Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"The emphasis in the film ... is off-kilter, with too much time spent on the romantic entanglements of Harry and his friends Hermione and Ron."
Public Enemies (2009)
""Public Enemies" had the potential of being one of the best adult films of the summer season. However, Mann's would-be gangster saga lacks personality. It fails to exploit its topic and its first-rate cast. And that is a crime."
"The movie is formulaic and routine, which suits (Michael) Bay's directorial style. Creativity is anathema to this by-the-numbers cinematic traffic cop."
Imagine That (2009)
""Imagine That" is not a bad movie. It is inoffensive and innocuous."
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)
"(Director Tony) Scott ... uses the camera like a little boy shouting, "Look at me, look at me," instead of simply telling the story."
"If you feel down, a sure cure is to see "Up." It will lift your spirits and make your heart soar."
Terminator Salvation (2009)
"If this movie is any indication, this franchise needs a great deal of work to improve and salvage a series that the studio should have terminated after "Judgment Day."
Star Trek (2009)
"What Abrams ... has done is pay tribute to the legacy of "Star Trek," while taking it in a direction that will surely re-energize and resurrect a moribund property."
X-Men Origins - Wolverine (2009)
"Director Gavin Hood ... suffers from an ADD disorder when editing the action sequences. The cuts are too rapid, making it difficult to actually see who is doing what to whom."
The Soloist (2009)
"The movie, through the works of Beethoven, displays the power and passion of music."
"Knowing" is one of those movies that when you get to the lobby, you begin asking yourself or others a lot of questions about why did they do this, or why was that required."
"Snyder has captured the look and feel of the novel, but that is not enough for a successful movie. It fails to totally engage its audience, somehow keeping them at arm's length."
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
"The film's drawback seems to be (Kevin) James' indecision on a tone as well as how to present Blart."
"More than anything, "Defiance" is a celebration of survival against overwhelming odds."
The Reader (2008)
"Outstanding performances define "The Reader," but all pale in comparison with Kate Winslet's Hanna."
"The movie is shallow and clinical. It rarely lets us inside its protagonists. We know that they despise Hitler, period, and that they consider themselves patriots. ..."
Yes Man (2008)
""Yes Man" is enjoyable because Carrey, after making his fateful decision, instills such childlike exuberance in his character, whether it is learning to pilot a plane, play the guitar or speak Korean."
Seven Pounds (2008)
""Seven Pounds" is like one of those little kids' puzzles with six or seven big pieces that once you fit a couple together, the others easily fall into place."
"... The movie is mostly a snoozer with Bella and Edward spending a lot of time merely exchanging glances or staring longingly at each other."
Quantum of Solace (2008)
""Quantum of Solace" will satisfy most Bond fans. But (it) is more of a set-up for what is to come and more than anything it whets your appetite for future missions."
Pride and Glory (2008)
"To paraphrase Yogi Berra, "Pride and Glory" is deja vu all over again."
"(Stone) presents a timid bio-pic about a regular, shiftless guy born into wealth who somehow stumbles into the presidency of the United States."
Body of Lies (2008)
""Body of Lies" is an intelligent geopolitical thriller that ... is really about the manipulation of people like chess pieces on a worldwide board."
The Duchess (2008)
"The Duchess is an intelligent and compelling period drama that offers a critical examination of the lot of women and the abuses of men in a time when such behavior was standard and acceptable."
"This is one of those films in which no characters have names, a device used to emphasize the point that those locked up could be you or me."
Lakeview Terrace (2008)
"Like the fires creeping toward the Lakeview Terrace neighborhood, the film soon gets out of control and flies off the deep end."
The Women (2008)
""The Women" is a grand old dame that shrugs off time as easily as signing a credit card receipt."
Henry Poole Is Here (2008)
"At times you feel as if you should raise your arms and shout "Hallelujah" or "Amen!""
Death Race (2008)
"The movie makes no demands on its audience, except to cheer in all the right places."
Tropic Thunder (2008)
"It spoofs the magic of movies, the narcissism, insecurities and ego-driven minds of actors, the cliches of action films and the bottom-line mentality of studio bosses."
American Teen (2008)
"Even as you watch, though, you begin to wonder how much is real life and how much of what you see was "staged" because the teens knew a camera was watching."
Brideshead Revisited (2008)
"It is all very civilized with people retaining their manners even as they verbally shred an individual's dignity or remind them of their station in the social order."
"It is one of those movies for which you make a mental check list of familiar sequences you've seen in previous efforts ..."
The Dark Knight (2008)
"Ledger is magnificently malevolent. He creates a character who revels in mayhem, a criminal with no agenda other than to spread terror."
""Hancock" is not a bad movie, just an underachieving one. It lacks a "wow" factor. It is bland and routine and flies off in too many directions."
""Wanted" is a loud and explosive extravaganza of film editing, stunt work and cinematic hocus-pocus that adds up to close to two hours of escapist fun."
""WALL-E" is a gem and continues Pixar's amazing winning streak of animated hits."
Get Smart (2008)
""Get Smart" offers some pleasing homages to its predecessor and an adequate amount of laughs. But what the feature sorely needed was more chaos and less control."
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
""The Incredible Hulk" emphasizes action and special effects. ... But it is what fans expect and hoped for and it will not disappoint."
"From start to finish, the chapters roll by offering fans of the genre chases, explosions, gun battles, fistfights and well-done cliffhangers."
"The movie paints crude and insulting portraits of Israelis and Palestinians, going in for the basest stereotypes that would only bring a smile to the face of a Klansman."
"Much of it is exciting; the action sequences, the fights, the stunts are rousing, but they also seem familiar and a bit routine."
Speed Racer (2008)
"At times the film feels like Hot Wheels on either steroids or LSD - or both."
Iron Man (2008)
"What sets the movie apart ... is that ... it is not bogged down with the "with great power comes great responsibility" mantra that weighs upon other costumed crusaders."
"There isn't really much plot to Harold and Kumar, just a lot of scatological humor, sex and body parts as well as body function jokes."
88 Minutes (2008)
""88 Minutes" is one of those thrillers in which characters seem to run all over the place and talk a lot on cell phones. Yet nothing really seems to get accomplished."
""Leatherheads" lacks flair and pizzazz. Like a highly touted No. 1 draft pick who flops, it is all potential without substance."
"The movie's ending will not satisfy everyone, but it does avoid typical Hollywood conventions. Whether it is the correct finale is something you will have to search your own heart to answer."
"It's a gamble whether or not "21" will provide enough excitement to make you shout, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner.""
Drillbit Taylor (2008)
""Drillbit Taylor" ... raises the question about why in today's teen-age movies must every high school bully appear to have taken lessons at the Hannibal Lector School of Psychopathic Adolescents."