Capital Times (Madison, WI)
It's Complicated (2009)
"in order to prove his thesis that all humans are evil, von Trier has to create his characters as monsters. And if they're monsters, then they're completely devoid of the humanity needed for the audience to identify with them, however unwillingly."
An Education (2009)
"Mulligan completely owns "An Education," giving one of the most self-assured breakout performances in years. And the best thing is that the movie, an elegant and sharply observed coming-of-age story, measures up to her performance."
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
"Every kid probably won't get "Fantastic Mr. Fox." But then again, not every adult gets a Wes Anderson movie. But if the right kid and the right parent find themselves in the seats, they should have a ball together."
It Might Get Loud (2009)
"Yes, this is the sort of stuff that makes rock fans absolutely geek out. But Guggenheim's relaxed approach does allow us to get past the guitar-god mystique and show us three fellow tradesmen in love with their craft."
Cold Souls (2009)
"Moving from antiseptic clinics to the streets of St. Petersburg, there's something appropriately chilly about "Cold Souls." But if it lacks warmth or a tidy ending, it is very funny, and has plenty of intellect. Much more than a chickpea's worth."
Soul Power (2009)
"B.B. King. Bill Withers. Miriam Makeba. Celia Cruz. And James Brown, earning every inch of the title, "Godfather of Soul," who all by himself probably deforested a few acres around Kinshasa with the volcanic blast of his set."
Lorna's Silence (2008)
"It's Lorna's evolution (charted through Dobroshi's uncompromising performance) that makes "Lorna's Silence" worth seeing. But the Dardennes shouldn't have been so deliberately stingy with the details of her story."
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
"I don't remember ever seeing a photo of Chanel before, but when we see Tautou as the middle-aged, iconic Chanel, a cigarette dangling insouciantly from her lips, I knew it was an uncanny resemblance."
Big Fan (2009)
The Fourth Kind (2009)
"He apparently thinks white owls are a lot scarier than they are. (I mean, I guess because their heads swivel around, you can't sneak up on them from behind. But when would you need to sneak up on an owl?)"
The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)
"In its unassuming, offhand way, "Humpday" gets the details of male friendship uncomfortably right -- the self-denials, the macho bluster, the constant comparisons about where that guy's at in life versus me."
Every Little Step (2009)
Whip It (2009)
"boy, when you see Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis whipping around the corner, the beer-fueled crowd cheering, and the Breeders' "Last Splash" blaring on the soundtrack, you know that "Whip It" has the spirit of roller derby down cold."
"Cinephiles who thought Atom Egoyan went off the rails with the tawdry cheese of "Where The Truth Lies" will be happy to see "Adoration," which shows the Canadian filmmaker once again in fine, austere form."
The September Issue (2009)
"They say that when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back at you. Looking into the sunglasses of Vogue editor Anna Wintour must be kind of like that. Except that you never think to yourself, "I wonder if the abyss thinks I look fat in these jeans?""
Paranormal Activity (2009)
In the Loop (2009)
500 Days of Summer (2009)
Public Enemies (2009)
Easy Virtue (2009)
Il Divo (2009)
The Proposal (2009)
Enlighten Up! (2009)
Away We Go (2009)
"Credit novelists and first-time screenwriters Eggers and Vida (married in real life) with creating such rich, complicated and humane characters, and credit actors John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph with bringing them to life so wonderfully."
Valentino: The Last Emperor (2009)
The Brothers Bloom (2009)
Etz Limon (Lemon Tree) (2009)
The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
Tony Manero (2009)
Sin Nombre (2009)
The Edge of Love (2008)
Star Trek (2009)
"Abrams has approached the source material with the right spirit of loving irreverence, and set the stage for what hopefully will be a rebirth of an enduring franchise. A five-year mission doesn't feel nearly long enough."
Gomorrah (Gomorra) (2008)
Examined Life (2009)
"Watching "Examined Life" is sort of like sitting on a plane next to a total stranger who insists on making conversation. Except this is that one time out of 100 when the stranger turns out to be a completely fascinating person."
The Class (2008)
"Every student has some potential, we see, which is why it's so heartbreaking to see them caught in the gears of a public education system that's doing its best, but hampered by limited resources and an institutional mind-set."
Miss March (2009)
"Cregger and Moore not only star in "Miss March," they wrote and directed it too, which seems like a selfless act akin to throwing yourself on a live grenade, protecting any innocent careers around you from getting hit by flying shrapnel."
Wendy and Lucy (2008)