State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 83%

Tropic Thunder (2008)

"Consider the $4,970,802,499 its quintet of leads has made for Paramount at the box office as long-held escrow on a legendary prank. Robert Downey Jr. is all wild-eyed brilliance, Tom Cruise is re-christened in cool and the film is comic gold."

Posted Aug 7, 2008

Nick Rogers

2 68%

Pineapple Express (2008)

"Forget the puff-puff. Pass on this protracted, problematic comedy with Hot Fuzz aspirations in which neither Seth Rogen nor the grim, leaden violence is much fun at all. James Franco, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson at least salvage the film."

Posted Aug 1, 2008

Nick Rogers

3 13%

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

"Soulless, loud, dull and aggressively unintelligent. Questioning creature-feature logic usually is a buzzkill, but in a film with Tibetan yetis somehow aware of football gestures, it's essential to keep your brain from turning to goop."

Posted Aug 1, 2008

Nick Rogers

4 55%

Step Brothers (2008)

"It's nice to have Will Ferrell back, and not as, say, a sex-addicted curling champ from Liechtenstein with a testicle that hasn't descended and an appetite for Funyuns. A riotous movie that delivers on its promise thanks to expert improvisation and squirm"

Posted Jul 28, 2008

Nick Rogers

5 32%

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (The X Files 2) (2008)

"With half-formed discussions of pedophile priests, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, media manipulation, American health care and George W. Bush, one could call it Michael Moore's "The X-Files." But "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko" were considerably mor"

Posted Jul 28, 2008

Nick Rogers

6 94%

The Dark Knight (2008)

"Do not go gently into The Dark Knight. It's an electrifying, thought-provoking meditation on the modern wages of fear. And you haven't danced with the devil by the pale moonlight until Heath Ledger has taken your psyche for a twirl."

Posted Jul 17, 2008

Nick Rogers

7 87%

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) (2008)

"A fabulously freaky and fun immersion into a world of skin, hair, teeth and bones that aren't our own. Revolving around the ideas of bedtime-story imagination and fatherly obligation, it's more exciting, elegant and confident than its predecessor."

Posted Jul 11, 2008

Nick Rogers

8 41%

Hancock (2008)

"Fate, mythology and even racism in America are tossed in to a climax so grim it's like watching "Men in Black" morph into "Requiem for a Dream." The movie doesn't earn that drama, feeling cobbled together from earlier, less-commercial drafts."

Posted Jul 3, 2008

Nick Rogers

9 51%

Get Smart (2008)

"Dedicating this film to Don Adams is like killing seeing-eye dogs as tribute to the American Council of the Blind. Lest insults not be spread to the deaf, it's cruel irony that Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" is an integral part of a dreary, dismal and soulless"

Posted Jun 20, 2008

Nick Rogers

10 67%

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

"One stupid Hulk movie, now a stupidly entertaining Hulk movie. A franchise reset with zany, boneheaded breathlessness, this is loose, lean, fast, comical, thrilling, loud and as flirtatious with substance as necessary to avoid instant disposability."

Posted Jun 13, 2008

Nick Rogers

11 87%

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

"To paraphrase "Kung Fu Fighting" - mercifully heard only once, and in tweaked end-credit form by Gnarls Barkley - "Kung Fu Panda" is as fast as lightning and a little bit frightening but done with expert timing."

Posted Jun 6, 2008

Nick Rogers

12 78%

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

"Affectionately aimed at both the AARP crowd and those who grew up with Indy. Temper comparisons to the trilogy and take it on its own terms as a fun ride with a rejuvenated Harrison Ford and enough great action to trump a blah finale."

Posted May 21, 2008

Nick Rogers

13 67%

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

"It's like the Little Golden Book version of "Gladiator," a mostly bloodless but mostly barbaric PG film with R-rated aspirations. Worse yet, it's even more wearisome than its predecessor - drained of magic or emotion by a plodding pace."

Posted May 16, 2008

Nick Rogers

14 93%

Iron Man (2008)

"Director Jon Favreau displays the same wonderment and control over visual effects as he did in 2005's underrated "Zathura." Excepting a clunky prologue and escape sequence, it's a flawlessly paced origin story with humor, smarts and soul."

Posted May 12, 2008

Nick Rogers

15 64%

Baby Mama (2008)

"Michael McCullers is a pedestrian director, but a potent screenwriter, wittily playing to the strengths of his stars and who's-who supporting players. This comedy isn't without complications, but it's affable, breezy and buoyant."

Posted Apr 25, 2008

Nick Rogers

16 84%

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

"If only Jason Segel's screenwriting matched his comic presence. This is an occasionally riotous, but shapeless, romantic comedy, whose only relatable angst is that it's just marginally better than last year's "The Heartbreak Kid" remake."

Posted Apr 18, 2008

Nick Rogers

17 52%

Leatherheads (2008)

"Self-assured even when it's self-aware, this is a fizzy concoction with three fingers of Billy Wilder and one of Frank Capra. It's shaken with the Coens and topped off with a splash of Ron Shelton and a cinematographical cream-soda sheen."

Posted Apr 11, 2008

Nick Rogers

18 36%

Street Kings (2008)

"The charisma of its cast should be included amid its bloody body count. It's hard to know what anyone saw in this particular dirty-cop tale co-written by James Ellroy. It's not "The Black Dahlia." It's "The Black Duh-lia."

Posted Apr 11, 2008

Nick Rogers

19 36%

21 (2008)

"Part of "21's" problem as it ups its stakes is that it's about as dangerous and sexy as a $1-minimum keno game. But it's still a mildly tantalizing timewaster about wish fulfillment told with casual confidence before a dragging finale."

Posted Mar 28, 2008

Nick Rogers

20 49%

Doomsday (2008)

"Likely to be the year's most entertaining film withheld from critics, Neil Marshall's latest finds him pigging out at a B-movie buffet of bangers and mash. His alchemy of anarchy in the U.K. is exhilarating and playfully perverse."

Posted Mar 24, 2008

Nick Rogers

21 21%

Semi-Pro (2008)

"With all the vertical leap of a pygmy in a pick-up game, "Semi-Pro" is like a movie in the mind of a 10-year-old who's discovered profanity, pornography and a shoebox of blank Mad-Libs - funny only to the person coming up with it."

Posted Feb 29, 2008

Nick Rogers

22 16%

Jumper (2008)

"Boring, bland and nasty. Christensen is the new Ryan Phillippe - no compliment unless you enjoy annoyingly blah detachment. And Bilson is a damsel of whom you hope distress gets the better - anything to shut her droning, dull yap."

Posted Feb 19, 2008

Nick Rogers

23 89%

The Savages (2007)

"There are resonant moments of elderly vulnerability and strong acting from Hoffman and Bosco, but Linney's overly familiar exasperated-woman performance and Jenkins' been-there, done-that-better story sink "The Savages."

Posted Feb 1, 2008

Nick Rogers

24 91%

There Will Be Blood (2007)

"A masterful tale of the parallels and disconnections between primal bloodlust and a life of luxury. Both the movie and the man that sit at the center of that idea are a marvel to watch. Sumptuous and snarling all at once, it's a classic."

Posted Jan 28, 2008

Nick Rogers

25 35%

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

"Just like the original, it's too caught up in its mythological zeal and furious pacing to do much for our "Indiana" jones. A capably filmed diversion that's breathlessly wired for whiplash but instantly forgettable."

Posted Jan 21, 2008

Nick Rogers

26 86%

El Orfanato (The Orphanage) (2007)

"The historical details and enthralling magic of Guillermo del Toro's own productions are missing, and it's more reliant on boo scares than its somber story can support. Yet an intriguing subtext, fierce lead performance and a perfect ending make it work."

Posted Jan 21, 2008

Nick Rogers

27 40%

The Bucket List (2007)

"Calling it Rob Reiner's best film in 12 years doesn't mean much. Remember "Alex & Emma"? Still, this is a modestly entertaining Hollywood fairytale of facing death head-on. Its occasionally leaden story gets light, familiar notes from two legends."

Posted Jan 21, 2008

Nick Rogers

28 77%

Cloverfield (2008)

"The monster is every animal and no animal all at once, classifiable only as a behemoth your brain might conjure in REM sleep. A bonecrushing story of apocalyptic attack that's hard to shake, this is the stuff of primal nightmares."

Posted Jan 21, 2008

Nick Rogers

29 94%

No Country for Old Men (2007)

"Balloons don't blow into funny shapes, and its narrative direction isn't fairly self-explanatory. Yet to watch it is to gaze at the chilling, pitch-black flipside of "Raising Arizona," and be haunted by penetrating, unflinching stares it gives back."

Posted Dec 7, 2007

Nick Rogers

30 42%

The Golden Compass (2007)

"Catholic pundits are half-right in proclaiming that watching The Golden Compass could be hazardous to children. It shows that even the most lyrical and challenging literary story can become a stupid, sloppy film."

Posted Dec 7, 2007

Nick Rogers

31 71%

Beowulf (2007)

"The dots of Beowulf's epic exploits are connected in a way that could have, and should have, matched a tone of grand lust on display in John Boorman's "Excalibur." Instead, the movie's schoolboy snickers about sexuality torpedo the script's inventiveness."

Posted Nov 16, 2007

Nick Rogers

32 51%

Bee Movie (2007)

"Not a flawless animated adaptation of Seinfeld's sometimes-cynical, always-obsessive takes on the trivial. Even at 91 minutes, it's long, and some of its voices too shrill, but the energetic brio of its social satire stings without turning inappropriate."

Posted Nov 1, 2007

Nick Rogers

33 94%

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

"The whodunit is predictable. Its ambivalent, bittersweet fallout is not. Ben Affleck has delivered a film impossible to shake, buoyed by his brother's haunted performance as a man impossibly, and tragically, caught between justice and personal absolution."

Posted Oct 19, 2007

Nick Rogers

34 47%

Rendition (2007)

"A chamber-orchestra cousin to Paul Greengrass's topical symphonies of discussion. Sharp, damning and, at times, funny, this intricate thriller wisely chooses a puzzle-box pace, with no big speeches or easy outs for any character."

Posted Oct 19, 2007

Nick Rogers

35 90%

Michael Clayton (2007)

"George Clooney wastes nothing in his best performance, and the film is as breathtakingly efficient. Specifics and surprises unfold with methodical care, and attentive adult audiences can savor one of the smartest, classiest legal thrillers ever made."

Posted Oct 18, 2007

Nick Rogers

36 29%

The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

"The real heartbreak is how comedienne Malin Akerman's considerable assets are tossed aside. She's good enough to be on the rebound soon. The rest of the film is a desperate, forgettable overlong movie that makes "Along Came Polly" look like a masterpiece."

Posted Oct 5, 2007

Nick Rogers

37 51%

The Kingdom (2007)

"Even in clearly diluted form, the film wrestles - or at least grapples and slaps - with questions and interpretations of the Middle East. It's passable buddy-cop formula with a better director's cut waiting for DVD."

Posted Sep 28, 2007

Nick Rogers

38 43%

The Brave One (2007)

"OK, Jodie, if you're making comparisons to "Taxi Driver": One's a masterpiece about the penchant for emotionally apocalyptic violence. The other is manipulative junk tapping into its star's success at kicking butt. Guess which of those is "The Brave One.""

Posted Sep 14, 2007

Nick Rogers

39 88%

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

"Unapologetically harsh and heedlessly entertaining despite its imperfections, the film includes two masterful performances from Crowe and Bale - actors so intense, they could wear red and intimidate a charging bull."

Posted Sep 7, 2007

Nick Rogers

40 97%

Once (2007)

"Like all great pop songs, you can't wait to hear how it ends, and few conclusions feel as complete as that in "Once." For a film so joyfully attuned to the tumultuous nature of composition, it's no surprise that this is one of 2007's best."

Posted Aug 27, 2007

Nick Rogers

41 34%

The Nanny Diaries (2007)

"Those with deep pockets sometimes have shallow hearts. The post-college lurch can be a panic zone. And the only shocker in "The Nanny Diaries" is that there's not one sprig of chest hair to be seen on a shirtless Paul Giamatti."

Posted Aug 27, 2007

Nick Rogers

42 19%

The Invasion (2007)

"There are no pods to be found here, other than the one off-screen into which the better judgments of most involved here must have been stuffed. If Nicole Kidman doesn't watch out, she'll awake to find her career replaced by Meg Ryan's."

Posted Aug 23, 2007

Nick Rogers

43 88%

Superbad (2007)

"The reassuring message of 2007's most uproarious film is there's no prefab, encompassing approach to life - just a hope that stumbled-upon strengths will work. On the way, barking at the moon can be a great temporary defense mechanism."

Posted Aug 23, 2007

Nick Rogers

44 94%

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

"A sit-up-straight action film. Jason Bourne's clenched-teeth exasperation and raw rage are, in part, our own, and they screech as loud as all the motorcar metal and metropolitan mayhem in 2007's best film so far."

Posted Aug 3, 2007

Nick Rogers

45 90%

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

"Oversold as a story suitable only for the big screen and lacking a raised-stakes mindset, it's still a moderately funny magnification of what's made the show tick and tickle for 18 years. Plus, it proves Illinois is home to the one true Springfield."

Posted Jul 26, 2007

Nick Rogers

46 91%

Hairspray (2007)

"The still-burning fire of Baltimore's dicey racial-relations history is reduced to torched creme brulee. But, song for song, this is the bounciest, bubbliest movie musical of the modern era, and it boasts John Travolta's best performance in a decade."

Posted Jul 20, 2007

Nick Rogers

47 14%

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

"Not so much anti-gay as it is anti-humor, it's easily Adam Sandler's worst comedy ever, and it's depressing to watch him strain to be a Walter Matthau to Kevin James' sweetly exasperated Jack Lemmon. It's a groaningly obvious, abysmally unfunny dud."

Posted Jul 20, 2007

Nick Rogers

48 79%

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

"A severely streamlined, stiff series low. Aside from Imelda Staunton's spirited performance and Daniel Radcliffe's typically impressive stoicism, this adaptation reduces J.K. Rowling's zesty prose to lumpy, gray porridge."

Posted Jul 11, 2007

Nick Rogers

49 57%

Transformers (2007)

"Given the combined involvements of Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg, call it a Ka-Blamblin production, filled with many jaw-dropping marvels. Eventually, this vehicle runs on fumes, but only because it revs the gas so hard and so well for so long."

Posted Jul 5, 2007

Nick Rogers

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