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Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

  1. Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq 2014 What's most fascinating about "Afternoon of a Faun" - and what the movie could spend more time delving into - is ballet's grueling and fleeting nature. full review
  2. Stranger by the Lake 2014 What sets the engrossing "Stranger by the Lake" apart is that its excesses seem to point to a moral purpose beyond shock or entertainment value. full review
  3. The Big Wedding 2013 Sadly, superior talent can propel a movie only so far. Bad scripts beget bad movies, even when four Academy Award winners are involved. full review
  4. Diana 2013 "Diana" isn't just an egregious case of rewriting history, but one of oversimplifying it. full review
  5. Don Jon 2013 The film manages to be extremely efficient, conveying its points, making the audience laugh, getting viewers invested and even breaking our hearts in just 90 minutes. full review
  6. Europa Report 2013 There are genuinely chilling moments in "Europa Report," thanks in no small part to a talented cast that will likely look familiar to viewers, even if the actors' names aren't instantly recognizable. full review
  7. The Family 2013 The Blakes think they're vigilantes, but in most other movies they'd be the bad guys. full review
  8. Free Birds 2013 Finally, there's a movie vegetarian parents can enjoy with their impressionable offspring. full review
  9. The Fruit Hunters 2013 Hearing the personalities describe the transcendent tastes of different fruits has me wanting to hop the next plane to Hawaii just to taste a water apple. full review
  10. G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 People may flock to G.I. Joe: Retaliation despite its inert illogic. But don't say you weren't warned. As a wise man once said, "knowing is half the battle." full review
  11. Good Ol' Freda 2013 While the tales of the band's spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial. full review
  12. I Give It a Year 2013 In addition to some trite set pieces, writer-director Dan Mazer serves up nothing more than conspicuous cynicism masquerading as comedy. full review
  13. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain 2013 Diminutive and energetic, he exudes comedy with every spirited step and elaborate gesture. He's hilarious, but almost as important, he's self-aware enough to joke about his own shortcomings. full review
  14. The Last Days On Mars 2013 "The Last Days on Mars" seems like it could deliver ... thought-provoking goods - at least until the plot devolves into Zombies in Outer Space. full review
  15. The Last Stand 2013 It persistently tries to drag the audience down to its mindless level. full review
  16. LUV 2013 A sometimes taut and occasionally preposterous day in the life of an 11-year-old accompanying his uncle on business in Baltimore. full review
  17. The Punk Singer 2013 The way Hanna burst onto the scene is just as interesting as how she faded from it. full review
  18. Salinger 2013 Given the many stories about Salinger and the dearth of images, it would have been more efficient just to skip the documentary altogether. full review
  19. Spinning Plates 2013 The movie doesn't always feel cohesive, but the stories are unexpectedly touching. full review
  20. Syrup 2013 The actors are young and beautiful, the soundtrack kicks and the camera zips around with precision. But the script never seems to match the carefully orchestrated mood. full review
  21. Terraferma 2013 For the most part the multi-faceted story works. full review
  22. Unfinished Song 2013 It's worth a watch, if just for Stamp's complex performance. Just don't forget to bring some tissues. full review
  23. Wish You Were Here 2013 The mysteries unravel at a steady pace and the dialogue and acting feel naturalistic, adding up to a taut and progressively tangled portrait of familial relations. full review
  24. 360 2012 Though the cinematography looks sleek, with shots through windows and in mirrors, split screens and city lights that blur and sharpen, the stories equate to a tangled mess. full review
  25. Backwards 2012 The biggest problem ... is the characters who populate the film. For the most part, they're one-dimensional caricatures. full review
  26. Brooklyn Castle 2012 Enlightening, inspiring and expertly crafted. full review
  27. Burn 2012 An emotional character study of a group of heroic, yet very human, individuals. full review
  28. Cosmopolis 2012 It feels like each and every moment bursts forth with urgent dialogue, and yet what does anyone actually say? full review
  29. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel 2012 The film, written and directed by Vreeland's granddaughter-in-law, mainly rests on the strength of its subject. full review
  30. Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story 2012 This was a man who needed no help standing out from the crowd. full review
  31. Headhunters 2012 A cat-and-mouse game with the giddy excitement of a heist movie. full review
  32. Jiro Dreams of Sushi 2012 Overall, this is a pleasant and often enlightening journey. full review
  33. Katy Perry: Part of Me 2012 Although there are moments when the filmmakers' fingerprints are nearly visible on the manipulated putty of an audience, the scenes aren't enough to break the fruit-flavored spell. full review
  34. Little White Lies 2012 As the movie wears on ... the melodrama amps up to a final scene capable of draining any remaining pathos. full review
  35. Nobody Else But You 2012 It's an enjoyable way to spend 100 or so minutes, but once it ends, it might make a disappearing act from memory. full review
  36. October Baby 2012 Extended scenes are dominated by heavy dialogue, while the lighter moments are relegated to montages of prancing across a beach, for example, which simply aren't that effective at buoying the drama. full review
  37. The Other Dream Team 2012 The title may be less than creative and the bare-bones plot synopsis hardly feels compelling, yet the documentary offers a fascinating and heartfelt examination of history through the microcosm of one sport. full review
  38. Ultrasonic 2012 While some of the dialogue and acting early on veer toward the stilted, the actors settle into a nice rhythm as the atmosphere turns more mysterious. full review
  39. What to Expect When You're Expecting 2012 The movie turns out to be a little of everything yet succeeds only occasionally at anything. full review
  40. 35 And Ticking 2011 It's a familiar setup for an ensemble dramedy about relationships. If only the movie had a heart. full review
  41. Crime After Crime 2011 Some movies prove so eye-opening that a viewer may feel the urge to recount the story, start to finish, to friends and acquaintances. "Crime After Crime" is that kind of film. full review
  42. The Eagle 2011 Becomes absurd precisely when Channing Tatum marches onto the scene as a Roman army commander. full review
  43. Farmageddon 2011 A worthy addition to the growing annals of movies and books advocating for sustainable farming methods. full review
  44. Pina 2011 What might seem like a convenient bid for publicity - the first 3-D art-house film! - turns out to be the only logical way to showcase the action. full review
  45. The Whale 2011 There's no denying that filmmakers Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit captured spectacular shots of both wildlife and picturesque scenery of evergreen-lined water under vibrant pink sunsets. full review
  46. The Company Men 2010 This tale smacks viewers with a reality that's hard to imagine paying money to see in a theater. And yet, here we are. full review
  47. Heartbeats 2010 Spends 100 minutes dispensing painful examples of how infatuation turns people into idiots. full review
  48. Legendary 2010 Exactly what you might expect, right down to the montage of blindfolded tussling, jogging and high-fives to the tune of unrelenting inspirational music. full review
  49. Night Catches Us 2010 Except for a stellar soundtrack by the Roots, there isn't much here to make anyone overly excited. full review
  50. Waste Land 2010 "Waste Land" is a testament that things can go from good to bad in an instant. But they can also improve just as quickly. full review
  51. Kings of Pastry 2009 As satisfying as, er, pain au chocolat. full review
  52. /titles/197285 This may be a buddy comedy on its surface, but "Bicycling With Moliere" also gives some insight into the way art imitates life, and also the way life informs art. full review
  53. /titles/197316 While the movie can feel disjointed at times, bouncing around to cover so much territory, the climax of the kids's ballroom competition makes up for any quibbles. full review
  54. /titles/197286 A documentary that supposedly chronicles the 2012-2013 tour but stays so relentlessly on message, it offers no insights and few anecdotes about the real Justin Bieber. full review
  55. /titles/197417 For all its melancholy and grey, snowy landscape, "The Motel Life" never feels totally hopeless ... full review
  56. /titles/197328 That feeling of been-there-done-that is pervasive, with many of the jokes sounding like they were ripped off from other movies. full review

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