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December 2010
Grief Movingly Portrayed in Rabbit Hole

Not only is it an honest portrayal of how people respond to grief so differently, but it also serves as an important reminder that pat answers aren't always the best medicine.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 25, 2010 |
  • comments
 
True Grit Has Plenty of Fighting Spirit

Thanks to a whip-smart script by those ever-inventive Coen brothers, True Grit has plenty of substance and style, a formidable combination for any film, let alone a remake.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 22, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Little Fockers Wallows in Below-the-Belt Humor

The third—and, let's hope, final—chapter in the series about Greg and Pam Focker fails to bring on the humor with one of the lowest laughs-to-attempted-jokes ratios in recent memory.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 22, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Something of Substance Revealed in Somewhere

Sofia Coppola's Somewhere takes a long time to get anywhere. But don't be surprised if, weeks later, you find yourself thinking about the film and its depiction of a wayward soul.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 22, 2010 |
  • comments
 
The Fighter Doesn't Deliver a Knockout Punch

The cobbled-together story is weighed down by far too much family drama and not enough of the protagonist's journey against the ropes. Good, but not great.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 17, 2010 |
  • comments
 
No Question, How Do You Know Disappoints

Rom-coms of the past few years have been particularly stale, as if all churned out by the same studio assembly line. How Do You Know is no different, as indistinguishable as them all.

 
Yogi Bear Isn't Smarter Than Your Average Movie

Yogi Bear is anything but a pic-a-nic to sit through. In fact, while Yogi has always proclaimed he's "smarter than the average bear," the same doesn't exactly apply to the film's screenplay.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 17, 2010 |
  • comments
 
TRON: Legacy Takes Itself Too Seriously

TRON: Legacy brings back Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn. However, the new film is dreary enough to make one wonder why so much effort was put into revisiting this virtual world in the first place.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 16, 2010 |
  • comments
 
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Takes Lewis Fans on a Fantastic Trip

After the megahit The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, it's safe to say that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader should recover any fans who didn't respond to Prince Caspian.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 08, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Not Worth Visiting The Tourist

Considering what might have been expected of a big-budget romance featuring two top stars, The Tourist is rather slight. The lead characters' banter starts with promise, but the film shortchanges the romance as it struggles to incorporate its espionage and gangster storylines.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 08, 2010 |
  • comments
December 2010
Madness Explicitly Depicted in Black Swan

Director Darren Aronofsky likes his darkness. This film about a ballet dancer stretched to the breaking point will further cement his reputation.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 03, 2010 |
  • comments
 
A Tricky Point of View in All Good Things

All Good Things recounts a high-profile disappearance case from the early 1980s that was opened again in the early 2000s, but the names have been changed in this telling.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 03, 2010 |
  • comments
November 2010
Burlesque Alternates Between Laughable, Spectacular

Burlesque will play better or worse depending on what you like to see in a musical—a well told story or big-screen, razzle-dazzle music numbers. The best musicals have both, the biggest failures neither. Burlesque splits the difference.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 24, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Dwayne Johnson is Definitely Furious in Action-Packed Faster

For those who enjoy nothing more than a big, loud, escapist flick with a little takeaway value on a holiday weekend, don't worry. Faster isn't a turkey. If anything, it's the right move forward for the actor formerly known as The Rock.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 24, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Love & Other Drugs Never Recovers from an Identity Crisis

Part Love Story, part Up in the Air with a smidge of the satirical spirit of Thank You for Smoking, Love & Other Drugs never quite knows what it is, and the story ultimately suffers for it. Truth be told, bothering to label it "good" is probably too strong of praise.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 24, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Tangled Brings Back Some Disney Magic

Disney's update of the Rapunzel story confirms that the studio isn't ready to completely cede its reputation as a maker of solid family-oriented films.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 24, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Dreary Deathly Hallows Won't Win New Fans

The best that can be said for this first half of Deathly Hallows is that it's unlikely to displease fans who have committed themselves to reading and seeing the other Harry Potter tales.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 19, 2010 |
  • comments
 
The Next Three Days Stretches All Bounds of Believability

Unlike in Conviction, where the protagonist places her hope in the law and becomes her brother's own defense counsel, in The Next Three Days Russell Crowe's character decides to go rogue instead by basically borrowing a page from TV's Prison Break.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 19, 2010 |
  • comments
 
Extreme Situation, One-Note Characters Work in Unstoppable

The premise is simple, the execution is competent and the film delivers the requisite amount of crowd-pleasing thrills. And yet, the film feels a little too easy in the depiction of its main characters, who are sketched out with scant information about their motivations.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 12, 2010 |
  • comments
 
The Quest for Truth Fuels Fair Game

Based on the memoirs written by Joe Wilson and his CIA agent wife Valerie Plame, Fair Game showcases their side of a controversial story.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 12, 2010 |
  • comments
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