instantwatcher.com

Ronnie Scheib, Variety

  1. Birders: The Central Park Effect 2013 Birders vividly captures the distinctive colors and markings of a vast number of bird species and the equally individualized personalities of those watching them within the confines of Central Park. full review
  2. Chennai Express 2013 Shetty's need to maintain his characters' romantic heroism constantly grates against his depictions of their ridiculousness. full review
  3. The Happy Poet 2013 full review
  4. High Tech, Low Life 2013 High Tech, Low Life ostensibly examines censorship of the Internet and news media in China. But the pic is driven less by its subject matter than by its two very different and utterly fascinating bloggers. full review
  5. Let The Fire Burn 2013 Jason Osder's riveting documentary chronicles the escalating confrontations between the Philadelphia police and the radical group Move. full review
  6. Rubberneck 2013 Karpovsky's pic seldom surprises, its strengths lying in a leisurely journey toward a clearly predestined denouement. full review
  7. Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's 2013 Jumps skittishly from subject to subject, disjointed and repetitive for all but dyed-in-the-wool fashionistas. full review
  8. War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State 2013 Robert Greenwald's docu paints a sobering picture of a national security state. full review
  9. 30 Beats 2012 The jazz-scored pic relies heavily on quirkiness to round out shaky characterizations and inject interest into otherwise forgettable pairings. full review
  10. After Fall, Winter 2012 full review
  11. Ballplayer: Pelotero 2012 What gives Pelotero its edge is a nexus of corruption, exploitation and betrayal that transforms this well-shot, cannily edited item into an engrossing expose. full review
  12. Barfi! 2012 Hopping nimbly among three distinct timeframes, helmer Basu deconstructs the film's sentimental thrust to stress his hero's in-the-moment ingenuity. full review
  13. Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story 2012 [A] fascinating, must-see docu. full review
  14. Crooked Arrows 2012 A millennial brace of lacrosse action propels Crooked Arrows through a thicket of cliches liberally planted in its path. full review
  15. Death by China 2012 One need not fully subscribe to Peter Navarro's demonization to appreciate his lucid wake-up call to the imminent dangers of the huge U.S.-China trade imbalance and its disastrous impact on the American economy. full review
  16. Detachment 2012 Brody is brilliant, but can't save the Book of Job proceedings from tilting over into the ludicrous. full review
  17. Ek Tha Tiger 2012 Result boasts some excellent action sequences, most performed by megastar Salman Khan, and indeed is generally more effective in fight scenes than in hearts-and-flowers mode. full review
  18. Electoral Dysfunction 2012 Mo Rocca's faux-disingenuous tone and nonstop jocularity dominate the docu to quickly grating effect. full review
  19. The Flat 2012 This fascinating docu should easily attract crossover auds, and merits arthouse exposure. full review
  20. The Good Doctor 2012 Daly deftly creates a disturbing, Chabrol-like tension that plays on immediate identification with the handsome medico's lonely, shy vulnerability and slow-building horror at the depths to which his self-delusion can sink. full review
  21. Grassroots 2012 full review
  22. A Little Bit Of Heaven 2012 full review
  23. Meet the Fokkens 2012 A racy, thoroughly enjoyable docu about a pair of 69-year-old identical-twin hookers in Amsterdam, Meet the Fokkens bounces along with defiant joie de vivre. full review
  24. What A Man 2012 A by-the-numbers romantic comedy. full review
  25. Angels Crest 2011 While there is a great deal of weeping and wailing going on in the town of Angels Crest, little of it is connected to a comprehensible or cohesive plot. full review
  26. Born and Bred 2011 full review
  27. The Chaperone 2011 Presumably there's an audience out there for old-fashioned, poorly written, unevenly thesped, family-friendly tales of redemption starring beefy wrestlers and a bunch of kids, but it's difficult to imagine who. full review
  28. Don 2 2011 full review
  29. Farmageddon 2011 Racks up damning anecdotal evidence without substantially altering the discussion. full review
  30. Inside Out 2011 If many of the script's circumstances seem a bit too convenient, Mandelberg's direction provides a cavalier "what next?" verve that invites incongruity. full review
  31. Klitschko 2011 The two-hour pic's lack of economy makes for heavy slogging, with no boxing minutiae too small for exhaustive exposition. full review
  32. Ladies vs Ricky Bahl 2011 full review
  33. One Fall 2011 full review
  34. Revenge of the Electric Car 2011 Without true tension, the docu feels as slickly manufactured as its va-va-voom subject. full review
  35. Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness 2011 Joseph Dorman's intelligent if conventional bio-doc of Sholem Aleichem proves particularly revealing, since the famed, dandyish Yiddish writer led a life as full of colorful ironies as the motormouth schlemiels that populate his stories. full review
  36. Singham 2011 full review
  37. Snowmen 2011 full review
  38. Surrogate Valentine 2011 Dave Boyle's pic is fueled by no overriding visual style, relying completely on its actors' chemistry for momentum. Unfortunately, the two strike no sparks. full review
  39. True Legend 2011 Pic's many satisfyingly kinetic action sequences and strong thesping (particularly by femme lead Zhou Xun) outweigh its uneven scripting and occasional ill-advised forays into CGI. full review
  40. The Whale 2011 Docu dotes on its adorable, highly photogenic star, but nonstop voiceover commentary and exclamations of wonderment tend to lessen rather than enhance its impact. full review
  41. You've Been Trumped 2011 Collectivist in spirit, this mostly entertaining film lacks an official host or voiceover narration, which first works swimmingly but eventually becomes too diffuse full review
  42. Bill Cunningham New York 2010 Whatever this Times-produced, TV-ready tribute lacks in tension is amply compensated by the pleasure of watching an enthusiast ply the craft he loves. full review
  43. El Infierno 2010 full review
  44. Inhale 2010 Walter Doty III and John Clafin's hackneyed script depicts Mexico as one vast, interconnected conspiracy engaged in the underground organ trade, whose highest-ranked traffickers are -- gasp! -- Americans. full review
  45. Legendary 2010 Better thesped and helmed than its schmaltzy premise probably warrants. full review
  46. Great Directors 2009 Her eclectic pantheon weighs in with entertaining anecdotes and illuminating comments, illustrated with well-chosen samplings of the artists' work. full review
  47. Objectified 2009 Witty, engaging and exquisitely crafted. full review
  48. The Beautiful Truth 2008 While docu's claims and criticism yield nothing especially new, the form of their exposition seems singularly ingenious, stylistically falling somewhere between a 1950s educational film and some sort of Norman Rockwellian infomercial. full review
  49. Chevolution 2008 The pic comes off as too scattershot to do anything but skim the questions it raises about the nature of the image as spiritual beacon and corporate logo. full review
  50. Constantine's Sword 2008 Oren Jacoby's magnificent, thought-provoking essay film Constantine's Sword examines the unholy alliance between organized religion and military power. full review
  51. Theater of War 2008 [A] must-see docu for theater lovers could reach wider auds. full review
  52. Arranged 2007 Precise lensing, a strong sense of locale and vibrant, eminently likeable perfs enliven Arranged. full review
  53. Ballerina 2007 full review
  54. The Inner Life of Martin Frost 2007 Strained dialogue, awkward mise-en-scene and weirdly uncomfortable thesping from superlative players contribute to a drearily self-reflective conceit. full review
  55. Phoebe in Wonderland 2007 Barnz arbitrarily posits a nonsensical series of school "rules" to embody conformity, while imagination is repped by Tourette syndrome. full review
  56. Choking Man 2006 Barron executes all the hard stuff remarkably well: vivid ensemble thesping, evocative locales and even unforced Catholic symbolism. But his high-concept protagonist is so introverted he projects a void at the film's center. full review
  57. I'm Reed Fish 2006 Pic's power lies not in postmodernism but in its take on how rural youths relate to the contemporary scene. full review
  58. One to Another 2006 Uneven thesping...assorted inanities...and a narrow focus turn the potentially fascinating tale into a bland, perverse round-robin of teen angst. full review
  59. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie 2006 Boys functions swimmingly as both a bigscreen inflation of smallscreen icons and a fairly hilarious stand-alone. full review
  60. The Treatment 2006 This offbeat charmer succumbs to the same airless artificiality that has claimed many recent efforts in the genre. full review
  61. Unknown 2006 Tyro video helmer Simon Brand doesn't give his actors sufficient breathing room, ruthlessly chopping their scenes into monotonous hash. full review
  62. Following Sean 2004 As fascinating as it is frustrating, docu raises a raft of nicely unresolved questions about parenting and parentage. full review
  63. Control Room 2003 full review
  64. A League of Ordinary Gentlemen 2003 First-time helmer Chris Browne's sense of humor captures perfectly the contradictions, absurdities and drama at the intersection of class, media, money and sports without dissing any of his player/subjects. full review