pooroldjohhnyray's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Limbo
Limbo(2010)
½

Not my favorite Sayles film, but it has a couple moments

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
½

One of the great all time documentaries perfectly captures the madness of the auteur run amok. This is a must see documentary for any true lovers of film.

Red Road
Red Road(2007)

Truly dark realism. Not the most artfully made film, but it ends up having a real emotional punch, due mostly to the performances of Katie Dickie and Tony Curran. BTW, why hasn't anybody heard of Tony Curran. He's pretty compelling.

The Searchers

I'm going to be honest, I really don't like John Ford movies. I find them to be xenophobic, imperialist, and misogynistic. Lets face it, what other American filmmaking legend could get away with "Do You Want To Be Spanked" and mean it? What makes this outing different is that Ford pulls back the curtain on his narrative and shows us the underlining ugliness and hate behind his Western legends, but I'm not sure that was intentional. You've never seen a more hateful depiction of human beings in a western. I'm vaguely troubled that this has become an American classic. That being said, the visuals are fucking beautiful.

The Social Network

A great masterpiece of cinema, a parable, but above all, a wildly entertaining film.

The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu)

Not quite as brilliant as The Grand Illusion, yet still brilliant. I feel like I've learned so much about what the camera can do just from watching segments of this film over and over again. Anyone serious about making films should watch this film at least once. Anyone serious about making good films should watch it twice.

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
½

A very unusual Woody Allen film, in as much as that it's very lush and dare I say Magical. The treat here is seeing Julie Haggertey and Mary Steemburgen play with Woody's dialogue in period costume. I enjoyed this a lot.

Broadway Danny Rose

One of the better of Woody Allen's minor classics. It may be my favorite of his films with Mia Farrow.

Catfish
Catfish(2010)

A wildly entertaining possible documentary.

Visioneers
Visioneers(2008)

A really brilliant piece of surreal dramedy. It's as if David Lynch directed 'Office Space'

A Single Man
A Single Man(2009)
½

This movie ended up being significantly stranger than I expected, mostly due to Tom Ford's overdirection. The strange surrealistic style and sequencing of the film was supposed to approximate grief, but instead I felt like it just exposed how full of itself this film was. Nicolas Hoult's smarmy performance was true gay camp and there are just some truly bizzare and goofy imagery in this film.

Lucklily Colin Firth's performance is amazing and instantly watchable. A man out of his element on the last day of his life. I thought Firth was excelent, and the ending blew me away. Still, I felt the disjointed strains of the flilm had the makings of a good film which were undercut by Director Tom Ford's eagerness to impress us with his overwhelming film language vocabulary.

An Education
An Education(2009)

In a word: Charming. We've seen this story before: sheltered and bored girl has a new world given to her by a charming older man. It's the kind of mutually cherished fantasy narrative that both sexes condone in film as they know they could never admit to practicing in life. An Education turns that fantasy on its side by playing the situation against itself in an ambivilant dilectic that embrases the fantasy without sacrificing the consequences. That's just a fancy way of saying it has its cake and eats it too.

Carey Mulligan becomes an instant star in this film. She's captivating, vulnerable, and full of life as Jenny, a clever and charming british teenager that finds herself the object of affection of an older man.

We've seen characters like Jenny before. She's one part Jane Austen, one part Lewis Caroll.

You can't help but fall in love with her character. The same is true of her suiter David (played by Peter Saarsgaard) You know you shouldn't trust him, but he's so damn charming that you don't want to believe that he would ever betray Jenny.

But of course, how interesting would it be if everyone lives happily ever after.

Up in the Air

This is as well constructed of a movie as I've seen in a long time. It starts out as a screwball playing to its strengths: George Clooney as a selfish loner, corporate excess in the light of economic hardships, and airports. Yes, airports. It's a great place to set a film about transitions.

I have always liked Vera Farmiga, and she's great as the romantic interest, but the film is really stolen by Anna Kendrick, who plays the film's voice of concience character. We think she's going to be the person who challenges Clooney's character to change his way in the predictable fashion until her character is blindsided with a very traumatic development that takes the film, and all the characters in a much more real intimate direction.

As far the selfish-loner-who-suddenly-finds-a-need-for-human-interaction genre goes, this is one of the best.

It's deeply moving, bittersweet. Each scene has a palpable blend of humor and sadness. It's among Clooney's best comedic performances, It's the arrival of Anna Kendrick, and probably among Jason Reitman's best films to date. Like Juno, its a little underdirected, but that doesn't really matter because the film still does what its supposed to do.

Avatar
Avatar(2009)
½

I really love big giant movies sometimes, and they don't get much bigger than Avatar. This breakthrough we've heard about the computer graphics in the film is substantial, but its still not Star Wars. It's still not Lord Of The Rings. I still quite enjoyed it, despite a pants script. One one level, its easy to make believable looking Dragons, because nobody has seen what a dragon looks like. What's really hard is making computer generated leaves that don't look like the set for "Shrek The Halls."

Still, one of these days someone just needs to say to Jim Cameron "Listen, maybe you should just consider making a movie where nobody talks. We think you'd be good at that."

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

I have put off watching this movie, for forever, because I knew it would be a hard sit. Honestly, who is motivated to sit down and watch the story of a barely literate obese black girl who endures, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse?

Well its worth it. Precious is a powerful tale of a relentless protaganist. Precious is inarticulate, but the process by which you watch her grow after finding help from mentors is astonishing.

Director Lee Daniels knows what a hard sell his film is. That's why its such a blessing that his use of fantasy formalist elements breaks down the bleakness of his story. He knows just how much of Monique's soon to be legendary monster mother character the audience can take. But, this film doesn't hold back either. Somehow the melodramatic elements come at you full force, which is helped by Gabrielle Sibique's performance as Precious, which is understated, and incredibly inarticulate. Precious just is. From the outside she's not that interesting of a character.

Yet she is. Because of everything that happens to her and how she deals with it, we are given a sense of hope for the most destitute of situations. Like last year's Slumdog Millionare, Precious is the story of a helpless person in a hopless situation that strives above it. However, where Slumdog was about destiny, Precious is a story of pure willpower.

Good Hair
Good Hair(2009)
½

A surprisingly entertaining, informative, and revelatory look at the Black Hair industry. It's like Super Size Me with Black Hair, and with just as much grease.

Coal Country
Coal Country(2009)

A Balanced and thorough documentary about Mountain Top Removal that doesn't skirt around the tough realities of the issue. This film hits the reality of its subject with uncompromising depth, while never sacrificing truth for conviction.

Blood River
Blood River(2009)
½

A Bleak, Dark, relentless, unforgiving, and uncompromising biblical allegory, disguised as a modern western. The imagery is often harsh, but it never pulls punches. The ambiguity and tone work so well because of a taut script, meticulous production quality and stellar acting. A hard sit, but well worth the time. One of my favorite films of the year.

World's Greatest Dad

One of the funniest films I've seen in a long time, and easily one of the best American films I've seen all year. This movie seems abrasive and unpleasant at first, but once you figure out where its going, you can't help but laugh. All the comedy comes out of the plot. A brilliant satire on literary criticism, featuring one of Robin Williams' best performances in decades. I will never look at Bruce Hornsby the same way

District 9
District 9(2009)

Truly brilliant science fiction film that actually has something to say about humanity. I had no idea where this thing was going, but I followed it all the way. I dig it.

In the Loop
In the Loop(2009)

One of the wittiest, funniest, entertaining movies about politics I've seen. The crass verbal violence and twisty manipulative machinations of the characters draw you into a world of truly unlikeable characters that you can't look away from. I never thought the Iraq war could be so funny. A truly brilliant satires on the political opportunism of both sides of the debate.

Public Enemies

A glorified cops and robbers film anchored by suprisingly strong performances from Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard.
Additionally,
The most absurd use of handheld cameras ever. As if Lars Von Trier remade the untouchables. The urgency of the handheld HD aesthetic loses something when it is pointed at 20 million dollar period sets. What a waste of those amazing craftsmanship on sets and costumes that we only get to see them in the edge of the frames between shaky zooms and pans. What does this style add to a film like this? There weren't even handheld cameras in the 30s! I suppose Mann was trying to capture some of the urgency of better bank robery films such as "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Dog Day Afternoon".. the problem is, Michael Mann is and never will be Arthur Penn or Sidney Lumet. But seriously, come on, even Truffaut used Tripods when he was making period films.
Just saying...

The Brothers Bloom
½

A silly over the top, but ultimately poignant character study, disguised as a heist film. This film was very adept at defying genre expectations of what a heist film should look and feel like. The only twist to this film is that it ended up being about almost everything but the actual heist. The real surprise was a rare comedic turn from Rachel Wietz who stole the film away from Mark Ruffalo and Adrian Brody

Up
Up(2009)

My favorite Pixar film since Finding Nemo. Clearly not as masterful as Wall-E, but a soaring buddy comedy with just as many tears as laughs. In some ways, its a psychic cousin to Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, but it goes in a much more optimistic direction. Aside from some of the best Pixar dialogue ever, The soaring score, heartfelt characters, and the life-affirming story make this a film that will be a comfort to me for the rest of my life. Like Wall-E, the first act is truly so touching, so powerful so... perfect, that once the thing keeps going, it's almost impossible to keep its promise. Then, for reasons that the filmmakers may find themselves questioning for years, Up pulls one of the oldest tricks in the Kid Film book:(Spoiler Altert)

Talking Animals. Yes, the dogs are cute, but it was a tonal shift that I felt wasn't neccesary. And fine, Doug is cute. But it descends into a predictable narrative quagmire in the third act act, which is the only thing that keeps me from giving this a higher grade. This film could have used someone to cut about 10 of the scenes with those damn dogs out.

Then again, Disney needs those dogs to sell tickets/video games/stuffed animals. Cause lets face it, Mr Fredrickson is not as cute as Wall-E. Wait, yes he is. I guess dogs are still cuter than men with accordian-shaped faces.

I love how he's like this little kid who has taught himself to be a curmudgeon and how all it takes is the promise of adventure to wake him up, while Russel is a utter wimp that has convinced himself that he's an adventurer. It's a multigenerational buddy-comedy. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry a little at the end.

Lone Star
Lone Star(1996)

One of John Sayles better films. Like Aaron Sorkin or Mamet, Sayles has a pace all of his own that consists of about 40-or-so tightly scripted encounters with a couple dozen characters that amount to a loose narrative thread. The plot is always secondary to the almost Socratic dialogue of the two-dozen or so characters that populate the film.
The visual style of this film is also quite interesting with its in camera flashback style. While somewhat dated, the way that race, multiculturalism, change, and tolerance are dealt with is suprisingly poigniant although not always subtle. Look for suprisingly tolerable performances from Mathew "Mahogony" McCougnehey, and Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson. Still, This is Chris Cooper's show, and is among his best performances. Also, a very funny cameo by Frances McDormand turns up about 90 minutes into the film.

Kærlighed på Film (Just Another Love Story)
½

An interesting if predictable Danish thriller noir. It has a unique visual vocabulary in which films in multiple locations are intercut such that it feels like they are all one location. That's kind of cool. The plot is completely rediculous with the mistaken identity cliches. It's like a cross between Wicker Park and While You Were Sleeping. If this sounds like something that would appeal to you, you should watch it.

Absurdistan
Absurdistan(2008)

My favorite film of 2009 thusfar. This completely bypassed the film critic in me to get at the film-lover in me. A wildly charming, entertaining, likable, silly, enjoyable frothy foreign language concoction in the tradition of "Love Me If You Dare" "Since Otar Left" or "Amelie." A classic Battle Of The Sexes played out with absurd eastern European uber-small town culture. If you get the chance to see this film, I guarantee it will win you over.

The Hurt Locker

A tense, well acted, spot on entertaining film.

American Experience

Horribly unsettling yet meticulously paced documentary about the largest Mass Suicide of the 20th Century

Rachel Getting Married
½

A spectacular family drama full of vital and lively characters. Full of life and nuance shows how filmmaking can capture truth on film. Anne Hathaway, gives a tour-de force performance where you can't stop looking at her. She's a force of nature as Kim, but not in a scenery chewing sort of way. The characters are recognizable, but often suprising. Real kudos to screenwriter Jenny Lumet for having the guts to create truly naturalistic characters that talk like real people, have the flaws of real people, and interact with each other the way real people do.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

One of the creepiest films I think I've ever seen

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History

It never ceases to amuse me, this documentary. Classic. Cane Toad's Comin Cane Toad's comin

I've Loved You So Long

Heartbreaking somber film. It doesn't have a strong narrative, but I found it's poetic imagry, effortless naturalism, and heartbreaking performance by Kristin-Scott Thomas highly affecting. 1 in 5 people will enjoy this film.

Let the Right One In

Truly disturbing and scary film. It's like Twilight, except good. A horror film that is genuinely creepy, and doesn't pull punches. This film is destined to become a favorite of film students the world round.

Milk
Milk(2008)

Brilliant on every level. So many films these days are trying to do that "70s cinematography" thing. Milk really pulls it off. uses a documentary aesthetic as an entry point for the audience into the world of Harvey Milk, and it really works. You leave any of your preconceptions about Castro Street and Gay San Fran at the door as you just slowly get pulled into the world. Stock footage is so seemlessly blended with the rest of the film that you can't tell what Gus Van Sant shot and what came from film libraries. The feeling transports you to that world, warts and all. It doesn't come at it from a particularly modern aproach. It just lives that moment in time, while adding some context to it.

And the acting. Sean Penn inhabits the character in the best performance of his career.

Frost/Nixon
Frost/Nixon(2008)

Engaging Captivating docudrama. It looses focus towards the end, but still probably the best film of Ron Howard's Career. Frank Langalla and Michael Sheen are electric.

Australia
Australia(2008)
½

Real old School epic filmmaking. Over the top, wild crazy, beautiful, chaotic, spoonfull of sugar laced with caffinated gravy epic filmmaking.

W.
W.(2008)

A bit of a trainwreck, but suprisingly enjoyable at points.

Take the Money and Run
½

An early comic triumph of Woody Allen. A rough gem and one of the best of his "Early Funny Ones" The comedy is some of Allen's most surreal and unexpected, but all the gags work.

The Invisible

Great great great great film. You must rent this movie. Right now!

The Doom Generation

Proof Positive that indie films can be just as bad as mainstream. This Laughable indie 'turd' is trying to be edgy in a Larry Clark sort of way, but the dialogue and line readings are just so horrible.. going the opposite direction as Jawbreaker, but just as stupid

Manufacturing Dissent

I really like this documentary. It's a fair and balanced critique of michael moore, without resorting to Michael Moore's tactics. a great portrait of a troubled time in american politics where fighting the good fight meant less than crusifying the other side.

The Bridge
The Bridge(2006)

Unbelievably disturbing and troubling, yet honest look at a year of suicides off the Golden Gate bridge.

The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)

My cannidate for the greatest movie ever made.

Man on Wire
Man on Wire(2008)

A charming and spellbinding portrait of a man with a dream. It's just exciting, invigorating, occasionally hypnotic, and absolutely charming.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen's best work in at least a decade. the same senses of alternating cynicism and optimism about relationships, but surprisingly cerebral. The narration adds an almost Brechtian level of intellectualism to what might have been a streighforward "I don't know what I want" relationship dramedy. Great cast performances too, including Penelope Cruz, who is just plain insane in this film.

Burn After Reading

Is to Big Lebowski as "Someone Is Raping Godzilla" is to "Maneater."
Tonal chaos, harsh cinematography, and pitch black comedy. Cine
I hope Roger Deakins comes back. Brad Pitt steals this film though, which is suprising, considering the cast. An admirable misfire.

The Motorcycle Diaries

A arresting and soul affirming road film. I still love this film.

The Fall
The Fall(2006)

A truly strange and frustrating film. On one hand, the breathtaking visuals and novel idea pulls you in. The problem, it can't keep you there. Two narratives that seem to be intterupting each other in a painfully self-concous way. Lee Pace's character isn't charismatic or likable enough to sustain interest, and the story within a story keeps being interrupted by the character's self-awareness that a story is being told. But the idea was worth trying, and the visuals are really something.

The Visitor
The Visitor(2008)

One of the very best films of 2008. A Charming, life affirming, realistic portrayal of real charaters in this immagration drama. Richard Jenkins steals the show.

Keeping the Faith

A rather pedestrian and nuts and bolts Romcom. Ben Stiller and Ed Norton aren't bad though.

Flirting With Disaster

a highly stressful comedy of manners about a string of insane and unlikable neurotics who spend the whole movie arguing. Saved by genus comedic turns by Richard Jenkins and Josh Brolin as a couple of Bisexual cops. Even though I wasn't crazy about this film, the pure insanity of the last act won me over.

Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (The Princess and the Warrior)

A lost gem from the Tom Tykver filmography. Adrenaline-pumped stylistic thrill ride. Bank Robbers, Severed throats, insane asylums, and an incredibly enigmatic ending, but in a good way.

Orgazmo
Orgazmo(1998)
½

Trey Parker clearly isn't a good director. but it's so wrong it's funny.

My Own Private Idaho

I can't remember the time I was so turned off or bothered by a movie. That being said, I conceed that it's probably brilliant. That doesn't mean it's good or even pleasant.

The Illusionist
½

An interesting, breathtaking period epic, whose impact is slightly weakened by a trick ending. I can't think of a movie where the lighting stood out so much as beautiful

The Story of O

Interesting Relic from the days of "Porn Chic" A real life artistic adult movie. Has all sorts of fun with the concepts of love and power. Not sure How I feel about it, but it was sure interesting

Son of Rambow
½

I love love love love love love love love this film.

When Did You Last See Your Father?
½

An okay father son reconciliation piece that tugged a little too hard on the heart strings. The Flashbacks were more effective than the main storyline, but Jim Broadbent was easily the best thing about the film. A great clinic in how to use cinematography tricks to cover up for a bad script.

The Gymnast
The Gymnast(2006)

Charming, albeit clumsy independent film. Despite the clunky script I found this films naivete somewhat charming. But certain elements made it hard for me to take it seriously.

The Tracey Fragments
½

Utterly Insane and compulsively watchable. Plays more like a piece of video art than a traditional film, this film utlizes split-screen storytelling to fragment the character. The result is quite compelling and forces the audience into its protaganists fractured reality.

Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia!(2008)
½

Meryl Streep is insane and shrill, Pierce Brosnan can't sing, the dialogue is painful, and the plot is almost nonexistent.
Yet, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have more fun at this film than any other film this year. It perfectly captures the irrational and joyful explosion of giddyness that is ABBA.

The Dark Knight
½

I Lost The Game.
As if Nolan has opened a psychic portal with the devil and challenged the audience to stare him down as he reaks havoc on their souls. That's a beautiful and terrifying thing. I only fear the masses of audiences aren't spiritually ready for this challenge.

Get Smart
Get Smart(2008)

I wanted to hate this, but all the jokes worked.
That being said, incredibly misogynist and bland in its portrayal of women in the film.

Hancock
Hancock(2008)
½

Better than I expected, but not as good as it could have been. A new darker direction for superhero films, and it worked pretty well. It has problems, but for a July 4th popcorn flick, it's pretty damn good.

Where the Truth Lies
½

A good old-fashioned trashy racy film noir. Dark and twisty. It's not a great movie, but I really really enjoyed this film. It's Scrumptous and sinful in the way that only the darkest most rich chocolate is.

WALL-E
WALL-E(2008)
½

Epic, poigniant storytelling with a purpose. Wheras Finding Nemo backrounded theme to pronounce story, Wall-E foregrounded theme to let two cute individual robots tell us something about the human condition. Gorgeous score from Thomas Newman. A powerful, intimate, lonely, sad, yet ultimately optimistic story.

Wristcutters: A Love Story

A movie with a real sense of identity and uniqueness. The visual style is sparse, and the story is intriguing. I highly recommend this film.

The Trials of Henry Kissinger

Infuriating portrait of the closest America has ever had to a war criminal, and somehow he has a nobel peace prize.

51 Birch Street
½

Fascinating portrait of a man coming to terms with the fact his family was never quite what he thought they were. Half cautionary tale about marriage gone wrong, half soaring father/son reconciliation, it's very engaging, albeit horribly photographed.

The Weather Underground
½

Incredibly unnerving film about terrorists in the 70s who were an offshoot of peace protesters. Uses archive footage and interviews to explain the motivation of these terrorists, but in the end, even they look back on it now and see the flaws of trying to overthrow the united states government.

Nim's Island
Nim's Island(2008)

An interesting, if not flawed adventure film. It tries a lot of things, some of them work (Jodie Foster having an imaginary friend that helps her overcome agoraphobia) some don't (Gerrard Butler as an actor)

Tequila Sunrise
½

I remember seeing this movie when I was younger. That's all I remember about it.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Incredibly Eye opening. It can't help but make you question the dangers of unregulating capitalism.

M
M(1931)
½

Interesting film. I love Peter Lorre

Michael Moore Hates America
½

A joke. An absolute joke. All the manipulation of a michael moore film, without any of the cleverness poigiancy, or structure.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
½

Every bit as bad as Temple of Doom, without any good chase scenes. Sorry Jason.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
½

A real knockout phenominal film. In a class all by itself in terms of fantasy films. Potent, Powerful, and Sophisticated storytelling, the way that epic fantasies used to be. The best of its kind since the LOTR films.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)
½

Much more flashy than "Man Of Iron" and also better than most superhero movies

Street Racer
Street Racer(2008)
½

What the hell was that?
This isn't a film. This is a bad Extasy trip.
Way too colorful. My head hurt after this film. It's good that it was visually assaulting , because it didn't have anything else going on in it.

Also, it's bad when you have two oscar nominated actors in a movie get outacted by a monkey.

Six Shooter
Six Shooter(2005)

Interesting piece of dark comedy by Martin McDonagh. Fans of In Bruges will appriciate the pitch black comedy of menace that McDonagh pervays here. As a writer McDonagh has a command of the english language.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Dark, troubling, relentlessly dark film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is amazing as usual.

Blow-Up
Blow-Up(1966)

An astonishingly brilliant film. Every minute of this blew my mind. It reinvents the grammar of modern cinema second by second.

The Signal
The Signal(2008)
½

A wild wild wild ride. Chaotic, poigniant, and scary. Just the way a good horror film should be.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
½

An unflinching, troubling, piece of cinema realism about an unplesant task. The setup is: Romanian girl during communism gets pregnant, wants abortion, tries to hire an illegal abortionist, but pretty much screws that up. The rest of the movie is pretty much about how her best friend tries to fix the situation.

This movie has often been called a portrait of a society and the horrors and absurdities of that culture's repressive morals. I dissagree. I think this film illustrates itself more as a quite claustrophobic character piece about the actions of one character and the consequences of it. Because it is so stylisticly sparce (Most scenes are done in one continuous single shot), there isn't the sense of scale which is neccesary to make large political points. the restraint from excess focuses the movie on its simple and often riveting storytelling, told with astonishing naturalism. By a lack of cutaways, we get an objective perspective that actually puts the audience in the bleak hotel room awaiting the abortion without getting the audience to think about it as anything else than a human drama.

The Savages
The Savages(2007)

An excellent probing family drama disguised as a comedy. Excelent character sketches anchored by brilliant performances from Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

I love how this film didn't feel the need to explain "These characters are screwed up because of the father was a jackass to them" because, it's never that simple. These were all complex characters, and I get the feeling they would be just as disfunctional if they had had a loving family.

Take Wendy Savage (played by Laura Linney) She lies about everything. She's self-aborbed and just tends to be disfunctional with everything and compensating for the flaws in her life with dellusional gestures, such as faking winning the Guggenheim Fellowship.

I like this film because it was a honest and neutral piece of filmmaking that could have been really horrible (I.E. Aurora Borrialis)

Another thing. I think people take for granted how good of actors Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
½

Everything that can possibly be said about this film has already been said. I came too late to this conversation to be relevant. That being said, It's a really fucking good film.

Persepolis
Persepolis(2007)
½

A strange, arresting, and suprisingly affecting portrait of Iran under the Iatollah. The visuals were suprisingly poetic in a way that they wouldn't have been able to be in a live action film. For such a sparce style of animation, it was full of life and movment, in the way that most films adapted from Graphic Novels never evolve.

Honeydripper
Honeydripper(2007)
½

Gorgeously Shot, somewhat interesting, John Sayles ensemble piece. It had its moments. A lot of "old blues folk" cliches, though.

In Bruges
In Bruges(2008)

Wildly Entertaining, brilliant dialouge, and full of unexpected suprises. This is the most fun I've had at the cinema all year.

Bridget Jones's Diary

Easily the least painful Renee Zelweigger Film I've seen. Incredibly predictable "You go girl" style of romantic comedy, and incredibly derivative, but it also has some really funny dialouge.

The Fountain
The Fountain(2006)

A really interesting, film, that really shoots higher than most. It's refreshing to see someone doing something so different that it can't be ignored. However, it's a hard sit, no matter how much of a fan of Aronofsky you are.

Stop-Loss
Stop-Loss(2008)
½

A collosal mess of a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be, and ends up being a chaotic mix of good ideas and really aweful ones, despite a really strong start

Be Kind Rewind

What a weird weird ride. Entertaining and Charming, until it wears out its welcome, which happens a little too early. It was only 101 minutes, but somehow it felt so much longer.

Crash
Crash(2004)
½

Porn for your concience.

Intolerable Cruelty

One of the Coen's most enjoyable films, and also one of their most visual realized. THis film may be most definitive in their style of comedy. great lines funny stuff..

Aurora Borealis
½

Please don't watch this movie. It's absolutely aweful. Bad Acting, Bad Directing, Bad Writing, good cinematography ruined by bad Color Timing.
And, did I mention this has Juliette Lewis In It.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

One of Woody's best and most troubling films. Asks a lot of disturbing questions about Life and morality.

Michael Clayton
½

A Truly unexpected gem, overslick acting and cloying dialouge keep it from being a truly great movie, but it's still a really good one. One of the better "Hollywood" films out there

Enchanted
Enchanted(2007)

I really like this movie. Laugh out loud funny, and enchanting.
It's very predictable, and I had the entire end figured out within the first 20 minutes. But it's a comforting predictability. There's a place for the formulaic fairy tale romance, especially when it's framed in a more modern retelling.

There Will Be Blood

Deeply Troubling, Fascinating, Ambiguious filmmaking.
Reminds me of Raging Bull

Mozart and the Whale
½

for someone whos acting is so autistic, Josh Hartnett is completely unbelievable when playing an acutal autistic.

Atonement
Atonement(2007)

A really interesting film. It takes a completely different and self-concoious approach to the period film which forces the audience to look objectively at the most subjective of love stories.
I was really impressed by the filmmaker's willingness to experement with comic effect within the darkest and most pessimistic of situations. Where other films have played stories like this in a didactit. The ambiguity and lack of cohesiveness actually make this film more memorable. Because it doesn't make sense, it makes you more aware of what's going on and forces the audience to watch harder and question what's really happening, a feat that has a huge payoff at the end.

I'm Not There

Interesting. Few times do films try something truly different. Worth a look.

The Darjeeling Limited

There's a reason this isn't called
"The Darjeeling Universal"

Juno
Juno(2007)

The Most Overrated, half-baked film since Crash.

No Country for Old Men
½

The Coen's best film to date answers the questions posed by Fargo with even more disturbing questions. Ambiguity. Stopped from being a perfect film by a strange lapse of focus in the last 20 minutes.

The Lookout
The Lookout(2007)

Good film. Great storytelling and character study in tandem in ways films usually don't pull off. Joseph Gordon Loevitt gives one of the best performances of the year.

Paris Je T'aime
½

Interesting. Some of the shorts work better than others. None of them were truly horrible, but none were truly groundbreaking. They all worked well togather. My personal favorits were the Alexander Payne, The Coen Brothers, the Sylvan Chomet, and the Isobel Cosxet shorts.

Away From Her

Poetry on film. Heartbreaking to it's chilled core.

The Namesake
The Namesake(2006)

Truly poetic, yet unbelievably boring and slow moving. I feel bad being so hard on such a well made film, but I just didn't like this. A lot of the problem is that there's just no steady narrative. It tried to cover too much material too quickly.

In the Shadow of the Moon

This is possibly among my favorite films of the year. It's breathtaking beauty and subjective documentary style brings to life the power of images that still have the power to make us stand up and say "Holy Crap. See what mankind can do."

The Boss of it All (Direktøren for det hele)

It's about what you'd expect from a comedy from Lars Von Trier, except that it doesn't feel like one. Funny enough, although a little pretentious. I walked out of this halfway through to grab a piece of pizza

American Gangster

If I could think of one word to describe this it would be Visceral. Ridley Scott really knows what he's doing.
A fine crafted film which is not nearly as long as critics make it out to be, but could have shaved maybe 10 minutes to become a masterpiece.

Across the Universe

A Trainwreck. I know this looks cool, but it's not. It's bland, it's boring, it's rediculous, and it's just painful. There isn't enough psychotropic drugs in the world to make this trip feel right.

Roman Holiday
½

It's hard to believe that Audrey Hepburn was really just that beautiful. They don't make them like that anymore.

The Brave One

A truly problematic film, which simply is not good. It's hard to take a revenge vigilante film serious when it's fully orchestrated with strings and shot through a soft focus lens.

Eastern Promises
½

Resonant social action drama that doesn't pull punches. Has two of the best directed and acted scenes I've ever seen, sandwiched by well done, but non-memorable drama

You Kill Me
You Kill Me(2007)
½

A cute movie. Buffalo culture gets nailed down perfectly

Talk to Me
Talk to Me(2007)
½

A rather enjoyable film.
Don Cheadle carrys this film as does Chiwetel ejiofor, both in their best perofrmances yet.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Terrifying force of nature performances from Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton thrust viewers into the Edward Albee's Nightmarish Dreamscape. Unfortunately, as happens with anything with such a startling amount of forward intertia, it implodes in the last act.

Evita
Evita(1996)

Strangely, this is my favorite movie musical

Talk Radio
Talk Radio(1988)
½

One of my all time favorite films. Bogosian burns deep

Casino
Casino(1995)

My favorite Scorsesce Film. It's just so gorgeous.

The Big Lebowski

It gets funnier every time you watch it

Stardust
Stardust(2007)

Imperfect, enjoyable B movie.
A lot of fun.
Worth it if only for De Nero's character

Delicatessen
Delicatessen(1992)

Jeunet is mad genius. That's all you need to know.

Glitter
Glitter(2001)
½

This movie gets a bum rap. It's no worse than flashdance. Not that flashdance is good, but this is no worse.

Where the Heart Is

I remember liking this when I saw it. Strong Ashley Judd performance.

The Crying Game
½

Nice Twisty thriller/love story with strong emphasis on "Twisty"

Raging Bull
Raging Bull(1980)
½

Every bit as good as everyone says it is. A stranges sort of visual poem/character study that penetrates objectively. Ra Ra Scorsesce.

I can't believe it took him 27 years after this to finally win an oscar.

Serpico
Serpico(1973)
½

I rather like Al Pacino in this. Sydney Lumet is a good director. Well paced, well written drama about corruption

The Proposition
½

Poigniant, Ambiguous, unforgiving western. Unique

The Yes Men
The Yes Men(2004)

Thought Provoking, albeit somewhat hollow.
I wish it had focused a little more on the WTO and less on the Yes Men.

The Lives of Others

One of a handful of flawless films I've seen in the last few years. Rent this. NOW.

Earth Girls Are Easy

Okay, so Jim Carey, Jeff Goldblum, and Dameon Wayans are furry multicolored aliens, Who are befriended by Gina Davis, and it's the 80s, and it's a musical, and Nile Rodgers wrote the songs..

You couldn't make this up if you tried.

Midnight Cowboy

One of the best films I've ever seen. Great Editing. Great Acting. Well Directed.

I love discovering classics.

The Ox-Bow Incident
½

So much better than most westerns, partly because of it's devistating message, partly because of its stark and minimalist imagry.

Once
Once(2007)
½

The Best Irish Minimalist Folk Musical i've ever seen. Okay, it's the only Irish minimalist folk musical I've ever seen, but still, it's good. Truly aweful production quality and real low budgets make this unlike any musical you've ever seen. A classic minimalist plot in the vein of Lost In Translation and Garden State, a decent script, and phenominal songs.

Love and Death

I think this is my favorite of Woody Allen's "Early Funny Ones." Sometimes it's it's easy to forget just how great of a director Allen truly is.

War of the Worlds
½

A pleasant suprise. I was kind of expecting this to suck, but it turns out, it was kind of fun. Nobody does scale like Spielberg. If you can get past the fact that Crazy is in it, it's quite a fun popcorn flick

The Verdict
The Verdict(1982)
½

One of the better courtroom films I've ever seen. Paul Newman in career best performance

The Simpsons Movie

Entertaining, funny, and dare I say poigniant? Okay, not THAT poigniant, but still entertaining..
I'm not sure it justified making a movie. "Why Pay To See Somthing We Can Watch For Free On TV."

Crazy Love
Crazy Love(2007)
½

Truly disturbing and morally questionable.
I've rarely been as bothered as I was by this film.

Knocked Up
Knocked Up(2007)

humorous but overrated film. Predictable and alltogather too long.

Angel-A
Angel-A(2005)
½

A Real Strange, flawed, but ultimately entertaining movie from Luc Besson. It breaks every rule of film storytelling, but it does so with such style, that you can't help but forgive it. Breathtaking Cinematography and electric performances veil the fact that the whole narrative is dialouge based. Good thing the dialouge is so damn good.

All the President's Men
½

A clear masterpiece of thriller cinema. A great script great acting, great directing makes for a thriller that never lets up.
"Woodstein!"

The Apartment
½

Near Perfect Comedy.
One of the greatest scripts ever. The satire of misoginy and corprate backstabbing is priceless. However, it's the acting of Jack Lemmon and Shirley MaClaine that launches this movie into greatness

Serial Mom
Serial Mom(1994)

Strange John Waters fare that makes Desperate Housweives look like Donna Reed.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

WHile this movie is an interesting character study on greed, I can't exactly call it one of the "Greatest Movies Ever Made" There are some true klunkers of dialouge in this movie. Unforgivably bad dialouge.

Best in Show
Best in Show(2000)
½

Minor Chris Guest masterpiece.

The Contender
½

I never liked this film that much. Too pedantic for my taste

Primary Colors

Pretty good satire of Clinton. John Travola, Dule Hill, Kathy Bates, Billy Bob Thorton are all entertaining in this zeitgeist hit

The Opposite of Sex

I remember not loving this when It came out. Subersive narration, and a standout performance from Lisa Kudrow. yes, THAT Lisa Kudrow

Videodrome
Videodrome(1983)

Engenious trippy, prophetic fable about the pyschological power of the video screen. It would have made Neil Postman proud.

Casino Royale

This movie gets ratted on a lot, but I kinda like it, if only because it's the film debut of one Woody Allen, but also, it's a lot of fun.

Old Yeller
Old Yeller(1957)

I love movies where dogs die. Die puppy die!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Not as good as the play, but still pretty funny. I hate that they changed the ending though, because the original ending is one of the funniest things ever.

Help!
Help!(1965)

Way too much fun. It's like a live action loony tunes cartoon starring the Beatles. Richard Lester is a genius.

Passion Fish
Passion Fish(1992)
½

One of John Sayles absolute best films. Great acting in this film from Mary McDonnell and Alfre Woodard. Sayles finds a way to make a cinematic cliche into something alltogather different.

The Secret Lives of Dentists
½

Entertaining. Uniformly good acting.

A Decade Under the Influence
½

A fun and informative documentary about filmmaking in the 70s. It predictably overplays the role of the Auteur, but other than that, It's quite fun.

Auto Focus
Auto Focus(2002)

Entertaining, albeit morlaist film about Bob Crane and his sexcapades. Greg Kinnear does a lot of fun work with the character

City of Hope
City of Hope(1991)

Another descent film from John Sayles. Lets face it, its overtly political and doesn't rise much above its own polemics, with a few exceptions.. heartbreaking acting performances abound

My Date With Drew

I liked this. A corporate gimmicky documentary that feels more like a Reality TV show. My favorite part is that he had to do it in 30 days because of the 30 day return policy at Circuit City

Syriana
Syriana(2005)
½

One of the best naps I've ever had was during this movie

Nine Lives
Nine Lives(2005)

It's one of those films. 9 different vingettes that occasonally intersect with each other. Sounds fun right? Kinda. The director makes the decision to do the vingettes episodicly, finishing one vingette in total before going to the next one.

First thing that must be said, the piece is really admirable. Most of the vingettes are shot in continuous unbroken shots which go on for 10-15 minutes and move from room to room. This of course makes for challenging acting and cimnimagotraphy, but luckily the actors and the cameramen never fail to meet the challenges.

The film has a hell of an acting roster. Glen Close, Sissy Space, Robin Wright Penn, Steven Dillane, and Dakota Fanning all take turns acting in potent, powerful and ultimately tragic scenes which show the interconnectedness and collective struggle that humanity is. Some work better than others. Standout performers include Robin Wright Penn's pregnant turn, and CLose and Fannings stirring Graveyard scene.

The film isn't perfect. It was about 2 pieces too long, and found itself constantly overstating its thesis. Still, its good for there to be films like this, to balance out the other styles at work

Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen)
½

Kings and Queen is one of those movies that you're not quite sure why you started watching, but by the end of it you're left with a lasting impression. Some of THE best acting of 05 comes form a series of characters which seem to be the french equivilant of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, except not as emotionally balanced. Each character has such relentlessly painful scars, but they are dealt with in a real and intriquing way. We are never given the whole picture of a character at once, and each revalation just devistates.

There is much worth watching here, including the editing, soundtrack, and cinematography. Also, hell of a screenplay.

World Trade Center
½

A very very well well made film. This film is made very respectivly and very realisticly. Same blend of subjective and objective realities really works here.
First of all, the cinematography is just plain gorgeous. Each shot is perfectly planned out in olver stone fashion. The people who say this doesn't feel like an oliver stone movie aren't looking hard enough. The same uneasy blend of impossible and possible angles. The sharp ability to cut just at the point at which you least expect it, and always keeping the audience in uneasyness comes through pretty well here.

other elements that work really well: Sound Design. Perfect. Most effective element in putting the audience inside that collapesed tower. Makeup - genius. Nick Cage looks genuinely horrifying in the wreckage scenes.

Really that's where the film gets its legs- the wreckage scenes. there is no movement in these scenes - just two trapped people stuck there. on camera for almost 40 minutes maybe. This decision makes for a very interesting, very intense, heartfelt and unnnerving way of telling this harrowing yet ultimatly triumphant story. While the story is picked up with numerous cutaways to juxtiposing grieving family in friends.

that being said, the grieving family and friends are pretty good. Maria Bello is great, as always, while Maggie Gylenhaal takes another aproach to her character all togather. Gylenhaal's performance was good, albeit somewhat unbalanced..

The key acting performance to this film was Michael Pena. His portrayal of the cop on a truly bad first day was touching humane, full of life, heartbreaking, occasionally funny, but always human. It's the kind of character that we don't expect to come out of this. Scared, not really a hero, yet a hero.

Perhaps that's what makes it work. There are no supermen on the job. Nobody exactly knows what they're doing, but they're trying.

The Last Kiss
½

Oh Paul Haggis, will you ever write a movie I like? Aside from hating this script, It ends up being somewhat enjoyable. If it were up to me, Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson would be in every movie.

Red River
Red River(1948)
½

I'll just admit it. I don't like Westerns. At all. Except for High Noon, you're going to be hard pressed to get me to see a western. This one was.. okay.. I really hate the Duke films, but Howard Hawks has different gifts than John Ford, and the humanness of these characters and visual feast make this one at least somewhat watchable.
Watch for the infamous "gun fondling" scene between Wayne and Clift.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios)
½

One of Almodovar's most fun melodramas. I still think he peaked with Talk To Her a decade and a half later, but this one always makes me smile.

Sketches of Frank Gehry
½

This movie completly changed the way I think about visual composition in art. It's fascinating to see Gehry's method in creating stuff.

Apocalypse Now

Every bit as good as they say it is. The sound and visuals are near impossible to shake.

Titanic
Titanic(1997)
½

Say what you want, this is a really well directed, meticulously plotted specticle. They will never make a film this big ever again.

The Prestige
The Prestige(2006)

A strange hard to follow but somewhat rewarding magic yarn. I kind of saw the end coming, but it was still fun.

That being said, remember when movies were designed where you could actually see and hear what was going on in them? I really miss those days.

I think this qualifies as a mindfuck. It's hard to follow, doesn't spoon feed the audience informaiton, and goes out of its way to confuse the audience. This is fun. However, some of it is completely unintellagable, and not in a narrative way. A lot of the dialouge can't even be understood through the inpenatrable cockney accents Christian Bale and Michael Cane. The question becomes, can we call this an artistic decision, or just poor directing? For its credit, it looks pretty cool most of the time, but like I said, I miss being able to see the images that I'm looking at when I'm looking at them.

Harry and the Hendersons
½

Cute and heartwarming. Can you really ask for any more from this type of movie?

Broadcast News
½

Alberg Brooks has one of maybe the greatest film monolouges ever.
Some of the best dialouge of any movie, and earily prophetic.

Do the Right Thing

A Real masterpiece of filmmaking, that's actually about something. This is what Crash wishes it could be.

For Your Consideration

The weakest of the Chris Guest improv comedies, but still entertaining.

The Muppets Take Manhattan

My least favorite of the Muppet films, but still enjoyable. The Muppet Babies flashback also adds entertainment value.

*batteries not included

Old people and hamburger shaped aliens. Who knew?

Russian Ark
Russian Ark(2002)
½

A great novelty film told in a single shot. How the hell did they do this?

Ran
Ran(1985)

A visual masterpiece

Sylvia
Sylvia(2003)
½

Anchored by strong performances from Gwen Paltrow and Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, there are serious script problems.

The Saddest Music in the World

One of the weirdest films I've ever seen.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Brilliant Acting. Brilliant Script. Almost brilliant film.

Capturing the Friedmans
½

Dark Distrubing, Ambivilant Documentary. Proves that the act of looking at something truly does change it.

Alaska
Alaska(1996)
½

not as bad as one would like to think. I remember seeing this one at the drive-in. In fact, if memory recalls, it was the last film shown at the Drive-in.

Sweet and Lowdown
½

Not one of Woody's best, but still anchored by Sean Penn's hysterical performance and Samantha Morton's heartbreaking mute. Great soundtrack too.

The Great Muppet Caper

I've probably seen this movie more than any other movie. I loved this movie when I was a kid.
The heist scene. The bicycle scene. The breakin scene.. classic muppet humor.

Stuart Little
½

A very likable and unique take on the classic children's book.

Raising Arizona
½

One of the funniest movies ever made. Classic screwball comedy and one of the craziest chase scenes ever.

Amélie
Amélie(2001)

A beautiful, life affirming surrealistic ride of whimsy.
One of my favorites.

Magnolia
Magnolia(1999)

A potent masterful epic about god, forgiveness, fate, and the triumph of the human soul.

Bill Macy, Tom Cruise, John C. Riley, Julianne Moore, Jason Robards, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Phillip Baker Hall, and Raining Frogs.

You must see this film.

Annie Hall
Annie Hall(1977)

A great potent movie full of life, happyness and sadness. Woody Allen's first of many masterpieces turns out to also be one of his funniest films. The characters of Alvie Singer and Annie Hall are unforgettable in the way that that first great romance is.

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen are electric, and the surreal touches of humor are among some of the greatest moments in film.
"Marshal McCluen you know nothing about Marshall McCluen"

Three Colors: Blue (Trois Couleurs: Bleu)
½

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http://www.flixster.com/static/images/done.gif

Big Trouble
Big Trouble(2002)

Not a great movie, but a whole heck of a lot of fun. TIm Allen needs to go back to doing stuff like this, because these oddball comedies are much more fun than his banal kids movies.

Northfork
Northfork(2003)
½

A Gorgeous film. Not a very strong narrative, but somehow it still resonates.

Exit to Eden
Exit to Eden(1994)
½

A guilty pleasure. It's in the "so bad it's good" genre

Touch of Evil

Watch that first shot, then turn it off.

Pan's Labyrinth
½

A well made albeit overrated piece of masterful filmmaking.

The Fisher King

A realky visionary piece of filmmaking from Terry Gilliam. a classic story about the use of fantasy as catharsis and the power of myth to improve the human soul. Robin Williams, Jeff Danies, and Mercedes Ruhl are at career bests.

The Witches
The Witches(1990)

This movie traumatized me as a child

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
½

The Seventh Seal References are funny, but other than that, worthless cheezyness.

The Purple Rose of Cairo
½

One of Woody Allen's strangest films is also one of his best. Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniel's star in this story of what happens when storytelling's fourth wall breaks down.

The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)

Could be considered to be a distant relative to "Innocnece" but this film represents a sort of dark take on science fiction that most modern directors won't touch. Whimsical, twisted, sentamental, and exuisitaly shot, this represents one of director Jean Pierre Jeunet's most daring films.

L'année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad)

Alain Resnais classic piece of formalist confusion that splinters time the way that woodsman splinters wood.

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko(2001)
½

A revolution in filmmaking, a subversion of genre, and a classic for a generation, This film may be the most intricate and inversely inexplicable films I've ever seen, and masterful in its refusal to explain itself.

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

A masterpiece of documentary work. Unexplainable to say the least.

Innocence
Innocence(2004)

Simultanously darkly perverse and angelicly innocenc this nontraditional narrative tells the story of a strange female cult of french tweens in the woods.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)

Clever Classic Comic Satirical Tight Storytelling.

The Family Stone

Throughly enjoyable film with standout performances from Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson

Free Willy
Free Willy(1993)
½

We actually watched these movies at one point. It hurts to think about doesn't it?

Finding Neverland

Cute and well concieved, albeit a little slow moving and smaltzy and completly undeserving of its 2005 Best Picture nomination.

25th Hour
25th Hour(2003)

Overrated post-911 emo-fest

Closer
Closer(2004)
½

Infidelity has never been this brutal.
plus Natalie Portman on a stripper pole

Fast Times At Ridgemont High
½

One of the best teen movies ever made. The building of a teen nation.

Saved!
Saved!(2004)

Did not reflect my experiences in the christian education system. In fact, it felt incredibly fake and ill concieved.

Still somewhat entertaining though.