Authors

The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 90%

Zombieland (2009)

"Somehow rises above the Hot Topic-ization of its subject matter and becomes an absolute, occasionally surreal hoot."

Posted Sep 30, 2009

Andrew Wright

2 83%

Paranormal Activity (2009)

"Peli's method of imbuing everyday objects -- a slightly ajar door, a swinging chandelier, a (gulp) strangely rumpled bedsheet -- with an atmosphere of ball-crawling dread is really something to see. It doesn't let up."

Posted Sep 25, 2009

Andrew Wright

3 79%

The Informant! (2009)

"Featuring a steadily mounting shaggy-dog plot and a majestically nerdish turn by Matt Damon, it feels of a piece with the Soderbergh who so effortlessly batted for the cycle ... at the beginning of the decade."

Posted Sep 16, 2009

Andrew Wright

4 92%

Il Divo (2009)

"Combining clammy skin, busy hands, and a posture reminiscent of Snoopy in his vulture phase, [Servillo] (re-)creates a fascinating monster ... Given some CliffsNotes, the surrounding film might even be worthy of him."

Posted Sep 2, 2009

Andrew Wright

5 63%

Extract (2009)

"Scores on a number of small fronts ... but lacks that core of real, exasperated indignation that gave his previous films such a charge."

Posted Sep 2, 2009

Andrew Wright

6 40%

X Games 3D: The Movie (2009)

"A slick, fawning, shamelessly commercial puff piece that occasionally hits on an eye-popping image and just goes sick."

Posted Aug 24, 2009

Andrew Wright

7 92%

Ponyo (2009)

"Several notches below [Hayao Miyazaki's] masterworks, which makes it only, oh, super-duper wonderful ... it makes big magic, seemingly effortlessly."

Posted Aug 12, 2009

Andrew Wright

8 60%

A Perfect Getaway (2009)

"Taut, propulsive, and supremely confident, it functions as both a far-above-average thriller and a riotous p*** take on the conventions of its genre."

Posted Aug 11, 2009

Andrew Wright

9 68%

Funny People (2009)

"Taken as a sloppy, maudlin, two-and-a-half-hour whole, it paints the picture of a talented filmmaker whose insular self-regard is beginning to attract small planetoids."

Posted Jul 30, 2009

Andrew Wright

10 55%

Orphan (2009)

"Sets up a series of increasingly queasy taboo points and then proceeds to rocket-cycle over them."

Posted Jul 23, 2009

Andrew Wright

11 56%

Skills Like This (2007)

"A Scrappy Little Indie Odyssey"

Posted May 5, 2009

Lindy West

12 45%

Lakeview Terrace (2008)

"A potentially decent B-picture stymied by the director's newfound tendency to stay within the lines."

Posted Sep 17, 2008

Andrew Wright

13 57%

Monster Camp (2008)

"It's all very harmless, engaging, and for the most part, solid."

Posted Sep 2, 2008

Bradley Steinbacher

14 62%

Hamlet 2 (2008)

"[S]tands as an act of comedic alchemy -- a slick, occasionally inspired Dangerous Minds satire that Coogan forcibly drags to a state of near brilliance."

Posted Aug 20, 2008

Andrew Wright

15 14%

Mirrors (2008)

"The combination of Sutherland's beyond-the-call gravitas, director Alexandre (High Tension) Aja's demento visual sense, and a spookily lyrical ending earns it at least a short-term stay in the Halls of Yick."

Posted Aug 15, 2008

Andrew Wright

16 83%

Tropic Thunder (2008)

"A bit toothless -- it's difficult to cut too deeply when your satirical take on studio blockbusters and crazy actors is produced by a major studio with Tom Cruise in a supporting role -- but offers a number of genuine laughs between the self-congratulator"

Posted Aug 13, 2008

Andrew Wright

17 78%

Baghead (2008)

"Takes an ingenious -- and perhaps necessary -- shift into more accessible filmmaking. Okay, it's less of a shift than a sort of yawning amiable slouch, but you get my drift."

Posted Aug 6, 2008

Andrew Wright

18 68%

Pineapple Express (2008)

"Divvied up into YouTube lengths, it'd be awesome. Seen as a whole, it comes worryingly close to the feature-length equivalent of Burt Reynolds slapping Dom DeLuise during the end credits to The Cannonball Run."

Posted Aug 6, 2008

Andrew Wright

19 13%

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

"I mean, honestly, how does somebody screw up a Yeti attack?"

Posted Jul 31, 2008

Andrew Wright

20 68%

CSNY Déjà Vu (2008)

"Give Young credit for getting beyond the standard tour-bus and backstage environments, but the broad scope ultimately gives short shrift to both the veterans and the legendary discord among the bandmates."

Posted Jul 23, 2008

Andrew Wright

21 61%

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

"The comin'-at-ya effects are certainly state of the art ... but any hopes that the film might blaze new trails are squashed the first time someone picks up a paddleball. Kids should lap it up; for anyone else, Dramamine is advised."

Posted Jul 9, 2008

Andrew Wright

22 87%

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

"Chalk it up to either a newfound maturity or [Dreamworks] management being asleep at the wheel, but, somehow, someway, it achieves a low-impact playfulness that actually feels kind of... charming."

Posted Jun 5, 2008

Andrew Wright

23 64%

The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

"Yeah, it's a dopey kid's movie, but -- significant detail -- one that feels like it was actually written for kids ... Also, whenever things threaten to get too schlocky, this amazing villainess with a magic bullwhip shows up."

Posted May 15, 2008

Andrew Wright

24 39%

Speed Racer (2008)

"An immense, Otter Pop colored nostalgic thing that expends so much energy replicating every last widget and geegaw from its source that it forgets to be, you know, fun."

Posted May 8, 2008

Andrew Wright

25 93%

Iron Man (2008)

"The action scenes lack the fizz of the character moments ... still, there's enough good stuff here to place this in the upper tier of movies about guys in long underwear."

Posted May 1, 2008

Andrew Wright

26 38%

Zombie Strippers (2008)

"That faint thumping noise you hear is Russ Meyer doing donuts in his grave."

Posted Apr 25, 2008

Andrew Wright

27 86%

Shine a Light (2008)

"Never aims for transcendence, settling instead for really, really good ... the overriding impression is of a bunch of legendary deviants content to remain in showman mode."

Posted Apr 3, 2008

Andrew Wright

28 91%

Alice's House (A Casa de Alice) (2008)

"Documentarian Chico Teixeira's first narrative film is casual but busy, and though it seems somewhat longer than its 90-minute running time, the quiet characterizations soon get their hooks into you."

Posted Feb 25, 2008

Annie Wagner

29 56%

Charlie Bartlett (2007)

"In this era of the slick, soundtrack-propelled high-school movie, it's refreshing to see one that tries to chew too much."

Posted Feb 20, 2008

Andrew Wright

30 62%

Diary of the Dead (2007)

"[Drowns]its predecessors' virtues in what feels like an endless Mad Lib of Wired magazine buzzwords ... If America's defining doomcryer is right that today's audiences need this much spoon-feeding, then his latest and least film is scarier than it seems."

Posted Feb 13, 2008

Andrew Wright

31 12%

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (AVP 2) (2007)

"It's a Wonderful Life is no longer the most depressing Christmas movie ever made."

Posted Dec 26, 2007

Andrew Wright

32 82%

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

"An extremely entertaining conversation starter of a movie, of the sort earmarked for a better-than-average night out with the folks. Depending, of course, on their tolerance for scenes involving talky naked strippers in hot tubs."

Posted Dec 19, 2007

Andrew Wright

33 44%

The Color of Freedom (2007)

"Another well-meaning, dopily prosaic movie of the sort that often gets a mercy nomination thrown its way ... Does a severe disservice to a truly great history."

Posted Dec 12, 2007

Andrew Wright

34 70%

I Am Legend (2007)

"A largely terrific, meanly gripping movie ... nearly upended by the use of some noticeably lousy CGI effects. Ditch the computers, slather some greasepaint on some extras, and we'd be talking a minor classic."

Posted Dec 12, 2007

Andrew Wright

35 56%

What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)

"An almost unwatchable film."

Posted Dec 3, 2007

Annie Wagner

36 85%

War Dance (2007)

"Children in dire situations can be a tricky, quasi-exploitive subject for filmmakers ... but it's handled here in a responsible, occasionally joyous fashion. You can still feel your heartstrings being pulled, but when it's done this well, it's tough to be"

Posted Nov 30, 2007

Andrew Wright

37 14%

Hitman (2007)

"Rooted firmly on the positive side of good and dumb ... Whether you go for it or not may ultimately depend on your feelings about a movie that helpfully explains its locations with onscreen captions like "London: England" and "Moscow: Russia.""

Posted Nov 21, 2007

Andrew Wright

38 52%

Margot at the Wedding (2007)

"Brilliantly astringent ... To watch it is to see a filmmaker at the absolute top of his game, even if this particular game probably shouldn't be topped."

Posted Nov 21, 2007

Andrew Wright

39 94%

No Country for Old Men (2007)

"Call it terrifying, stunningly bleak, humane, epic, intimate, darkly funny, deadly serious, or what have you: Whatever laudatory adjectives you throw its way are going to stick."

Posted Nov 14, 2007

Andrew Wright

40 34%

P2 (2007)

"Doesn't exactly advance the genre -- think Red Eye with twice the gore and triple the dumb -- but some above-the-call performances and a nifty use of its setting make this two-hander a genuinely creepy diversion."

Posted Nov 7, 2007

Andrew Wright

41 98%

Ten Canoes (2007)

"Really a fairly amazing achievement: an engrossing, witty cultural document that doesn't feel staid in the least. All this, plus spear fights."

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Andrew Wright

42 66%

Wristcutters - A Love Story (2007)

"Enjoyably oddball without falling into molar-decaying twee ... favorably recalls the all-too-brief post-Repo Man era, when the possibilities of indie film seemed head-bustingly limitless."

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Andrew Wright

43 80%

American Gangster (2007)

"Everyone involved seems to be coasting ... Scott's gift for composition and the occasional flash of wickedness from Washington keeps this from being a bad film, precisely, just a disappointing one."

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Andrew Wright

44 27%

Waist Deep (2006)

"Would most likely have made for a decent late-night Cinemax staple, but its stabs at higher significance only bring on the giggles."

Posted Oct 21, 2007

Andrew Wright

45 74%

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

"The kind of glorious sensory rush that you can only get when a supremely confident director fully kicks out the jams. Submerged within the flash, however, is a nihilistic worldview that may be even more curdled than its predecessors."

Posted Oct 21, 2007

Andrew Wright

46 36%

Reservation Road (2007)

"Extremely well acted, admirably evenhanded, and wholly respectful of a subject that could easily devolve into Lifetime-channel schmaltz. It just fails to make much of an impression."

Posted Oct 17, 2007

Andrew Wright

47 51%

30 Days of Night (2007)

"Rises above its source material, both in plot and gut-rumbling tone. Even accounting for a few logy sequences, it's the most relentless, sustained freak-out since The Descent."

Posted Oct 17, 2007

Andrew Wright

48 64%

Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)

"Highlighted by a performance by Benicio Del Toro at his most magnetically bedraggled, this is a welcome rarity: a full-on heartstring yanker that doesn't leave the viewer feeling ill-used afterward."

Posted Oct 17, 2007

Andrew Wright

49 94%

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

"[Keeps] the book's thorny sense of morality while adding a living, breathing Boston atmosphere that most veteran directors would be proud of. It's a great movie."

Posted Oct 17, 2007

Andrew Wright

50 14%

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

"Devotees of the source material will no doubt grouse at the liberties taken, but [Ian] McShane does what he can to keep the torches and pitchforks at bay."

Posted Oct 5, 2007

Andrew Wright

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