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      Dallas Observer

      Dallas Observer is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Andy Klein, Bill Gallo, David Ehrenstein, Jean Oppenheimer, Luke Y. Thompson, Matt Zoller Seitz, Robert Wilonsky.

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      The Matrix (1999) Bill Gallo The Wachowskis seem to be saying that while state-of-the-art effects speak for themselves, loud and clear, there's still room amid all the kicking and shooting and shouting for the carefully observed human emotion.
      Posted Jul 13, 2023
      Magnolia (1999) Robert Wilonsky Magnolia, the third film from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, is a brilliant piece of garbage -- mesmerizing, but only because you can't believe someone has the temerity to put so much into so little.
      Posted Jun 29, 2023
      Heavenly Creatures (1994) Matt Zoller Seitz It's so bold, passionate, and perverse that it crosses just about every categorical line in cinema.
      Posted May 16, 2023
      My Family/Mi Familia (1995) Matt Zoller Seitz One of the most satisfying dramas I've ever seen.
      Posted Aug 26, 2021
      Psychotropic Overload (1994) Matt Zoller Seitz So here it is, Joseph. If bad press really is better than no press, here's something better. And if raw persistence made careers in the film industry, you'd have a three-picture deal by now...
      Posted Jul 26, 2021
      The Rat Pack (1998) Robert Wilonsky It's a film about style that has none, a film about tough guys that has no punch, a cocktail without the booze.
      Posted Apr 29, 2020
      Event Horizon (1997) Robert Wilonsky In space, apparently, no one can hear you direct.
      Posted Dec 15, 2018
      The Exorcist (1973) Robert Wilonsky [Friedkin] knew he wasn't making art; he was concocting gross-out pop -- a movie so "scary" it borders on being silly.
      Posted Oct 15, 2014
      The Boxer (1997) Peter Rainer The Boxer is very observant about the ways in which women are enlisted in the IRA cause.
      Posted May 14, 2013
      Chicago (2002) Bill Gallo As the show has always taught us, the public is fickle and fame is fleeting. But some things turn out to be timeless. Chicago looks like one of them.
      Posted Oct 18, 2008
      Wolf Creek (2005) Luke Y. Thompson Greg McLean, who has many shorts and commercials under his belt, makes a significant feature debut here, with unapologetic horror that doesn't compromise.
      Posted Jan 04, 2006
      Mirrormask (2005) Luke Y. Thompson looks as amazing as anything onscreen this year.
      Posted Oct 08, 2005
      It's All Gone Pete Tong (2004) Robert Wilonsky The movie leaves us with a broad, genuine smile, not the smirk born of so many mockumentaries. This is phony, absolutely, but the good feeling it leaves behind is plenty real.
      Posted May 13, 2005
      Monster-in-Law (2005) Bill Gallo Billed as a comedy, this low-wattage sitcom is both ill-tempered and mean-spirited -- not least when it's cracking anti-gay jokes and making snide suggestions about incest.
      Posted May 13, 2005
      The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) Robert Wilonsky The droll has been made dull, a most inexplicable and unfortunate turn of events for so adored a genius, goofball work as this.
      Posted Apr 29, 2005
      Dot the I (2003) Bill Gallo If you find dense, self-conscious mystification decorated with all kinds of fashionable postmodern gimmicks more than a bit annoying, best to look elsewhere.
      Posted Apr 23, 2005
      The Interpreter (2005) Robert Wilonsky The action gives way, time and time again, to the inaction of people sitting there, explaining why they're there and how they got there and why they're not leaving, which isn't thrilling at all.
      Posted Apr 22, 2005
      Dust to Glory (2005) Bill Gallo 94 minutes' worth of mind-numbing repetition, complete with a musical score seemingly lifted from reality TV.
      Posted Apr 09, 2005
      Sahara (2005) Robert Wilonsky A stunning piece of work -- stunningly inept, stunningly incoherent, stunningly awful in every single way imaginable.
      Posted Apr 09, 2005
      Fever Pitch (2005) Jean Oppenheimer A sweet, ingratiating romantic comedy.
      Posted Apr 09, 2005
      Oldboy (2003) Luke Y. Thompson It's a work of art for sure, but a sadistic one. Oldboy is one of the year's best; it just isn't for everyone.
      Posted Apr 08, 2005
      The Upside of Anger (2005) Robert Wilonsky A mature, informed piece of work that sticks in your head, your heart and your throat long after it's over.
      Posted Apr 02, 2005
      Sin City (2005) Robert Wilonsky What we get isn't so much a dismantled and rearranged puzzle-piece narrative as much as a song stripped of its verses, till all we're left with is the chorus.
      Posted Apr 01, 2005
      Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005) Robert Wilonsky All it lacks is a laugh track -- appropriate since it also lacks a laugh.
      Posted Mar 25, 2005
      Millions (2004) Robert Wilonsky Charming, warming fable.
      Posted Mar 25, 2005
      Guess Who (2005) Robert Wilonsky It breaks no ground, but at least it doesn't bury itself beneath so much proselytizing and posing.
      Posted Mar 25, 2005
      Walk on Water (2004) Jean Oppenheimer Will resonate with all sorts of viewers.
      Posted Mar 25, 2005
      You I Love (2004) Bill Gallo The whole thing has a dour resolve that undermines its attempts at humor.
      Posted Mar 25, 2005
      Downfall (2004) Bill Gallo Downfall doesn't provide much new material, but it should prove valuable for generations as a historical document, despite its several odd stances.
      Posted Mar 13, 2005
      Robots (2005) Robert Wilonsky If its story line isn't exactly novel -- a dreamer son sets off for the Big City to fulfill his destiny and make his poor parents proud -- its look is hypnotically visionary.
      Posted Mar 11, 2005
      Be Cool (2005) Robert Wilonsky A note-for-note, beat-for-beat redo of its predecessor, only with all the entertaining stuff left out.
      Posted Mar 04, 2005
      Imaginary Heroes (2004) Bill Gallo Whatever kudos go to Harris for the length of his reach tend to be overshadowed by inexperience and enslavement to genre.
      Posted Feb 25, 2005
      Paper Clips (2004) Jean Oppenheimer Low-key but inspirational.
      Posted Feb 18, 2005
      Constantine (2005) Robert Wilonsky A deceptively thoughtful tale tricked up like an action movie; it's beautiful to look at but even more lovely to ruminate over.
      Posted Feb 18, 2005
      Hitch (2005) Robert Wilonsky Smith is the stale prince of charming grins and adorable asides; it's astounding that this is his first real romantic comedy, because it feels like he's been doing this shtick for years.
      Posted Feb 11, 2005
      Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) Robert Wilonsky Aims to be loud, dumb fun, only it takes itself too seriously to offer anything approaching a good time.
      Posted Jan 23, 2005
      Hotel Rwanda (2004) Jean Oppenheimer May be the most important film released in the past year. Among the class of 2004, it is certainly one of the best.
      Posted Jan 15, 2005
      Million Dollar Baby (2004) Bill Gallo It's difficult not to admire Eastwood's dogged (and likely painful) pursuit of real life and authentic emotion.
      Posted Jan 15, 2005
      In Good Company (2004) Robert Wilonsky [A] marvelous comedy tinged with substantial sadness around its edges.
      Posted Jan 14, 2005
      Coach Carter (2005) Bill Gallo Not even Jackson's thundering dynamism lifts the drama from mediocrity.
      Posted Jan 14, 2005
      The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004) Robert Wilonsky Penn's lead performance is the main attraction here, and it's a fine piece of work -- far superior to his overly showy Oscar-winning role last year.
      Posted Jan 14, 2005
      Meet the Fockers (2004) Robert Wilonsky It's left to Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman as Greg's parents to warm up the picture, and they light it on fire.
      Posted Dec 27, 2004
      The Aviator (2004) Robert Wilonsky It's great fun, but nothing more.
      Posted Dec 27, 2004
      Spanglish (2004) Robert Wilonsky Less a story than a snapshot of a crumbling marriage populated by sitcom characters.
      Posted Dec 17, 2004
      Christmas With the Kranks (2004) Robert Wilonsky It's a celebration of conformity, a film that begs for laughs by mocking and ridiculing anyone who harbors an original thought or action.
      Posted Nov 24, 2004
      Kinsey (2004) Robert Wilonsky It's a love letter from a director to a ghost who still hovers over us all.
      Posted Nov 19, 2004
      National Treasure (2004) Robert Wilonsky Watching it is akin to sitting next to someone else hogging the PlayStation controller as he steers a character through a maze in search of clues that lead only to more clues that finally land in a dreary dead end.
      Posted Nov 19, 2004
      After the Sunset (2004) Bill Gallo The witless inanity of After the Sunset is so numbing that the sole reason for any living creature to sit through it is to marvel at the speed and variety of actress Salma Hayek's costume changes.
      Posted Nov 12, 2004
      The Incredibles (2004) Robert Wilonsky The Incredibles is beautiful to look at, but even more lovely beneath the computer-generated surfaces.
      Posted Nov 05, 2004
      End of the Century (2003) Robert Wilonsky The Ramones have been commodified, deified, even gentrified, but seldom have they been so thoroughly analyzed.
      Posted Nov 05, 2004
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