Kansas City Star

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 51%

Contraband (2012)

"It's pedestrian filmmaking, and this cast deserves better."

Posted Jan 12, 2012

Ann Lewinson

2 83%

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

""Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" unfolds inside its own impenetrable environment, with director Alfredson turning a cold shoulder to the audience."

Posted Jan 5, 2012

Jon Niccum

3 94%

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011)

""Being Elmo" is that rare piece of nonfiction filmmaking that begets cross-generational appeal."

Posted Jan 5, 2012

Jon Niccum

4 66%

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

"Without Crowe's laid-back approach and Damon's anchoring performance, We Bought a Zoo could have been a sappy disaster."

Posted Dec 23, 2011

Loey Lockerby

5 98%

The Artist (2011)

"This is not some clinical dissection of bygone cinematic techniques; it's a lively, appealing effort that mostly rises above mere novelty."

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Jon Niccum

6 77%

War Horse (2011)

"Who among us cannot be moved by a brave horse in harm's way?"

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Robert Trussell

7 75%

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

"Spielberg keeps a Hardy Boys-style innocence to the sleuthing while maintaining an Indiana Jones-type intensity for the relentless action sequences."

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Jon Niccum

8 86%

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

"A satisfying thriller and welcome counter-programming for the Christmas season."

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Ann Lewinson

9 60%

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

"The seemingly convoluted story line does manage to eventually bind together, with a wry commentary on the military-industrial complex to boot. "

Posted Dec 15, 2011

Jon Niccum

10 93%

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)

"Bird shows he can handle exotic locales and action sequences of James Bond-like proportions."

Posted Dec 15, 2011

Jon Niccum

11 7%

New Year's Eve (2011)

"The film is intended to be a romantic comedy. But its flat direction, stock punch lines, insipid musical numbers and suffocating swarm of characters make it horrifying."

Posted Dec 8, 2011

Jon Niccum

12 100%

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone (2011)

""Everyday Sunshine" presents a raw lesson in how artistry and success often make incompatible partners."

Posted Dec 1, 2011

Jon Niccum

13 78%

Melancholia (2011)

"Lars von Trier has created a deeply personal examination of the the extremes of depression. This isn't a film about the 'global' end of the world. It's a film about what the end of the world inside one person feels like."

Posted Nov 28, 2011

Eric Melin

14 89%

The Descendants (2011)

"The Descendants finds Payne, now 50, having arrived in midlife with a new maturity, eschewing solipsism and snickers for a deeper engagement with the world."

Posted Nov 23, 2011

Ann Lewinson

15 91%

Arthur Christmas (2011)

""Arthur Christmas" is sometimes a bit hectic in its execution, but overall it's a fine addition to the pantheon of wacky cinematic speculation about how Santa gets the job done."

Posted Nov 23, 2011

Jon Niccum

16 96%

The Muppets (2011)

"This new musical comedy is pretty close to being the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational effort to hit screens this year."

Posted Nov 22, 2011

Jon Niccum

17 73%

Like Crazy (2011)

"Simple, subtle and disarmingly powerful."

Posted Nov 17, 2011

Jon Niccum

18 24%

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)

"Fangirls, you have nothing to be ashamed of."

Posted Nov 17, 2011

Sharon Hoffmann

19 43%

J. Edgar (2011)

"Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the role of J. Edgar Hoover with his usual gusto, but the resulting film offers a detached, meandering account of the controversial figure."

Posted Nov 10, 2011

Jon Niccum

20 92%

Take Shelter (2011)

"This unsettling, hypnotic drama boasts a quietly powerful performance by Michael Shannon as Curtis, a man succumbing to apocalyptic visions."

Posted Nov 3, 2011

Jon Niccum

21 68%

Tower Heist (2011)

"Remember when Eddie Murphy was funny? Dangerous? Entertaining? Thankfully, "Tower Heist" does also."

Posted Nov 3, 2011

Jon Niccum

22 46%

Anonymous (2011)

"Overlong, labyrinthine and most certainly speculative in its history, "Anonymous" benefits from a central conceit that is too intriguing to be dismissed."

Posted Nov 3, 2011

Jon Niccum

23 84%

Puss in Boots (2011)

"Visually, this project ranks among the best animated efforts to embrace the 3-D craze."

Posted Oct 27, 2011

Jon Niccum

24 50%

The Rum Diary (2011)

"Slow and strangely conventional -- two words that should never apply to Thompson or his work."

Posted Oct 27, 2011

Loey Lockerby

25 71%

Footloose (2011)

""Footloose" is still too long and too square to jump up and down about. But it offers a mild diversion for those who still believe "the music is on his side.""

Posted Oct 13, 2011

Jon Niccum

26 35%

The Thing (2011)

"Van Heijningen is clearly a fan who approached this project with due respect. If only he'd had enough respect not to make it in the first place."

Posted Oct 13, 2011

Loey Lockerby

27 60%

Real Steel (2011)

"Every cliché from sports movies, underdog stories and father-son dramas is trotted out and played with a straight face."

Posted Oct 6, 2011

Loey Lockerby

28 85%

The Ides of March (2011)

"A collision of devious campaign tricks and backroom power plays, "The Ides of March" develops into one of the sharpest political thrillers in years... and a worthy front-runner at the next Oscars."

Posted Oct 6, 2011

Jon Niccum

29 93%

50/50 (2011)

"Gordon-Levitt capitalizes on the best role of his career, one that justifies a potential Oscar nomination."

Posted Sep 29, 2011

Jon Niccum

30 94%

Moneyball (2011)

""Moneyball" isn't ultimately about baseball as much as it is an exploration of those who do and don't adapt to change. "

Posted Sep 23, 2011

Jon Niccum

31 93%

Drive (2011)

"It's apparent from the opening credits that Drive is all about the unexpected."

Posted Sep 15, 2011

Shannon Hood

32 84%

Contagion (2011)

"Hypochondriacs might want to steer clear of "Contagion." Others should find this procedural thriller about the outbreak of a deadly disease to be an informative, disquieting and mildly entertaining experience."

Posted Sep 8, 2011

Jon Niccum

33 90%

Attack the Block (2011)

"While it lacks originality, Attack the Block zooms along with energy and deadpan humor."

Posted Sep 1, 2011

Loey Lockerby

34 33%

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)

"Despite a game cast and some scattered big laughs, the comedy is often vulgar when subtlety is required and timid when it should go over-the-top."

Posted Sep 1, 2011

Jon Niccum

35 77%

The Debt (2011)

"The Debt is particularly memorable for an original, jaw-dropping plot twist."

Posted Aug 31, 2011

Jon Niccum

36 67%

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

"The comedic targets, such as ultracompetitive elementary schools and terrible stand-up comics, are overly familiar."

Posted Aug 25, 2011

Ann Lewinson

37 73%

Sarah's Key (2011)

""Sarah's Key" uses this buried historical incident as a springboard for a potent tale of survival, guilt and hard-nosed reporting."

Posted Aug 18, 2011

Jon Niccum

38 72%

Fright Night (2011)

"Ultimately, it's a solid update of a fondly remembered minor hit."

Posted Aug 18, 2011

Jon Niccum

39 45%

30 Minutes or Less (2011)

"It is unrelenting in its abusive, potty-mouthed dialogue, and at times the filth threatens to disrupt the comedy. But similar to the film's main character, its manic energy always finds a way to move things forward regardless of the consequences."

Posted Aug 12, 2011

Jon Niccum

40 63%

Another Earth (2011)

"A moving, intimate story of loss and second chances."

Posted Aug 12, 2011

Loey Lockerby

41 76%

The Help (2011)

"The message is delivered in a whispered hush, but you will hear it. Because it's true what your parents said when you were young. Sometimes, a whisper carries farther than a shout."

Posted Aug 9, 2011

Maria Cote

42 82%

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

"The movie does a fine job of making one actively root for the apes to win."

Posted Aug 4, 2011

Jon Niccum

43 83%

The Double Hour (2011)

"The final resolution is easily forgotten, more of an afterthought than anything else. The fun is in the twisting, absurd journey, not the destination."

Posted Jul 29, 2011

Loey Lockerby

44 78%

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

"Even in its messiest moments, however, it never loses its sweet-natured charm. There's still plenty here to love."

Posted Jul 29, 2011

Loey Lockerby

45 44%

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

""Cowboys & Aliens" (loosely based on a 2006 graphic novel of the same name) provides a slick cinematic vehicle for two of the toughest actors of their generations."

Posted Jul 28, 2011

Jon Niccum

46 82%

Trollhunter (2011)

"An entertaining effort with "cult following" written all over it."

Posted Jul 21, 2011

Loey Lockerby

47 70%

Friends With Benefits (2011)

""Friends With Benefits" excels at identifying then deconstructing the clichés of the romantic comedy -- as "Scream" dissected horror platitudes."

Posted Jul 21, 2011

Jon Niccum

48 96%

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011)

"It works its own kind of magic, the kind that comes from a great story, well told."

Posted Jul 14, 2011

Loey Lockerby

49 69%

Horrible Bosses (2011)

"The best workplace comedy since "Office Space.""

Posted Jul 7, 2011

Jon Niccum

50 14%

Zookeeper (2011)

"Despite the voice talent, the animals don't have anything funny to say. Neither does James, serving mostly as a befuddled, clumsy straight man."

Posted Jul 7, 2011

Jason Heck

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