Baltimore City Paper

Baltimore City Paper is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Blake DePastino, Gary Dowell, Keith Uhlich, Rachel Deahl, Serena Donadoni
Rating Title/Year Author
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014) Keith Uhlich The converted will be satisfied, or at least show up to the theater in obeisant force. Money will be made and anticipation stoked for next year's blowout finale. It's a circle-vicious to some, a religion to others-with no end in sight. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2014
.5/5 Disaster Movie (2008) Serena Donadoni Deflating these images only works when they've overstayed their welcome in the cultural landscape, and making fun of the rejects doesn't have the same punch. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2014
1.5/5 College (2008) Serena Donadoni Deb Hagan takes an adolescent rite of passage and turns it into a primer on collegiate sadism, pushing the R rating to new raunchy lows in the process. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2014
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009) Bret McCabe It doesn't aspire to reinvent the crime flick, it merely delivers the genre. But, goddamn, does it deliver. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2010
The Illusionist (2006) Gary Dowell Unabashedly old-fashioned and fantastically pulpy. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2010
See No Evil (2006) Gary Dowell The dull and tedious splatter-fest See No Evil is, sadly, not even half as intriguing as its skuzzy pedigree. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2010
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) Blake DePastino It's all a confection, but the plot is tight, Jolie is hot, and I'll probably see the next one, too. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2010
Invincible (2006) Gary Dowell It may seem that Invincible takes too long to get to the football. But by the time it does get down to it, we've invested enough in Wahlberg and Kinnear to give a damn about the outcome of the all-important Big Game. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2010
Undiscovered (2005) Gary Dowell Undiscovered is a lifeless affair, as disinterested in its own characters as moviegoers are likely to be. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2010
Silent Hill (2006) Gary Dowell Visually arresting but only sporadically enthralling. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2010
4/4 Séraphine (2008) Bret McCabe It ... works as an intimate story of one woman's mental instability; the film commendably does not demur from recognizing that whatever powered Séraphine's art was also responsible for her social awkwardness and institutionalization. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2009
The Dark Knight (2008) Cole Haddon In a medium where CGI has become synonymous with superheroes, the limited presence of it adds a degree of startling reality to The Dark Knight that makes a person believe a billionaire could dress up as a bat and kick ass on a city's streets. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2008
Falling (2005) Bret McCabe Falling is a finely observed, idiosyncratic slice-of-life piece set to slow boil and captured in deadpan details. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2008
The Saragossa Manuscript (1965) Jack Purdy Yes, The Saragossa Manuscript is trippy as all get out, but that shorthand description falls woefully short of doing justice to an intensely hypnotic piece of work. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2008
Night Watch (2004) Gary Dowell If it all sounds silly, convoluted, and confusing, that's because it is silly, convoluted, and confusing. It's also a hell of a lot of fun. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2008
4.5/5 Juno (2007) Cole Haddon This poignant comedy, which tackles the touchy subject of teen pregnancy with a frankness that startles, owes the bulk of its triumph to the screenplay by Diablo Cody. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2007
1.5/5 Fred Claus (2007) Cole Haddon Fred Claus is the perfect example of how a great idea can be ruined by the most competent filmmakers. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2007
.5/5 Sleuth (2007) Cole Haddon Succeeds only as another example of why Law should never star in a remake of a Caine movie again. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2007
Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea (2004) Lee Gardner Filmmakers Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer plunged into their subject for this documentary, detailing with care and wit the history of the area, its peculiar ecology and sociology, and the scientific and legislative efforts to save it. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2007
3.5/5 30 Days of Night (2007) Cole Haddon A gore-filled, cheer-inciting B-movie that re-imagines the vampire as something to be feared, not to sleep with. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2007
2/5 The Darjeeling Limited (2007) Cole Haddon The pacing is gruelingly slow, with too much attention paid to needless cinematic flourishes. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2007
4/5 Lars and the Real Girl (2007) Cole Haddon Director Craig Gillespie deserves praise for making such a silly premise so endearing, but Gosling, as always, is the real champ here. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2007
3/5 Shoot 'Em Up (2007) Cole Haddon Never once does it take itself seriously, nor does it attempt to convince you that this cartoon world populated by unstoppable gunmen, FBI-profilers-turned-hitmen and lactating hookers should be taken seriously, either. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2007
1.5/5 3:10 to Yuma (2007) Cole Haddon A preposterous piece of soulless thievery that the understandably ignorant will enjoy. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2007
Rocket Science (2007) Violet Glaze While Hal's journey to maturation is torturous, lacerating, and endlessly unfruitful, hunkering down in the trenches of self-discovery with him is a joy. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2/5 The Nanny Diaries (2007) Cole Haddon The Nanny Diaries is ultimately undone by an undeveloped lead character played by an equally underwhelming Scarlett Johansson. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2007
3.5/5 Sunshine (2007) Cole Haddon Director Danny Boyle avoids the clichés and instead embraces the sort of psychological drama and suspense that would've pleased Stanley Kubrick. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2007
3/5 Rescue Dawn (2006) Ian Grey So here we are, mired in a stupid, loathsome war, and what does Werner Herzog do? He creates an absolutely riveting sort-of love letter to America that takes place during that last stupid, loathsome U.S. war, Vietnam. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2007
3/5 Shrek the Third (2007) Cole Haddon The most boring Shrek yet. That doesn't mean it's not entertaining; it's just disappointing when compared to its predecessors. Maybe in the next sequel, Shrek'll buy a minivan. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2007
2.5/5 28 Weeks Later (2007) Cole Haddon The sequel is divorced from its source material and instead focuses on bigger scares, louder music and two kids (who are almost as annoying as the Jurassic Park duo). EDIT
Posted May 10, 2007
3/5 Spider-Man 3 (2007) Cole Haddon When compared to just about every other Marvel comic-book movie released in the past couple of years, it's a goddamn cinematic masterpiece. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2007
4/5 Grindhouse (2007) Cole Haddon Once you get past the absurdity of it all, what you get is a one-two punch of fun the likes of which rarely come out of Hollywood. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2007
4/5 The Host (2006) Ian Grey Alternately scary, funny and inspiring, Bong Joon-ho's first-class monster mash is also a scalding rebuke to U.S. interventionism, profiteering and general developing-world opportunism, and a lovely story of familial bonding. In a word, amazing. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2007
4/5 300 (2006) Cole Haddon The exaggerated, stylized carnage takes on an almost Homeric beauty while still remaining in the historical ballpark. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2007
2/5 Catch and Release (2006) Cole Haddon Catch and Release opens with a funeral, which is a not-so-funny way for a romantic comedy trying to pass itself off as a drama to begin. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2007
2.5/5 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) Violet Glaze As the body count of sexualized corpses increases Perfume starts to resemble an olfactory Peeping Tom minus the intellectual chops necessary to back up its atrocities. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2007
3/5 We Are Marshall (2006) Cole Haddon It doesn't really matter that you've seen variations of the story time and time again. What matters is, you're not going to have a terrible time. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2006
The History Boys (2006) Cole Haddon Unfortunately, the staid production never manages to justify the leap from stage to screen. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2006
2.5/4 Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006) Cole Haddon Whereas Secretary didn't have to worry about truth, Fur never quite escapes it, nor embraces it. EDIT
Posted Dec 1, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction (2006) Cole Haddon [Screenwriter Zach Helm is] called by those in the know "the next Charlie Kaufman..." EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2006
2/5 The Science of Sleep (2006) Ian Grey A cloying confection of candied whimsy and exclusive self-referentiality. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2006
Accepted (2006) Gary Dowell Congenial, mildly anarchic, and generally inoffensive, Accepted feels like it's holding itself back, which also keeps it from being thoroughly engaging. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2006
The Descent (2005) Gary Dowell A number of narrative twists keep you guessing and, while the pace stays strong and steady, building the gory mayhem to a bloody crescendo. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2006
Why We Fight (2005) Ian Grey If the inducement of despair and disgust is an indicator of artistic achievement, Why We Fight is incredibly successful. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2006
Freedomland (2006) Gary Dowell Freedomland is a drama that plays like an episode of a TV cop show stretched beyond its limits. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2006
Seabiscuit (2003) Blake DePastino So predictable that even this true story--the one so few people today know anything about -- seems like an accomplished fact before the opening credits are through. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2006
Sin City (2005) Joe Macleod Quite possibly the grittiest, muskiest, most blood-soaked, mind-roasting ball-busting thighmaster of a comic book you don't ever have to read. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2006
L'Enfant (2005) Ian Grey If it's possible for cinema to be so invisible as to allow us to actually see inside characters -- to be, in short, literary -- this is it. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2006
Breakfast on Pluto (2005) Ian Grey In short, the director has finally found material - - Patrick McCabe's novel, which Jordan adapted - - that unifies his obsessions with politics, the Troubles and the dangerous fragility of machismo. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2006
The War Within (2005) Castelo and Akhtar display an all-too-rare courage and integrity in allowing each side to make its best argument. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2005