San Jose Mercury News

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 70%

Amazing Grace (2007)

"Like Steven Spielberg's glossy Amistad before it, Amazing Grace shies away from the texture and complexity of color, scurrying instead for the safer platitudes of black and white -- good and evil."

Posted Feb 22, 2007

Bruce Newman

2 93%

The Lives of Others (2006)

"Somber and watchful, like the people whose story it tells, The Lives of Others brilliantly abrades our perception of the 1980s as a time when the only history worth remembering was being made by Wham! and Duran Duran."

Posted Feb 15, 2007

Bruce Newman

3 84%

Breach (2007)

"You begin to suspect the FBI may be the world's most boring bunch of crime busters during Breach, a movie that urgently asserts itself as a spy thriller."

Posted Feb 15, 2007

Bruce Newman

4 5%

Because I Said So (2007)

"The only thing you can't fault in Because I Said So is Keaton's integrity, as she commits herself completely to a disastrous role."

Posted Feb 1, 2007

Bruce Newman

5 21%

Catch and Release (2007)

"This one isn't even worth catching. Just throw it back."

Posted Jan 25, 2007

Bruce Newman

6 96%

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

"The creator of such pulp prodigies as Hellboy and Blade II, del Toro mingles myth and history in Pan's Labyrinth, and produces a masterpiece of magical realism."

Posted Jan 11, 2007

Bruce Newman

7 87%

Notes on a Scandal (2006)

"Patrick Marber's adaptation of the Zoë Heller novel improves upon the promise of the [Dench/Blanchett] pairing with a story that wastes no time on preliminaries as it descends -- gleefully -- into pitch-black comedy."

Posted Jan 5, 2007

Bruce Newman

8 58%

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

"The movie talks suggestively about smells but can't quite find a way to bring them to life, so [director Tom] Tykwer uses images to rub our noses in as many disgusting things as he can."

Posted Jan 5, 2007

Bruce Newman

9 80%

Grease (1978)

"An unembarrassed movie musical, something my generation experienced only in Sunday-afternoon movies on TV."

Posted Dec 30, 2006

Julie Hinds

10 33%

The Good German (2007)

"The trouble is the movie never really seems to go anywhere. Too many scenes have a feeling of irresolution; they just sort of go on for a while, then disappear."

Posted Dec 22, 2006

Bruce Newman

11 91%

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

"This movie manages with great economy to show that soldiers on both sides had far more in common than they thought."

Posted Dec 22, 2006

Bruce Newman

12 76%

Rocky Balboa (2006)

"What makes this vanity project so pleasurable is that Stallone has written a script filled with wit, and even self-deprecation. In the end, there's no quit in Rocky Balboa. More alarmingly, there appears to be none in Sylvester Stallone."

Posted Dec 19, 2006

Bruce Newman

13 78%

Dreamgirls (2006)

"[Dreamgirls proves] again that transforming a hit Broadway musical into an equally spectacular movie is one of the most confounding tricks in show business."

Posted Dec 14, 2006

Bruce Newman

14 65%

Apocalypto (2006)

"With a ferocity that is often as difficult to take as it is fascinating to watch, Mel Gibson's Apocalypto comes crashing across 500 years of history with such immediacy that it feels as if this haunting, fierce, sadistic movie will never leave you."

Posted Dec 7, 2006

Bruce Newman

15 47%

The Holiday (2006)

"What The Holiday has going for it is that it's funny when it wants to be, heartwarming when it needs to be and impeccably acted throughout."

Posted Dec 7, 2006

Bruce Newman

16 63%

10 Items or Less (2006)

"This is a movie of such consummate good cheer that it's difficult to walk away without feeling happier than when it began."

Posted Nov 30, 2006

Bruce Newman

17 88%

The Cave of the Yellow Dog (Die Hohle des gelben Hundes) (2005)

"If you've never seen a yurt taken down, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, not so much."

Posted Nov 24, 2006

Bruce Newman

18 55%

Déjà Vu (2006)

"Washington has powered through thrillers like this before, always managing to make the best of dubious material."

Posted Nov 21, 2006

Bruce Newman

19 54%

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny (2006)

"Far from a hit, Tenacious D probably will do just fine on the midnight-movie circuit."

Posted Nov 21, 2006

Jim Harrington

20 95%

Casino Royale (2006)

"Casino Royale is everything you could ask for in a Bond movie, and more. Much more. Sometimes even more than is a good idea."

Posted Nov 14, 2006

Bruce Newman

21 28%

Copying Beethoven, (Klang der Stille) (2006)

"A feminist fantasy that you can either embrace -- as director Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa) seems to have done with an unbecoming schoolgirl gushiness -- or repeatedly be pulled out of the story by its falseness."

Posted Nov 9, 2006

Bruce Newman

22 72%

Flushed Away (2006)

"An adventure that -- in both its breathtaking ingenuity and breathless excitement -- exceeds Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run, the two previous collaborations between DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features."

Posted Nov 2, 2006

Bruce Newman

23 91%

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

"Borat is a comedy whose lengthy title is difficult to remember, and whose incendiary humor is impossible to forget. It is the most insanely funny movie of this, or any other, year."

Posted Nov 2, 2006

Bruce Newman

24 37%

Death of a President (2006)

"Despite the intentionally controversial depiction of the murder of a sitting U.S. president, the movie never arrives at the shocking conclusions a picture like this seems to cry out for."

Posted Oct 26, 2006

Bruce Newman

25 60%

Al Franken: God Spoke (2006)

"Franken doesn't allow the knee-jerk predictability of his liberal pronouncements to deflate the great gasbag that he becomes as the movie proceeds."

Posted Oct 5, 2006

Bruce Newman

26 92%

The Departed (2006)

"In Martin Scorsese's thrilling, throbbing reinterpretation of [Infernal Affairs], it is the war that rages within all of us -- between our better and our badder selves -- that transforms this tale of treachery into one of the year's best movies."

Posted Oct 5, 2006

Bruce Newman

27 95%

49 Up (2006)

"In the same way that none of us ever do turn out as expected, neither do they. And that's more or less the point of continuing the series, even as they drone on about their disappointing marriages and dashed dreams, just like the rest of us."

Posted Oct 5, 2006

Bruce Newman

28 48%

Open Season (2006)

"A little bit like Over the Hedge, and a lot like the upcoming Flushed Away, in which an animated house mouse is forced to fend for himself in the sewers of London, Open Season may sound a bit familiar, but it is never dull."

Posted Sep 29, 2006

Bruce Newman

29 11%

All The King's Men (2006)

"These characters and their effect upon each other are so poorly developed that it seems as if large chunks of the plot are missing."

Posted Sep 21, 2006

Bruce Newman

30 100%

Buffalo Boy (2003)

"If you have ever wondered what the life of a Vietnamese peasant was like in the 1940s, it seems unlikely there will be a lovelier evocation of it than Buffalo Boy."

Posted Sep 14, 2006

Bruce Newman

31 97%

When the Levees Broke (2006)

"Do the flaws diminish Levees? To a degree. But the story Lee tells is so powerful, so important, that the lapses aren't a reason not to pay heed to what this passionate film has to say."

Posted Aug 22, 2006

Charlie McCollum

32 86%

Quinceañera (Echo Park, L.A.) (2006)

"What makes this modest little movie better than it sounds is the insistent beating of its heart."

Posted Aug 12, 2006

Bruce Newman

33 68%

World Trade Center (2006)

"World Trade Center delivers to its audience a calculated dose of uplift and gooses us along to feel suspense here, compassion there and hope at the end."

Posted Aug 8, 2006

Bruce Newman

34 72%

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

"Talladega Nights is very funny at times, even if the Ballad part mostly boils down to a series of comedy sketches connected by a recurring character."

Posted Aug 4, 2006

Bruce Newman

35 91%

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

"A comedy that is both hilarious and bold."

Posted Aug 3, 2006

Bruce Newman

36 47%

Miami Vice (2006)

"The movie isn't perfect, but it's good enough, and better than most. It should keep us occupied until the big screen version of The Apprentice comes along."

Posted Jul 28, 2006

Bruce Newman

37 40%

Scoop (2006)

"Too often the movie suffers from jokes that sound left over from Broadway Danny Rose, without the ironic sense of detachment."

Posted Jul 27, 2006

Bruce Newman

38 24%

Lady in the Water (2006)

"It is yet another of Shyamalan's attempts to wade into the deep end of the profundity pool, where not even chlorine can kill the brackish residue of his design."

Posted Jul 21, 2006

Bruce Newman

39 69%

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2006)

"I'm Your Man never quite gets its man in a coherent frame, but for all its zigs and zags outside the lines, the portrait of Cohen that emerges is a fascinating one."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Bruce Newman

40 74%

Monster House (2006)

"Monster House is like an amusement park ride through a fun house. It's a great deal more fun than that other amusement park ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, and funnier than the summer's Pixar picture, Cars."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Bruce Newman

41 54%

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

"This installment in the trilogy feels more like filler between the first and the last episodes, and with no obvious story to tell, it remains mired in the horse latitudes of whimsy."

Posted Jul 6, 2006

Bruce Newman

42 76%

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

"A very clever adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's bestselling novel."

Posted Jun 29, 2006

Bruce Newman

43 76%

Superman Returns (2006)

"[Singer] has brought the venerable superhero soaring back to life by delivering a satisfying blend of action, story and character development. If the movie is half an hour longer than it needs to be, there also are moments when you wish it would never end"

Posted Jun 26, 2006

Bruce Newman

44 35%

The Lake House (2006)

"Bullock's decision to play Kate as a morose kill-joy is particularly inexplicable. She's getting letters from some hot architect through a hole in the time-space continuum, and yet her expression remains impassive, her voice flat, her outlook maudlin."

Posted Jun 24, 2006

Bruce Newman

45 27%

Waist Deep (2006)

"A solidly crafted piece of genre filmmaking."

Posted Jun 22, 2006

Bruce Newman

46 95%

Wordplay (2006)

"Working from a template made familiar by such recent documentaries as Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom, Wordplay provides a series of clues that artfully explain the defining madness of the Times crossword."

Posted Jun 22, 2006

Bruce Newman

47 32%

Click (2006)

"As a comic, Adam Sandler has never had an original thought, or if he did, he probably assumed he had stolen it from somebody, he just didn't know who."

Posted Jun 22, 2006

Bruce Newman

48 86%

The Heart of the Game (2005)

"Serrill's documentary on a girls' high school basketball team in Seattle has oodles of heart. What it hasn't got is game."

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Bruce Newman

49 40%

Nacho Libre (2006)

"This could quickly turn into a train wreck if both the material and the performances weren't there to fill the frame. Fortunately, Nacho Libre is able to keep fading to Black, who has the lucha of love. And of greatness."

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Bruce Newman

50 74%

Cars (2006)

"Cars gives you plenty of time to think, some of which you may wish to use wondering why it isn't a better movie."

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Bruce Newman

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