is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Anton Bitel, John Powers
Rating Title/Year Author
Breathless (2009) Anton Bitel Cinema rarely comes more hard-hitting (in every sense) than this - and yet there is a real tenderness around its rough edges, as well as a disarming compassion for the sort of characters so easily dismissed as mere monsters. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2010
The Last House on the Left (2009) Anton Bitel in its way [the film] out-Hanekes Haneke (without feeling like a lecture), by confronting us in the end with what we expected (and possibly also desired) all along from this kind of movie. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2009
In the Loop (2009) Anton Bitel Showing how politicians, in all their petty ambition and narrow self-interest, can be every bit as dangerous as Weapons of Mass Destruction, this is Dr Strangelove for the post-9/11 era. EDIT
Posted Apr 14, 2009
JCVD (2008) Anton Bitel van Damme's on-screen invincibility is summarily demolished, leaving us with a picture of a very different man. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2009
The Fall (2006) Anton Bitel ...plays like a fever dream of cinematic spectacle, offering a wide-screen parade of some of the most achingly beautiful and awe-inspiring cinematography ever to have been seen. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2008
Shrooms (2006) Anton Bitel As perhaps befits a film so concerned with being 'under the influence', Breathnach's hallucinogen-driven giallo turns its very derivativeness into a virtue, confounding viewers with a gleeful overdose of cinematic references. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2008
Good Dick (2008) Anton Bitel If peeking in on these two characters' most deep-seated dysfunctions might seem as intrusive as stalking and as exploitative as scopophilia, then Palka is at pains to expose the all too human yearnings that underlie both activities. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2008
The Dark Knight (2008) Anton Bitel this intelligent, remarkably responsible approach to some of the most pressing issues of our times will make The Dark Knight be remembered, and cherished, long after the summer is over. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2008
The Mist (2007) Anton Bitel Like Shyamalan's Signs but without the salvationist coda, The Mist is a bleak look at what happens when faith, hope and charity have all got lost in the fog. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2008
Wanted (2008) Anton Bitel an eye-goggling, grin-inducing, thought-provoking hybrid of the SF and superhero genres that, unusually, aims its guns directly at an adult audience, while deftly outshooting all the competition. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2008
Mongol (2007) Anton Bitel shows a merging of the random vagaries of time with the divine machinery of myth, to create a truly rounded picture of the factors that can turn a flesh-and-blood individual into a living legend on the very crest of history. EDIT
Posted Jun 2, 2008
Doomsday (2008) Anton Bitel Brimming with exploitation antics, grindhouse sensibilities and, heh heh, exploding bunnies, Doomsday conjures a future thrown back to the dead-end styles and amoral excesses of the eighties - and no future could be bleaker than that. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2008
Dangerous Parking (2007) Anton Bitel go[es] through all the clichéd tropes of addiction, recovery and terminal illness while at the same time repeatedly subverting them. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2008
Vexille (2007) Anton Bitel its undeniable sense of spectacle is best appreciated on a very big screen - even if, after a full-throttle build-up, the film's final sequences seem oddly anticlimactic. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2008
The Escapist (2008) Anton Bitel Here, the visceral, the intellectual and the spiritual all come together, elevating The Escapist beyond merely escapist entertainment, and offering something that any viewer can dig. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2008
Vantage Point (2008) Anton Bitel Vantage Point prefers to stick with the familiar, so that it ends up, bizarrely enough, affirming rather than challenging the viewer's prejudices. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2008
The Edge of Heaven (2007) Anton Bitel With ensemble performances as intense as its drama, The Edge of Heaven leaves the viewer, like Nejat, sitting and waiting in patient awe for an end that will blow in either heavenly reconciliation or hellish oblivion. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2008
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) Anton Bitel with teenagers, there will always come a time when innocence must be lost - but Levine's film transfixes this moment with the sharpness of a razor. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2008
Jumper (2008) Anton Bitel Jumper never really seems, for all its spatial to-ing and fro-ing, to get up and moving properly. Perhaps it should have been called Hopper... EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2008
There Will Be Blood (2007) Anton Bitel qualities normally regarded as the bedrock of the American Dream - rugged individualism, rampant entrepreneurship and rags-to-riches mobility - are flipped over to expose a dark undercurrent of monomaniacal male solipsism. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2008
Juno (2007) Anton Bitel coming-of-age meets coming-to-term, in a film that is refreshingly frank about sex and love, pokes fun at the clashes between age and class, and, even more subversively...celebrates the pregnant possibilities of the non-nuclear family. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2008
Cloverfield (2008) Anton Bitel once the film has fully run its course there is little left to take away with you beyond rattled nerves, a mild sense of nausea, and the uneasy suspicion that the true horror of 9/11 has just been reduced to a dumb-assed entertainment. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2008
The Duchess of Langeais (2007) Anton Bitel Patience, waiting, frustration, bad timing, lost opportunities - it takes a certain directorial boldness to highlight these as the principal themes of what is essentially a claustrophobic two-hander whose duration extends to nearly two and a half hours. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2007
Paranoid Park (2007) Anton Bitel As fragmented and disordered as the writings in Alex's notebook, Paranoid Park is a moody, somewhat otherworldly study of the confusion, alienation and furtive secrecy of adolescence EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2007
Hotel Harabati (2006) Anton Bitel While the understated indeterminacy of Hotel Harabati represents the height of filmmaking maturity, immaturity would appear to be the key theme holding all the film's perplexities together. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2007
Southland Tales (2006) Anton Bitel No doubt some will dismiss it as an overlong, incoherent mess, but others (myself included) will emerge, bleary-eyed and brain-battered, just wanting to see the whole thing all over again. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2007
The Nines (2007) Anton Bitel Sometimes a product's creative integrity requires that it not quite attain a ten - but when it comes to the cinema of big ideas, The Nines is as close to divine perfection as you are likely to get. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2007
Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) Anton Bitel it is, like the limbo it portrays, a peculiar hybrid of recognisable, second-hand elements that somehow add up to something entirely sui generis - an idiosyncratic piece of magical realism whose characters are literally on the road to nowhere. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2007
Planet Terror (2007) Anton Bitel this genre-savvy trawl through all the silliest aspects of high-octane exploitation is, in its way, as much of a classic as any of the original films that it so lovingly pastiches. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2007
Princess (2006) Anton Bitel Princess is adults-only animation designed, paradoxically, to disillusion anyone of the belief that the world of 'adult entertainment' is in any way alluring or glamorous. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2007
Day Watch (2006) Anton Bitel all at once a complex morality tale, a dark mirror of post-Soviet Russia, and a masterpiece of dynamic surrealism, displaying some of the most imaginative visual effects yet seen in a feature-length movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2007
Yella (2007) Anton Bitel Yella uses Byzantine business deals, corporate shenanigans and sink-or-swim stakes to dramatise the internal negotiation of a character's (and a divided nation's) dreams and anxieties. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2007
The Snake (2008) Anton Bitel You will be thrilled all the way through Le Serpent, and once the final credits roll, you will be awed by the muscular solidity of its construction. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) Anton Bitel the true subject of The Bourne Ultimatum is not Bourne's identity, but America's, post-9/11. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2007
Waitress (2007) Anton Bitel no amount of quality service can cover up a slice of life that has been so overbaked. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2007
4/5 Stray Dogs (2004) Anton Bitel a richly picaresque journey to childhood's end through the dusty streets of Kabul. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2007
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) Anton Bitel It may be just another superhero movie (or several of them, all frantically playing out at the same time), but it delivers everything you could want from the genre several times over. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
The Upside of Anger (2005) Anton Bitel Always more than a mere by-numbers domestic drama, The Upside of Anger is desperately, darkly funny, with dialogue to, er, die for, and a perfect cast. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
Ultraviolet (2006) Anton Bitel Undemanding, unengaging, and glaringly unoriginal, Ultraviolet gives real comic books a bad name. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
Typhoon (2005) Anton Bitel what on paper just sounds like adrenaline-pumped nonsense turns out on screen to be a sensitive and surprisingly sombre study of the personal tragedies afflicting the divided Koreas. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
5/5 Sunshine (2007) Anton Bitel Sunshine is canny enough to avoid being reducible to the sum of its parts, and finds a perfect balance between claustrophobic thrills and eye-goggling awe. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
3/5 Snakes on a Plane (2006) Anton Bitel Even if viewed entirely on its own terms, this film, like any snake, tapers at its end. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
3/5 Shortbus (2006) Anton Bitel There may be a variety of erotic practices on parade here, but the film leaves viewers with few real insights into either human nature or sexuality. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
4/5 Shanghai Dreams (2005) Anton Bitel Revolution is shown as a force both for liberation, and for tragic catastrophe EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
4/5 The Page Turner (2006) Anton Bitel here the business of revenge is as measured and well-tempered as a piano score, and it will turn out that Melanie's Bach is far worse than any bite. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
3/5 Orchestra Seats (2006) Anton Bitel a frothy confection that, much like its characters, often seems at odds with its own ambitions. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2007
4/5 Shutter (2004) Anton Bitel a tale of guilt, revenge and twisted love, set in a world that, for all its sanitised modernity, still remains haunted by fears that are primal and timeless. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2007
5/5 Live Free or Die Hard (2007) Anton Bitel Marrying punishing action set-pieces to an unnerving disaster movie scenario, it grips the viewer with vice-like intensity, while never forgetting to revel in its own amiable absurdity. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2007
4/5 Look Both Ways (2005) Anton Bitel an impressive, intelligent and moving tragicomedy of manners - any way you look at it. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2007
4/5 Lives of the Saints (2005) Anton Bitel dares, from the unlikely vantage of Britain's criminal underworld, to look heavenwards - and, in its darkly pessimistic way, to see nothing there. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2007