danamdurell's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Synecdoche, New York

I have to go see this movie a thousand more times.

Let the Right One In

I haven't seen Twilight, but I'll just call this the best vampire movie of the year.

Subtle and slow and tense and thrilling and evocative.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

A fine window into the nature of love and art.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Does a near perfect job of hearkening back to the original movies. The great cast and solid pacing throughout meld to recreate the classic adventure and feel, even when the going gets a bit weird towards the end of the film.

"If you want to be a good archaeologist, you have to get out into the field!"

City of Ember

An inventive little film. Bill Murray! Also one of the best science fiction films of 2008, a slow year for space nerds. The only one I would call better is another children's film, Wall-E.

The Man Called Flintstone

It's remarkable how many people look exactly like Fred Flinstone and subsequently get into awkward situations with him. Pre-historic dinosaur powered cloning device run amok?

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Awkward and cheesy, and stuffed to the brim with as much indie rock as they could manage.

The Dark Knight

Needed more bat ice skates.

Jackie Chan's Who Am I? (Wo shi shei) (Who Am I?)

One of Jackie Chan's best films, despite some admittedly cheesy special effects. The final fight is awesome, intense, and hilarious. Also; the Bourne movies clearly ripped this off.


Campy, ridiculous, epic, nostalgic, and thoroughly a classic. Christopher Reeve is great in the role(s).

The Forbidden Kingdom

Like a cross between the Never-Ending Story and the Karate Kid ( = awesome). There are some great throwbacks to classic kung-fu movies, and Jackie Chan does the drunken master thing again. He should probably never stop doing that.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

The narration adds a fairy-tale atmosphere to the entire film, which helped me accept the unrealistic ending. The entire thing is creepy as hell, though. Hoffman and Rickman are awesome.

In Bruges
In Bruges(2008)

"What's that over there... they're filming something. They're filming midgets!"


A swell job of inter-weaving the many story-lines and characters.


Really well made, even if I doubt some of it's accuracy.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

Spot-on casting. This is how comic book movies should be made.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Awesome. I've never seen another version, so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but this served as a fine introduction to Sondheim for me. One of Burton's best films.

Be Kind Rewind

A quirky little movie with its heart in more or less the right place. Maybe a little sappy, especially toward the end, but it makes up for that in imagination and enthusiasm.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

This movie is the definition of awesome.

My Life Without Me

Sarah Polley was sad and heart-breaking and poignant and inspiring in this.

"Milli Vanilli is universal."


Comic book images given motion. The story is handled with a grace and thoughtfulness that make it really empathetic.

"ABBA is for wimps."

Bee Movie
Bee Movie(2007)

A compelling documentary.


"Explain the situation? Yes. 'Excuse me, sir, my friend was the one balling your wife couple of hours ago. Really sorry. He seems to have left his wallet behind. I was wondering if I could come in, just poke around, I don't know.'"

"Yeah, yeah, just like that. That's good. "

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

A viscerally engaging and very beautiful film.

There Will Be Blood

The entire world is right when they say that this movie is amazing.

I kind of hope this doesn't start a trend of adapting Upton Sinclair, because seeing "The Jungle" on film would be pretty horrifying.

Charlie Wilson's War

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tom hanks have a great dynamic here. Drags in a few places, but was, overall, really well made.

The Savages
The Savages(2007)

Depressing to no end, but sprinkled with humour that works surprisingly well. This, along with Away From Her, are two of the best films dealing with age that I've ever seen. The situation here is presented in a starkly realistic way, which is refreshing and gives the film a genuine sense of sincerity. I really liked the commentary on prescriptive drug use in our society, too; I've always had a pretty skeptical view of these drugs (anti-depressants in particular). A recent study has actually found that anti-depressants are basically placebos, which sort of makes sense when you consider that half of America was conveniently diagnosed with the condition following their invention. You can't sell people something that they don't think they need.

Anyways. That sort of got off topic. This movie is really good.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Really well cast, but somehow fails to recreate the atmosphere of the book. Maybe Adam's humour relies too much on description to be transferred into a film intact.

Old Joy
Old Joy(2006)

I rented this mostly because it stars folk all-star Will Oldham (or Bonnie 'Prince' Billy). Turns out he's a talented actor as well. The story is simple and sort of awkward, with two friends attempting to reconnect on a camping trip. Not much is offered in the way of a background, leaving it up to us to imagine what led these characters to where they are now, and I'm always a sucker for ambiguity in stories. The pace is slow, almost meditative, with many shots simply showing off the downright beautiful countryside of Oregon.

"Sorrow is nothing but worn out joy."

The Great Debaters

Another "inspirational movie", this time helmed by Denzel Washington, and with a bit more substance than some of the others that've come out recently. This is about more than just inspiration, though, and really shouldn't be written off automatically. Lynching, communism, the Depression and its effects, and civil disobedience are all looked at, among other issues (and, yeah, a bit of inspiration thrown in there for good measure.) The message is strong, but it's certainly not subtle in its presentation. I blame Oprah for that...


I loved how nothing was explained, how everything felt both cliched and genuine at the same time, the scenes in the tipped building, and the Jason Schwartzman cameo. An engaging watch, and one of the better monster/horror movies to come out in quite awhile.


A bizarre, disconcerting contemplation of reality. I'm not sure if there were any scenes depicting reality at all; it could be argued either way, and this openness of interpretation is the reason I'll probably end up watching this many more times.

The Italian Job

"You must have shot an awful lot of tigers, sir."
"Yes, I used a machine gun."

The Golden Compass

There's a lot of story to cover in two hours, and it shows.

I'm Not There

The unconventional structure works really well, considering the subject matter. Cate Blanchett definitely deserves all of the praise being thrown her way.

Batman Returns

Sort of heavy-handed in its Tim Burton-ness.

American Splendor

This is a really great biography, with a well developed visual tone and a hilarious tongue-in-cheek, self aware approach to telling Pekar's story.

Fast Food Nation

Richard Linklater decides to add a narrative to a wildly popular piece of journalism. The story lines feel a little disjointed at times, but it's heart is in the right place and the cameos are pretty fun.

What's next for adaptation, Freakanomics?


A well thought-out cross-section of America in 1968; it's depressing to imagine the country as it could've been if Kennedy had been able to take office.

Thank You for Smoking

Aaron Eckhart is hilarious, and the writing was excellent. I don't remember noticing a single person being shown actually smoking a cigarette the entire film, which is ingenious (in an obvious sort of way).

Alice's Restaurant

Inspired by Arlo Guthrie's song (sort of an expansion), Alice's Restaurant is upheld by some really strong performances from the three leads. It provides an interesting look at the communal lifestyles that were evolving well into the 60s and 70s, extensions of a Utopian movement started nearly a century earlier. Pete Seeger and Arlo's performance of some of Woodie's songs for him in the hospital just feels really... special.

No Country for Old Men

The atmosphere the Coens create, along with their incredible attention to detail, are fascinating to watch. I think the audience was the quietest I've ever experienced.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)

Edgar Wright is hilarious, and I love this movie.

Office Space
Office Space(1999)

"The ratio of people to cake is too big."

Sleepy Hollow

Totally unfaithful to Irving's sketch, but it was enjoyable enough.


Zombie domestication will catch on eventually.

Eastern Promises

A difficult watch, with several scenes of brutal violence. The slow, consistent pace works extremely well.

American Gangster

Solid crime flick. I found it interesting how closely Lucas' family did resemble a Sicilian crime family (or, at least, movie portrayals of Sicilian crime families.) It's hard to say if that was just from influence, though, or if that really is the most effective and stable way to structure these sorts of things things.

1991: The Year that Punk Broke

Sonic Youth and Nirvana (among others) playing around backstage and performing some really great sets across Europe. One of the coolest music documentaries I've ever seen.


The change to Antonio was smooth enough, although he brings an entirely new attitude to the character. The connections between the movies are tenuous at best anyways, so it doesn't really matter. Seeing Carlos Gallardo as one of the secondary mariachis was great; I'm really happy he was included.

El Mariachi
El Mariachi(1993)

The frantic pacing is intense. Rodriguez is one of the most entertaining directors around.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

A very touching film, and a disturbing look at the treatment the mentally ill can be subjected to.

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

Definitely Tarantino's best.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

This is what I imagine Boston would be like, yeah.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Toys that move on their own have always creeped me out a bit.


Heartfelt and poignant and hilarious and really just sort of great. The performances were brilliant throughout the entire thing, and nothing felt out of place.

Goin' South
Goin' South(1978)

Did this somehow inspire Back to the Future III to be a western? That's probably a stretch, but it does have both Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen.

Oh, and Jack Nicholson makes for a pretty awesome cowboy, and director.

Back to the Future Part II

Almost too much happens in this one, but it's fun how they connect it back to the first.

Back to the Future Part III

Wherein Marty learns to think fourth dimensionally.

Back to the Future

I wonder how many times I'll have seen this by the time I die...

The Lost Boys

Pure vampire - Kiefer Sutherland - motorcycle driving - muscle bound saxophonist - bridge hanging - rad.

Lars and the Real Girl

Very odd, well-made film. It's entirely character driven, and, while it can be a bit hard to believe that an entire town would go along with this kind of charade with such enthusiasm, it makes for a compelling and sincere story.


It's a good thing Dickens wrote such a strong story, for all of the times I've had to hear it.

Bill Murray is rad.

I Am Legend
I Am Legend(2007)

Considered on it's own, I Am Legend is fairly solid. The desolation of an abandoned New York being reclaimed by nature is a powerful image, and Will Smith does quite well in the role of an isolated and slowly losing it Robert Neville. Definitely his best performance, and perfect for a character study such as this. CGI vampires was a poor choice, though, but might've worked if they had been kept in the shadows, away from full view. The absence of Ben Cortman was also a bit of a let down, but having him in there wouldn't have made sense in this version of the story.

The new ending totally alters the meaning of the original story, and the meaning is where the title itself ultimately comes from. Neville in the novel had become to the new vampire society what vampires (and really, all traditional monsters) are to us; he was a mythical, unknown, and dangerous entity that crept around in the daylight, killing them in their sleep. He was a legend, a story that would be used to scare future generations of vampire children. Will Smith's legend was that he found the cure, and that isn't anywhere near as profound.

"Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be all right. Rise up this morning, smiled with the rising sun. Three little birds pitch by my doorstep singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true."

Bob Marley is awesome.

28 Days Later

Everything about the movie combines to make it an incredibly balanced piece of work.

Children of Men

Extremely well directed.

Men in Black
Men in Black(1997)

"Apparently Quentin Tarantino was originally offered to write/direct this. How messed up would that have been?"

The Motorcycle Diaries

Inspiring. (If a little historically biased/inaccurate.)

Queen of the Damned

Terrible. Whoever decided that combining two books into one movie was a good idea probably doesn't have very many good ideas.


A weird sort of combination of A Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451. Christian Bale is awesome.

The Animatrix

An actual, fleshed out prequel would be pretty great, but the two Renaissance shorts are a stylish alternative.

Away From Her

Somehow depressing and reassuring at the same time.

Bottle Rocket

Unmistakably a Wes Anderson film; subtle humour, a great soundtrack, the Wilsons. Also oddly inspiring in its almost naive optimism about the world.

Lost In Translation

Bill Murray was perfect in this.

A Scanner Darkly

A rather successful book to film adaptation.

Garden State
Garden State(2004)

I want to scream into an abyss in the rain.

Waking Life
Waking Life(2001)

Very interesting, both as a fan of animation and random philosophical babblings.

Kung Fu Hustle

Very ridiculous, and very hilarious.

Shaolin Soccer

The greatest soccer film I have ever seen.


The words "visually stunning" are sort of tired, aren't they? But then, so am I. Too tired to think of new words. And they are so very apt for describing this film. The soundtrack was also quite incredible. Except... sound in space?

Sure, the premise might be a little silly. There may be a few too many science fiction movie cliches. But it does work, and it works very well. Boyle managed to create a surreal amount of tension, especially in the last portion, which I actually really liked.

I had been worried the Human Torch would ruin the movie, but he did not. A beard seemed to make him a better actor in the beginning there, although that could have been my personal bias towards thinking beards are awesome...

Marie Antoinette

Not necessarily an accurate biography, but stylized enough to be awesome anyways. The soundtrack probably surprised me the most; New Order and The Radio Dept. for a film set in the 18th century? I'm glad that it worked so well.

Four Rooms
Four Rooms(1996)

Tim Roth is absolutely hilarious.


Neil Gaiman is such an inventive writer that its pretty hard not to be entertained by his tale.

The Darjeeling Limited

A decidedly good film. While the part with the three Indian brothers felt a tad forced, it doesn't really take away from the overall experience. They had to have their revelation somehow, I suppose. In some ways this is Anderson's most obvious work (in that some of the metaphors are laid out in a particularly spelled out way, but this is by no means a bad thing), while other aspects seem to be his most subtle and nuanced work yet. All in all, very finely and lovingly crafted.

The closing credits were delightful.

In the Valley of Elah

A compelling look at the effects war can have on the human mind.

Live Free or Die Hard

Can you actually explode buildings just by typing into a computer? "Move all of the gases! They will exploded!"

It was fun.

Closing Credits; starts off strong with the CCR, but then degenerates into boring film score type music.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sirius' wand flourishing was pretty damn cool.

Closing credits; what's up with the electric guitar that starts shredding in the middle of the run-of-the-mill Harry Potter orchestral song?


An absolutely delightful film. The animation, acting, direction, story, everything is just top-notch.


"Goodbye, Peter Peterson."
"Goodbye, Cuntya!"

Where the Buffalo Roam

Not as intense as Fear and Loathing, which it's inevitably compared to whenever it comes up, but it covers much more ground in terms of biography. Murray and Boyle do fantastic jobs portraying the good doctor and his attorney.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

A great take on the legend that is Hunter S. Thompson. A surreal trip through the American dream.


Less humans, more giant robots fighting, please. A large and very, very dumb film. But it was fun.

Shoot 'Em Up
Shoot 'Em Up(2007)

"It's like John Woo's Wet dream." - from the Animatic that convinced producers to actually make the movie

Jackie Chan's First Strike

I think this might've been Chan's big break in the U.S. of A. I don't really feel like looking it up.

Die Hard
Die Hard(1988)

Hilarious! Oh, and action-laced like some sort of acid fueled light show that pounds your very soul with it's awesomeness.

Fanny & Alexander

A little confusing and off-putting, but in a very good way.

3:10 to Yuma
3:10 to Yuma(2007)

A very manly, rugged movie. Also well cast; Ben Foster was superb, as were Bale and Crowe, to no great surprise. One of the best movies of the year.

Rush Hour 3
Rush Hour 3(2007)

I'm always up for some slapstick.

Black Snake Moan

"Ain't but one kind of blues. And that consisted between male and a female that's in love." - Son House

Reservoir Dogs

"You kill anybody?"
"A few cops."
"No real people?"
"Just cops."

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Not that I'm a fan, but people don't give Spielberg enough credit here; Kubrick gave the film to him before he died, saying it was "closer to his sensibilities." He worked on it for twelve years, he can do with it as he pleases. The end result is depressing to no end.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)

Emo Spider-man was pretty bizarre.

Bubba Ho-Tep
Bubba Ho-Tep(2003)

Bruce Campbell is incredible as a fat, elderly Elvis.


A decent thriller. Rube-Goldberg machines are awesome to the max.


Holy freaking balls the Ninja Turtles are cool.

American Psycho

Not everyone can make business cards seem so intensely important.


Yeah! While I prefered Planet Terror to Death Proof, this film definitely needs to be experienced as a whole.

The Invisible

The premise was sort of interesting; the movie COULD have been good. Except instead of a good movie, they decided to make a cheesy after-school special.


Very cool piece of visual art.


An alright way to kill a few hours, but it'll be completely forgotten in a few months.