Charlotte Observer

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 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

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 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

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 59%

Resurrecting the Champ (2007)

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

Posted Aug 24, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

12 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

13 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

14 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

15 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

16 57%

Becoming Jane (2007)

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

Posted Aug 10, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

17 ——

The List (2007)

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

Posted Aug 9, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

18 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

19 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

20 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

21 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

22 52%

Introducing the Dwights (2007)

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

Posted Aug 3, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

23 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

24 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

25 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

26 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

27 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

28 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

29 78%

You Kill Me (2007)

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

Posted Jul 13, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

30 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

31 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

32 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

33 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

34 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

35 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

36 23%

Evan Almighty (2007)

"Carell's funniest when he isn't trying to be Jim Carrey, but he gamely goes along with kicks to the groin and smacks to the head."

Posted Jun 21, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

37 50%

Nancy Drew (2007)

"Every so often, I see a movie so uniformly dopey that I wonder if it's a gag, and I'm not in on it. Maybe the whole thing's meant as camp, a cosmic joke only the most sophisticated viewers will get."

Posted Jun 15, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

38 37%

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

"When will the people who adapt comic books into films realize that less can be so much more?"

Posted Jun 14, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

39 78%

Surf's Up (2007)

"Surf's Up has its own peculiar, loose-knit kind of charm."

Posted Jun 7, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

40 98%

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

"What I see is simply a timeless story about friendship, loss and maturity -- and, perhaps, an idealized America of the kind Hollywood and politicians strive to convince us could really exist."

Posted Jun 4, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

41 90%

Knocked Up (2007)

"Those of us whose diet includes two dozen romantic comedies a year may find Apatow's crass good nature appealing. Knocked Up has something to shock almost everyone but something to make almost everyone smile, too."

Posted May 31, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

42 45%

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007)

"It's more entertaining than the muddled middle of the trilogy. It rounds off the narrative in a satisfying way that eluded Shrek and Spider-Man."

Posted May 24, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

43 94%

Away from Her (2007)

"The whole film grows on you. Polley's trademark as an actress is that she gives nothing away at first; you have to watch an entire movie to know everything she's thinking and feeling. Away From Her unfolds with that kind of restraint."

Posted May 18, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

44 40%

Shrek the Third (2007)

"Reasons not to make Shrek the Third: Played-out characters. Bland villain. Novice directors. Slipshod plotting. No compelling story or emotional depth."

Posted May 18, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

45 19%

The Ex (2007)

"You can pinpoint the exact moment when The Ex loses its nerve, strangeness and soul."

Posted May 10, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

46 71%

28 Weeks Later... (2007)

"Deals with emotional concerns for half an hour. Then it turns into a mindless bloodfest, where it's impossible to care which characters end on the zombie gore-gasbord."

Posted May 10, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

47 29%

Lucky You (2007)

"Lucky You is long, utterly predictable and always bland."

Posted May 4, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

48 63%

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

"'With great power comes great responsibility,' said Uncle Ben in Spider-Man. That's a message I wish the people behind this series would take to heart."

Posted May 3, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

49 69%

Year of the Dog (2007)

"True harmless joy is so rare in this world that we dare not begrudge it to anyone, wherever it happens to lie."

Posted Apr 26, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

50 91%

Hot Fuzz (2007)

"If you see Hot Fuzz, you'll never again watch a Michael Bay film without howling with disrespectful laughter."

Posted Apr 19, 2007

Lawrence Toppman

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