Houston Chronicle

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 58%

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

"The Secret Life of Bees is a deeply felt, well-intentioned film about race and reverence in the summer of '64. Like the ambrosia at the center of the plot, it moves slowly and tastes sweet."

Posted Oct 17, 2008

Amy Biancolli

2 16%

Max Payne (2008)

Posted Oct 17, 2008

Amy Biancolli

3 54%

Body of Lies (2008)

"On this basic premise builds a complicated story plied with onion layers of perspective and cunning."

Posted Oct 10, 2008

Amy Biancolli

4 61%

The Express (2008)

"The Express plays for our sympathy -- and wins."

Posted Oct 10, 2008

Amy Biancolli

5 76%

Appaloosa (2008)

"From its first, mournful brass theme, Ed Harris's Appaloosa nails the look and feel of a classic Western. This is an old-style, laconically macho, six-shooting horse opera made with an obvious and unapologetic love of the genre."

Posted Oct 3, 2008

Amy Biancolli

6 43%

Blindness (2008)

"Fernando Meirelles' awkward, repulsive yet richly imagined film uses sightlessness as a trigger for the breakdown of society."

Posted Oct 3, 2008

Amy Biancolli

7 74%

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)

"An uneven but sweet-natured bop through the unstable ground of teenage lust and loneliness."

Posted Oct 3, 2008

Amy Biancolli

8 61%

The Duchess (2008)

"It isn't just eye candy; there's an active intelligence behind this design."

Posted Sep 26, 2008

Amy Biancolli

9 54%

Choke (2008)

"Gregg's unstable direction mutes the humor and confuses the schmaltz, yielding a tonally discombobulated film. And a thoroughly discombobulated critic."

Posted Sep 26, 2008

Amy Biancolli

10 85%

Ghost Town (2008)

"With lesser talent in front of the camera or a heavier hand behind it, the film might have crashed with a thud."

Posted Sep 19, 2008

Amy Biancolli

11 88%

Boy A (2007)

"It makes us feel sympathy for the devil."

Posted Sep 12, 2008

Amy Biancolli

12 0%

Surfer, Dude (2008)

"Surfer, Dude is a bizarre throwback. It feels 25-30 years out of date and seems to be meant to be watched on VHS, oops, make that DVD, while stoned."

Posted Sep 12, 2008

Louis B. Parks

13 13%

The Women (2008)

"Fourteen years in the making, The Women marks a serviceable directorial debut for English."

Posted Sep 12, 2008

Amy Biancolli

14 78%

Burn After Reading (2008)

"Burn After Reading is neither an instant classic like No Country for Old Men nor a psychedelic playground like The Big Lebowski. But it is a Coen brothers kick in the pants."

Posted Sep 12, 2008

Amy Biancolli

15 89%

Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side) (2007)

"What we don't suspect, going in, is that a film of such plain-speaking admonitions can exploit the element of surprise. Yet this heartfelt and precisely assembled drama does just that."

Posted Sep 5, 2008

Amy Biancolli

16 59%

RocknRolla (2008)

Posted Sep 4, 2008

Amy Biancolli

17 87%

Frozen River (2008)

"It moves and it heals, finding hints of redemption in the jagged face of life."

Posted Aug 29, 2008

Amy Biancolli

18 63%

Traitor (2008)

"[A] tense, talky and unusually thoughtful spy thriller."

Posted Aug 26, 2008

Amy Biancolli

19 62%

Hamlet 2 (2008)

"The more self-righteous it gets -- the more pious it is about offending people -- the less it works as a theatrical parody."

Posted Aug 22, 2008

Amy Biancolli

20 43%

Death Race (2008)

"Car-crash porn for the modern audience."

Posted Aug 22, 2008

Amy Biancolli

21 83%

Tropic Thunder (2008)

"At its best, Tropic Thunder skewers impotent directors, fascist producers, prima donna stars and classic scenes from the camo-fatigues genre."

Posted Aug 13, 2008

Amy Biancolli

22 70%

American Teen (2008)

"They all have their stories tell, some more complicated than others."

Posted Aug 8, 2008

Amy Biancolli

23 68%

Pineapple Express (2008)

"You needn't be a pothead to enjoy Pineapple Express -- the movie; I mean the movie."

Posted Aug 6, 2008

Amy Biancolli

24 63%

Brideshead Revisited (2008)

"What's missing from Goode's performance and from the film as whole is the layer upon layer of accumulated motive -- the gradual evolution of a man's complex desires and even-more-complicated fears."

Posted Aug 1, 2008

Amy Biancolli

25 13%

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

"It's serviceable summer twaddle, but you might as well see Hellboy II: The Golden Army -- similar plot, much better film."

Posted Aug 1, 2008

Amy Biancolli

26 100%

Mad Men: Season 2 (TV, 2008)

" Mad Men's strengths go deeper than the wardrobes and sets and vices of New York's rat-race businessmen. "

Posted Jul 27, 2008

Andy Gun

27 69%

The Wackness (2008)

"On the downside: There is a wackness to The Wackness, a saggy psychic undertow that drags down its lighter and smarter aspects."

Posted Jul 25, 2008

Amy Biancolli

28 32%

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

"The truth is, they're boring now."

Posted Jul 25, 2008

Amy Biancolli

29 98%

Surfwise (2007)

"A provocative documentary about a man who dropped out to follow a dream that gradually evolved into something not unlike a nightmare."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Joe Leydon

30 54%

Mamma Mia! (2008)

"If you're invited, you might as well enjoy yourself. Just don't say I didn't warn you. And don't you dare say I hate ABBA."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Amy Biancolli

31 45%

The Strangers (2008)

"At least it's short."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Amy Biancolli

32 30%

War, Inc. (2008)

"Despite flashes of comic inspiration and an abundance of anything-goes boldness, this well-intentioned but wobbly satire is a chaotic free-fire zone."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Joe Leydon

33 37%

You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008)

"Zohan is both exponentially stranger than Larry and about twice as amusing."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Amy Biancolli

34 87%

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

"The aphorisms creak. The plot's an open book. But all of those clichés are part of the joke in this ebullient ursine coming-of-age tale about a humble panda destined for greatness."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Amy Biancolli

35 67%

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

"In close-up the Hulk is more cartoonish than scary, but when he's ripping armed vehicles to shreds? Kewl."

Posted Jul 18, 2008

Amy Biancolli

36 94%

The Dark Knight (2008)

"This is not merely a Batman movie. It is not merely a comic-book movie. It is not merely gripping summer entertainment. It is, with Wall-E, one of the two best mainstream films to be released all year and far and away the most hypnotic chiller."

Posted Jul 16, 2008

Amy Biancolli

37 86%

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson (2008)

"Neatly balancing full-hearted celebration with evenhanded examination."

Posted Jul 11, 2008

Joe Leydon

38 87%

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

"Melds the original Hellboy's kibitzy humor and crushing action with Labyrinth's darkest fairy-tale imaginings."

Posted Jul 11, 2008

Amy Biancolli

39 41%

Hancock (2008)

"Credit must be paid to director Peter Berg for pulling off such a tricky balance of such diverse elements while delivering an impressive and affecting superhero adventure with as much heart and soul as sound and fury."

Posted Jul 1, 2008

Joe Leydon

40 86%

Mongol (2008)

"A thoroughly rousing hunk of celluloid, a war saga that blends the sturdiest conventions of old-fashioned heroic storytelling with a few pixilated battle enhancements - check out the soaring blood globs - of the kind that spattered across 300."

Posted Jun 27, 2008

Amy Biancolli

41 71%

Wanted (2008)

"It's a chance to watch a bullet explode from the forehead of a killer -- and an invitation to laugh at the spectacle. See what you do, then tell me who's sicker: Bekmambetov or us."

Posted Jun 27, 2008

Amy Biancolli

42 51%

Get Smart (2008)

"Chipper, energetic and unimaginatively plotted re-do."

Posted Jun 20, 2008

Amy Biancolli

43 30%

The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

"It's a sturdy film, vivid if utterly workmanlike, that builds to a crescendo of personal sacrifice and misty noble uplift."

Posted Jun 20, 2008

Amy Biancolli

44 84%

The Singing Revolution (2007)

"This fine and surprising documentary asks an even more challenging question: Can music promote nonviolence, prevent bloodshed and successfully overthrow an oppressive regime? Again -- astonishingly -- the answer is 'yes.'"

Posted Jun 20, 2008

Amy Biancolli

45 72%

And When Did You Last See Your Father? (When Did You Last See Your Father?) (2008)

"A haunting and heartfelt drama that may startle some viewers with sporadic shocks of recognition."

Posted Jun 20, 2008

Joe Leydon

46 14%

The Love Guru (2008)

"This is dangerous advice for a writer to give (talk about glass houses), but Mike Myers needs an editor. He needs someone with a fat red pen to scratch out a few of his worst bad habits."

Posted Jun 20, 2008

Amy Biancolli

47 89%

The Unforeseen (2008)

"By turns rapturously beautiful and unspeakably sad while considering the consequences of unchecked urban sprawl."

Posted Jun 6, 2008

Joe Leydon

48 79%

Standard Operating Procedure (2008)

"The result is a devastating film, and an important one."

Posted May 30, 2008

Amy Biancolli

49 59%

The Fall (2006)

"A bewitching movie, rich in ideas and humanity, and it reminds us that fiction is real to the one who imagines it. Adults might read with detachment, but kids know the truth: It matters who lives and who dies in a story. It matters for them, and for us."

Posted May 30, 2008

Amy Biancolli

50 50%

Sex and the City (2008)

"The film is by no means a masterpiece, but it's a worthy exercise in indulgence that won't disappoint the cosmo-swilling core audience. And fans won't need to swill any cosmos to enjoy it."

Posted May 30, 2008

Bobby Hankinson

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