Movie Reviews

Girl With a Pearl Earring


In Michael Winner’s I’ll Never Forget What’s ‘Isname, Orson Welles remarks, while showing off his art collection, “This is one of 32 known Vermeers — 80 of which are in America.” With Peter Webber’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, you might boost that number to 81: Webber has in many ways made a copy of […]

Catch That Kid


Pity director Bart Freundlich. His last movie, World Traveler, though advertised for months, got almost no release, and quietly disappeared from the scene. Now he’s facing even worse luck: His latest film, Catch That Kid, is booked into theaters everywhere. Whether or not Mr. Freundlich has subsequently gone into hiding, I do not know — […]

Barbershop 2: Back in Business


Yes, Barbershop 2 lacks the original movie’s surprise factor (this time, we’re actually expecting something). The new film plows some now-familiar territory; worse, its “feel-good” ending is anticlimactic — a real comedown from the delightfully convoluted one in the first film. That said, Barbershop 2 doesn’t in the least disgrace the original. This installment is […]

You Got Served


It’s the Citizen Kane of break-dancing movies! And yet it still isn’t any damned good. I’m sure that what these kids are doing is not called break dancing anymore. In fact, I think it’s called street dancing — though any time people flip upside down and spin on their heads and otherwise engage in antics […]

The Perfect Score


There was a day — oh, 60 or 70 years ago — when Paramount Pictures used to put out the classiest, most-sophisticated movies in the business. I still get a pleasant feeling when I see the star-encircled mountain on an old Lubitsch, Mamoulian, Sternberg, Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields or Mae West movie. Nowadays, the studio […]

The Big Bounce


The Big Bounce is an essay in the relativity of things. Had this film been released during any other week than the one that also brought us You Got Served and The Perfect Score, it would seem like a really, really bad movie. Coming this week, though, it only seems like a not-very-good movie with […]



The amazing thing about Miracle is that it’s exactly that — a miracle. The film is about a miracle in sports history — the United States’ astonishing ice-hockey win at the 13th Winter Olympics, in Lake Placid in 1980. The movie itself is a low-budget gem, made by relatively unknown filmmakers on their first major […]

The Butterfly Effect


Fair’s fair, so let’s note outright that everything that’s wrong with The Butterfly Effect (and a good bit is) has nothing to do with everybody’s favorite tabloid target, Ashton Kutcher. The much-maligned boy toy does pretty well with the role that’s been handed him by screenwriters-turned-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. Indeed, Kutcher’s only […]



This is a difficult movie to like, a difficult one to watch, and a difficult one to write about. It’s also an impossible movie to dismiss or ignore. Everything you’ve heard about the normally alluring Charlize Theron’s transformation into prostitute-turned-serial-killer Aileen Wuornos is true. There is not one glimmer of glamour attached to Theron’s being […]

Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!


The movie poster had little appeal. The premise sounded like a de-musicalized Bye Bye, Birdie. Director Robert Luketic hadn’t exactly dazzled me with Legally Blonde. Two of the three stars were largely unknown to me, while the one I did know, Kate Bosworth, had annoyed me in Blue Crush, and barely registered as one of […]



Sample dialogue from Torque: Martin Henderson: “I gotta get that bike.” Monet Mazur: “I gotta get that bitch.” Ice Cube: “Damn right.” Obviously we aren’t talking about anything very weighty here. The screenplay is at least three brain cells shy of being moronic; this is one silly, stupid, ridiculous flick. The trick is that everyone […]

The Cooler


This is one curious little movie — and one that requires the viewer to accept its quirks at face value in order for it to work. And, all in all, I think it’s probably worth the effort. If you can accept the very existence of a “cooler” — a fellow with such incredibly bad luck […]

Teacher’s Pet


What a curious movie. Teacher’s Pet is different, edgy and subversive — but ultimately pointless and boring. It’s a kids’ movie that kids won’t get, a comedy parents won’t find funny, and a musical with clever Broadway show tunes that no one will ever sing. Plus, it’s got a dog you want to muzzle, and […]

Along Came Polly


If it weren’t for the ferret, this movie would be a total dog. With Along Came Polly, it’s clear that John Hamburg (best known for penning the Ben Stiller comedies Meet the Parents and Zoolander) thinks he’s the heir apparent to Woody Allen. Sadly, he’s not even the heir to the early Farrelly Brothers. Hamburg […]

My Baby’s Daddy


What a way to start the new year! OK, we all knew it wasn’t going to be good when the studio — in a fit of inspired desperation — decided to change the title of this film from My Baby’s Mama to the seemingly more appealing My Baby’s Daddy. And while I won’t argue that […]

Chasing Liberty


I know I’m not in the demographic for this movie. After all, it’s a long time since I was in the 12-to-18 age range, and I’ve never been a girl as a part of that (or any other) group. I also know that I’m supposed to intensely dislike this latest Mandy Moore offering. The problem […]

Calendar Girls


In a typical outburst of British tastefulness, Helen Mirren’s appearance 32 years ago in Ken Russell’s Savage Messiah was heralded thus in the tabloid press: “Reveals Miss Helen Mirren full-frontal in a scene longer than the normal glimpse!” Now, these many years later, we find Miss Mirren still taking it all off in her latest […]