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Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (2014) Jean Bentley Lifetime has a knack for attracting top-tier talent for what often ends up being silly little movies, but Lizzie Borden seemed different -- everyone was having a lot of fun without getting too over-the-top campy. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2014
Flowers in the Attic (2014) Jean Bentley Frankly, the best Lifetime movies straddle that fine line between "totally engaging look at serious issues" and "overacted campy mess" very well, and "FitA" just didn't cut it. It was ... kinda boring, right? EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2014
Burton and Taylor (2013) Billy Nilles Burton and Taylor succeeds thanks to its truncated timeline and intimate feel. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2013
B+ Prince Avalanche (2013) Geoff Berkshire Prince Avalanche is a film to get lost in, while also proving [David Gordon] Green is back on track. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2013
C+ Lovelace (2013) Geoff Berkshire Lovelace goes down easy. But it's difficult not to wish for something deeper. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2013
B VHS 2 (2013) Geoff Berkshire The four shorts this time share a unifying structure: they start calmly enough and then build to frenzied -- and usually very bloody -- heights. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2013
B+ Behind the Candelabra (2013) Geoff Berkshire Miraculously avoiding caricature and only going as camp as necessary, Douglas makes Liberace something of a sympathetic monster. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2013
C Phil Spector (2013) Geoff Berkshire A stronger film could have inspired questions about the legal system, celebrity or the actual personalities involved in this case. The only question Phil Spector inspires is, "What's the point?" EDIT
Posted May 22, 2013
B- Oblivion (2013) Geoff Berkshire The characters aren't quite deep enough and the story's twists are too dependent on murky motivations and head-slapping coincidences to satisfy. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2013
C- Beautiful Creatures (2013) Geoff Berkshire If the best thing that can be said about a bad melodrama is that the actors are in on the joke, it's probably time to rethink the approach. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2013
C- A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) Geoff Berkshire This is not the Die Hard you're looking for. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2013
C Identity Thief (2013) Geoff Berkshire Plays like one of those junky '80s vehicles Whoopi Goldberg got saddled with because Hollywood didn't know what the hell else to do with her. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2013
C+ Side Effects (2013) Geoff Berkshire The narrative twists and turns ... are no match for the far more interesting mystery still unfolding off screen. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2013
Weight of the Nation (2012) Jacqueline Cutler As depressing as it is to listen to children who can't play because of their weight, there is much to be hopeful about. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2012
Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (2009) Elizabeth Snead To put it mildly, the doc is way more than just T&A , Bunnies and centerfolds. Although there's some of that too. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2010
3/4 Casino Royale (2006) Dan Fienberg Craig is a marvel, but the decision to have Bond engaged in a game of Hold 'Em poker is a betrayal of the character and an embarrassing bit of pandering. Small detail, I know. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2006
3/4 This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) Dan Fienberg The movie is driven not by the desire to explore one or two specific aspects of the problem in any depth, but to run through the long list of Dick's frustrations superficially EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2006
1/4 Crank (2006) Dan Fienberg It boils down to 83 minutes of Chev journeying through LA's ethnic 'hoods dispatching minorities. Granted the movie can't be taken seriously, its cavalier racism is shocking. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2006
2/4 Idlewild (2006) Dan Fienberg There's a certain oddness to a movie that casts Paula Patton as a singer only to dub her voice but leaves legends like Ben Vereen and Patti LaBelle in non-musical parts. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2006
3/4 Invincible (2006) Dan Fienberg Credit Invincible with varying the Disney formula just a bit. While still a "feel good" movie, it's a dark and miserable road that must be traveled along the way. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2006
2/4 Beerfest (2006) Dan Fienberg Beerfest is a one-joke movie ("Hey what if the Olympics had cool competitions like beer pong?") and the level to which it sustains that one joke is almost admirable. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2006
B A Scanner Darkly (2006) Michael Szymanski t's fascinating to watch some of the actors who have had real-life addictions (like Dick did himself) dive into their own convoluted rationalizations and philosophies during the film. It's almost like watching one of their 12-step meeting EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2006
2.5/4 The Illusionist (2006) Dan Fienberg The story is about ineffable things, but the police procedural aspects of The Illusionist make it all too effable. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2006
2.5/4 Accepted (2006) Dan Fienberg Unlike recent supposedly pro-outcast movies like "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Benchwarmers," "Accepted" seems to have actual affection for its characters. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2006
1.5/4 Zoom (2006) Dan Fienberg Featuring a bizarrely dated soundtrack fueled by new music from Smash Mouth, Zoom was designed as a film of training montages. I stopped counting after a half-dozen. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2006
1.5/4 Step Up (2006) Dan Fienberg The stars blend decently when they're flailing their limbs, but faced with the horribly earnest dialogue written by Duane Adler and Melissa Rosenberg, neither stands out EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2006
3/4 World Trade Center (2006) Dan Fienberg Stone doesn't shy from bawling wives, gauzy sentimental flashbacks or rousing musical cues, but there's little doubt that he could have gone more overboard. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2006
2.5/4 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) Dan Fienberg Talladega Nights is a tighter, more structured film than Anchorman, which is probably both to its advantage and determent. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2006
3.5/4 The Descent (2005) Dan Fienberg Can audiences weaned on the murky sadism of the Saw movies and the Hills Have Eyes remake even recognize what a truly scary movie looks and feels like? EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2006
2.5/4 Scoop (2006) Dan Fienberg Scoop is surely a slight and flimsy film, but it's pleasant to watch Woody Allen wander around London and to watch Allen's new favorite leading lady expand her range. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2006
2.5/4 Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Dan Fienberg A Sundance-tested slice of American Domestic Dysfunction proving, once again, that no matter what Tolstoy said, sometimes unhappy families are unhappy in very familiar ways. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2006
1.5/4 Lady in the Water (2006) Dan Fienberg Lady is a solipsistic and sour fairy tale that sets out to be about the value of community and magic, but ends up as the director's somber celebration of himself. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2006
2.5/4 Monster House (2006) Dan Fienberg Ultimately, the environments are far more interesting than the humans navigating within them. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2006
2.5/4 Clerks II (2006) Dan Fienberg Although it's as funny as any movie this summer, Clerks II has to struggle to achieve the level of universality that the original "Clerks" seemed to hit effortlessly. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2006
2.5/4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) Dan Fienberg Watching Depp in The Black Pearl was like discovering a new acting continent. Watching him here is like returning to a warm, familiar place - nice and all, not exciting EDIT
Posted Jul 4, 2006
2/4 Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) Dan Fienberg No matter how fine Paine's intentions, he can't obscure that the movie is, at day's end, the tragic tale of rich people whining because somebody took their trendy toys away. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2006
3/4 Superman Returns (2006) Dan Fienberg Overlong and occasionally unfocused, it may have flaws, but like its formerly unknown star, it weathers its early uncertain steps by providing memorable moments of its own. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2006
2/4 Click (2006) Dan Fienberg While Sandler shouldn't be advised to shun movies with heart, he needs to recognize the difference between genuine emotions and this sort of decidedly unfunny mawkishness. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2006
2/4 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) Dan Fienberg A couple bravura set pieces and a surprise cameo may make fans forget that for much of the time, this "Fast and the Furious" is closer to "Sluggish and the Dispassionate." EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2006
2/4 Nacho Libre (2006) Dan Fienberg Someday, Jared Hess will aspire to make a movie that goes a bit deeper than just a geeky outsider with bad hair, a funny name and an exaggerated accent. But not today. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2006
1.5/4 The Lake House (2006) Dan Fienberg If Kate (Bullock), a doctor with easy access to computers, would just take 10 seconds to Google the man she professes to love so much, the movie could be over in five minutes. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2006
3/4 A Prairie Home Companion (2006) Dan Fienberg Such is Altman's gift with actors that he even makes Lindsay Lohan seem fresh-faced, building the film to a climax in which the pop tartlet makes the most of her thin voice. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2006
2.5/4 Cars (2006) Dan Fienberg I'm wondering if the Piston Cup conceit of huge crowds of cars watching fellow cars race around a track crashing is perverse in a "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" sort of way. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2006
The Break-Up (2006) Dan Fienberg A wishy-washy little relationship comedy that's nowhere near as nasty as it evidently wants to be. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2006
2/4 X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) Dan Fienberg Ratner has taken a series characterized by subversive wit and intelligence and put it in a bland box -- It could be worse, but it couldn't be less distinctive. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2006
1.5/4 The Da Vinci Code (2006) Dan Fienberg Langdon's not a human character, but an amalgamation of pop-up trivia and pensive stares and there's nothing Hanks can do to make him sympathetic, interesting or engaging. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2006
1.5/4 Poseidon (2006) Dan Fienberg There are several characters you're happy to see go -- Try not to cheer when Fergie takes a blast of water to the face -- but there's nobody you'd particularly want to save. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2006
3.5/4 Down in the Valley (2005) Dan Fienberg As he did in Primal Fear, American History X and Fight Club, Norton generates suspense by never tipping viewers off if he's supposed to be trusted. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2006
2/4 Wah-Wah (2005) Dan Fienberg Although it's clearly a personal story, Wah-Wah proves as formulaic and meandering as its satirical targets are bloated and obvious. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2006
2/4 Hoot (2006) Dan Fienberg There has to have been a way for Hoot to have preached the gospel of wildness preservation, grabbed a PG rating and still maintained Hiaasen's delirious nastiness. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2006