San Jose Mercury News
Notes on a Scandal (2006)
"Patrick Marber's adaptation of the Zoë Heller novel improves upon the promise of the [Dench/Blanchett] pairing with a story that wastes no time on preliminaries as it descends -- gleefully -- into pitch-black comedy."
"The movie talks suggestively about smells but can't quite find a way to bring them to life, so [director Tom] Tykwer uses images to rub our noses in as many disgusting things as he can."
"An unembarrassed movie musical, something my generation experienced only in Sunday-afternoon movies on TV."
The Good German (2007)
"The trouble is the movie never really seems to go anywhere. Too many scenes have a feeling of irresolution; they just sort of go on for a while, then disappear."
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
"This movie manages with great economy to show that soldiers on both sides had far more in common than they thought."
Rocky Balboa (2006)
"What makes this vanity project so pleasurable is that Stallone has written a script filled with wit, and even self-deprecation. In the end, there's no quit in Rocky Balboa. More alarmingly, there appears to be none in Sylvester Stallone."
"[Dreamgirls proves] again that transforming a hit Broadway musical into an equally spectacular movie is one of the most confounding tricks in show business."
"With a ferocity that is often as difficult to take as it is fascinating to watch, Mel Gibson's Apocalypto comes crashing across 500 years of history with such immediacy that it feels as if this haunting, fierce, sadistic movie will never leave you."
The Holiday (2006)
"What The Holiday has going for it is that it's funny when it wants to be, heartwarming when it needs to be and impeccably acted throughout."
10 Items or Less (2006)
"This is a movie of such consummate good cheer that it's difficult to walk away without feeling happier than when it began."
"If you've never seen a yurt taken down, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, not so much."
Déjà Vu (2006)
"Washington has powered through thrillers like this before, always managing to make the best of dubious material."
"Far from a hit, Tenacious D probably will do just fine on the midnight-movie circuit."
Casino Royale (2006)
"Casino Royale is everything you could ask for in a Bond movie, and more. Much more. Sometimes even more than is a good idea."
"A feminist fantasy that you can either embrace -- as director Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa) seems to have done with an unbecoming schoolgirl gushiness -- or repeatedly be pulled out of the story by its falseness."
Flushed Away (2006)
"An adventure that -- in both its breathtaking ingenuity and breathless excitement -- exceeds Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run, the two previous collaborations between DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features."
"Borat is a comedy whose lengthy title is difficult to remember, and whose incendiary humor is impossible to forget. It is the most insanely funny movie of this, or any other, year."
Death of a President (2006)
"Despite the intentionally controversial depiction of the murder of a sitting U.S. president, the movie never arrives at the shocking conclusions a picture like this seems to cry out for."
Al Franken: God Spoke (2006)
"Franken doesn't allow the knee-jerk predictability of his liberal pronouncements to deflate the great gasbag that he becomes as the movie proceeds."
The Departed (2006)
"In Martin Scorsese's thrilling, throbbing reinterpretation of [Infernal Affairs], it is the war that rages within all of us -- between our better and our badder selves -- that transforms this tale of treachery into one of the year's best movies."
49 Up (2006)
"In the same way that none of us ever do turn out as expected, neither do they. And that's more or less the point of continuing the series, even as they drone on about their disappointing marriages and dashed dreams, just like the rest of us."
Open Season (2006)
"A little bit like Over the Hedge, and a lot like the upcoming Flushed Away, in which an animated house mouse is forced to fend for himself in the sewers of London, Open Season may sound a bit familiar, but it is never dull."
All The King's Men (2006)
"These characters and their effect upon each other are so poorly developed that it seems as if large chunks of the plot are missing."
Buffalo Boy (2003)
"If you have ever wondered what the life of a Vietnamese peasant was like in the 1940s, it seems unlikely there will be a lovelier evocation of it than Buffalo Boy."
"What makes this modest little movie better than it sounds is the insistent beating of its heart."
World Trade Center (2006)
"World Trade Center delivers to its audience a calculated dose of uplift and gooses us along to feel suspense here, compassion there and hope at the end."
"Talladega Nights is very funny at times, even if the Ballad part mostly boils down to a series of comedy sketches connected by a recurring character."
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
"A comedy that is both hilarious and bold."
Miami Vice (2006)
"The movie isn't perfect, but it's good enough, and better than most. It should keep us occupied until the big screen version of The Apprentice comes along."
"Too often the movie suffers from jokes that sound left over from Broadway Danny Rose, without the ironic sense of detachment."
Lady in the Water (2006)
"It is yet another of Shyamalan's attempts to wade into the deep end of the profundity pool, where not even chlorine can kill the brackish residue of his design."
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2006)
"I'm Your Man never quite gets its man in a coherent frame, but for all its zigs and zags outside the lines, the portrait of Cohen that emerges is a fascinating one."
Monster House (2006)
"Monster House is like an amusement park ride through a fun house. It's a great deal more fun than that other amusement park ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, and funnier than the summer's Pixar picture, Cars."
"This installment in the trilogy feels more like filler between the first and the last episodes, and with no obvious story to tell, it remains mired in the horse latitudes of whimsy."
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
"A very clever adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's bestselling novel."
Superman Returns (2006)
"[Singer] has brought the venerable superhero soaring back to life by delivering a satisfying blend of action, story and character development. If the movie is half an hour longer than it needs to be, there also are moments when you wish it would never end"
The Lake House (2006)
"Bullock's decision to play Kate as a morose kill-joy is particularly inexplicable. She's getting letters from some hot architect through a hole in the time-space continuum, and yet her expression remains impassive, her voice flat, her outlook maudlin."
Waist Deep (2006)
"A solidly crafted piece of genre filmmaking."
"Working from a template made familiar by such recent documentaries as Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom, Wordplay provides a series of clues that artfully explain the defining madness of the Times crossword."
"As a comic, Adam Sandler has never had an original thought, or if he did, he probably assumed he had stolen it from somebody, he just didn't know who."
The Heart of the Game (2005)
"Serrill's documentary on a girls' high school basketball team in Seattle has oodles of heart. What it hasn't got is game."
Nacho Libre (2006)
"This could quickly turn into a train wreck if both the material and the performances weren't there to fill the frame. Fortunately, Nacho Libre is able to keep fading to Black, who has the lucha of love. And of greatness."
"Cars gives you plenty of time to think, some of which you may wish to use wondering why it isn't a better movie."
The Omen (2006)
"Schreiber seems to wander through the film like Hamlet's ghost, waiting for his soliloquy to come, and it never does. He's kind of a cold fish, and Stiles isn't much better."
The Break-Up (2006)
"The Break-Up is being marketed as an 'unconventional romantic comedy,' but the only thing unconventional about it is that it's not romantic and it's not a comedy."
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
"True, Ratner is no Singer, but in The Last Stand he delivers the goods with gusto."
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
"... it's a thriller with a lot of explaining to do, which it does, endlessly, while we wait for an actual movie to break out."
Over the Hedge (2006)
"Falls squarely -- and, it must be said, squirrelly -- in the middle between the lackluster Madagascar and the wonderful Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."
"Even though Goal! takes its own sweet time getting there, the story of Santiago Munez (played by Spanish-language TV star Kuno Becker) finally arrives at the heartwarming uplift to which all sports movies are required to aspire."
- • Anita Amirrezvani
- • Mike Antonucci
- • David L. Beck
- • Daniel Brown
- • Mark Conley
- • Karen D'Souza
- • Jim Harrington
- • Ardua Harris
- • Tony Hicks
- • David Hiltbrand
- • Julie Hinds
- • Brad Kava
- • Christopher Kelly
- • Marian Liu
- • Glenn Lovell
- • Steve Marinucci
- • Charlie McCollum
- • Candace Murphy
- • Randy Myers
- • Bruce Newman
- • Shay Quillen
- • Mark de la Viña