Stephanie Zacharek,

  1. The Proposal 2009 A romantic comedy doesn't need to be original to be enjoyable, and yet The Proposal still falls way too short of the mark. full review
  2. Bruno 2009 Cohen has come up with some marvelous satirical motifs; elsewhere, he's just showing how far he'll go to get a laugh. full review
  3. Extract 2009 This isn't a misanthropic picture; its true subject is the way love for our fellow human beings is so often thwarted by their actual behavior -- and still, stupidly perhaps, we just won't give up on them. full review
  4. The House of the Devil 2009 The House of the Devil is really a romance: a love letter to the kind of gal we thought had given up the ghost. full review
  5. I Hate Valentine's Day 2009 I Hate Valentine's Day is a horror show masquerading as a romantic comedy. Maybe Vardalos is just in the wrong line of work. full review
  6. Objectified 2009 Objectified is so straightforward, sensible and thought-provoking that it alleviates that design noise instead of adding to it. full review
  7. Happy-Go-Lucky 2008 A picture so seemingly light that it might be hours (or even days) before you realize how deep and rich it really is. full review
  8. Management 2008 Management is ultimately undone by its own bland idiosyncrasies. It's nothing but a mismanaged opportunity. full review
  9. Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2008 The movie gets more cluttered and confused as it moves along, though it's dotted with so many generic battle scenes and paint-by-numbers light-saber combat sequences that you can see how it's at least attempting to mimic the illusion of excitement. full review
  10. Zack and Miri Make a Porno 2008 The jokes are forced, almost mechanical, in their crudeness. They're so carefully placed that they feel a little precious rather than spontaneous, which ends up defying that impulsive, animal thing inside us. full review
  11. Mr. Bean's Holiday 2007 Atkinson's Mr. Bean, a man of few words, carries their memory in his rubbery bones. When it comes to knowing where he came from, he's got the beat. full review
  12. Charlotte's Web 2006 Best of all may be the narration, by Sam Shepard: His voice, the kind of voice God might have if he'd ever smoked Camels, frames this gentle but potent little story with good-natured authority, making it feel modern and ageless at once. full review
  13. Failure to Launch 2006 As listless and phony as Failure to Launch may be, it does have one secret weapon in Zooey Deschanel. full review
  14. Jackass: Number Two 2006 I couldn't look away, and neither could anyone else in the audience I saw the movie with. We hooted and hollered at the screen, captured by a single involuntary impulse. full review
  15. Last Holiday 2006 There are some funny gags interspersed among the undistinguished ones, but Wang's direction has little snap or wit, and the movie overall is too fixated on the laborious task of massaging our universal self-esteem. full review
  16. The Magic Flute 2006 Even though there were moments in The Magic Flute when I wondered if Branagh hadn't truly gone off his rocker, I found its audacity exhilarating. full review
  17. Penelope 2006 The picture has a hapless, meandering quality that's tolerable at first but ultimately becomes maddening, as if it were a cartoon narrative recounted by a distracted 4-year-old. full review
  18. Scoop 2006 Nestled as it is amid the clamor of the late-summer blockbusters, it's the kind of small pleasure that can make you feel intensely grateful. full review
  19. Broken Flowers 2005 [A] well-meaning but remote picture. full review
  20. The Constant Gardener 2005 Meirelles clearly trusts his actors, particularly Fiennes and Weisz: The plot of The Constant Gardener is fairly intricate, but in the end, the story is told mostly in their faces. full review
  21. Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 This isn't Sheridan's most complex or richest picture, but there's lots of life to it: This is an unapologetically glossy pop product, powered by a strong, old-fashioned sense of B-movie melodrama. full review
  22. Neil Young: Heart of Gold 2005 A love letter to the consistency, and the familiarity, of that voice. full review
  23. Rent 2005 full review
  24. Serenity 2005 Serenity is a trim little picture of epic proportions. full review
  25. Stoned 2005 It's fun, for a while, to hang out with the temperamental rock star. But in the end, we can't wait to get away from the man. full review
  26. 13 Going on 30 2004 Like a petulant 13-year-old, I'm still pouting over my disappointment. full review
  27. The Forgotten 2004 full review
  28. Mean Girls 2004 Mean Girls isn't a particularly deep picture, but it does have some weight and ballast. full review
  29. The Passion of the Christ 2004 A very dour, pedestrian picture. full review
  30. American Wedding 2003 If there was ever a case of Hollywood's over-stroking a formula to squeeze every last drop out of it, American Wedding is it. full review
  31. Beyond Borders 2003 A melodrama with pretensions to humanitarian generosity. full review
  32. Daddy Day Care 2003 Made with care and intelligence as well as a sense of fun. full review
  33. Hollywood Homicide 2003 A reasonably entertaining picture that nevertheless leaves you wondering -- what, exactly, did I just see? full review
  34. Love Actually 2003 There are no fewer than nine interlocking and overlapping love stories in Richard Curtis' deadly epic sprawl of a romantic comedy, Love Actually. By the end of the movie, that's nine too many. full review
  35. Mona Lisa Smile 2003 In terms of the gap between the movie it's trying to be and the movie it actually is, Mona Lisa Smile is in many ways indefensible. Yet for all its problems, it's satisfyingly movielike. full review
  36. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 An awkward pirate epic that's jampacked with energy, ambition and spectacular effects. full review
  37. Swimming Pool 2003 Like other Ozon movies, it feels lifeless and freeze-dried -- in the end, it's more about its own ideas than it is about actual characters. full review
  38. Uptown Girls 2003 A modern fairytale that loads up big-time on the girly trappings but doesn't give you much in the way of plot or characters or even plain old sense. full review
  39. A Guy Thing 2002 Stumbles along laboriously, its jokes following one after another in a sloppy, flat-footed walk. full review
  40. The Importance of Being Earnest 2002 Rupert Everett gets Wilde in his bones, but this well-cast adaptation somehow feels obvious and overblown. full review
  41. Lost in La Mancha 2002 Does exactly what it sets out to do, describing the picture Gilliam was hoping to make and showing just how wrong it went. But it's also an elegy for every doomed picture that was never made. full review
  42. Maid in Manhattan 2002 Jennifer Lopez has star power, genuine talent and considerable assets, but she's wasted yet again in a grossly predictable romantic comedy. full review
  43. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 Robert Rodriguez follows up his 2001 smash with another comic fantasy that'll please adults as much as kids. full review
  44. View from the Top 2002 A light airplane comedy that's actually funny. full review
  45. XXX 2002 In XXX, Diesel is that rare creature -- an action hero with table manners, and one who proves that elegance is more than tattoo deep. full review
  46. Atlantis - The Lost Empire 2001 It's so adult that it's massively boring. full review
  47. Novocaine 2001 Atkins never finds the right tone for Novocaine. It's not dark enough to be either viciously funny or unsettling. full review
  48. Riding in Cars with Boys 2001 Every scene is coated with Marshall's thumbprints, ultimately connecting into a manhandled, mangled, misshapen whole, its themes written out in thunderously obvious cues. full review
  49. Scary Movie 2 2001 Watching Scary Movie 2 is like Chinese water torture -- you start dreading the next drip long before it drops. full review
  50. Vanilla Sky 2001 Who would have thought that Cameron Crowe had a movie as bad as Vanilla Sky in him? full review
  51. Zoolander 2001 Serves as glossy, throwaway fun, and it features more cameos than you can shake a mascara wand at. full review
  52. Center Stage 2000 full review
  53. The Gift 2000 Even if you've figured out where The Gift is headed, the actors keep you watching closely. full review
  54. Hamlet 2000 Oddly enough it's the picture's visuals -- its mournful, glassy Manhattan high-rises; its limos and Town Cars with their mirrorlike flanks -- that make it feel most like Hamlet. full review
  55. The Weight of Water 2000 An intelligently made (and beautifully edited) picture that at the very least has a spark of life to it -- more than you can say for plenty of movies that flow through the Hollywood pipeline without a hitch. full review
  56. Brokedown Palace 1999 full review
  57. But I'm A Cheerleader 1999 full review
  58. An Ideal Husband 1999 Parker, who himself adapted Wilde's play for the movie, takes what to purists may be an unforgivable number of liberties with the story, fleshing out the plot and even adding dialogue. full review
  59. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut 1999 Parker and Stone are madly inventive when it comes to details. full review
  60. The Virgin Suicides 1999 Sofia Coppola's adaptation of The Virgin Suicides ... captures the loveliest visuals and bits of language from Eugenides' book and faithfully, but not slavishly, transfers them to the screen. full review
  61. Velvet Goldmine 1998 full review
  62. Cop Land 1997 Oh, the tyranny of being serious about your art: It's a shame when an actor like Sylvester Stallone, who's always at his most appealing when he just hunkers down and lets himself be a big galoot, feels he has to make a bid for respectability. full review
  63. A Life Less Ordinary 1997 full review

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