Authors

Arizona Daily Star

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 98%

The War Tapes (2006)

"The scenes could be straight out of "The Deer Hunter." What's sobering is that there's nothing fictional or even exaggerated about "The War Tapes." And this likely won't be the last documentary we see about lives changed by the conflict."

Posted Aug 10, 2006

Phil Villarreal

2 68%

World Trade Center (2006)

"More for the ages than the times in which it was made."

Posted Aug 9, 2006

Phil Villarreal

3 ——

He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword (1985)

"I was surprised to see that the movie was even better than I remembered. And though it's no longer my favorite, it endures as an affecting cinematic experience."

Posted Aug 4, 2006

Phil Villarreal

4 60%

Lower City (Cidade Baixa) (2006)

"Any social comments the film might contain fall by the wayside in your brain, pushed aside by the bullet: 'Karinna's topless again!' That's life in Lower City."

Posted Aug 4, 2006

Phil Villarreal

5 40%

The Night Listener (2006)

"80 percent a superb thriller, backloaded with 20 percent gotcha and goodbye. That's a scandalous way to treat a viewer."

Posted Aug 4, 2006

Phil Villarreal

6 72%

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

"Excuse the viewers if they fall asleep at the wheel."

Posted Aug 4, 2006

Phil Villarreal

7 63%

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

"Like a Cheesecake Blizzard: It's a pulpy mess loaded with empty calories, but it's so divine that once you start, you can't help but shovel it into your mouth until the last drop, brain freeze and diet be damned."

Posted Jul 28, 2006

Phil Villarreal

8 92%

Our Brand is Crisis (2005)

"It's tough not to root for them to succeed. That's a testament to Boynton's skill with the narrative."

Posted Jul 27, 2006

Phil Villarreal

9 86%

The Heart of the Game (2005)

"The film leaves screenwriting duties to the wildest and most creative of the lot: Fate and Chance."

Posted Jul 27, 2006

Phil Villarreal

10 63%

The Ant Bully (2006)

"The Ant Bully won't battle your Pixar collection for DVD shelf space for that matter, neither will Pixar's latest, Cars -- but nor will it have you staring at your watch."

Posted Jul 27, 2006

Phil Villarreal

11 47%

Miami Vice (2006)

"Full-blooded and fierce, Miami Vice is the antidote for other TV-to-film adaptations."

Posted Jul 27, 2006

Phil Villarreal

12 97%

Stalag 17 (1953)

"As with many of Wilder's films, you tend to forget just how funny it is %u2014 the way the master director cuts tension with incisive wit and barely controlled silliness."

Posted Jul 21, 2006

Phil Villarreal

13 80%

Brick (2006)

"It's a fun, involving concept, but it tends to weaken the more you think about it."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Phil Villarreal

14 95%

Wordplay (2006)

"So there's this new documentary about crossword puzzles . . . WAIT, get back here!"

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Phil Villarreal

15 74%

Monster House (2006)

"Acceptable as a kids film only as a punishment tool."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Phil Villarreal

16 52%

Strangers with Candy (2005)

"It's a one-joke film that thinks its joke is funnier than it is and runs it into the ground, but not before getting a few laughs."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Phil Villarreal

17 24%

Lady in the Water (2006)

"Maybe the theme is that you should try to score some of that stuff Shyamalan must be smoking."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Phil Villarreal

18 63%

Clerks II (2006)

"Smith's commentary track for the new "Road House" DVD is riotous -- it's got more laughs than his past two films combined."

Posted Jul 20, 2006

Phil Villarreal

19 12%

Little Man (2006)

"The latest Wayans brothers head-scratcher, reaches the bar their last film set. Take that as a searing insult."

Posted Jul 14, 2006

Phil Villarreal

20 40%

Road House (1989)

"'Road House' is a terrible movie, and by 'terrible' I mean 'awesome.'"

Posted Jul 14, 2006

Phil Villarreal

21 73%

Twelve and Holding (12 and Holding) (2006)

"The children are operating without a safety net or a script typed with kid gloves, and that makes it all the more easy to fear for and sympathize with them, even as the plot takes outlandish twists."

Posted Jul 13, 2006

Phil Villarreal

22 69%

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

"If it leaves you with a facial expression as stunned as that of Keanu, you know Linklater and his crew have done their jobs."

Posted Jul 13, 2006

Phil Villarreal

23 21%

You, Me and Dupree (2006)

"Owen Wilson is either an acquired taste or a comedic force who gathers more momentum and skill as he goes. In any case, he gets funnier and funnier with each film."

Posted Jul 13, 2006

Phil Villarreal

24 88%

The Usual Suspects (1995)

"McQuarrie's script is a scurrying lizard of a yarn, scaly, swift and difficult to follow."

Posted Jul 7, 2006

Phil Villarreal

25 98%

Mountain Patrol: Kekexili (2006)

"The film's most memorable visual spectacle, of a man getting sucked into a pool of quicksand, is also the most resonant. Man may think he rules over nature, but it can take him back at any moment."

Posted Jul 6, 2006

Phil Villarreal

26 75%

Look Both Ways (2006)

"Watt stirs the ingredients in her story pot with vigor, sprinkling in rich dialogue and effortless tonal shifts that tend to add just the right shade of humor to lighten the dark material."

Posted Jul 6, 2006

Phil Villarreal

27 52%

Down in the Valley (2005)

"The unpredictable, jarring "Down in the Valley" is another worthy addition to Norton's résumé."

Posted Jul 6, 2006

Phil Villarreal

28 54%

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

"So gather ye a ration and a bottle of rum - or a soda and popcorn, if that be more convenient - and drop anchor with this summer treasure. Aye-aye!"

Posted Jul 6, 2006

Phil Villarreal

29 87%

Ben-Hur (1959)

"The film moves with an assurance and majesty hardly seen in modern movies."

Posted Jul 2, 2006

Phil Villarreal

30 25%

The Lost City (2005)

"For a tribute to a lost city, Garcia has made a lost film."

Posted Jun 29, 2006

Phil Villarreal

31 72%

Clean (2005)

"The viewer comes to identify with Jay, feeling jerked around and not really wanting to get to know Emily, a lost soul who isn't worth two hours of audience investment to find."

Posted Jun 29, 2006

Phil Villarreal

32 76%

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

"Underneath the canned dialogue and a predictable career-isn't-everything social message, "The Devil Wears Prada" beats with an earnest heart."

Posted Jun 29, 2006

Phil Villarreal

33 76%

Superman Returns (2006)

"He remembered the cape, the spandex, the shiny boots and the big red S on his chest, but wait. . . . Where's the personality?"

Posted Jun 28, 2006

Phil Villarreal

34 96%

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

"The most imaginative and emotionally connectable "Star Wars" film and, with the exception of "Revenge of the Sith," also the darkest."

Posted Jun 23, 2006

Phil Villarreal

35 25%

Peaceful Warrior (2006)

" Ever elusive, it always keeps you off balance enough to make you want to see more."

Posted Jun 22, 2006

Phil Villarreal

36 87%

The Beauty Academy of Kabul (2006)

"Ugly Americans try to teach Afghans to be pretty."

Posted Jun 22, 2006

Phil Villarreal

37 32%

Click (2006)

"The comic genius is evolving toward Bill Murray territory - that of a bright soul beaten and worn down by life, with a humorous shine tantalizingly repressed."

Posted Jun 22, 2006

Phil Villarreal

38 100%

Before Sunrise (1995)

"Hawke and Delpy keep the tone not only afloat but mesmerizing. So natural are their performances that it seems impossible not to believe they truly are soulmates who are locked in a doomed, all-too-short affair."

Posted Jun 16, 2006

Phil Villarreal

39 35%

The Lake House (2006)

"Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock reunite for the first time since 1994's "Speed" in a film that should be named "Slow.""

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Phil Villarreal

40 55%

Adam & Steve (2005)

"Chester could have used a major rewrite, or at least some serious editing."

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Phil Villarreal

41 81%

Sketches of Frank Gehry (2006)

"Director Sydney Pollack tries to pry open Gehry's head and allow the audience to see the world from his perspective."

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Phil Villarreal

42 80%

District B13 (Banlieue 13) (2006)

"Morel lathers up a thunderous tornado of exhilarating destruction. There's hardly a moment to pause for breath, blink or wipe the sweat off your brow."

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Phil Villarreal

43 40%

Nacho Libre (2006)

"An all-too typical example of a sophomore slump."

Posted Jun 15, 2006

Phil Villarreal

44 100%

Roma, cittŕ aperta (Open City) (1946)

"Tthe lasting impact of Rossellini's work is incalculable."

Posted Jun 9, 2006

Phil Villarreal

45 74%

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

"Looks may not be able to kill, but boredom can sure do the job."

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Phil Villarreal

46 37%

Keeping Up With The Steins (2006)

"Exactly like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," only without the Greeks or the sense of humor."

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Phil Villarreal

47 27%

The Omen (2006)

"You'll stumble in your seat all right, not so much out of fear but lack of balance, your inner ear destroyed by random blasts of sound."

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Phil Villarreal

48 81%

A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

"Don't expect the biting satire of "Nashville," though. This movie is pretty much an inside job."

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Phil Villarreal

49 74%

Cars (2006)

"All of this sloppy characterization would have been forgivable if the cars had funny things to say, but the script is mainly a succession of bad car puns."

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Phil Villarreal

50 96%

GoodFellas (1990)

"A drama that injects your adrenal glands with the thrill of living from score to score and walking the streets with limitless power."

Posted Jun 2, 2006

Phil Villarreal

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