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movie reviews

A Lot Like Love

4

Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Ali Larter, Kathryn Hahn, Moon Bloodgood

Directed by: Nigel Cole

Even if you profess a deep like for Amanda Peet (I do) and Ashton Kutcher (the jury's still out), seven years of them is a bit much. That's what you get packed into two hours of A Lot Like Love, which is a lot like a lot of other romantic comedies that make two lovers of friends (When Harry Met Sally, Serendipity) and a lot not like the two witty and wise Richard Linklater movies — Before Sunrise and Before Sunset — that span the relationship between Ethan Hawke and Juli... | More »

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

6

John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer

Directed by: Alex Gibney

It's scarier than The Amityville Horror, as scandalous as Fahrenheit 9/11 and loaded with more conspiracies than The Interpreter. Alex Gibney's riveting documentary is a rape story, with the public trust as the victim. The perp is Enron, the Houston power company led by Kenneth Lay and his wingman Jeff Skilling. Based on the book of the same name that traced the events that brought down Enron in 2001, the film is no rehash. It's a ringing indictment of corporate greed that exte... | More »

April 15, 2005

House of D

4

Robin Williams, Anton Yelchin, David Duchovny, Tea Leoni, Tyler Hoechlin

Directed by: David Duchovny

Coming of age, Duchovny style in his feature debut as a director, X Files David Duchovny shows a sharp eye for composition. It's his tin ear for dialogue that dulls this nostalgia piece about Tom Warshaw (Duchovny), an artist living in Paris with his French wife and remembering his life in Manhattan, circa 1973, when he turned thirteen — just as his own son is doing now. Fade to Greenwich Village, where young Tommy (Anton Yelchin, offering subtlety in a film that is parched for it)... | More »

Palindromes

6

Ellen Barkin, Christopher Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Shayna Levine, Stephen Adly Guirgis

Directed by: Todd Solondz

The films of Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness, Storytelling) read the same forward or backward — they rub the grotesque in our faces, the better to see ourselves, my dears. His latest shocker, the tling and powerful Palindromes, casts eight actors to play Aviva, the pregnant thirteen-year-old girl who runs away from home after her mother (a superb Ellen Barkin) talks her into an abortion. The actors range from Emani Sledge, 6, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, 43, to a preteen... | More »

The Amityville Horror

2

Jimmy Bennett, III, Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Rachel Nichols, Chloe Grace Moretz

Directed by: Andrew Douglas

Let's t with the good news: The house looks great, especially at night with a storm rattling its windows. Or is that noise coming from ghosts moaning inside? Everyone loves a haunted-house movie. That's why the first Amityville Horror, in 1979, was a hit despite being boring, stupid and excruciatingly overacted (the scariest element was Rod Steiger hamming it up as a priest). The remake, also called The Amityville Horror, as if the earlier movie never existed, isn't much bette... | More »

April 7, 2005

Sahara

4

Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, William H Macy, Steve Zahn, Lambert Wilson

Directed by: Breck Eisner

An ironclad battleship, lost since the Civil War, is found in the Sahara desert by explorer Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey), who uses the ship's ancient cannons to defend himself, his Italian buddy Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) and Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz), the babe scientist they just happen to have on board. The enemy is the African dictator (Lennie James) who is now strafing them from his chopper. That cool scene and others like it — a nifty chase in a high-tech speedboat that ... | More »

Fever Pitch

4

Kadee Strickland, Ione Skye, Miranda Black, Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon

Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Cute kills. Or at least it does in this initially promising romantic comedy about Ben the teacher (Jimmy Fallon), who is a Red Sox fanatic, and Lindsey the power exec (Drew Barrymore), who is not. As the indulge in a cute-off — he says she talks out of the side of her mouth like "an adorable stroke victim" — you realize that Nick Hornby's acerbic British novel about a fan's obsession with a losing soccer team has been Americanized into fluff. Nothing is really at stake... | More »

April 1, 2005

Sin City

7

Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Jamie King, Rosario Dawson

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino

The worst thing I can say about this savage, sexy and ferociously funny screen translation of three stories from Frank Miller's Sin City series of graphic novels is that it's too much of a good thing. Your eyes go boing so early that the effect wears off. But stick with it. As opposed to the arty and enervated Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which also filmed actors against computer-generated backgrounds, Sin City has a restless bug-fuck vitality. It'll be way too much f... | More »

March 31, 2005

Kontroll

6

Sandor Badar, Eszter Balla, Sandor Csanyi, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Zsolt Nagy

Directed by: Nimrod Antal

A hooded serial killer stalks the Budapest subway while Bulcsu (the appealingly disheveled Sandor Csanyi) and four other ticket inspectors — they're called Kontroll — try to stop the next victim from being pushed in front of a train. Shooting in the underground, lit by an eerie fluorescent glow, first-time writer-director Nimrod Antal spices the suspense with laughs and sex — Bulcsu drools for a hottie (Eszter Balla) in a bear suit — but it's the whooshing te... | More »

Look At Me

7

Agnes Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Marilou Berry, Laurent Grevill, Serge Riaboukine

Directed by: Agnes Jaoui

Lolita (Marilou Berry) is twenty, a talented singer and the daughter of Etienne Cassard (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a famous author and publisher whom she can guilt-trip into giving her things. She is also fat, which in the Paris world of her father and his young trophy wife (Virginie Desarnauts) represents a social faux pas that leaves her ignored by society and especially by him. Her lovers use her to get close to her dad, and in a subtler way so does Sylvia (Agnes Jaoui), her music teacher, who i... | More »

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