Everything about Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, from its toy-box colors to its superb, hyper-animated Danny Elfman score to the butch-waxed hairdo and wooden-puppet walk of its star and mastermind is pure pleasure.
Oldboy makes us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. It's a grand, gritty, indelible experience, the sort of picture that mimics great literature in the way it envelops you in a well-told story while also evoking subtle but strong gradations of emotion.
Extravagant in movie terms but stingy in emotional ones, it embodies all of [director Steven] Spielberg's bad impulses and almost none of his good ones: It's a grand display of how well he knows how to work us over, and yet the desperation with which he tries to get to us is repulsive.
This is a sturdy little cop thriller, and even when it stretches the bounds of plausibility, you go with it, partly because you believe -- almost against your better judgment -- in what the characters are doing.
Children of Men is a solemn, haunting picture, but it's also a thrilling one, partly because of the sheer bravado with which it's made. It left me feeling more fortified than drained. [Director Alfonso] Cuarón, the most openhearted of directors, prefers to give rather than take away.
[I]t's guilty of the very thing that makes kids hate history as a subject when it's taught badly: The Da Vinci Code makes the past feel like a dull, grainy, faraway thing, instead of something vibrant and alive.
The most interesting character here is an animal, a sturdy-looking white and black bulldog, who appears throughout the movie, angel style, to speak the truth -- silently. In this load of mind-bendy bushwa, he's the only thing worth watching, or listening to.
There are epic impulses everywhere you look in There Will Be Blood; what's missing is character development, focused storytelling and, most significantly (apart from that terrific opening sequence), any sense of raw, intuitive drama.
[Director Christopher] Nolan ... gives us enough multilayered subplots to at least fool us into thinking this is a work of intellectual and moral complexity. But as a piece of visual storytelling, from shot to shot, The Dark Knight is a mess. Characters disappear from one locale and show up inexplicably in another, thanks to the magic of editing. At one point, we learn two characters have been abducted, but Nolan doesn't bother to show us who did it or how. (Later, he explains the "who did it" with dialogue -- the lazy way.) At the end, a major character is left hanging, literally, as we are figuratively. If this is genius, give me hackery.
This isn't a picture filled with wonder and a sense of fun; it's so jaded and crass that I almost wonder if it's a highly unscientific experiment designed to gauge how little audiences will settle for these days. Manic and multicolored, Speed Racer is an excess of nothingness.
Despite the bare butts and crude sex jokes -- or because of them -- this Adam Sandler vehicle addresses some of the biggest political problems of our time. ... At the very least, it's got to be the first picture to use smelly-feet jokes as a means of parsing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But more than that, it's a mainstream movie that dares to make jokes about the kinds of complex political realities that most of us don't dare bring up at dinner parties.
It's time to start recognizing that not all escapist entertainment is created equal. And that some of it isn't even entertainment. Miss March is, to use the vernacular of the escapist moviegoer, the biggest pile of crap I've seen in ages.
It's possible [director Jody] Hill has a style, of sorts. But he doesn't work from the heart, or from the gut, as a good comedy director generally needs to. He operates from one guiding question: "How disturbing can we make this shit?"