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Liberalism Gets the Laughs in An American Carol

If you've ever rolled your eyes at movies like Farenheit 9-11 or felt frustrated by a liberal’s comparison between evangelical missionaries and suicide bombers, you’ll definitely appreciate An American Carol.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 15, 2009 |
  • comments
Politics Gets Some Comic Relief in Swing Vote

Weary of the 24/7 coverage of the upcoming presidential election and wondering if your vote really makes a difference anyway? Swing Vote is timely and just cynical enough to garner a few much-needed laughs as the race lingers on.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 13, 2009 |
  • comments
Diverting Babylon A.D. Eventually Falls Apart

Babylon A.D. probably won’t do much for Vin Diesel’s action-movie career. But its failure may be for the best if it pushes the actor into roles that require him to do more than mumble one-liners and shoot bad guys.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 06, 2009 |
  • comments
Boredom Is the Ever-Present Danger in Bangkok

There’s nothing new in Bangkok Dangerous, which caps its dreary running time with a downbeat ending that might have been more credible if the movie preceding it sustained any semblance of a pulse.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 06, 2009 |
  • comments
Funny, Entertaining Pineapple Express Is Also Super-Bad

Pineapple Express serves as a stark contrast to (and improvement over) the recent Will Ferrell misfire, Step Brothers. While both push the limits of R-rated humor, Step Brothers is wholly reliant on its crudity in a way that Pineapple Express is not.

Good Cop Goes Bad in Righteous Kill

Righteous Kill stars two of the most revered actors of their generation: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Not since Heat have the men shared a scene. But those hoping for acting fireworks here will need to wait for their next joint appearance.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 06, 2009 |
  • comments
Simplistic Melodrama Mires Visually Stunning Duchess

A metaphor common to period pieces is how opulent exteriors often mask sordid realities. It’s certainly a staple of The Duchess, although the metaphor isn’t restricted to the film’s themes. It expands to its quality as well.

Funny, Insightful Ghost Town Worth a Visit

Almost dying allows Ricky Gervais’ character to experience living in a whole new, rewarding way. And that definitely elevates Ghost Town a step above your typical, supernatural romantic comedy.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 28, 2008 |
  • comments
Burn After Reading Boasts Big Laughs and Moral Truths

A blatant attempt at parody, Burn After Reading is a send-up of modern Oscar-bait conspiracy thrillers like Michael Clayton and Syriana. And interestingly enough, also stars George Clooney (star of both those films).

A Lot to Learn from American Teen

Even if your little Tommy or Sally is more virtuous than the teenagers seen here, at the very least it's fair to say that while levels of conduct vary, American Teen honestly portrays how every teenager feels—and does so in compelling fashion.

A Faulty Sense of Empowerment Fuels The Women

If it wasn’t for the success of the recent Sex and the City on the big screen, chances are The Women, a remake of the 1939 classic that’s been in the works for over a decade, probably wouldn’t be playing at a theater near you as we speak.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 21, 2008 |
  • comments
Mamma Mia! Makes Lively ABBA Tunes Seem Dull

Before watching the screen version of Mamma Mia!, I couldn’t imagine any way to make the music from ABBA seem boring. Yet suffering through Meryl Streep’s and Pierce Brosnan’s failed attempts to deliver these upbeat standards has changed my mind.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • December 16, 2008 |
  • comments
Aimless Mummy 3 Never Comes to Life

For the Mummy series, the third time offers no charm. Neither darkly compelling nor thoughtfully entertaining, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is an also-ran.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 16, 2008 |
  • comments
Petit’s Mission Accomplished in Man on Wire

Man on Wire is a fascinating documentary sure to interest anyone who enjoys heist movies and thrillers. Director James Marsh skillfully mixes archival news footage with personal videos, along with some situations that were recreated for the film.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • December 15, 2008 |
  • comments
Powerful Dark Knight a Solid Superhero Film

Driven by Heath Ledger's solid performance, The Dark Knight strengthens the franchise’s reputation under director Chris Nolan, who lays a stable foundation for future films in the series.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 09, 2008 |
  • comments
Children's Favorite Adapted in Horton Hears a Who

Based on the charming Dr. Seuss book from 1954, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! is a fun movie for all ages. The animation feels just like the book, and the screenwriting (with all of those in-between lines and side stories) is clever.

Prince Caspian Is the Narnia We've Been Waiting For

In every way that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tried but failed, Prince Caspian succeeds. What was originally slavish adherence to the source has now become inspired filmmaking—a major step forward that represents the Narnia for which we’ve waited.

X-Files May Work for Fans, but not Newcomers

The sight of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson assuming well worn roles will be enough for true fans of the series. But those who are new to the franchise may find themselves wondering whatever drew people to The X-Files to begin with.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 02, 2008 |
  • comments
Absurd Wanted Attempts to Mimic Better Films

To say Wanted is far-fetched, would be the understatement of the year. Much of the film rips off much better action movies like The Matrix and Batman Begins—two films that are infinitely more plausible.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • December 02, 2008 |
  • comments
More of the Same for Ferrell and Reilly in Step Brothers

If you are a Will Ferrell fan who can overlook the film’s flaws and ignore the non-stop coarseness, there may be some laughs in Step Brothers for you. If not, the trashiness greatly overshadows the funny.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • December 02, 2008 |
  • comments
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