Movie Reviews

Iron Monkey

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The trailers for this film are a masterpiece of deception — mostly by omission. After all, if you never show any of the movie’s dialogue scenes, you don’t actually have to let the audience in on the fact that the film’s in Cantonese with English subtitles. This, however, is something learned from Crouching Tiger, Hidden […]

Iris

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Director and co-writer Richard Eyre (best known for his British TV work), screenwriter Charles Wood (once the principal writer for Richard Lester’s films — Help!, The Knack, How I Won the War, The Bed-Sitting Room) and four fine actors — Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet, Hugh Bonneville — in the central roles prove that […]

Insomnia

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Christopher Nolan hit the bull’s eye last year with the jigsaw-puzzle thriller, Memento, a film I have never quite gotten beyond thinking was more clever than genuinely good. It’s a pleasure then to encounter his follow-up film, Insomnia, and find that it’s both clever and genuinely good — very, very good. The problems I had […]

Innocence

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A sometimes surprising, invariably thoughtful film in a minor key, Innocence is slightly less successful than much of what has been said about it would seem to indicate — something that may or may not be a classic case of confusing the importance and freshness of the subject matter with the importance and freshness of […]

In The Mood For Love

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If nothing else, In the Mood for Love is virtually unique in that it is a film made up almost entirely of subtle touches and things not said, from which we are made to understand the feelings and motivations of its main characters –Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) and Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk). The […]

In The Bedroom

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It’s hands down the most positively reviewed film of 2001. It’s hard to find a review of Todd Field’s feature-film directorial debut that is less than glowing. (Though having made several short films and done some TV work, Field is primarily known as an actor. He’s probably most familiar to viewers as Nick Nightingale in […]

Impostor

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Considered the first release of the new year, Impostor is a sleeper in the worst sense of the word — which is to say that I actually nodded off briefly during the film, owing to severe boredom with the antics on the screen. Granted, there’s a slim chance that during that short time, I missed […]

Ice Age

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“Why did you risk your life for me?” Diego the Saber-Toothed Tiger (voice of Denis Leary) asks Manfred the Mammoth (voice of Ray Romano) as the two Ice Age adventurers lay exhausted from escaping certain death in the sea of boiling lava below. “That’s what you do in a herd,” Manfred says matter of factly, […]

I Spy

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Except for the fact that it isn’t set on the moon, I kept thinking I was watching The Adventures of Pluto Nash all over again. I have a piece of advice for Owen Wilson: Go write something with Wes Anderson and stop this nonsense. I have a piece of advice for Eddie Murphy: Sign the […]

I Am Sam

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Rumor has it that the producers of I Am Sam saved themselves $12 million by crafting a soundtrack consisting of some generally white-bread covers of Beatles songs (OK, so The Black Crowes’ version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and Sheryl Crow’s “Mother Nature’s Son” aren’t disgraceful). You wonder why they need to have […]

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

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As one who actually tends to like romantic comedies, I’m moved to confess that I was more or less looking forward to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days — and there were things about the movie that I did indeed like. But in between those things, I found myself with plenty of time […]

How High

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What in the name of all that’s holy is this? Why is Danny DeVito one of the producers of this ill-conceived mess? What are name actors like Fred Willard, Jeffrey Jones, Hector Elizondo and Spalding Gray doing in this film? What made Bob Dylan’s son think he could direct a film? Why is a movie […]

Hollywood Ending

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In what remains his masterpiece — Manhattan — Woody Allen says, “New York was his town and it always would be.” It’s nicely apt, then, to find that Allen’s latest offering may be called Hollywood Ending, but stars Allen in the role of a filmmaker who never sets foot in Tinsel Town for the entire […]

Hollow Man

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In the few days since Hollow Man has been released, I have read 643 reviews proclaiming, “Hollow Man? Hollow movie!” (or words to that effect). What is so annoying about these reviews (other than their authors’ lamentable wit) is the reviewers’ outrage at the film’s hollowness. Wake up, guys! Hollow Man’s director Paul Verhoeven, is […]

Holes

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Holes is as rare as treasure found buried in the desert — a movie made for kids that adults can thoroughly enjoy. Thanks go partly to Andrew Davis, a dynamic director who usually applies his talents to big action flicks (such as 1993’s The Fugitive, one of my favorite movies of all time). The book’s […]

High Crimes

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As drama, this is nothing to get excited about. Its surprises are about as surprising as discovering fruit at a fruit stand. As filmmaking, it’s rarely more than professional. But it works better than it has any right to thanks to the performances of Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, who bring a gravity and conviction […]

Hey Arnold! The Movie

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The cartoon that isn’t really good enough to be on afternoon TV is now a movie that isn’t really good enough to be in theaters. Unfortunately, it is, and it was my lot — along with one hapless friend (no one else would get near it) — to sit through it. Do not let this […]

Heist

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It’s fast, it’s engaging, it’s clever, it’s occasionally suspenseful, it’s often very funny. Writer-director David Mamet’s Heist is nearly everything The Score wanted to be, but never was. In fact, plot-wise, it’s very much like The Score. Substitute Gene Hackman for Robert DeNiro as a master criminal forced into pulling off one last job and […]

Hedwig And The Angry Inch

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Armed with a paltry $6 million budget, John Cameron Mitchell brings his off-Broadway show about “internationally ignored” East German drag-queen rocker Hedwig to the movies. As writer, lyricist, director and star Mitchell faced a daunting task — one that he managed to pull off with all the elan of his title character. Hedwig and the […]

Hearts In Atlantis

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With Anthony Hopkins in the lead, the respected director Scott Hicks at the helm, and a script by the very literate William Goldman, there’s not much chance that Hearts in Atlantis (based on Stephen King’s novel) isn’t going to be good. And it is good. It’s very good. What it isn’t is great. It’s impossible […]

Heartbreakers

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What’s this? An actual comedy made by actual adults for actual adults that is actually fresh and funny? Amazing but true. Even more amazing is the fact that the film’s scripting pedigree is uninspiring to say the least. Top-billed writer Robert Dunn hasn’t had a screenwriting credit since 1988 (Sweet Lies), while his cohorts in […]