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Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

  1. Devil's Knot 2014 The film's restraint verges on blankness; a mood of desolation builds in this story of the West Memphis Three, but not an involving drama. full review
  2. Girl On A Bicycle 2014 More of a foolish plod than a weightless rollick. full review
  3. Journey To The West 2014 Stephen Chow's dazzling comic fantasy about a gentle Buddhist demon hunter. full review
  4. After Tiller 2013 The film is a welcome exploration of practical and philosophical matters seldom broached across the partisan divide. full review
  5. Berberian Sound Studio 2013 A twisted tribute to analog moviemaking and 1970s Italian Giallo horror flicks. full review
  6. Concussion 2013 It is Weigert's performance that gives the film its mystery and charge. Playing seriously with identity, she draws the viewer ever closer. The way she never reveals everything is electrifying. full review
  7. Escape From Planet Earth 2013 It never discovers new worlds, but "Escape From Planet Earth" is, in its genial way, escape enough. full review
  8. Free Birds 2013 Like the ungainly avian creatures at the center of the herky-jerky adventure, this 'toon seldom gets off the ground. full review
  9. God Loves Uganda 2013 Williams' alarm is balanced by his measured observation of a group of twentysomethings from the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer. full review
  10. Good Ol' Freda 2013 White's film is a love letter not just to Kelly and the Beatles, but also to postwar working-class Liverpool. full review
  11. Hannah Arendt 2013 Barbara Sukowa's performance in the title role is the kind that reverberates long after the screen goes black. full review
  12. Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction 2013 At the film's heart is a fitful conversation that unfolds like a string of koans, epigrams, jokes and silences. And songs. full review
  13. Haute Cuisine 2013 If the material lacks a distinctive flavor profile, its restraint is its strength. The focus on a woman's passionate hard work without need of marital-status back story is refreshing. full review
  14. The History Of Future Folk 2013 The movie could have made its points - war is bad; music is the universal language - in half the time. But the harmonies are sweet, the acoustic picking impressive. full review
  15. I Give It a Year 2013 By turns thoughtful, awkward and lacking in chemistry, the movie ultimately sticks to the rom-com template without making the outcome matter. full review
  16. Inch'Allah 2013 Barbeau-Lavalette builds a persuasive sensory immediacy in "Inch'Allah," even as her story grows increasingly contrived. full review
  17. Interior. Leather Bar. 2013 A cheerfully unsettling exploration of mainstream representations of male homosexuality. full review
  18. Like Someone in Love 2013 Kiarostami embarks on a typically indirect but never rambling path in "Like Someone in Love," crafting an elegant mystery that resonates beyond its final, jolting moment. full review
  19. Movie 43 2013 How many directors does it take to screw in a star-studded piece of aggressive stupidity and call it a movie? An even dozen, and there is no punch line. full review
  20. My Amityville Horror 2013 The blurring of fact and fiction has been a part of the Amityville saga since it became public, but for Lutz there's no gray area in his memories, whose power is undiminished. full review
  21. Pandora's Promise 2013 The lack of opposing voices diminishes the film, even as Stone raises issues that shouldn't be discounted out of hand. full review
  22. The Playroom 2013 The film uses the upper-middle-class setting effectively, even as it resorts to heavy-handed symbolism and melodrama in its dour, mostly unforgiving portrait of parental dysfunction. full review
  23. The Rocket 2013 Mordaunt doesn't always succeed at balancing the sentimental, the political and the ethnographic, but at its strongest the story is a seamless melding of history's dark undertow and a child's indefatigable optimism. full review
  24. A Teacher 2013 Glimpses of the relationship's dynamics can't overcome the missing sense of how these two first connected, an increasingly problematic void at the movie's core. full review
  25. Terms And Conditions May Apply 2013 The term "opting in" suggests a matter of choice. But as the thoughtful and spirited documentary "Terms and Conditions May Apply" makes chillingly clear, choices are few for netizens. full review
  26. Tiger Eyes 2013 A lean, economically told indie that should please fans of the 1981 source novel. full review
  27. Touchy Feely 2013 A work that gestures toward depths without truly plumbing them. full review
  28. Twice Born 2013 It's debatable whether the best love stories are also the "weirdest," as Emile Hirsch's character declares in "Twice Born." But they do require chemistry, the missing piece in his pairing with Penelope Cruz. full review
  29. Winnie Mandela 2013 Like many a biopic before it, "Winnie Mandela" shoehorns an exceptional life into the standard template of a highlights reel, lurching from one Important Moment to the next. full review
  30. 16 Acres 2012 A fascinating portrait of municipal and private interests trying to make headway in the charged atmosphere of devastating personal loss and wounded national pride. full review
  31. 17 Girls 2012 The film suggests a state of grace between childhood and adulthood, but the narrative feels increasingly tentative, and the characters remain opaque - "local divas," in one teacher's estimation. full review
  32. 360 2012 With its international collection of mostly two-dimensional characters and its barely developed ideas on adultery, capitalism, addiction and sex, "360" is an over-plotted and dreary farrago. full review
  33. 5 Broken Cameras 2012 As raw as the material of "5 Broken Cameras" can be, it is also lyrical and elegiac. full review
  34. All Together 2012 It's too bad the filmmaker felt the need to lighten his unvarnished observations about aging with "cute" stuff. full review
  35. Atlas Shrugged: Part II 2012 Director John Putch struggles to find balance or generate a single spark from the clunky mix of romance, political diatribe and thriller. full review
  36. Big Boys Gone Bananas!* 2012 An eye-opening look at the way the U.S. media fell lockstep behind Dole's claims. full review
  37. Casa de mi padre 2012 A lot of the film unrolls like wasted opportunities, placeholders between the cheesy musical interludes and ludicrous Peckinpah-esque violence. full review
  38. Compliance 2012 That the thriller is based on real incidents only magnifies its effect. full review
  39. Girl Model 2012 The nonaggressive approach can be frustrating, but it nonetheless gets under the skin-deep promises of glamour and wealth that lure a seemingly endless stream of very young hopefuls. full review
  40. The Good Doctor 2012 Targeting age-old English class consciousness, not contemporary American healthcare woes, the movie is a shrewd commentary on careerism and status. full review
  41. Hitler's Children 2012 A film whose core is a haunting question: When parents are monstrous, where does filial love begin and end? full review
  42. Holy Motors 2012 In "Holy Motors" Carax insists on our other selves. His daylong ride is a wary celebration, a joyful dirge that's served up in concentrated form by a roving band of accordion players. It's all in a day's work. full review
  43. The House I Live In 2012 It's a film as profoundly sad as it is enraging and potentially galvanizing, and it's one of the most important pieces of nonfiction to hit the screen in years. full review
  44. How to Survive a Plague 2012 An exceptional portrait of a community in crisis and the focused fury of its response. full review
  45. In Another Country 2012 A beguiling set of variations on a theme, a gossamer-light etude composed for delight rather than dissection. full review
  46. A Little Bit Of Heaven 2012 Gren Wells' screenplay throws around a few ideas about female independence and sexuality, but finally it's as shallow as it is mawkish. full review
  47. Little White Lies 2012 With an ensemble led by Marion Cotillard and Francois Cluzet, the French hit has personality to burn, and squanders most of it. full review
  48. One Day On Earth 2012 The overall impression is as fleeting as much of the imagery that flashes across the screen. full review
  49. The Queen of Versailles 2012 [An] excellent and unexpectedly nuanced documentary... full review
  50. The Rabbi's Cat 2012 It's a wild and vivid ride and a spirited reminder of the kinship between Jewish and Arab cultural traditions. full review
  51. War of the Buttons 2012 Though it's handled with little subtlety, the way the atmosphere of suspicion in Vichy France filters down to the kids is a smart slant on the material. full review
  52. We Have a Pope 2012 A gentle fable whose humanist heart beats in Michel Piccoli's nuanced performance. full review
  53. A Werewolf Boy 2012 A chaste young-adult romance that bites into supernatural melodrama, science fiction and political conspiracy theories. full review
  54. What A Man 2012 With its stock characters and low-expectation high jinks, the German import "What a Man" could have been fabricated on the Hollywood rom-com assembly line. full review
  55. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 2011 A documentary as gentle as its subject: the story of a boy who realized his dream and, on the film's evidence, received a lot of encouragement and support along the way. full review
  56. Crime After Crime 2011 Potash's closeness to it, and sense of healthy outrage, invigorate the film and make the saga's central participants impossible to forget. full review
  57. The Eagle 2011 If this episodic quest still manages to feel too flat and mild, at least it gives us the mysterious Highlands and the Celtic dirge of Atli Orvarsson's outstanding score. full review
  58. The Flowers of War 2011 "Flowers" abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz. full review
  59. The Other Woman 2011 Equating interpersonal issues with drama, "The Other Woman" is mostly flat and plodding. full review
  60. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow 2011 "Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow" is that rare art documentary - one that places the art front and center, not as an adjunct to its maker's biography. full review
  61. Peep World 2011 By turns flat and strained, "Peep World" is a collection of personality disorders in search of a story. full review
  62. Polisse 2011 Inspired by a documentary, the film is shot with verite immediacy and beautifully acted by an outstanding ensemble. full review
  63. The Robber 2011 A film as lean and taut as its marathon-winning title character. full review
  64. Seven Days In Utopia 2011 There are no real bumps in that road, and though the drama has its heartfelt moments, it unrolls as flat as the Texas terrain, cast in an idyllic summer glow. full review
  65. Sympathy for Delicious 2011 Despite the powerful sense of place, "Sympathy for Delicious" unwinds a narrative thread that grows increasingly tattered and flimsy. full review
  66. Trishna 2011 As a portrait of a nation amid accelerated and profound change, "Trishna" is a vivid piece of cinema. As a melodrama, it's provocative without being emotionally involving, the central performance more distancing than engaging. full review
  67. The Whale 2011 Thoughtful and moving, if often heavy-handed... full review
  68. The Tale of Despereaux 2008 Despereaux is a rare creature, not only for the handmade look and subtlety of its computer-generated imagery but also for its irony-free embrace of once-upon-a-time storytelling. full review
  69. /titles/197111 The movie has the taut efficiency of a well-constructed crime thriller, while its real-world underpinnings play out with a less convincing sense of urgency. full review
  70. /titles/197316 A documentary that doesn't force-feed its message of hope but genuinely earns it. full review
  71. /titles/197400 The actors' unforced chemistry defies the artifice. Olmos' delectable hamminess and Hamilton's unfussy performance convey volumes. Ross, guarded and resilient, is a revelation. full review
  72. /titles/197588 What lifts the film above its dubious boilerplate assemblage of talking heads and archival images is Shadyac himself. full review
  73. /titles/197668 A bracingly romantic drama that's alive with a mature sense of passion and mystery. full review
  74. /titles/197417 Alan Polsky and Gabriel Polsky propel the material in a way that can feel over-determined. But they grasp the eccentricities and desperation of fringe dwellers, and at its strongest their atmospheric film has the pull of a sad outlaw song. full review
  75. /titles/197756 Emmanuelle Bercot's agreeably ambling feature celebrates the inimitable Deneuve-ness of her leading lady, whose character, Bettie, appears in every scene. full review
  76. /titles/197610 The central characters' coupledom might bring them a safe haven, but audiences will be left out in the cold. full review
  77. /titles/197354 As Wolf traces youth culture from 1904 through the atomic blasts ending World War II - from factory drudges to sacrificed soldiers - he gives form to a ghost in the machine of the modern nation. full review

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