Lessons of Darkness - Rotten Tomatoes

Lessons of Darkness

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 93%

Looper (2012)

" A scintillating neo-noir gem of existential quandaries and inescapable fatalism. "

Posted Sep 30, 2012

Nick Schager

2 85%

The Master (2012)

" At once explosive and ramshackle, unpredictable and expertly modulated, it's a magnetic performance [by Phoenix]. "

Posted Sep 13, 2012

Nick Schager

3 86%

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

" Subpar material gets a tonal and aesthetic - and, by extension, thematic - boost from directorial virtuosity in David Fincher's American remake. "

Posted Dec 13, 2011

Nick Schager

4 83%

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

" Bolstered by a superb cast and ... a very subtle, sly black-humor drollness, Tinker Tailor generates tension from both its aesthetic and narrative stillness. "

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Nick Schager

5 75%

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

" Spielberg takes full advantage of not only CG's anything-goes potential but also of 3D. "

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Nick Schager

6 89%

The Descendants (2011)

" Wants to be mature but can't help shortchanging its drama through constant reliance on its protagonist's unimpeachable nobility. "

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Nick Schager

7 71%

Carnage (2011)

" Offsets its familiar thematic arguments with deliciously nasty wit and fractured, tension-wracked visual framing. "

Posted Oct 1, 2011

Nick Schager

8 92%

Take Shelter (2011)

" Nichols' formally assured direction exhibits dawning-dread restraint through slow zooms and tense framing. "

Posted Sep 30, 2011

Nick Schager

9 94%

Moneyball (2011)

" Recognizes that sometimes, happily-ever-afters are more complicated than uplifting Hollywood films can manage. "

Posted Sep 30, 2011

Nick Schager

10 82%

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

" A reasonably muscular popcorn film with a surprisingly tender soul. "

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Nick Schager

11 28%

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

" Pap in service of wistfulness about a time period now thoroughly mocked to death. "

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Nick Schager

12 93%

Drive (2011)

" [Refn's] stewardship is as precise and magnetic as Gosling's performance. "

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Nick Schager

13 45%

3 (2011)

" Rarely gets deep enough under [its characters'] skin to make them seem like more than devices in a socio-political thesis. "

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Nick Schager

14 84%

Contagion (2011)

" A portrait of the terrifying fragility of the tangled biological, social and emotional networks that govern our lives. "

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Nick Schager

15 67%

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

" A pleasant-enough trifle that ensnares itself in the uneasy middle ground between indie drama and dumb-guy comedy. "

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Nick Schager

16 90%

Attack the Block (2011)

" Evokes far more childlike Spielbergian wonder than this summer's similar Super 8. "

Posted Jul 26, 2011

Nick Schager

17 91%

Tabloid (2011)

" Morris' lightest, most amusing film since 1997's Fast, Cheap & Out of Control. "

Posted Jul 12, 2011

Nick Schager

18 36%

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

" So totally surpassing its aggro-testosterone dictates that it plays out like an assault or, more precisely still, like a final conquering salvo. "

Posted Jun 30, 2011

Nick Schager

19 32%

The Ward (2011)

" A musty shadow of the filmmaker's smart and stylish classics. "

Posted Jun 28, 2011

Nick Schager

20 85%

Cedar Rapids (2011)

" Hopelessly benign but still boisterous enough to deliver a mild buzz. "

Posted Jun 28, 2011

Nick Schager

21 26%

Green Lantern (2011)

" A tedious hodgepodge of rote conflicts and character hang-ups. "

Posted Jun 24, 2011

Nick Schager

22 86%

Submarine (2011)

" Oliver's oddball earnestness and desperation [come] across as wan affectations. "

Posted Jun 24, 2011

Nick Schager

23 10%

Red Riding Hood (2011)

" What truly needs abolishing is the notion that the wretched Twilight saga is worth emulating. "

Posted Jun 24, 2011

Nick Schager

24 85%

Donnie Darko (2001)

" Defines itself through sustained mood, otherworldly intrigue and deep, abiding humanism. "

Posted Jun 20, 2011

Nick Schager

25 34%

Hall Pass (2011)

" Wilson and Sudeikis make an amusingly goofy pair. "

Posted Jun 19, 2011

Nick Schager

26 94%

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

" Captures an aura of existential despondence that's married to a far less evocative (and durable) strain of counterculture romantic doom. "

Posted Jun 19, 2011

Nick Schager

27 59%

Kaboom (2011)

" Isn't anarchic and invigorated but sloppy and limp. "

Posted Jun 16, 2011

Nick Schager

28 58%

Fear X (2003)

" The director captures a sense of hazy, harrowing obsession that's amplified by his immaculate camera set-ups and pans. "

Posted Jun 15, 2011

Nick Schager

29 45%

Drive Angry (2011)

" A rather straightforward supernatural-heroism tale straining oh-so-very-hard to be indecent. "

Posted Jun 15, 2011

Nick Schager

30 92%

Pusher III: I'm the Angel of Death (2005)

" Expands [the trilogy's] overarching vision of underworld nastiness, the universal yearning for escape, and the cruel hand of fate. "

Posted Jun 9, 2011

Nick Schager

31 100%

Pusher II: With Blood On My Hands (2004)

" Doesn't so much carve out new ground as merely provide jolt after electric jolt. "

Posted Jun 9, 2011

Nick Schager

32 81%

Pusher (1999)

" Refn's electrifying debut soon morphs into something far more opaque and unsettling than a mere genre retread. "

Posted Jun 9, 2011

Nick Schager

33 No Score Yet

Home Movie (2008)

" Its characters' behavior eventually becomes so implausible as to be insulting. "

Posted Jun 9, 2011

Nick Schager

34 100%

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

" Laced with a fatalism as romantic as its Beantown milieu is damp and grungy. "

Posted Jun 8, 2011

Nick Schager

35 93%

Bigger Than Life (1956) (1956)

" A masterful melodrama whose aesthetic beauty works in service of a stinging social critique. "

Posted Jun 8, 2011

Nick Schager

36 28%

Takers (2010)

" A mini-Michael Mann effort populated by one-dimensional clichés. "

Posted Jun 8, 2011

Nick Schager

37 81%

The Holy Mountain (1973)

" A rambling stream-of-consciousness quest that - in its final, self-conscious act - celebrates the primacy of the filmed image. "

Posted Jun 8, 2011

Nick Schager

38 87%

X-Men: First Class (2011)

" Serviceable but seems more dutiful than dynamic, and is muddled by all sorts of random false notes. "

Posted Jun 6, 2011

Nick Schager

39 77%

El Topo (1970)

" Has lost little of the maddening, bewildering weirdness that made it a seminal midnight-movie phenomenon. "

Posted Jun 5, 2011

Nick Schager

40 21%

The Rite (2011)

" Parades about with a self-seriousness at odds with a second-half dominated by veiny-faced, limb-contorting special effects and screaming, screaming, screaming. "

Posted Jun 5, 2011

Nick Schager

41 36%

Vampires (1998)

" A suspense-free snark-fest desperate to turn its protagonist - vampire slayer Jack Crow (James Woods) - into a Snake Plisskin-style icon of supernatural-badass cool. "

Posted Jun 5, 2011

Nick Schager

42 61%

The Rocketeer (1991)

" Almost never takes thrilling flight. "

Posted Jun 1, 2011

Nick Schager

43 63%

Carriers (2009)

" Brings absolutely nothing new to the table. "

Posted Jun 1, 2011

Nick Schager

44 43%

The Green Hornet (2011)

" Aside from a brief split-screen sequence and a few deft special-effects, there's almost no sizzle to this goofy take on superheroics. "

Posted Jun 1, 2011

Nick Schager

45 79%

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

" A feast for the senses that fails to satisfy the heart, libido or mind. "

Posted Jun 1, 2011

Nick Schager

46 71%

Valhalla Rising (2010)

" Mikkelsen verifies that, even without saying a word, he's an unnervingly unhinged presence. "

Posted May 31, 2011

Nick Schager

47 72%

Hanna (2011)

" Folklore undercurrents that prove initially spry and intriguing are soon rendered ... leadenly obvious. "

Posted May 31, 2011

Nick Schager

48 37%

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

" A perfunctory and unintentionally goofy attempt to keep the series running without its stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. "

Posted May 31, 2011

Nick Schager

49 46%

Hoodwinked (2005)

" Somnambulistic from start to finish, it's a film whose title clearly refers to its paying-customer audience. "

Posted May 31, 2011

Nick Schager

Authors