Ruby Sparks (2012)
"Ruby Sparks goes beyond quirky fluff and deals with relationships. Zoe Kazan rides her screenplay on a high-altitude flight of imagination. Although there's an occasional bump on the way, the landing is smooth. "
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Neil Young Journeys (2012)
"Neil Young Journeys does for some of us what a rare film can do - it revives and renews our spirit. Neil Young and Jonathan Demme. Heart and soul. Wisdom and age. Fire and ashes. Lightning and thunder. "
The Deep Blue Sea (2012)
The Monitor (Babycall) (2012)
"Norwegian director/writer Pal Sletaune appears to have been influenced by Roman Polanski, but The Monitor is more oppressive than haunting. There is little or no sense of dread. The climax is predictable. "
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
"The best quality of this film is that it shows that "blockbusters" do not have to surrender to a bombardment of special effects. They can keep intelligence and humanity. Because of that monumental lesson, this film could become an important classic. "
Stella Days (2012)
"Martin Sheen gives a lilting performance as dogged Father Barry. Sheen continues his professional and personal journey. The ending may not be as firm as one might want, but Stella Days is a further step in Martin Sheen's spiritual journey. "
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
"The contemporary world is smitten with "Reality Shows." Beasts of the Southern Wild should fit right in. It could be called "Louisiana Shore." It has a crowd of noisy people, who swill beer and nonsense. "
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
"In Monsieur Lazhar, education can prevail over its literal restrictions. Teachers may make mistakes, but the good ones emphasize independence and intelligence. And interpretation. They serve inquisitiveness, not inquisition. "
"I'm taking over for Macklin -- he can't handle the truth about bears. But I can. I'm a bear named Teddy. So this review of Ted is a peer review. Ted isn't a teddy bear's picnic. It's a raunchy blast. "
Rock of Ages (2012)
"The subtitle of Rock of Ages should be, "We Built This Sinkhole on Rock and Roll." Despite the relentless vapidity of Rock of Ages, there is one reason to see this movie -- Tom Cruise. Is a single performance enough to recommend a movie? If so, go. "
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
To Rome with Love (2012)
"In To Rome with Love, Woody is back on screen. His flippant patter is still amusing, but his persona doesn't sharpen the movie at all. His patented anxiousness is distracting. Fortunately, it doesn't distract from anything interesting. "
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
"At its best, Snow White and the Huntsman is a bold, vivid, imaginative retelling of a beloved fairy tale. It is both stark and gorgeous, bleak and beautiful. In this version, the powerful conflict is between age and youth. "
Men in Black III (2012)
"The actor and character that most humanizes the movie is Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin, the alien with the gift of seeing potential futures. Griffin is both knowing and insecure. Stuhlbarg gives an affecting performance of warmth and fearful anxiety. "
"What makes this film work is not the predictable plot and characters. It's the acting. The movie has a special cast. Even though they often are given pat sequences, the actors are crown-jewel professionals, and their talent glimmers through. "
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
"Although it takes a while to hit its stride, once it does Marvel's The Avengers is a razzle-dazzle, rip-roaring entertainment. Count on The Hulk. Once he erupts, The Avengers soars across the screen with ferocity and style. "
Sleepless Night (2012)
We Have a Pope (2012)
"Although We Have a Pope is a heady concoction, it may not have mass appeal. It is blessed with a memorable performance by Michel Piccoli as the bewildered, overwhelmed cleric. But Nanni Moretti's direction at times seems as random as Melville's journey. "
"Goon captures the humanity of the brutal - and uplifting - game of hockey that is identified so strongly with Canada. It's no coincidence that actually, Jay Baruchel has a tattoo of a maple leaf over his heart. "
The Hunger Games (2012)
"The Hunger Games is much more than a game. It is a memorable human experience. Thank the gods for the wonder of literature and the vision of movies. Some of us still hunger for eloquence on the screen. "
21 Jump Street (2012)
The Convincer (Thin Ice) (2012)
"Thin Ice is choppy, its tone jumps, it has an unnecessary voice-over, and one wonders about the easy, sappy ending. One also wonders what the original movie was like before it fell through the thin ice of manipulation. "
The Forgiveness of Blood (2012)
"In The Forgiveness of Blood, director Joshua Marston makes a brave but risky choice by keeping almost all the violence off screen. But violence -- even unseen -- ripples far beyond the original participants. "
"In the Land of Blood and Honey is a relentless, disturbing chronicle of cruelty. It is bleak and brutal. Angelina Jolie is showing this could be -- and still is -- happening in other parts of the world. "
Safe House (2012)
A Separation (2011)
"A Separation shows the human struggle for respect and a better life. It's a struggle rife with human frailty. Asghar Farhadi is a sly writer and director, and leaves us with questions that are provocative and elusive. "
"Ralph Fiennes has created a slashing, sprawling version of Shakespere's Coriolanus. It's muscular Shakespeare. It's trimmed down - but has themes and a sensibility that fit into today's society and world. "
Albert Nobbs (2012)
A Dangerous Method (2011)
"Dear Guy Ritchie: My name is Robin Hood. I need to be brought into today's world of short attention spans, nonreading, and lovable, cantankerous heroes. If you can turn Sherlock into a glib, pompous ass, imagine what you can do for me. "
War Horse (2011)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)
The Iron Lady (2012)
The Muppets (2011)
"The Muppets is a joyful mix of the nostalgic past and a vibrant present. It tops the list of family movies for the holidays. The movie asks the question, "Do you have what it takes to be one of the Muppets?" Of course, we do. "