San Francisco Examiner
Terminator Salvation (2009)
"Lacking the wry humor of its predecessors and the inestimable presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film has more than its share of shortcomings. But if you're hopelessly invested in 'Terminator' mythology, you might just be inclined to forgive them."
Observe and Report (2009)
"Those expecting another 'Superbad' may be surprised to discover that 'Adventureland' is nothing of the sort. It's far more grounded, populated by thoughtful, unaffected characters whose misadventures ring true. It is also, to date, the year's best film."
Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
"As 'Monsters vs. Aliens' demonstrates, 3-D technology is finally coming into its own, used to create a dazzlingly lifelike spectacle that seems to jump off the screen and into the theater beside you."
I Love You, Man (2009)
"Rudd and Segel, whose on-screen chemistry is one of the movie's sublime pleasures, take what might have been a slick, formulaic exercise and turn it into the year's funniest film to date with their unselfconscious physical humor and goofy repartee."
The Last House on the Left (2009)
"It presents sadism in the context of a narrative that is straightforward and believable, and for those who crave a little terror in their lives, it offers a truly unsettling experience while raising questions mundane and otherwise."
"While Moore may never see the final cut - or any cut, for that matter - Snyder's reverence for his brooding prose and the cynical depths of his vision is unmistakable. He has hardly done the author a disservice."
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008)
"The memories the game evokes in its stars, now well into middle age but clearly moved when recalling that November's consummation of one of America's oldest sports rivalries, weave a narrative that transcends football."
"As a righteous stand against the low-level terrorists who peddle flesh in the back alleys of Europe, the movie is a lurid sham, as slick and soulless as the myriad thugs Neeson dispatches with implausible ease."
"There are plenty of no-budget movies worthy of grassroots movements. 'Fanboys,' which comes with a built-in fan base only by virtue of its connection to a universe George Lucas created, isn't one of them."
"For those eagerly awaiting a consummation of the long-simmering tensions between aliens and Vikings, 'Outlander' is certainly the only game in town. Those whose obsessions lead elsewhere would be wise to look for alternatives."
"It's an affecting production, which is as much a credit to Zwick's professionalism as to the freshness of his subject. 'Defiance' has the rare distinction of tackling the Holocaust from an angle previously unexplored."
The Alphabet Killer (2008)
"Although Schmidt and Malloy have devoted meticulous attention to Megan's manhunt, which is engrossing and briskly paced for the better part of 85 minutes, their final act seems less like a canny trick than a copout."
The Long Goodbye (1973)
"Robert Altman's labyrinthine take on the Raymond Chandler classic is noir unburdened by a straight narrative - it's a triumph of atmosphere and attitude, a swiftly unfolding whodunit punctuated by subversive absurdities and shattering acts of violence."
Bride Wars (2009)
"It is widely assumed that Eddie Murphy hurt his Oscar chances by following his dramatic turn in 'Dreamgirls' with the graceless 'Norbit.' 'Bride Wars' is just as abysmal, though it spares us the prosthetic fat suits."
"There is no concession to melodrama, nor a moment wasted. Van Sant presents his story with an unflinching eye on the factual timeline of Milk's days in San Francisco, right down to the moment of jarring violence that ended his life."
Seven Pounds (2008)
Revolutionary Road (2008)
"What is the point of 'Revolutionary Road,' besides providing a showcase for two dynamic actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, to chew the scenery in an overwrought exposition of domestic combat?"
The Reader (2008)
"The film offers no facile answers, only quietly forceful performances (particularly by Winslet, whose tense body language speaks volumes) that make these characters and the tragedy that colors their lives seem achingly, crushingly real."
Punisher: War Zone (2008)
"While not a typical slasher film, it has more in common with 'Hellraiser' than 'Hellboy,' which should come as welcome news to those with a taste for exploding skulls, graphic decapitations and cannibalistic feasts."
Quantum of Solace (2008)
JCVD (Van Dammage) (2008)
Role Models (2008)
"'Role Models' is what you might expect, a juvenile farce that celebrates a sort of nihilistic, anything-goes raunchiness before revealing its heart of gold. There's nothing wrong with a formula like this when it works. Here it does."
Quantum of Solace (2008)
"While the rejuvenation of the franchise has been put on temporary hold, be assured that 'Quantum of Solace' sparkles with all the wit and heart-pounding excitement of a movie that takes its name from an Ian Fleming story about cocktail-party chitchat."
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
"There are a few laughs, courtesy of King Julien, a self-aggrandizing lemur who comes off as a pint-sized parody of Dubya. But this isn't a movie concerned with engaging hearts and minds so much as bombarding the ears with Top 40 sing-alongs."
Pride and Glory (2008)
"It's smooth and competently crafted, an efficient thriller punctuated by startling bursts of violence and nuanced performances from Norton, whose tough-cop routine masks a sort of cerebral tenderness, and the ever-reliable Noah Emmerich."
Saw V (2008)
"Jigsaw has seen better days. That's saying a lot, considering he was last spotted on a mortuary slab, his rotting flesh a sickly shade of gray as a medical examiner nonchalantly sliced open his stomach."
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
"It's not so much that his film defies description as that none could adequately prepare you for the experience of watching it. Kaufman's existential musings are sometimes self-indulgent, but they are also heartfelt and wickedly funny."
Filth and Wisdom (2008)
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
"It's a classic love story dressed up as something a bit racier, and not only do we know where it's going, we know just how it plans to get there. That's okay, in the end, because Smith and his leads make Zack and Miri a couple worth knowing."
Max Payne (2008)
"A bold, thought-provoking and utterly fascinating character study that reveals the kinder, gentler side of a man previously defined by his disastrous policies and bumbling malapropisms. One of the year's best."
The Express (2008)
Body of Lies (2008)
"'Body of Lies' is a tense, deftly paced meditation on America's role in the Middle East, and if it's not quite a war movie, it offers somber insights into the Bush administration's campaign against terror that recent thrillers like 'The Kingdom' have not."
Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
"Maher's Michael Moore-style ambushes, though staged with less panache than the master's, are incisive and often laugh-out-loud funny, even if his targets often seem more like kooks and dimwits than serious theologians."
Lakeview Terrace (2008)
"'Lakeview Terrace' begins as a tense, compelling tale of ideological opposites headed for an ugly clash and ends in contrived melodrama as Abel completes his transformation from badge-waving bully to bogeyman."
Snow Angels (2007)
"Rockwell, who brought a sense of desperate unease to his roles in 'The Assassination of Jesse James' and 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,' does the same here, with results that are at once frightening and pathetically sad."
"Mamet's dialogue is crisp, invigorated by supporting players (particularly Mantegna and Jay) who relish his acerbic wordplay. But for a movie that aims to do for jujitsu what 'Rocky' did for boxing, 'Redbelt' taps out before the final bell."
Righteous Kill (2008)
Burn After Reading (2008)