"Banal or bogus."
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall, shorter than Knocked Up and more focused than Superbad, tops all other Apatow productions so far."
Snow Angels (2007)
"[Director] Green knows how to convey a mood visually and develop tension with his camera. He just doesn't give people enough interesting things to say or know when to shut them up."
Under the Same Moon (2008)
"[A] sentimental, sometimes manipulative but genuinely touching film."
Shine a Light (2008)
"Those of us who'd hoped Scorsese would make a film closer in spirit to No Direction Home, his Bob Dylan profile, will consider Light a wasted effort."
Nim's Island (2008)
"Can filmmakers no longer create true-to-life inspirational stories about people in extraordinary circumstances?"
"Writers Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, who sold the first version of this debut script back in 1991, want to celebrate the innocence of those early days -- both pro football's and modern America's -- and the feeling that anything was possible back then."
Married Life (2008)
"The acting is well-done and well-balanced, and Peter Deming's cinematography -- part golden, part somber -- suggests the dark side of postwar prosperity, which Americans had begun to contemplate by 1949."
"Someone watching Stop-Loss with younger eyes might feel the heat of the main soldier's dilemma more than I did, but I couldn't help thinking director Kimberly Peirce was presenting us with abstract ideas in the forms of half-realized characters."
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
"'America -- when she is right, to be kept right. When she is wrong, to be put right.' If that's your idea of patriotism, take time out to see Taxi to the Dark Side."
Drillbit Taylor (2008)
"The script by Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen and the direction by Steven Brill have a careless, never-gave-a-damn feel that's as insulting to viewers as the film is dull."
"For the first time, Hollywood has made a whimsical, witty, feature-length version of Dr. Seuss that's neither overblown nor smutty nor emotionally hollow."
The Bank Job (2008)
"Statham fans weaned on the adrenaline flowing through The Transporter and Crank may feel short-changed, but the rest of us can appreciate the unassuming, old-fashioned craftsmanship of The Bank Job."
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
"Just as Romanians got used to eating bones with little meat on them, they must also have gotten used to movies with very little dramatic meat."
"I wish I hadn't seen the masterpiece City of God before the current City of Men, which is a more conventional story in the same setting. Judged on its own merits, the latter film still makes a considerable emotional impact."
"There are usually good reasons why a movie gets shelved for more than a year, however well-acted it may be and however well-meaning its message. Many are on view in Penelope."
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
"If you're indifferent to silly revisions of history and bad acting, you may enjoy The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm not, and I didn't."
"Semi-Pro is just Will Ferrell doing the same man-boy shtick he usually does."
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
"A genuinely original independent film, though one that requires patience and tolerance of the writer-director's style."
Vantage Point (2008)
"The setup is so riveting, the suspense so carefully prolonged, that I didn't mind when it unraveled into lunacy near the end."
Charlie Bartlett (2007)
"Mediocre writers ignore reality, opting for clumsy wish fulfillment and hoping we won't notice they make no sense. Sadly, Charlie Bartlett is an example of that school of non-thought."
"You have to take everything for granted in Jumper, including the idea that Christensen and Rachel Bilson could show human emotions. These stone faces stand at the center of a story that's as flimsy as taffeta."
Definitely, Maybe (2008)
"The film definitely satisfies the need for an unthreatening, competently made romcom with a traditional template. But maybe that's not enough if you want to be surprised, refreshed or anything other than lazily charmed."
"This loosely enjoyable documentary doesn't offer deep insights into the minds of comedians."
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008)
"It's a cynical attempt to plunder your wallet with broad buffoonery you can see for free on TV."
Fool's Gold (2008)
"Of course it's bad. It was always going to be. But it's worse than necessary."
How She Move (2008)
"The characters and situations haven't changed much, but the energy level is high and the moral-that you can aspire to escape the old neighborhood without abandoning all that's good in it-is one we hear too seldom."
The Savages (2007)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
"Day-Lewis tends to overpower the cast, especially in a scenery-chewing finale you'll find fascinating or unwatchable. (I loved it.)"
Mad Money (2008)
"Everyone in the cast treads water, acting-wise -- there's nothing else to do -- except for Latifah, who brings passion to her work."
"Cloverfield is a non-stop smashfest meant to be forgotten as soon as it's over, then repeated the following weekend for people eternally hungry for empty sensations. If you're too old for that, find yourself another film."
Starting Out in the Evening (2007)
"[Frank Langella] is a god of sorts to those who've followed his career for 30 years with an appreciation for subtle, forceful acting, and he's at the top of his game in Starting Out in the Evening."
What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)
"These bits of information could have been shocking in about 1940, 1980 and 1990. But by now, Americans who don't know couldn't care less."
"Bauby, Harwood and Schnabel are probably the only people who'll be our guides on a journey like this, and better ones could not be found."
The Orphanage (2007)
"By the end, you'll be chilled and disturbed by what you've seen -- and, rare as this is in a horror movie, touched to the heart."
The Bucket List (2007)
"The leads, who were born six weeks apart in 1937, have remarkable hare-and-tortoise chemistry."
The Great Debaters (2007)
"Washington and the young cast carry everything off with unwavering conviction."
"This isn't a movie for lovers of Sondheim's grimly funny musical, as most of the jokes fall flat in this joyless version. It's a movie for people who'd like to hear Depp do another British accent and wear a Bride of Frankenstein wig."
The Kite Runner (2007)
"Director Marc Forster and writer David Benioff might seem odd choices to adapt a book about such a place. But they have respectfully transformed Hosseini's novel."
"Comedy comes from an exaggeration of reality, not reality itself -- and on that score, Diablo Cody's first screenplay gets high marks."
"There's a laziness to the entire affair, as if the writers never went further than a first draft and never found anything unfunny enough to trim or remove."
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
"Director Mike Nichols and writer Aaron Sorkin tell the story nimbly and intelligently in Charlie Wilson's War, which has been billed as a comedy but contains sobering reminders about modern international affairs."
Margot at the Wedding (2007)
"Baumbach creates interesting, psychologically accurate characters, but he doesn't know when to stop."
Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
"The little beasties in the new film are computer-generated, reasonably realistic (way ahead of Garfield) and cute. It's not their fault the humans, especially Jason Lee's Dave Seville, are excruciatingly boring."
"A rare, slightly astonishing success."
I Am Legend (2007)
"Director Francis Lawrence alternates cleverly among scenes of high tension, ferocious scares and moments that bring home Neville's feeling of abandonment and solitude."
"Seems to me that the Kenneth Branagh-Harold Pinter Sleuth is a pretty good movie. It just isn't a very good Sleuth, exactly."
"Joy Division fans have already embraced Control, a film biography of short-lived lead singer Ian Curtis. Those of us who didn't follow the 1970s English band or the post-punk scene around it may feel less invested."
The Golden Compass (2007)
"Weitz took a wonderful story about the danger of severing a soul from its otherwise empty body and did that very thing to his source."
"The film contains the usual Moore plusses and minuses, now familiar to anyone who's watched even one of his films."