THE TREE OF LIFEMalick's epic showcase of grace and nature is abstract and mysterious, but nothing less than phenomenal. This is a movie that dares to combine bold imagery depicting the origins of our universe and shift to the tiniest intimate details of love and hate in the American nuclear family. You will contemplate god, science, philosophy, fate, chance, good vs evil before your large popcorn and Diet Coke is no more.
Pure perfection mix of simple old-fashioned storytelling coming when it's needed most. Not only does it look spot on technically, but everyone's heart is into it - cast, crew and the spirit of cinema. It shouldn't work, and it does in spades.
Horror fans rejoice. James Wan's INSIDIOUS is a real deal shock fest that delivers genuine scares with a tiny budget. In addition to some incredibly terrifying, jump-out-of-your-seat visuals, it earns its way under your skin and may just follow you home.
Profound AND exciting, it might just be the best movie about the game of baseball ever made, and that's including FIELD OF DREAMS. Bennett Miller brings an almost documentary approach, commanding realistic performances and true appeal that's beyond what could have been sport-movie schmaltz.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Fincher knows what he's doing with his bleakly nihilistic adaptation of the mega-best-selling novel. It is often viscerally darker and more vicious than its literary counterpart ever got. What works best is the pacing and mood, which is completely a team effort of Zaillian's script, Renzor's score, an expert cast and the Oscar winning editing team of Baxter and Wall. Rooney Mara specifically stuns you with her expansion of Lisbeth as a complex anti-hero you feel for from frame one. Here's one first film in a trilogy you'll want to continue.
Second time's a charm for this Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman team-up, probably more so than JUNO. Here it's Jason Reitman's direction that firmly establishes him as a modern-day Mike Nichols. Charlize Theron is brilliant as Mavis, and her comedy-of-errors antics make up for the films our generation only dreamed John Hughes would make post the 1980s. It's a movie that won't work for everyone, but for Generation X, it's easily the most relatable film since GROSSE POINTE BLANK.
One part slacker fantasy, one part nihilistic apocalypse-for-the-now. It's a one-of-a-kind mad vision that balances the right amount of hipster chutzpah with its filmmaking chops. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I had a smile on my face pretty much throughout the entire film. Either it's this generation's Breathless, or a complete ego-trip captured on home-made cameras.
Can high art and commercial hollywood merge together in a big budget holiday film for the entire family (and in 3D no less)? Scorsese is out to prove it can, and despite some minor plot problems, his newest film is a charming love letter to cinema unlike anything ever attempted by him. Visually complex, but sweetly told. It might just interest a whole new generation to Film History.
Kevin Smith's tour-de-force political statement may feel like it has one foot in satire one and foot in torture-porn, but where it truly excels is in its direction of a stellar cast. Melissa Leo is phenomenal, surpassing anything she's done to date and John Goodman pulls upon his Coen Brother repertoire to deliver a believable character in a surreal setting. The entire film owes much to FARGO, with some notes of Gus Van Sant and Quentin Tarantino, but it is a fully focused Kevin Smith movie that is sure to get people talking.
This is a painfully realistic slice of High School outcasts and social structure, very much like HEATHERS , but stripped of its camp and black humor. As the title suggests, this is a character film, and not necessarily played for plot. It requires you go with its point-of-view, which is largely carried by a good performance from Jacob Wysocky. It redeems a frank second half, unafraid to go places other films would shy away from.
PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES
most disappointing/worst films
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
THE RUM DIARY
COWBOYS & ALIENS
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU
THE IRON LADY