Baltimore Sun

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 92%

Men in Black (1997)

"[Director Barry Sonnenfeld] establishes the premise in the wildly entertaining first 45 minutes and then glides along for the rest of the film on the strength of a poker-faced comic sensibility."

Posted Aug 12, 2014

Michael Ollove

2 93%

Speed (1994)

"Speed kills -- it kills wit, character, charm and empathy. But it does go fast. Since that is its sole reason for existence, one must say it achieves its narrow goal brilliantly."

Posted Aug 11, 2014

Stephen Hunter

3 21%

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

"Really stupid."

Posted Aug 6, 2014

Stephen Hunter

4 31%

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

"The plot, as primitive as it is, still isn't very clear; it never acquires the spontaneity or the force of a true "story" but seems to exist mainly as a pretext for the familiar Ninja banter so beloved of the cult, as in "Cowabunga, dudes," and such forth"

Posted Aug 6, 2014

Stephen Hunter

5 89%

The Honorable Woman: Season 1 (TV, 2014-2015)

" The Honorable Woman is the kind of fiction that speaks to deeper truths. "

Posted Jul 31, 2014

David Zurawik

6 10%

Woo (1998)

"It would all be easier to take if the title character were presented with an ounce of charm. Woo is much too selfish, insensitive and narcissistic for audiences to want to buy her, and Smith is still much too self-conscious an actress to sell her."

Posted Jul 26, 2014

Ann Hornaday

7 72%

The Ring (2002)

"The Ring doesn't have the wiliness or conviction to exploit either a single mother's guilt over child neglect or our collective queasiness over potential bad seeds. It merely alternates these themes and toys with them."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Michael Sragow

8 10%

I Dreamed of Africa (2000)

"Here's hoping your own dreams of Africa are more interesting -- and better acted -- than this movie."

Posted Jul 23, 2014

Chris Kaltenbach

9 6%

Son of the Pink Panther (1993)

"What's missing? Zest, creativity, density, paprika, astonishment, speed. Most of all: speed. Slapstick is like basketball -- if it doesn't happen fast, it doesn't happen."

Posted Jul 23, 2014

Stephen Hunter

10 6%

A Smile Like Yours (1997)

"On paper, infertility would seem a distasteful subject matter for light comedy. On screen, it only gets worse."

Posted Jul 22, 2014

Michael Ollove

11 7%

Man Trouble (1992)

"It's not just bad, it's rancid."

Posted Jul 18, 2014

Stephen Hunter

12 100%

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 4 (TV, 2004)

" One of the joys of Curb Your Enthusiasm is the way each episode finishes in a collision of subplots. "

Posted Jul 16, 2014

Matthew Gilbert

13 10%

My Boyfriend's Back (1993)

"Even viewers able to get past the disturbing setup of the film's critical plot element will find an uneven mess of under-realized ideas and overdone grotesqueries."

Posted Jul 15, 2014

Steve McKerrow

14 15%

Dead Man on Campus (1998)

"The jokes are few. And the only real reason you'll laugh is that, by the time they appear on screen, you've been waiting so long for the opportunity, you'll laugh at anything."

Posted Jul 15, 2014

Chris Kaltenbach

15 14%

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992)

"There is definitely a gun in Betty Lou's handbag, but is there a brain in Betty Lou's head?"

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Stephen Hunter

16 5%

The Avengers (1998)

"A few things you might consider doing instead of seeing The Avengers: Walking the dog. Turning the compost. Re-grouting the bathtub. Starting your 1999 taxes. Buying a dog. Starting a compost heap."

Posted Jul 8, 2014

Ann Hornaday

17 11%

Batman & Robin (1997)

"Clooney manages to keep even these scenes afloat with consistent good humor and unforced charm."

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Michael Ollove

18 12%

Striptease (1996)

"Although the movie is a bit too long, oddball humor and a likable cast keep it entertaining."

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Chris Kridler

19 20%

I Love Trouble (1994)

"You can tell that they like each other by the way they hate each other. Shakespeare may have invented the recipe, Tracy and Hepburn may have refined it, but Nolte and Roberts certainly hold their own."

Posted Jun 17, 2014

Stephen Hunter

20 17%

Wild Wild West (1999)

"Bolstered by a subtly funny supporting turn by Kevin Kline and a scenery-chewing performance by Kenneth Branagh, Smith carries the movie with his signature ease."

Posted Jun 17, 2014

Ann Hornaday

21 54%

The Doors (1991)

"The flaw in the film is its unrelenting tone of bombast. It never gives you a break. You ache for a moment of quietude, an escape from the lizard king's cranium."

Posted Jun 17, 2014

Stephen Hunter

22 29%

3 Ninjas (1992)

"3 Ninjas isn't a movie, it's a concept for a preview."

Posted Jun 16, 2014

Stephen Hunter

23 89%

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1 (TV, 2000)

" All right, already, I like the series. "

Posted Jun 9, 2014

David Zurawik

24 39%

Armageddon (1998)

"By the time Bay and Bruckheimer appropriate John F. Kennedy's image in their final small-town-America montage, it's clear their pomposity knows no limits."

Posted Jun 6, 2014

Ann Hornaday

25 99%

L.A. Confidential (1997)

"A glamorous, alluring entertainment that revels in the artifice of Hollywood while exposing its corrupt heart, L.A. Confidential pays stylish homage to some of the great film noirs of the distant and recent past."

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Ann Hornaday

26 81%

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

"Cracked and beautiful, stranger than strange, yet in some assuring way so pulsing with life that it embraces you as warmly as Father Knows Best."

Posted Jun 2, 2014

Stephen Hunter

27 81%

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

"It's a very poetic film. That is, it includes images that may mean more to the director than the spectator, but the film is an interesting one."

Posted Jun 2, 2014

Lou Cedrone

28 73%

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

"It doesn't quite have the courage to face its own implications and so leaves the story that follows in a kind of blur apt to offend no one but equally incapable of moving anyone."

Posted Jun 2, 2014

Stephen Hunter

29 100%

The Wire: Season 5 (TV, 2008)

" The Baltimore-based series is still one of the most daring dramas in the history of the medium. "

Posted May 30, 2014

David Zurawik

30 25%

Pearl Harbor (2001)

"Those who should be offended are American veterans. Their service has been reduced to a sentimental fable of two heroic pilots and their noble lass proving their gumption and their bravery. Even as a tall tale, it's puny."

Posted May 27, 2014

Michael Sragow

31 66%

The Rock (1996)

"Connery and Cage are a compelling team and redeem the film from ruin despite the mechanical plot, an excessive body count and a miraculous recovery (you'll know it when you see it)."

Posted May 27, 2014

Chris Kridler

32 80%

Singles (1992)

"Infernally precious."

Posted May 19, 2014

Stephen Hunter

33 93%

The Normal Heart (2014)

"HBO's The Normal Heart will do something to you that TV rarely does: rock you to your emotional roots."

Posted May 19, 2014

David Zurawik

34 100%

The Wire: Season 3 (TV, 2004)

" Moments like Cole's wake... make it one of the most uplifting and ultimately transcendent dramas television has ever offered. "

Posted May 16, 2014

David Zurawik

35 82%

The Wire: Season 1 (TV, 2002)

" Those who stick with the show for two or three episodes are going to find themselves caring about people with whom they may never have imagined becoming acquainted. "

Posted May 15, 2014

David Zurawik

36 46%

The Babe (1992)

"It's a movie with a heart as big as the Babe's and a story line as untidy as his eating binges."

Posted May 9, 2014

Stephen Hunter

37 46%

For Love of the Game (1999)

"Vanity is one thing, but Costner's act is beginning to feel like a particularly self-righteous -- and tiresome -- form of pathology. Someone should tell him that an actor's job is to disappear into his characters, not vice-versa."

Posted May 8, 2014

Ann Hornaday

38 57%

The Sandlot (1993)

"You feel as if you're being smothered in cotton candy by a director obsessed with infantility and who cannot bear to face the reality of childhood."

Posted May 7, 2014

Stephen Hunter

39 5%

'Til There Was You (1997)

"Very little is amusing in all of this; the lighting is murky, the sound is mumbly, and will someone please tell the piano player to knock it off?"

Posted May 5, 2014

Michael Ollove

40 84%

24: Live Another Day (TV, 2014)

" The Jack-as-wounded-hero archetype had been wrung dry long ago, and Live Another Day does nothing to find new life for it. "

Posted May 5, 2014

David Zurawik

41 9%

Drop Dead Fred (1991)

"The film is in desperate need of flow. It plays like a collection of bits, skits that have been thrown together with little eye to continuity."

Posted May 5, 2014

Lou Cedrone

42 4%

Cool World (1992)

"Much ballyhooed, much-advertised, the live-action/animation feature is much disaster. Not even an animated Kim Basinger dancing the hoochie-coochie can save it from its own death-wish combination of outsized ambition and undersized budget."

Posted May 4, 2014

Stephen Hunter

43 23%

A Stranger Among Us (1992)

"If I were a rich man, I wouldn't have had to see A Stranger Among Us."

Posted May 3, 2014

Stephen Hunter

44 10%

Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)

"The movie is like an advertisement for the 19 recently banned assault weapons."

Posted May 2, 2014

Stephen Hunter

45 84%

My Cousin Vinny (2001)

"I don't want to oversell My Cousin Vinny. It's hardly brilliant. But it's easygoing and occasionally quite funny and ultimately satisfying."

Posted Apr 30, 2014

Stephen Hunter

46 86%

Heat (1995)

"This is glandular, not intellectual, movie-making but it's at the highest end of technical expressiveness."

Posted Apr 29, 2014

Stephen Hunter

47 50%

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

"In the end, and only just barely, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves delivers the goods, chiefly on the power of a thumpingly vibrant last 40 minutes and some excellent swordplay choreography."

Posted Apr 25, 2014

Stephen Hunter

48 97%

Spirited Away (2001)

"Watching the Japanese cartoon epic Spirited Away is like strolling into Alice's Wonderland and seeing every wonder sprout up around you as if for the first time."

Posted Apr 23, 2014

Michael Sragow

49 94%

Fargo (1996)

"It's a miracle: A tough, honest, bloody film set so far from the bright lights it feels as if it's on a different planet, yet knowable and absolutely compelling from start to finish. Fargo is great American movie-making."

Posted Apr 21, 2014

Stephen Hunter

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