Charlotte Observer

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 36%

Sleuth (2007)

"Seems to me that the Kenneth Branagh-Harold Pinter Sleuth is a pretty good movie. It just isn't a very good Sleuth, exactly."

Posted Dec 7, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

2 86%

Control (2007)

"Joy Division fans have already embraced Control, a film biography of short-lived lead singer Ian Curtis. Those of us who didn't follow the 1970s English band or the post-punk scene around it may feel less invested."

Posted Dec 7, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

3 42%

The Golden Compass (2007)

"Weitz took a wonderful story about the danger of severing a soul from its otherwise empty body and did that very thing to his source."

Posted Dec 7, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

4 92%

Sicko (2007)

"The film contains the usual Moore plusses and minuses, now familiar to anyone who's watched even one of his films."

Posted Dec 4, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

5 77%

I'm Not There (2007)

"If [this movie] sounds high-faluting and hard to imagine -- well, that's true to the film. But it's also a lot of chaotic fun."

Posted Nov 30, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

6 93%

Enchanted (2007)

"Enchanted charmingly reworks all the old [Disney] favorites while incorporating fresh twists of its own."

Posted Nov 20, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

7 71%

Beowulf (2007)

"If you're going to Beowulf to experience the sweeping passions that only real eyes can convey, you're missing the point."

Posted Nov 16, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

8 27%

Lions for Lambs (2007)

"The movie remains so unspecific that it often sounds like sloganeering, however well developed the arguments."

Posted Nov 8, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

9 33%

Martian Child (2007)

"Child resolves in a way that's touching, however schmaltzy."

Posted Nov 2, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

10 80%

American Gangster (2007)

"The meal's perfectly edible but falls short of delicious."

Posted Nov 2, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

11 64%

Dan in Real Life (2007)

"[Binoche's] complicated, heartfelt performance is the reason to see the film: When she's around, she pierces the soothing gray nothingness with shafts of sunlight."

Posted Oct 25, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

12 64%

Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)

"Yields more satisfaction than complaints."

Posted Oct 19, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

13 94%

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

"Ben Affleck, whose taste in projects as an actor has been questionable at best, has directed his first film with a sensibility and intelligence that never let him down. Gone Baby Gone would be an accomplishment with anyone at the helm."

Posted Oct 19, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

14 47%

Rendition (2007)

"or all these faults... the film has many plusses: n unsubtle emotional power that comes through in Abasi's fear and Isabella's rage, an honest view of the political machinery in Washington, and an outrage about the way we [can] behave."

Posted Oct 19, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

15 96%

A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest) (2007)

"The movie provokes low-key laughs (yes, it's a comedy), but with a sad overtone."

Posted Oct 12, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

16 35%

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

"Those of us who looked forward to this second installment of a planned trilogy may now dread the third."

Posted Oct 12, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

17 57%

We Own the Night (2007)

"The whole thing is so generic, so been-there-before, that I spent most of it asking myself nitpicking questions."

Posted Oct 12, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

18 14%

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

"That seventh-son-of-a-seventh-son business sounds like Muddy Waters singing, 'Got my Mojo Workin'.'"

Posted Oct 5, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

19 29%

The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

"The Farrellys have always danced along the tightrope between funny-disgusting and just plain gross in There's Something About Mary and Shallow Hal. If the ratio was about 50-50 at the best of times, it's now 30-70 in favor of crassness."

Posted Oct 5, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

20 51%

The Kingdom (2007)

"The movie isn't nearly as complex and challenging as Syriana, yet critics who dismiss it as jingoism miss the point."

Posted Sep 28, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

21 39%

Feast of Love (2007)

"Director Robert Benton and writer Allison Burnett don't give us time to breathe. Characters meet, fall in love and set out on condensed journeys of self-discovery at top speed, as if their lives consisted entirely of momentous events."

Posted Sep 28, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

22 73%

In the Valley of Elah (2007)

"The movie Haggis made and the movie Elah could have been are as far apart as Washington, D.C., and Baghdad."

Posted Sep 21, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

23 88%

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

"[Director James] Mangold has been smart or fortunate in casting, and personalities sustain interest even when the narrative flags."

Posted Sep 6, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

24 72%

A Man Named Pearl (2008)

"The film's hero is charismatic: modest, thoughtful, well-spoken, pointing out he achieved remarkable things because he didn't know he wasn't supposed to be able to do them."

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

25 67%

The 11th Hour (2007)

"In the end, your reaction to Hour may depend on your feelings about humanity's collective common sense."

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

26 59%

Resurrecting the Champ (2007)

"...Jackson has never done subtler, more powerful work."

Posted Aug 24, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

27 34%

The Nanny Diaries (2007)

"A surprisingly enjoyable piece of stereotyping adapted from the novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus."

Posted Aug 24, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

28 50%

Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007)

"Writers Hamish McColl and Robin Driscoll wring comedy from Atkinson's angular body."

Posted Aug 24, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

29 60%

Arctic Tale (2007)

"So the film's visual elements suggest a documentary, but it's a carefully fictionalized narrative. Some folks will thus dismiss it as a fabrication, but it still packs a profound emotional wallop."

Posted Aug 17, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

30 88%

Superbad (2007)

"It isn't super, as it intersperses crudely funny gags with an equal number of dry spots."

Posted Aug 17, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

31 57%

Becoming Jane (2007)

"Hathaway delivers a fine British accent and high spirits as Austen."

Posted Aug 10, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

32 ——

The List (2007)

"The List is an accomplished piece of filmmaking with a serious goal."

Posted Aug 9, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

33 64%

Vitus (2007)

"Anyone who's been or borne a gifted child will smile with recognition at Vitus, which always keeps us guessing but connected to the young superman of the title."

Posted Aug 9, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

34 76%

Stardust (2007)

"Stardust takes a standard structure -- young hero of unrecognized worth goes on a quest to save a damsel -- and plays charming variations on that theme."

Posted Aug 9, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

35 18%

Rush Hour 3 (2007)

"The howls of audience members around me proved there's still an audience for the third installment of this odd coupling, though no one involved even pretends there's a story to tell or coherence to maintain anymore."

Posted Aug 9, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

36 40%

Hot Rod (2007)

"Once again, something that might have been a faintly amusing sketch on Saturday Night Live -- maybe even a tolerable 30-minute short, had the writing been more clever -- gets tortured into the shape of a feature film."

Posted Aug 3, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

37 52%

Introducing the Dwights (2007)

"Short on credibility, characterization, humor and honesty."

Posted Aug 3, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

38 82%

Talk to Me (2007)

"The storytelling confirms the promise [director] Lemmons showed in the suspenseful Eve's Bayou, one of my favorite movies of the '90s."

Posted Aug 3, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

39 94%

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

"For once, I didn't feel cheated by an unresolved ending, but let's hope this is the end. Robert Ludlum wrote three Bourne novels, and this is one series that ought not to be dishonored by inferior sequels."

Posted Aug 2, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

40 41%

No Reservations (2007)

"The movie gives a modest level of pleasure, mainly because of Stuart Dryburgh's handsome, varied cinematography and the performances of the leads."

Posted Jul 26, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

41 90%

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

"The result is two-tiered humor, broad enough to appeal to anybody but overlaid with jokes that will be funnier if you know the show."

Posted Jul 26, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

42 91%

Hairspray (2007)

"The film's an irresistible time capsule of that Camelot summer, blending girrrrrl power, social consciousness and faux-'60s pop with the fizz of a soda jerk whipping up a root beer float."

Posted Jul 19, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

43 14%

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

"A film that spends much of its time laughing at gay people can't redeem itself by laughing hollowly with them in the end."

Posted Jul 19, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

44 78%

You Kill Me (2007)

"You can pinpoint the exact moment You Kill Me descends permanently into idiocy."

Posted Jul 13, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

45 79%

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

"Given a choice between this and the navel-gazing of the novel, I'll take the short ride on a fast machine."

Posted Jul 10, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

46 72%

Golden Door (2007)

"[Director] Crialese establishes moods beautifully, whether in surreal visions (such as Salvatore swimming in the river of milk flowing in California) or in hardscrabble realities."

Posted Jul 6, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

47 7%

License to Wed (2007)

"For all the Hollywood obviousness of the reassuring ending, [director] Kwapis and his writers put over the subversive message that marriage can be maddening."

Posted Jul 3, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

48 57%

Transformers (2007)

"I came away convinced I'd had the most sheer, loud fun of any blockbuster in a summer that has delivered too little of that quantity."

Posted Jul 2, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

49 96%

Ratatouille (2007)

"Pixar has a habit of finding voice talent in unexpected places, and she's just part of the shrewd casting. Oswalt and Romano make an ideal team, assertive and nervous, while the almost unrecognizable Holm spits out disgust with glee."

Posted Jun 29, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

50 82%

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

"I can safely say I've never seen anything as ridiculous as Live Free or Die Hard."

Posted Jun 28, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

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