Movie Reviews

Moonlight Mile

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Some critics are using last year’s In the Bedroom as a cudgel against Brad Silberling’s Moonlight Mile. The “raw honesty” of Bedroom’s much-acclaimed angst-fest is being trotted out as a measure of the “falseness” of Moonlight Mile. Now, why is Moonlight Mile being called “false?” Simply because it allows its characters to both grieve and […]

Monty Python And The Holy Grail

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The 26-year-old comedy classic is back on the big screen in a stunningly restored print that not only captures the inspired lunacy of the British comedy troupe in their prime and at their most controlled, but reminds us what an exceptionally accomplished piece of filmmaking Monty Python and the Holy Grail actually is. While the […]

Monsters, Inc.

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Sweet but not saccharine, cute but not sick-making, Monsters, Inc. isn’t in the same league as Shrek, but then it really isn’t meant to be. Shrek was an animated film for adults that had sufficient whimsy to also appeal to children. Monsters, Inc. is an animated film for children that has enough savvy humor to […]

Monster’s Ball

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Intense in a way that In the Bedroom only wishes it was, Marc Forster’s Monster’s Ball (the title taken from an old English term for a condemned man’s last night) is far and away the most powerful movie in town right now — and very likely the best. The simplistic assessment of the movie as […]

Monsoon Wedding

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Filled with color, lively characters, clever situations and music, Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding is a joyous little film that’s actually considerably deeper and more substantial than it appears on the surface. It’s been compared to the old Spencer Tracy-Elizabeth Taylor vehicle, Father of the Bride, but in reality it has far more in common with […]

Monkeybone

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The trailer for Monkeybone does the film a grave disservice by making it look like an utterly tasteless, one-joke, leering, “hubba-hubba” comedy of the most vulgar kind. (The trailer also suggests much post-production tampering, since one pivotal scene in the film is entirely different from what we see in the trailer.) And, yes, Monkeybone is […]

Minority Report

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Having made the nor’ by nor’west “collaboration” with Stanley Kubrick of A.I., Steven Spielberg seems to have decided that he is Kubrick. (A character named Burgess and eye-clamps applied to Tom Cruise are obvious references to A Clockwork Orange.) The simple fact is that he’s not Kubrick — a truth he evidences again and again […]

Men In Black II

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It’s the old Law of Diminishing Returns with a vengeance — sequelitis in its most extreme form. It’s not so much that Barry Sonnenfeld’s extension of his 1997 hit (delayed these many years whilst Messrs. Jones and Smith hammered out the most lucrative possible deals for themselves) is bad. It’s something worse than bad: It’s […]

Memento

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Memento is either one of the most intensely brilliant, densely textured films ever made, or it’s a supremely clever con-job by a filmmaker high on the mere concept of screwing around with the viewer’s mind to no real purpose — except that he can. At the moment, I lean more toward the former view, even […]

Meet The Deedles

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From what I can gather, teen movie reviewer Maggie West wasn’t exactly intellectually challenged by her assignment to get out there and Meet the Deedles. Furthermore, I guess that “vurping” would not be a positive response to a film geared toward amusing the young and the restless. So what we have here is a young […]

Max Keeble’s Big Move

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Despite a terrible title that may doom it at the box office, Max Keeble’s Big Move is a boisterous, charming and intelligent new Disney flick. They could have called it “Revenge of the Nerd Trio” or “Animal House: Seventh Grade” or “Show-Down at O.K. Junior High.” Anything other than a title that first makes you […]

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat

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I have to admit up front that I walked out of Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat. I did go back and check out the last 10 minutes, but these were, if anything, more repulsive than the first 30 or 40 minutes. And I have to admit that I have never found Lawrence funny or talented or […]

Malibu’s Most Wanted

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I went through nearly my entire list of victims … er, friends … in an attempt to find anyone who would slog through Malibu’s Most Wanted with me before finding a sufficiently sympathetic (or masochistic) soul. I am only surprised that he’s still speaking to me. After all, one person who accompanied me to 8 […]

Malena

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The new film from the director of the highly acclaimed and immensely popular Cinema Paradiso has been described by some as Cinema Paradiso meets Summer of ’42, and while there is some justification for that glib assessment, Malena is a good bit more intelligent than that suggests. True, Tornatore (whose best film is probably the […]

Maid In Manhattan

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Offbeat filmmaker Wayne Wang’s films (Chan Is Missing, Smoke, The Center of the World, et al) have always tended to be somewhat outside the mainstream. When Wang is paired with teen-comedy Brat Pack maestro John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Home Alone), the pair make for even stranger bedfellows than the rich Republican senatorial […]

Made

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Fast, fresh, funny and brash, writer-director-actor Jon Favreau’s (who wrote and starred in Swingers, with co-star/co-producer Vince Vaughn) Made is the rough-edged winner of the last gasp of summer movies. In tone and somewhat in plot, Made is a kind of simplified and Americanized Snatch — the sort of movie that Sexy Beast wanted to […]

Lucky Numbers

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Wanna feel lucky? Go see any other movie in town. Lucky Numbers is a lame story about three greedy people who try to scam the Pennsylvania state lottery. Two of the greedy people are guys, one’s a gal. But don’t think this is an equal three-way split. Perhaps because Lucky Numbers starts so well, its […]

Lovely And Amazing

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I can’t help but pity the timing of Nicole Holofcener’s Lovely and Amazing, arriving on the heels of such other populous character studies as Thirteen Conversations About One Thing and Full Frontal. It’s easily as good as the former, better than the latter, and more quirkily honest than both. Unlike Thirteen Conversations, Lovely and Amazing […]

Love And Sex

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According to the press kit, Love and Sex (which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival) is writer/director Valerie Breiman’s first “official” feature film — an understandable claim when one’s last directorial credit is called Bikini Squad. And despite the generally negative reviews Love and Sex has received, it’s a lot better than anyone has a […]

Lost Souls

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First-time director Janusz Kaminski (a former cinematographer best known for being married to Holly Hunter, who was smart enough to stay out of this movie) makes his bid for the Son o’ Satan Sweepstakes with Lost Souls. The results are so derivative that the film should have been titled Satanism by the Number — a […]