Monsters and Critics
"Far too long at 126 minutes, "Stranded" adds little to what we have already been told about this heroic tale of survival. First hand accounts of cannibalism are handled deftly and with respect, but that is not enough to carry an entire film "
"Rating high in the unvarnished truth department, "Ballast" does not bring enough entertainment to the table to merit the price of admission. A commendable exercise in plainness does not constitute a reason to see this film. "
Battle in Seattle (2008)
Burn After Reading (2008)
"A stellar cast and the usual percolating plot of the Coens combine in one of their most entertaining crime comedies to date. Funny stuff with Clooney, McDormand and Malkovich frame a breakthrough comedic performance by Brad Pitt. "
I Served the King of England (2008)
Sukiyaki Western Django (2008)
"More action, gun fights and swords fail to make this a better film than the spaghetti westerns that came before. Tarantino is great but his small part is too little to lift this Eastern oater much above average. "
"Great old-fashioned spy thriller action with a solid backdrop of religious tension amidst the dilemmas of war. A solid plot and good performances make this entertainment that makes the viewer think. "
Trouble the Water (2008)
"More of a conspiratorial look at the changing of New Orleans than a hurricane doc, this film examines the soft machine of politics that is trying to transform New Orleans, its houses, its people and its art, into something we may not like. "
American Teen (2008)
Frozen River (2008)
"Powerful acting by Melissa Leo and Misty Upham and a setting in a little known microcosm of international intrigue, "Frozen River" tells a fascinating story that keeps up the pace from start to finish. "
Henry Poole Is Here (2008)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
"Woody Allen's latest is a pure relationship-fest, but the audience can't help but be transfixed ( a little threatened?) by Bardem's stare. A thoroughbred cast and crew makes a very watchable romantic tryst, but no classic. "
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
"At the risk of over-doing a good thing, if that hasn't been done already, Lucas and crew cuts the final link to reality by going full animation with Star Wars. A righteous battle, but one that will appeal to ever decaying audiences "
"A man wakes from unconsciousness to find his wife dead and himself the center of suspicion as strange forces and deadly assassins close in from all sides. So many twists and turns it would hard to encapsulate spoilers for this one. "
Full Battle Rattle (2008)
Get Smart (2008)
"Maxwell Smart is back with a vengeance. Although this vintage Mel Brooks shtick will mean a lot more to those who saw it first hand in the 1960s, it is still headed for one of the top notches in the usually doggy summer film season. "
Yonkers Joe (2009)
Battle for Haditha (2007)
"Previous films such as "Gunners Palace" and the more famous "War Tapes" gave us intimate footage of the day to day danger and tedium of the war, but no film has shown both sides with the power and accuracy of "Battle for Haditha" "
Sangre De Mi Sangre (2007)
"A moving story combined with first rate acting and a great screenplay by a new, but determined, writer/director make this an indie film not to be missed. Modern film noir from the streets of Mexico to the streets of America. "
Quid Pro Quo (2008)
"An obscure and terrifying mental disorder leads a reporter to the strangest and then the most terrifying story of his life. A neat film noir in a very modern setting amongst people who are not all there. "
The Take (2007)
"Indie director Brad Furman has unleashed a powerful low budget thriller that makes good use of the talents of John Leguizamo as well as those of supporting performers Tyrese Gibson and Rosie Perez. "
"Half road trip and half learning how to make a home, Trucker gives Michelle Monaghan a chance to show what she can do and the result is encouraging, although twelve year old Jimmy Bennett nearly steals the show. "
"A well meaning but ineffective coming-of-age story set on the surfing beaches of the industrial mining center of Newcastle, Australia. Mediocre action footage and tedious angst make for a film that is an effort to watch. "
Meduzot (Jellyfish) (2008)
Constantine's Sword (2007)
Dying Breed (2009)
Son of Rambow (2007)
The Caller (2008)
The Objective (2008)
"Director Daniel Myrick has taken his excellent work from the ultra-low-budget "Blair Witch Hunt," added some modest resources as befits that success and come up with a great little tale of suspense and horror. "
A President to Remember (2008)
"An excellent execution of cinema verite' by the man who invented the concept. Although the facts are well known, the tone and body language of the most famous president of the 20th century tell a story all their own. "
Man on Wire (2008)
"A tough and realistic cop story that stays believable from beginning to end while delivering the truth about loyalty, courage and gut-wringing fear on an inner city military mission with no second chances. "
Chaos Theory (2008)
"Upbeat rom-com grounded in solid work by Ryan Reynolds and Emily Mortimer tells a meaningful story while still staying in-bounds with the PG-13 rating. Unusual Western Canada seacoast photography and upbeat soundtrack make for an entertaining film."
Black Sheep (2006)
"Lush photography of the beautiful New Zealand hills combines with skin ripping mayhem and over-the-top humor to make one of the funniest of the new wave zombie satires yet."
Sputnik Mania (2007)
"The reigning champion in the archival footage department features great Soviet footage of those days that (hopefully) will never be seen again---the days of the US-Soviet space race."
The Cool School (2008)
"Surf's up in Southern California as the modern art world invades Nixonville and Reagan City in the 1950s. A fascinating look at the start of something big: modern art in Los Angeles."
"A weak plot still makes a viable vehicle for a couple of great performances with some unbeatable screen chemistry and a good old fashioned plot twist at the end."
Run Fatboy Run (2007)
"A hackneyed slacker scenario reduces this film from an entertainment marathon to a plot treading water. The feel-good message comes around, but there is too much packaging for the product."