director: adam mckay
I didn't really want to see this but majority rules so i bought my ticket and had a romping good time in a movie about a 70s era news network full of chauvinistic, hairy men. the flick was full of typical will ferrell humor which means i laughed my ass off at talking dogs, poop jokes and funny outfits and was not even embarrassed about it - lots of fun cameos by ben stiller, tim robbins, luke wilson (or is it owen?) and vince vaughn.
reviewed by: lisa may |  July 2004 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

ballad of ramblin' jack, the
director: aiyana elliot
Made by the subject's daughter, I found this documentary fairly interesting and very aggrevating. Ramblin' Jack Elliot is essentially the link between Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and he is a tremendous asshole; on top of all this in my opinion he was only marginally talented (you see, the whole artist as asshole thing really only works if the artist is incredibly talented).
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  August 2000 [link] |  recommend

director: akira kurosawa
This amazing take on King Lear is epic in every sense of the word. Every frame of this film is alive with vibrant color (especially red), a real treasure to see on the big screen.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  October 2000 [link] |  recommend

life of david gale, the
director: alan parker
This death penalty thriller has a novel and engaging premise (even if some of the acting is not good, and the debate scenes were seemingly transcribed from a high school forensics club meeting) and in the last third you're treated to the creepiest and least sexy lovemaking scene you've seen since your last date with me. Hey THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE -- television's BATMAN called; it wants its cheesy spinning-camera dissolves back.
reviewed by: matthewS |  March 2003 [link] |  recommend

from hell
director: albert & allen hughes
A lot of the right elements are there but this still falls a bit flat under the pressure of trying too hard. Visually beautiful but empty at it's core, not so much eye candy as it is eye steak; and I thought that any movie featuring Johnny Depp smoking opium and a cameo by the Elephant Man could do no wrong.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  October 2001 [link] |  recommend

the others
director: alejandro amenabar
Subdued menace and the anticipation of something horrible can be a truly frightening thing, this film uses that to it's fullest extent making it a truly effective classic horror film. Personally I am glad that the irony and the self-referential slasher teen films of the late 90's begat the return of the classic haunted house film and finally someone gets it right for a change, throw the Apes a banana and go see this instead.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  August 2001 [link] |  recommend

the sea inside (mar adentro)
director: alejandro amenabar
Javier Bardem is one of the best actors in film right now, and Alejandro Amenabar made The Others, so you should check out this film. Sure it's about a quadriplegic trying to die with dignity (based on a true story), but really, honestly, it's a hoot.
reviewed by: jen |  December 2004 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

21 grams
director: alejandro gonzález iñárritu
Fate's tangled skein weaves three characters darkly into a chaotic struggle of faith, love, and death until the mettle of each is broken irrepairably. Hand held photography, out of focus and poorly lit scenes, and clever use of flash-forward editing add measurably to the bleakness of this painfully tragic tale.
reviewed by: nate |  December 2003 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

enron: the smartest guys in the room
director: alex gibney
This new documentary covers the nightmarish collapse of Enron, a company apparently that only hired delusional smug jack asses, wasn't able to answer basic questions like, “how does your company actually make money?”, and had suspicious connections to the White House (prepare to get riled up). Also, helpfully explains that whole California energy crisis thing that some of us east-coasters never really understood.
reviewed by: rich |  April 2005 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

director: alexander payne
In this romantic comedy for boys, a down-on-his-luck novelist takes his friend (an actor) on a week long revelry through Santa Barbara wine country in one last shabang before the friend gets married. As I walked out of the multiplex, I felt thirsty for a sublime pinot.
reviewed by: jen |  December 2004 [link] |  recommend 6 thumbs up

about schmidt
director: alexander payne
Jack Nicholson will likely receive the Oscar for his portrayal of a lonely widowing retiree whose daughter (Hope Davis) lives in soulless Colorado with her goofy finance. Besides seeing JN deliver a near flawless performance, you get to see Kathy Bates' ming-bendingly saggy breasts from both the front and side views, but are left to wonder if she still has any pubic hair left in her special area.
reviewed by: tim |  January 2003 [link] |  recommend

y tu mama tambien
director: alfonso cuaron
See this movie but don't bring tu mama with you. This alternately funny, sad, practically soft core film is about two boys who run off with a married bombshell en Mexico but surprise - it is not the coming of age you expect from the description.
reviewed by: raquel |  April 2002 [link] |  recommend

harry potter & the prisoner of azkaban
director: alfonso cuarón
The new ‘Potter’ movie I thought looked a lot better (maybe due to the new director) and was an enjoyable enough two hours of my time with the broomsticks and the monsters and the hocus and/or pocus that you come to expect from the series. I have read the books, and even after doing that, there seemed to be a few plot holes or situations that weren’t really fleshed out, making me suspect that someone who hadn’t read the book might be confused, or worse, bored.
reviewed by: rich |  June 2004 [link] |  recommend 5 thumbs up

jesus' son
director: alison maclean
A dreamy meandering series of vignettes about an oddball know only as Fuckhead, this film has it moments but you're gonna wish for more of them. The lead character is interesting enough and the film is visually beautiful but it still winds up being less than the sum of its parts.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

new waterford girl
director: allan moyle
Despite moments of gratuitous quirkiness which don't mesh entirely well with the rest of the film this is a well-made and well-acted coming of age story. A perfect film for those of us who have a love-hate relationship with where we are from.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  October 2000 [link] |  recommend

ridley scott
director: american gangster
Most of this movie is a well-acted, well-shot, well-edited typical gangster picture which really only gets interesting in the last ten minutes. Woohoo, I did it in one sentence! Wait, does my second sentence count? Now, I'm up to three sentences, no four.
reviewed by: jen |  November 2007 [link] |  recommend

director: amir bar-lev
Very engaging documentary about two Holocaust survivors: one a war hero and the other a writer who is a concentration camp survivor. As the writer follows his friend on a trip through the various sites of past horrors we watch their strained relationship fall apart, this another one of those films that could have gone on for another hour as far as I'm concerned.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  August 2001 [link] |  recommend

director: anand tucker
Shopgirl the movie closely follows Shopgirl the novella and really works well as a feature. The acting is exceptional as is the cinematography- a lovely little film.
reviewed by: rachel |  December 2005 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

capturing the friedmans
director: andrew jarecki
Andrew Jarecki has given us a wonderfully realized documentary that plays witness to the unraveling destruction of a middle class Long Island family--who are themselves avid, if unwitting, documentarians. The players include a pedophilic piano-playing computer teacher, the Nassau County justice system, the most successful clown in Manhattan, Monty Python reciting teens, a grief-addled Mother, a bemused brother and his pet dachshund, a journalist and assorted lawyers, parents, former computer students, and the viewer's perplexed and diminished sense of moral certainty.
reviewed by: john ball |  June 2003 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

director: ang lee
OK, granted, Bruce Banner's explosive rage is pretty serious, but can you think of anybody who's likable when he's angry? Ang Lee does a great job with the latest Marvel blockbuster, and the wardrobe department even contrives to keep Big Green in purple pants.
reviewed by: matthewS |  June 2003 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

crouching tiger, hidden dragon
director: ang lee
This is a really beautiful dream-like film about loyalty and duty
and lots of really cool karate and leaping around. Michelle
Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat are really incredible and I pretty
much haven't shut up about this movie since I saw it so
maybe I should see it again.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  December 2000 [link] |  recommend

broke back mountain
director: ang lee
who cares that it's two dudes (who happen to be very sexy, by the way) - it's a heartachingly beautiful and sad love story. heath ledger gives a wonderfully subtle, oscar-worthy performance.
reviewed by: mina |  December 2005 [link] |  recommend 4 thumbs up

talented mr. ripley, the
director: anthony minghella
Matt Damon is horribly miscast in this lushly photographed but utterly pretentious and tedious film. The idea that the audience is supposed to sympathize with this sociopath because he's nicer than his victims and all he wants is to be loved is just plain ridiculous, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jude Law, and (my man) Philip Seymour Hoffman are all wasted in this awful film.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

tears of the sun
director: antoine fuqua
TEARS OF THE SUN, an escapist flick made stressful by recent events, ends with this quote from Edmund Burke, noted opponent of the French Revolution: "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." After two hours of Bruce Willis as the worst kind of Special Forces soldier (one who evaluates orders instead of following them), you'll only wish the "good men" of Hollywood and real life both could find something even better to do than blow people into tiny, non-living shreds.
reviewed by: matthewS |  March 2003 [link] |  recommend

vince vaughn's wild west comedy show
director: ari sandel
The complete title of this movie is: Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights Hollywood to the Heartland, and in it, Vince Vaughn and four stand up comedians go on the road for (how long?) 30 days and 30 nights. Don't worry, this combination of reality television and Spinal Tap is a lot of fun especially when the comedians are up on stage. Yeeee-hah-hah-hah.
reviewed by: jen |  February 2008 [link] |  recommend

leap year
director: arnand tucker
Even though I could predict every single moment of this film from beginning to end, I don't think it's as awful as all the critics say. If you want to escape from the awards season prestigue picture blahs, you can go to Ireland for ninety minutes on a rom com romp with good looking leads and not get wet.
reviewed by: jen |  January 2010 [link] |  recommend

felicia's journey
director: atom egoyan
Two people are brought together by chance and isolation; one is a young woman searching for the
man who impregnated her and the other happens to be a serial killer. This film moves slowly and works its way under your skin without
falling prey to the conventions of the serial killer genre.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

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