San Francisco Examiner

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 90%

Zombieland (2009)

"At 81 minutes, Fleischer's debut is cheerfully macabre, briskly paced, brimming with demented energy, and otherwise totally disposable."

Posted Oct 24, 2009

Rossiter Drake

2 49%

Antichrist (2009)

"It is a repulsive, perplexing piece of art. It is also brutally effective. Whether that's incentive enough to sit through this film depends largely on your threshold for pain."

Posted Oct 24, 2009

Rossiter Drake

3 79%

The Informant! (2009)

"What makes the movie work is Damon's manic performance. His unflagging energy is appealing at first, but seems finally like the last recourse of a man every bit as desperate and pathetic as Tom Ripley."

Posted Sep 16, 2009

Rossiter Drake

4 89%

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

"Is this Tarantino's masterpiece, as the movie's final shot not so subtly seems to suggest? I believe it's one of them. In the end, we're left with superior storytelling from one of cinema's most talented practitioners."

Posted Aug 20, 2009

Rossiter Drake

5 51%

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

"Unlike Sargent, who trusted his story to provide the fireworks, Scott resorts to gimmicks: choppy editing, speeded-up footage that segues inexplicably into slo-mo, and pointless explosions of noise. Sometimes, less really is more."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

6 71%

Tetro (2009)

"'Tetro' is absorbing, daring and proof that, even now, Coppola's famous reach does not exceed his creative grasp."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

7 86%

500 Days of Summer (2009)

"Smartly written and refreshingly affecting on its own terms. At the very least, it will make you smile."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

8 30%

The Answer Man (Arlen Faber) (2009)

"Watchable and occasionally endearing, but it's frustrating when our good will is tested by greeting-card sentiment and assembly-line clichés."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

9 68%

Funny People (2009)

"It's no pleasure to report that 'Funny People' self-destructs on the screen. In the end, Apatow might have been wise to heed his own words: Comedy is for funny people, not the mean-spirited, self-obsessed dopes we're left with here."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

10 17%

Downloading Nancy (2008)

"Bello throws herself into Nancy admirably. Yet the film squanders her talents, and what's left of our patience, en route to a finale that is neither surprising nor illuminating: Like the rest of the movie, it's misery for misery's sake."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

11 55%

Surveillance (2009)

"Some will be unable to appreciate the movie's savagery on any level. Others will find it affecting and uncompromising, the kind of movie that plunges you into a nightmare and ratchets up the intensity until you're grateful for a moment's respite."

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

12 60%

A Perfect Getaway (2009)

"While hardly a film for the ages, it is exceptionally effective at what it sets out to achieve - namely, pumping up the tension, tossing us a few red herrings, then blindsiding us with the Big Surprise."

Posted Aug 7, 2009

Rossiter Drake

13 75%

Julie & Julia (2009)

"The movie is sweet, amusing and, unlike one of Child's decadent platters of beef bourguignon, mostly weightless; if not for Streep's expert portrayal, which is boundlessly energetic and respectful, it might float off the screen."

Posted Aug 4, 2009

Rossiter Drake

14 97%

The Hurt Locker (2009)

"As emotionally involving an action movie as you're likely to find this year (much less this summer), 'The Hurt Locker' is also a tense, forceful meditation on the addictive nature of combat."

Posted Jul 10, 2009

Rossiter Drake

15 68%

Brüno (2009)

"As social satire, 'Brüno' is boorish and scattershot; as farce, it is obvious and erratic."

Posted Jul 10, 2009

Rossiter Drake

16 22%

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)

"If you're willing to accept it for what it is - a hyperactive fantasy, pleasantly ridiculous and delivered with amusing conviction by director Chris Nahon - you should be suitably entertained."

Posted Jul 9, 2009

Rossiter Drake

17 68%

Public Enemies (2009)

"Though faithful to Bryan Burrough's painstakingly researched book, Michael Mann's 'Public Enemies' offers more an abstract impression of Dillinger than a fully satisfying portrait."

Posted Jul 9, 2009

Rossiter Drake

18 19%

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

"Loud, long and utterly incomprehensible, 'Revenge of the Fallen' is an exquisitely painful experience that pummels the senses as it confounds the intellect."

Posted Jul 9, 2009

Rossiter Drake

19 25%

Friday the 13th (2009)

"Be assured that the acting is passable, the effects are impressively convincing, and the suspense is real. It's not a great film, but it is a frightening one, and what more do you need to know?"

Posted Jun 13, 2009

Rossiter Drake

20 38%

X-Men Origins - Wolverine (2009)

"Wolverine is big, dumb fun, a popcorn movie if ever there was one. And it's probably the only movie this summer to feature a superhero whose most dazzling talent seems to be shuffling a deck of cards."

Posted Jun 11, 2009

Rossiter Drake

21 37%

Angels & Demons (2009)

"There is little in the way of excitement. There is, however, plenty of ponderous hemming and hawing about the role of the Vatican in a forward-thinking society, and a host of supporting players whose intentions remain murky until the big revelation."

Posted Jun 11, 2009

Rossiter Drake

22 96%

Food, Inc. (2009)

"A veteran of public television's 'American Experience,' Kenner delivers a vital, visually stylish piece of filmmaking that is as informative as it is fascinating, infuriating and, at times, heartbreaking."

Posted Jun 8, 2009

Rossiter Drake

23 26%

Land of the Lost (2009)

"McBride and Ferrell, who seems content to spin his wheels in vehicles that indulge his passion for stripping and dumbing down, are gifted performers. Here, they are given little to work with, and deliver accordingly."

Posted Jun 3, 2009

Rossiter Drake

24 98%

Up (2009)

"Pixar has set the bar impossibly high. That they clear it here by a foot and not by a mile doesn't mean they haven't succeeded in serving up extraordinary entertainment."

Posted May 28, 2009

Rossiter Drake

25 92%

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

"Rather than inviting the gag reflex with scenes of severed limbs and graphic torture, Raimi takes a manic, tongue-in-cheek approach to horror that seems to revel in its own absurdity. Needless to say, he's been missed."

Posted May 27, 2009

Rossiter Drake

26 33%

Terminator Salvation (2009)

"Lacking the wry humor of its predecessors and the inestimable presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film has more than its share of shortcomings. But if you're hopelessly invested in 'Terminator' mythology, you might just be inclined to forgive them."

Posted May 19, 2009

Rossiter Drake

27 51%

Observe and Report (2009)

"The movie invites us into a world of bitterly unhappy people and rubs our noses in their failings. It's disquieting and eerily perverse, but somehow, despite itself, very funny."

Posted Apr 14, 2009

Rossiter Drake

28 89%

Adventureland (2009)

"Those expecting another 'Superbad' may be surprised to discover that 'Adventureland' is nothing of the sort. It's far more grounded, populated by thoughtful, unaffected characters whose misadventures ring true. It is also, to date, the year's best film."

Posted Apr 1, 2009

Rossiter Drake

29 72%

Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

"As 'Monsters vs. Aliens' demonstrates, 3-D technology is finally coming into its own, used to create a dazzlingly lifelike spectacle that seems to jump off the screen and into the theater beside you."

Posted Mar 26, 2009

Rossiter Drake

30 84%

I Love You, Man (2009)

"Rudd and Segel, whose on-screen chemistry is one of the movie's sublime pleasures, take what might have been a slick, formulaic exercise and turn it into the year's funniest film to date with their unselfconscious physical humor and goofy repartee."

Posted Mar 18, 2009

Rossiter Drake

31 41%

The Last House on the Left (2009)

"It presents sadism in the context of a narrative that is straightforward and believable, and for those who crave a little terror in their lives, it offers a truly unsettling experience while raising questions mundane and otherwise."

Posted Mar 16, 2009

Rossiter Drake

32 65%

Watchmen (2009)

"While Moore may never see the final cut - or any cut, for that matter - Snyder's reverence for his brooding prose and the cynical depths of his vision is unmistakable. He has hardly done the author a disservice."

Posted Mar 11, 2009

Rossiter Drake

33 89%

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008)

"The memories the game evokes in its stars, now well into middle age but clearly moved when recalling that November's consummation of one of America's oldest sports rivalries, weave a narrative that transcends football."

Posted Mar 2, 2009

Rossiter Drake

34 58%

Taken (2009)

"As a righteous stand against the low-level terrorists who peddle flesh in the back alleys of Europe, the movie is a lurid sham, as slick and soulless as the myriad thugs Neeson dispatches with implausible ease."

Posted Feb 3, 2009

Rossiter Drake

35 32%

Fanboys (2008)

"There are plenty of no-budget movies worthy of grassroots movements. 'Fanboys,' which comes with a built-in fan base only by virtue of its connection to a universe George Lucas created, isn't one of them."

Posted Feb 3, 2009

Rossiter Drake

36 37%

Outlander (2009)

"For those eagerly awaiting a consummation of the long-simmering tensions between aliens and Vikings, 'Outlander' is certainly the only game in town. Those whose obsessions lead elsewhere would be wise to look for alternatives."

Posted Jan 21, 2009

Rossiter Drake

37 14%

Mirrors (2008)

"Jack Bauer can disarm nuclear weapons without breaking a sweat, but he apparently can't locate a script worthy of his real-life alter ego."

Posted Jan 19, 2009

Rossiter Drake

38 57%

Defiance (2009)

"It's an affecting production, which is as much a credit to Zwick's professionalism as to the freshness of his subject. 'Defiance' has the rare distinction of tackling the Holocaust from an angle previously unexplored."

Posted Jan 14, 2009

Rossiter Drake

39 14%

The Alphabet Killer (2008)

"Although Schmidt and Malloy have devoted meticulous attention to Megan's manhunt, which is engrossing and briskly paced for the better part of 85 minutes, their final act seems less like a canny trick than a copout."

Posted Jan 13, 2009

Rossiter Drake

40 92%

Frost/Nixon (2008)

"Howard, a highly competent filmmaker if not a great one, rarely gets in the way of his actors or Morgan's sharply written script, and 'Frost/Nixon' is probably the better for it."

Posted Jan 12, 2009

Rossiter Drake

41 96%

The Long Goodbye (1973)

"Robert Altman's labyrinthine take on the Raymond Chandler classic is noir unburdened by a straight narrative - it's a triumph of atmosphere and attitude, a swiftly unfolding whodunit punctuated by subversive absurdities and shattering acts of violence."

Posted Jan 11, 2009

Rossiter Drake

42 10%

Bride Wars (2009)

"It is widely assumed that Eddie Murphy hurt his Oscar chances by following his dramatic turn in 'Dreamgirls' with the graceless 'Norbit.' 'Bride Wars' is just as abysmal, though it spares us the prosthetic fat suits."

Posted Jan 9, 2009

Rossiter Drake

43 94%

Milk (2008)

"There is no concession to melodrama, nor a moment wasted. Van Sant presents his story with an unflinching eye on the factual timeline of Milk's days in San Francisco, right down to the moment of jarring violence that ended his life."

Posted Dec 31, 2008

Rossiter Drake

44 72%

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

"There is much to appreciate in Fincher's film, which was clearly a delicate undertaking. Ultimately, it is ambitious enough that a misstep or two can be forgiven."

Posted Dec 29, 2008

Rossiter Drake

45 27%

Seven Pounds (2008)

"Will Smith has played an alcoholic superhero, a mystical caddie and a fighter pilot on a mission to save the planet from aliens, but Ben Thomas might just be the most unbelievable role of them all."

Posted Dec 24, 2008

Rossiter Drake

46 68%

Revolutionary Road (2008)

"What is the point of 'Revolutionary Road,' besides providing a showcase for two dynamic actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, to chew the scenery in an overwrought exposition of domestic combat?"

Posted Dec 24, 2008

Rossiter Drake

47 61%

The Reader (2008)

"The film offers no facile answers, only quietly forceful performances (particularly by Winslet, whose tense body language speaks volumes) that make these characters and the tragedy that colors their lives seem achingly, crushingly real."

Posted Dec 12, 2008

Rossiter Drake

48 21%

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

"As it becomes clear, too early in the game, that Klaatu's executioner's song is really a didactic bluff, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' loses its urgency and much of its raison d'être."

Posted Dec 11, 2008

Rossiter Drake

49 27%

Punisher: War Zone (2008)

"While not a typical slasher film, it has more in common with 'Hellraiser' than 'Hellboy,' which should come as welcome news to those with a taste for exploding skulls, graphic decapitations and cannibalistic feasts."

Posted Dec 5, 2008

Rossiter Drake

50 88%

Bolt (2008)

"With its vibrant look, frisky attitude and sweet lesson about loyalty and friendship, Bolt is solid, fresh family-friendly entertainment."

Posted Nov 21, 2008

Austin O'Connor

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