John Carter (2012)
"Since its story inspired every mainstream fantasy right up to Avatar, John Carter may seem a little old-fashioned, but it's a solid piece of fantasy entertainment that's equal parts corny and poignant."
A Separation (2011)
"A Separation is more than a character study; it's a deftly plotted drama that unfolds layer after layer and will leave you asking all kinds of questions about your beliefs and moral judgments. Fascinating stuff."
"It's when the absurdness stops momentarily and turns purely to silliness (and when the film does what any other normal film - not this one - should strive to do: build character) that the movie starts to feel long."
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
"The masterstroke is that Durkin only reveals why Martha is so messed up in flashbacks constructed to mirror her fractured mental state. Olsen plays it with a chilling amount of honesty and the movie creeps up on you and leaves you completely paranoid."
Tight Spot (1955)
Drive a Crooked Road (1954)
The Mob (1951)
"An expertly-plotted noir, less psychologically disturbing and more straight-up undercover crime drama, but it ratchets up the tension nicely and Crawford is having a hell of a time acting like the tough guy."
My Name Is Julia Ross (1945)
The Burglar (1957)
"An underrated and overlooked gem, The Burglar is a very stylized film for a B movie. Wendkos uses striking camera angles and far-out set pieces to frame what is essentially a psychological story about family loyalty."
Sans Soleil (1983)
La Jetée (The Pier) (1962)
The Big Year (2011)
The Artist (2011)
"It may look like an art film, but it's anything but. It's a good, old-fashioned, formulaic, Hollywood romantic comedy rise-and-fall story told with a modern sensibility and easily accessible by mainstream audiences."
Safe House (2012)
"The characters are woefully underdeveloped, have way less interesting philosophical discussions, and it doesn't work as a thriller either: You can see the multitude of double-crosses coming a mile away."
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
"It's a slow-burn romantic fairy tale that suddenly turns dark and very violent, but director Nicholas Winding Refn is a master at developing suspense and menace, and every frame of this movie is dripping with both."
Belle de Jour (1968)
"Something that keeps us on our toes in Belle de Jour comes from Luis Buñuel's refusal to spell out what is real and what is not. Must this be so clear to us when the fantasy life of Séverine means so much to her?"
"In terms of modern films, it kicked off a whole list of issue-related multi-character dramas like Syriana, Crash, and Babel -- and it may be the best of all of them, even if some of its stories are stronger than others."
The Whistleblower (2011)
"The Whistleblower goes off the rails a little -- I guess in an attempt to create more drama out of an already dramatic situation. As the plot devices pile up towards the end, it's a bit frustrating because there's a good movie in there somewhere."
Man on a Ledge (2012)
"Man on a Ledge is so tired and hackneyed and straight out of a bad 80s TV show that there's even scene where one of them has to disable a timer with seconds left and Worthington is yelling 'Don't cut the red wire'!"
"The couple's ability to see through how people perceive courageous behavior in the face of death forms the heart of the film. Van Sant illustrates that those trappings usually exist only to make the ones who are not sick feel better about themselves."
In Time (2011)
"Horn's nonstop barrage of words fits the character, but he's supposed to be filled with terror and anxiety and it just comes across as overly confident. Some of the most crucial emotional scenes suffer."
Higher Ground (2011)
The Guard (2011)
"John Michael McDonagh is having a lot of fun deconstructing the cop procedural in The Guard, because almost nothing goes as planned and everything has a satirical bent. It is a very funny black comedy with a stylish palette."
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)
"There are no big statements made, no wider generational revelations that we haven't seen in countless other rude comedies, but the cast members' chemistry and its refusal to go straight-up formulaic make it an interesting diversion."
War Horse (2011)
"A couple battle sequences are filmed with great care, but War Horse is still essentially a trite, manipulative soap opera run through the lens of World War I to give it a lot of historic and artistic sensibility."
Tokyo Drifter (1966)
Straw Dogs (2011)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
"Hitchcock once said 'What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out? Tinker Tailor is hellbent on creating drama out of only the dull bits - and as interesting as the movie is to look at, it's not very suspenseful at all."
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
"As he proved last year, David Fincher can make the inherently uncinematic into thrilling cinema. Fincher is the right director to make a movie where two people rifle through endless amounts of paperwork and old photos suspenseful."
Point Blank (2011)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Another Earth (2011)
Design for Living (1933)
"A daring movie that satirizes sexual mores and heaps irony upon irony. If Hollywood tried to remake this movie today, they would probably take the ménage à trois set-up and strip away all the depth."
Young Adult (2011)
Friends With Benefits (2011)
"If you've ever wondered why romantic comedy is in such a sorry state, watch these two appealing actors go through every false note in the book in a movie so disingenuous that the neither premise, the climax, nor the resolution ever feels remotely real."
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Good Bye, Lenin! (2004)