Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
"An intellectualized epic to make lovers of pure cinema swoon."
The Great Debaters (2007)
"Although we instinctively should be rooting for these characters, Eisele bends the rules of academic debate to make sure the outcome is never in doubt."
"The most elegant slasher movie ever made."
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
"Rather than another of the solemn examinations of American foreign policy Charlie Wilson's War is a quip-filled, high-spirited comedy."
I Am Legend (2007)
"Some movies, from Superman: The Motion Picture to Office Space, are great until they get around to telling a story. Add I Am Legend to that list."
The Kite Runner (2007)
"The film has the same weaknesses and strengths as the novel. And its greatest weakness is that the main character is the least interesting and just about the least sympathetic."
"Even with its strong themes and performances, Atonement will be enjoyed most by those enthralled when the craft of filmmaking becomes an art."
The Golden Compass (2007)
"In adapting Pullman's novel, Weitz jettisons its distinctive atmosphere and complex (and controversial) theological background and decides instead to whip through the plot."
"Hitman will satisfy only longings for tough-guy posturing, sadistic violence, blatant misogyny and incoherent plotting."
This Christmas (2007)
"A holiday film with much goodwill but just as much predictability."
"Adams' performance is the kind that deserves an Academy Award nomination yet seldom gets one."
"Robert Zemeckis has created the world's longest videogame cut scene."
"Whimsy is the worst thing a filmmaker can force on an audience. Magic is the second worst. Yet for 90 minutes writer-director Zach Helm shoves whimsy and magic down his audience's throat."
"The ingredients of modern horror kill the atmosphere and make P2 less scary, not more."
No Country for Old Men (2007)
"This is the Coen Brothers' leanest and least affected film since Blood Simple."
Bee Movie (2007)
"Seinfeld's quick wit and glib personality are strong enough to give the scattershot story an illusion of coherence."
American Gangster (2007)
"A gritty 1970s thriller made for today, re-creating the past to find lessons for the present."
Dan in Real Life (2007)
"Ultimately it is Carell who grounds Dan in something close to real life."
Music Within (2007)
"Both Pimental and the audience would have been better served if his life were told as a PBS documentary."
Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)
"In an unusual season with so many films are aimed at adults Things We Lost may be the most mature of the lot."
"Hood's greatest concern is the line between moral courage and cowardice."
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
"Unreliable as history and misguided as a contemporary allegory, Golden Age finally fails because it is a half-hearted spectacle, not even filmed in a widescreen format."
Michael Clayton (2007)
"Gilroy's goal is to create a smart, literate thriller, and while Michael Clayton is smart and literate, it isn't thrilling."
"Although it takes place 126 years ago, the film is most fascinating for its contemporary echoes."
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
"The Darjeeling Limited is Anderson's most technically accomplished film, but his subject matter must evolve."
Feast of Love (2007)
"Has just enough honesty and heart to redeem it."
The Kingdom (2007)
"The film's American heroes are depicted as pig-headed, offensive bullies who claim the moral high ground but in the end can solve their problems only with guns and car chases."
"It restores one's faith in Mandy Moore's film career."
Sydney White (2007)
"A decent vehicle for Bynes."
The Brave One (2007)
"The profoundly discouraging ending doesn't work."
Mr. Woodcock (2007)
"Has the mark of something dashed off after reading what dozens of screenwriting manuals had to say about the marketplace and the three-act paradigm, but not one word about characterization or dramatic unity."
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
"Remains an evocative morality tale about what makes men good, what makes them bad and what makes them ugly."
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
"The whole thing is supposed to be played for laughs, but it is too bloody, too brutal and too sadistic to be remotely amusing."
Death Sentence (2007)
"Begins promisingly but ends putridly."
Balls of Fury (2007)
"A good-natured, easy-to-take goof."
Resurrecting the Champ (2007)
"Resurrecting the Champ is a specialty of director Rod Lurie, a civics lecture disguised as a film."
The Nanny Diaries (2007)
"A smart, well-acted bit of froth."
The Invasion (2007)
"The Invasion is filled with lapses in logic. Most sense probably was cut during the many re-edits, but there is evidence Dave Kajganich's script had little sense to begin with."
"Solidifies Apatow's reputation as the guiding force behind a small but significant community of comic filmmakers. He is becoming to crude comedies what Steven Spielberg was to family-oriented fantasies in the 1980s."
"Wants to be the next-generation Princess Bride, and, boy, does it come close."
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
"Tucker is the film's 50,000-watt mood killer, determined to fray the nerves of anyone in the theater"
Bratz: The Movie (2007)
"By right Bratz should have had no potential at all. Yet it is still disappointing to see the handful of clever ideas and heartfelt themes smothered by corporate, focus-group filmmaking."
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
"Because the Bourne films haven't put up the blockbuster numbers that warrant Entertainment Weekly cover stories they aren't recognized for what they are - the smartest and most technically superb action films since Die Hard."
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
"It cannot compete with the series that inspired it, but it can compete with everything else in the multiplex at the moment."
"Many, many things are wrong with Chuck and Larry, but its ultimate failure lies in the ludicrous explanation used to get its stars to the altar."
"The most rousing, most engaging and most successful movie musical in ages."
Rescue Dawn (2007)
"A compelling and compassionate portrait of a survivor."
"Occupies the middle ground among the Potter movies, not as good as the third and fourth but better than the first and second."
"Whatever chance Transformers might have been a decent movie disappeared the moment Bay was hired to direct."
License to Wed (2007)
"Like a creepy kid who has taken a few too many Ritalin tablets, License to Wed bounds around the screen wildly, overanxious to prove its wackiness."