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Max Payne Makes the Leap from Game to Screen

Starring Mark Wahlberg and based on the popular video game, Max Payne carries all the usual limitations of an adaptation from game to screen—namely, a weak script and over-the-top situations that have little to do with reality.

  • Annabelle Robertston |
  • January 26, 2009 |
  • comments
Classes, Ideologies Clash in Brideshead Revisited

In this big screen adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel, England’s middle class clashes with the upper class, atheism with Catholicism and sexual tensions prevail. Fans of period pieces will be delighted at the magnificent sets, as well as the costumes.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 22, 2009 |
  • comments
Cook's Antics Prove Shocking in My Best Friend's Girl

Dane Cook fans will enjoy watching their favorite stand-up comic at the top of his game. He’s rude, crude and socially unacceptable. But even those used to Cook are likely to find themselves taken back by his shocking antics in My Best Friend’s Girl.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 22, 2009 |
  • comments
As an Apocalyptic Adventure, City of Ember Shines Bright

Keeping the pace fast, City of Ember plays out like The Goonies meets National Treasure with a twinge of science fiction. The constant twists and turns of the plot, and its inevitable intrigue, will easily hold your attention for an hour.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 20, 2009 |
  • comments
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.

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