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A Nostalgic Story Is Found in Adventureland

Adventureland captured me as strongly as any film I've seen in a long time. Disparage its R-rated content if you must (and I wouldn't disparage anyone in return who would), but there is an authentic core to this nostalgic story that can't be denied.

Love Doesn't Give Up in Goodbye Solo

Ramin Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo is a simple tale, quietly told, and one of the best films you’ll ever see. While God is never mentioned during its 90-minute run time, it works as an eloquent parable of God’s love for fallen people.

Fame and Family Collide Predictably in Hannah Montana

Considering the way art seems to imitate Miley Cyrus' life these days, the timing probably couldn't be better for the big-screen treatment of Hannah Montana. Not only does it solidify Cyrus' place as the ultimate good girl, but Hannah is a character Cyrus can play convincingly.

Dramatic Sparks Fly in The Class

The Class, which won the top award at the most recent Cannes Film Festival, mixes teacher-student interaction throughout the course of one year at a school in Paris with behind-the-scenes political maneuvers and struggles.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 11, 2009 |
  • comments
Fast-Paced Race to Witch Mountain Has a Few Sci-Fi Charms

Instead of shooting for a straight remake, filmmakers prefer to call the latest installment a "reimagining." And given the slightly cheesy, low-grade special effects of Race to Witch Mountain’s predecessor, that's probably accurate.

The Soloist Is a Pitch Perfect Portrayal of Grace

The Soloist entertains and inspires with its pitch-perfect portrayal of redemption between an unlikely duo. And for Christians and otherwise, it’s also a powerful reminder that authenticity and not bailing when the going gets tough is always the best way to live.

Fast & Furious? More Like Dull and Depressing

Apart from the film's ho-hum plot and performances, the most worrying thing of all about Fast & Furious is this: its astounding box-office take. As I write this review following the film's opening weekend, its box-office haul exceeds $70 million.

Watchmen Puts the "Graphic" in Graphic-Novel Adaptation

Dark and violent, Watchmen one-ups last year’s blockbuster, The Dark Knight, in explicit imagery, and it cannot be recommended. However, the story has potent themes that will resonate with viewers and demand discussion.

Dark Coraline Too Nightmarish for Kids

Coraline’s cinematic qualities are spectacular and many; its themes important and biblically sound. Nevertheless, its dark content and tone—which are nightmarish, among other things—make it inaccessible for many kids.

Life After Rwandan Genocide Depicted in As We Forgive

As We Forgive, an award-winning documentary directed by Laura Waters Hinson and narrated by Golden Globe recipient Mia Farrow, explores what it means to forgive against the backdrop of two African villages deeply scared by the Rwandan genocide.

'Tweens, Teens Will Be Wowed by Jonas Bros in 3D

The popularity of Jonas Brothers rivals that of The Beatles back in the day (in the U.S. anyway). It’s a fact that’s not entirely lost on the band as a clip from the Fab Four’s first full-length movie rolls in the background of one scene of Jo Bros' first movie.

Street Fighter Delivers Blow After Blow to Viewers

Street Fighter should be a martial-arts extravaganza, but the fight scenes are infrequent, unsurprising and dull. Blame that on director Andrzej Bartkowiak, who in 2005 helmed the forgettable Doom.

Materialistic Shopaholic Is Woefully Misguided

Not only is Confessions of a Shopaholic a cautionary tale of excess gone seriously awry, but it’s a colossal embarrassment to my gender. With a heroine so self-involved that she makes ditzy Elle Woods (of Legally Blonde fame) look like a Rhodes scholar in comparison, it's woefully misguided from the start.

Love of Literature Extolled in Inkheart

Inkheart brings Cornelia Funke's much-loved novel to life without losing the glorious detail and character development in the process—an essential for great literature and an oft-neglected feature of many novels-turned-movies.

Another Phone-in for Martin in Pink Panther 2

While the originals in The Pink Panther series were fueled by comic inspiration, invention and wit, the contemporary rip-offs are barely even trying. The difference is best exemplified by comparing Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau and Steve Martin's pale imitation.

Madea Goes to Jail but Davis Brings the Drama

In light of Oscar nominee Viola Davis' soaring reputation, it's no surprise that the actress takes Tyler Perry's latest tale, Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, and gives it more dramatic weight than expected.

Tired Formula Gives Gran Torino Some Mileage

Clint Eastwood’s performance as Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino is the film’s highlight—an update on the tough-guy persona he perfected as “Dirty Harry” Callahan. He clings to his older ways in a neighborhood that has changed significantly.

The International Is Densely Plotted Yet Riveting

Literary thrillers are a staple of airplane rides and beachside vacations. The International is their cinematic equivalent, and though it’s as instantly disposable as those paperback counterparts it’s also as equally riveting.

He's Just Not That into You Is Engaging Yet Disturbing

Considering that the source material was a relatively short, best-selling self-help book, He's Just Not That into You serves as an insightful yet equally disturbing barometer of our culture's perspective on relationships.

Revolutionary Road Kicks the American Dream to the Curb

Revolutionary Road juxtaposes the idyllic image of the American Dream with the deterioration of a marriage that has become a nightmare—via an ironic casting reunion of Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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