Authors

Arizona Daily Star

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 78%

Doubt (2008)

"A melodrama that changes the rules in an effort to seem fresh. But at its heart it's still a boo-here, hiss-there formula romp."

Posted Dec 24, 2008

Phil Villarreal

2 25%

Bedtime Stories (2008)

"Kids will have the best time, because the comedy is geared toward them and they won't remember the Sandler who wouldn't sleepwalk through roles."

Posted Dec 24, 2008

Phil Villarreal

3 72%

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

"Damn thing never seems to end."

Posted Dec 24, 2008

Phil Villarreal

4 27%

Seven Pounds (2008)

"But even without the head-shaker ending, the movie would have been a failure due to Smith's lackadaisical performance."

Posted Dec 18, 2008

Phil Villarreal

5 94%

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

"Hardscrabble British director Danny Boyle does an astounding job at building and maintaining suspense."

Posted Dec 18, 2008

Phil Villarreal

6 45%

Yes Man (2008)

"There's also satisfaction in more of the same, and that's exactly what Carrey dishes out in this return to form."

Posted Dec 18, 2008

Phil Villarreal

7 52%

Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)

"There's nothing like a holiday film that gets you in the spirit of family reunions in all their disastrous glory."

Posted Dec 11, 2008

Phil Villarreal

8 94%

Milk (2008)

"Gus Van Sant has made his Malcolm X."

Posted Dec 10, 2008

Phil Villarreal

9 98%

Let the Right One In (2008)

"The best fantasy stories excel because they give new perspective to real-life issues through the lens of the supernatural, and the Swedish film uses vampirism to tackle adolescence in all its glorious agony."

Posted Dec 4, 2008

Phil Villarreal

10 68%

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

"He goes for Fellini's 8 1/2 but comes up 8 short."

Posted Nov 26, 2008

Phil Villarreal

11 25%

Four Christmases (2008)

"Vaughn has little romantic rapport with Witherspoon, so the love story has no pull, but Vaughn is in top center-of-attention form and Witherspoon is a game straightwoman."

Posted Nov 26, 2008

Phil Villarreal

12 49%

Twilight (2008)

"I'm glad I saw Twilight for one reason: It made the phrase jump the shark obsolete, to be potentially replaced with The vampires are playing baseball."

Posted Nov 21, 2008

Phil Villarreal

13 93%

Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

"And, boy, do you pull for her, because if the indomitable Poppy can't find what she's looking for, then there's no hope for the rest of us."

Posted Nov 20, 2008

Phil Villarreal

14 63%

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) (2008)

"The tale takes on the resonance of a Greek myth, and even though the story is fiction it finds devastating truths."

Posted Nov 20, 2008

Phil Villarreal

15 80%

Ashes of Time Redux (2008)

"Beautiful to look at, with painterly compositions, gorgeous, emotionally charged close-ups and slick, elegant transitions. It's all for naught because the story seems no more coherent than the flourishes of a kaleidoscope."

Posted Nov 20, 2008

Phil Villarreal

16 88%

Bolt (2008)

"Pixar masterpieces aside, it's been quite a while since Disney cranked out an animated movie worthy of its fairy-dust-sprinkled castle logo."

Posted Nov 19, 2008

Phil Villarreal

17 64%

Quantum of Solace (2008)

"The movie never bores, but nor does it spark."

Posted Nov 12, 2008

Phil Villarreal

18 85%

Rachel Getting Married (2008)

"Given to jarring shifts between lucid insight and cataclysmic meltdowns, Hathaway makes Kym seem like a real person rather than a cartoonish concoction."

Posted Nov 6, 2008

Phil Villarreal

19 77%

Role Models (2008)

"You know exactly where it's going, but you're happy anyway because the most predictable part of the movie is how much it will make you laugh."

Posted Nov 5, 2008

Phil Villarreal

20 65%

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

"Rogen hops on Smith's shoulders to form a super-mega Voltron of humor and heart."

Posted Oct 31, 2008

Phil Villarreal

21 51%

What Just Happened? (2008)

"If you want to get a peek under the hood of Hollywood or just want to see Bruce Willis in a big, scruffy beard, What Just Happened certainly delivers."

Posted Oct 30, 2008

Phil Villarreal

22 35%

Pride and Glory (2008)

"Sometimes the writing gets too outrageous, as if O'Connor and Carnahan are trying too hard to top themselves. Look out for the scene with the baby and the iron, which is a nice time to run off to the bathroom."

Posted Oct 22, 2008

Phil Villarreal

23 59%

W. (2008)

"I was hoping for a Young Mr. W. treatment."

Posted Oct 17, 2008

Phil Villarreal

24 91%

The Exiles (1961)

"Just because a movie was lost and found doesn't mean it's worth your $8.75."

Posted Oct 15, 2008

Phil Villarreal

25 58%

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

"The movie slogs like honey dripping off a butter knife. It doesn't help that Prince-Bythewood slams the audience with heavy-handed symbolism."

Posted Oct 15, 2008

Phil Villarreal

26 46%

Sex Drive (2008)

"When you're in the theater, sucked into the movie's demented little world, you happily wallow in the sticky comic mud."

Posted Oct 15, 2008

Phil Villarreal

27 53%

City of Ember (2008)

"I sat there bored out of my skull, rooting for the generator to explode to put us all out of our misery."

Posted Oct 10, 2008

Phil Villarreal

28 61%

The Duchess (2008)

"Hums with the rhythms of some of the better Merchant Ivory films."

Posted Oct 9, 2008

Phil Villarreal

29 61%

The Express (2008)

"Accomplishes what it sets out to do. It chronicles Davis' trials and triumphs well enough. But still, it leaves you wondering what was going on inside the helmet."

Posted Oct 9, 2008

Phil Villarreal

30 54%

Body of Lies (2008)

"It's a wonder that Body of Lies squanders all of those ingredients in a dry, convoluted mess."

Posted Oct 8, 2008

Phil Villarreal

31 11%

An American Carol (2008)

"The right should follow Zucker's lead engage its liberal opposition with humor rather than the crass protests and attempts at bans usually flung at Moore's films."

Posted Oct 3, 2008

Phil Villarreal

32 74%

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)

"Seems like it was made by a ghost alien from Triton, moon of Neptune."

Posted Oct 2, 2008

Phil Villarreal

33 100%

Man on Wire (2008)

"As cops waited to arrest him, he laughed, kneeled, laid down on the wire and spoke with a seagull. Wonder if its name was Jonathan Livingston?"

Posted Oct 2, 2008

Phil Villarreal

34 59%

Flash of Genius (2008)

"An endearing underdog yarn."

Posted Oct 2, 2008

Phil Villarreal

35 76%

Appaloosa (2008)

"With Wayne's gruff arrogance, Eastwood's squinting revenge eyes and Stewart's ambling cool, Harris carves a daunting figure."

Posted Oct 2, 2008

Phil Villarreal

36 43%

Blindness (2008)

"Cinematographer CÚsar Charlone is inventive, his shots ranging from oversaturated with whiteness to distorted silhouettes and double exposures."

Posted Oct 1, 2008

Phil Villarreal

37 30%

Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

"Whiffs on both sentiment and misery. It may be that there's no spark here because there's too much Sparks here."

Posted Sep 25, 2008

Phil Villarreal

38 54%

Choke (2008)

"No Fight Club, but in a world of far too few Chuck Palahniuk movie adaptations, it suffices."

Posted Sep 25, 2008

Phil Villarreal

39 26%

Eagle Eye (2008)

"So what we have here is the world's smartest entity giving orders to the two dumbest people."

Posted Sep 24, 2008

Phil Villarreal

40 45%

Lakeview Terrace (2008)

"As a huge fan of LaBute's usual work, I'd like to believe he intended Lakeview Terrace as a mockery of dopey conventions and that his heightened sense of irony just floated over my head."

Posted Sep 17, 2008

Phil Villarreal

41 85%

Ghost Town (2008)

"Gervais just owns this movie."

Posted Sep 17, 2008

Phil Villarreal

42 78%

Baghead (2008)

"I want to shout, not mumble, that the Duplasses are a couple of the most promising filmmakers out there."

Posted Sep 11, 2008

Phil Villarreal

43 13%

The Women (2008)

"A remake of a movie from the 1930s, but it seems like a throwback to the Stone Age."

Posted Sep 11, 2008

Phil Villarreal

44 91%

Transsiberian (2008)

"Takes a more cerebral route, toying with your expectations only to give you something else, whispering hints of what fate might have in store for the characters after the credits roll."

Posted Sep 11, 2008

Phil Villarreal

45 19%

Righteous Kill (2008)

"Leaden with cliches, obvious red herrings and logic-abandoning choices by the lead characters, the Russell Gewirtz script is the proverbial pig in De Niro-Pacino lipstick."

Posted Sep 11, 2008

Phil Villarreal

46 78%

Burn After Reading (2008)

"Nothing in the movie makes sense at all, but that's not necessarily a drawback."

Posted Sep 10, 2008

Phil Villarreal

47 ——

Jake's Corner (2008)

"We sure could use you at Arizona Stadium, Johnny Dunn."

Posted Sep 9, 2008

Phil Villarreal

48 70%

American Teen (2008)

"A doctored snapshot that nails the angst, hope and spirit of an emerging generation."

Posted Sep 4, 2008

Phil Villarreal

49 48%

Bottle Shock (2008)

"It might have worked better as a documentary, or better yet a paragraph on Wikipedia."

Posted Aug 29, 2008

Phil Villarreal

50 63%

Traitor (2008)

"Other than Samir, most of the characters are oversimplified placeholders with little depth, but Cheadle gives you someone to latch onto and care for. You also sort of despise him, because he may well be doing more harm than good."

Posted Aug 26, 2008

Phil Villarreal

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