director: sally potter
Yes, yes, oh yes, I was pulled into this lyrical love story born from hate and in the end quite moved. I think this is the kind of movie that you'll either like or not like, but either way, you'll probably like the title.
reviewed by: jen |  June 2005 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

american beauty
director: sam mendes
A man reaches a mid-life awakening and realizes he is living
some sort of lie. Sharp writing and a terrific cast make this
film a personal favorite of mine in 1999, there are scenes in
this film I will never forget.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

director: sam raimi
I didn't review this movie, but there was a review of it here, attributed to me, until just now, when I typed over it with the words you are reading now. Spider-Man was way better than my identity thief would have had you believe.
reviewed by: matthewS |  May 2002 [link] |  recommend

the gift
director: sam raimi
It's a darn shame when a weak movie happens to a strong
cast (hell, even the Keanu is good in this); it's an even bigger
shame when it's a weak ass Sam Raimi movie. Although I'm
grateful he didn't do another baseball movie (with who
else...Kevin Costner) this is a missed opportunity, I guess I'm
just waiting for Evil Dead 4.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  January 2001 [link] |  recommend

spiderman 2
director: sam raimi
This movie within the space of 127 minutes completely transformed my brain's chemistry from one of anxiety and stress to one of elation and excitement. There is a greater than decent probability that Kirsten Dunst's eye teeth are causing the 18-35 males in this country to become fetishistic with regards to the subject of female eye teeth, and perhaps based on the strength of this, all teeth everywhere; the mind dares to imagine the idea of the sensation of these KD eye teeth up against and all over the 18-35 mouth and its red, moist contents.
reviewed by: tim |  July 2004 [link] |  recommend 7 thumbs up

deuces wild
director: scott kalvert
Neither wild nor about a game of cards, this movie is overacted, underacted, unscripted, under-directed, over-directed and totally excellent if you are from Brooklyn and in the mood for a certain kind of movie on a certain kind of day. Prepare to have your time wasted, but if you do so willingly and with someone who can heckle as good as you, you might just enjoy this awful laffer (hang on gentle movie watcher for the Faruiza Balk rooftop scream scene; what a hoot!!!!).
(reviewed by jayne)
reviewed by: guest review |  July 2002 [link] |  recommend

the pledge
director: sean penn
The John Cassavettes Love Fest officially comes to a close
as Sean Penn makes his most complete film to date. While
sometimes bordering on pretentious, this is a really effective
character film which ponders the small incriments that lead to
madness and the dangers of obsession.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  February 2001 [link] |  recommend

into the wild
director: sean penn
This is good film that could have been great. I found myself watching it and missing the voice of Jon Krakauer, the author of the book who gave the story balance and a reality check.
reviewed by: jen |  November 2007 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

american splendor
director: shari springer berman and robert pulcini
At the risk of sounding like mediocre rivals to Mozart's genius "Too many notes"-- this award-winning original film's giant ambition is a jarring blend of "behind the scenes" scenes of the real-life Harvey Pekar, et al, and animation, just I was enjoying actor Paul Giamatti's portrayal. I admire these two Columbia film school grads for creating a work people will call Brechtian and Meta, but I wanted to watch a plain old movie about the life of a guy who made a comic about his life and at one point goes to LA to watch a play based on the comic book based on his life, which is plenty meta in itself.
reviewed by: john ball |  August 2003 [link] |  recommend

bridget jones's diary
director: sharon maguire
I saw the makings of a really good film in all this (I'm told the book is great) but something about it didn't quite make it across. The cast is great, the story is inconsistent and at times downright silly; I wonder if fans of this book felt as screwed as I did when I saw High Fidelity.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  May 2001 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

the time machine
director: simon wells
Sometimes even diminished expectations aren't enough to get one through the crap parade. My biggest mistake (besides paying $10 for this) was not staying in the restroom when I got up halfway in the thick of things.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  March 2002 [link] |  recommend

lost in the translation
director: sofia coppola
A great little film about two disaffected Americans (Bill Murray, still hilarious, and Scarlett Johansson, the personification of youthful irony) who find each other while stuck and bored in Tokyo. The movie offers a fascinating glimpse of Japanese culture in all it's bizarreness AND beauty, and a study of the tender friendship that forms between Murray and Johansson (both 'happily' married to others).
reviewed by: eric w |  August 2003 [link] |  recommend 6 thumbs up

virgin suicides, the
director: sofia coppola
This film looks amazing, lots of lush dreamy cinematography which runs counter to the sad story of male adolescent obsession. While never as eerie as something called "The Virgin Suicides" should be, it still manages to capture the isolation and otherworldliness that is the teenage years.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

being john malkovich
director: spike jonze
One of the most unique films I've seen in a long time. A hilarious absurdist adventure complete with giant puppets and a monkey….yes a monkey….Charlie Sheen's in it too.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

director: spike jonze
This is a great movie with a nifty reality-based premise (screenwriter tries to write screenplay for 'The Orchid Thief', can't do it, so instead writes screenplay about how he can't write a screenplay for 'The Orchid Thief') that offers you a chance to see Nicholas Cage once again being a goofball (Raising Arizona) instead of an action hero (Con Air). Despite a third act that messes with said 'reality-based' perception, Adaptation is fun to watch and has some amazing masturbation/car crash scenes.
reviewed by: eric w |  December 2002 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

25th hour
director: spike lee
A series of powerful, well-acted but disjointed vignettes that never seem to add up to a complete or coherent story, 25th Hour did a good job of making me feel for the characters. But the heavy-handed 9/11 references, the overbearing score and the lack of cohesion in the story left me not knowing what to make of this offering.
reviewed by: liz |  December 2002 [link] |  recommend

she hate me
director: spike lee
Me (white, male, heterosexual): "So, what's the story with that new Spike Lee lesbian movie?"

Coworker (black, lesbian): "The story is, Spike Lee doesn't know any lesbians."
reviewed by: Ishbadiddle |  August 2004 [link] |  recommend

joe gould's secret
director: stanley tucci
Things start of promising enough, as Tucci playing Joseph Mitchell befriends the title character who is writing a history of the world based on conversations and eavesdropping. After a great set-up the film just plods along to a predictable conclusion with moments of insight and depth along the way….not bad but nothing to get very excited about either.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

kung fu hustle
director: stephen chow
Successfully surpassing all previous kung fu movies' sorry attempts at humor and lazy, inept fight sequences with its subtle comic depth and superlative choreography, this film kicks more asses than you can find at a republican presidential convention. Beware of fighting frogs, stand clear of the lion's voice, and always, always, always respect the hand of the Buddha.
reviewed by: nate |  May 2005 [link] |  recommend 6 thumbs up

the queen
director: stephen frears
reviewed by: jen |  November 2006 [link] |  recommend

dirty pretty things
director: stephen frears
I have never before left a movie theater in a more heightened state of appreciation for the simple fact that I live where a passport and my ability to travel freely are not dependent upon my willingness to give up an internal organ. The portrayals of such dire conditions where humans must negotiate legal and illegal status in society are wonderfully acted in the most natural way by Ejiofor and Tautou, such that I almost was willing to leave a kidney behind in the Rialto's plush, velvety seat.
reviewed by: nate |  August 2003 [link] |  recommend

high fidelity
director: stephen frears
John Cusack, cool soundtrack, record snob smirkiness, based on a cult novel: no wonder this looked good on paper, unfortunately, what's up on the screen isn't half as exciting as it should be. I never really believed that the character was as in love with music as the audience is being told he is and if I didn't know better I'd swear the people who made this film never owned any vinyl….on top of all that, there's way to much talking directly into the camera.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

director: stephen gaghan
reviewed by: jen |  December 2005 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

rock star
director: stephen herek
An innocuous and entertaing piece of fluff with Mark Wahlberg playing a variation of his sweet but not too bright Boogie Nights character. Faithfully recreating a sadly bygone era (the movie feels like it was made in the eighties) this will tide me over until I can get the cash together to make the film version of David Lee Roth's novel "Crazy From the Heat".
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  October 2001 [link] |  recommend

the mummy returns
director: stephen sommers
High concept sequel to the 1999 hit that poses the question "What would happen if the mummy were to return", this film is a prime example of Supersizing Your Sequel 101. That said, this bad boy hits the ground running and never gives you a chance to question any of it (and a lot of it gets pretty ridiculous); an enjoyable monster movie, I got exactly what I expected out of it.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  May 2001 [link] |  recommend

mr. deeds
director: steven brill
The new Adam Sandler movie is one of those ‘nothing you haven't seen before / nothing you can't figure out from the get-go’, and stars Sandler as the same almost child-like small town boy with a heart of gold that he has played before, except this time he punches people – but it’s good punching, not bad. It’s not a total waste - there are a few interesting characters with enough interesting quirks (as well as some flyin' cats) that makes this one at least worth a matinee or rental showing.
reviewed by: eric w |  June 2002 [link] |  recommend

director: steven shainberg
This is your typical lighthearted romantic comedy about a sado-masochistic relationship between a lawyer and his secretary. James Spader is hysterical.
reviewed by: mattyj |  October 2002 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

director: steven soderbergh
While on a space station near some sort of sentient planet, George Clooney is visited by his dead wife and starts freaking out. In true 2001 fashion, there are no answers to be found at the end of this film, but despite its dreadfully slow pace, it was beautifully shot, well acted, had a good soundtrack, a few steamy love scenes between Clooney and sexy Natasha McElhony, and no Tim, there were no gratuitous booby shots.
reviewed by: sara |  December 2002 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

ocean's eleven
director: steven soderbergh
Kind of like Pop Rocks, you know there's a party in your mouth but when you look in there there's nothing. I enjoyed this light unoffensive confection while I was watching it but after discussing it this past weekend with my friend Chris we determined that it was less than the bomb.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  December 2001 [link] |  recommend

director: steven soderbergh
A very well made flawed epic that falls apart in the last ten
minutes. The best looking film of the year (or of recent years
for that matter), the acting is really amazing, especially
Benecio DelToro.....VIVA LA CHEADLE!!!!!
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  January 2001 [link] |  recommend

limey, the
director: steven soderbergh
Dazzling editing saves this mediocre film from being completely innocuous. As in "Out of Sight" the director plays with non-linear storytelling and interesting cross-cutting but the end result is a flat uninspired revenge drama.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

ocean's twelve
director: steven soderbergh
Complete guilty pleasure movie fun, with some groovy camera work, a great soundtrack, and fine performances by the huge ensemble cast. The first half was interesting enough, but I found that the second half to be a bit lacking – i.e. you can wait for this to come out on DVD.
reviewed by: rich |  December 2004 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

catch me if you can
director: steven spielberg
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is based on the true story of teenaged con man Frank Abagnale Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio with a blitheness that should cleanse the palates of moviegoers who last saw Leo doing his dour, turn-of-the-century Dead End Fratboy thing in GANGS OF NEW YORK. Christopher Walken is great as Frank Abagnale Sr. -- that's "great" even for Walken, who has been so good for so long in so many movies it's almost boring.
reviewed by: matthewS |  January 2003 [link] |  recommend

war of the worlds
director: steven spielberg
Hands down, the scariest movie I have EVER seen in theatres--and I wasn't the only one crying, screaming, and crouching down in my seat, because the 1953 version doesn't even hold a metaphorical candle to this movie explosion. Steven Spielberg has gone over to the dark side, and it shows, with rivers full of dead bodies and red plants that derive their color from human blood: Tom Cruise defies his recent antics to deliver a pretty damn good performance, Dakota Fanning is amazing, and the aliens (and in particular, their tripod ship's haunting bellows) are fucking terrifying.
reviewed by: victoria |  June 2005 [link] |  recommend

director: steven spielberg
So I've got good news and bad news: the good news is there is half of a great movie in AI, the bad new is the other half is there too. Things start of promising enough but the film poses questions that it never bothers to answer, instead choosing to fall into sickly sweet sentiment (he couldn't resist); there was a reason Kubrick was working on this for 15 years.....it's not done yet.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2001 [link] |  recommend

minority report
director: steven spielberg
Spielberg has embraced the darkside we've suspected was there all along. This is a great sci-fi film which proudly flaunts it's film noir influences; I still don't think traffic will be moving as freely in 50 years as this film would have us believe.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  June 2002 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

les triplettes de belleville
director: sylvain chomet
This surprising beautifully-drawn flic about a cyclist kidnapped from the Tour de France is a delight to watch - especially the opening number a fantastic 30's style floor-show. The Belleville Triplets themselves, France's answer to the Andrew Sisters who transform into a wacked-out-frog-eatin'-avant-garde jazz act, are the brainchildren of creative genius.
reviewed by: raquel |  January 2004 [link] |  recommend 6 thumbs up

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