grantl65's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

A concert movie with.....terrible sound quality. The interviews are tedious. One of only a few films I've walked out on. I'm surprised DA Pennebaker put his name to it.

Les Boys
Les Boys(1997)
½

A few belly laughs here.

Kill Bill: Volume 1
½

I don't usually like martial arts movies and that's essentially what this is. 2 was better, IMO, because the story was stronger.

Macbeth
Macbeth(2006)
½

Geoffrey Wright (of Romper Stomper fame) is a "take no prisoners" kind of director and this is no exception.

If you like Shakespearean tragedies, gothic horror or gangster stories, you will probably like it. As with many other successful adaptations of Shakespeare, one of its strengths is a successful transposition to a modern, expressionistic setting and style (in this case one reminiscent of Andrew Dominik's _Chopper_ or an "Australian Sopranos"). The acting, direction sets and costumes are very good. The project should have got the big budget treatment it deserved.

Domestic Disturbance

Great cast, but I can see why this was one passed me by at the time: flat, pedestrian direction combined with a predictable plot. "Domestic drudgery" would be more like it.

The Birds
The Birds(1963)

Dated...relies too much on crude special effects.

This Is England

I don't know why I had this as "not interested'. It's a fine movie, about a boy in a run down part of England c1982. searching for a father figure...in very wrong places. The visuals are excellent, especially the use of colour, terrific acting and there are no flaws that I could see.

Next
Next(2007)
½

Worthwhile and well-made b-grade thriller. Don't expect genius and you won't be disappointed.

Midnight Cowboy
½

Bleak as hell, but well acted and made

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

One of the most underrated movies I've seen. In the end, an convincing character study of a legendary outlaw and his "cowardly" assassin. The rug is slowly but surely pulled out from under our feet, as (in this telling anyway) neither man turns out to be much like his reputation. The best western I've seen since...some time before Unforgiven and a brief substitute for those missing Deadwood on TV.

The Dark Knight
½

A consistently well-made and genuinely suspenseful movie. It will be remembered as the career pinnacle of a fellow Perth boy, Heath Ledger (RIP), but Chris Bale is a good as ever, Gary Oldman is very good and so is Aaron Eckhart, not to mention most of the cast.

The casting is the key i think and ingenious, because it is often against type: Bale and Oldman mostly played baddies before these movies, whereas Ledger (and Liam Neeson in the first movie) mostly played good guys. What could better epitomise the shades-of-gray ambiguity of the Dark Knight himself?

The Frighteners

Strange horror-comedy mix that never really gels.

24 Hour Party People
½

Very funny. You don't have to know the music to enjoy this. Steve Coogan is excellent.

Catch-22
Catch-22(1970)
½

Reasonable adaptation of the classic novel. Was always going to be difficult to adapt.

Control
Control(2007)
½

Very good biopic. Possibly may not mean that much to people who don't know the music.

Michael Clayton

Great characters and acting. Not sure about the credibility of the "Silkwood"-style corporate paranoia storyline, but well worth watching.

Lantana
Lantana(2002)
½

Quietly brilliant.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

Too much Steve Coogan and not enough Tristram Shandy but funny all the same.

Matchstick Men
½

The plot outsmarts itself more than anyone else, but the acting, dialogue and direction is great.

Boytown
Boytown(2006)
½

Former members of a boy band re-unite after many years. The writers milk this for all its worth...and its worth quite a bit. The acting makes it work.

Orange County
½

OK I think. Can't remember much about it now.

City by the Sea
½

If more attention had been paid to some holes in the plot and James Franco's acting, this would have been great.

The Conversation
½

Requires a lot of concentration, from what I remember.

Frenzy
Frenzy(1972)

This one will have your tongue hanging out....and not in a good way. Only watched it out of curiosity --one of Hitchcock's last movies. Political incorrectness, 1972 style (or is it 1922?) , abounds.

Kenny
Kenny(2008)
½

"There's s smell in there that will outlast organised religion." Hilarious mockumentary...and far, far better than it sounds... Kenny is a working class Australian guy, whose line of business happens to be portable toilets. Some great observations about class and generational confliict, especially in Kenny's family relationships.

Ali
Ali(2001)

Pretty good, but... The major flaw with this sticks out like a sore thumb: the (mis)casting of Will Smith. He seems to have bulked up for the role and has the lip (to an extent), but cannot convey the intimidating physical presence of the real Ali. The casting of much bigger men as Liston, Frazier and Foreman doesn't help. Still very watchable.

Gangs of New York

"True Americans" and Irish immigrants face off during the 1860s, in the beginnings of gang warfare in America , with a lot of poetic licence Two things caused controversy for this movie: violence and poetic/historical licence. The violence is more suggested than actual and the real history is altered to underline some of the points that Scorcese is making.

Day-Lewis and Di Caprio are two of my favourite actors and it's a nice inversion to have an English Jew playing the "true American" and an Italian playing the Irishman. Diaz doesn't really have a lot to do.

American Gangster
½

I have seen Atonement, No Country For Old Men and now this, in the space of three weeks. What a year for movies 2007 has been. The only criticism concerns some minor lapse in realism (e.g. would the same cop drop off money to buy drugs and then follow the money himself?) and Rusell Crowe's accent, which noticeably slips a few times.

Detour
Detour(1945)
½

Well made noir. Story builds up in an intriguing way, and has some original twists, but evaporates very quickly without a real climax.

Hotaru no haka (Grave of the Fireflies)
½

Brutal and brilliantly-made anime tale of orphans struggling to survive in Japan towards the end of WW2.

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta)
½

An "alternate history" about sky pirates over 1920s Italy. I'm not very big on anime and this one is somewhat limited by...errr, well, cartoonish elements. Great looking though. The flashback to the WW1 dogfight is amazing.

Signs of Life (1968)
½

German soldier on a Greek island during WW2 goes postal. Great idea but like (IMO) most Werner Herzog movies, is sidetracked into perversityand fails to live up to its potential.

Event Horizon

A nasty, underdone, overstuffed turkey. I only saw this because I thought it was PT Anderson

Atonement
Atonement(2007)
½

Very good. My only qualm is that I felt I was missing background and detail that I would have got with the novel (which I haven't read).

Hard Eight
Hard Eight(1996)
½

Starts slowly but picks up pace as it goes on. This one passed me by at the time, and I'm not sure why. Paul Thomas Anderson's début as director, an understated tale of four quite different characters in a city centred on gambling. Philip Baker Hall and Samuel L Jackson are particularly good.

No Country for Old Men
½

I'm 50-50 with the Coens, but this is a brilliant thriller in almost every way possible. Some may find the politics dubious, probably an accurate reflection of the novel, the time (1980) and the setting. I thinkit will take me about three vieiwngs to get 90% of the dialogue, which is often delivered in broad Texas accents. Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones give great performances

The Ref
The Ref(1994)
½

Lukewarm and flat writing lets this down. Very disappointing, considering all the talent involved.

Quiz Show
Quiz Show(1994)

A flawless movie.

North by Northwest

Self-parody by Hitchcock. Eva Marie Saint is the only saving grace. Featuring caricature characters, especially an action hero (Cary Grant) whose black suit never gets a spot on it and who never has a hair out of place. James Mason seems to be deliberately hammy as the villain.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair(2004)

hmmmm? Has it started yet?

Eastern Promises
½

If there was any justice in the world or the Oscars, Viggo Mortensen would get a nomination for this. Great cast. Cronenberg's best movie in my estimation, but I've never really been a fan. Exceptional in every sense, including the level of violence, so be warned.

Idiocracy
Idiocracy(2006)

Great satire. The year 2505, evolution has gone into reverse and...everyone is dumber than they are now. Like all future dystopias, it tells us more about the present than the future.

Miracle
Miracle(2004)
½

Great attention to detail, although the fact it is a Disney product is evident in the contrast with Slapshot (good movie too): no-one swears, vomits or even mentions sex.

Wonder Boys
Wonder Boys(2000)

Great cast, but ironic that a story about writers has such unsympathetic and unbelievable characters.

Bowfinger
Bowfinger(1999)
½

Very funny and underrated.

' I really like Smashing Pumpkins. Me too, I love doing that! '

Bobby
Bobby(2006)

Solid, but would have been nice to hear more about Bobby himself.

Map of the Human Heart
½

Makes up for a lack of character development with some spectacular images.

Last Action Hero

Funny and much cleverer than I expected.

Caddyshack
Caddyshack(1980)

Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase and Harold Ramis. Almost a classic comedy. What's that in the pool?

Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch(2005)

I like the Farrellys and this is an interesting adaptation/development of the Nick Hornby book. On a par with the original British movie, which pretty much stuck to the book (about soccer, not baseball).

Lisztomania
Lisztomania(1975)
½

Yeah...thanks Ken.

Slap Shot
Slap Shot(1977)

Been a while, but I think it was OK.

Miller's Crossing

Seemed pretentious and drawn out at the time, but may be worth another look.

Tommy
Tommy(1975)
½

In some places a brillian combination of music and images. In others, neither

Bowling for Columbine
½

Pretty good overall, although Moore never identifies where, when and by whom all of these gun murders are being committed. Is there no pattern at all?

Panic Room
Panic Room(2002)

There's not much in this room.

Basic Instinct

A laugh a minute. Paul Verhoeven is one of the great movie satirists.

Single White Female

I like Barbet Schroder as a director and the acting is generally good.

The Dirty Dozen

Still hangs together well.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
½

OK. Lost interest part way through due to a high "so what" factor.

Cool Runnings
½

Passable light comedy.

The Pink Panther

Martin does a good job as usual, but I don't think the original movies with Peter Sellers can be improved on.

Dogs in Space
½

The goings-on in a shared house full of 20-somethings in the late 70s. Very well made and well acted Australian movie featuring the late Michael Hutchence in the lead role.

Tora! Tora! Tora!
½

Excellent action sequences and in a totally different class to Pearl Harbor, which dealt with the same subject. Marred by studio/production politics that resulted in too many cooks and weighed it down with many, many minutes of talking heads 'n' shoulders and lacklustre dialogue.

The English Patient
½

Looks nice but had a significant "so what" factor for me. It's also seriously historically-challenged, e.g. the real Almasy was a German spy/commando. When will someone make a really good pic about the North African campaign?

Death at a Funeral
½

Man accidentally takes hallucinogenic drugs at a stiff upper lip English funeral, which is crashed by the deceased's secret gay lover. I think that sums it up.

Dog Soldiers
Dog Soldiers(2002)

Cult classic. A squad of British soldiers on an exercise in a forest in Scotland get attacked by...werewolves. Excellent choice if you like thrillers and horror movies -- equal parts Predator, Straw Dogs and An American Werewolf in London. Great acting, especially Kevin McKidd as an unlikely action hero.

Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

There is a lot of interesting detail in this bio-doc, especially in regard to his early years. As a big fan of The Clash, I have to admit I was disappointed. The coverage of the band that made Strummer's name felt like it came from an opportunistic outsider who failed to appreciate their achievements. This impression was reinforced by the glaring absence of some people who were close to Strummer and would have had some interesting views. Too much time was devoted to the post-Clash years in which he did relatively little.

Night on Earth
½

As an ex-taxi driver I'm biased ;-) but I really liked the Rome and Helsinki chapters for their humour and/or realism, but not so much the others.

Kind of reflects my general ambivalence about Jim Jarmusch.

Hammett
Hammett(1982)

An often-overlooked effort from Wim Wenders. Dashiell Hammett becomes a character in a stot even murkier than one of is own.

Chopper
Chopper(2001)
½

Chopper tells another con to cut his ears off so he can get a transfer: "No, don't be a fairy, rip into 'em."

Andrew Dominik (director) is brilliant and I'm looking forward to his new one (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) Chopper is shot in tints of green, red, brown and other colours designed to be as eerie as possible.

Eric Bana's breakthrough role....and it's no hard to see why. He sounds and acts eerily close to the real Chopper, the kind of guy you can be having a beer and laugh with and then ...

Rififi (Du Rififi Chez les Hommes)
½

Classic French heist movie. has a famous sequence when they are doing the job and there is no dialogue fo 28 (yep twenty eight) minutes. Warning: very much of its time and some people will be shocked by attitudes about women, etc.

Two Hands
Two Hands(1999)

Like many great movies , it's narrated by a dead guy (lol), the older brother of the main character (played by Heath Ledger). Bryan Brown give a great, unusually understated performance as a gang boss on the seedy side of Sydney. It was also Rose Byrne's first movie.

There are some similarities in the story to Run Lola Run, which came out at around the same time. I disliked that, whereas this is a very original movie.

The main theme is basically "yin and yang": in every hero there's a touch of evil and in every cold blooded killer there's tiny bit of good. (Well maybe not all of them.)

The Kid Stays in the Picture

Interesting angles on some major Hollywood pictures/identities.

Miami Blues
Miami Blues(1990)
½

One of the most jaw-dropping first five minutes I can remember.

Junior (Alec Baldwin) is a psychopathic drifter and conman, who arrives in Miami and hooks up with a naive hooker {Jennider Jason Leigh.

Junior starts to run out of luck when he robs a cop (Fred Ward) of just about everything, including his false teeth

To Kill A Mockingbird
½

Excellent adaptation, even though it discards a large proportion of the book.

The Killing
The Killing(1956)

Excellent heist tale from my favourite director. Not one for horse lovers...

Planet of the Apes

I'm probably one of the few people who think Tim Burton's remake was better.

Syriana
Syriana(2005)
½

Don't try to follow the detail in this, you'll go crazy. Stellar cast and very well made. I only have one question -- how does Bob know about the convoy and why does he try to stop it?

Angels in America

I found this dated and tedious when I saw it recently. Al Pacino's acting was the only saving grace for me.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Historically-challenged and dated.

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

If only this had come out before the invasion of Iraq and more people had seen it. A great illustration of how "experts" can get it wrong.

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
½

"750,000 people died in that room". Brilliant documentary portrayal of a guy who...designs execution equipment and is recruited by a holocaust denier.

The Thin Blue Line
½

How good can a documentary about a "solved" murder case be? The answer is: really, really good.

Catch Me If You Can
½

Really underestimated this first time round. Elements of the great outlaw tales, a lot of comedy, Death of a Salesman, just a hint of Hamlet....and most of it is fact. Great, unexpected ending. One of Spielberg's best, IMO.

You Can Count On Me

Not sexy but a solid effort.

Go
Go(1999)
½

Well-written and well-made "lost weekend" story. This is what people will watch for 1990s nostalgia, a few years from now.

A Very Long Engagement

An interesting approach to what could have been a run of the mill WW1 drama. It is, in some ways, a remake of Kubrick's Paths of Glory, with many fabulist twists. Jeunet can't quite avoid the overuse of SFX and saccharin, tear jerking elements which have always spoiled his previous films for me.

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast(2000)

Ben Kingsley should have got best actor for this. As someone said his character, Don Logan, is the "anti-Gandhi",one of the most vile villains ever to hit the screen. It's an edge of the seat ride from the opening scene, where Ray Winstone suntans at his villa in Spain, until a boulder smashes down the hillside and into his pool, neatly symolising what is about to transpire when Don arrives on the scene.

The Limey
The Limey(1999)

Was unfortunate enough to came out at around the same time as Sexy Beast, with which there are similarities. The best aspect is the use of "recycled" scenes from an old movie featuring Terence Stamp.

Distant Thunder (Ashani Sanket)
½

This classic Satyajit Ray movie is set in India iin 1943, amid one of the worst famines in history. The "distant thunder" here is WW2, which has caused the famine. An upper caste woman, ashamed of her husband, attempts to help her village. It plays out like a tragic version of the Lady Godiva myth.

Babe
Babe(1995)
½

Mmmmm bacon. A good story even if the whole anti-meat thing is less than subtle.

The Score
The Score(2001)

Well-made heist story. Very well-acted --- Brando, De Niro and Ed Norton is a formidable combo.

9 1/2 Weeks
9 1/2 Weeks(1986)

The sex was the only thing about it that was even vaguely believable.

Mighty Aphrodite

Possibly the most forgettable Allen movies. Still better than average.

Greetings
Greetings(1968)

Sadly dated and amateurish. Not recommended unless you are a hardcore fan of De Niro or De Palma .

The Winslow Boy
½

Near-perfect direction, script and acting.

Homicide: The Movie

Bleak moral tale about identity and loyalty. A film noir out of time.

Spartan
Spartan(2004)

Odd movie....presents like a thriller but would have made more sense as a spoof of lone wolf action movies. Probably Mamet's worst film, which still make its better than most.

An Everlasting Piece

A comedy about toupee salesmen is Northern Ireland during "The Troubles". And it's very funny.

Tin Men
Tin Men(1987)

Rude, crude, and very, very funny. Danny De Vito's best movie IMO.

Das Boot
Das Boot(1981)
½

More than the sum of its parts. I haven't seen a better movie about submariners.

Made
Made(2001)

The comedy is in the tension between the two main characters, and how one of them keeps pushing the envelope. Nearly a really great movie.

Swingers
Swingers(1996)
½

Very believable and honest about people,and it still works as a comedy

Envy
Envy(2004)

I don't know why this one slipped under my radar.., Barry Levinson is one of my favourite directors and he has Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Chris Walken acting. Quirky, slightly downbeat comedy, about how we hate it when our friends are successful.

2046
2046(2005)

Tedious, pretentious, self-indulgent. One of the most overrated movies I've ever seen.

Spoorloos (The Vanishing)
½

One of the most chilling serial killer movies I have ever seen. This Dutch version is far, far better than the American remake. Don't expect a happy ending....but you will want to know what happens.

The Last of the Mohicans
½

Both an excellent action movie and a very convincing depiction of the period.

Blood Diamond
½

Great acting by Di Caprio as a South African opportunist and Hounsou as a Sierra Leonean refugee. Sentimental ending is hard to take.

Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette)

You can see where this is going from the get-go, which makes it all the more remarkable that it can hold your attention until the end.

Jacob's Ladder

Strange little film that is hard to describe. Seems like a surreal horror movie at first, but there is method in the madness...

Mississippi Burning
½

Gene Hackman should have won best actor for this.

I Love You to Death
½

Hilarious. Everything about this is way over the top and it still works. Kevin Kline is possibly the best comic actor of his generation

Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd(1995)

Disappointing. Little of the satirical edge of the comic book version.

King of New York

Would be good to see this again.

Falling Down
Falling Down(1993)
½

Would be interesting to see this again now...

Hoffa
Hoffa(1992)
½

Not bad. De Vito can't resist the urge to beef up his own, entirely fictititious character.

Raging Bull
Raging Bull(1980)
½

Apart from De Niro's acting, I didn't really get it. Slow and seemingly pointless, but maybe I missed something(?)

Sweet and Lowdown
½

Sad and funny...great acting by Sean Penn

Come and See (Idi i smotri)
½

Brilliant and very original. The devastation of war, seen through a child's eyes.

1900 (Novecento)

A true epic, at four hours long. The life-long relationship between two childhood friends in Italy, one of them an aristocrat and the other a peasant, ecapsulates the struggle between social classes and political ideologies it Italy, from 1900 to the end of World War II.

And the Ship Sails On
½

Did they really fit an elephant in a rowboat? Brilliant depiction of the Europe that was lost, for better and worse, in World War 1.

8 1/2
8 1/2(1963)
½

Equal parts intriguing and frustrating story about a movie director who can't handel his own success and loses his way. Awesome visual -- see it in a cinema if you can.

Ikiru
Ikiru(1956)
½

Downbeat and quietly brilliant story of a civil servant in post-war Tokyo who finds out he is dying, and decides to build a playground.

Fun With Dick and Jane

Not bad...adds little to the original version though.

RoboCop
RoboCop(1987)

Classic cop/sci-fi movie. Like an update of Clint Eastwood's man with no name, but scripted by Kafka and Mary Shelley. Murphy the cop loses everything...except his humanity. The major sub-plot is a satire on privatisation. Excellent direction by Verhoeven. Extremely violent, dark and...funny.

Robocop 2
Robocop 2(1990)
½

What a disappointment after the first one.

Dances With Wolves
½

The movie critic Pauline Kael said that a friend of hers broke up with someone because they liked this movie. I know what she means.

'Breaker' Morant
½

Three Australian soldiers are tried for war crimes during the Boer War of the early 1900s. Brilliantly-directed and acted. The "heroes" do not reflect the real characters, who were not nice people at all.

Paths of Glory
½

Deals with a similar story to to the recent French move A Very long Engagement. But no happy endings here.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
½

The dubbing is crap and the colour is lcheap and lurid, but Westerns were never the same after this one.

Stand by Me
Stand by Me(1986)
½

The best coming-of-age movie I can think of.

Easy Rider
Easy Rider(1969)

Badly dated. I must confess I wanted the rednecks to shoot them by the end of it.

La Haine
La Haine(1996)

A tough, bleak "boys n the hood"-style story from France. Three young friends, from the slums that circle Paris, find a cop's gun in a drain. This is about what happens next. French language with subtitles, black and white.

Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs)

Excellent thriller/cops 'n' robbers tale. This is the Hong Kong movie that Scorcese remade as Infernal Affairs. It's a straight thriller without the (sometimes) heavy-handed style and philosophical overlay that featured in The Departed.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)
½

I'm a Scorcese fan, but see the original (Hong Kong) version, Infernal Affairs. I thought the voice-overs in particular was over-used in this. And the ending is silly.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
½

One of the first movies I can remember seeing...

Girl, Interrupted
½

Didn't believe a word of it.

Crash
Crash(1996)
½

The blackest comedy you will ever see.

Anaconda
Anaconda(1997)
½

Great cast, but doesn't quite work.

Johnny English

What a waste of talent.

The Shawshank Redemption

What doe they make those prison spoons out of? Titanium?

Secretary
Secretary(2002)
½

Very kinky romantic comedy.

Wolf Creek
Wolf Creek(2005)
½

Seriously geographically-challenged, if you look up the real places mentioned on a map and what they look like.
John Jarratt is great and the other actors aren't bad. Not sure what the point is.

Subway
Subway(1985)

Probably the worst movie I've ever seen. What's happening? Who are these people? Why are they doing this stuff?

Romeo Is Bleeding

One of the worst movies I've ever seen. A "black comedy" that isn't funny and isn't particularly "black".

Lone Star
Lone Star(1996)
½

A compelling cross-section of life in small town Texas.

Men With Guns

Excellent and depressing account of a doctor's journey through the countryside of an unnamed South American state ravaged by war and poverty.

Girl 6
Girl 6(1996)

Much better than the way it was received. Look for Madonna in a creepy cameo.

Kingdom of Heaven

Pretty good account of the fall of the christian kingdom of Jerusalem. Great cast/acting -- Ed Norton does a excellent job for someone who has a mask on for the whole movie.

The Big Lift
The Big Lift(1950)

Typical sombre post-WW2 movie.

Psycho
Psycho(1960)

The ultimate Hitchcock movie, and that's saying something.

Harold and Maude
½

Hilarious, weird black comedy.

The Doors
The Doors(1991)

Disappointing...we don't really learn anything about Jim Morrison and a lot of the story is just a wallpaper made up of 60s celebrities.

The Addams Family
½

Very funny...a worthy successor to the TV series

What Lies Beneath

Goes CGI-ghost silly at the end, but genuinely scary up to that point.

Batman: The Movie

"Quick, Robin...pass me the Bat Shark Repellant!"

8MM
8MM(1999)

Totally unbelievable. They all should be ashamed.

The Time Machine

Pretty good and underrated. Looks great --- this is how to use CGI.

Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow(1996)
½

Why didnt they all die fof radiation sickness? Not that I wanted them to, but really...

Con Air
Con Air(1997)

Disappointing, given the great cast... they all seemed to be sending it up.

Run Lola Run
Run Lola Run(1999)
½

Hugely overrated. The cartoon bits add nothing to it. I found it tedious. Two Hands, which came up around the same time, has a similar story but does it much, much better.

Cast Away
Cast Away(2000)
½

Why didnt't the volleyball get "best supporting actor"? Hehe.

Back to the Future Part II
½

The best of the series IMO.

Psycho
Psycho(1998)

I like Gus Van Sant and the cast, but why remake a classic?

Deconstructing Harry
½

One of Allen's best, but hey I like nearly all of them. Maybe the closest he gets to the real Woody? The last half is terrific.

Jerry Maguire
½

Couldn't believe the Cruise character and nothing really happens.

Rain Man
Rain Man(1988)
½

Still looks good. Tom Cruise plays a snarky yuppie...talk about typecasting, hehe.

The Da Vinci Code

Four stars for the actors and the director, zero for the story.

Damien---Omen II
½

The formula wore thin.

Mission: Impossible 2

Terrible. What were they thinking?

Sunset Boulevard

This one never goes stale.

Angel Heart
Angel Heart(1987)
½

Sorry, no. Too much of everything. Especially the blood falling from the ceiling.

The Mexican
The Mexican(2001)

Kind of flat and unmemorable for some reason, as if no one invovled believes in what they are doing. James Gandolfini is hopelessly miscast as a gay hitman.

Jaws: The Revenge
½

Michael Caine: "they're funny things, sharks". So is this. Intentionally.

Lake Placid
Lake Placid(1999)
½

What happens when parody goes wrong? Zzzzzzzzzzz

Radio Days
Radio Days(1987)
½

The first 10 minutes is one of the funniest sequences ever.

North Country

Another great performance from Theron, following Monster.

Dangerous Liaisons
½

The best version of this story, IMO.

Jaws 2
Jaws 2(1978)

They should not have gone there.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
½

As usual the Cohen brothers overdo it and allow the actors to as well.

The Omen
The Omen(1976)

Equal parts creepy and a self-parody. Still gets me in when its on TV.

Hollywood Ending
½

Probably passed over by a lot of people, but it was a return to form and well worth a look. "If I drove a 1939 Mercedes, people would think I was Himmler". Hehe.

Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish(1983)

Slow and pretentious. Coppola did a much better job with The Outsiders.

Erin Brockovich
½

Steve Soderbergh rocks...and this is one his best. It restored my belief in Julia Roberts too.

Sid and Nancy

Not much like the real Sid and Nancy but a good movie all the same.

Jaws
Jaws(1975)
½

One of those rares movie which is better than the original book. Does anyone still read the book?

Air Force One

Silly but enjoyable. I find myself watching every time it's on TV. Gary Oldman overacts like he's Borat's big brother, hehe.

Walk the Line
½

I couldn't believe it was Witherspoon and Phoenix doing the singing. Everything about this is well done.

Kokoda
Kokoda(2007)
½

OK it's a war movie...or is it? Kokoda kills (sorry) two birds with one stone. It's a well-shot (sorry) and realistic depiction of jungle warfare. It's also a horror movie in the mould of Alien II -- a relentless, merciless and shadowy enemy picks off the main characters one by one. If you are looking for a sympathetic, politically-correct portrayal of WW2 Japanese soldiers, this is not your movie. But it's historically accurate and it's good.

The Italian Job
½

No, go with the original 1960s version.

Friday Night Lights
½

Never hits a wrong note. Great sports movie, even though I don't know much about American football.

Face/Off
Face/Off(1997)
½

Ridiculous. The scriptwriters should have lost their poetic license for this one...

Ronin
Ronin(1998)

Never lets up. A seamless end of the seat thriller. Great cast; great director.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
½

Very well made...if it has a problem it's too faithful to the book, which is HunterThompson's most overrated IMO.

Bring It On
Bring It On(2000)
½

Surprisingly good. Cliched story, and its about.....cheerleaders, but it's much better than the sum of the parts. Well-written, believeable characters and excellent acting.

Zodiac
Zodiac(2007)
½

At almost 3 hours this a long movie, especiallyby the standards of crime/serial killer stories. But it is enthralling and intriguing all the same. One of the main characters, Inspector Dave Toschi of the SFPD , was supposedly the inspiration for both Bullitt and Dirty Harry. Played here by Mark Ruffalo, the real Toschi was clearly somewhat different to theMcQueen and Eastwood characters. This is a great illustration of the realities, frustrations and haphazard nature of police detective work in the late 1960s and 1970s. (A point also made by the recent British TV series Life on Mars.) I'm not giving much away by saying that in the end it's the newspaper cartoonist who gets the closest to the killer.

Amores Perros

González Ińárritu takes the Altman parallel stories structure to new heights.

Cidade de Deus (City of God)

Awesome. Brilliantly shot. Great acting by people basically playing themselves.

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown(1997)

The most underrated Tarantino movie, and the most realistic.

L.A. Confidential

Good, especially the acting. Lost me in the OTT shoot-out scenes.

2010
2010(1984)
½

Not in the same style or league as 2001, but not bad either and worth watching.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Possibly the funniest movie of all time. Sascha Cohen doesn't miss a bit. "Quick kids, kill them before the eggs open."

Full Metal Jacket

Not for those who want an "anti-war movie". Kubrick said "I've already done one of those (Paths of Glory). This is a hard-nosed, warts'n'all grunt's-eye view.

Everything is Illuminated

Nice little road movie with a sad ending.

I Heart Huckabees
½

Could have been better. Goes way overboard with the quirkiness.

Spanking the Monkey
½

Russell is one of my favurite directors...and this a good one. Great black comedy. Be warned, this not for those uncomfortable with the depiction of incest.

The Big Red One

No one makes war movies like sam Fuller and this is his story. Lee Marvin was too old to be believable as a squad sergeant but his acting is fine.

The Last King of Scotland

Totally implausible, but Forest Whitaker deserved his Oscar.

Papillon
Papillon(1973)

Magnificent, a simple story well-told. How often is a movie better than the book that inspired it? This one is.

The Great Escape
½

Great on every level. Loses half a star because they cast James Coburn as an Australian and he can't do the accent.

About Schmidt
½

Alexander Payne, like David Russell and Wes Anderson, is one of my favourite contemporary directors. Great to see Nicholson doing so well as a character so far removed from his usual roles.

A Bridge Too Far
½

Underrated, even though it had an incredible all-star cast. Maybe because heroic war movies were unfashionable in 1977. William Goldman is a script-writing genius. Attenborough's best movie IMO.

The Thin Red Line
½

Watch it with the sound turned down low and you will get as much out of it. Stunning visuals marred by a pretentious, irritating voiceover.

Three Kings
Three Kings(1999)
½

"What is the most important thing? Necessity." Russell is one of my favourite contemporary directors and this is his most commercial/accessible movie. A razor-sharp script and dialogue. Great casting too.

Heat
Heat(1995)

Despite the historic meeting of De Niro and Pacino, like most of Mann's movies this is ponderous, pretentious and stretches suspension of disbelief beyond breaking point.

Cold Mountain

The story and action sequences are terrific. I can see why some people had problems with the casting..especially Ray Winstone, who sounds like the only Cockney Rebel (heh).

American Splendor

One of the great "loser makes good" stories. A unique blend of feature film, documentary and various cartoon styles. Also gets brownie points for paying out on Letterman.

The Virgin Suicides
½

I didn't believe a minute of it.

Ghost World
Ghost World(2001)
½

Great black comedy. Being a teenage/young adult can be hell, few films convey that as well as this one.

American Psycho
½

Very well-made and accurate satire of the 80s yuppie; also a convincing depiction of what life must be like for a psychotic.

Stranger Than Fiction

Faulkner said about fiction is about killing your babies. This is a nice inversion/paradox of that. Surprisingly good and surprisingly uplifting.

Election
Election(1999)

What would you do if you had the opportunity to rig an election that you knew would bring a dictator to power? Perfect direction, dialogue and casting.

Rambo III
Rambo III(1988)

Hahaha, stop it, you're killing me.

2001: A Space Odyssey
½

"i'm afraid I can't do that, Dave." HAL9000 is the greatest movie villain of them all. OK, so it's disjointed but it still looks amazing.

Seven (Se7en)

Bleh. Didn't believe a word of it.

Poltergeist
Poltergeist(1982)
½

Silly but with some some genuine jump-out-of-the-chair moments.

Amélie
Amélie(2001)
½

Too cute by half.

The Usual Suspects
½

Overrated. I guessed the twist/ending about 20 minutes in.

American History X
½

The mind of a junior fascist is not a great place to be, but it is interesting.

A Clockwork Orange
½

OK, Kubrick is my favourite director. Excellent reworking of old themes: individual rights v social necessity & the cynicism of the state. The great thing about parallel universes in fiction is that they don't age.

Road to Perdition
½

Mendes hasn't made a bad picture IMO, even if he has only made three of them.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
½

Well was he a spook or not?! Great performance from sam Rockwell in the lead.

Training Day
Training Day(2001)
½

Awful and incredibly overrated. One of the silliest scripts of all time. The only redeeming quality is Denzel Washington's performance

Carlito's Way
½

This has one of THE best twists of all time. Stunning performances by Pacino and Penn.

The Wild Bunch
½

There is a theory that Peckinpah only had two basic stories, both of which he kept refining, and I think that's probably right.

Snatch
Snatch(2001)

Brad Pitt is amazingly good in the unlikely role of a Pavee. Uneven script lets it down.

Boogie Nights
½

Fascinating insight into a world that most of use will never know...and porbbaly don't want to. Burt Reynolds' great comeback!

Lawrence of Arabia

Still looks magnificent, even on a small screen. Conveys the politics pretty well too and a must-see for anyone interested in modern Middle East history.

The Karate Kid
½

OK take on the "master and apprentice" tale.

Sleepy Hollow
½

Duller than it should have been. Unusually uinspired performances from Depp and Ricci.

The Karate Kid Part II
½

The pattern was already wearing thin.

The Godfather, Part III

Let down a little by a sketchy, shaky storyline.

Mean Streets
Mean Streets(1973)

Scorcese finding his feet, helped by De Niro and Keitel.

Point Break
Point Break(1991)
½

An OK cops-n-robbers story. Too many "pissing contest" action sequences that add nothing to the story or characters. BTW Beell's Beach looks nothing like the one in the movie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bells_Beach

Scarface
Scarface(1983)
½

Excellent over-the-top performance by Pacino. Very well-directed by De Palma. Too long, as is often the case with anything written by Oliver Stone.

The Untouchables
½

Something for fans of all genres here: gangster, western, cop. Well-written (as usual) by David Mamet and well-directed by Brian de Palma, who is rarely bad either.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Seen it so many times that its really hard to be objective about it now...the Empire really got stiffed when they bought that garbage compactor in the Death Star :-)

Donnie Brasco

Awesome depiction of the timeless theme of friendship versus social duty. Almost everything about it is perfect. Mike Newell should make more movies.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
½

Relies too much on the (very limited) SFX that were available at the time...Tim Burton did better with his version, IMO.

The Godfather, Part II
½

G1 is G1 and Brando is Brando, but there's only one Al Pacino. Also De Niro playing the godfather as young man in the 1920s. Also the Cuban scenes. All very well-handled.

Casino
Casino(1995)
½

De Niro plays a typical Scorcese character, who is running various "gauntlets", including being a casino boss in Vegas and having an out of control spouse. Scorcese does gangster so well he should probably stick to it.

The Godfather

Pretty good...but II was even better.

Hud
Hud(1963)

Yep, Newman's best movie. His brilliance is to make such an ugly character interesting and occasionally likeable.

Casablanca
Casablanca(1942)

Brilliant....and they hadn't even finished the script when they started shooting.

Ocean's Twelve
½

In the same league as its predecessor. Very original and very funny. Among the best heist movies. Watch for Bruce Willis' cameo as himself.

Ocean's Eleven

A rare case where the remake was better than the original. Too many hokey in-jokes and star turns.

Memento
Memento(2000)
½

Over-rated IMO. The reverse chronology is a pretentious and unnecessary gimmick with this story. I think it was used much better by Pinter in Betrayal .

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)
½

Excellent piece of story-telling.

Being John Malkovich
½

Evil and twisted but very good.

M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H(1970)

Much, much better than the TV series and the trashy books that started the whole thing. Altman saved a "dog" from drowning.

Dead Man
Dead Man(1995)
½

Very well-made in every respect. But at the end of the day, I just thought "so what"?

Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai
½

Brilliant allegory for the decline of the craftsman ("Samurai" ) in the age of mass production. Whittaker is excellent as always. Marked down for the OTT nature of the penultimate scene.

Léon: The Professional
½

Besson's quirky style doesn't really suit this hard-nosed story.

GoodFellas
GoodFellas(1990)

Scorcese's no-bullshit take on modern-day gangsters laid the groundwork for The Sopranos and plenty more besides.

Pan's Labyrinth

Almost the perfect movie. A young girl in WW2-era Spain is torn between her Francoist army officer stepfather and a servant who is secretly working for the underground. Then the fairies make contact and advise that she is royalty...

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Great acting, especially David Gulpilil. There are some wrong-looking locations for this very Western Australian story, but the real problem is how to turn this story into a movie. I would like to have seen more about the girls' lives afterwards and the bigger picture of Australian society in the earlier 1930s.

Ten Canoes
Ten Canoes(2007)

Hard to think of a more convincing take on "pre-historic" society.

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko(2001)

This is the best movei I've seen about the nature of free will, and its uses. Also very written and well-made, although Kelly should not have done the director's cut, which mostly only added some pointless SFX.

Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver(1976)

Gets better as it gets older. You don't have to have been a cab driver to appreciate this, but it helps.

Bringing Out the Dead
½

A New York ambulance driver teeters on the verge of burn out and break down, as one ethical crisis after another looms at him. Underrated and one of Scorces's best, IMO.

Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I don't know where to start and how to stop praising this. One of the funniest and one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen. Kubrick's direction is immaculate. Peter Seller plays three roles, all of them brilliantly.

Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika)
½

Excellent adapation of semi-autobiography about a German Jewish family who flee from the Nazis, all the way to Kenya. A classic childhood memoir, enriched by several layers of a "fish out of water" elements, such as European city dwellers finding themselves in Africa. (The husband, Walter emigrates first and asks his wife , Jettel, to bring a fridge with her....she brings ballgown instead.)