Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
50 First Dates (2004)
"I need no memory loss affliction to forget 50 First Dates almost immediately."
Catch That Kid (2004)
"Catch That Kid? You shouldn't bother."
"Miracle offers everything a filmgoer could want from a sports movie."
"Easily the first film's equal, if not an improvement."
The Perfect Score (2004)
"It's smarter and more purposeful than most teen flicks."
Girl With a Pearl Earring (2004)
"If you're moved by great beauty or the glimpse of another world, or appreciate the subtleties of unspoken love and what inspires it, you'll respond, 'Ah, but what paint.'"
The Big Bounce (2004)
"Armitage and his fun cast create a spicy luau from Elmore Leonard's recipe. But they forgot the roast pig."
"Theron delivers a disturbing portrait of the rage, confusion, despair and self- hatred that fuel so many murders."
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
"A simpler, less cluttered narrative would have made for a more engrossing and affecting drama."
"Tad Hamilton! is strangely old-fashioned and naïve, and built upon tired clichés of Hollywood as the Sodom of the Pacific and rural America as the land of high values and sweet innocence."
The Cooler (2003)
"Clever and gritty, surprisingly sweet and shockingly violent all in one."
Along Came Polly (2004)
"Hoffman is especially funny in his first mainstream Hollywood comedy."
"A silly, souped-up melodrama without a muffler."
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
"An engrossing, deeply affecting drama."
Big Fish (2003)
"Just as Preston Sturges' 1940s classic Sullivan's Travels has stood as a definitive ode to the value of humor, Big Fish may survive as a strong statement on imagination."
Calendar Girls (2003)
"Though none of the middle-aged women will challenge the Playboy playmates of any month, their spunk and playfulness are undeniable."
The Young Black Stallion (2003)
"Nowhere near as adventuresome or artful as its famous predecessor, but it's still a vital, good-looking way to introduce the Walter Farley horse books -- and the resulting films -- to children."
21 Grams (2003)
"All the performances are first-rate, but it's Inarritu and his astonishing storytelling technique that will have you talking."
Cold Mountain (2003)
"Law and Kidman meet the challenge of keeping their love story alive, even though they hardly ever share the screen. Zellweger is fabulous as the mountain girl."
Peter Pan (2003)
"No other version of Peter Pan has ever been as richly evocative of the lovely book illustrations of the Victorian era."
In America (2003)
"A richly emotional story of a family's salvation, told with heart and surprising humor."
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
"[Roberts] does what she can with the material, but is ultimately done in by the surprising lack of imagination and emotional depth in Newell's film."
"The Lord of the Rings may sing the praises of kings and wizards, but it champions the courage, brotherhood and dignity of the common man (even if he is a Hobbit)."
Something's Gotta Give (2003)
"A witty, effervescent romantic comedy that makes maximum use of the comic talents of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton."
"Paltrow moves us as Plath, bringing poignant humanity to the character."
Stuck on You (2003)
"If you like your Farrelly brothers' films outrageous and offensive, you won't be stuck on Stuck on You. You'll only be shocked at how inoffensive the film tries to be."
Bubba Ho-Tep (2003)
"It'll never happen with a movie this off the wall, but Campbell's version of an elderly Elvis actually deserves Oscar consideration -- it's that on-the-money real, hilarious and strangely touching."
The Last Samurai (2003)
"Tom Cruise stars at his forceful, charismatic best, while director Edward Zwick contributes the sort of sensitivity and power he brought to Glory."
"Honey is naturally sweet, but a little sticky."
The Singing Detective (2003)
"[Downey's] portrayal is engaging, witty and affecting -- and so is the film."
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
"Haunted is much more loyal to the original amusement attraction than the freewheeling and more imaginative Pirates film, which is good for nostalgia but not especially good for storytelling."
Bad Santa (2003)
"A raunchy romp for adults who enjoy a hint of perversion, especially if they're ready for the cotton-candy sweetness of Christmas to be spiked with 100-proof bourbon."
"The characters are such cardboard cutouts and the plot so thin, you'll wish the Monty Python gang could come and wreak havoc on the film."
The Missing (2003)
"A lean, efficient film that owes as much to the influence of Clint Eastwood as Ford."
Shattered Glass (2003)
"Shattered Glass joins the ranks of first-rate media films, with an authenticity and sense of drama that makes it among the most effective of the genre since All the President's Men."
"A clunky enterprise that shifts tones willy-nilly, jumping from snippets of Seuss poetry to baser forms of humor, including gross-out toilet jokes and even a few misplaced bits of sexual innuendo."
"Gothika doesn't have much substance, like the ghosts it celebrates, but it does have style."
"When your character is called master and commander, you'd better be a take-charge guy. That's Russell Crowe from stem to stern in Peter Weir's grand sea epic, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World."
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
"Looney Tunes have always offered the smartest, most hip and sophisticated of all cartoon comedy, and that's generally true here as well."
The Human Stain (2003)
"Though not quite as dramatically compelling as one might have hoped, The Human Stain remains a challenging, thought-provoking film, buoyed with finely crafted performances."
The Station Agent (2003)
"Witty and engrossing."
Pieces of April (2003)
"The performances are all first-rate."
"Thanks to the sweet purity of Ferrell's portrayal -- and the script's fresh approach to time-worn traditions involving Santa and the Christmas spirit -- Elf might just qualify as a holiday perennial."
Love Actually (2003)
"All too rare is the holiday film that not only makes you feel good, but also is good. Love Actually works."
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
"Spins an appropriate conclusion to the murky man-vs.- machines saga."
In the Cut (2003)
"Jane Campion's In the Cut is all mood -- and almost no meaning."
Brother Bear (2003)
"It feels like the moviemakers went through the motions because it's time again for a holiday season cartoon for the little ones."
Casa de los Babys (2003)
"Displays a succinct sensitivity making it [Sayles'] best film since Lone Star."
"The 3-D work is extremely effective, giving us a realistic, close-up view of insects unlike anything previously viewed."
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
"The scattergun humor occasionally hits the broad targets -- and sometimes misses by a mile."