Waiting is the Hardest Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I narrowly dodged that Hogwart’s-bound train. By the time JK Rowling’s bespectacled wand slinger rose to prominence stateside in 1999, I was of legal age to get Harry Pott-ed and would only have considered following the literary series if name-dropping Dumbledore magically manifested female phone numbers.

And yet, with a childhood peppered by a Star Wars obsession and a current downstairs...

entered on 11/18/10 at 07:31 PM | read more »



Bzzzoring

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The first movie in Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy” was a mystery thriller with great characters, good action and shadowy undertones. The second was an action flick that abandoned character building in favor of sex and violence—and plenty of it. And the final film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (released an impossibly short few months after the middle film), has abandoned...

entered on 11/17/10 at 08:12 PM | read more »



Taste Invaders

Skyline

Here you have it, dear readers: Skyline is the worst film I’ve seen in 2010.

Directed by a pair of special-effects gurus who call themselves The Brothers Strause (siblings Colin and Greg), the movie is more or less what you’d expect from guys who’ve worked their way up the ladder making computer explosions and a handful of Nickelback videos. From its evasive publicity campaign, one...

entered on 11/17/10 at 07:54 PM | read more »



The Business of Being Boned

Inside Job

Not angry enough at how poor you are? Enjoying your unemployment too much? Having a great time with foreclosure? Check out director Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job for 120 minutes that will turn the most mild-mannered, tax-paying Bruce Banner into a Wall Street–smashing Hulk. Not a green Hulk, though, because there’s no green left.

Writers Chad Beck and Adam Bolt and Ferguson have crafted a...

entered on 11/17/10 at 07:49 PM | read more »



I’m Villain Happy

Megamind

In an animated PG movie, children in the audience provide a good barometer for the film’s pacing. A single scene of over-their-head dialog or the tiniest pause in plot can result in 100 formerly awed children wiggling in their seats, disembarking en masse for the restrooms or, in the worst case, checking out the action at the video arcade. Although it’s a fun superhero romp with a cavalcade...

entered on 11/10/10 at 06:40 PM | read more »



If You Can’t Beat ’Em

Conviction

Simply put, director Tony Goldwyn’s Conviction is your average end-of-the-year Oscar hopeful. Not that it isn’t any good — it features a few fine performances from very talented actors and is undeniably effective as a drama — it just isn’t anything special. Ripped from some fairly recent headlines, Conviction concerns a small town single mother named Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank)....

entered on 11/10/10 at 06:35 PM | read more »



No Crowning Achievement

Due Date

The filth wake of a new Jackass film makes other movies’ attempts to shock with ribald humor futile, even with dialogue like “I vomited in the wound.” Nice try, Due Date, but Steve-O practically gargled human feces. Too unimaginative to be risqué, director Todd Philips has made a “blender” film; you know, where they make an acceptable-but-not-delicious cinematic smoothie by pureeing...

entered on 11/10/10 at 06:28 PM | read more »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


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