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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      Boys on the Side (1995) Henry Sheehan The three make their strange-bedfellows friendship appear utterly plausible. In doing so, they give Boys on the Side a core of emotional authenticity and make it a forceful, if inelegant, tribute to female friendship.
      Posted Mar 14, 2023
      9 to 5 (1980) Vern Perry An amusing and occasionally hilarious film that moves quickly and logically from point A to point B.
      Posted Mar 03, 2023
      Thelma & Louise (1991) Jim Emerson Luminous lead actresses Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis are strong enough that they resist being fashioned into mannequins in Scott's fastidiously arranged wide-screen window display.
      Posted Mar 02, 2023
      Safety Last (1923) OC Register Staff How Harold Lloyd performs his thrill stunts is a mystery. It is certain that he did them himself, for his face is seen plainly in every hazardous predicament he encounters.
      Posted Feb 21, 2023
      The Big Lebowski (1998) Henry Sheehan "Lebowski" is, as it turns out, a comedy, yet Joel and Ethan Coen, so adept at sneering at the shortcomings of others, have failed to put anything funny in the movie.
      Posted Jan 24, 2023
      Frankenstein (1931) OC Register Staff A horrible story, well acted, but useless from any standpoint other than entertainment of a rather sordid nature, Frankenstein is indeed something unusual in motion pictures... This strong emotions this picture causes stands out pointedly.
      Posted Jan 12, 2023
      A Dry White Season (1989) Jim Emerson It is an undeniably powerful and moving tale... but it also -- perhaps unavoidably -- struggles to fit the problems of apartheid into the contours of a fairly conventional, if diffuse, thriller story line.
      Posted Jan 03, 2023
      Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Henry Sheehan So go, enjoy. Your kids will love it. And so will you.
      Posted Dec 19, 2022
      Braveheart (1995) Henry Sheehan Braveheart doesn't amount to much more than theatrical chest-thumping by Gibson. He clearly knows how to put a movie together, but he is going to have to get over himself before that knowledge does anyone any good.
      Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Dances With Wolves (1990) Jim Emerson In its finest moments, and there are plenty, the film combines the straightforward, elegiac storytelling of John Ford with the mythic violence and imagery of Sam Peckinpah and the dark, absurdist humor of Monte Hellman.
      Posted Nov 03, 2022
      Gladiator (2000) Henry Sheehan There is a plot, but it is at once so derivative and so undernourished that it never really registers as a story. As far as it goes, it's "Spartacus Lite," minus that epic's moral grandeur.
      Posted Nov 01, 2022
      Addams Family Values (1993) Henry Sheehan Unlike the main story, the camp portion builds steadily and cleverly to a nicely sabotaged pageant. But it wouldn't work without Ricci, who can really hold the screen.
      Posted Sep 21, 2022
      Fright Night (1985) Michael Burkett Spectacularly lousy.
      Posted Sep 14, 2022
      Rain Man (1988) Jim Emerson En route, all that keeps this naive, romantic and formulaic concept from becoming unbearably precious are the courageous, if rather strident, performances by Hoffman and Cruise.
      Posted Aug 03, 2022
      The Last Emperor (1987) Jim Emerson It's a film of such polyphonic richness, so full of history (both personal and political) and imagery, that pieces of it continue to reverberate off one another in your memory for days after you've seen it.
      Posted Aug 01, 2022
      Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Jim Emerson Directed by Bruce Beresford, Driving Miss Daisy is told in an elliptical, anecdotal style that, in its best moments, faintly recalls the films of Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story, Early Spring, Late Autum).
      Posted Jul 25, 2022
      Terms of Endearment (1983) Michael Burkett [Terms of Endearment] is not only one of the least maudlin tearjerkers ever to dampen a shirt sleeve, but also a riotous, brilliantly acted and truly perceptive comedy.
      Posted Jul 20, 2022
      Amadeus (1984) Michael Burkett The virtues of Amadeus are so many, the achievements so splendid, that not much more is required of a reviewer than a listing of what is available for the price of admission.
      Posted Jul 11, 2022
      The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Jim Emerson Despite its failings (and partially because of them), Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ is a challenging, dynamic piece of personal filmmaking.
      Posted May 05, 2022
      The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Jim Emerson The Silence of the Lambs is something exceedingly rare and invaluable in movies these days: an accomplished, intelligent -- and genuinely scary -- thriller.
      Posted Mar 23, 2022
      Titanic (1997) Henry Sheehan Cameron has filled this saga almost to the bursting point with stories and themes that stretch from romance to expose, from parables of hubris to celebrations of industry. This is a great, sprawling film because it urgently needs to be so.
      Posted Mar 17, 2022
      Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) Henry Sheehan Thanks to screenwriter and director Carl Franklin, Devil has blossomed into a compulsively watchable mystery, a redolently atmospheric period piece, and a provocative meditation on race, ambition and civics.
      Posted Oct 27, 2021
      L.A. Confidential (1997) Henry Sheehan Adapted from a novel said to be unadaptable and set in a genre that has seemed increasingly played out, it brings clarity and life to its art and to life. That's a pretty good definition of a masterpiece, isn't it?
      Posted Oct 20, 2021
      My Family/Mi Familia (1995) Henry Sheehan What makes movie characters come alive are differences, not similarities. My Family could be any family, and thus, is no family at all.
      Posted Aug 26, 2021
      Go Fish (1994) Henry Sheehan Max and Ely's courtship can't sustain itself on single-cell motivation, not dramatically, anyway.
      Posted Aug 25, 2021
      La Bamba (1987) Jim Washburn More than being true to the time and place, Valdez's script and direction ring true to the heart.
      Posted Aug 10, 2021
      El Norte (1983) Michael Burkett Haunting, poetic and warmly sympathetic.
      Posted Aug 03, 2021
      Testament (1983) Vern Perry It is impossible not to be affected or frightened by Testament.
      Posted May 10, 2021
      Schindler's List (1993) Henry Sheehan This is a movie that succeeds brilliantly not just in bringing a terrible chapter in history back to life, but in meticulously depicting the processes through which a self-obsessed and immature man becomes integrated and responsible.
      Posted Apr 15, 2021
      All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) OC Register Staff Lewis Milestone has done a magnificent work as director. The broad sweep of war is never allowed to obscure the human beings whose fate is the foremost consideration in the picture.
      Posted Apr 07, 2021
      The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) Henry Sheehan This beautifully shot movie with the intriguing premise never really does get around to developing a full-fledged plot.
      Posted Mar 18, 2021
      Clueless (1995) Henry Sheehan In the end, a viewer's generation won't matter much. This is a great example of a comedy that delves deeply into a world and takes us along with it.
      Posted Mar 16, 2021
      Wayne's World (1992) Jim Emerson Wayne's World has the unmistakable aura of authenticity that marked director Penelope Spheeris' 1988 The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.
      Posted Mar 11, 2021
      The Jazz Singer (1927) OC Register Staff The direction of Alan Crosland has been masterly, the cast a good one -- but it is Jolson (made vocal by the magic of Vitaphone) who lifts the play to heights of unbelievable pathos and sobbing mirth.
      Posted Feb 24, 2021
      Imitation of Life (1934) OC Register Staff Claudette Colbert steps into her emotional role and makes it an outstanding characterization.
      Posted Jan 30, 2021
      Out of Africa (1985) Michael Burkett Redford's is only a supporting role, but when he and Streep start mooning over each other, you'll be hard put to recall the last time you felt this much pure, unadulterated mutual desire in a mere motion picture.
      Posted Jan 12, 2021
      Howard the Duck (1986) Michael Burkett Sound the horns, light the speakers, and cue the marching band, because Howard the Duck is here -- and bad movie historians could not ask for a more mallard-droit venture than this.
      Posted Dec 15, 2020
      Rolled Stockings (1927) OC Register Staff It is healthy young man and woman-hood at their best.
      Posted Nov 03, 2020
      Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Pat H. Broeske Though Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan lacks the grandiose sweep and inflated budget of the first film, it is infinitely richer in characterizations, and its succinctly drawn storyline manages to be both riveting and warmly affecting.
      Posted Sep 09, 2020
      The Sunset Limited (2011) OC Register Staff The viewpoints make this production powerful. McCarthy's created a script where both positions come with very valid arguments. The discussions ring with a truthfulness because of the stars' skillful acting.
      Posted Aug 07, 2020
      High School Musical 2 (2007) OC Register Staff While it'll satisfy its target demographic to no end, there's something lacking, where, instead of a soul, there's nothing more than the contrived emotionless plastic of a well-oiled money-making machine.
      Posted Sep 10, 2019
      Judd Apatow: The Return (2017) Rob Lowman I'm not sure that Apatow should give up his day job. He may need another 25 years to come up with fresh material. But telling jokes for nearly 70 minutes and making people laugh hard, he proved he could do it with this amiable, amusing show.
      Posted Jul 08, 2019
      Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope (1977) Vern Perry Star Wars is nothing short of pure unadulterated entertainment, something that has been sorely lacking in a great majority of recent films.
      Posted Dec 21, 2015
      Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (2005) Craig Outhier Say what you want about Lucas' one-take directing style, his over-reliance on blue screens or his cheesy tendency to reference himself, but his imagination is as fertile as ever.
      Posted Nov 16, 2015
      Iron Man (2008) Craig Outhier Led by Downey's career-resurrecting performance as billionaire weapons peddler Tony Stark, it proves just as indispensable to the movie's giddy escapist appeal as the seamless CGI effects and eye-popping pyrotechnics.
      Posted Jun 15, 2015
      The Missing Picture (2013) Michael Sragow Panh fulfills his debts to the dead not just by adding to the visual record of genocide, but also by creating a transcendent work of art.
      Posted Jan 05, 2015
      Merry Christmas (2005) Craig Outhier For all their friendship and yuletide charity, the men must return to battle, and the miracle of Christmas does little to alter the course of war. By the end of it, they must decide if they've witnessed their own grand illusion.
      Posted Dec 14, 2014
      Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005) Craig Outhier Kiss Kiss is such a delightful bombardment, we barely notice that Black's convoluted, serpentine plot doesn't make a lick of sense.
      Posted Dec 14, 2014
      Enchanted (2007) Craig Outhier In Enchanted, even the vermin whistle while they work.
      Posted Dec 10, 2014
      The Dance of Reality (2013) Michael Sragow Say this about the godfather of midnight movies, Alejandro Jodorowsky: He loves a parade and he puts on a doozy
      Posted Dec 08, 2014
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