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Sacramento News & Review

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 7%

Grown Ups 2 (2013)

"Directing once again is schlock auteur Dennis Dugan, and the result is an $80 million YouTube video."

Posted Jul 28, 2014

Jim Lane

2 79%

42 (2013)

"Boseman gives a potentially star-making performance, while Ford, at 70, segues smoothly from firm-jawed action hero to elder-statesman character actor."

Posted May 7, 2014

Jim Lane

3 94%

Moneyball (2011)

"That such a literally spreadsheet-intensive story could register real human thought and feeling at all has to count as some kind of triumph."

Posted May 6, 2014

Jonathan Kiefer

4 89%

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

"As weakling-turned-super-soldier Steve Rogers, Evans remains the best reason to see any movie with Captain America in it."

Posted Apr 4, 2014

Jim Lane

5 94%

The King's Speech (2010)

"Call it a glossy inspirational inversion of Pygmalion, or a sports flick for those who prefer royals to athletes, but there's no denying the universal appeal of director Tom Hooper's tastefully wrapped package."

Posted Jan 14, 2014

Jonathan Kiefer

6 64%

2 Guns (2013)

"The slack screenplay stumbles over loose ends, and director Baltasar Kormákur fails to find a consistent tone."

Posted Jan 1, 2014

Daniel Barnes

7 91%

The Sapphires (2013)

"The clichés are rendered painless by excellent performances from the five principles, with O'Dowd and Mailman particularly standing out."

Posted Jan 1, 2014

Jim Lane

8 98%

Mud (2013)

"Despite an almost sluggish pace, Nichols nevertheless finds the rhythm of Southern rural village life with its wary think-hard-before-you-speak watchfulness."

Posted Jan 1, 2014

Jim Lane

9 74%

The East (2013)

"The total effect is affected, annoying and off-putting."

Posted Jan 1, 2014

Jim Lane

10 89%

Rush (2013)

"Morgan's talent for dramatizing recent history remains unimpaired, the race scenes are harrowingly exciting, and Howard gets fine performances from all, especially Brühl in a showcase breakout role."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jim Lane

11 68%

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

"The biggest laugh, though, comes at the end, with a prim, don't-try-this-at-home disclaimer."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jim Lane

12 97%

12 Years a Slave (2013)

"These people are presented as they must have seemed at the time, even to themselves; there's no sense of a 21st-century actor sending out subtle I'm-not-really-like-this signals."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jim Lane

13 95%

Stories We Tell (2013)

"It's the best and most generous creative thing Polley's ever done, not least because she's the only person in the world who could have done it."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jonathan Kiefer

14 54%

Oblivion (2013)

"What makes it watchable is Kosinski's (and cinematographer Claudio Miranda's) gift for breathtaking pictorial images -- plus, of course, Cruise's undiluted star power."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jim Lane

15 92%

In a World... (2013)

"Although In a World... won Bell a screenwriting award at the Sundance Film Festival, what's more compelling is how well this low-key comedy exhibits her charms as an actress."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Daniel Barnes

16 99%

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

"Morgan Neville's soulfully doting documentary pays tribute to the background singers who've been so essential, albeit anonymously, to rock 'n' roll history."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jonathan Kiefer

17 80%

Warm Bodies (2013)

"Warm Bodies goes straight on to my guilty-pleasures list."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jim Lane

18 93%

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

"Dallas Buyers Club belongs pretty firmly to McConaughey and Leto. Their prickly relationship is at the wounded heart of the movie, and it's their performances you'll remember."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Jim Lane

19 72%

Pacific Rim (2013)

"Michael Bay has made three Transformers movies, and he hasn't done one yet that was as much fun as this."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Jim Lane

20 69%

The Wolverine (2013)

"Jackman shuffles along with zombie obligation, as though he can't believe how much money he's been paid to go through these motions."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Daniel Barnes

21 74%

You're Next (2013)

"Tthis run-of-the-mill slash-'em-up flick has been floating around for two years looking for a distributor. Unfortunately, it found one."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Jim Lane

22 89%

The World's End (2013)

"It's high old fun, though it plays as a bit too much of a rehash of Pegg and Wright's Shaun of the Dead."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Jim Lane

23 92%

Nebraska (2013)

"Bob Nelson's script is a mine of mordant humor and wry insight, and director Alexander Payne carefully brings out the best in the script and his actors."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Jim Lane

24 92%

Philomena (2013)

"It's never clear why Martin is the star of Philomena, except that Coogan's sharp tongue is more entertaining than Dench's relentless homily spewing."

Posted Dec 22, 2013

Daniel Barnes

25 93%

Captain Phillips (2013)

"Captain Phillips is indeed a gripping, grueling, agonizing, nail-biting, brutalizing, kick-punching motion picture, but beyond the technical thrills and vise-grip tension, it also offers a weary, hard-won empathy."

Posted Dec 22, 2013

Daniel Barnes

26 55%

Man of Steel (2013)

"Like the man with a hammer to whom every problem looks like a nail, to Nolan and Goyer, every superhero universe apparently looks like Gotham City."

Posted Dec 21, 2013

Jim Lane

27 82%

Prisoners (2013)

"Denis Villeneuve made the Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee Incendies, but his American debut Prisoners just reheats the heavy-handed, high-gloss revenge porn of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the aforementioned Mystic River."

Posted Dec 21, 2013

Daniel Barnes

28 91%

Blue Jasmine (2013)

"The whole is less than the sum of its parts, though some parts (especially Blanchett's performance) are well worth watching."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Jim Lane

29 78%

Iron Man 3 (2013)

"The movie works mainly due to its acting."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Jim Lane

30 84%

Upstream Color (2013)

"An assured and artfully ragged mosaic of glassy nonlinearity."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Jonathan Kiefer

31 83%

Side Effects (2013)

"The director is Steven Soderbergh at his coolly mercurial best and in that exciting middle ground between experiment and entertainment, where formal playfulness goes very well with great faces."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Jonathan Kiefer

32 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"It's not as tense as Gravity, but just as suspenseful, and almost as exhilarating."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Jim Lane

33 86%

The Conjuring (2013)

"Director James Wan delivers effective scares, showing more interest in sinewy camera moves and building a slow creep than in mindless gore, but the performances are a mixed bag, and the script repeatedly seeks refuge in the familiar."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Daniel Barnes

34 91%

Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)

"Blue Is the Warmest Color unfurls at its own languorous pace, allowing the characters to reveal themselves naturally, rather than through narrative urgency."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Daniel Barnes

35 74%

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

"Good news -- there are more beheadings and fewer half-hour-long dinner parties in this second installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy. "

Posted Dec 13, 2013

Daniel Barnes

36 93%

Frances Ha (2013)

"Inspired by Gerwig's spontaneity, and scripted to cultivate it, the movie does turn up some occasional stilted line readings here and there, but periodic awkwardness also is shrewdly elemental to its charm."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Jonathan Kiefer

37 96%

Enough Said (2013)

"As wonderful as Gandolfini is here, Louis-Dreyfus is a revelation as the motherly yet self-denying Eva."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Daniel Barnes

38 99%

Wadjda (2013)

"The movie ends on a highly emotional note that might easily have tipped over into bathos. But Al-Mansour knows her stuff -- she earns her emotion honestly. "

Posted Dec 10, 2013

Jim Lane

39 99%

Short Term 12 (2013)

"Sacramento native Brie Larson gives one of the best performances of the year in Short Term 12, an affecting drama from writer-director Dustin Cretton."

Posted Dec 10, 2013

Daniel Barnes

40 70%

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 doesn't stray too far from the mold, but the screen practically spills over with visual marvels, and there's a kid-friendly self-awareness to the humor."

Posted Oct 24, 2013

Daniel Barnes

41 97%

Gravity (2013)

"Like the movie itself, Bullock is brilliant, taking us inch by inch through Stone's alternating panic, despair, hope and hopelessness in the chaotic struggle to survive."

Posted Oct 3, 2013

Jim Lane

42 56%

Instructions Not Included (2013)

"A sloppy melange of unpersuasive melodrama, amateurish mugging, unfunny comedy and mawkish sentimentality."

Posted Sep 6, 2013

Jim Lane

43 49%

The Great Gatsby (2013)

"Call it The Not-Half-Bad Gatsby. Or rather, it is half-bad, but the not-bad half turned out better than expected."

Posted May 10, 2013

Jim Lane

44 32%

Fanboys (2008)

Posted Jan 22, 2013

Jonathan Kiefer

45 23%

Ready to Rumble (2000)

Posted Jan 22, 2013

Jim Lane

46 81%

Pitch Perfect (2012)

" ... parodies, by faithful imitation, the silly adolescent soap opera of Glee ..."

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Jim Lane

47 85%

End of Watch (2012)

" ... breathes new life into the conventions of the cop-buddy movie ... "

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Jim Lane

48 78%

Dredd (2012)

" ... suitably grimy and relentlessly violent."

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Jim Lane

49 33%

Won't Back Down (2012)

" ... Gyllenhaal and Davis make a powerhouse team ... "

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Jim Lane

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