Baltimore Sun

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Charm City (2018) David Zurawik Charm City is not only a superb and moving work of non-fiction filmmaking, it is also one of those socially conscious and totally righteous documentaries with the power to help spur reform. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) Stephen Hunter Ace Ventura, Pet Detective is probably the Citizen Kane of pet detective movies and 30 seconds after walking out, you won't remember anyone except Carrey. But in its relentlessly stupid way, it's very funny. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/4 Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Chris Kridler Die Hard With a Vengeance is an explosive thrill ride. That is its sole purpose, and it succeeds, loudly and breathlessly. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
2.5/4 The Cell (2000) Chris Kaltenbach "The Cell" looks spectacular. If only it never opened its mouth. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Marie Antoinette (2006) Michael Sragow It's high-caloric art-house moviemaking, full of pastry-coated, sugar-swirled ideas and historical moments dipped in candy. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/4 Stepmom (1998) Ann Hornaday Much of Stepmom's success is due to its three appealing lead players, all of whom lend class and intelligence to the enterprise. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
1.5/4 Practical Magic (1998) Chris Kaltenbach Bullock and Kidman are both wonderful actresses, and watching them for two hours could never be called a chore. But even they seem to have trouble pinning the movie down. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
2.5/4 Bad Boys (1995) Stephen Hunter Smith and Lawrence have great comic energy and for at least half an hour are sublimely enjoyable -- until the movie's spirit of bloated gargantuanism takes over. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 I Come in Peace (1990) Lou Cedrone The gore doesn't do irreparable damage, but the film would have been so much more palatable without it. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
2.5/4 Hook (1991) Stephen Hunter P.P., phone home. Or at least, get a new agent. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
2/4 Space Jam (1996) Chris Kridler "Jam" gets two stars for amiability and sporadic humor, with the proviso that it's worth at least three stars for 5-year-olds, who will love it. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
3/4 Cruel Intentions (1999) Chris Kridler Despite the last 10 minutes, there's much to like in Cruel Intentions. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) David Zurawik I promise it will affect you in ways few documentaries do. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
Never Been Kissed (1999) Chris Kaltenbach Too bad the film, about a budding journalist assigned to do an expose on the degradations of high school life, simply isn't worthy of [Barrymore]. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2019
2.5/4 Deep Blue Sea (1999) Chris Kaltenbach The film is full of the sort of knee-jerk shockers that leave audiences bursting into nervous laughter. It's a wild ride, and the less one thinks about it, the better. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
The First Wives Club (1996) Stephen Hunter Smart and sassy, "The First Wives Club" is funny enough to amuse even the second wives. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2019
Volcano (1997) Michael Ollove You leave "Volcano" feeling a bit singed. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2019
2.5/4 Death Becomes Her (1992) Stephen Hunter But it's not enough to be merely bad; you have to be interesting as well. As the movie wears along, they become death. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
1.5/4 Event Horizon (1997) Chris Kridler With high production values and low aspirations, Event Horizon begins as a mildly intriguing science-fiction movie and degenerates into yet another slasher flick about evil from another dimension. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
2/4 The Cable Guy (1996) Chris Kaltenbach More than anything, The Cable Guy is simply uncomfortable. It's Ace Ventura as the evil bad guy. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
1.5/4 Mars Attacks! (1996) Chris Kaltenbach The best thing about Mars Attacks! is that you'll come away believing you could have done the movie better. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/4 Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) Stephen Hunter But generally, Brooks' humor is extremely limited. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/4 Dr. Giggles (1992) Stephen Hunter In all, quite depressing. Two aspirin just won't get it done. Take three. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
2/4 Species (1995) Stephen Hunter As cheesy exploitation, Species offers a few cheap thrills for the teen-age boys who are too young to see it but will get in anyway. For the rest of us, its untidy mixture of misogyny and gore seems to represent the DNA of sleaze. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2018
RBG (2018) David Zurawik RBG does something that only the very best biographies do: It gives viewers a deep and multi-layered sense of the times in which the subject lived and the cultural forces that she had to struggle against to achieve what she did. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2018
Too Big to Fail (2011) Michael Sragow You feel all the anguish, desperation, humor, and, yes, gallantry of the moment. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2018
Recount (2008) David Zurawik Democracy relies on citizens having access to verified information about their lives, while such docudramas as Recount often provide the opposite - innuendo, rumor and outright fabrications. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2018
3.5/4 Sollers Point (2017) Chris Kaltenbach The journey is everything in Sollers Point... By film's end, you understand that life, and hopefully growth, goes on. There's real beauty in coming to grips with that. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
Jason's Lyric (1994) Stephen Hunter Quite convincing and gripping. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Baltimore Rising (2017) David Zurawik That kind of finely honed opening, introducing and previewing what's to come in the full production like an overture in a Broadway musical, is documentary filmmaking at its best. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2017
2.5/4 Stone Cold (1991) Stephen Hunter The movie really topples over into absolute nonsense in its last few minutes, offering a gun battle in a courthouse more violent than any engagement fought in the Persian Gulf and producing a larger body count. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
The Five Heartbeats (1991) Lou Cedrone Robert Townsend co-wrote, directed and stars in the film, one whose sincerity does a lot to cover the amateurishness with which the film was made. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
0/4 Dice Rules (1991) Stephen Hunter . . . the Andrew Dice Clay concert film, is unlikely to compel its repulsive star to further heights. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
Defending Your Life (1991) Albert Brooks doesn't make many films, but those he does make are always welcome. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
Backdraft (1991) Lou Cedrone The story line is not always discernible, but the special effects are spectacular throughout. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
4/4 You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story (2008) David Zurawik It is not to be missed. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2017
The Wizard of Lies (2017) David Zurawik From daring direction by Barry Levinson, to De Niro's mesmerizing performance as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, The Wizard of Lies... is another grand-slam docudrama from TV's premier cable channel. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2017
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017) David Zurawik Thanks to the power of Winfrey's performance, viewers feel that pain at a depth television rarely delivers. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2017
2/4 The Mod Squad (1999) Chris Kridler Fans of the TV show say it was cool. The movie is kind of cool, too, but it tastes like cold leftovers after an hour and a half of stupidity. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2017
3/4 Once Were Warriors (1994) Stephen Hunter It's a fine, fierce and nearly unforgettable movie. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2017
Hairspray Live! (2016) Hal Boedeker Hairspray Live! worked best of NBC's recent live musicals because the show captured the excitement of live performance. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2016
Hairspray Live! (2016) David Zurawik In the end, it was more on the good side in terms of the story and performances. But the bad network business surrounding the songs was almost too much to bear at times. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2016
Le Roman D'un Tricheur (1936) Stephen Wigler Some of this is amusing -- particularly the parts that take place at the gaming tables in Monte Carlo -- but not enough for the film's 83 minutes. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2016
3.5/4 The Vanishing (1988) Stephen Hunter The Vanishing is about the power of the mind to propel its subjects along unbelievable trajectories, into risks beyond knowing, in a quest for the most disturbing of knowledge. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2016
Antonia's Line (1995) Stephen Hunter The movie has the feel and flow of magic realism, and brilliant performances by Willeke van Ammelooy as the Earth Mother Antonia and Els Dottermans as her lesbian daughter are extremely vivid. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2016
3.5/4 Howards End (1992) Stephen Hunter Ivory, working from a script by his longtime collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, has great relish in noting the smug tics in the Wilcoxes and the insipid delusions in the Schlegels. It's quietly savage. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2016
3/4 Boyz N the Hood (1991) Stephen Hunter It's a terrific movie. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2016
2/4 Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) Lou Cedrone It is Sadler, as Death, who makes this film the partial pleasure it is. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2016
2/4 Pure Country (1992) Stephen Hunter If Strait weren't so appealing, the movie would be easier to dismiss. Let's hope it does well enough to give him a second shot and that maybe he can find something a little bit less Vegas and a little bit more East Texas. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2016
3.5/4 The Pillow Book (1996) Chris Kridler The Pillow Book is erotica for bookworms. Its poetic story is told brush stroke by brush stroke, in calligraphy painted on naked bodies and in the "pillow book" or diary of Nagiko (Vivian Wu). EDIT
Posted May 2, 2016