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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
Love Happens Routinely Overstates the Obvious

In the same way a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, a movie probably shouldn’t be judged solely by its title. But in the case of Love Happens (starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart), trust me, your gut is probably right.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 02, 2010 |
  • comments
The Dead Are Lively in Zombieland

Zombieland anchors its energetic, extended road tale with expressions about the need for family and for human relationships built on trust rather than deceit. But make no mistake—the messages about family are secondary to the main event: zombie killing.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 02, 2010 |
  • comments
Formulaic Adam Offers Few Surprises

Formulaic to a fault, indie-romance Adam is clearly headed in one direction. It over-dramatizes milquetoast conflicts while offering up almost zero surprises en route to a predictable conclusion. Well, until a complete U-turn at the end.

Girl Power Is Alive and Skating in Whip It

Conventional or not, Whip It is still fun to watch, thanks to Drew Barrymore’s surprisingly skilled direction, a killer soundtrack and a winning cast that definitely seems to enjoy throwing themselves into their respective roles.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 26, 2010 |
  • comments
Michael Jackson's This Is It Proves Entertaining But Not Revelatory

Instead of focusing on Michael Jackson's private life or his particular oddities, This Is It is really all about the music and a farewell tour that'll never see the light of day, a move that ultimately casts Jackson, and his legacy, in a more favorable light.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 26, 2010 |
  • comments
Love Burns True in Jane Campion's Bright Star

Jane Campion has made a career off of tortured love stories, yet Bright Star is different (even opposite, and superior). Her past films have been about tortured people who destroy their circumstances. This, conversely, is a bittersweet arc of pure people who are tragically tortured by circumstances.

Accept Any and All Substitutes for Surrogates

Rather than develop the more cerebral aspects of the story in the rushed, 88 minutes of Surrogates, director Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3) substitutes action where thoughtful dialogue and exposition would have been more helpful.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 26, 2010 |
  • comments
Truth Be Told, The Invention of Lying Is Woefully Misguided

In The Invention of Lying, Ricky Gervais brings to the screen a story with some genuine laugh-out-loud potential. But its sharp, unexpected turn only serves as the actor/director’s personal atheistic soapbox.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 19, 2010 |
  • comments
Blindingly Bad Whiteout Is a Blizzard of Balderdash

Kate Beckinsale’s career once looked promising, but her willingness to take paycheck jobs like Whiteout isn’t helping her career. Was she so blinded by the story that she couldn’t see how disastrous the final result would be?

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 19, 2010 |
  • comments
Mind of a Soldier Explored Inside The Hurt Locker

Key to the success of the The Hurt Locker is that its agenda is neither pro-war nor anti-war. Instead, the film is a look at the psychology of the men who go to war, and especially of those who willingly take part in the most dangerous aspects of conflict.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 12, 2010 |
  • comments
Updated Fame Probably Won't Live Forever in Viewers' Minds

Given our culture's continued obsession with seeing ordinary people "make it big" and “achieve their dreams of stardom," it was only a matter of time before the '80s flick Fame got a modern-day makeover.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 12, 2010 |
  • comments
Post Grad Doesn't Earn High Marks in Reality

Instead of giving the storyline the gravitas it deserves, Post Grad quickly goes Little Miss Sunshine with way too much screen time dedicated to the main character's quirky family, the sort only dreamed up for movies in the first place.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 12, 2010 |
  • comments
Rockwell's Performance Orbits a Distant Moon

Sam Rockwell has performed well in supporting roles in several powerful dramas recently (Frost/Nixon, Snow Angels), but Moon is his coming-out party—an announcement that he's ready for the big leagues.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 12, 2010 |
  • comments
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