Lisa Schwarzbaum
Select another critic »
For 1,909 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 71% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Lowest review score: 0 88 Minutes
Score distribution:
1,909 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The always surprising Watts creates a woman at once contemporary and retro. And Norton, as a producer as well as star, concedes enough space for Schreiber and the effortlessly fascinating Jones to earn their own spotlights.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Darkly funny, twisty-cool existential tragicomedy, loaded with smart notions and filmed like a surrealist dream.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Diverges to become something quite powerfully unnerving and guilt-ridden.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Following 2009's "Bluebeard," French filmmaker Catherine Breillat continues her unique and psychologically, erotically daring deconstruction of classic fairy tales and the female condition.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a staring contest with his audience, Solondz never blinks. He picks and picks at the themes that consume him, and he doesn't care who stays and who leaves. Me, I'm rapt.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For all its wispy fun, Small Time Crooks still tilts, with little-guy stubbornness, at windmills in Allen's mind.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A traffic map of calls and responses, lessons and homework, wishes and fulfillment. All roads lead to acting-award nominations, but none lead to truth.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a pretty, surface-y documentary rather than the kind of exciting one Vreeland would have demanded, declaring, "You gotta have style!"
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Many have tried, but none can match Malick's touch for shuffling a deck of elegiac images (water/sky/clouds/rain) and fanning out the hand to express what speech cannot; he's a master, too, of incorporating sound that is often wordless but never empty.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The superb screenplay won an award at Cannes this year for good reason.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Slums of Beverly Hills has the kind of big heart, strong voice, vivid look, and original sense of humor many young artists -- particularly young female artists -- don't find until they're riper, and some never find at all.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something Slavic about Warner's storytelling.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Surprisingly square portrait of avant-garde artist and director Robert Wilson.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Adapting Satrapi's graphic novel about a violinist (Mathieu Amalric) in late-1950s Tehran who's got a broken fiddle and a broken heart and takes to his bed, willing himself to die, the filmmakers rely on expressive eyes to carry a narrative style suitable for a silent movie.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With an outstanding screenplay by Brian Koppelman and disciplined direction by Koppelman and David Levien, a story that could have been generic (or worse, scented with flowery bulls---) turns into a precise, honest, and affecting drama.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gentle study in human resilience and luck.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ziplessness has rarely looked so inviting, nor have a couple of actors seemed so much like real people -- attractive, but hardly hunks of perfection -- who happened to get lucky, and are delighted to throw some of their guiltless good fortune our way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almodovar is positively mature, adapting a novel by Ruth Rendell so deftly that the plot now also describes the invigorating and sometimes disorienting effects of democracy after long years of repression under the Franco regime.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Underneath, 21 Jump Street is a riot of risks that pay off, the biggest of which might be handing Tatum funny business.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mamet regulars Ricky Jay and Joe Mantegna blend well with Mamet newbie Tim Allen, a treat as a spoiled-rotten aging Hollywood action star.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The tonal elegance of this black comedy set in a dark time -- is boldly dependent on performances that tug at taut lines of moral complexity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gray has an artful, understated way of conveying what's going ?on inside, often simply by focusing his camera on Kazan.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a tidiness and affection to this British homage to John Hughes movies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A stirring action movie -- in the international manner of ''The Fast Runner'' or ''No Man's Land."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Clever, laid-back.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is sometimes profound in its simple, optimistic message of friendship -- and sometimes it's plain simple.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Teasing drama whose relentless good-deed/bad-deed reversals are just interesting enough to make a sinner like me pray for an even more interesting, less symmetrical, less obviously cross-shaped creation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ong-Bak (taken from the name of the sacred statue) is delivered raw, with an on-the-fly compositional approach from director Prachya Pinkaew that includes dim lighting and jumbled editing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The added value that writer-director Douglas McGrath has in mind is gossip -- and a goggly interest in gossip becomes the glittering gimmick of Infamous.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When they're good, the Yes Men are astonishing, anarchic sights to behold.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Film music by Nino Rota provides a Fellini overlay.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Skarsgard's utter finesse in the role provides a satisfying warmth.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In his debut feature, the director is wise enough to move his hand-held camera wherever Steen wants to go.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaker of August Evening creates a succession of quiet, elliptical scenes that accrue into an affecting big picture of family ties and immigrant experience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This measured bio-production might be viewed as a lesser companion piece to "Vera Drake" -- although in the case of Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman, all the period-piece tastefulness makes for a story more instructive than emotionally tangible.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nerve-rattling in the best way, the sharp, visceral urban police procedural End of Watch is one of the best American cop movies I've seen in a long time.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's so much dark material jammed into this complicated, conflicted, challenging, and charismatic man's (Gibson) own noggin that sometimes he knows not, I think, what he's done. Here, behold, Mel Gibson has made the weirdest, most violent movie of the year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An Orson Welles-size Gérard Depardieu does gallant work as the town's leftist mayor.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And for a movie that stars acts of God, this work of mortals provides surprisingly little liftoff. The stuff that whips through the angry skies in Twister is the most exciting part of the spectacle. Essentially, we're turned on by debris.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The cockeyed devotion with which writer-director Roger Donaldson dramatizes the story of New Zealand motorcycle legend Burt Munro and his classic 1920 bike in The World's Fastest Indian is in direct proportion to the cockeyed devotion with which Munro himself pursued his lifetime goal of setting a land-speed record at Bonneville Flats, Utah.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Using the droll, wise stories of Etgar Keret as her guide, Israeli filmmaker Tatia Rosenthal concocts an artful film that expresses deep thoughts, lightly.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Resonant examination of friendship, fame, cultural trends, and the creative process.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Kenan directs with a zingy sense of kids, comedy, fright, and visual perspective. But the movie also shimmers and shakes in all its motion-capture animated beauty with the slyly deep sensibilities of executive producer Robert Zemeckis.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Everything you've ever loved (or hated) but were afraid to laugh at in Asian martial-arts movies, ''Matrix''-ian bullet-time actioners, and Farrellyesque slapstick comedies -- all rolled into Hong Kong's highest-grossing local production ever.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A funny and intermittently sharp German satire that musters gentle nostalgia for East German communism while mocking the not-so-distant past.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Illusionist looks rigorously styled and measured, and every one of Norton's postures feels chosen. Yet the interesting actor has chosen so thoughtfully that we're riveted.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Each and every character in Christopher Guest's latest hilarious cultural corrective is something inspiring to behold.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The generosity and gorgeousness with which Aussie writer-director Stephan Elliott (and costume designers Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel) turn this most unlikely road picture into something arresting - if a tad sentimental - in its naive vision of a perfectly tolerant world.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With a slow, relentless buildup focused on sexual humiliation, Compliance intensifies the "requests" put on Sandra, and eventually other employees, to behave immorally in the name of cooperation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jacquot economically conveys the small, painful sacrifices both lovers -- but particularly the woman -- must make, and the constant, ongoing negotiations of power required to maintain no-strings freedom.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Miracle -- the title taken from TV announcer Al Michaels' famous game-clinching cheer, ''Do you believe in miracles? Yes!'' -- wins not when it exhorts by word but when it shows by action.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bon Voyage arrives like one of those old soldiers who stumbles from his hiding place unaware that the war is over and the world has changed -- and with it, French cinema.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a character study more than a forward-moving drama, plopped down with exquisite photographic care in a beautiful New Mexico desert, and starring good actors who make a feast of their flavorful roles.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a thin line between 20th-century Nazism and 21st-century corporate culture in Heartbeat Detector, Nicolas Klotz's rewardingly chilly psychological thriller.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the tradition of such food-as-love films as "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "Big Night", kitchen work is idealized as a form of communion in this indulgently nostalgic story -- deep-fried with plot, script, and character cliches but honey glazed with goodwill...
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stronger on beautiful imagery than on narrative flow.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A dark and hilarious thwomping of the whole miserablist British gangster genre.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Toni Collette gives it the old "Little Miss Sunshine" try in The Black Balloon as an edge-of-kooky, very pregnant mama presiding over a chaotic household.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There is also a manufactured symmetry, an every-gal's-got-issues roundness, an HBO sitcomitude to the movie that undercuts its own observational intelligence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    X2 sparkles with a lightness of spirit that was missing from ''X-Men.''
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A superior lyrical ragamuffin Irish drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The documentary takes on its own engaging shape - one of edgy editorial and political ambivalence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's not quite the same thrill as glimpsing the man behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz, but for journalism junkies, the fascination of Page One: Inside The New York Times is something like that.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The rare footage of '50s and '60s L.A. alone is a treasure; the City of Angels has rarely looked so hip. Bonus: cool music from the likes of Charles Mingus and the Velvet Underground.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The nervy style of this newfangled Western, with its eerie, insinuating score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, is so effective that long after Pitt and Affleck have left the screen, emotional disturbance lingers like gun smoke.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A satisfying contraption of twists, missteps, and blithe repartee that produces old-fashioned, honestly earned guffaws.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If all this sounds awfully classroom-bound, it isn't -- far from it. Each man's story as he tells it is riveting, truly stranger than fiction, and awesome, too, in the way of unfathomable humans.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's worth seeing this stark adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure just for the extraordinary performance of Christopher Eccleston as Jude Fawley, the stonemason in turn-of-the-century England whose dreams of university scholarship are thwarted. And British telly director Michael Winterbottom sustains a fine atmosphere of dank misery.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The three are so full-bodied and so powerfully affecting that you're carried along on the pleasure of being in the presence of their extraordinary talent.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The class warfare in The Housemade feels dated, but there's something nicely kinky in this lusciously photographed erotic Korean thriller by Im Sang-soo.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Consider Primer a successful lab experiment with, as they might say in techie chat rooms, significant indie-cred applications, IMHO. Oh, and :-).
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These guys are not charming; they're horrifying in their ignorance, and they cause real damage. But there's a weird relief to be found in the opportunity to laugh ourselves sick at their expense, if only for an instant.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This patient, perceptive, nonjudgmental love story about age difference is the first to convincingly explain the temporal physics of May-December romances.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nakedness has rarely looked so...naked. And innately, universally comic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Good times and bum times, they've seen it all and they're still here. Lucky us.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bolt breaks no great new stylistic ground -- and yet it's a sturdy beaut.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Walking and Talking is saved from utter banality by a script dotted with occasional buoyant moments of tenderness and wit, as well as by the light touch of its attractive cast.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    None of this detracts, however, from the terrific piss-and-merlot performances of Channing and Stiles, or from the committed participation of Frederick Weller as a Neil LaBute-era businessman caught in the lounge between two she-devils disguised as businesswomen.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The clammy power of Young Adam lies as much in the frank, emotional nakedness the actors bring to their roles under Mackenzie's care as in the baroque hopelessness of the plot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Haywire cavorts around the world - Barcelona, Dublin, upstate New York, New Mexico - with Bourne-again energy and timeline shuffles, making only cursory attempts at plot coherence
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Marvelously inventive, often-ironic Israeli storyteller Etgar Keret and his life- and workmate, Shira Geffen, spin in Jellyfish a dreamy, arty, alluringly cockeyed tale involving three unrelated women in Tel Aviv.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The title refers not only to particular music by Beethoven but also to the fictional string quartet of Yaron Zilberman's fussily genteel, overplotted Manhattan tale in which interpersonal stresses build to a crescendo when one of the foursome becomes ill.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fonteyne edges closer than most to capturing the mysterious rhythms of liaisons -- pornographique, romantique, and otherwise.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The discreet stink of the bourgeoisie perfumes the wonderfully mordant, dry-eyed family saga, The Flower of Evil.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shaped and softened by producer Ivan Reitman, screenwriters Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko, and director Betty Thomas, however, the movie-star Stern is a defanged tiger, funny but tranquilized.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This gallantly imperfect indie pops with attitude.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Certainly Garden State is a very American specimen of debut indie form, its loose, goof-about scenes of comic melancholy reinforced with the glue of quirkiness over cracks in the narrative development.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Only when you look closer do you realize that While You Were Sleeping exhibits precious few genuine feelings. It's a movie cranked out by machine, about supposedly delightfully idiosyncratic characters who only do what they do because the highly structured plot requires it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is familiar psychological as well as stylistic territory for Anderson after "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums." But there's a startling new maturity in Darjeeling, a compassion for the larger world that busts the confines of the filmmaker's miniaturist instincts.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The visual and verbal jokes are as bouncy and multilevel (hip height for adults, knee-slap-size for kids) as we have come, no doubt selfishly, to expect from DreamWorks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Eight months of interrogation and torture in fetid Abu Ghraib followed before he was released, innocent. None of The Prisoner's showy flourishes -- animation, sound effects, fancy editing -- can match the power of Abbas' stillness as he describes one man's agony in one huge hell.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A cute premise that, upon closer inspection, rings falser rather than truer. It's pretty good, but not nearly as good as Brooks gets.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The intimate movie hums with a back-in-the-hood vibe that gets the two stars playing contentedly, and delightfully, for the love of local filmmaking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May be the first time travel fantasy to move grown fellows with 401(k) accounts to tears.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Smith profiles five extraordinary American homes, and because the owners seem fully aware of the uses and abuses of fame, it's a pleasure to enjoy their eccentricities.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As she did in her striking 2005 debut, "Me and You and Everyone We Know," July creates a fluid cinematic universe.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a stylish scramble of evocative footage, groovy music, and crazy-candid reminiscences from key players still proud to score.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Moreau's few ripe scenes are choice, and she spices up the joint with her gravelly voice of je ne regrette rien.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Somewhere in all the blood (sickening realism is a selling point), a question is posed: When does the one fighting a monster become a monster himself?
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The denouement of the movie is as preposterously happy as a children's fairy tale. But the moral is ageless.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With him (Schwarzenegger), we return to a franchise we never knew we missed, surprisingly grateful for the star's generosity -- and evident pleasure -- in strapping on the old sunglasses and blasting adversaries to hell.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Every moment spent in the company of Keaton... is such a joy that the whole is more delightful than the sum of the formulaic ingredients. Keaton makes Nicholson bounce the way Shirley MacLaine once did in ''Terms of Endearment.''
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Campos (who was 24 when he made this jolting pic) captures the numbing psychic scramble that just might cause the YouTube generation to go morally haywire. Or become filmmakers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Casé, with her sturdy, elemental body and shining eyes, is the reason phrases like ''inner beauty'' were invented, and she's also the reason this idealistic, naturalistic film by Rio de Janeiro born Andrucha Waddington has been such a success at festivals around the world.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are vividly alive.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Blithe and exhilarating romantic comedy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Perhaps the highest praise that can be given Paltrow is that there are no appreciable performance gaps between her green talents and the rest of the truly top-drawer cast.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Between bouts of decisive action, the characters mill around the French countryside (in lovely costumes, to be sure, by Jenny Beavan) as if unsure of which sexual stereotype to bust next.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Davies registers believable frustration and deadpan teenage disengagement in equal measure.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An energetically demented psycho-killer comedy set in faux-noir L.A., Seven Psychopaths rollicks along to the unique narrative beat and language stylings of Anglo-Irish writer-director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), channeling Quentin Tarantino.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The title Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is a brain banger. But as sci-fi nomenclature goes, it's easy to read--no twistier, certainly, than "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In The Informant!, that brain -- screwy and yet capable of doing important undercover work -- free-associates like Ellen DeGeneres on a swing through Walmart. Cute, but as even Agent 86 would say in "Get Smart": Missed it by that much.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Part supernatural thriller, part Oliver Sacks-style meditation on the neurological mysteries of perception, and part Buddhist treatise on reincarnation, the story luxuriates in shadows.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The film's lures, while undeniable, are synthetic, and we never do learn what fuels all the greed besides pints of beer.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In his elliptical and somewhat loopy drama about the slipperiness of love at any age, French filmmaker André Téchiné uses the sight of scudding motorboats on the waterways around workaday Venice as a visual reinforcement of time as a river.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Always the smooth showman, Spurlock avoids answering his own question: Is he selling out or buying in?
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While the compiled testimony is strong, some larger context is missing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The players are timelessly familiar in American Teen, too. But filmmaker Nanette Burstein tells their stories with a distinctly 21st-century pop and audacity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Which brings us back to Kidman, who really IS sensational here.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The unintended effect of all the melodramatic complications in Transamerica is, oddly, to distract attention from an understanding of exactly what that courage really costs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a world full of off the rack thrillers, it's fine boutique quality.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The affectionate, bemused, structurally unkempt portrait is at its best capturing Merritt's close collaboration with his longtime friend and bandmate Claudia Gonson.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It exchanges the narrative fluidity of the page for visual composition of such strong beauty that the slowness of the storytelling becomes its own eccentric strength.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A cheeky, great-looking, thoughtfully loopy creature feature about the lure and dangers of cutting-edge gene splicing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The inventiveness is still superior and the network of fiends and family is extended.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If it's not up to the cups-and-balls elegance of previous Mamet movies like ''The Spanish Prisoner'' and ''House of Games,'' if it piles on more psychological fake-outs than is safe in a setup this size -- well, at least it's got that talk, that language, that thing Mamet does that is at this point as identifiable as the cadences of the Bard.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The mixed-up rhythms of the story rescue Barbershop from bland goodness.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bridget's most attractive asset is that she's played by Renée Zellweger.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best moments in his first movie outing are those that feel most TV-like, just another day in the eternally optimistic undersea society.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's also filled with scenes of extraordinary survival challenges. But the result is oddly impersonal and undifferentiated.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's okay for a grown movie critic to admit she cried freely and with great feeling for more than half the movie, and grinned like a dork through the remainder.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Misfit teens in the process of forming a high school band learn life lessons and raise their goblets of rock. But there's enough of a strong filmmaking backbeat in Bandslam to carry the movie's light tune.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A vinegary fable with a Splenda aftertaste -- is a harbinger of hope not only for future feminist comedies of any grit but also for ''SNL''-staffed feature films that don't disproportionately suck.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's most amazing in The Amazing Spider-Man turns out to be not the shared sensations of blockbuster wow! the picture elicits, but rather the shared satisfactions of intimate awww.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hope Springs dares viewers to look closely at the remarkable sight of naked adult intimacy and its discontents.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Has a sensuous, intimate filmmaking style that overrides The Wedding Song's more precariously loaded plot parallels.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The political angle is gratuitous, even foolish, and certainly a distraction from the movie's visual strengths.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Married Life congratulates its audience on a sophisticated, humorous complicity in the obvious immorality of Harry's murder plans, as well as in Richard's own ungentlemanly designs on his pal's gorgeous girl. Every adult, the movie suggests, has got a secret.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best thing going for Selena is Selena herself, played with verve, heart, and a great deal of grace by the increasingly busy Jennifer Lopez (Money Train, Jack, Blood & Wine).
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Enlightenment is good, Dai acknowledges. But the movie's more provocative assertion is the notion that ignorance was also a kind of bliss.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Intriguing creepout.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Scott Elliott, in his feature-film debut, is especially perceptive about what goes on at the edges during deepening family crises, literally at the borders of the screen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The last thing Marber's quartet of modern miserables needs is to be admired; they are the very worst of average people, but on screen they have become the very best of the baddest.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An unlikely comedy charmer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One hell of a creepy little eco-horror picture.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    All the nuggets of spoken wisdom rattle around with a tad too much space and (at 2 1/2 hours plus) too much length.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not Fade Away is Chase's reward to himself - a transparently autobiographical work, his first feature-length film, and one that he's said he has wanted to make for years.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jindabyne -- named for the lakeside town in which the troubles spill -- can't contain all that the filmmakers want to throw in. Best to keep glued to the taut performance by Laura Linney.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If only for the comedy glory of Sigourney Weaver as a TV network president who confuses acid reflux with gut instinct, this very smart, very funny movie about the making of a network sitcom is a cut-glass gem of a showbiz conceit.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Here, love and attraction between two teenage girls put them on a collision course with Tehran society in general and one girl's troubled, increasingly religious brother in particular.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There aren't many at all like Spielberg and Kubrick, directors willing to lasso dreams (that's Steven) and nightmares (that's Stanley) or die trying. A.I. is a clash of the titans, a jumble, an oedipal drama, a carny act. I want to see it again.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As is so often the case since his "Monty Python" days, Gilliam is best at visual games and weakest at storytelling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Michelle Williams plays Monroe, and she's a wonder. Working opposite a suitably florid Kenneth Branagh as that high thespian Sir Larry.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Coppola's stranded royal suggests that at heart, Marie Antoinette was just a simple girl who wanted to have fun, and got her head handed to her.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Harrison Ford? Terrific -- and re-energized.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's the beaming movie-star intensity of the complicated comic Carrey in the role of the dominant lover and Obi-Wan Kenobi McGregor as the gentle beloved that makes this unfettered, stranger-than-fiction picture pop.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like Bill Murray and Greg Kinnear before him, this funnyman reveals serious acting chops.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This hip send-up of the superhero lifestyle has a bunch of great comic bits from a group of great, eccentric talents, but not enough bourgeois discipline to see the story through.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A surreal, elegantly melancholy, and yet witty ensemble story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    McAvoy and Fassbender are a casting triumph. These two have, yes, real star magnetism, both individually and together: They're both cool and intense, suave and unaffected, playful and dead serious about their grand comic-book work.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The cinematography is consistently hipster handsome, the script is bracing in its lewdness, and Brosnan adds no unnecessary weight to Noble's meaninglessness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A gaily funny, shrewdly inventive satire.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's only one Carax, uncompromisingly ambiguous.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Slippery issues about trust, parental responsibility, and the inalienable American right to personal and political freedom are ceded to Hollywood's inalienable right to stage high-pitched chase scenes and a shocking big finish.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    New-era losers (the cast is a cheery scrum of relaxed kids, led by genuine whiz pitcher Sammi Kane Kraft in the role created by Tatum O'Neal) now include a rotten kid in a wheelchair.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wild Grass is itself odd stuff: Sometimes it's as playful as Marguerite's crayon-red corona of frizzy hair, and other times as autumnal as the sight of Georges alone in his study, feeling stuck.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The three kindergarteners make up for their lack of irony with laser-power eyes, radical post-post-postfeminist blithe confidence, and some of the coolest retro-futuristic animation style this side of Gerald McBoing-Boing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is jumbo-size science fiction, with a handsome, impermeable titanium gleam - and a thick coating of creationism lite.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tautou is a fascinating, unsmiling, petite presence with a severe brow and an androgynous appeal, so much so that I wish Alessandro Nivola (Junebug) were a more robust beau as Arthur ''Boy'' Capel, the love of Chanel's life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A sharp-looking Mob drama with a gooey moral center.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For all Golino's comeliness, she's upstaged by the windy beauty of the landscape, and by Crialese's attention -- in an Italian neorealist way -- to the routines of daily life in an insular, traditional culture.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yet precisely because this is by Roman Polanski, it's irresistible to read his sorrowful and seemingly classical take, from a filmmaker known as much for the schisms in his personal history as for the lurches in his work, as something much more personal and poignant.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hanna's intriguing, disorienting pleasures - the movie is part poetic dreamscape, part sinister spy saga - lie more in the filmmaking flourishes than in the narrative.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's intellectually ambitious debut drama Night Catches Us is all the more notable for setting well-drawn fictional characters in a fraught, real moment in civil rights history.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Asif Kapadia's blazing feature debut, a gorgeously photographed saga with a fine sense of the way place shapes personality, has won numerous awards in the filmmaker's native Britain.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The writer-director bestows honor -- generously, apolitically -- not only on the dead and still living American veterans who fought in Ia Drang, but also on their families, on their Vietnamese adversaries, and on the families of their adversaries too.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 also bravely faces the future, slipping with expert ease among the thrilling mass of complications (and complicated set pieces) that Rowling throws fans in the final sprint, then guiding the faithful to the fate that awaits everyone in this world, the moment called The End.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A fine example of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier's (Brothers) talent for weaving together accessible domestic melodrama and issues of ethical awareness of the world beyond our doorstep.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a contemplative loveliness to The Way, an affecting personal project both for Emilio Estevez, who wrote, directed, and plays a small role, and for his father, Martin Sheen.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sky Captain is a gorgeous, funny, and welcome novelty.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another thinking-person's thriller from director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, also co-pilots on "28 Days Later."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Inside the Norwegian director's glove of empathy is a fist of unappeasable anger.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Against all odds in heaven and hell, it creeped me out just fine.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is weightless entertainment that's both camp and true, a warped adoration of star-quality actresses as amazing creatures who can project the lives of fictional characters as well as the essence of their own fabulous selves.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Best of all, there's a lot of Jolie, barrels blazing. The star's fearlessly sexy hauteur is unique in the biz today. And when she works it in Wanted, she kills, bullets optional.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A reality-twisting cousin to "Being John Malkovich" -- showcases a Van Damme who's sly like a fox about his own image.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A spare, controlled study in communication gaps and a piercing sketch of suburban American loneliness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Elf
    The disarming comedic tone -- silly and novel in its lack of cynicism -- is driven by the fearless, cheerful unself-consciousness of Will Ferrell, a big man last seen streaking (all too unself-consciously) through ''Old School.''
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wide-eyed Sara Paxton and hipster-bespectacled Pat Healy play the joint's only two employees, working each other into a lather of what turns out to be well-founded hysteria. Kelly McGillis is a surprise treat as a grouchy medium.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In One Hour Photo, Williams is a snapshot of human complexity worth framing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dustin Hoffman, a 75-year-old first-time feature director better known as a great old acting pro, conducts at a pleasant tempo.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something invigorating about this unpretentious dog tale. And if a penguin drops by to promote his own movie product, well, there's room on the frozen continent for all.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For Yank color in her soap-bubbly movie, director Daniele Thompson has her pal Sydney Pollack appear as...a famous director.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are relaxed. The open-ended, vignette-like structure of the filmmaking sometimes imitates the movement of weary, life-worn men nursing liquor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a psychological thriller that actually thrills.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ineffably Australian and intriguingly (rather than annoyingly) artsy, Look Both Ways introduces a handful of people gobsmacked by life-changing crises, all of them trying to make sense of responsibility, mortality, and connection.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What matters for today's hero is the good fight, and Gladiator KOs us with a doozy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The hardest work falls to Cusack, a subtle actor with a valuable gift for conveying the sadness and loneliness beneath the skin of even the most jaded and self-contained men-about-town.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The first Irish creation I've seen in ages to pull off the high-difficulty feat of trafficking in grit, drollery, and emotion without turning to blarney as a crutch.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working from a script cowritten with accomplished Siberian filmmaker Sergey Bodrov, the director creates a taut picture of a place, and a liberating moment of choice.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cloverfield, a surreptitiously subversive, stylistically clever little gem of an entertainment disguised, under its deadpan-neutral title, as a dumb Gen-YouTube monster movie, makes the convincingly chilling argument that the world will end -- or, at least, Manhattan will crumble -- with a bang and a whimper.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An animated family movie about penguins -- in the wake of "March of the Happy Feet," they're the Angelina Jolie of animals, both cute and admired everywhere. Plus, it's about surfing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The natural, pleasurable 1990s hipness [Lohan] brings to her assignment is therefore all the more impressive. Hayley-holics should be grateful to this new girl at camp too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An 
unexpectedly revealing, disconcerting documentary that benefits from the filmmaker's unmediated approach, his home-movie-
quality visual style, and his controlled use of on-the-fly moments.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So much goes down on Nick and Norah's one enchanted evening that the best advice is to enjoy the ride -- the actual ride -- around this vibrant new New York.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This jovial tour through changing attitudes toward cannibis is so plugged into pothead logic that the opening credits are rerun at the end.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That sense of déjà vu is at once this Harry Potter's balm and its limitation: many charms, but few surprises.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's as agreeably sweet as advertised, with a particularly yummy performance by Juliette Binoche.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Funny, ungirdled romp - a buddy picture about buddies who actually know what women want.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Square, sincere, and proud of it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Robbins the agitprop celebrity may be blowin' in the wind, but Robbins, the son of a folksinger, knows how to get audiences clapping along.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Both script and direction are the work of the glittering comedic polymath Stephen Fry.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The most spellbinding aspect of Bright Future is that the surrealism sustains its own squiddish logic, concluding with one of the most breathtaking film finales of the year.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ah, monsieur, you can lead a Frenchman to the Big Apple, but you can't make him a New Yorker -- and that's exactly what makes The Professional so fascinating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Naturally, a subject this right-on draws a right-on cast. Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Ethan Hawke pitch in.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A helluva lot happens in 16 Blocks - an outrageous amount, really, along with a coda that deposits the audience squarely at a movieland finale. Who knew that looking both ways before crossing is where the real action is?
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the end, One True Thing suggests, families can be healed even in loss. This may not be a true thing, but at least this emotional drama offers up hope, sweet like one of Kate Gulden's tasty cakes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are mountain tunes as powerful as moonshine to be enjoyed in Songcatcher -- but there's also a mighty mushy heap of corn pone to be swallowed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shows a beguiling aptitude for self-mockery in the pursuit of polemic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Gérald Hustache-Mathieu sustains a fresh voice influenced by the Coen brothers and the infernal snow of "Fargo."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The fact that it's difficult to believe someone who looks as dewy as Tautou would be so dangerous is much of the game.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Steve Zahn makes full use of the many varieties of hyper in his acting arsenal, while Timothy Olyphant has a heckuva good time telegraphing macho mania.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's no great romantic climax to Don Juan DeMarco (and that may be a drawback for Depp lovers looking to swoon), but there is an airy delicacy to this tall tale that fits in perfectly with the weather these days, the hormones, the whole seasonal gestalt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dumont's rigorous, serious attention to the mysteries of good, evil, and faith rewards those willing to be confounded.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Plot leaps that are fun on paper look generic on screen; here's another lawyer movie in which the characters are only as interesting as the actors playing them.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    At selected moments the Pee Wee's Playhouse-scaled visual goofiness and flights of thespian bravura in this long-awaited movie adaptation of Douglas Adams' goofy-wise cult classic are in perfect celestial harmony with the existential tomfoolery of Adams' peerless (and peerlessly Monty Python-British) creation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rutina Wesley glowers with just the right touch of sweetness as a brainy student (and stellar after-school stepper).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In making the radical artistic choice to tell the story as if it were being enacted by players on a stage, Wright falls passionately in love with his own fanciful artifices.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's Kind of a Funny Story may be the first psych-ward drama to draw on John Hughes movies for tonal reference.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With sharp riffs on the intersection of '80s pop culture (ALF, Kid 'N Play, Ronald Reagan!) and 21st-century culture (Twitter, Viagra, Second Life!), this Time Machine is a fun dip into a pool of memories that are best forgotten again once the booze wears off.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reflect the robust status of Yiddish theater in the early 20th century, and its post-Holocaust decline.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That Annaud and his deft production team create believable dramatic characters without compromising the dignity of the animals they've borrowed as stars -- is the striking (and sometimes unnerving) achievement of a film that also swoops and loops through fairytale hoops.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's as if the star (Douglas) finally gets to integrate all his onscreen personas, all at once.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By rocketing ahead 200 years from the previous film and jiggering the story cleverly (with a script by Toy Story coscreenwriter Joss Whedon as late-'90s wiseacreish as Alien3 was early-'90s portentous) to create a Ripley reconstructed through a mix of human and alien DNA, Alien Resurrection power-kicks the whole definition of the Horrifying Other into a fresh, deep, exhilaratingly thoughtful, millennium-sensitive direction. [5 Dec 1997, p. 47]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And among the things this ''HP'' does very well indeed is deepen the darker, more frightening atmosphere for audiences of all ages already familiar with the intricacies of the ''Potter'' landscape. (This is as it should be: Harry's story is supposed to get darker.)
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This activist documentary -- alternately impassioned, despairing, edifying, and hectoring about all the ways humans are screwing up the earth in a death rattle of hubris -- shouts, People, do something! In contrast, "An Inconvenient Truth" feels positively hushed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Had O. Henry set his stories in China, he might have come up with Happy Times, a comedy for which the adjective ''bittersweet'' could have been invented.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A smart, playful, informative pleasure.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Everyone in this madly good-looking clan has got soapy problems as befits an aspirational, say-amen holiday movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This funny, gory stab-athon is as sophisticated about the mechanics of Part 2s as the original was savvy about horror flicks.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    ATL
    The more rink time, the better: As directed by hip-hop music-video king Chris Robinson from a story by "Antwone Fisher's" Antwone Fisher, the skate scenes are a blast.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Riveting true-life drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This overlong, lurchy homage to John Cassavetes' 1980 film "Gloria" is a mess, but a fascinating one, given Swinton's desperately avid performance in the title role.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That durable, sexy powerhouse Beverly D'Angelo steals every scene she's in.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A comedy of '90s sexual inclusiveness as effervescent as a cold sody pop -- and about as intoxicating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you sign on, disarmed of irony, for her trip -- I did -- you'll be rewarded with a rare thing that may in itself prove the existence of a Higher Power: a Hollywood entertainment that makes you consider deep thoughts.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Spiderwick is set in the present, but goes for an overall design look of dainty, cozy, William Morris-y arts-andcraftiness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The chief frustration of this otherwise well-made, well-acted, well-heeled picture -- a movie classy in its artful modesty, with every detail of plot and period furnishings lovingly conceived, every lick of jazz-influenced score true to the times -- is that it is so very self-absorbedly graceful about something so very insular and...unremarkable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a lovely gravity and specificity to the story that transcends instances of bumpy filmmaking.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The whole film is cracked, but in a stylish, downtown way.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And there's that perfect soundtrack, jammed with hit after timeless hit. So integral is the music to the heat of Chill that even a now-hackneyed scene like ensemble-dancing-while-cleaning-the-kitchen (to the Temptations' ''Ain't Too Proud to Beg'') takes on a glow far lovelier than the chore warrants -- as does this ingratiating, fake movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In their way, Mirabelle and Ray are the deracinated West Coast equivalents of a Woody Allen couple.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Driven by Bogosian's finger-snapping dialogue and theatrical structure, subUrbia doesn't allow for much pleasurably Linklaterish lounging; each character has got some serious orating to do before the night is over.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With the same affinity for stories of culture clash he showed in "The Quiet American" and "Rabbit-Proof Fence," director Phillip Noyce embraces the tale with gusto.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's got the pleasing proportions of a stocking stuffed with agreeable little treats in the absence of an exciting big surprise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fiennes speaks with his body what the script cannot formulate about what it's like to be a man apart. The actor creates particulars of time, space, class, and personality with one crook of a finger, one twist of a wrist. I call that nobility of craft; he's the actors' prince.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mike Myers and Austin Powers may stick to their old Beatle boots, but they've both come a long way, luvvy. For proof, just look at all the A-list celebrities-I-won't-mention happy to crash the party.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Intense but dignified.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Here the fascination is Hurt, so deft at steering his character away from booby-trap clichés that he guides his young costars safely out of sap's way and brightens an otherwise very yellowed tale.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A weightless movie as cheerily artificial as the Old Navy pitchman's bronze skin tones.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Highly unoriginal but nevertheless stirring drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something almost too controlled, cerebral, and overdetermined about Winterbottom's Western notions.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A forceful Neeson and an even more intense Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) both show their stuff and obscure the unrelieved pain endured by the men they portray.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An old-fashioned, tastefully constrained supernatural thriller, The Woman In Black embraces the elements of gothic horror movies with pleasing seriousness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A serving of "True Blood's" Ryan Kwanten in his native accent is the chief selling point of this picturesque, contentedly imitative Australian Western/thriller/Coen-brothers homage, the feature debut of writer-director Patrick Hughes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jeunet maintains a firm control of his dreamscape creation, drawing on influences as varied as "Toy Story," "Children of Paradise," and TV's "Mission: Impossible."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For those who wish to decode The Names of Love, there's a sharp commentary on French prejudices, character types, history, and culture embedded in Michel Leclerc's droll autobiographical French comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bug
    The enjoyably icky heart of Bug is still contained within the airless, increasingly ''bug-proofed'' room that becomes Agnes and Peter's whole world.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As ever, Egoyan assembles a devoted repertory cast, including Christopher Plummer.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's power is undercut by the overemphasized presence of celebrity traveling environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a season of bulging Movies Earmarked for Importance, it is almost startling to come across something as unhyped - and perfectly swell - as The Ice Harvest.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An elegant adventure of a different kind.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Marigold Hotel achieves what it sets out to do: Sell something safe and sweet, in a vivid foreign setting, to an underserved share of the moviegoing market.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An anguished Macedonian drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story is glossy junk begat of just-plain junk anyway: Lauren Weisberger, who wrote the hiss-and-tell roman à clef best-seller on which the picture is based, was herself an assistant to Wintour.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working from a script by his wife, Sarah Koskoff, "High Fidelity" actor-turned-director Todd Louiso shapes the movie to Lynskey's rhythms.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not coincidentally, African Cats opens on Earth Day. Meeting these magnificent fellow creatures might be a fine way to celebrate.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a pleasure to meet up again with Marion, the distractible, acerbic, New York-based French photographer played once more by Julie Delpy in 2 Days in New York. This bouncy hand-knitted comedy of cross-cultural relationships, also directed and co-written by Delpy, makes a jaunty sequel to "2 Days in Paris."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A painfully polite Iraq war drama pitched at the MTV generation.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The already heavy-footed clomp of Grisham's declamatory storytelling style has been given an extra-thick-soled, wing-tipped, liberal-leaning, reality-tampering kick thanks to a screenplay credited to four writers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the most shocking contribution to this self-conscious but fascinating sampling of art challenged by life, Mexico's Alejandro González Iñárritu (''Amores Perros'') makes a horrifying suspense story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When it comes to crazy, violent, semidelirious, testosterone-laden, proto-Viking tales about a mute visionary one-eyed warrior who breaks skulls, Valhalla Rising is pretty great.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This peachcolored comedy about a wacky family who shove their sadness into a bulging closet is being marketed as ''from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine'' All that's missing from the formula is a Volkswagen Microbus.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    We're in David Mamet World. William H. Macy -- the quintessential player of Mamet men in all their impacted rage -- stars in this claustrophobic adaptation.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The true pleasures of Bound lie in the Wachowskis' inventive updated take on film noir traditions, sensuously realized by cinematographer Bill Pope ("Clueless").
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ever-magnetic Sam Rockwell is Kenny, Minnie Driver is full of beans as Betty Anne's best friend, Melissa Leo is wicked good as an ornery cop, and, in her two chewy scenes, Juliette Lewis reminds fans why we want her to run free forever.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a relaxed, unforced, melancholy sweetness and swing to this modest iteration of the "Big Chill/Return of the Secaucus 7" formula, a pleasing directorial debut for screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A strange, black-and-blue therapeutic drama equally mottled with likable good intentions and agitating clumsiness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The telegenic Lomborg is the on-camera "star" of the show, while his angry critics growl on cue.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As charmingly verklemmt New York women with bad luck in men and good luck in apartments go, Nora Wilder in Broken English has all the breaks.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Among the drawbacks: Director Érik Canuel jumps through hoops in an effort to make the stage piece (by William Luce) move like the movie piece it isn't.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An affectionate puff profile.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Actually, there's one other way to approach Matchstick Men, and that's to forget all about neuroses and con artistry and admire the movie instead for the unsettlingly beautiful directorial study in geographical mood that it is.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Excessive, but I, like Mr. Jingles, can't resist the Christmas-season cheese.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Impressively unflappable and natural, 23-year-old Lohman -- whose best known credit is perhaps a role on Fox's short-lived ''Pasadena'' -- holds the whole plot together skillfully.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A Little goes a long way.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Goldberg, for all her character's tough bluster, is sweet too: Her performance here is contained, modulated, dignified without cushioning the Whoopi edge that makes her work so interesting and uncategorizable.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The soft-spoken, impressionistic documentary (with a hypnotic score built from the sounds of construction) climaxes with a six-minute helicopter-cam view of the colossal structure to which these somebodies have been dedicating their sweat, and sometimes their very lives.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    His (Charles Dance) cinematic style mixes the scent of mothballs with that of the lavender in which these ladies are preserved.

Top Trailers