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Quirky Fantastic Mr. Fox Lives Up to Its Title

It's nearly impossible to overstate how wonderful this movie is. Living up to its title as well as any film of recent memory, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox is a whirlwind of madcap humor, surprising emotion and true artistry.

Brothers Buries Its Most Interesting Themes

Just in time for Christmas—and for President Barack Obama's newly announced strategy for the war in Afghanistan—comes Brothers, director Jim Sheridan's (In America) remake of a Danish drama about sibling and generational conflict among one military family.

Not Perfect, The Men Who Stare at Goats Still Good for Laughs

Though not perfect, The Men Who Stare At Goats still makes for a good time at the movies. At this time of year when many films are self-important Oscar-baits, it’s refreshing to have one that’s main goal is to simply make us laugh.

Action and Heartbreak the Focal Point of New Moon

With a strikingly different tone than its swoony, spooky counterpart, New Moon actually answers the age-old question that most romantic comedy scripts never have the opportunity to: What happens after the girl actually lands the man of her dreams?

Some of the Old Disney Magic Exists in The Princess and the Frog

Disney gets nostalgic and tries capitalizing on everything that's worked so well in the past, while taking advantage of new technology. Not only are there plenty of show-stopping musical numbers, but the colorful, hand-drawn animation has never been more spectacular.

Appealing Aesthetics and Emotional Depth Propel Astro Boy

There's a surprisingly human element woven in with the science of Astro Boy. Not only does the protagonist make many self-sacrificing choices, but his underlying desire to connect with others is something that virtually anyone can relate to.

Witless Morgans Aren't Really Worth Hearing About

In yet another instance where a trailer doesn't remotely match the tone of the actual film, (yes, the only funny bits were there, but the end product is far more dramatic), Did You Hear About the Morgans? is a surprisingly flat rom-com that doesn't make the most of its cast.

Heart, Humor and a Timely Launching Pad Elevate Up in the Air

With director Jason Reitman's trademark satirical bite, plenty of romantic turbulence and great starring turns from leads George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Twilight's Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air tugs at your emotions one moment and has you laughing out loud the next.

Poverty, Abuse and Hope Unflinchingly Portrayed in Precious

Not only are there Oscar-worthy performances here from newcomer Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique, who is, hands down, one of the scariest villains since Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight, but director Lee Daniels gets the story just right by not shying away from the ugly truth of poverty, illiteracy and abuse.

So-So Planet 51 Gets a Boost from Much Better Movies

While recycling old ideas was basically status quo, surprisingly enough, borrowing from other otherworldly space-age flicks including Stars Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Alien actually elevates Planet 51’s overall enjoyment factor.

Old Dogs Could've Used a Few New Tricks

Old Dogs could've used a few new tricks, namely a stronger, less-schmaltzy script, a more convincing friendship between protagonists played by John Travolta and Robin Williams, and well, a few more laughs that don't involve bodily functions.

Not Just Child's Play in Where the Wild Things Are

Even with two talented writers onboard and a mostly faithful rendering of this seminal coming-of-age story, Where the Wild Things Are is ultimately big on imagination and arresting visuals but seriously slight of script.

The End Isn't Quite Soon Enough in 2012

Sure, the disaster movie format provides countless opportunities to show off the latest CGI trickery, and there are a handful of memorable moments in 2012. But certainly not enough to justify the overly long running time.

Sci-Fi Not So Appealing or Funny in Gentlemen Broncos

The potential audience for Gentlemen Broncos encompasses lovers of bad science fiction, B-movies (or lower grade) and the strangely endearing film Napoleon Dynamite. Lovers of good comedy, however, are advised to look elsewhere.

Damon Weighs in with Great Performance in The Informant!

As whistle-blower Mark Whitacre in The Informant!, Matt Damon is 30 pounds heavier than he was as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, so it's appropriate that The Informant! is a weightier film. But it ain't heavy.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 23, 2010 |
  • comments
Family Drama Lacks Emotional Gravitas in Everybody's Fine

There's nothing like the holidays to remind everyone about what's really important in life. But sometimes the delivery of a valuable message about the importance of family simply gets lost in translation, which is exactly what happens in the ho-hum dramedy Everybody's Fine.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 23, 2010 |
  • comments
Law Abiding Citizen Hits One of the Year's Low Points

Mixing sexual violence with moments of torture-porn, Law Abiding Citizen is one of the year’s low points at the cinema—an offensive, ugly piece of work that offers no moral nor anything memorable except its sadism.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 16, 2010 |
  • comments
A Serious Man Struggles with an Inscrutable God

A Serious Man is one of the Coen brothers' finest efforts outside No Country for Old Men, explicitly addressing comparable religious questions and issues but adding a serious dose of their trademark humor. The story keeps viewers chuckling until the film's sudden, ominous conclusion.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 09, 2010 |
  • comments
The Time Traveler's Wife Gets Lost in Translation

There's plenty that's lost in translation from book to the big screen in The Time Traveler's Wife—like a rhyme or reason to the time travel itself, anything in the way of character development, or depth of human emotion.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 09, 2010 |
  • comments
Funny Cast Can't Save Couples Retreat from Comedic Doom

For any couple looking for a recession-friendly date night escape, the title of Couples Retreat should be heeded as a warning—with the emphasis on "retreat." Trust me, you'll be glad you saved your hard-earned money.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 09, 2010 |
  • comments
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