2007 Alphabetical List of All Films Watched

In 2007 I viewed 474 separate events.  It was an incredible year for documentaries, foreign language and indie films.

Links are to longer reviews on site.  All ratings based on 4 stars best.  A film defined as 70 min.+  visual event.  
(V) =  TV, Video or DVD    ( +) = repeat viewing      (W/O)= walked out 

1408 (d. Mikael Hafström) ** 3/4
2 DAYS IN PARIS (d. Julie Delpy) ***
2 MINUTES LATER (d. Robert Gaston) * 1/2
25 CENT PREVIEW (d. Cyrus Amini) **
28 WEEKS LATER (d. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo) Spare, horrifying, pessamistic...Michael Haneke would be proud.  ***
3 LITTLE PIGS, THE (Les 3 p'tits cochons) (d. Patrick Huard) Fr. Canadian sex comedy which somehow works.  ***
3:30 TO YUMA (d. James Mangold) A perfect Western, until unmotivated ending spoiled it.  *** 1/4
300 (d. Zack Snyder) Spectacular design, coherent narrative, even good dialog well presented. Comic book gore, but wow.  *** 1/4
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (d. Cristian Mungiu; Romania) *** 1/4
7 YEARS  (d. Jean-Pascal Hattu) *** 1/4
881 (d. Royston Tan; Singapore) W/O
Ŕ TOUT DE SUITE (d. Benoît Jacquot) V. Jacquot doing 60's Godard pretty darn well.  ***
AACHI & SSIPAK (d. Joe Bum-jin) 1/2*
ACCEPTED (d. Steve Pink) V. ** 1/2
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (d. Julie Taymor) The '60s film I've been waiting 40 years for.  ****
AGUA (d. Verónica Chen) ***
ALIVE (Zhivoy) (d. Alexander Veledinsky) ** 3/4
ALL HAT (d. Leonard Farlinger) ** 3/4
ALMOST ADULT (d. Yousaf Ali Khan) ** 1/2
ALONG THE RIDGE (d. Kim Rossi Stuart) *** 1/2
ALPHA DOG (d. Nick Cassavetes) Better than expected. Timberlake & especially a game Ben Foster outstanding.  ***
AMATEURS, THE (d. Michael Traegar) A silly comedy with a fine cast, mostly wasted.  * 3/4
AMAZING GRACE (d. Michael Apted) Earnest, but sort of boring film with great perf by Ioan Gruffuid.  ** 3/4
AMAZING MRS. PRITCHARD, THE (d. var.) V. Involving, realistic British political what-if fantasy miniseries.  ***
AMERICAN FORK (d. Chris Bowman) **
AMERICAN GANGSTER (d. Ridley Scott) A classic gangster flick, reminiscent of Heat.   *** 1/2
AMERICAN SHOPPER (d. Tamas Bojtor & Sybil Dessau) *** 3/4
AND ALONG CAME TOURISTS (Am Ende Kommen Touristen) (d. Robert Thalheim) ***
ARMIN (d. Ognjen Svilicic) ** 3/4
ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES (d. Andrew Dominik) Great looking; but the narrator on downers annoyed. ** 3/4
ATONEMENT (d. Joe Wright) Wright's direction & McAvoy's acting make this a special tearjerker.   Oscar?  Maybe.  *** 1/2
AUGUST RUSH (d. Kirsten Sheridan) As delirious & affecting as Sheridan's Disco Pigs, but too many plot holes. ***
AURORA (d. Oxana Bayrak; Ukraine) ** 1/2
AUTISM: THE MUSICAL (d. Tricia Regan) Moving, heart-rending docu...nice editing & photog.  *** 3/4
AUTUMN BALL (d. Veiko Ounpuu ) * 1/2
AWAY FROM HER (d. Sarah Polley) Julie Christie is aging gorgeously. And her Alzheimer's is totally convincing.  *** 1/2
BACK SOON (d. Rob Williams) ** 3/4
BAD FAITH (Mauvaise foi) (d. Roschdy Zem) ***
BADLAND (d. Francesco Lucente) Except for the overamped score a fine film with a searing perf by Jamie Draven.  *** 1/4
BAND'S VISIT, THE (d. Eran Kolirin) ** 3/4
BANISHMENT (Izgnamie) (d. Andrey Zvyagintsev)   *** 1/4                        
BANQUET, THE (d. Feng Xiaogang; Hong Kong) ** 1/4
BASAIN (d. Subash Prasad Gajural; Nepal)  W/O
BATTLE OF WITS (d. Jacob Cheung) ***
BEAUTY IN TROUBLE (Kraska V Nesnazich) (d. Jan Hrebejk) *** 1/4
BECOMING JANE (d. Julian Jarrold) ** 3/4
BEE SEASON (d. McGehee and Siegel) V. Involving, well acted family drama with not well defined spiritual mysteries.  ***
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (d. Sidney Lumet) Tight thriller- 2 brothers and the "perfect" robbery.  *** 1/2
BELLE TOUJOURS (d. Manoel de Oliveira; Portugal) **
BEN X (d. Nic Balthazar; Belgium) *** 1/2
BET COLLECTOR, THE (d. Jeffrey Jeturian) **
BIG RIG (d. Doug Pray) ** 1/2
BILINGUAL LOVER, THE (El Amante Bilingue) (d. Vicente Aranda) **
BILL (d. Melisa Wallack, Bernie Goldmann) **
BLACK BOOK (d. Paul Verhoeven; Netherlands) ***
BLACK IRISH (d. Brad Gann) *** 1/4
BLACK IRISH (d. Brad Gunn) + *** 1/2
BLACK WHITE + GRAY (d. James Crump) *** 1/4
BLADERUNNER (Final Cut) (d. Ridley Scott) I had forgotten how fabu the production design was! New ending:  eh!? *** 1/4
BLEAK HOUSE (d. various; w. Andrew Davis) Superb adaptation of complex Victorian novel. The Brits do it again. *** 1/2
BLIND (d.  Tamar van den Dop)  *** 1/4                   
BLIND MOUNTAIN (d. Li Yang) ***
BODY OF WAR (d. Ellen Spiro & Phil Donahue) Another successful docu: Robert Byrd, such a hero.  *** 1/2
BOOK OF REVELATION, THE (d. Ana Kokkinos) ***
BOSS OF IT ALL, THE (d. Lars von Trier) ***
BOURNE ULTIMATUM, THE (d. Paul Greengrass) *** 1/2
BOY A (d. John Crowley) *** 3/4
BRAVE ONE, THE  (d. Neil Jordan) *** 1/4
BREACH (d. Billy Ray) Well acted (esp. Chris Cooper) true story of bringing down a spy. Also Ryan Phillippe's best work in ages. ***
BREAKFAST WITH SCOT (d. Laurie Lynd) ** 3/4
BRIDGE TO TARABITHIA  (d. Gabor Csupo) Xtian propaganda in a totally wonderful disguise. Moving, grounded fantasy. Hurrah!  *** 1/2  
BROKEN ENGLISH (d. Zoe Cassavetes) *** 1/2
BUCKET LIST, THE (d. Rob Reiner)V.  Only for old folks; but a great travelogue.  ** 3/4
C.R.A.Z.Y. (d. Jean-Marc Vallée) V.+++ Still one of the best coming-of-age gay films ever made. *** 3/4
CAMP (d. Todd Graff) V.++ Still more entertaining than American Idol!  Guilty pleasure; but very much a pleasure.  ***
CAPITOL CRIMES (p. Bill Moyers) V. Surgical dissection of the Jack Abramoff/Tom de Lay scandals.  Great tv journalism.  *** 1/4
CARAMEL (d. Nadine Labaki; Lebanon) ** 1/2
CARS (d. John Lassiter) Inventive animation, got better as it went along, but just not up to its rep.  ** 3/4
CASSANDRA'S DREAM (d. Woody Allen) Hitchcockian film with a little Purple Noon thrown in.  ** 3/4
CATCH AND RELEASE (d. Susannah Grant) Predictable but well acted chick flick which involved me.  ** 3/4
CECILIE (d. Hans Fabian Wullenweber) ** 3/4
CHAMPAGNE SPY, THE (d. Nadav Schirman) ***
CHANGE OF ADDRESS (Changement d'adresse) (d. Emmanuel Mouret) ** 1/2
CHAOTIC ANA (Caótica Ana) (d. Julio Medem)   *** 3/4         
CHARITON'S CHOIR (d. Grigoris Karantinakis; Greece) * 3/4
CHARLIE BARTLETT (d. Jon Poll) Anton Yelchin great as a preppy Ferris Bueller type undermining public school authority.  ***
CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (d. Mike Nichols) Simplistic demonizing of enemy turned me off.  ** 3/4
CHIAVI DI CASA, LE (d. Gianni Amelio) V.+ Wonderful, moving film with sublime performances by Rampling, Stuart & Rossi. *** 1/2
CHILDREN (d. Ragnar Bragason; Iceland) *** 1/2
CHILDREN OF WAR (d. Alexandre Fuchs) ** 1/4
CHOP SHOP (d. Ramin Bahrani) ***
CHRISTMAS TREE UPSIDE DOWN (d. Ivan Cherkelov and Vassil Jivkov) ***
CHRYSALIS (d. Julien Leclercq) ** 1/2
CLOUD, THE (d. Gregor Schnitzler) ** 3/4
COMPANY, THE (d. Mikael Salomon) V. *** 1/2
CONFESSIONS OF PAIN (d. Andrew Lau & Alan Mak) *** 1/4
CONTROL (d. Anton Corbijn) ***
COUNTER INVESTIGATION (Contre-enquęte) (d. Franck Mancusco) *** 1/2
COUNTERFEITERS, THE (Die Falscher) (d. Stefan Ruzowitzky; Austria) *** 1/2
CRAZY LOVE (d. Dan Klores & Fisher Stevens) *** 1/4
CROSSING A SHADOW (d. Augusto Tamayo; Peru) ** 1/2
CROSSING THE BORDER (Un Franco 14 Pesetas) (d. Carlos Iglesias) ***
CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (d. Zhang Yimou; China) ***
CUT SLEEVE BOYS (d. Ray Yeung) ** 3/4
DAN IN REAL LIFE (d. Peter Hedges) Emotionally satisfying, breakthru film for Hedges (and for me, Carell).  *** 1/4
DANS PARIS (d. Christophe Honoré) ** 1/2
DARJEELING LIMITED, THE (d. Wes Anderson) Better than his last one; but I need more than a train & exotica. ** 3/4
DARK AGES, THE (d. Chris Cassel) V. Standard issue History channel docu.  Lots of info well presented.  ** 3/4
DASEPO NAUGHTY GIRLS (Dasepo Sonyo) (d. E J-yong) *
DAY WATCH (d. Timur Bekmambetov) ***
DAYS OF DARKNESS (d. Denys Arcand; Canada) ***
DEAL, THE (d. Stephen Frears) V. British political true story, Labour deal to share power. Too parochial for U.S.  ** 1/2
DEATH AT A FUNERAL (d. Frank Oz) ***
DEATH IN VENICE (d. Luchino Visconti) ** 3/4
DEATH SENTENCE (d. James Wan) **
DECEMBER BOYS (d. Rod Hardy) Good performances, but a predictable clichéd script.  ** 1/2
DEEP WATER (d. Osmond & Rothwell) Disquieting, excellent docu: 1969 around world boat race.  *** 1/2
DÉFICIT (d. Gael García Bernal) *** 1/4
DELIRIOUS (d. Tom Dicillo) ***
DENIAS, SINGING ON THE CLOUD (d. John de Rantau; Indonesia) ** 1/2
DISTURBIA (d. D.J. Caruso) Despite a star making turn by Shia LaBeouf this Rear Window update is ridiculously over the top. ** 1/4
DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, THE (d. Julian Schnabel) Most expressive eye in film history. Amalric amazing!  *** 3/4
DOGHEAD (d. Santi Amodeo) *** 1/4
DOGHEAD (d. Santi Amodeo) +  *** 1/4
DOL (d. Hiner Saleem) ** 3/4
DONSOL (d. Adolfo Alix, Jr.; Philippines) ** 1/2
DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPBOX (d. Sara Lamm) V. ** 1/4
DRAMA/MEX (d. Gerardo Naranjo) *** 1/2
DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS, THE (Ne toucher pas la hache) (d. Jacques Rivette)   ** 1/2
DUSKA (d. Jos Stelling) The Netherlands foreign film submission.  * 3/4
EAGLE VS. SHARK (d. Taika Waititi) ** 3/4
EASTERN PROMISES (d. David Cronenberg)  Stylized violence...best Mortensen tattoos since Indian Runner. *** 1/4
EDGE OF HEAVEN, THE (d. Fatih Akin; Germany) *** 3/4
EDUART (d. Angeliki Antoniou; Greece) *** 1/4
EGOISTE: LOTTI LATROUS (d. Stephan Anspichler) Harrowing docu: Swiss nurse's AIDS hospice in Ivory Coast.  ** 3/4
EKLAVYA (d. Vidhu Vinod Chopra; India) ***
EL BENNY (d. Jorge Luis Sanchez) ** 3/4
EL CANTANTE (d. Leon Ichaso) ** 3/4
ELEPHANT AND THE SEA, THE (d. Woo Ming Jin) * 1/2
ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE (d. Shekhar Kapur) Bombastic, overdone, disappointing bodice ripper.  ** 1/4
EMMA'S BLISS (d. Sven Taddicken) *** 1/4
ENCHANTED (d. Kevin Lima) Fun script, flaccid direction.  Too bad Julie Taymore didn't get a chance with this script.  ** 3/4
ETERNAL SUMMER (d. Leste Chen and Patrick Mao Huang) * 3/4
EUPHORIA (Ejfroija) (d. Ivan Vyrypaev) ** 1/2
EVAN ALMIGHTY (d. Tom Shadyac) Good f/x money shot; but that's about it for this bloated, unfunny "comedy".  **
EVENING (d. Lajos Koltai) *** 1/2
EX DRUMMER (d. Koen Mortier)  * 1/4                 
EX, THE (Jesse Peretz) Unfunny comedy. Braff and Bateman are worth admission; but the plot has holes & doesn't hold together.  **
EXILED (d. Johnny To) ** 1/4
EXPIRED (d. Cecilia Miniucchi) ** 1/2
FAIR PLAY (d. Lionel Bailliu) *** 1/4
FAMILY FRIEND (L'Amico di Famiglia) (d. Paolo Sorrentino) W/O
FAMILY HERO (Le héros de la famille) (d. Thierry Klifa) ** 3/4
FAY GRIM (d. Hal Hartley) Wildly uneven comedy/thriller.  Posey is fine, but writing not up to former Hartley films. ** 3/4
FEAST OF LOVE (d. Robert Benton) Emotionally affecting; but I need to read the book, which is obviously richer. ***
FEVER OF '57 (d. David Hoffman) *** 1/4
FINAL DESTINATION 3 (d. James Wong) V. Surprisingly stylish horror thriller; but when Jesse Moss was killed off I bailed. W/O
FIRST SNOW (d. Mark Fergus)  Pedestrian, twisty Amer. Indy with a great Guy Pearce perf.** 3/4 
FISH DREAMS (d. Kiril Mikhanovsky) ** 1/2
FLEUR DU MAL, LA (d. Claude Chabrol)V.+ Incestuous hijinx among the French bourgeoisie. Cool & intriguing. ***
FLOOD (d. Tony Mitchell) V. Tacky, convincing British disaster drama about 1,000 year flood of London.  ** 1/4
FLYING SCOTSMAN, THE (d. Douglas Mackinnon) Jonny Lee Miller & Billy Boyd are good; but film predictable sports bio. ** 1/4
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO (d. Daniel Karslake) *** 3/4
FOREVER FLOWS (d. Abu Sayeed; Bangladesh) **
FRACTURE (d. Gregory Hoblit) Clever story, acting tour de force. Gosling is a star.  *** 1/4
FRENCH FOR BEGINNERS (Französisch für Anfänger) (d. Christian Ditter) ***
FRESH AIR (Friss levegö) (d. Agnes Kocis and Andrea Roberti) ***
FRIEND OF MINE, A (d. Sebastian Schipper) *** 1/4
FROZEN CITY (d. Aku Louhimies) ** 1/4
FUGITIVE PIECES  (d. Jeremy Podeswa) ***
GAGARIN'S GRANDSON (d. Andrey Panin) ** 1/2
GARAGE (d. Lenny Abrahamson) ***
GETTING HOME (Luo ye gui gen) (d. Zhang Yang) *** 1/4
GIRL CUT IN TWO, A (La fille coupée en deux) (d. Claude Chabrol) ***
GIRL IN THE PARK, THE (d. David Auburn) *** 1/4
GIRL IS MINE, THE (d. Virginie Wagon) ***
GOLDEN COMPASS, THE (d. Chris Weitz) Great f/x, muddled script.  **
GONE BABY GONE (d. Ben Affleck) Nicely directed.  Story too  far-fetched; but Casey Affleck especially fine. *** 1/4
GONE WITH THE WOMAN (d. Peter Naess) Norway Academy foreign film submission ***
GOOD NIGHT, THE (d. Jake Paltrow) Totally forgettable story about a shlub who lives a vivid dream life.  **
GOOD SON, THE (d. Joseph Rubin)V. Elija Wood, great kid actor...Culkin ok.  Convincing film, except for unlikely ending.  ** 3/4
GOYA'S GHOST (d. Milos Forman) ***
GRACE IS GONE (d. James Strause) Subtle, well crafted & acted (especially the girls): mom killed in war.  *** 1/4
GRAVE DECISIONS (d. Marcus H. Rosenmüller) ** 1/2
GREAT DEBATERS, THE (d. Denzel Washington) Better than I expected. Predictable, but moving.  ***
GRIMM LOVE (d. Martin Weisz) ** 1/2
GUARDIAN'S SON (d. Dimitis Koutsiabassakos) ** 3/4
GYPSY CARAVAN (d. Jasmine Dellal) ***
HABITANTE INCIERTO, EL (The Uninvited Guest)  (d. Guillem Morales) V. ***
HAIRSPRAY (d. Adam Shankman) *** 1/2
HANNIBAL RISING (d. Peter Webber) Now just an ordinary slasher/revenge genre pic, though Gaspard Ulliel is a very interesting actor.  **
HARRY POTTER 5 (d. David Yates) *** 1/4
HIDDEN LOVE (L'amour caché) (d. Alessandro Capone) * 3/4
HOAX, THE (d. Lasse Hallstrom) Competent, but predictable and not involving.  ** 1/2
HOLDING TREVOR (d. Rosser Goodman) *** 1/2
HONEYDRIPPER (d. John Sayles) Good music, but very predictable.  ** 3/4
HOUNDS (d. Ann-Kristin Reyels) *** 1/4
HOW IS YOUR FISH TODAY (Jin tian de yu zen me yang?)  (d. Xiaolu Guo) ** 3/4
HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE (d. Dorris Dörrie) *** 1/2
HOW TO ROB A BANK (d. Andrews Jenkins) Talky, pretentious caper thriller that doesn't work at all. Even Nick Stahl can't save. * 1/2
HUNTING AND GATHERING (Ensemble, c'est tout) (d. Claude Berri) *** 1/2
HUNTING PARTY, THE (d. Richard Shepard) ** 1/2
I AM LEGEND (d. Francis Lawrence) Too similar to 28 Days Later; but effective filmmaking, fine f/x.  ***
I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE (d. Tsai Ming-liang) ** 1/2
I JUST DIDN'T DO IT (d. Masayuki Suo) Japan Academy foreign film submission *** 1/2
I REALLY HATE MY JOB (d. Oliver Parker) * 3/4
I REMEMBER (d. Edgard Nevarro) **
I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND (d. Jiri Menzel; Czech Republic) *** 1/4
ICE CREAM, I SCREAM (d. Yüksel Aksu; Turkey)  * 1/4
I'M NOT THERE (d. Todd Haynes) Fascinating, but completely inscrutable, just like most of Dylan's songs for me. ***
IN THE LAND OF WOMEN (d. Jon Kasdan) Brody is legitimate leading man. Ryan impressive. Fine debut by young Kasdan. *** 1/4
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (d. David Sington) ***1/4
IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH (d. Paul Haggis) Strong perfs, especially Tommy Lee Jones. Resonant script. *** 1/4
INFAMOUS (d. Douglas McGrath) V. Better in every particular than Capote. Stunning acting by Jones & Craig. *** 1/2
INTERVIEW (d. Steve Buscemi) ***
INTIMATE ENEMIES (L'ennemi intime) (d. Florent-Emilio Siri) *** 1/4
INTO THE WILD (d. Sean Penn) I've been haunted by this story of a young man's spiritual journey. *** 1/2
INVISIBLE, THE (d. David Goyer) Ridiculous plot, guilty pleasure...I like Justin Chatwin, so sue me.  ** 1/4
ISKA'S JOURNEY (Iszka Utazása) (d. Csaba Bollók) ** 1/2
ISLAND, THE (d. Pavil Lounguine) ***
IT DOESN'T HURT (Mne ne bolno) (d. Alexey Balabanov) **
IT'S HARD TO BE NICE (d. Srdan Vuletic; Bosnia/Herzogovina) ***
IT'S WINTER (d. Rafi Pitts (86 min.) **
JANE AUSTIN BOOK CLUB, THE (d. Robin Swicord) ** 3/4
JAR CITY (Mýrin)(d. Baltasar Kormákur) *** 1/4                            
JELLYFISH (d. Etgar Keret, Shira Gefen) ** 3/4
JINDABYNE (d. Ray Lawrence) Intolerance Aussie style. Well directed & acted (esp. Laura Linney per usual).  *** 1/4
JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN (d. Julian Temple) Fabu music docu. I had no idea.  *** 1/2
JOSHUA (d. George Ratliff) *** 1/2
JUNO (d. Jason Reitman) ** 1/4
JUST BURIED (d. Chaz Thorne) ** 3/4
JUST LIKE HOME (Hjemve) (d. Lone Scherfig) ** 1/2
KABLUEY (d. Scott Prendergast)  Amusing Woody Allenish comedy. Prendergast is an actor/writer/filmmaker to watch. ***
KATYN (d. Andrzej Wajda;  Poland) *** 1/2
KING OF FIRE (d. Chatrichalerm Yukol; Thailand) ***
KING OF KONG (d. Seth Gordon) ***
KING OF THE HILL (El Rey de la Montańa) (d. Gonzalo López-Gallego) *** 1/4
KINGDOM, THE (d. Peter Berg) Berg's docudrama style works; but the film's script is problematical.  ** 3/4
KINGS (d. Tom Collins) Ireland Academy foreign film submission ** 3/4
KITE RUNNER, THE (d. Marc Forster) No big name stars; but boy what an emotional wallop.   *** 1/2
KNOCKED UP (d. Judd Apatow) *** 1/4
KNOT, THE (d. Li Yin) China Academy foreign film submission ***
KREUTZER SONATA, THE - WHAT IS LOVE? (Quale amore) (d. Maurizio Sciarra) *** 1/2
KYLE (d. John Bradburn) 1/2*
LA LEÓN (d. Santiago Otheguy) * 1/2
LADY CHATTERLEY (d. Pascale Ferran) A very French take of smoldering love in upper class Britain, a heterosexual Maurice. *** 1/4
LAKE OF FIRE (d. Tony Kaye) Long, fascinating, apparently neutral docu re abortion. Some hard to take shots! *** 1/4
LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (d. Craig Gillespie) *** 1/4
LAST LEGION, THE (d. Doug Lefler) ** 1/2
LAST MIMZY, THE (d. Robert Shaye)V. Pleasant enough fantasy/sf, fine kid actors; not very meaty stuff.  ** 3/4
LAST MISTRESS, THE (Une vieille maîtress) (d. Catherine Breillat) *** 1/2
LATE BLOOMERS (d. Bettina Oberli;  Switzerland) ** 1/4
LIBERTAS (d. Veljko Bulajic; Croatia) ** 1/4
LICENSE TO WED (d. Ken Kwapis) *
LIFE AND TIMES OF YVA LAS VEGAS, THE (d. Wiley Underdown) **
LIFE IN LOOPS (A MEGACITIES RMX) (d. Tina Novotny) * 1/2
LIFE ON THE EDGE (d. Ventura Pons) ** 3/4
LIKE MINDS (d. Gregory J. Read) *** 1/4
LION FOR LAMBS (d. Robert Redford) Overly talky & schematic; but brilliant, important and utterly topical!  *** 1/2
LITTLE BOOK OF REVENGE (d. Jean-François Pouliot) ** 3/4
LITTLE SECRETS (d. Pol Cruchten; Luxembourg) ** 1/2
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (d. Len Wiseman) Non-stop action, overly convoluted plot. Better than expected.  ** 3/4
LIVING WAKE, THE (d. Sol Tyson) * 1/2
LONGFORD (d. Tom Hooper) V. HBO biopic about dotty, saintly lord (fabulous Jim Broadbent) who visits hopless prisoners. *** 1/4
LOOKOUT, THE (d. Scott Frank) Nicely written & directed psych. thriller, with 3 super perfs.  espec. Joseph Gorden-Levitt *** 1/4
LOVE & DANCE (Sipur Hatzi Russi) (d. Eitan Anner) ** 3/4
LOVE FOR SHARE (d. Nia Dinata; Indonesia) ** 3/4
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (d. Mike Newell) Bardem is really fine, a moving "elderly" love story, but... ** 3/4
LOVE SONGS (Les chansons d'amours) (d. Christophe Honoré) ***
LOVESICKNESS (Maldeamores) (d. Carlitos Ruíz Ruíz & Mariem Pérez) ** 3/4
LUCIE AUBRAC (d. Claude Berri) V. Gripping trueish French Resistance film, like Black Book or Sophie Scholl, only better.  *** 1/4
LUCKY YOU (d. Curtis Hanson) Predictable romantic drama; but at least they got the poker right.  ** 1/2
LUST, CAUTION (d. Ang Lee) Gorgeous, perverse love and revolt story with a phenominal perf by Wei Tang.  *** 1/2
M FOR MOTHER (d. Rasool Mollagholi Poor; Iran) * 3/4
MAMBO ITALIANO (d. Émile Gaudreault) V.+ Enjoyable gay family dramedy with a nice, sympathetic perf by Luke Kerby. ** 3/4
MAN EXPOSED, THE (d. Aku Louhimies) ** 3/4
MAN IN THE CHAIR (d. Michael Schroeder) ***
MAN OF MY LIFE, THE (d. Zabou Breitman)+  *** 3/4
MAN'S JOB, A (d. Aleksi Salmenperä) Finland's foreign film submission ***
MANUELA AND MANUEL (d. Paul Marchand Sanchez) ***
MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (d. Jennifer Baichwal) ***
MARGOT AT THE WEDDING (d. Noah Baumbach) Dysfunctional sisters squared. Fabu acting, ugly story.  ***
MARTIAN CHILD (d. Menno Meyjes) How this script aborted my friend David Gerrold's true story!  ** 1/2
MATTI (d. Aleksi Mäkelä) ** 1/4
MAX HAVELAAR (d. Fons Rademakers) ***
MEETING RESISTANCE (d. Connors & Bingham) Excellent, scary docu about Iraqi resistance fighters.  *** 1/2
MEMORY THIEF, THE (d. Gil Kofman) *** 3/4
MEN IN THE NUDE (d. Károly Esztergályos) ***
MIGHTY HEART, A (d. Michael Winterbottom) Great docu like feeling; but film failed to affect me emotionally.  ** 3/4
MOLIČRE (d. Laurant Tirard) *** 1/4
MON ANGE (d. Serge Frydman) V.  Farfetched prostitute bonds with teenage boy story. Again, Vincent Rottiers steals a film. ** 1/4
MONGOL  (d. Sergei Bodrov)  ** 3/4                       
MONSTER-IN-LAW (d. Robert Lutetik) V.  Totally predictable, forgettable comedy.  Unwatchable.  W/O
MR. BROOKS (d. Bruce A. Evans) Wonderful script, this audacious serial killer as anti-hero film just works.  *** 1/2
MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM (d. Zach Helm) Nice special f/x, but nothing else special here.  ** 1/2
MUGGER, THE (d. Pablo Fendrik) **
MUSHISHI (d. Katsuhiro Otomo) ** 1/2
MUSIC AND LYRICS (d. Marc Lawrence) Great fake '80s music videos. Uninvolving romantic comedy. Grant's shtick is getting tired.  ** 3/4
MY BEST FRIEND (d. Patrice Laconte) *** 1/2
MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD (Mio fratello č figlio unico) (d. Daniele Luchetti) *** 1/2
MY FRIEND AND HIS WIFE (Naeui Chingu, geneui anae) (d. Shin Dong-il) ***
NAKED BOYS SINGING (d. Schrock & Christian) Gimmicky staged musical review.  Good songs, not cinematic. **
NAMESAKE, THE (d. Mira Nair) Terrific immigrant family drama with a surprisingly fine perf by Kal Penn.  *** 3/4
NANKING (d. Guttentag & Sturman) Horrific pictures & well cast readings by actors make effective docu. *** 1/4
NANNY DIARIES, THE (d. Shari Singer Berman, Robert Pulcini) ** 3/4
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (d. Jon Turteltaub) Excessive, ridiculous, a 2 Excedrin mess.  * 1/2
NEVER AGAIN AS BEFORE (Mai piů come prima) (d. Giacomo Campiotti) *** 1/4
NEW YORK SERENADE (d. Frank Whaley) ***
NEXT (d. Lee Tamahori) Deja Vu with none of that films brilliant f/x & an inferior Phil Dick concept.  **
NIGHTWATCHING  (d. Peter Greenaway)  ** 1/2               
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (d. Joel and Ethan Coen) Ultra bloody, almost perfectly achieved thriller.  *** 1/2
NO END IN SIGHT (d. Charles Furguson) Impressive docu indicting the Bush administration.  *** 1/4
NO REGRET (d. Leesong Hee-il) ***
NOISE (d. Matthew Saville) ***
NOMAD (d. Sergei Bodrov; Kazakhstan) *** 1/2
NORMAL (d. Carl Bessai) ***
NOTHING IS PRIVATE (d. Alan Ball) ***
NU. (d. Jan-Willem van Ewijk) ** 3/4
OFFSCREEN (d. Christopher Boe) ** 1/4
OH HAPPY DAY (d. Ian Poitier) * 3/4
ONCE (d. John Carney) ***
ONE DAY LIKE RAIN (d. Paul Todisco) 1/2*
ONE HUNDRED NAILS (Centochiodi) (d. Ermanno Olmi) ** 1/4
OPERATION HOMECOMING (d. Richard Robbins) Out of the tragedy of war, true art in the best of this years docus. ****
ORA DI PUNTA, L' (d. Vincenzo Marra) ** 3/4
ORPHANAGE, THE (d. J.A. Bayona) Spain's foreign film submission ** 1/2
OUT AT THE WEDDING (d. Lee Friedlander) *
OUT OF TIME (d. Harald Friedl) ** 3/4
OUTING RILEY (d. Pete Jones) ***
PADRE NUESTRO (d. Rodrigo Sepulveda; Chile) ***
PAPER WILL BE BLUE, THE (Hirtia va fi Albastra) (d. Radu Muntean) ***
PAPRIKA (d. Satoshi Kon) **
PARIS, JE T'AIME (d. various) *** 1/4
PARTING SHOT, A (d. Pas douce) (d. Jeanne Waltz) *** 1/4
PAST, THE (El Pasado) (d. Héctor Babenco) *** 1/2
PERFECT DAY, A (d. Peter Levin) V. Sappy TV movie wannabe Wonderful Life.  * 3/4
PERSEPOLIS (d. Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi; France)  *** 1/4
PINGPONG (d. Matthias Luthardt) *** 1/4
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 (d. Gore Verbinski) Exhaustingly repetitive, boring empty calories.  * 1/2
PLEASANT MOMENTS (d. Vera Chytilová) *** 1/2
PLEASE VOTE FOR ME (d. Weijun Chen) Illuminating Chinese docu: 3rd graders' 1st election of class monitor. *** 1/4
POPE'S TOILET, THE (d. Enrique Fernández) Uruguay foreign film submission.  ** 3/4
POSTCARDS FROM LENINGRAD (d. Mariana Rondón; Venezuela) **
PRAGUE (d. Ole Christian Madsen) *** 1/2
PRICE OF SUGAR, THE (d. Bill Haney) Admirable docu which also works: Priest in Domin.Rep. vs. sugar industry. *** 1/4
PROMISE TO THE DEAD, A (d. Peter Raymont) Docu: Ariel Dorfman's paean to Pinochet's Chilean disappeared.  ***
PUFFY CHAIR, THE (d. Jay Duplass) V. Typical talky indie, sort of annoying but occasionally quite amusing. ** 1/2
RAPE OF EUROPA, THE (d. Berge & Cohen) Well researched docu: WWII and stolen art. Unique footage. *** 1/4
RATATOUILLE (d. Brad Bird) My fave of all the Pixar films; its basically adult theme exalting foodie culture appeals.  *** 1/2
RECLAIM YOUR BRAIN (Free Rainer -- Dein Fernseher Lügt) (d. Hans Weingartner) ** 1/2
RED ROAD (d. Andrea Arnold) Moral ambiguity abounds in this well made, subtle thriller. *** 1/4
RED WITHOUT BLUE (d. Brooke Sebold, Todd & Benita Sills) *** 1/4
RČGLE DU JEU, LA (d. Jean Renoir) ++ A gem, beautifully constructed social satire/French farce.  *** 3/4
REIGN OVER ME (d. Mike Binder) Binder bites off a lot; but Cheadle & Sandler (nervy, spot on perf) make it work.  ***
RENDITION (d. Gavin Hood) Another well directed film with a story that just doesn't add up.  ** 3/4
REPRISE (d. Joachim Trier; Norway)  *** 1/2
RESERVATION ROAD (d. Terry George) Unlikely coincidence mars a well told, predictable story.  ** 3/4
RESOLVED (d. Greg Whiteley) Gripping & a little scary docu about HS debaters now (so different from the '50s when I was one.) *** 1/2
RESURRECTING THE CHAMP (d. Rod Lurie) *** 1/4
RETRIBUTION (Sakebi) (d. Kiyoshi Kurosawa) ** 3/4
RETURN OF THE STORKS (d. Martin Repka; Slovakia) ***
RIGHT OF THE WEAKEST, THE (La Raison du plus faible) (d. Lucas Belvaux) *** 1/2
ROBBER BRIDE, THE (d. David Evans) V. Canadian tv thriller with plot gyrations, but rather predictable, if well acted.  ** 1/4
ROCKET SCIENCE (d. Jeffrey Blitz) *** 1/4
ROMANCE & CIGARETTES (d. John Turturro) Virtually unwatchable embarrassment for all.  *
RUNNING ON EMPTY (d. Akinci Bülent) ** 3/4
RUSSIAN TRIANGLE, THE (d. Aleko Tsabadze; Georgia) *** 1/4
SAD VACATION (d. Shinji Aoyama) * 3/4
SALTY AIR (d. Alessandro Angelini) *** 1/2
SALVADOR (d. Manuel Huerga) ***
SALVATORE: THIS IS LIFE (d. Gian Paolo Cugno) ***
SANCTUARY: LISA GERRARD (d. Clive Collier) ** 3/4
SAND AND SORROW (d. Paul Freedman) Darfur docu.  Admirable subject, boring straightforward filmmaking.  ** 1/2
SATANAS (d. Andrés Baiz; Columbia) ***
SAVAGES, THE (d. Tamara Jenkins) So real, so personally identifying, great acting, just too much of a downer.  *** 1/4
SECRET FESTIVAL #4 Redeemed the entire concept of Secret Festival for the year.  *** 3/4
SECRET SUNSHINE (d. Lee Chang-dong; Korea) ***
SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING, THE (d. David L. Cunningham) Adolescent fantasy with good f/x & an interesting hero in Alex Ludwig. ** 1/4
SEVERANCE (d. Christopher Smith) ***
SEX & BREAKFAST (d. Miles Brandman) Reprises the least interesting thread of HBO's Tell Me You Love Me.   ** 1/2
SEX AND DEATH 101 (d. Daniel Waters) **
SHADOWS, THE (d. Guillermo Rodriguez) **
SHAKE THE DEVIL OFF (d. Peter Entell)  OK post Katrina docu: parish church & beloved reverend disbanded.  ** 3/4
SHELTER ME (Riparo) (d. Marco Simon Puccioni) *** 1/4
SHOOTER (d. Antoine Fuqua) Better than average paranoid govt. out of control thriller - Mark Wahlberg is quite good.  ***
SHORT CIRCUITS (Kratki Stiki) (d. Janez Lapajne) Slovenia's foreign film submission ** 3/4
SHREK THE THIRD (d. Chris Miller & Raman HuI) **
SICKO (d. Michael Mann) The Cuba trick is overly cute; but docu is entertaining & useful.  ***
SILENCE, THE  (d. Cate Shortland) ** 3/4
SILENT LIGHT (d. Carlos Reygadis; Mexico) *** 3/4
SILK (d. François Gerard) Slow and reflective, but beautiful.  ** 3/4
SILLY AGE, THE (d. Pavel Giroud)  Cuba Academy foreign film submission  ***
SIMPSONS MOVIE, THE (d. David Silverman) ***
SINGER, THE (Quand j'étais chanteur) (d. Xavier Giannoli) ** 1/4
SLEEPER CELL 2 (d. various ) V. Similar, but inferior to 1st series.  ** 1//2
SMALL ENGINE REPAIR (d. Niall Heery) *** 1/4
SMILEY FACE (d. Gregg Araki) *** 1/4
SON OF RAMBOW (d. Garth Jennings) ***
SONS (Sonner) (d. Erik Richter Strand) *** 1/4
SOUTHLAND TALES (d. Richard Kelly) Scrambled script, good f/x,  Fifth Element light.  Was Donny Darko a fluke? ** 1/2
STARDUST (d. Matthew Vaughn) ** 1/2
STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING (d. Andrew Wagner) Understated, fine acting.  A very adult script.   *** 1/4
STATE OF MIND (d. Christopher Menaul) V. Pretty good British tv forensic psych story...Andrew Lincoln wonderful, per usual. ** 3/4
STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME (d. Michčle Ohayon) Holocaust docu: Dutch survivors on their 60th wedding aniv. *** 1/4
STEALTH (Comme des voleurs -A l'est) (d. Lionel Baier) *** 1/4
STRANGE CULTURE (d. Lynn Hershman Leeson) ****
STRAY GIRLFRIEND, A (Una novia errante) (d. Ana Katz) ** 1/4
STRIKE (Volker Schlöndorff) *** 1/2
SUMMER RAIN (El Camino de los ingleses)  (d. Antonio Bandaras) ** 3/4
SUN ALSO RISES, THE (Tai Yang Zhao Chang Sheng Qi) (d. Jiang Wen)  ** 1/4      
SUNSHINE (d. Danny Boyle) *** 1/4
SUPERBAD (d. Greg Mattola) ** 1/2
SURF'S UP (d. Ash Brannon & Chris Buck) ** 3/4
SURVEILLANCE (d. Paul Oremland) ** 1/4
SWAY (Yureru) (d. Miwa Nishikawa) *** 1/2
SWEENEY TODD (d. Tim Burton) Well made; but even Sondheim's lyrics can't make me love this musical. ***
SWEET MUD (d. Dror Shaul; Israel) *** 1/2
TAKVA - A MAN'S FEAR OF GOD (d. Ozer Kiziltan) *** 1/4
TALK TO ME (d. Kasi Lemmons) *** 1/4
TAPAS (d. José Corbacho & Juan Cruz) V. ***
TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE (d. Alex Gibney) Horrific, difficult docu: American torture of prisoners since 9/11. *** 1/4
TELL NO ONE (Ne le dit ŕ personne) (d.Guillaume Canet) *** 1/4
TEN, THE (d. David Wain) *** 1/4
THEM (Ils) (d. David Moreau and Xavier Palud) ** 3/4
THERE WILL BE BLOOD (d. Paul Thomas Anderson) Respect the filmmaking more than loved the film.  *** 1/4
THESE FOOLISH THINGS (d. Julia Taylor-Stanley) **
THICKER THAN WATER (d. Arni Olafur Asgersson) *** 1/4
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE (d. Susanne Bier) Fine direction, fantastic acting (del Toro & Barry)  *** 1/4
THIS IS ENGLAND (d. Shane Meadows) *** 1/4
THREE ON THE ROAD (Baciami Piccina) (d. Roberto Cimpanelli) ***
TO GET TO HEAVEN YOU FIRST HAVE TO DIE (Bihisht Faqat Baroi Murdagon) (d. Djamshed Usmonov) ***
TRAINWRECK: MY LIFE AS AN IDOIT (d. Todd Harrison Williams) ***
TRANSFORMERS (d. Michael Bay) ** 1/4
TV SET, THE (d. Jake Kasdan) Spot on satire of tv network/show running goings on.  Great cast, nifty, truthful script.  *** 1/4
TWICE UPON A TIME (Désaccord parfait) (d. Antoine De Caunes) ** 1/2
ULZHAN (d. Volker Schlöndorff) ***
UNITED 93 (d. Paul Greengrass) V.  Impressively subtle.  As close to Cinéma vérité as we're likely to get this century.  *** 3/4
UNKNOWN, THE (d. Giuseppe Tornatore) Italy Academy foreign film submission *** 1/4
URO (d. Stefan Faldbakken) ***
USED PARTS (d. Aaron Fernandez) *** 1/4
VACATION (d. Thomas Arslan) ** 3/4
VERY SERIOUS PERSON, A (d. Charles Busch) ** 3/4
VIE EN ROSE, LA (d. Olivier Dehan) *** 1/2
VITUS (d. Fredi M. Murer) + *** 1/2
WAITER (d. Alex van Warmerdam) ** 1/2
WAITING FOR HAPPINESS (d. Abderrahmane Sissako) * 3/4
WAITRESS (d. Adrienne Shelly) Pleasant, well acted & directed romantic dramedy. Fillion & Russell have true chemistry. ***
WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY (d. Jake Kasdan) Silly fun, but quite creative, funny pseudo biopic.  ***
WALK THE TALK (d. Matthew Allen) ** 3/4
WALKER, THE (d. Paul Schrader) Stylish, fine perfs by Harrelson and Bleibtreu & several aged actresses; but eliptical, senseless plot. **
WAR DANCE (d. Sean & Andrea Nix Fine) Moving, if somewhat contrived docu of Ugandan children in camp. ***
WARDEN OF THE DEAD (Pazachyt na myrtvite) (d. Ilian Simeonov;  Bulgaria) **
WAY I SPENT THE END OF THE WORLD, THE (d. Catalin Mitulescu;  Romania) ** 3/4
WE ARE TOGETHER (THINA SIMUNYE) (d. Paul Taylor) Moving docu: So. African orphanage saved by singing. *** 1/4
WEDDING WARS (d. Jim Fall) V. Very well done issue tv flick (gay marriage) with a game perf. by John Stamos.  ***
WEIRDSVILLE (d. Allan Moyle) * 
WELCOME HOME (Bienvenido A Casa) (d. David Trueba) *** 1/4
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT LOLA (Lo que se de Lola) (d. Javier Rebollo) W/O
WHAT THE SUN HAS SEEN (d. Michal Rosa) 3 interwoven stories of impoverishment in modern day Poland. Long & just ok. ** 3/4
WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN (d. Steven Okazaki) Comprehensive, clinical docu about Hiroshima & Nakasaki.  ***
WINTER SOLSTICE (d. Josh Sternfeld) V.+ Quintessential Sundance indie film, quiet, revelatory, fine acting (Webber & Stanford rule!) *** 1/4
WITH YOUR PERMISSION (Til Doden Os Skiller) (d. Paprika Steen) ** 1/2
XXY (d. Lucia Puenzo) ***
YELLA (d. Christian Petzold) ***
YOU, THE LIVING (d. Roy Andersson; Sweden) ** 3/4
YOUTH RUN AMOK (Short program)
YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (d. Francis Ford Coppola) Beautiful, Roth is fine; but wha....!?  ** 1/2
ZODIAC (d. David Fincher) Fascinating procedural which plays like All the Presidents Men rather than Se7en.  *** 1/4

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