Sleepless Night (2012)
We Have a Pope (2012)
"Although We Have a Pope is a heady concoction, it may not have mass appeal. It is blessed with a memorable performance by Michel Piccoli as the bewildered, overwhelmed cleric. But Nanni Moretti's direction at times seems as random as Melville's journey."
"Goon captures the humanity of the brutal - and uplifting - game of hockey that is identified so strongly with Canada. It's no coincidence that actually, Jay Baruchel has a tattoo of a maple leaf over his heart."
The Hunger Games (2012)
"The Hunger Games is much more than a game. It is a memorable human experience. Thank the gods for the wonder of literature and the vision of movies. Some of us still hunger for eloquence on the screen."
21 Jump Street (2012)
The Convincer (Thin Ice) (2012)
"Thin Ice is choppy, its tone jumps, it has an unnecessary voice-over, and one wonders about the easy, sappy ending. One also wonders what the original movie was like before it fell through the thin ice of manipulation."
The Forgiveness of Blood (2012)
"In The Forgiveness of Blood, director Joshua Marston makes a brave but risky choice by keeping almost all the violence off screen. But violence -- even unseen -- ripples far beyond the original participants."
"In the Land of Blood and Honey is a relentless, disturbing chronicle of cruelty. It is bleak and brutal. Angelina Jolie is showing this could be -- and still is -- happening in other parts of the world."
Safe House (2012)
A Separation (2011)
"A Separation shows the human struggle for respect and a better life. It's a struggle rife with human frailty. Asghar Farhadi is a sly writer and director, and leaves us with questions that are provocative and elusive."
"Ralph Fiennes has created a slashing, sprawling version of Shakespere's Coriolanus. It's muscular Shakespeare. It's trimmed down - but has themes and a sensibility that fit into today's society and world."
Albert Nobbs (2012)
A Dangerous Method (2011)
"Dear Guy Ritchie: My name is Robin Hood. I need to be brought into today's world of short attention spans, nonreading, and lovable, cantankerous heroes. If you can turn Sherlock into a glib, pompous ass, imagine what you can do for me."
War Horse (2011)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)
The Iron Lady (2012)
The Muppets (2011)
"The Muppets is a joyful mix of the nostalgic past and a vibrant present. It tops the list of family movies for the holidays. The movie asks the question, "Do you have what it takes to be one of the Muppets?" Of course, we do."
"Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol was was made for IMAX. It blows up the Mission Impossible Force's stature. It also blows up part of of the Kremlin. As well as reason and logic. But who cares? It's Mission Impossible."
"David Fincher's American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a powerhouse of a picture. And, in an incredible feat, Rooney Mara wrests the role away from the unforgettable Noomi Rapace in the Swedish version -- Mara and Fincher make it her own."
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
The Artist (2011)
The Descendants (2011)
"Callng Chevy Chase. George Clooney has taken your role. The Descendants calls out for Clark Griswold and his brood -- The Griswolds in Hawaii. This time around George Clooney plays the clueless dad."
"Melancholia is a challenge for a critic. It may stymie reviewers. Some viewers will find it tedious and a total waste of time. Others will find it engrossing and rich in symbolism -- a veritable work of art."
J. Edgar (2011)
Take Shelter (2011)
Margin Call (2011)
The Mighty Macs (2011)
The Way (2011)
Love Crime (2011)
The Ides of March (2011)
"The Ides of March isn't stale, but it isn't fresh either. There's nothing memorable. There's nothing daring. The theme of The Ides of March is that idealism is squelched by pragmatism. Oh, what an insight."
"Moneyball is an impelling triple. It's smart, agile, and effective. But it's anti-climactic. Director Bennett Miller and writers Sorkin and Zaillian could swing for a home run, but instead they settle for a base on balls."
Straw Dogs (2011)
"If Sam Peckinpah were alive today and read that director Ron Lurie had remade his Straw Dogs, he would have scowled his famous scowl. I knew Sam, and of course no one was like him. He was one of a kind. Lurie is of the masses. He's no Sam; he's Spam."
"Contagion is a clear-eyed vision of a potential, modern horror that shows science in battle. The direction by Steven Soderbergh is deft and sharp. The screenplay by Scott Z. Burns is intelligent and not exploitative."
Life, Above All (2011)
The Guard (2011)
"The Guard is a vulgar, Irish treat. While many movies recently have ended with contrivance and disappointment, McDonagh's ending is satisfying. And his choice of the last song is ideal. But the dialogue of The Guard still is a puzzlement to me. WTF?"
Sarah's Key (2011)
"Sarah's Key is elevated by luminous performances by two actresses -- veteran Kristin Scott Thomas and 10-year old Melusine Mayance. Fortunately their talent often is able to transcend the contrivances that mar the plot."
The Debt (2011)