Philadelphia Inquirer

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 94%

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

"Burton, the man who gave us Batman, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, is incapable of a conventional idea. His take on the holiday fairy tale is delightfully off the wall."

Posted Dec 3, 2013

Desmond Ryan

2 65%

Mob City: Season 1 (TV, 2013)

" Its hyper-stylized noirish look is smashing. Cool music, too, from Mark Isham. "

Posted Dec 3, 2013

David Hiltbrand

3 84%

The Armstrong Lie (2013)

"The Armstrong Lie is eye-opening and myth-shattering and more than a little depressing."

Posted Nov 29, 2013

Steven Rea

4 93%

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime) (1999)

"Anyone who relishes seeing the reach and scope of the genre redefined should not miss this marvelously accomplished picture."

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Desmond Ryan

5 92%

Philomena (2013)

"A true story that takes unexpected, unusually poignant turns."

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Steven Rea

6 42%

Homefront (2013)

"Ryder rockets to such heights of emoting that she looks like she could black out from lack of oxygen."

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Steven Rea

7 42%

Oldboy (2013)

"Brings to mind Samuel Johnson's famous 18th-century witticism, likening a woman preaching to a dog walking on its hind legs: "It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.""

Posted Nov 27, 2013

David Hiltbrand

8 48%

Black Nativity (2013)

"Black Nativity offers a whopping serving of Yuletide emotion. And it's a musical - with plenty of wailing and rapping on the side."

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Steven Rea

9 89%

Frozen (2013)

"Frozen establishes a strong, confident tone: Cool mythology, rich, vivid animation, and 3-D effects that are actually worth seeing, not just migraine-inducing distractions."

Posted Nov 27, 2013

David Hiltbrand

10 100%

The Witches (1990)

"The Witches is a slow-to-get-going but ultimately entertaining yarn about a nasty coven conspiring to turn Britain's entire populace of single-digiters into mice."

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Steven Rea

11 92%

Nebraska (2013)

"The pain and hope and sense of loss are all there in Dern's eyes, in Woody's stolid willfulness, his shaky gait."

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Steven Rea

12 93%

Mother Of George (2013)

"After a while it's hard to take Dosunmu's barrage of off-center compositions ... dialogue sequences that have the actor converse with empty space, and close-ups that reduce faces and objects to blobs of light."

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Tirdad Derakhshani

13 38%

Delivery Man (2013)

"Delivery Man, with its democratic band of half-siblings and its feel-good view of humankind, is what it is: a reproductive remake that will make you laugh. More than once or twice."

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Steven Rea

14 88%

Delicatessen (1991)

"With its molelike inhabitants, its sprawling war between flesh-eaters and lentil-men, its achingly sweet love story and surrealist blend of dusty antiquities and 21st-century gizmos, Delicatessen is indescribably wild."

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Steven Rea

15 78%

The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus) (1995)

"Essentially, The City of Lost Children is a macabre fairy tale, and while its tentacled comic-book plot and freak-show cast narrow its appeal -- this isn't a work of any allegorical depth -- Caro and Jeunet have pulled off a cinematic delight."

Posted Nov 20, 2013

Steven Rea

16 94%

Aladdin (1992)

"Forget about the lamp. Aladdin is all anyone could wish for in holiday entertainment."

Posted Nov 19, 2013

Desmond Ryan

17 89%

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

"Bigger, better and broodier than the first film."

Posted Nov 19, 2013

Steven Rea

18 93%

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

"James and the Giant Peach shines with weird, whimsical invention."

Posted Nov 18, 2013

Steven Rea

19 94%

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1998)

"One of the most voluptuously beautiful films ever imagined, Munchausen naturally assumes that surrealism is preferable, that through make-believe we find the way to true beliefs."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Carrie Rickey

20 92%

The Little Mermaid (1989)

"The latest Disney offering looks back to the studio's unrivaled heritage. It has the look of classic animation. More important, it has the skill required to make it work."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Desmond Ryan

21 85%

Santa sangre (Holy Blood) (1990)

"You can say this: It is never boring."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Carrie Rickey

22 27%

Charlie Countryman (2013)

"There's underworld intrigue, and Bucharest gets to show itself off nicely."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Steven Rea

23 93%

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

"Just about everything is right with Dallas Buyers Club, beginning with Matthew McConaughey's literally transformative portrayal."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Steven Rea

24 46%

The Book Thief (2013)

"The Holocaust has never looked so beautiful."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Steven Rea

25 81%

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

"The Broken Circle Breakdown deftly juggles some heavy-duty themes: not just the crisis of cancer, parents faced with the possible loss of a child, but the eternal questions."

Posted Nov 15, 2013

Steven Rea

26 76%

Kill Your Darlings (2013)

"Kill Your Darlings is a tale of inspiration, then, but also a tale of jealousy, obsession, homophobia, and homicide. It's a whirlwind."

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Steven Rea

27 65%

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

"Its monsters and angry armies and visual effects are interchangeable with Peter Jackson's Tolkien pics, with Clash of the Titans, with The Avengers, with Man of Steel, and on and on."

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Steven Rea

28 65%

Great Expectations (2013)

"Honors the source while making some small but significant alterations."

Posted Nov 8, 2013

David Hiltbrand

29 67%

How I Live Now (2013)

"How I Live Now manages to fuse a teen love story, steeped in alienation and hurt, with a near-future nightmare thriller."

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Steven Rea

30 100%

American Masters: Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin' ()

"While worthy, this is hardly an intimate portrait. And that opacity would have suited its subject just fine. He preferred to keep people, by and large, at a comfortable hearing distance. And Jimi always had the amplifiers cranked to 11."

Posted Nov 5, 2013

David Hiltbrand

31 70%

Man of Tai Chi (2013)

"A glorious romp of a martial-arts thwack-fest ..."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Steven Rea

32 18%

Free Birds (2013)

"A stale turkey hash that heaves a lot of ingredients in the oven but never turns on the gas, a frantic attempt to come up with an animated film built around Thanksgiving Day traditions."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

David Hiltbrand

33 91%

Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)

"This three-hour portrait of a young French woman named Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) captures the dizzying, all-consuming ardor of first love, the joyous discovery of bringing your body and mind into union with another human being."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Steven Rea

34 98%

Let The Fire Burn (2013)

"Piecing the components together, and only sparingly deploying intertitle cards for clarity, Let the Fire Burn brings this 28-year-old tragedy front and center again - vividly, viscerally."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Steven Rea

35 8%

Diana (2013)

"This is a TV movie all the way, in the pre-HBO network shlock sense of the term."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Steven Rea

36 60%

Ender's Game (2013)

"Butterfield brings lots of adolescent earnestness to his role, and Hailee Steinfeld is an affable sidekick."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Steven Rea

37 47%

Last Vegas (2013)

"Just call this movie The Hangover: AARP Strikes Back."

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Tirdad Derakhshani

38 91%

Nobody's Fool (1994)

"The principal pleasure of this film directed by Robert Benton is that its characters are carefully drawn and developed rather than applied like so many decals on a two- dimensional wintry landscape."

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Carrie Rickey

39 47%

My Fellow Americans (1996)

"Using talent of this order on a script this weak, along with merely decorative appearances by the likes of Lauren Bacall and Wilford Brimley, amounts to the Hollywood equivalent of government waste."

Posted Oct 22, 2013

Desmond Ryan

40 67%

Things Never Said (2013)

"The result may not be a big movie, but Things Never Said makes a big emotional impact."

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Carrie Rickey

41 50%

A.C.O.D. (2013)

"Watching Jenkins and O'Hara go at it (in more ways than one) is especially terrific fun."

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Steven Rea

42 37%

The Fifth Estate (2013)

"The problem with director Bill Condon's fictionalized account of all this is that, like WikiLeaks itself, there's way too much data to sift through."

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Steven Rea

43 49%

Escape Plan (2013)

"A mildly amusing, if ultimately pointless prison-break thriller from Mikael Håfström."

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Tirdad Derakhshani

44 49%

Carrie (2013)

"If you're going to take another stab at this tale of a taunted, traumatized teen who exacts fiery revenge on, well, everyone, then Kimberly Peirce is the director to do it."

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Steven Rea

45 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"There is incredible tension in this ordeal, this effort to survive, to find rescue, and Redford - an icon of the American film experience for more than half a century now - makes that tension deeply palpable."

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Steven Rea

46 29%

Machete Kills (2013)

"Machete Kills is a film in which style sardonically routs substance, a cloying gag built around the iconic quality of Trejo's matchlessly craggy face, which resembles a plate of sundried corned beef."

Posted Oct 15, 2013

David Hiltbrand

47 36%

Ghost Team One (2013)

"A terrible yet lovable take on the haunted-house yarn."

Posted Oct 11, 2013

Tirdad Derakhshani

48 61%

The Summit (2013)

"At once repetitive and puzzling. There is a lot of finger-pointing. Assertions are made, theories offered, but not much in the way of certainty."

Posted Oct 11, 2013

Steven Rea

49 85%

We Are What We Are (2013)

"We Are What We Are doesn't waste time with cheap scares. Mickle keeps his story on a steady, slow simmer, transporting us minute by minute into the very heart of dread."

Posted Oct 11, 2013

Tirdad Derakhshani

50 96%

Muscle Shoals (2013)

"Like 20 Feet From Stardom, another standout music doc of 2013, Muscle Shoals skillfully shines a light on unheralded musicians whose names usually are not illuminated."

Posted Oct 11, 2013

Dan DeLuca

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