Ewan McGregor stars as Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, again doing a fine Alec Guinness impersonation but otherwise seeming lost and alone in the galaxy as the one actor attempting to give a real performance in this mess.
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.
The scariest thing in it may be the way the clock radio has a way of turning itself on, loudly, of its own accord. The song is always the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun." Now that's horror.
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.
It's impossible to tell what's going on at any given moment in Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; it's even harder to care about being able to tell.
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.
The bigger question to ask about 300 is why, for a supposedly rousing tale of heroism, it's so curiously unaffecting.
Pan's Labyrinth works on so many levels that it seems to change shape even as you watch it. It is, at times, a joyless picture, and its pall of sadness can begin to weigh you down.
It'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.
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.
"Batman Begins" leaks existential phoniness from the first frame.
While "9 Songs" is sexually explicit in the basic sense, its directness is what's most fascinating, and ultimately most moving, about it.
This film "Phantom" takes everything that's wrong with Broadway and puts it on the big screen in a gaudy splat.
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.
Monster is a compassionate picture without any obvious agenda. And it's effective precisely because it's not a polemic.
I can't remember ever feeling so glad that a movie was finally over. [Director George] Lucas may have held my imagination hostage for two hours, but reclaiming it afterward wasn't hard at all.
Who would have thought that [director] Cameron Crowe had a movie as bad as Vanilla Sky in him? It's a punishing picture, a betrayal of everything that Crowe has proved he knows how to do right.
You can talk film theory till you're blue in the face, but in the end, the thing that may haunt you most about a movie is a pair of eyes.
We've moved away from being a culture of people who think about movies to one made up of people who believe that spouting a list of preferences is the same as registering an opinion.
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