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

talk to her
director: pedro almodovar
Strange dramatic dances by Pina Bausch, a black and white silent film in which a teeny tiny man traverses the huge naked breasts of his normal size lover, and mournful songs that are practically tears set to music punctuate this dark sleeping beauty revisitation. A movie worth seeing - especially for the exquisitively sensitive portrayals of the men who intensely & tragically love two women who are comatose.
reviewed by: raquel |  January 2003 [link] |  recommend

talk to her
director: pedro almodovar
When I walked out of this film, I thought: "What a perfectly executed, dreamy story about the way the idea of love can often captivate us more than the real thing."
A few conversations later, I am wondering: "Was the devoted love of comatose minds and indifferent, beautiful bodies astute feminist critique or dressed-up misogyny?"
reviewed by: adina |  May 2003 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

tao of steve, the
director: jenniphr goodman
A big guy comes up with a foolproof philosophy for chatting up the ladies. Very entertaining and sharply written, this is one of the most likeable films I've seen in a while.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  September 2000 [link] |  recommend

director: richard linklater
While it won't necesarily replace the 97 minutes that Waking Life has already sapped from our short time on Earth, this is still worth checking out. Made on the fly, super cheap, on DV, this is an interesting film about the subjectivity of memory; Linklater works the camera to good effect, for something that takes place in one small room, things never seem too stale....the Hawke has landed folks!!!
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  November 2001 [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

the 40-year-old virgin
director: judd apatow
I can't really say that this is a great movie in the "Citizen Kane" or even the "Animal House" sense, but I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard during a movie. Skip it if you are a pretentious git who doesn't like your sides to ache until you can't remember how to breathe.
reviewed by: Stu |  September 2005 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

the aristocrats
director: paul provenza
So this family walks into a movie theater to see 'The Aristocrats'. After watching the first five minutes, they all storm out, ears covered, in sheer moral horror (except the mother, HER mother, a pro-bono proctologist and the family horse).
reviewed by: alec |  August 2005 [link] |  recommend 4 thumbs up

the artist
director: michel hazanavicius
At a screening of this delightful silent film (with a music score), two audience members got into an argument before everyone around them hissed a very loud SHHHHHHHHHH. I liked this movie more than I thought I would, and the dog (a real dog, not a CGI dog) stole the picture.
reviewed by: jen |  November 2011 [link] |  recommend

the aviator
director: martin scorsese
Howard Hughes makes lots of expensive films, woos Hollywood starlets, and builds fleets of T.W.A. planes; if it weren't for that O.C.D. problem, he'd be the perfect man. If you can sit still for 166 minutes, make Marty proud and check out his epic; seeing Cate Blanchett's dead-on Katharine Hepburn impersonation alone is worth your time and money.
reviewed by: michele |  February 2005 [link] |  recommend

the ballad of jack and rose
director: rebecca miller
I totally dug this movie, the first with Daniel Day Lewis in years, even though the snobby New Yorker hated it (although I am a sucker for smoldering teen girl angst with gorgeous scenery and Daniel Day Lewis). After seeing it, I wanted to run off and work on an organic farm, but changed my mind by the time I got home.
reviewed by: robin |  April 2005 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

the boat that rocked
director: richard curtis
I wanted this movie to be great but knew it was very unlikely. There is a beautiful underwater scene with records floating up through the flood waters that was worth the price of admission, or would have been if London had discount afternoon matinees and, though some performances were phoned in, the ensemble of lesser-knowns pulled this from the depths of comedy drudgery to make it an amusing and fun film about sex, drugs, and pirate radio, plus I have kind of a thing for Bill Nighy.
reviewed by: Eve |  April 2009 [link] |  recommend

the bourne ultimatum
director: paul greengrass
Crazy Action + Matt Damon x (Exotic Locations)= AWESOME!!
reviewed by: rachel |  August 2007 [link] |  recommend

the constant gardner
director: fernando meirelles
reviewed by: jen |  September 2005 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

the corpse bride
director: tim burton and mike johnson
I am a HUGE fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas, so when I found out that Tim Burton was making another stop-motion picture I couldn't wait to see it however; the Corpse Bride doesn't hold a candle to Tim's original masterpiece (or even James and the Giant Peach for that matter). It maybe due to the fact that Tim had better technology this time around which in turn lost that WOW factor with the computer effects OR it could have been the absence of Henry Selick (director), whom I feel gave both of the prior films that special creepy magic that makes you actually like a Tim Burton film.
reviewed by: kelly |  September 2005 [link] |  recommend

the curse of the jade scorpion
director: woody allen
We all know Woody can bang out a period piece to beat the band, this time he does it a little too well. In paying homage to lame screwball comedies from the 40’s he’s kind of created one; though not without it’s moments (the zingers are none stop) this is an entertaining little film which left me feeling glad that he still manages to get out one a year.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  August 2001 [link] |  recommend

the devil and daniel johnston
director: jeff feuerzeig
Daniel Johnston has to be about one of the most ideal subjects for a documentary since he and his siblings apparently loved making home movies and recordings (and saved them all as well). Nonetheless, this is a swell documentary about the man, his family, the legend - and features some amazing footage of Daniel and other musicians.
reviewed by: rich |  April 2006 [link] |  recommend 3 thumbs up

the devil wears prada
director: david frankel
The Devil Wears Prada is fun and delicious flick that greatly improves on the 2003 book by Lauren Weisberger. Anne Hathaway is lovely, Meryl Streep is divine and Patricia Fields (costume designer: sex in the city) must have had a blast compiling the most over-the-top logo covered wardrobe to ever been filmed.
reviewed by: rachel |  July 2006 [link] |  recommend

the family man
director: brett ratner
Decent, well intentioned film which is another take on "It's A
Wonderful Life". Nicolas Cage may have taken his first step
back to a real acting career, but there is something lacking in
the film; it's like all the pieces are there but it doesn't look like
the picture on the box.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  January 2001 [link] |  recommend

the family stone
director: thomas bezucha
reviewed by: jen |  December 2005 [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

the grudge
director: takashi shimizu
OK, that was really frickin' scary. Still, instead of a nagging sense of dread, it left me with a nagging sense that I really had to clean the hair out of my bathtub.
reviewed by: Ishbadiddle |  October 2004 [link] |  recommend

the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
director: garth jennings
Laughed my ass off at the dolphins fleeing and the funny tragedy I did. Was happy that the movie came out when special effects can do these things, and tim has a dawn and she isn't going to florida at all.
reviewed by: kristen |  April 2005 [link] |  recommend 6 thumbs up

the holy girl
director: lucretia martel
This film about a young Catholic girl coming of age in Argentina and her middle aged male object/leerer should have been great, but it wasn't. While the lead performances were good, it really dragged and I fell asleep.
reviewed by: robin |  June 2005 [link] |  recommend

the importance of being earnest
director: oliver parker
Much like Pop Rocks, there's a party going on but when you stop to take a look in your mouth....nothing's there. A light, breezy adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play that leaves you the moment you step back into the sunlight.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  June 2002 [link] |  recommend

the ladykillers
director: joel and ethan coen
The Coen brothers lend their clever, dark twist to a story that should have been funnier and possibly darker. Tom Hanks proves again that he can do excellent character portrayal, but the all too tidy ending--and really, just in general--the movie left me wanting more.
reviewed by: nate |  May 2004 [link] |  recommend

the last station
director: michael hoffman
Gosh, I never knew that if you point a camera up at tree branches in a forest, you can show how cool nature is. The only decent thing in this bad episode of Masterpiece Theatre about Leo Tolstoy (played with full beard by Captain Von Trapp) is Dame Helen Mirren who can still play sexy indecency better than any actress of any age.
reviewed by: jen |  December 2009 [link] |  recommend

the life aquatic with steve zissou
director: wes anderson
Bill Murray plays a cranky, down-on-his-luck oceanographer named Steve Zissou who films aquatic documentaries with the help of his fantastic crew aboard the mighty ship BELAFONTE. His best friend Estaban being eaten by a "Jaguar shark," the re-appearance of his son Ned (Owen Wilson), his wife's (Angelica Huston) wanderlust, insane pirates in the Phillippines, even his delightfully psychotic and priggish nemesis (Jeff Goldblum) will not deter him from making his last documentary and proving himself!
reviewed by: victoria |  December 2004 [link] |  recommend 6 thumbs up

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

the new world
director: terrence malick
Colin Farrell is the lead role, but go see this movie anyway. This is the best movie of the year, and it won't win one single award.
reviewed by: tim |  February 2006 [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 passion of the christ
director: mel gibson
Jesus wept. Allegedly a religious experience, "The Passion of the Christ" tunrs out to be a two-hour anti-semetic snuff film with dialgoue and caricatures that even Cinemax would be ashamed to show at 2am.
reviewed by: Stu |  April 2004 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

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

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

the recruit
director: roger donaldson
Al Pacino can afford that boat he's had his eye on, but I don't know how the rest of us are expected to squeeze some fun out of this dopey "thriller" that is so implausible it doesn't even make sense on that only-in-the-movies level. This year's CIA freshman class is conspicuously good-looking -- I bet not everybody who tails Special Agent Bridget Moynahan through the streets of D.C. is an Eastern Bloc spook.
reviewed by: matthewS |  February 2003 [link] |  recommend

the ringer
director: barry w. blaustein
reviewed by: Eve |  December 2005 [link] |  recommend

the savages
director: tamara jenkins
Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play grown siblings with the last name Savage (get it, Savages, punny) who must put their father with dementia in a nursing home, and their characters hit a little too close to home since Linney's character is a playwright/office temp who steals post-it notes from her job and Hoffman's character is a Brecht scholar with piles of books. Even though the film is stuffed with all sorts of fun details and quasi-theatre humor, I kept waiting for the characters to truly become savage, and they never really do.
reviewed by: jen |  December 2007 [link] |  recommend

the score
director: frank oz
This is a decent well made crime thriller that takes it's time setting up the characters and the plot. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel it is still and enjoyable throwback to crime films of the seventies with nary a slow motion explosion in sight.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 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

the simpsons movie
director: david silverman
Mr. Robot is the big Simpsons fan in our house but I enjoy it too as the tv show has become a national treasure (oh don't get me started about the preview for Nat Tres 2 we saw...Helen Mirren, what are you doing?). Anyway, the Simpsons Movie is ever bit as enjoyable as the tv show, the quality of the artwork is just amazing and spider pig rules.
reviewed by: rachel |  August 2007 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

the social network
director: david fincher

reviewed by: jen |  November 2010 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

the taking of pelham 1 2 3
director: tony scott
This urban action thriller about the hijacking of a 6 train in Manhattan is a lot of fun when the characters behave like assholes, but when the film becomes a valentine to New York City, the whole thing gets really lame. Travolta and Washington competently lead a cast of guy-guy character actors, but I still missed the 1974 version's Walter Matthau who could be both an asshole and a valentine at the same time.
reviewed by: jen |  June 2009 [link] |  recommend

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

the transporter
director: corey yuen
THE TRANSPORTER gets high marks for athletic kung-fu, colorful 'splosions, and a truck chase that might either be a rip-off of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or an homage to it -- but the plot and dialogue are a good deal dumber than necessary. As the rice-dreamy damsel in distress, Qi Shu is so winsome, so foine, and so dependent on her man that I bet her performance sparks increased interest in Asian mail-order brides.
reviewed by: matthewS |  October 2002 [link] |  recommend

the trip
director: michael winterbottom
The funniest bits in this post-modern restaurant buddy road comedy set in the North of England and starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are in the second half after the scallops. You will look at ABBA in a whole new way.
reviewed by: jen |  July 2011 [link] |  recommend

there will be blood
director: paul thomas anderson
I saw this movie and liked it a lot - with reservations. It drank my milkshake, but it did not drink it all up.
reviewed by: blaine |  February 2008 [link] |  recommend

director: catherine hardwicke
This movie will ring true for anyone who ever tried to be like their cooler, badder friend and is artfully done so as not to be revolting and depressing despite all the scary things these girls do to themselves and each other. Evan Rachel Wood amazingly shifts back and forth from being a scared little girl to a crazed angry teen.
reviewed by: robin |  September 2003 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

thirteen days
director: roger donaldson
It's no small task trying to determine what makes a Kevin
Costner fiasco, but if I had to do so in two words they would
be: Massachusetts accent. The rest of this film is very okay
(the actors playing the Kennedy brothers are pretty great),
there are genuine moments of suspense but they are
dragged down by long meanering scenes with limp dialogue
and the worst accent since Robin Hood.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  January 2001 [link] |  recommend

three kings
director: david o russell
Here is a very schizophrenic film (black comedy, action, social commentary) which shouldn't work but somehow it does. The three leads all turn in great performances and the film shifts seamlessly between moments of dark comedy and very realistic violence, a highly entertaining film.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

time code
director: mike figgis
This film is trying to hard and not dishing out enough at the same time, yet I'm glad there are people out there who are willing to make films like this. The premise: shoot four interrelated stories (all 93 minutes with no cuts), have the actors improvise their dialogue, and then play all four stories on screen at once (so the screen is split like this +); unfortunately the end result is less exciting than the sum of it's parts, kind of like using expensive oil paints to make a picture of dogs playing poker.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend

tinker tailor soldier spy
director: tomas alfredson
The drab 70s color scheme, ensemble of intense European actors, lack of gadgets, and Gary Oldman's eye glasses could be a turn off, but this film is more fun than a barrel full of bad James Bond movies. I walked out afterwards smiling for Smiley.
reviewed by: jen |  January 2012 [link] |  recommend

director: lukas moody-son
Interesting character movie about a commune's sudden deterioration from within. While sad and heartfelt this film made me feel pretty good, not that I am going to run out and join a commune now.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  October 2001 [link] |  recommend

topsy turvy
director: mike leigh
I'm a fan of Mike Leigh's work but I must admit I found this movie painful to sit through, the moments that made it worthwhile were far and few between. It's seems like such an insider film that you would have to be a major fan of Gilbert & Sullivan to derive any enjoyment from it, the rest of us are just in for a long night.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [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

troll 2
director: drake floyd (ne claudio fragasso)
Alec and I had a surprise houseguest this fall named Andy, who—when not purchasing lighters in the shape of a hand giving you the finger, girls' pumas in African-inspired colors, or puffer jackets from Canal street—recommended that we watch Troll 2, which was, he said, the worst movie ever made. He was right; set in a town called Nilbog (Goblin backwards, you fools!), Troll 2 not only has no trolls, but also has the important benefits of an acting style previously only seen in elementary school plays, completely retarded costumes, strong homoerotic overtones, and dialogue strikingly similar to a foreign language translated into English by a first-year student who has not yet learned the verb “to be”—in short, a true camp horror classic that I would recommend wholeheartedly to anyone with a genuine appreciation of the “so-bad-it's-good” genre.
reviewed by: mizalmond |  May 2006 [link] |  recommend 5 thumbs up

tropic thunder
director: ben stiller
Maybe I've read too much Henry Miller, but I sooo want to put an OF into the title to make it TROPIC OF THUNDER. Maybe I've dealt with too many crazy actors, but I found myself laughing when no one else in the audience was laughing.
reviewed by: jen |  August 2008 [link] |  recommend

director: wolfgang petersen
Despite the hot babe potential of this movie, Orlando Bloom is a way better elf than he is a pouty Paris; Brad Pitt is better at being on the cover of People but had one cool bad-ass warrior move; Petroclus is HOT, though not Achilles' lover here; old wrinkly men with beards that need trimming are not attractive; and there was not enough STORY even though it is based on a fabulous Greek tale. I can't believe that whiny bitch Helen started it all.
reviewed by: Eve |  May 2004 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up

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