Anyone who has ever lived in a big city will have their heart touched and their funny bone tickled by this sober comedy, directed by Nicole Holofcener, who has become known not only for her thoughtful films, but also for her television directorial credits.
- May 03, 2010 |
Even if someone manages to suspend disbelief and buy into this lamely conceived plotline, there's nothing about The Back-up Plan that has any resonance in the real world. Not only is the dialogue unbelievable from the get-go, but the characters are just plain kooky.
- April 23, 2010 |
Written by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt and based on a series of comic books, The Losers wants to pay homage to its comic roots but never gives us a reason to care about its characters or to believe this story needed a big-screen adaptation.
- April 23, 2010 |
Based on a true story, The Perfect Game isn't exactly a revelation in the narrative department. But what eventually elevates it from your standard-issue baseball flick are its underlying themes and winning performances from the leads.
Other than giving Luke Wilson an opportunity to star in something other than those annoying AT&T commercials, there was really no need to revisit the story of a family funeral gone seriously awry in Neil LaBute's remake of Death at a Funeral.
Despite boasting a sharp and consistent wit and laugh-out-loud moments, Leaves of Grass is not for the faint of heart. Ultimately, this is a graphic morality tale about the extreme lengths people will go to for money, the consequences of greed, and the fatal ends of trying to control situations within sinful pursuits that we never really could control to begin with.
Somehow in the midst of bad writing and a hackneyed case of missing identity that grows increasingly sillier as Date Night goes on, Steve Carell and Tina Fey still shine as two suburbanites trying to keep their marital spark alive with a little night-on-the-town spontaneity.
Letters to God might not be the most cinematic film viewers will see this year, but it's a faith-affirming story competently told. Viewers tired of having their beliefs assaulted whenever they watch a movie will take comfort in this production, which, for a change, affirms what they believe and demonstrates the power of their shared faith.
If The Runaways is nothing we haven't seen before in terms of its story arc, it's also notable for strong performances from Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon. However, the debauchery and hedonism on display make the film difficult to watch.
The Last Song, written for the screen by novelist Nicholas Sparks and starring Miley Cyrus, is treacly, preposterous and full of clichés. It's also moving and, for the most part, family-friendly, focusing on themes of human failure and forgiveness.
- April 05, 2010 |
The ads for Clash of the Titans suggest epic entertainment, superb special effects and the catch phrase of the year so far—"Release the Kraken!"—but there's nothing epic about Titans other than the sense of disappointment it leaves in viewers.
- April 02, 2010 |
Considering its intricately crafted animation and heartwarming story, you'd think How to Train Your Dragon was Pixar's latest flick. But it is a DreamWorks project, and it's refreshing to see a movie that doesn't rely on a slew of pop culture references and lowbrow humor to entertain.
- March 29, 2010 |
For a film that tries so hard to make a grand statement about the messiness of humanity and how "hurt people hurt people," there's something incredibly contrived and hollow about Greenberg, the latest from writer/director Noah Baumbach.
- March 26, 2010 |
These days, getting the girl looks a little different with Gerard Butler on the scene. Officially kicking Mr. Sensitive to the curb, his character's idea of a fun night involves throwing his ex in the trunk and carting her off to jail for a cool 20k in The Bounty Hunter.
- March 19, 2010 |
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is fitfully funny, and at times is surprisingly fresh in its take on adolescence. But the film slips into standard comedy fare a bit too often, keeping it from being the breakout comedy it threatens to be early in its running time.
- March 19, 2010 |
The Yellow Handkerchief is a small but potent story of human failing and the power of forgiveness. Although Kristen Stewart and her young male co-star Eddie Redmayne do fine with their roles, it's William Hurt who walks away with the film.
- March 15, 2010 |
Before Green Zone, Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon teamed for two of the Jason Bourne films to much better effect. Although the third Bourne film revolved around issues, its main concern was a character. Green Zone is about an issue—the Iraq War—rather than about its characters.
For whatever reason, trouble and tragedy seem to follow Robert Pattinson's characters wherever they go. First as Edward Cullen, the vampire who sparkles in the sunlight in Twilight. And now, as Tyler Hawkins, a brooding young man straight out of J.D. Salinger's imagination.