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Movie Reviews

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Feb 22,2008
A film of brutal, breathtaking intelligence, a work of pellucid, shimmering art without a scintilla of compromise, "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days" is surely one of the very best films of the year. And you can pick the year.   '4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS' - Anamaria Marinca stars in the drama '4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days.' CNS Photo courtesy of Mobra Films.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - ... [full story]
1509 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Don't have a cow, man, but "The Simpsons Movie" is an underachiever. Which is to say it's fun, and better than most of the twaddle that's out there, on big screen or (not-so-)small(-anymore). But in the end - and from the very beginning, for that matter - it's nothing more than a "Simpsons" episode writ, or rather, animated large.   'THE SIMPSONS MOVIE' - When Homer mistakenly pollutes the river with toxic waste from the power ... [full story]
1761 times read - No comment posted

Jan 25,2008
It opens with the torture and slow death of a kitten, which neatly captures the spirit and tone of the execrable, excruciating "Untraceable." Yet another serial killer is on the loose. The worst kind, at that: A fiendish computer wunderkind whose machinations send police and FBI agents scurrying to their terminals, where we endure scene after scene of fingers tapping on keys. I ask you, what kind of society produces monsters like these? Or, more ... [full story]
2008 times read - No comment posted

Feb 29,2008
One could have hoped that "Shrek," with its moralizing switcheroo ending, imposed at least a generation-long hold on the ugly-princess-with-a-curse template. But that would have been a squandering of hope, which, come to think of it, doesn't do you any good when you're born, as the poor little rich girl Penelope (Christina Ricci) was, with the snout of a pig. Because it seems the snout-curse will be lifted only when she is accepted by one ... [full story]
2012 times read - No comment posted

Feb 29,2008
The men in the Alexandria Police Band are way, way out of their element. Having arrived in Israel to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center, they've taken a bus in exactly the wrong direction and now find themselves stranded outside a small desert town.   'THE BAND'S VISIT' - Fresh from Egypt, the Alexandria Police Band finds itself stranded in Isreal's Negev desert in the comedy 'The Band's Visit.' CNS Photo courtesy of ... [full story]
1213 times read - No comment posted

Feb 15,2008
Goblins and ogres and sylphs, oh no! When the recently split-up Grace family - dad has flown - arrives at the creepy, isolated old mansion that belonged to Aunt Lucinda before she was taken to the asylum. ... (See first sentence.)    'THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES' - Hogsqueal (voiced by Seth Rogen) helps Jared Grace (Freddie Highmore) spy on the wicked creatures trying to get their hands on Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around ... [full story]
1843 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
String theory postulates that - among other things I won't go into because this is the only thing I know about string theory - ours is but one of many universes. Furthermore, the future is continually fracturing into an infinite number of alternative universes.   'NEXT' - Nicolas Cage is the man with special cognitive abilities who is brought in to help the FBI thwart a nuclear terrorist threat in 'Next.'. CNS Photo courtesy of Joseph ... [full story]
1986 times read - No comment posted

Feb 23,2007
It's supposed to get downright spooky after a while. Except it doesn't. Animal-control guy - that is, dogcatcher - Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) starts reading a tattered little self-published novel called "The Number 23" that his wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen), picked up in a used bookstore. 'THE NUMBER 23' - Virginia Madsen and Danny Huston are featured in the drama 'The Number 23.' CNS Photo courtesy of Christine Loss. Eerily, the plot of the book ... [full story]
2241 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
"Beowulf," a largely digital sword and sorcery, monster and dragon 3-D (in some theaters) flick, is taken from that very same 3,183-line Old English epic poem we were all force-fed a few lines of in high school.   'BEOWULF' - Queen Wealthow (voiced by Robin Wright Penn) appears in a dream fantasy of the hero of 'Beowulf.' CNS Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 ... [full story]
1817 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
When Matthew Broderick hacked into his high school's computer system in "WarGames" and changed Ally Sheedy's biology grade, it was downright thrilling: There was Broderick, hunched over the keyboard, Sheedy peering over his shoulder. Close-up on the keys! All that mysterious tap-tap-tapping! On his screen, a blinking cursor moved to the D; a tap of a key, and it became a B.   'PERFECT STRANGER' - Halle Berry plays a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with suspected ... [full story]
1616 times read - No comment posted

Feb 08,2008
Dilawar picked up the wrong fare. On Dec. 5, 2002, the young Afghani taxi driver gave a ride to four men. Afghani forces stopped the car at a roadblock, detained Dilawar and his passengers and turned them over to the Americans, citing suspicious material they claim to have found in the trunk.   ‘TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE’ was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS ... [full story]
1059 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Breathtaking panoramas of southern India and cinematic strokes of artistry fill "Before the Rains." Noted cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan captures memorable images of Kerala, his home state. Set in 1937 against the backdrop of Indian opposition to British colonialism, the film revolves around Henry, an English tea plantation owner and his right-hand man, Neela.   'BEFORE THE RAINS' - Linus Roache, left, and Rahul Bose star in the drama 'Before the Rains.' CNS Photo courtesy ... [full story]
4556 times read - No comment posted

Feb 27,2009
"Two Lovers" is too good to be true. In a cinematic season when studios dump their leftovers from the year before, a salient picture like this one shows up with rich characters, a heartfelt story and fine performances from a trio of 30-something actors.   4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  Joaquin Phoenix plays Leonard, a damaged man living with his ... [full story]
1913 times read - No comment posted

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