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Film-Forward.com

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 ——

There Was Once... (2011)

"Starts out like a teacher's history lesson about a vanished past, but turns into a detective story as memories collide, link to witnesses, and a nightmare starts to repeat."

Posted Oct 9, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

2 30%

Sarah Palin: You Betcha! (2011)

"Not a hatchet job. . .but adds so little insight by talking mostly to her enemies that a viewer almost becomes sympathetic about what she has to put up with. Almost."

Posted Oct 9, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

3 30%

A Bird of the Air (2011)

"A lovely little modern screwball comedy that only hard-hearted cynics will resist. An unexpected bonus comes with the delightful stream of old pro's as...master storytellers."

Posted Oct 9, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

4 67%

American Teacher (2011)

"[S]upplements lots of stats with teachers' true tales. . . [E]ffective portraits poignantly personalize the multitude of charts and testimony from many education experts."

Posted Oct 9, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

5 ——

L.A. Zombie (2011)

"This story is really about an angel delivering salvation. An angel in the gruesome, unrecognizable form of a devil. A sexy devil with tight buns and an enormous uncut schlong. "

Posted Oct 5, 2011

Michael Lee

6 92%

Take Shelter (2011)

"The sophomore writer and director designs this slow burner to look and sound like a suspense movie, but it'll genuinely surprise you with its many touching moments."

Posted Oct 5, 2011

Michael Lee

7 ——

Schlafkrankheit (Sleeping Sickness) (2011)

"Shot in Cameroon, the multi-prism film is thoroughly European in its perspective of Africa, the real star, while calling into question Western attitudes toward developing nations."

Posted Oct 5, 2011

Kent Turner

8 70%

The Loneliest Planet (2012)

"The direction is so studied, so understatedly deliberate, that if you turn away at the wrong moment, you'll miss the volatile turning point."

Posted Oct 5, 2011

Kent Turner

9 36%

Restless (2011)

"It truly feels like it was made for lack of a better idea."

Posted Oct 3, 2011

Michael Lee

10 95%

Weekend (2011)

"It's equally as chatty as [Before Sunrise and Before Sunset], but the dialogue is more to the point, less cerebral, and below the belt."

Posted Oct 3, 2011

Kent Turner

11 60%

The Weird World of Blowfly (2011)

"Too brief on details [but] earthy, living history of the roots of rap through the ribald and bemused perspective of a septuagenarian veteran of the music business."

Posted Sep 17, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

12 91%

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

"[V]ivid archival footage from a time when African-American advocates. . .were not shown so up close and personal in U.S. . . despite being presented within an awkward format."

Posted Sep 17, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

13 85%

Happy, Happy (2011)

"On a discomforting level, the film ranks about a seven. The cringe-producing moments of humiliation raise the dramedy above the familiar roads to self-perception."

Posted Sep 16, 2011

Kent Turner

14 ——

The Tiniest Place ()

"Past and present, the living and the ghosts, eerily collide [in a] a universal and specific story of solidarity. . . to keep on living victoriously over inhumanity."

Posted Sep 13, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

15 80%

Higher Ground (2011)

"The focus stays on her internal transformation through the spiritual maturity that gives . . . a surprising sympathy for faith-based feminism rarely seen in films."

Posted Sep 13, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

16 77%

The Debt (2011)

"Confused irony about Israeli self-delusion over heroes or the personal and nationalist consequence of living with a Big Lie are uneasily subsumed by changes in women's roles."

Posted Sep 13, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

17 64%

Love Crime (2011)

"In the first scene alone, there are plenty of boundaries broken between senior executive Christine and her protégé Isabelle to give any human resources manager a heart attack."

Posted Sep 13, 2011

Kent Turner

18 86%

Circumstance (2011)

"Despite unconvincing characters, lush cinematography emphasizes same obsession with sexuality as Iran's police [to] give the psychic damage of oppression a visual dimension."

Posted Aug 27, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

19 47%

Chasing Madoff (2011)

"Markopolos goes on and on. . to seem monomaniacal. . . that any rational major investor should have suspected [but] he deserves his victory lap."

Posted Aug 27, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

20 88%

The Hedgehog (2011)

"Subtly changing the [novel's] darker tone, [t]he almost-too-sweet film's emotional climax arrives with a simple hug [as] a transforming human connection."

Posted Aug 19, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

21 70%

Sidewalls (2011)

"Of all of the recent films tipping their hat to Woody Allen's comedies of the 1970s-when he was, you know, funny-Sidewalls is by far the most sentimental and optimistic."

Posted Aug 11, 2011

Kent Turner

22 ——

Che, Un Hombre Nuevo ()

"Even without the world-famous snapshot by Alberto Korda, he was an icon in the making."

Posted Aug 11, 2011

Kent Turner

23 ——

The Life of Fish (La vida de los peces) (2010)

"Sustained by one of the best ensembles you're likely to see anywhere this year; almost every feeling and thought is translucent. "

Posted Aug 11, 2011

Kent Turner

24 79%

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2011)

"Art tourists [get] special access [to] Kiefer channeling creative and destructive energy of boys (mankind? male artists?) in intellectual context and fantastic, adult scale."

Posted Aug 10, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

25 71%

Magic Trip (2011)

"Rarely screened outside of the Pranksters' acid test parties, the well-shot color footage is a celluloid lover's wet dream."

Posted Aug 9, 2011

Michael Lee

26 74%

Bellflower (2011)

"Imagine a Duplass brother's nightmare after finishing a jar of moonshine ... This is more interesting taken less seriously. "

Posted Aug 5, 2011

Michael Lee

27 84%

Mysteries of Lisbon (2011)

"[I]ntimate historical epic. . .of amazingly connected. . .aristocrats [in] flashbacks within flashbacks. . . stunning settings [and] tangled romantic quadrangles. "

Posted Aug 5, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

28 74%

The Whistleblower (2011)

"Thrilling when maintains damning focus on real woman's revelations about deep involvement of UN personnel and contractors, and her defiant determination against great odds."

Posted Aug 5, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

29 0%

The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll (2011)

"[Despite] a rousing jam with elder blues icons [and] Zegers' showy role. . .story feels like a studied period recreation for the History Channel."

Posted Aug 5, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

30 73%

Sarah's Key (2011)

"Cloaks melodrama in a history lesson to personalize fraught events, trace how they were forgotten and rediscovered, with tears and some happiness found along the way."

Posted Jul 31, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

31 100%

The Interrupters (2011)

"[D]ramatic when rhetoric matches street action, they fearlessly divert retaliation on street corners and at funerals [so] the cycle can be interrupted one person at a time."

Posted Jul 31, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

32 80%

The Myth Of The American Sleepover (2011)

"Both fresh and familiar,. . .[t]he irony of spending time with normal kids. . .played by a personable, age-appropriate, sweetly charming cast . . . is they are a bit bland."

Posted Jul 31, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

33 71%

The Future (2011)

"Look, I know. On paper Miranda July sounds nauseating, but you'll hardly notice the cuteness once the film gets going."

Posted Jul 29, 2011

Michael Lee

34 73%

The Tree (2011)

"Is the tone sentimental? Yes, but only as much as the material requires-no insulin is necessary."

Posted Jul 15, 2011

Kent Turner

35 82%

Life, Above All (2011)

"[T]he young stars are so emotionally mature. . . almost too extraordinarily resourceful and heroic in managing family crises and facing death [but] inspire adults. "

Posted Jul 15, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

36 74%

La belle endormie (The Sleeping Beauty) (2011)

"[F]eminist lessons are more charmingly symbolic than didactic . . .in striking images of what [she] was dreaming [at] the heart of the film [to] make her fantasy quite real."

Posted Jul 10, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

37 73%

Romeo & Juliet in Yiddish (2011)

"[B]lows away Shakespearean fairy dust on fusty nostalgic notions of classic Yiddish theater, with exuberance of lo-fi Luhrmann in a West Side Story set in exotic Brooklyn."

Posted Jul 10, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

38 98%

Project Nim (2011)

"Forget the chimp nature vs. nurture angle, someone should study the humans."

Posted Jul 7, 2011

Kent Turner

39 79%

Small Town Murder Songs (2011)

"Atmospherically steeped in rural noir. . .Stormare's agonized face keeps the focus on more a tormented character study than a mystery. . .greatly heightened by rootsy songs."

Posted Jul 1, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

40 50%

Love Etc. (2011)

"[A]voids cloying clichés through the bittersweet lessons each learns [to show] "I love you" can be richer, more nuanced, and more expansive than Hollywood fairy tales."

Posted Jul 1, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

41 89%

Crime After Crime (2011)

"[E]ngrossingly generates as much suspense as fiction in . . . an unusually intimate portrait of a resilient [woman in prison] and a resistant criminal justice system."

Posted Jul 1, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

42 89%

Passione (2011)

"[D]espite confusing presentation of . . . specifics of each song and artist . . . the passion comes through, enthusiastically bringing Neapolitan music to the world stage."

Posted Jun 24, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

43 96%

Leap Year (2011)

"It's not because of the amount of sex and nudity that the word "daring" comes to mind in describing Mónica del Carmen's performance, a combination of subtle vulnerability and abandonment. "

Posted Jun 23, 2011

Kent Turner

44 85%

Viva Riva! (2011)

"Viva Riva!, however, plays dirty, a buoyant throwback to the glory (and gory) days of the grindhouse. All you need is an empty beer bottle to roll down the aisle. "

Posted Jun 10, 2011

Kent Turner

45 69%

Bride Flight (2011)

"[M]odern version of Westward the Women . . .offers American moviegoers an entertaining, yet classy, [romantic] vacation trip through time and place."

Posted Jun 10, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

46 76%

Rejoice & Shout (2011)

"[G]lorious, exuberant clips . . spectacularly illustrate gospel's chronological and stylistic history. . .and personal memories of several icons add warm backstage anecdotes."

Posted Jun 7, 2011

Nora Lee Mandel

47 ——

Noi credevamo (2010)

"As convoluted as the decades-long fraternal battle for Italian unification"

Posted May 31, 2011

Kent Turner

48 ——

I baci mai dati (Lost Kisses) ()

"Roberta Torre's satiric Lost Kisses has the tacky bright colors, the low-rent theatrics-and voluptuousness-of early Almodóvar."

Posted May 31, 2011

Kent Turner

49 ——

La passione (The Passion) ()

"Looking like the world's saddest basset hound, [Silvio Orlando] has loser written all over him. "

Posted May 31, 2011

Kent Turner

50 ——

La solitudine dei numeri primi (The Solitude of Prime Numbers) (2010)

"It takes nothing away from the rest of the exemplary cast to say that Isabella Rossellini exerts her own force of gravity whenever she appears in her scalding supporting role. "

Posted May 31, 2011

Kent Turner

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