Mark Bourne

Mark Bourne
Tomatometer-approved critic
Location: Seattle, WA

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere) (1959) Although the film's second half tends to drift toward the stagy and sermonic, Bardone's transformation from a petty chameleon-charlatan to the moral hero and man of conscience is moving and potent, in no small way thanks to De Sica's carefully modulated p - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2009
83% Danton (1983) ...uncompromising and impassioned. [Depardieu's] throat-scraping, rage-against-the-machine speech in court -- "the Revolution is devouring its children!" -- makes Jimmy Stewart's in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington look like a monk's benediction. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2009
97% The Odd Couple (1968) ...a durable classic, the sort of comedy that doesn't try to yank laughs by cramming its fist down our throats. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2009
88% Frozen River (2008) Frozen River let me forget I was watching a movie, something that didn't happen often in 2008. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2009
87% Funny Face (1957) ...can clunk like a tin can in the dryer. But hey, we're talking Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, so that's some mighty elegant slack we're willing to cut here. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
89% Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) ...the final scene, a tender sequence that you can sop up with a sponge, but if you aren't moved by it you probably stick kittens with pins. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
95% Trafic (Traffic) (1972) the breezy vapor that amounts to the movie's plot, it's not the destination that counts, but the leisurely, amiably aimless travel you take getting there. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
61% The Fall (2006) ...a movie that not only expected me to pay attention, it assumed that I could. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
49% Sex and the City (2008) ...'Yes,' she said. 'It's Star Trek for women.'... - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
67% Snow Angels (2007) So when the film's moment of horror arrives, it's not with suspense but instead the sort of dully anticipatory inevitability that drains as much energy from the story as from the audience. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
84% Kabluey (2007) ...a low-key comedy perfectly tuned for our times. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2009
92% The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989) ...probably the purest expression of Gilliam's Rococo imagination... - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2008
94% My Kid Could Paint That (2007) New York Times senior art critic Michael Kimmelman offers sharp insights when he mentions how Marla's painting reflects not just 'innocence' and what our psyches project into them, but also 'the cynicism of the art world.' - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2008
No Score Yet Lillie (1979) Annis inhabits Lillie with subtlety and in three dimensions, giving us plenty of room to admire the classy crumpet's self-possession and stick-to-it-iveness in a society that valued conformity and propriety above all else. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
No Score Yet ...affectionate, sophisticated, bitingly satirical, hilarious and sexy -- no English degree required. At the same time, it's absolutely essential viewing for theater lovers, who may be blissfully horrified at what goes on when the audience isn't looking. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
98% City Lights (1931) That final scene. Last week, CNN asked -- in "The Screening Room's Top 10 Romantic Moments" -- whether this was the most touching film moment of all time. Could be. Either way, if it doesn't move you, you're beyond human reach. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
100% Singin' in the Rain (1952) ...this one's the Taj Mahal, Armstrong's footprint on the moon, the 2001 Arizona-New York World Series, the Clash's London Calling, and the perfect foamy head on an expertly poured Guinness. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
68% Shortbus (2006) Shortbus is not, above all, 'dirty.' What it is, in fact, is a nice movie, one of the nicest to come down the pike since March of the Penguins. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
100% The Philadelphia Story (1940) Every time Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart connect in a scene, we hear the happy ding! of quality champagne crystal. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
62% Death at a Funeral (2007) It's no classic, but it did prompt me to watch those great old Ealing Alec Guinness comedies again. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2008
No Score Yet Beatles - Ed Sullivan Presents the Beatles: 4 Complete Shows (1964) Beatles aficionados should leap on these raw performances -- shot live with no studio post-production gloss, only the boys in their rare natural state -- as primary documents from the pre-Revolver, pre-Sgt. Pepper years.... - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2008
93% Best in Show (2000)'s always a pleasure to watch this ensemble of gifted talents do what they do best -- be spontaneous and funny and surprising. What we get is a master-class demonstration of the distinction between comic actors and comedians who try to act. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2008
88% 2 Days in Paris (2007) impressive, funny urban comedy of manners from a suitably distinctive voice that I hope we'll hear again soon. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2008
86% Petulia (1968) anti-The Graduate ... an essential film from and about America in the dying days of the '60s, yet the modernism of its style and ambitions makes Petulia impressively ahead of that time. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2008
77% The President's Analyst (1967) If Philip K. Dick had worked for Mad magazine, he might have come up with The President's Analyst. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2008
No Score Yet Saving Sarah Cain (2007) ...will probably find a welcome reception among the nominal "family values" audience, but they deserve "nice" and "decent" movies that offer more engaging and challenging fare than this... - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
No Score Yet Family Guy - Blue Harvest (2008) The duplicated scenes from A New Hope are so shot-for-shot faithful that the whole project feels boxed in by its reverence rather than freed up to cut loose with the fearless bravado that we tune into Family Guy for. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
5% Good Luck Chuck (2007) What isn't forgivable, though, is being boring, and Good Luck Chuck has all the engaging magnetism of an unflushed toilet. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
35% The Ten (2007) ...brings to mind the fondly remembered Kentucky Fried Movie/Amazon Women on the Moon anthos from the '70s and '80s. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
20% Death Sentence (2007) Bacon, as usual, is very good even when he's slumming, and as a trashy B-movie redo of Death Wish the movie works well enough for a Saturday afternoon with a case of brewskies. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2008
62% Joshua (2007) ...a bewildering extension rather than a retread of this played-out subgenre. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2008
89% Zodiac (2007) Fincher, more subdued ... and aching for a return to smart suspense films from the likes of Sidney Lumet and Alan J. Pakula, pulls us by the collar into the frame and cranks the sense of menace taut without cheap tricks or cop-out gimmicks. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2008
89% 3:10 to Yuma (2007) Mangold's film is more than sufficiently subtexty and cynical for our modern sensibilities while simultaneously embracing Mangold's obvious pleasure in the Westerns' time-honored swinging saloon doors and stern masculine traditions. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2008
67% Shoot 'Em Up (2007) affectionate, often very funny Simpsons parody of its whole eponymous genre. It's a live-action McBane as co-directed by Quentin Tarantino and Chuck Jones.... Shoot 'Em Up is Hot Fuzz gone to the Dark Side. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2008
90% The Lion in Winter (1968) Director Anthony Harvey opened up Goldman's play into authentic spaces far from any proscenium, and remained faithful to an energetic drama propelled by its performances and dialogue. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2007
97% Once (2007) Once doesn't plop its emotions on its characters' sleeves, and it trusts us enough to leave some of the best stuff unstated. In other words, it trusts us to know that half the music lies between the notes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2007
76% Stardust (2007) Like the star that falls to Earth near the beginning of the movie, Stardust is glittery and pretty and possesses its own pleasing-enough personality, but it won't set the world on fire. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2007
15% The Last Legion (2007) There are, after all, aimed at young audiences plenty of movies more mean-spirited, indiscriminate and obnoxious than The Last Legion. But at the same time there are plenty that are, alas, less frustrating. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2007
86% Junebug (2005) of many reasons to love Junebug is how often it offers us spaces to fill in ourselves, the faith it shows in handing us small puzzles -- Eugene's hand-carved bird, for instance -- to chuckle over or think on afterward. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2007
89% Waitress (2007) Waitress is not a perfectly cut, factory-line Safeway-brand slice. It does, though, serve up a generous deep-dish portion, homemade and heartfelt, that leaves a sweet taste goes down. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2007
90% Colma: The Musical (2006) It's not a great film, but we sure enjoyed it more than many bigger films that try harder to convince us they're great. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2007
100% Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party (2005) Think of Stephen as a softer, rounder, more existentially content Spalding Gray, or the film as a My Dinner with Andre in a pullover sweater and sensible shoes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2007
88% Help! (1965) For casual viewers, the whole thing has a retro charm. For Beatles fans, it's a flawed but essential film. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2007
76% Outsourced (2007) ...even if we aren't pumping our fists in the air, we're rooting for the characters with an agreeable 'namaste' vibe that feels earned rather than forced upon us. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2007
45% The Wasp Woman (1959) It's poorly written, cheesily acted, low-budget, and completely camp, but because it's Corman it's a touch ahead of its ilk thanks to some clever lines and flavorful directing. Utterly ridiculous but lovable. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2007
22% The Giant Gila Monster (1959) Camp value is provided by a truckload of 1950s B-movie cliches and dreadful song breaks -- "The Gila Monster Crawl" among other "rock & roll hits" -- by its lead, Don Sullivan, who through this movie rose from nothing to complete obscurity. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2007
96% Alfie (1966) What makes it work is charismatic Caine and the witty, intelligent script. Both work together to keep this remorseless bastard who uses and hurts women from being completely unlikable or unsympathetic. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2007
91% Fantastic Voyage (1966) ...our own human interior was revealed, like a Jacques Cousteau travelogue, in screen-filling vistas of surreal canals and chambers filled with floating psychedelia and the amorphous Jell-O colors of a Jimi Hendrix concert. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2007
99% The Third Man (1949) It's a suspense-thriller-romance steeped in Hollywood's best influences and 'gimmicks,' yet it's crafted with enough looming European 'art-house' style to topple Fritz Lang into an existential funk. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2007
78% Bedazzled (1967) ...the duo's best film, Bedazzled brought the spirit of Swinging London plus impudent pokes at religion, politics, and pop culture itself to their new audiences. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2007