"This subject matter is ripe for sentimentalization, but Haneke resists it at every turn, opting instead for unflinching honesty. It is the economy of theme paired with the subtle richness of character that make Amour so powerful. "
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
"There are many themes running through The Tin Drum: resistance against an unkind world, the need for acceptance, the horrors of romance and war, and the final idea that growth is inevitable and unfortunately, necessary. "
Purple Noon (Plein soleil) (1961)
"Clément's strategy is to film Ripley's actions with little editorializing and the film is both laid-back and taut at the same time, especially in the second half of the film as the stakes get higher and it becomes more of a thriller. "
"It isn't very scary, but it does pile a bunch of really tasteless twists on towards the end that make no sense and it almost becomes a comedy. On one hand, is a failure as a horror film, but as an exercise in desperation, it's kind of a hoot "
Zero Dark Thirty (2013)
"What makes Zero Dark Thirty such a fascinating film is that it plays both as an engaging procedural thriller and a serious examination of the country's moral compass. It is already doing what great movies do-starting conversation. "
Not Fade Away (2012)
"Because its more about intertwining themes than it is about obvious plot and conflict, it has melancholic energy. It revels in the mystery, appreciation, and ultimately creation of art-from a guy who was empowered and inspired by rock himself. "
This is 40 (2012)
Django Unchained (2012)
"As an entertaining revenge flick with roots in exploitation films and spaghetti westerns, Django Unchained succeeds. But it never rises above its genre to become a real, affecting emotional experience. "
Jack Reacher (2012)
"Gradually, 'Jack Reacher' overcomes its eerie early parallel to the most recent awful public shooting and becomes what it is - a skillfully plotted, disposable mystery that may serve as a launching pad to a new franchise for Tom Cruise. "
"Lawless features a unique villain and several great supporting actors, but none of them are able to rise above what is pretty standard crime movie material with nothing really new added to the mix. "
Les Misérables (2012)
"Despite some minor missteps, watching it feels like welcoming an old friend into your home. He may ramble a bit and slightly overstay his welcome, but hanging out with him reminds you of why you're friends in the first place. "
Hope Springs (2012)
Men in Black III (2012)
"Funny, if familiar. Energy and pacing are reasons it's able to skate by. It actually deepens the relationship between J and K, but it's still really a showcase for more of the same offbeat humor and imaginative special effects the first two are known for. "
Killing Them Softly (2012)
"It's all meant to be a vicious takedown of middle-class life in the late 60s, but much of it is incomprehensible today. Still, if you want to see absolute anarchy portrayed on film, you'll do no better than Weekend. "
Miami Connection (2012)
"Miami Connection is one of those rare films where the positive energy exuded by its oh-so-amateur cast and crew starts to rub off on you, despite the fact that almost all of the basic tenets of motion-picture storytelling are non-existent. "
They Live (1988)
The Watch (2012)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Life of Pi (2012)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
"Especially in today's frustratingly gridlocked political environment, Lincoln is timelier than ever. It gives us hope that government can accomplish great things even as it drags itself through the muck and strain of corruption. "
Ruby Sparks (2012)
"It tackles the idea that people in a relationship will often try to remake the other person in their image. Some of the twists are more obvious than others, but it has just enough charm (mostly from Kazan herself) to skate by. "
In the Mood for Love (2001)
"The movie isn't necessarily realistic-it's about the theater after all-but its unusually cynical center keeps it from becoming so much sentimental mush, while delivering the heartbreak that audiences so crave. "
Neil Young Journeys (2012)
The Forgiveness of Blood (2012)
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Cloud Atlas (2012)
"A gloriously entertaining mainstream cinematic mosaic in multiple genres. Parallel cross-cutting across time and amazing montage sequences allow the viewer to come to its own conclusion about the film's ultimate meaning. "
Last Ride (2012)
"Weaving carries the film in a rare lead role as a father who loves his son but has criminal tendencies that get the best of him. Tom Russell is subtle and effective as the boy who has to grow up fast. "
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
"Seven Psychopaths isn't interested in complete narrative coherency, only with ridiculous flights of fancy and layering joke upon joke as McDonagh skewers the modern crime genre and just about every other action movie trope. "
"Pretty uneven, but it has a fresh spirit and it feels like these filmmakers want the final word on the found-footage horror craze. After six shorts full of shaky cam and thin plot lines, you might be ready to let them put it to rest. "
Sleepwalk With Me (2012)
"It isn't the typical romcom with a happy ending and rosy outlook all around, but it spins its wheels in familiar territory too often and takes a lazy approach to its central relationship, even as its sleepwalking scenes hit all the right notes. "
The Princess Bride (1987)
Umberto D (1952)
"Even sentimentality is something that springs naturally from the characters' situations. Umberto has an immense amount of pride despite his impoverished conditions and his attempts to survive aren't accompanied by the usual filmic theatrics. "
Taken 2 (2012)
"One series of dumb, overly convenient action scenes after another...it fails critically even in the action department, thanks to lots of confusingly fast zooms and rapid-fire cuts, making it virtually impossible to tell who's hitting or shooting at who. "
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (2012)
"Voice-over is always a dangerous prospect, and Crave is a perfect example of why you should think twice before using it, especially if your character's inner monologue isn't really worth listening to. "
I Declare War (2013)
Vanishing Waves (2013)