Capital Times (Madison, WI)
The Trip (2011)
"Just watching them volley impressions at each other for a couple of hours would make for a great time at the movies. But Winterbottom and his actors manage to underlay a melancholy note beneath the merriment, making "The Trip" even more satisfying. "
Bill Cunningham New York (2011)
"Richard Press' film is an affectionate look at a man who embodies the spirit of his cosmopolitan city, has discovered and documented trends in fashion for decades, and, along the way, may have figured out the secret to life. "
Winter in Wartime (2011)
In A Better World (2011)
The Music Never Stopped (2011)
13 Assassins (2011)
"It's an incredibly violent, insanely entertaining movie that features scores of baddies getting killed by sword, arrow, knife, boiling oil, even a stampede of bulls. Wait, check that. Not just bulls. Flaming bulls."
The Tree of Life (2011)
The Art of Getting By (2011)
I Am (2011)
Meek's Cutoff (2011)
""Meek's Cutoff" works wonders even if you don't buy the political metaphor, instead appreciating the film as a historical survival tale and a meditation on the nature of trust - how others win it from us and why we give it to them."
"It's especially striking how effectively Ramazotti's and Sandrelli's performances as Anna blend together so smoothly. Together, they create a portrait of a woman who lacked all the necessary skills to be a parent, except to fiercely love her children."
Midnight in Paris (2011)
"It's a charming, fanciful comedy in the vein of "Bullets over Broadway" and "The Purple Rose of Cairo," the kind of movie I honestly thought Woody had lost the knack for. But you can never count him out."
Super 8 (2011)
The Hangover Part II (2011)
"The only thing I can say for certain is that we can put our trust in the hands of a master filmmaker like Kiarostami, who engages the mind at the same time he pierces the heart. "Certified Copy" is the real deal."
"He leaves a lot of loose ends in "Poetry," letting the viewer form his or her own interpretation of what happened and what it means. But the ending, especially the devastating final shots, feels complete and perfect."
""Even The Rain" is alive to the political echoes that reverberate between the 500-year-old film-within-a-film and its contemporary setting. Sometimes those echoes get a little too loud, but in general, this is thoughtful and relevant filmmaking."
Putty Hill (2011)
The Conspirator (2011)
Win Win (2011)
"It's easy to undervalue a movie like "Win Win," because it does seem so offhand and entertaining. But this is near-perfect filmmaking; not only does every piece fit together just right, but you forget there are even any pieces."
Today's Special (2010)
White Material (2010)
The Last Lions (2011)
"Especially if older kids are already fascinated with wild animals, they'll be mesmerized, and will probably successfully badger you to donate to the cause via text message on the way out of the theater."
Tiny Furniture (2010)
"Not much happens in "Tiny Furniture," but viewers can take considerable pleasure in Dunham's clever, funny script, which is honest and unsparing in detailing the early-adulthood paralysis that grips so many twentysomethings."
The King's Speech (2010)
"The keeper of the bunch was the delightfully daffy "God of Love," in which a lovesick lounge singer (Luke Matheny, who wrote and directed) finds himself in possession of magical darts that make the victim fall in love for six hours. "
"In the past, we saw a lot of nominated animated films that seemed to be trying to out-Pixar Pixar, mixing gorgeous 3D animation and frenetic physical comedy. But this year's batch is more adventurous, harder to pigeonhole."
Tamara Drewe (2010)
The Way Back (2011)
"It may not seem like much of a compliment to say a movie makes you feel like you've walked 4,000 miles, but "The Way Back" puts you in its characters' tattered shoes and makes you care whether they make it home or not."
Kings of Pastry (2010)
The Company Men (2011)
"The five nominees for an Oscar this year for Best Documentary Short all deal with weighty issues - homelessness, illness, old age. But they all do so on a very human level, eye to eye with the viewer."
All Good Things (2010)
"Jarecki never settles on what kind of story he wants to tell with these elements, and despite good performances, "All Good Things" veers awkwardly from love story to tragedy, from true-life mystery to black comedy."
Barney's Version (2011)
Four Lions (2010)
"Is it insensitive? Jaw-droppingly so. But it's also tremendously funny, and after years of achingly serious movies about the War on Terror, it can't help but feel cathartic to unleash a few belly laughs at the whole mess."
"Like Chomet's "The Triplets of Belleville," it's a lovingly crafted animated film that invites the audience to luxuriate in the hand-painted visuals, to chuckle at the small jokes stuffed into the corners of the film. "
Another Year (2010)
Cedar Rapids (2011)
"One of the welcome surprises of "Cedar Rapids" is that while you start out laughing at them, by the end of the movie you're rooting for them. For such a raunchy crowd-pleaser, the movie turns out to have a kind heart."
Made in Dagenham (2010)