Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
Ladder 49 (2004)
"... draws us steadily into its warm core with a sense these are real people, who might be sleeping or carousing down at the neighborhood firehouse."
"A gritty, haunting voyeur's peek into the human condition."
Shark Tale (2004)
"We needn't look further than 'Shark Tale' to realize the studio that revolutionized the art of CGI animation doesn't own the patent on wit and imagination."
The Forgotten (2004)
"Any film capable of simultaneously causing me to douse my lap with Mountain Dew in surprise and inspiring the biggest unintentional laugh I've had all year deserves credit."
"What we should expect of a night at the movies: Bold, clever, inventive, exhilarating - and often enough, magical."
"Joins 'Four Weddings and a Funeral,' 'Notting Hill' and 'About a Boy' in that distinctly British niche of 'chick flicks' that can be enjoyed without a lobotomy."
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
"Nemesis looks like what would happen if The Toxic Avenger ate The Terminator. He fires a rocket launcher. Stuff 'splodes, people die. Get back to your Cheetos."
Vanity Fair (2004)
"The director's vision seems as obstructed by affectation as the vision of the classist characters in her film."
"We have no idea where these characters have been, so we don't care where they're going."
"... so many directions with so much silliness that a surprise no longer surprises."
The Truth About Charlie (2002)
"... a story as mixed up (yet with an outcome as predictable) as a plate of spaghetti."
Half Past Dead (2002)
"... satisfies neither intellectually nor viscerally."
"... a story whose cleverness and meaning is sullied among horseplay we can't take the kids to see."
"What begins as a pique to our collective curiosity quickly degenerates into what is essentially a shootout between the good guys and the monsters."
Head of State (2003)
"Not merely satisfied with stereotyping whites, Rock insists on taking shots at blacks, fat people, poor people and even spina bifida patients."
"... every predictable move comes unraveled again with an uncanny discovery."
Alex & Emma (2003)
"Delves into ... all the odious cliches of the romantic comedy genre, but Reiner justifies it by laughing at the ridiculousness of his own story."
"The expression of horror and amazement upon Bob Newhart's face captures, in one split second, the essence of the entire film."
"[Director] Norrington has spent too much effort trying to include too much of the comic book."
How to Deal (2003)
"Fails to acknowledge the real problems teenagers face."
"... true to the look and spirit of the game and ... more fun than watching someone else play 'Tomb Raider,' which was the bane of the first Lara Croft installment."
"Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez ... each spend several shocking minutes expounding upon the wonders of their own nether regions."
Open Range (2003)
"... needs a better story, better characters, better source material; and fewer aphorisms, fewer long glances and sweeping scores, fewer chunks of cheese."
The Medallion (2003)
"... enough distractions to carry us through the doldrums."
The Order (2003)
"... it has a curious disorder, one that makes it both interesting and pallid."
Matchstick Men (2003)
"... tenuous and beautiful interaction between Cage and Lohman."
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
"The Coens ... have taken a typically trite target for ridicule and splayed it out for an attack from outer space, where Coen brothers scripts tend to originate."
Beyond Borders (2003)
"...brutally haunting images ... in a setting where sappy dialogue evaporates like water."
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
"Perfect fare for a 5-year-old on an Apple Jacks sugar high, but scarcely tolerable for anyone moving toward the Raisin Bran end of the aging spectrum."
"... the 80-minute setup for the shock has nothing to do with engaging the deep-seated fears and emotions that really plague us all, at some level, every day."
"Jeff Maguire, in adapting Crichton's novel, clearly had trouble explaining all the nuances of the story with the constraints of a Hollywood time limit."
Love Don't Cost a Thing (2003)
"High school films don't have to be dull or juvenile; this one suffers tremendously from the former."
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
"...would have been better served by characters with a little less formula than the paint-by-numbers projects so loved by these women of Wellesley College."
"We might have to use our seat cushions to float on all this goo."
The Perfect Score (2004)
"The work of a filmmaker and team of writers so conscious of their own formulaic crutch that they demand a production that feels like more than the sum of its parts."
"It's not too hokey, not politically correct, not a mass of chewy, Disney-fried steak, not even a miracle -- it's just good storytelling."
"Elicits groans and the wrong kind of laughter."
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
"Those with a spiritually vibrant personal relationship to the story may find it as affirming as it is oppressive."
Club Dread (2004)
"The film's creators use sexual humor as a stand-in when they run out of vacuous little sub-sketches."
"Will Hidalgo survive the brutal desert to demand more creative control over his next film?"
Taking Lives (2004)
"It both startles and sedates."
"The trouble with computer graphics in films these days is that a computer doesn't have half the imagination of a human."
The Whole Ten Yards (2003)
"One must ask why sequels such as this come to be."
"Carrey gracefully paints the neuroses of a man who has no security or intimacy beyond the close grip of his gloomy knit hat."
13 Going on 30 (2004)
"Sickeningly cute, surprisingly energetic and alarmingly clever."
Laws of Attraction (2004)
"The two lead players ... seem the least likely of anyone in the film to fight for themselves, unless you give them very large cocktails."
Breakin' All the Rules (2004)
"Digresses into that hazy zone where we're not sure if we're watching overwrought drama or a joke that just isn't funny."
Raising Helen (2004)
"Tries to tell in excruciating detail the stories of at least six characters, but succeeds in showing us they are only cardboard cutouts."
Garfield - The Movie (2004)
"Imagine the comic strip as a lone enchilada stretched to feed the whole dinner crowd at Pancho's."
The Notebook (2004)
"One of those films you want to like and want to keep watching because it looks so pretty."