For 1,368 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jack Mathews' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Amadeus
Lowest review score: 0 Carpool
Score distribution:
1368 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    While the football sequences are carefully constructed, the sensation we get from the blizzard of images and teeth-jarring sound effects is of having our head used as the football.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The flat narration by Queen Latifah doesn't help, but Adam Ravetch and his wife Sarah Robertson's nature film, Arctic Tale, fails to inspire the kind of rapturous response we felt for "March of the Penguins" for other reasons.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The two-part film focuses on Jung-rae's one-night stand with the protégée of a colleague he invites to his seaside retreat, and then with a second woman who merely reminds him how much he liked the first. The scenery's great and the performances adequate, but wake me when it's over.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    But Allen can still write a good joke and there are some here. Not enough to say he has returned to form, but enough to remind you of what that form was.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    This strikes me as the final nail in the franchise's coffin. I can't name an actor who could have made young Lecter as interesting as the older one, but Ulliel does not come close.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    No second or third act... a one-joke premise and a hundred punchlines.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Not bad. It actually might have been considered pretty good had it been made 30 years ago, when people might have cared about the backstory of Father Merrin.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Schrader's main interest is not in the mystery, per se, but in the political intrigue of incestuous Washington, where conflicts of interest are the norm and morality is indeed relative. The points are well-taken, but Harrelson's performance often gets in their way.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    "Love" would be intolerably boring were it not for the frequent injections of humor, thanks largely to Hector Elizondo as Florentino's uncle, and for Bardem's ultimately winning performance.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    This is ensemble work at its best.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's just twice as much as we need to know about the Sex Pistols.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Jake Gyllenhaal is 21 and looks as though he's going on 16. This is not a problem for films like "Lovely & Amazing" and "The Good Girl"-- It is a problem in Moonlight Mile, where he plays a grown man recovering from the murder of his fiancée.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Chamber is chockablock with action (including a far more exciting game of Quidditch) and crafty special effects.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Heartbreakers is too long by a half-hour, and there are entire sketches (including a horrid nightclub sequence with Weaver trying to sing in Russian) that could be mercifully sacrificed.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Everything about this political thriller is ridiculous.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The romantic subtext of their characters' relationship is the film's chief liability, and feels forced and undeveloped.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    That (cinéma-vérité) feel is absolutely convincing, as are the performances.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's corny, plodding, implausible and - on occasion - seriously creepy. At the same time, it contains a couple of this movie year's most sublime sequences, and features one of Nicole Kidman's bravest and best performances.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Garlin, like Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine in "Marty," is good company, even when his out-of-control eating and self-loathing threaten to overwhelm him.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    But Burton and August have added ­anger to the mix, and it sours much of the otherwise wondrous tone.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Enjoy Christmas in Paris, if you don't have enough problems of your own, with this slice of family life from French director Daniele Thompson.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Mildly entertaining trifle.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There is no doubting Jonathan Demme's admiration for our 39th President: It's apparent from the opening scenes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A well-conceived story that is very hard to shake.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Scanner is mostly all talk, and the talk is entertaining only when it's coming from Downey. The actor's long history of drug abuse taught him a thing or two about cooked behavior, and he gives some anxious run-on monologues that are very funny.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Not enough to overcome the proven axiom that although you can make a bad movie from a good script, you can't make a good one from a bad one.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    While not nearly as elaborate as either film, Heist plays like a combination of "The Sting" and "Mission: Impossible."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The failure of a movie that is so good in so many ways leaves me to wonder if Spielberg is up to this kind of complex, multi-tasking story.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    An ambitious film that sticks with you long after you have left the theater -- because of both what it achieves and what it does not.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There are funny bits strewn throughout Game 6, and it's good to see Keaton in a meaty, nonshowy role for a change. He has the chops when he's not mugging.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Miami Vice is the last of the predicted summer blockbusters, and it delivers a reasonable amount of popcorn excitement. But if nostalgia for the TV show is the source of your interest, expect some disappointment.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    If Mussolini had a Monica Bellucci to inspire his troops, we might still be trying to take Palermo.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Though it happens two-thirds into the movie, when Lili is abandoned by the others in Greece without either luggage or money, Le Besco's vulnerability draws us into her predicament.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The movie still isn't great, but it's an important remonstration to that oldest of all studio-system curses: the producer who thinks he's more creative than the director.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Where good satire is drawn with a surgeon's scalpel, this comedy is done with a brush broad enough to paint - or, at least, hit - the side of a barn. But in the softer realm of parody, it has a good premise, a couple of funny performances and enough giggles for a reasonably good time at the movies.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    I like the idea of a cybercrimes agent cracking cases through superior knowledge of the Internet. Marsh could be a great heroine for a continuing series. But Untraceable essentially forces its audience to identify with those who would be willing accomplices to torture and murder. To understate the point, that's not an audience-friendly approach.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A speculative re-enactment of the 1999 Columbine slaughter, told from the point of view of two suburban high school nihilists as they videotape themselves preparing for the last and "best day" of their lives.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It takes nearly an hour before Stephen J. Anderson's 3-D, animated comedy Meet the Robinsons begins to make sense, and when it does, the film literally takes off. But unless you're familiar with the children's book by William Joyce from which it's adapted, that first hour is a cluttered, noisy, nearly unendurable mess.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    I'd never seen anything like it, and can say that I hope to never see anything like it again.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A harmlessly cheery confection.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Whether it's any good depends on your expectations.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Like Ceylan's earlier films, Climates is as gorgeous as it is self-consciously composed, but an hour and 40 minutes is a long time to spend with Isa, forget three seasons.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A potent drama.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It turned out that he (Duffy) had an ego like a giant ChiaPet. With a little money sprinkled over it, it grew out of control.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Meryl Streep narrates this global update on child-labor abuses with all the enthusiasm and alarm of someone reading "The Pet Goat" to a classroom of second-graders.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Without a persuasive ending, Zodiac is an exercise in frustration if not futility. But before it hits the inevitable wall, it does something better than most genre films even attempt: it perfectly depicts the obsession that often overtakes cops and reporters involved in high-profile crimes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    When you realize The Cooler is not a comedy but a dark and violent love story, it's hard to reconcile its premise with its mood. The saving graces are the performances of William H. Macy as Bernie and Maria Bello.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Though there are no Montys, full or otherwise, the finale will lift you up.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    After dazzling us with its undersea discoveries, "Aliens" turns downright silly at the end, with a fantasy sequence set in a presumed ocean on Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Barry, with a raspy Southern accent, gives a chilling portrait of a man who is absolutely sure he killed JFK. Whether he's a psychopath or a schizophrenic is not satisfactorily answered, but it's a fascinating question nonetheless.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Even without nudity, the sex scene between Meg and Auster is one of the most uncomfortable on film. Not just because of the actors' age difference (Strathairn is 54, Bruckner 17), but because of Meg's inexperience and misplaced trust.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Jovovich needed a steadying hand to keep her from flying out of her socks, and Pritikin, on his maiden solo as a director, couldn't or didn't have the heart to provide it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The ethical issues driving Michael Hoffman's The Emperor's Club almost outweigh the improbable arc of its story, and Kevin Kline's endearing performance as a prep school classics teacher is almost worth the price of admission.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The performances are all solid, but Sheen, last seen as Tony Blair in "The Queen," is so good in his incredibly demanding role that he makes the natural discomfort people feel at seeing someone so debilitated disappear completely.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Personally, I'd rather have my brain invaded by flesh-eating beetles than listen to 10 seconds of the Sex Pistols -- Truth is, I've rarely had a worse time watching a good movie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's sort of like getting off the plane in a strange place without a guide. We can figure it out, but it takes some work, and the music is more of a distraction than an aid.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The film lacks a certain coherence, and Levi - one of Italy's most important postwar writers - is mostly relegated to an excuse for a sociopolitical travelogue.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The banter between these unlikely partners seems inspired by Quentin Tarantino's ingeniously insipid dialogue, delivered with indelible deadpan sincerity by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in "Pulp Fiction." Neither the dialogue nor the characters are as interesting here.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Though Jessica Sanders' rambling documentary about the damaged lives of wrongfully imprisoned men would have made a better subject for an hour-long "Dateline" special, it's still a powerful indictment of a judicial system too anxious to close cases, and then close ranks when someone tries to reopen them.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Some viewers will call the whole business pornography, though it doesn't really qualify. The sex is blunt and enthusiastic, but arousing it ain't. In fact, when Shortbus arrives on DVD, viewers may be fast-forwarding through the sex to get to the acting.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    In the end, Weaver provides a moving and sensitive portrait of one person out of an estimated 400,000 in America with this mental disorder we are just beginning to understand.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The final image of the snow-covered landfill, having consumed the debris, provides a kind of closure for Sauret. But for the firemen, the nightmare continues.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    That Williams occasionally comes close to the author's layered spirit is a tribute to his passion. But the film fails on a number of levels. First, it is what it is: the prologue to a story that covers four(!) decades.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's not all bad. There is a funny early sequence where Prince Charming is being jeered for his lousy cabaret act in a village pub and a hilarious death-lily scene with the bullfrog King Harold (John Cleese) trying to squeak out the name of his heir while snapping up one last fly.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Paints itself into a corner from which it cannot escape. By the end, the movie is still in that corner, tossing out overlapping notes of hope and gloom and counting on viewers to write the ending they want. I'd leave the movie in the corner.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Shines an admiring light on some lawyers who endure low pay, terrible win-loss records and the occasional scorn of family, friends and the media for "defending the bad guys."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Julie Taymor says the idea for her Across the Universe was "to create an original musical using only the songs of the Beatles." That's like saying you're going to create a new element using only gold.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    This is a midnight stoner movie if there ever was one.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    If Lazarescu's experience is typical in the former Soviet bloc, democracy hasn't done much to humanize the bureaucracy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    He (Hogan) and the other backers of the movie are betting that Dundee has been gone long enough to make him seem fresh, or -- like that old uncle -- at least welcome.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Hoffman is a fine actor in a rut, working on a string of socially alienated characters who are variations on the same theme. That's too bad, because the story being told around his static presence is amazing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Despite being abandoned in the late going by his director, Cheadle gives one of the year's most fully realized performances, and Henson is a revelation.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Uneven but fitfully entertaining.
    • New York Daily News
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Deeply disturbing, but dramatically realized, and the movie marks Burke as a young talent to watch.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Does an excellent job of telling Kerry's side of it.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    I don't know if it was intentional, but Drake seems to come out of the same sandy hole in which our troops found the cowering Saddam Hussein.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Johnson combines the elements of classic 1940s film noir and "Rebel Without a Cause"-style teen angst in a movie that is as phony as it is ambitious. It's an A+ film school exercise with zero emotional or social impact.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Ultimately, it's the casting and the story that are too good to be true. If a newspaper's classified ad section could document a success like this one, there would never be a slump.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Missing beneath its fabulous surface, however, is anything like a beating heart.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The movie ends on exactly the right note, but it hits a lot of bad ones on the way.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Julie Taymor's beautifully stylized but nauseatingly violent adaptation of Shakespeare's first play.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    In the end, Phantom needed more human and less digital scale. The magic of "Star Wars" lay in Lucas' ability to play the human comedy in a fantastic future. With Phantom, he has brought the series to the brink of total artificiality, the future as a video game.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's no great thing, but in their (Weinstein brothers') heyday as Oscar campaigners, they could have made Redford a contender.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The voice performances are great, particularly those from LaBeouf and Bridges, who's in a "Big Lebowski" mood. But a moratorium on penguin movies may be in order.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The problem is that the movie spends as much time on the boring detective chasing Lucas as on the drug lord himself.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    So far beyond Bollywood, I think it's set in the suburbs of L.A.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Vardy draws the moral conflicts in broad strokes, but as a portrait of a man torn between his faith and the urges of his liberated hormones, it has honest depth.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It could do without any kind of love story, let alone the one it got.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Draggy for long stretches, and never funny, Comedy of Power is a showcase - as if she needed another - for Huppert's chameleon qualities. She's an actress who can make a phone-book reading interesting, and that is pretty much the challenge she meets here.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Frears story's grotesque subject offers an opportunity for a sick audience payoff that is more "Death Wish" than social commentary, and he takes it. It works -- you'll laugh! you'll gulp! -- but it's cheap.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Treu and screenwriter Jessica Barondes may not have their ears to the ground that's trod by real kids, but as they did with their previous film, "Wish Upon a Star," they're allowed to dream.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Some of it is brilliant, some is tedious and some is just plain incoherent.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Rather than heightening our sense of empathy, we become numbed by the repetition.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There are two reasons to see - and hear - Agnieszka Holland's Copying Beethoven. One is Ed Harris' performance as the nearly deaf and totally egocentric Ludwig van; the other is a cherry-picked 10-minute chunk of the composer's soaring Ninth Symphony.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    All trash, all all the time, a run-on burlesque of lust.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Alche has an amazingly expressive face and becomes such a magnetic presence that you'll feel a distinct need to rescue her.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Ultimately, The Four Feathers is strong where its predecessors were weak (in the authenticity of combat) and weak where they were strong (in the larger-than-life quality of the characters). It's not a good exchange.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There are certainly glimpses of his underused talent. But there aren't enough of those moments to elevate Croupier above the level of routine melodrama.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    An unabashed celebration of her (Amalia) distinctive voice.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    In any case, the movie moves only when she's (Richardson) in the center of it, and her complex performance as a woman balancing her dignity with her survival instincts is one of the year's very best.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Dumb fun is the best way to describe The Independent, and I mean that as a compliment.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A popcorn movie with a protein center, satisfying neither taste.
    • New York Daily News
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    You watch with amazement their physical movements, how closely their lips match their overly precise, prerecorded dialogue, yet they're not human enough to get us past the stunt factor and lost in the drama.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There's no question she's a smart cookie, but as she herself says, "There's a thin line between smart and crazy."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    By turns brilliant and tedious, imaginative and mundane.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    More amiably mindless summer distraction than just about anything Hollywood has to offer this season.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There’s no questioning the sincerity of the filmmakers or the urgency of the subject matter, but the clumsiness with which this harrowing story of a child soldier in Africa may wear you out long before the puzzle is put together.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The movie crams in so many of the events and characters of Thack­eray's 900-page novel that the story often seems to be moving on fast-forward, pausing here and there to introduce a character, then skipping ahead — from London to the country to Brussels and on, eventually, to India.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Treats the poets not as creative equals but as a groundbreaking genius and a jealous, vindictive hack. Wordsworth is Salieri to Coleridge's Mozart.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Among the unforgettable images is that of artificial limbs floating to earth on parachutes, while below, one-legged men on crutches race each other to the prizes.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    If you care more about the quality of the movie than the food, language or location, there's no choice: Order Chinese.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Plays like a long TV sketch, but with an array of characters, themes, subplots and situations just clever enough to keep it moving, and to give cover to its underlying cynicism.
    • New York Daily News
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There is really nothing wrong with Peter Chelsom's Town & Country that younger stars would not have solved.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's galling to see such a low-life canonized in a film, but it's also riveting drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Commits the sin of a hundred sports biographies in overselling its inherent drama.
    • New York Daily News
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The movie is full of freshman mistakes, but Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance in the title role is the gutsiest thing she's done since her breakout in "Secretary," and she succeeds despite serious contradictions in the writing of her character.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Passingly enjoyable summer fluff, but if you can find a more genial, less edgy caper movie, you might want to own it as a pet.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    If you get through the first hour without slitting your throat, the cautiously optimistic last third offers some intriguing options.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The movie adds up to one of the smartest and most ambitious political thrillers in years. But if you find a more difficult movie to follow this year, it will be in Mandarin without subtitles.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Apocalypto exists solely as an action-adventure and a deft cinematic demonstration of man's capacity for cruelty. This is the true passion of Mel.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Rai's acting is frustratingly passive in Provoked, and the script is laced with prison and courtroom cliches. But the movie gets most of the facts straight and the flashbacks to the wife's abuse are harrowing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Turturro's Luzhin is a cinematic soulmate of Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man and Geoffrey Rush's David Helfgott.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A perversely dark romantic comedy shot and edited in the contemporary fairy-tale style of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Amélie." But this one has a dagger for a heart.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    In any case, this is the image of the marquis we would know had he been handled by a top publicity team.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The dialogue often sounds like arch Mamet, and John Swanbeck's direction is as spare as the hotel-room decor.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Moore is as gutsy an actress as there is today, and I'm not sure I've seen a star as dressed down for a psychological unpeeling since Jessica Lange in "Frances," in 1982, or farther back, Olivia de Havilland in 1948's "The Snake Pit." It's strong stuff.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The story, which was inspired by an Albanian novel and the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, ends with a literary patness. But it's still a potent tale of fraternal love and the loss of innocence.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A curious entry in the current wave of raunchy youth comedies. It's refreshingly free of scatological humor, but even while aiming higher, it can't raise its focus above the belt.
    • New York Daily News
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    With any sitcom, the freshness is ultimately in the writing, and I think the jokes are better here than in Analyze This, and the actors are more comfortable together. I don't know if De Niro is softening or has lost his edge, but he now seems content mocking himself.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Unrelentingly bleak, the movie is nonetheless a riveting drama with some outstanding performances.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A slicker, faster-paced, high-tech upgrade that lifts the sprightly spirit and the main action set piece from the original while developing its own twists and a new ending that, though a bit too pat and eager to please, is a vast improvement.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The saga might have worked better as a novel, where we could cast the characters with our imaginations, and keep them straight.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Once again, the director's eye is faultless as he captures both the essence and beauty of the art of Jang Seung-up, Korea's legendary 19th-century painter. But he doesn't capture the artist's soul.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's frightening because it's so effective in fomenting fear and because it's so easy to recruit bombers among repressed and hopeless societies.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Some of the banter is fun, like Randal's debate with Elias over the relative merits of "Star Wars" vs. "The Lord of the Rings." But most is just trash-talk as shoptalk.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The result is a handsome, action-packed biographical drama with a credibility gap wider than the screen.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The skiers' explanations, on the order of "no risk, no adventure," won't wash with people born without the daredevil gene and watching them fly down these vertical blankets of snow, often out of control, is a little like watching a train wreck
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Levin learned nothing that should surprise anyone who is both sentient and sane. But in tracing much of this contemporary anti-Semitism to a phony 19th-century document in which Jewish leaders lay out plans for taking over the world, we at least get some understanding of how some twisted people justify their hatred and fear of Jews.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Polley, the paraplegic incest victim in Atom Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter," gives a mesmerizing central performance.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The result of Moskowitz's sleuthing is Stone Reader, a combination mystery, book celebration and -- sorry to say -- intrusively annoying self-portrait of the filmmaker.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Intermittently funny.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Berg has an excellent eye for violent extravaganza and the action - especially a 10-15 minute set piece midway through - is as cleansing as a high colonic.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Miller's film shows how quickly Americans facing perceived foreign threats are willing to ignore basic liberties. Sound familiar?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There's solid chemistry between Cruise and the stunning Newton, a superb actress previously restricted to such ethnic roles as Sally Hemings in "Jefferson in Paris" and the title role in "Beloved."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Most of the film is so purposefully bound by its construct that it feels more like a creative-writing project (sure, give it an A) than a movie (B-).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    This is an eye-opening story that doesn't quite hold together as a movie, but it deals with honor in men's lives in ways rare to mainstream film.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    First-time feature director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's dark, complex allegory about luck, chance and fate is one of the year's most morbidly fascinating foreign films.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    But for what is at heart a thriller, Code 46 lacks both energy and tension.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A safety-first, tried-and-true inspirational story that stays the course right down to its "It's a Wonderful Life" ending.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A series of unfortunate events occurred during the making of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and they all had to do with Jim Carrey.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Maybe Miss Potter will be best appreciated on video when you will intuitively know when to turn it off. On the other hand, Potter's pastel illustrations, which often come to life to her and to the camera's eye, deserve the larger canvas. Tough call.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Gilliam's first fully equipped playpen and if he musses it up -- I mean, really musses it up --well, prodigies will be prodigies.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Feels less like history than a bad episode of "Mission: Impossible."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Anything, Steven, anything would be better than making us watch the same movie again.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Gerstel's efforts are a testament to her own humanity and a ray of inspiration for some ultimate peace. But it also speaks to the near futility of individual forgiveness in a continuing tinderbox of hatred.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    As delicious as this premise is, Cats & Dogs is about as funny as a hairball left on your pillow.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Penn is projecting heroic qualities onto a young guy who simply got in over his head.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The film makers are so anxious to please their audience that they turn the last act into a preposterous cat-and-mouse game that nullifies the integrity of the story.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Inexplicable human bondage is a literary staple of film as well as literature, but Kurys ("Entre Nous"), usually so sure-handed with her actors, has trouble making this bond compelling.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There's no avoiding the fact that it's a one-joke movie, 86 minutes in the telling, and without any serious social underpinnings, it grows old pretty fast.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The film's asset, in a walk, is Bening, whose comic timing puts Shandling to shame.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Much of this is pretty funny, in its perverse, disorienting style, and there's an irrepressible sunniness to the relationship between Lola and Hlynur's mother.
    • New York Daily News
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The veteran Cranham and young Bill play their incompatible characters with dead-pan aplomb, and Derek Jacobi adds heft as Churchill's chief intelligence officer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A movie with better parts than a whole. But where it's right, it's really right.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's beautiful to look at, and marvelously edited, but it's hard to know exactly what he's getting at. [28 May 1999]
    • New York Daily News
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A sports movie for people who may not care about sports but can't resist a heart-tugging underdog story.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The performances by Smith, Brewster and veteran David Morse, as a morbidly depressed widower, elevate Nearing Grace to something near grace.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    It's certainly not scary; it's not even suspenseful. The tension in Hannibal is purely sexual.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Not a great movie, but it certainly does justice to the great historical event it dramatizes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The play's most acclaimed performance - rotund Richard Griffiths as the closeted teacher Hector - is great in the movie, too.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Might be thought of as "Memento" for people who didn't get "Memento."
    • New York Daily News
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A near-saving grace is Christopher Walken, perfectly cast as the creepy store clerk who gives Michael the magic remote, then follows him through life like a gleefully incompetent guardian angel.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The framing sequences with Downey and the climactic scenes between father and son are a mess. Downey, at 41, is too old to be playing a character who can be no more than 31 or 32, and 50-year-old Eric Roberts is an even greater distraction as Montiel's imprisoned friend Antonio.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    You won't find many insights into the personalities, or even a hint of the demons that plagued Garcia until his death, but seeing the two men together -- keeps a smile on your face and your feet tapping throughout.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    If it's not one of the five best of 1999, it's a personal best for Weaver, and that's pretty good.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Not quite as funny as it wants to be. Mostly, it's just silly. But as always, the Coens are entertaining themselves first.and their quirky individuality has served them and their fans well so far.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    At one point, Junge complains that her memories are banal, and they are -- But when sounds of war penetrate the bunker and the end is near, the details become high drama.
    • New York Daily News
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Ultimately, it's too much information coming too fast.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Ozpetek moves things along at a snail's pace and lays the sentiment down thickly. But it's a potent tale, wonderfully acted by Mezzogiorno and Massimo Girotti as the old man.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    CQ
    May have more enthusiasm and attitude than good story sense, but it, too, is the work of someone who might be at this game for a long time.
    • New York Daily News
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Beautifully assembled and edited by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato ("The Eyes of Tammy Faye") and is often very funny.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There are jolts galore in a movie stuffed with the basic tricks of the evil-spirit trade - banging noises in the attic, slamming doors and windows, spinning clocks, shaking beds, rabid beasts, disappearing children and the occasional moment of eyeball-rolling possession.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Less a complete story than a work-in-progress.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Whether you're charmed or bored by the movie depends entirely on your feelings for Amelie, a young woman whose hyper-quirky personality both takes some getting used to and grows old fast.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Writer, director and star Anthony Hopkins releases his inner muse with Slipstream, and guess who shows up - David Lynch!
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A missed opportunity to shed light on one of America's most turbulent times.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Carell and Freeman are great together and Wanda Sykes' acerbic humor is perfect for her role as Evan's perplexed assistant.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A fragmented, episodic feel and a conclusion that seems both remote and remote-controlled.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    I wanted more. I expected more. The filmmakers said it was going to be smart - really smart - like all of Lee's movies. Instead, it's big, dumb and fun.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The Brighton Beach crowds come off more like tourists, and the Odessans in Israel can't seem to decide which is their real homeland. And it's all very confusing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The movie has an ironic and unpredictable ending, but it doesn't wash away the sour taste of Brad's behavior.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Paltrow does this role exceptionally well, but it is underwritten.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    An unusually shallow and facile work for Brooks, but the writing and the performances - other than Leoni's - keep us at least halfway involved.
    • New York Daily News
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    What Haggis obviously wants to explore is what the war in Iraq is doing to the humanity of our soldiers there. By approaching it indirectly, he simplifies it to a degree that I expect will anger many Iraq veterans.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Meadows is very good with the boys' relationship, and achieves his and Fraser's central goal of showing how childhood bonds can be simultaneously fragile and strong.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The good news here is that Woolley and his writers have taken the mystery surrounding Jones' tragic 1969 death as their main interest, and have adopted as fact the long-cherished rumor that the blond rocker's drowning was a case of murder. It may be speculative history, but at least it's a story.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Though it is not nearly as funny as last summer's "Wedding Crashers," directing brothers Joe and Anthony Russo's You, Me and Dupree has plenty of chuckles and another sparkling, post-adolescent surfer-dude performance from Owen Wilson.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A light-footed comedy that suggests that for even the most desperate, love is just around the corner.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    A meticulous, elaborate stunt, a movie two degrees of separation from its source, and maybe another degree from viewers' hearts.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Like Wong's past films, 2046 is lovely to behold, elegantly moody and rich in atmospherics. And the women caught in Chow's web are extraordinary beauties.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Best of this trio is Bruno's 50-minute Sacrifice, a series of vivid and heartbreaking interviews with girls and young women who have been sold or drafted out of rural Burma into sexual bondage at Thai brothels.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Cruise isn't horribly miscast, a la Tony Curtis in "The Son of Ali Baba" or John Wayne as Genghis Khan in "The Conqueror," but he doesn't miss by far.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Though his latest, Sunshine State, shows Sayles usual literary care, it's a very slight work compared with such cinematic tomes as "Lone Star," "Matewan" and "Eight Men Out."
    • New York Daily News
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The homoerotic relationship between Friedrich and Albrecht is stopped short by tragedy, but the point is made - to Friedrich and the audience - that fascism has no room for humanity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    The result is a charming, inventive, ambitious, surreal mess.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    There are too many characters undergoing life changes in the story for each to be properly developed in an 82-minute movie. But for the most part, the actors get the work done.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    [Boyle] shrugs off any intellectual pretense to rollick in a dead-on scare fest. On that level, 28 Days Later is indeed a frightfully good time.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    One of those bright ideas for a TV sketch that convinces someone it's too good to waste on the small screen. It's not.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Jack Mathews
    Pretty much a road to nowhere.

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