between politically incorrect comedy and gut-wrenching drama, and it succeeds partly thanks to Washington ... full review
  28. Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story 2012 Never explains why, exactly, Israel embraced this dead soldier so tightly. full review
  29. Friends With Kids 2012 [A] crass, shallow cash-in. full review
  30. Girl In Progress 2012 A comedy-drama that veers between silly and serious but can't reconcile the opposing tones. full review
  31. The Grey 2012 The film's conflicting tones never quite mesh, but some fine acting and powerful moments make "The Grey" watchable, if not entirely compelling. full review
  32. Headhunters 2012 "Headhunters" is a bit like an Ikea desk assembled with your nondominant arm -- sleek and attractive, but likely to fall to pieces if you look at it too hard. full review
  33. The Imposter 2012 As fiction, it would never fly. But "The Imposter" happens to be true, and it's a jaw-dropper. full review
  34. Katy Perry: Part of Me 2012 I'm willing to believe Perry is everything "Part of Me" says she is: kind, smart, talented, hardworking, deserving of success. I just wish the movie trusted me to decide for myself. full review
  35. Not Fade Away 2012 A movie that feels at once deeply personal and more than a little confused. full review
  36. The Paperboy 2012 "The Paperboy" is one of those rare examples where you might wish the movie was less faithful to the book. full review
  37. ParaNorman 2012 "ParaNorman" is never less than entertaining, but you'll have to follow it into a strange purgatory between two opposing genres. full review
  38. The Possession 2012 Another horror movie about a little girl possessed by a demon? Seriously? full review
  39. The Queen of Versailles 2012 "The Queen of Versailles" ought to be required viewing for anyone who blames the rich for yanking the rug out from under America's economy. full review
  40. The Raven 2012 Basically a well-researched but formulaic mystery centered on one of those nyah-nyah serial killers we've seen a thousand times. full review
  41. Safe 2012 This whip-smart, brutally funny and gleefully nasty film is one of the year's best surprises. full review
  42. The Sapphires 2012 It's a sweet little tale, and that co-writer Tony Briggs is the son of one of the real-life singers adds to the heart-tugging. In the end, though, it's not quite enough to sustain a feature-length film. full review
  43. Silent Hill: Revelation 2012 "Revelation" is incredibly boring as well as totally baffling. full review
  44. Silent House 2012 The creeping presence of horror-flick hokum not only robs the scares of their strength, it shatters the realism that the single-take format is trying to convey. full review
  45. Starlet 2012 This slender film is bolstered by strong performances, particularly from Hemingway (daughter of Mariel) and her 85-year-old co-star. full review
  46. Albert Nobbs 2011 [A] funny, sorrowful, richly layered and tremendously moving film. full review
  47. The Iron Lady 2011 It isn't Streep's fault that The Iron Lady ends up feeling so uninvolving and oddly dour. full review
  48. The Kid with a Bike 2011 The Dardennes' quiet, naturalistic style strips this story of melodrama but not of emotion. full review
  49. Trishna 2011 "Trishna" works largely on the strength of Winterbottom's clever updates of a century-old story. full review
  50. All Good Things 2010 full review
  51. Blue Valentine 2010 Blue Valentine has a rare emotional intensity. There is no way to prepare for its final frames, inevitable as they are. full review
  52. The Company Men 2010 Everything is pat, from the stereotyped characters (Kevin Costner plays the noble blue-collar worker) to the obvious plot turns. full review
  53. The Joneses 2010 The Joneses starts with a great pitch but ultimately fails to close the deal. full review
  54. Somewhere 2010 It seems impossible that this heavy-handed, self-serious movie comes from writer-director Sofia Coppola. full review
  55. Fly Me to the Moon 2008 The animation is so stiff it makes South Park look like Walt Disney's Fantasia. full review
  56. Man on Wire 2008 The film's soaring climax becomes surprisingly emotional thanks to testimony from those lucky enough to have witnessed it. full review
  57. Management 2008 It's a handful of ostensibly quirky ideas glued together by irritatingly conventional devices. full review
  58. Sex Drive 2008 Sex Drive may slather on the gross-out humor, but underneath it has a heart. full review
  59. Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2008 The Lucas universe once held a special magic, but The Clone Wars makes that feel like a long time ago in a theater far, far away. full review
  60. Save Me 2007 There are heroes, battles and triumphs -- but no villains -- in Save Me, a thoughtful, nuanced drama about guilt-stricken gay men trying to fix their 'sexual brokenness' at a Christian recovery house. full review
  61. You're Gonna Miss Me 2005 A sensitive case-study of a promising artist who fell afoul of the system but still managed, with the help of family, to reassemble his shattered life. full review
  62. True Grit 1969 full review

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