2008 Alphabetical List of All Films Watched

In 2008 I watched 500 feature length films, mostly in theaters.

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

12 (d. Nikita Mikhalkov; Russia) ***
13 TZAMETI (d. Géla Babluani) V. Fr./Georgian variation on Intacto. Suspenseful +Giorgi Babluani is a find! *** 1/4
21 (d. Robert Luketic) A slam dunk for me both in subject & Jim Sturgess; but so logically flawed it's a shame. ** 3/4
27 CLUB, THE (d. Erica Dunton) ** 1/4
32A (d. Marian Quinn) ** 1/2
99 FRANCS (d. Jan Kounen) ***
ABBUFFATA L' (d. Mimmo Colopresti) ***
ACNÉ (d. Federico Veiroj) ***
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (d. Julie Taymore) + Even on 2nd view, this is my fave film of decade so far. ****
ADORATION (d. Atom Egoyan) *** 1/2
AFTERSCHOOL (d. Antonio Campos) *** 1/4
AFTERWARDS (d. Gilles Bourdos) ** 1/4
AIMÉE, L' (d. Arnaud Desplechin) ** 1/4
AIN'T SCARED (d. Audrey Estrougo) **
ALEXANDRA (d. Alexander Sokurov) ***
ALICE UPSIDE DOWN (d. Sandy Tung) ** 3/4
ALL IN (d. Nick Vallelonga) V. I usually like poker movies; but this barely watchable drama was terrible.  *
ALL WILL BE WELL (Wszystko Bedzie Dobrze) (d. Tomasz Wiszniewski) *** 1/2
ALONE IN FOUR WALLS (Allein in vier wanden) (d. Alexandra Westmeier) *** 1/4
AMERICAN SON (d. Neil Abramson) *** 1/2
AMERICAN TEEN (d. Nanette Burstein) *** 1/4
ANOTHER LIFE (Ovunque Sei) (d. Michele Placido) ***
ANTARCTICA (d. Yair Hochner) Multi-character Israeli gay story of hot men & their sex lives. Well acted, somewhat involving.  ***
APARTMENT, THE (d. Billy Wilder) + Holds up remarkably, still Lemmon's and MacLaine's triumph; but also a fine original script. *** 1/4
APPALOOSA (d. Ed Harris) I like westerns; but despite a fine cast this one seems derivative (e.g. 3:10 to Yuma) & lacking convincing motivations. ** 1/4
ARCHANGEL (d.  Jon Jones) V. TV thriller from Robert Harris book with a dead fish Daniel Craig perf. pre-Bond, but quite authentic Soviet feeling.  ***
ART OF NEGATIVE THINKING, THE (Kunsten A Tenke Negativt) (d. Bard Breien) ***
ASTRONAUT FARMER, THE (d. Michael Polish)V. Subdued Thornton in gentle mode; pretty, feel-good fantasy not typical of Polish Bros. ** 1/2
AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR (d. Gilbert & James)  Low key docu about former Texas death row chaplin, esp. his remorse over past injustices & the penalty itself. ** 3/4
AUGUST (d. Austin Chick) *** 1/4
AUSTRALIA (d. Bazz Luhrmann) Reminiscent of Giant, a gigantic, yet intimate epic focusing on ranching & a country's ethos. Ambitions almost fulfilled.  ***
BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, THE (d. Uli Edel; Germany) *** 1/4
BALLAST (d. Lance Hammer) ** 1/2
BANK JOB, THE (d. Roger Donaldson) Surprisingly predictable, I've seen this heist film several times before. ** 1/4
BATTLE IN SEATTLE (d. Stuart Townsend) ** 1/2
BE KIND REWIND (d. Michel Gondrey) Gondrey's silly creativity works here. Mos Def surprised me.  ***
BEAUFORT (d. Joseph Cedar; Isreal)  *** 1/2
BEFORE I FORGET (Avant que j'oublie) (d. Jacques Nolot) ** 3/4
BEFORE THE RAINS (d. Santosh Sivan) ** 3/4
BERNARD AND DORIS (d. Bob Balaban) V. Exquisitely acted (Finnes & Sarandon) but sorta boring biopic.  ** 3/4
BEST OF YOUTH, THE (d. Marco Giordano) V.+++ Still the most emotionally resonant film I've ever watched. ****
BETRAYAL, THE (Nerakhoon) (d. Kuras & Phrasavath) Docu of Laotian family uprooted to U.S. after "secret" war. Moving, but confusingly cut with overdone music. ** 1/2
BETTER THINGS (d. Duane Hopkins) ** 1/2
BLACK BALLOON, THE (d. Elissa Down) Australian family with autistic son from pov of younger brother. Well observed, tough, truthful. *** 1/4
BLACK SNAKE MOAN (d. Craig Brewer)V. Ricci's perf is brave, Jackson is fine, Timberlake less so.  Film:  clichéd mishmash.  ** 3/4
BLADES OF GLORY (d. Gordon & Speck)V. Heder is fine, Ferrell barely ok in this surprisingly funny comedy. Dumb but trenchant. ** 3/4
BLESSED IS THE MATCH: The Life & Death of Hannah Senesh (d. Roberta Grossman) Enormously moving docu re: Hungarian/Palistinian WWII heroine. *** 3/4
BLIND LOVES (d. Juraj Lehotsky; Slovakia) *** 1/4
BLIND SUNFLOWERS, THE (Los girasoles ciegos)  (d. Joeé Luis Cuerda; Spain) ***
BLINDNESS (d. Fernando Meirelles) Unrealistic, but strong catastrophe film (like 28 Days Later) about mystery blindness illness & society throwing victims away. ** 1/2
BLISS (d. Abdullah Oguz)  *** 1/4
BLOOD APPEARS (La Sangre Brota) (d. Pablo Fendik) ** 1/2
BLOOD BROTHERS (Tiantang Kou) (d. Alexi Tan) * 1/2
BLOOD OF THE LOSERS (Il sangue de vinti) (d. Michele Soavi) *** 1/2
BLUETOOTH VIRGIN, THE (d. Russell Brown) *** 1/2
BODY OF LIES (d. Ridley Scott) Entertaining star driven CIA vs. terrorist contempo thriller.  Scott is a director in control of the medium.  *** 1/4
BOTTLE SHOCK (d. Randall Miller) Napa vintage 1976 & wine growing. Looks good; but terrible on the palate. Terrible script.  * 1/2
BOY A (d. John Crowley) *** 3/4
BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, THE (d. Mark Herman) Emotionally affecting, well acted (Farmiga and the two boys especially). Too pat.  ***
BOYFRIEND FOR MY WIFE, A (Un novio para mi mujer) (d. Juan Taratuto) ** 3/4
BOYSTOWN (d. Juan Flahn) ** 3/4
BRICK LANE (d. Sarah Gavron) ***
BRIDESHEAD REVISITED (d. Julian Jarrold) Over-amped but curiously passionless & unnecessary redo of a definitive miniseries. ** 1/4
BRITZ (d. Peter Kominsky) V. Shattering, scary story of Pakistani/Brit brother & sister caught up in modern terrorism on opposite sides.  *** 1/2
BROTHERS BLOOM, THE (d. Rian Johnson) Silly, slapsticky, anachronistic fantasy which wastes a good cast.  A strange comedown for the director of Brick.  * 1/4
BUDDHA COLLAPSED OUT OF SHAME (d. Hana Makmalbaf) *** 1/4
BUM'S NAME, THE (Civico 0) (d. Citto Maselli) ***
BURN AFTER READING (d. Joel & Ethan Coen) Silly, but quite entertaining farce about CIA snafu involving a computer disk & some greedy Washingtonians.  ***
CADILLAC RECORDS (d. Darnell Martin) Interesting biopic of Chess recording artists. Nice musical numbers, esp. Beyoncé's Etta James. ** 3/4
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' (ENDLESS) (d. Cristian Nemescu) *** 1/4
CALL ME TROY (d. Scott Bloom) ***
CAMILLE (d. Gregory Mackenzie)  * 3/4
CAPE NO. 7 (d. Te-Sheng Wei; Taiwan) **
CAPTAIN ABU RAED (d. Amin Matalqa) ***
CAPTAIN AHAB (Captaine Achab) (d. Philippe Ramos) ** 1/4
CAPTURE OF THE GREEN RIVER KILLER, THE (d. Norma Bailey) V. Zodiac lite. Very well made & acted.  ***
CAUCASIA (d. Farid Gumbatov; Azerbaijan) * 1/4
CHANGELING, THE  (d. Clint Eastwood) Schocking true story resonates emotionally. Jolie's over-the-top perf. is Oscar bait; but Eastwood's clear vision holds.  ***
CHASER, THE (d. Na Hong-jin) *** 1/2
CHE Part 1 (d. Steven Soderbergh) Light on exposition, too many characters to keep straight, still interesting as docudrama.  ** 3/4
CHE Part 2 (d. Steven Soderbergh) Same problesm; but it just works better as futility and defeat is just more interesting than victory. ***
CHERRY BLOSSOMS - HANAMI (d. Dorris Dorrie) *** 1/4
CHILDREN OF HUANG SHI, THE (d. Roger Spottswoode) ** 3/4
CHOKE (d. Clark Gregg) * 1/2
CHRIS & DON:  A LOVE STORY (d. Guido Sante) *** 1/2
CHRISTMAS TALE, A (Un conte de Noël) (d. Arnaud Desplechin) *** 1/4
CIAO (d. Yen Tan) Touching, arty (in a good way) American indie gay film...Italian man meets friend on net.  ***
CITY OF EMBER (d. Gil Kenan) Superb dystopian heroic fantasy, a live action Wall*E with the visual panache of Brazil.  *** 1/2
CITY OF MEN (d. Paolo Morelli) Much better than City of God, imho.  Emotionally affecting, driving narrative. *** 1/4
CLAPHAM JUNCTION (d. Adrian Shergold) Terrific British TV movie about contrasts in modern society (marriage & bashing).  *** 1/2
CLASS, THE (d. Ilmar Raag; Estonia) *** 1/2
CLASS, THE (Entre les murs) (d. Laurent Cantet; France) *** 3/4
COCHOCHI (d. Israel Cárdenas & Laura Amelia Guzmán) *** 1/4
COLOR OF FAME, THE (d.Alesandro Bellame Palacios; Venezuela) ***
COMANCHE MOON (d. Simon Wincer) V.  Nicely played, if choppy, miniseries. Val Kilmer? weird.  ** 3/4
CONTINENTAL, A FILM WITHOUT GUNS (d. Stéphane Lafleur) ** 1/2
CONTROL ALT DELETE (d. Cameron Labine) ** 3/4
CORRECTION (Diorthosi) (d. Thanos Anastopoulos, Greece) ** 1/4
CORTEX (d. Nicolas Boukhrief) ***
COUNTRY TEACHER, THE (d. Bohdan Sláma) *** 3/4
CRANFORD (d. Simon Curtis) V. Superb British early Victorian mini-series which just got better & better. The final part blew me away. *** 1/2
CREATIVE NATURE (d. John Andres) ** 1/4
CROSSING BORDERS (d. Arnd Wächter) Hopeful, moving docu feels like "Real World Morocco", 4 American & 4 Moroccan students live together for a week and keep it real.  *** 1/4
CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE (d. David Fincher) Moving, epic filmmaking which works at all levels. Nearly a masterpiece. *** 1/2
CUTTING EDGE 3, THE (d. Stuart Gillard) V.  Surprisingly not bad, although predictable. Matt Lanter is good! ** 1/2
CUTTING EDGE, THE (d. Paul Michael Glaser) V. Moira Kelly & D.B. Sweeney have good chemistry. Otherwise clichéd. ** 1/2
DARK KNIGHT, THE (d. Christopher Nolan) Surprisingly dark and dense, some narrative glitches, but Ledger is as good as the hype. *** 1/4
DARK STREETS (d. Rachel Samuels) Rarely has so much stylishness been put in aid of such a lame story. Only singers & prod. designers come out ok. **
DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE (d. Scott Derrickson) Good f/x; but sappy, incredulous script a million times inferior to original.* 1/2
DAYS AND CLOUDS (d. Silvio Soldini) ***
DEAD SILENCE (d. James Wan)V. Stylish horror flick with ridiculous seen-before "dummy" plot. Looks great, less filling.  ** 1/4
DEAL (d. Gil Cates, Jr.) Predictable, but the poker was realistic & Bret Harrison is a winning actor. ** 3/4
DEATH DEFYING ACTS (d. Gillian Armstrong) Excellent period piece; strong acting by Guy Pierce & Zeta-Jones!  *** 1/4
DEFENDERS OF RIGA (Rigas Sargi) (d. Algars Grauba; Latvia) ** 1/2
DEFIANCE (d. Edward Zwick) Involving, well directed...but somewhat clichéd and old fashioned.  ***
DEPARTURES (Okuribito) (d. Yojiro Takita; Japan) *** 3/4
DEVOTEE (d. Rémi Lange) French drama about a thalidomide 40-ish gay man (no limbs) used as a fetish object. ** 1/2
DHAMMA BROTHERS, THE (d. Jenny Phillips) Hopeful, thoughtful docu of Alabaman prisoners who find peace thru Buddhist meditation.  ***
DOUBT (d. John Patrick Shanley) Major acting kudos (esp. Viola Davis), but film's ambiguity and murky central thesis a problem for me.  ** 3/4
DREAM BOY (d. James Bolton) ** 1/2
DUCHESS, THE (d. Saul Dibb) Excellently made, authentic seeming, gorgeous and even moving historical epic with great perfs by Keira and Ralph. *** 1/2
DUNYA & DESIE (d.Dana Nechushtan; Netherlands) ** 3/4
EAGLE EYE (d. D.J. Caruso) Absurd script well executed.  Raises paranoia quotient and chase sequence destruction derby games to new, ridiculous high.  Shia is fine. ** 1/2
EASY VIRTUE (d. Stephan Elliott) ***
EDEN (d. Declan Recks) Intimate, disturbing, well played drama of a marriage troubled by the 10 year itch.  ***
ELEGY (d. Isabel Coixet) Superb acting by entire company, lovely, moving adult plot. Cruz should win actress Oscar. *** 3/4
ELITE SQUAD (d. José Padhila) *** 3/4
ELLE S'APPELLE SABINE (d. Sandrine Bonnaire) ***
EM (d. Tony Barbieri) ** 3/4
EMMANUEL JAL:  WAR CHILD (d. C. Karim Chrobog) ***
EMPTIES (d. Jan Sverak) ***
EMPTY NEST (El Nido Vacio) (d. Daniel Burman) *** 
ENCARNATION (d. Anahi Berneri)  ** 1/4
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (d. Werner Herzog) Fascinating footage of Antarctica & modern scientific explorers.  *** 1/2
ÉTÉ SANS POINT NI COUP SUR, UN (A No-hit, No-run Summer) (d. Francis Leclerc)  ** 3/4
EVERLASTING MOMENTS (d. Jan Troell; Sweden) ***
EVERYTHING IS FINE (d. Yves Fournier) ***
EVIL (Ondskan) (d. Mikael Håfström) V. + One of the best depictions of boarding school sadism ever filmed. *** 1/2
FAIRY TALE OF KATHMANDU (d. Neasa Ni Chianain) **
FALL, THE (d. Tarsem Singh) ** 3/4
FANTASTIC PARASUICIDES (Fantastic Ja-sal-so-dong) (d. Kim, Park & Jo) ** 3/4
FASHION VICTIMS (d. Ingo Rasper) Intermittently funny & clever German farce: two dress salesmen battle.  ** 3/4
FAST FOOD NATION (d. Richard Linklater) Exploited Mexicans, slaughtered cattle, great cast, tough sell!  ***
FAUBOURG 36 (d. Christophe Barratier)  ** 3/4
FAVOR, THE (d. Eva Eridjis) Fine lost indie film with interesting perfs by Frank Woods & Ryan Donowho ***
FEELING FACTORY, THE  (La Fabrique des sentiments) (d. Jean-Marc Moutout) V.  ** 1/2
FEMALE AGENTS (Les Femmes de l'ombre) (d. Jean-Paul Salomé) ** 1/2
FEVER, THE (La Febbre) (d. Alessandro d'Alatri) *** 1/4
FIELDS OF FUEL (d. Josh Tickell) *** 3/4
FIFTY DEAD MEN WALKING (d. Kari Skogland) ***
FIFTY PILLS (d. Theo Avgerinos) V. Monumentally stupid film; but Lou Pucci is my type of leading man.  * 1/4
FINDING AMANDA (d. Peter Tolan) Faintly amusing dramady...witty about the tv game, but the rest not so good.  ** 1/4
FLAME & CITRON (Flammen & Citronen) (d. Ole Christian Madsen) ***
FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, THE (d. Rob Minkoff) Angarino is good, action direction ok; but too predictible.  ** 1/2
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (d. Nicholas Stollar) Sweet & surprisingly smart comedy . *** 1/4
FORGOTTEN WOMAN, THE (d. Dilip Mehta) Docu based on plight of widows in India (non-fiction version of Water). Intrinsically horrifying; but film meanders. ***
FORTRESS (d.Shamil Nacafzada; Azerbaijan) * 1/2
FOSTER CHILD (d. Brilliante Mendoza)  ** 3/4
FREEDOM WRITERS (d. Richard LaGravenese)V. Surprisingly moving true story of teacher vs. gangs. *** 1/4
FRIEND, THE (Der Freund) (d. Micha Lewinsky, Switzerland) *** 1/4
FROST/NIXON (d. Ron Howard) Surprisingly fascinating middlebrow film, with a career perf. by Longella.  *** 1/2
FROZEN RIVER (d. Courtney Hunt) *** 1/2
GARDEN PARTY (d. Jason Freeland) ***
GARDEN, THE (d. Scott Hamilton Kennedy) Infuriating docu about a disputed S. Central L.A. parcel of land which is political dynamite. *** 1/2
GAY LIVES (short program, various directors) (average:  ** 1/2)
GENOVA (d. Michael Winterbottom) ***
GIRL BY THE LAKE, THE (La Ragazza del Lago) (d. Andrea Molaioli) ** 1/2
GIRL FROM MONACO, THE  (La fille de Monaco) (d. Anne Fontaine) ** 1/4
GLASS: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (d. Scott Hicks) Inherently intersting if overlong docu about composer. ***
GOAL II:  LIVING THE DREAM (d. Jaume Collet-Serra) I'm not into soccer; but this is one sports film which satisfies. Kuno Becker!, Nivola, Hauer, Dillane, great f/x. ***
GOMORRA (d. Matteo Garrone; Italy) ** 3/4
GOOD (d. Vicente Amorim) A misguided but fairly involving Holocaust film about a "good" German SS man & his Jewish buddy. ** 1/2
GOOD FOOD (d. Melissa Young & Mark Dworkin) **
GOOD YEAR, A (d. Ridley Scott) V.+ Minor Scott film; but Provence and Russell Crowe are lovely.  ** 3/4
GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (d. Sergio Leone) 195 min. extended version is *long*, but visual feast; Eli Wallach steals the film. *** 1/2
GOODBYE MOTHERS (d. Mohammed Ismail; Morocco) ** 3/4
GRAN TORINO (d. Clint Eastwood) The gran curmudgeon as sassy as ever.  Neatly plotted if a tad obvious.  ***
GREAT BUCK HOWARD, THE (d. Sean McGinly) ** 3/4
GROCER'S SON, THE (Le Fils de l'épicier) (d. Eric Guirado) *** 1/4
GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, A (d. Dito Monteil) V.+ Great cast, life as art.  *** 1/4
HALF-LIFE (d. Jennifer Phang) **
HANCOCK (d. Peter Berg) Ridiculous premise, reasonably good f/x. Superhero with a human face; but I strongly disliked script.  * 1/2
HAPPENING, THE (d. M. Night Shyamalan) Good acting (Betty Buckley's classic camp), ridiculous script (plot holes to spare).   **
HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (d. Mike Leigh) Formless, well acted character study centered around a happy-go-lucky young woman and her angst ridden driving teacher.  ** 3/4
HEARTBEAT DETECTOR  (d. Nicolas Klotz) ** 1/4
HEAVENS BLUE (Tengri) (d. Marie Jaoul de Poncheville; Kyrgyzstan) *** 1/4
HENRY POOLE IS HERE (d. Mark Pellington) Luke Wilson in a film totally without irony doesn't compute.  * 1/4
HIDDEN FACE (d. Bernard Campan) * 1/4
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 (d. Kenny Ortega) Surprisingly good, fun and frothy.  High energy, ok score, great choriography make for a diverting experience.  ***
HIGHER FORCE, THE (d. Olaf de Fleur Johannesson) Silly Iceland comedy which went nowhere for 45 minutes so I walked.  W/O
HOME OF DARK BUTTERFLYS, THE (d. Dome Karukoski;  Finland) ** 3/4
HOME SONG STORIES, THE (d. Tony Ayres; Australia) *** 1/4
HOPE ETERNAL (d. Karl Francis; United Kingdom) ** 1/2
HOUSE OF ADAM, THE (d. Jorge Ameer) Gay ghost story.  A film of towering badness in every aspect: acting, direction, script, all the technicals, yet somehow watchable. *
HOUSEBOY, THE (d. Spencer Schilly) Totally realistic & sexy portrayal of 20-ish gay boy's life & times. Watch for actor Nick May.  *** 1/4
HUDDERSFIELD (Hadersfild) (d. Ivan Zivkovic) ** 1/2
HURT LOCKER, THE (d. Kathryn Bigelow) ****
I WAS HERE (d. René Vilbre; Estonia) ***
I.O.U.S.A. (d. Patrick Creadon) Very well made pov docu about the crushing future economic deficits facing the U.S.  Nobody wants to hear this, but everybody should.  *** 1/2
ILLUSION OF FEAR, THE (d. Aleksandr Kirienko; Ukraine) * 3/4
IN A DREAM (d. Jeremiah Zagar) Raw nerve of a docu about Phila mosaic artist Isiah Zagar & his wife by the 2nd son. Fascinating but difficult. ***
IN BRUGES (d. Martin Mcdonagh) Witty, terrific black comedy thriller with Colin Farrell's best perf.  *** 1/2
IN MEMORY OF MYSELF (d. Saverio Costanzo) ** 3/4
IN SEACH OF KENNEDY (d. Chuck Workman) * 1/2
IN THE ARMS OF MY ENEMY (d. Micha Wald) ***
IN THE HELIOPOLIS FLAT (d. Mohamed Khan; Egypt) ** 1/4
INCREDIBLE HULK, THE (d. Louis Leterrier) King Kong meets Godzilla except they're people.  Good f/x, Norton fine, film flawed.  ** 1/4
INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (d. Steven Spielberg) Great f/x can't mask stupid escapist fantasy story. ** 1/4
INJU, LA BÊTE DANS L'OMBRES (Inju, the Beast in the Shadow) (d. Barbet Schroeder) ** 3/4
INVESTIGATION (d. Iglika Trifonova) ***
IRINA PALM (d. Sam Garbarski) ***
IRON MAN (d. Jon Favreau) Smart, with good script & a great perf by Downey's mature & sarcastic superhero. *** 1/4
IS THERE ANYBODY THERE? (d. John Crowley)  *** 1/4
ISLAND ETUDE (d. Huai-en Chen; Taiwan) W/O
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, THE (De Fortabte Sjaeles O) (d. Nikolaj Arcel) ** 3/4
IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (d. Robert Hamer, 1947) ** 1/2
I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (d. Philippe Claudel) Superb, original & unpredictable family drama with towering perfs from Kristin Thomas & Elsa Zylberstein. *** 1/2
JAMES DEAN (d. Mark Rydell)V. + Superior 2001 TV movie biopic with spectacular perf. by James Franco. *** 3/4
JANI GAL (d. Jamil Rostami; Iraq) **
JIMMY OF THE HILL (d. Enrico Pau) ** 1/2
JOE LOUIS: AMERICA'S HERO BETRAYED (d. Joe Lavine) Excellent & moving docu with a point of view. *** 1/2
JOLENE (d. Dan Ireland) ***
JUMPER (d. Doug Liman) Curiously inert and truncated action thriller.  Only Jamie Bell has any life.  **
KARAMAZOVS, THE (d. Petr Zelenka; Czech Republic) ** 1/2
KARL ROVE I LOVE YOU (d. Butler & Leirness) Trenchant mocumentary, fun and just real enough to fool me for a while. ***
KHAMSA (d. Karim Dridi) ** 3/4
KICKING IT (d. Susan Koch) Uplifting, if predictable docu about contestants at the 2006 Homeless World Cup soccer tournament in Capetown. ***
KILLER, THE (Le Tueur) (d. Cédric Anger) ** 3/4
KING OF PING PONG (Ping Pong Kingen) (d. Jens Jonsson) ** 1/2
KISS THE BRIDE (d. C. Jay Cox) **
KISSES (d. Lance Daly) *** 1/2
KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL (d. Patricia Rozema) Fine depiction of '30s Depression, kid's film with adult resonance.  ** 3/4
KRABAT (d. Marco Kreuzpaintner) *** 1/2
LA FRANCE (d. Serge Bozon) ** 1/2
LADY JANE (d. Robert Guédiguian) ***
LAKE TAHOE (d. Fernando Eimbcke) ** 3/4
LAKEVIEW TERRACE (d. Neil LaBute) Crash like dystopian view of L.A., Overwrought & unsettling, if effective filmmaking. Hit too close to home.  ** 3/4
LAKSHMI AND ME (d. Nishtha Jain) ** 1/4
LAST CHANCE HARVEY (Joel Hopkins) Predictable, adult romantic comedy with fine acting. London has rarely looked better. ** 3/4
LAST MINUTE MOROCCO (d. Francesco Falaschi) ** 3/4
LAW OF DESIRE (Pedro Almodóvar) V. +7 The romantic gay melodrama that first defined the genre.  *** 1/2
LEATHERHEADS (d. George Clooney) Clichéd failure proves screwball comedy is harder than it looks.  * 1/4
LEROY (d. Armin Volckers) ** 1/2
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (d. Tomas Alfredson) ***
LETTING GO OF GOD (d. Julia Sweeney) *** 3/4
L'HEURE D'ÉTÉ (Summer Hours) (d. Olivier Assayas) *** 3/4
LIFE BEFORE HER EYES, THE (d. Vadim Perelman) Difficult.  I wanted to escape the theater throughout. ** 1/4
LIFE HITS (d. Christian Christiansen) ***
LINHA DE PASSE (d. Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas) *** 1/2
LION'S DEN, THE (d. Pablo Trapero; Argentina) *** 1/2
LIVE AND BECOME (d. Radu Mihaileanu) Epic story of Ethopian non-Jew kid living  & growing up in Israel. Quite moving.  *** 1/2
LORNA'S SILENCE (Le silance de Lorna) (d. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) *** 1/2
LOSS (d. Maris Martinsons; Lithuania) **
LOST COAST, THE (d. Gabriel Fleming) Antoniesque, arty drama of 2 20ish guys reliving hi-school affair in Castro Halloween night.  ** 3/4
LOST MAN, A (Un homme perdu)  (d. Danielle Artid) ** 1/2
LOVE AND HONOR (Bushi No Ichibun) (d. Yôji Yamada)  ****
LOVE AND OTHER CRIMES (Liebe und Andere Verbrechen) (d. Stefan Arsenijevic) ** 3/4
LOVE OF SIAM, THE (d. Chukiat Sakveerakul) Thai film about gay boy band singer & his first love.  Affecting, but inscrutable. ** 1/2
LOVE SONGS (d. Chtrisophe Honoré) +1; I stand by my TIFF review, only 2nd time around liked it even more. *** 1/4
MAD DETECTIVE (Shentan) (d. Johnnie To & Wai Ka-Fai) ***
MADE IN AMERICA (d. Stacy Peralta) Flashy docu of history of gangs in L.A., affecting, frightening & ultimately uplifting.  *** 1/4
MAGNUS (d. Kadri Köusaar) ** 3/4
MAMMA MIA! (d. Phyllida Lloyd) Silly plot, ABBA music which doesn't add to story...the cast gives all; but the direction is so lame.  **
MAN FROM LONDON, THE (d. Bela Tarr) ***
MAN ON WIRE (d. James Marsh) *** 3/4
MANCORA (d. Recardo de Montreuil) ** 3/4
MANSFIELD PARK (d. Iain MacDonald) V. Short & sweet. But Blake Ritson made a remarkably good Edmond. ***
MANSFIELD PARK (d. Patricia Rozema)V.  Not Austen's best story; but a fine "film of quality".  Jonny Lee Miller especially noteworth. *** 1/4
MARRIED LIFE (d. Ira Sachs) Elegant adult dramedy which copped out and wasted some fine actors. ** 1/4
MARUJAS ASESINAS (d. Javier Rebollo) V. 2001 black comedy...murderous, crazy wife, and her loser friends.  ** 1/2
MASQUERADES (d. Lyes Salem; Algeria) *** 1/4
MATAHARIS (d. Isiar Bollain) ***
ME AND ORSON WELLES (d. Richard Linklater) *** 1/4
MELODY'S SMILE (La chambre des morts) (d. Alfred Lot) ***
MERMAID, THE (d. Anna Melikyan; Russia) ***
MICHOU D'AUBER (d. Thomas Gilou) *** 1/4
MILANO PALERMO - IL RITORNO (d. Claudio Fragasso) *** 1/4
MILK (d. Gus Van Sant) *** 3/4
MINUTE OF SILENCE, A (Une Minute de silence) (d. Florent Emilio Siri) ** 1/2
MIRUSH (d. Marius Holst) ***
MISS AUSTEN REGRETS (d. Jeremy Lovering)V. Fair if fictionalized biopic in the style of an Austen novel. ** 1/2
MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY (d. Bharat Nalluri) Academy audience loved it; but sort of insipid.  ** 3/4
MOMMA'S MAN (d. Azazel Jacobs) ** 1/2
MR. LONELY (d. Harmony Khorine) Inscrutible, occasionally visually interesting, mostly boring...good actors wasted.  * 3/4
MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (d. Rob Cohen) Excessive use of every action cliché in the book. Corny, stupid, but good f/x.  *
MY BOY JACK (d. Brian Kirk) V. Beautifully written (by the actor who plays Rudyard!) teleplay.  ***
MY EFFORTLESS BRILLIANCE (d. Lynn Shelton) ** 1/2
MY MAGIC (d. Eric Khoo; Singapore) ** 1/2
MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH (d. Rawson Marshall Thurber) ** 3/4
NANCY DREW (d. Andrew Fleming) V. Poorly acted, silly, misjudged and failed attempt at a film series for girls.  * 1/2
NARNIA 2:  PRINCE CASPIAN (d. Andrew Adamson) Much better than the 1st; but still pallid & a little boring in the mid section.  ** 3/4
NARROWS, THE (d.  François A. Velle) ***
NECESSITIES OF LIFE (Ce quíl faut pour vivre)  (d. Benoit Pilon; Canada) *** 1/2
NEVER BACK DOWN (d. Jeff Wadlow) Karate Kid on steroids. Way better than expected, esp. actingwise. ***
NEW MAN, THE (d. Klaus Haro) *** 1/4
NEW TWENTY, THE (d. Chris Mason Johnson) Involving story of 5 college friends nearing 30 encountering NY business & sex life.  ***
NEWCASTLE (d. Dan Castle)  ***
NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST (d. Peter Sollett) "Nice" NYC version of Superbad. Fun and funny, even smart wasted teens story. Cera's a true pomo hero. ***
NIGHT BUS (d. Davide Marengo) ***
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE (d. George C. Wolfe) Every romantic cliché.  Nicely acted, but unbelieveable, contemptuous script. * 3/4
NIRVANA (d. Igor Voloshin) ***
NO ONE'S SON (Niciji sin) (d. Arsen Ostojic; Croatia) *** 1/4
NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY: LASZLO & VILMOS (d. James Chressanthis) Revelatory docu about 2 Hungarian cinematographers. Fine visuals, well constructed. *** 1/4
NOBEL SON (d. Randall Miller) Absurd plot; but stylish enough to keep me interested...but just falls apart in 3rd act.  * 3/4
NORTHANGER ABBEY (d. Jon Jones) V. Most minor of Austin stories despite Andrew Davies script...but JJ Field was great. ** 1/2
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (d. Rod Lurie) Clever, satisfying adaptation of Valerie Plame affair. Superb acting ensemble.  *** 1/4
NUIT DE CHIEN (Tonight) (d. Werner Schroeter) *
NUITS D'ARABIE (d. Paul Kieffer; Luxembourg) *** 1/4
OCULTO (d. Antonio Hernández) V. Woman's revenge thriller.  Leonardo Sbaraglia & Angie Cepeda have real chemistry.  ***
ODE, THE (d. Nilanjan Neil Lahiri) Overwrought, heavy handed So. Asian/American gay drama. Guilt, screwed up childhood. Ugh. * 1/4
O'HORTEN (d. Bent Hamer; Norway) ***
ON THE WINGS OF DREAMS (d. Golem Rabbany Biplop; Bangladesh) **
ONE WEEK (d. Michael McGowan) ***
OPIUM - DIARY OF A MADWOMAN (d. János Szász) ***
OPIUM WAR (d. Siddiq Barmak; Afghanistan) * 3/4
OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, THE (d. Justin Chadwick) Bad history, great jewelry.  ** 1/4
OTHER END OF THE LINE, THE (d. James Dodson) Every romantic cliché in the book; but Jesse Metcalfe isn't half bad.  **
OTHER MAN, THE (d. Richard Eyre) ***
OUR BELOVED MONTH OF AUGUST (d. Miguel Gomes; Portugal) W/O
PAINTED SKIN (d. Gordon Chan; Hong Kong)  ** 1/4
PA-RA-DA (d. Marco Pontecorvo) *** 1/4
PARANOID PARK (d. Gus Van Sant) Spare, non-acted skate board epic.  Gabe Nevins a natural. *** 1/2
PARANOIDS, THE (Los Paranoicos)  (d. Gabriel Medina)  ** 3/4
PARC (d. Arnaud des Pallières) * 1/2
PARENTS (d. Ragnar Bragason) *** 1/4
PASSCHENDAELE (d. Paul Gross) ** 1/2
PAST IS A FOREIGN LAND, THE (Il passato e'una terra straniera) (d. Daniele Vicari) *** 1/2
PATRIK, AGE 1.5 (d. Ella Lemhagen) *** 1/2
PATRIK, AGE 1.5 (d. Ella Lemhagen) + Second time around even better...this time I could appreciate more the outstanding filmmaking.  *** 1/2
PEDRO (d. Nick Oceano) *** 1/2
PENELOPE (d. Mark Palansky) Modern fairy tale with great production design, but what's with the accents?  ** 3/4
PERFECT DAY, A (Un Giorno perfetto)  (d. Ferzan Ozpetek) *** 1/4
PERFECT MATCH (d. Anne-Marie Étienne) ***
PERFECT SPORT (d. Anthony O'Brien) ***
PERSUASION (d. Adrian Shergold) V.  Austin is well served by this tv prod. cast, esp. Sally Hawkins.  ***
PIERRE RISSIENT:  MAN OF CINEMA (d. Todd McCarthy) ** 1/4
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (d. David Gordon Green) Genuinely funny stoner chase comedy with brain, wit & originality.  *** 1/4
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3 (d. Gore Verbinski) Better than #2, not saying much.  **
PLONING (d. Dante Nico Garcia; Philippines) **
PLOY (d. Pen-ek Ratanauang) ** 1/4
PLUS TARD, TU COMPREHENDRA (d. Amos Gitaï) ** 1/2
PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL (d. Gini Reticker) Talky docu with important subject: women getting together to stop bloodshed in Liberia. ** 3/4
PRICELESS (Hors de prix) (d. Pierre Salvadori) Typical French romantic comedy, sumptuous but uninspired.  ** 1/2
PRIDE AND GLORY (d. Gavin O'Connor) Good acting and produciton values don't make up for plot clichés.  ** 1/2
PRINCESS OF THE SUN (La reine soleil) (d. Philippe Leclerc) * 1/2
PROMISED LAND, THE (Ziemia obiecana) (d. Andrzej Wajda) V. Epic masterpiece of 19th Century capitalism in Lodz, Poland.  *** 3/4
PUNTO ROSSO, IL (d. Marco Carlucci) ** 1/4
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (d. Mark Forster) High production values & a fine Bond don't make up for hyperactive cutting and horrendously confusing plot. * 1/2
RACHEL GETTING MARRIED (d. Jonathan Demme) Superbly acted and perfectly executed Dogme 95 filmmaking. *** 1/2
RAGE, THE (La Rabbia) (d. Louis Nero) * 1/4
RAMCHAND PAKISTANI (d. Mehreen Jabbar) ***
READER, THE (d. Stephen Daldry) Exquisite film, tender, moving; with astounding central perfs. David Kross fulfills promise of Krabat.  *** 1/2
REAL TIME (d. Randall Cole) ** 3/4
RED AWN, THE (d. Cai Shangjun) ** 3/4
REDBELT (d. David Mamet) Typical venial and corrupt Mametworld, but even more so than usual.  **
RELIGULOUS (d. Larry Charles) I agree with everything in this film; but Maher's script depends too much on editing cheats, unlike much superior Letting Go of God. . ** 3/4
REST IS SILENCE, THE (d. Nae Caranfil; Romania) *** 1/4
REVANCHE (d. Götz Spielmann) *** 1/2
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (d. Sam Mendes) Kate is pheomenal, Leo less so; but unpleasant film is caustic, dramatic dynamite with ring of truth.  *** 1/4
RIVALS (Les Liens du sang) (d. Jacques Maillot) ***
ROCKNROLLA (d. Guy Ritchie) Some clever bits looking for a coherent narrative.  Typical Ritchie, not a good thing imo.  ** 1/2
ROLE MODELS (d. David Wain) Sweet comedy with a perfect cast. ***
ROMAN DE GARE (d. Claude Lelouch) ***
ROMULUS, MY FATHER (d. Richard Roxburgh) Superb acting, spare, slow, but beautifully made weeper. *** 1/2
ROOM WITH A VIEW, A (d. Nicholas Renton) V. Andrew Davis's unnecessary remake; still, enjoyable.  ** 1/2
ROOSTER'S BREAKFAST, THE (Petalinaji zajtrk) (d. Marco Nabersnik; Slovenia) ***
SALAWATI (d. Marc X. Grigoroff) ***
SATURN IN OPPOSITION (d. Ferzan Ozpetek) + *** 3/4
SATURN IN OPPOSITION (d. Ferzan Ozpetek) Building evacuation with 10 minutes to go! So a provisional *** 3/4
SAVAGE GRACE (d. Tom Kalin) *** 1/4
SCUSA MA TI CHIAMO AMORE (d. Federico Moccia) **
SEA WALL, THE (Un barrage contre le Pacifique) (d. Rithy Panh) *** 1/4
SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR (d. Fritz Lang) ** 3/4
SECRET LIFE OF BEES (d. Gina Bythewood) Color Purplish film with a fine cast.  Dakota Fanning is great; but Paul Bettany surprises playing a Southern redneck.  ***
SECRET OF THE GRAIN, THE (d. Abdellatif Kechiche) *** 1/4
SECRET, UN (d. Claude Miller) *** 1/2
SENSE & SENSIBILITY (d. John Alexander) V. Andrew Davis' superb mini-series adaptation with a fine cast. *** 1/4
SEVEN POUNDS (d. Gabriele Muccino) Terribly flawed script, obvious and predictable.  ** 1/4
SEX AND THE CITY (d. Michael Patrick King) Great fashions, sappy, predictable...but it kept getting better as it went on.  ** 3/4
SHADOWS (d. Milcho Manchevski; Macedonia) ***
SHADOWS IN THE PALACE (Goong-Nyuh) (d. Kim Mee-jung) ** 3/4
SHALL WE KISS? (Un baiser s'il vous plait)  (d. Emmanuel Mouret) *** 1/2
SHELTER (d. Jonah Markowitz) ***
SHINE A LIGHT (d. Martin Scorsese) Great, intimate concert film; an historical flawless production! ****
SHOOT 'EM UP (d. Michael Davis)V. Hyperviolent, imaginative, totally absurd film. Fine cast wasted. Clive Owen's BMW ads taken to extreme. ** 3/4
SINGING REVOLUTION, THE (d. James & Maureen Tusty) Moving, eloquent and vital docu of how Estonian freedom is due to the culture of singing.  *** 1/2
SITA SINGS THE BLUES (d. Nina Paley) *** 1/4
SIXTY SIX (d. Paul Weiland) Nicely evoked coming of age about a nerdy English boy's Bar Mitzvah in 1966. Builds to satisfying climax. ***
SLAVE OF LOVE (Raba lyubvi) (d. Nikita Mikhalkov)V. Gorgeous, pastoral love story set in Russian revolution. ***
SLEEP DEALER (d. Alex Rivera)  *** 1/2
SLINGSHOT (Tirador) (d. Brillante Mendoza) * 1/2
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (d. Danny Boyle) Intense melodrama about boy from Mombai slums competing in TV game show.  ***
SMART PEOPLE (d. Noam Murro) 1st time I liked Ellen Page in a film! Fine cast, involving indie film.  ***
SNOW (Snijeg) (d. Aida Begic; Bosnia and Herzegovina) ***
SNOW ANGELS (d. David Gordon Green) Another remarkable, difficult drama by this artist. Great acting. *** 1/2
SON OF A LION (d. Benjamin Gilmour) ***
SONETAULA (d. Salvatore Mereu) ***
SONG OF SPARROWS, THE (Avaze Gonjeshk-ha) (d. Majid Majidi) ***
SPARROW (Man Jeuk) (d. Johnnie To) ** 1/2
SPECIAL (d. Haberman and Passmore) Michael Rappaport as pathetically needy meter man who goes psycho on an experimental drug. Minor stuff.  ** 1/4
SPEED RACER (d. Wachowski Bros.) Visually stunning and inventive.  But script is so predictable.  Interesting cast, though. ** 1/2
SPIDER-MAN 3 (d. Sam Raimi)V.  Much better than #2; but too many villains spoil the plot.  ** 1/2
SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, THE (d. Mark Waters) Scary stuff; better than expected. Fine f/x, nicely acted.  ***
SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON, THE (d. Jon Dunham) Human interest docu about people who run Chicago marathon. Nicely shot, but of limited interest.  ** 3/4
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (d. Errol Morris) Docu of Abu Ghraib as you wished it weren't.  *** 1/4
STEP BROTHERS (d. Adam McKay) 40ish guys playing kids is not funny. Still, watchable silliness with many groaners.  * 1/2
STEP UP 2 THE STREET (d. Jon Chu) Predictable script; great street dancing.  Robert Hoffman a star? ** 1/2
STILL LIFE (Sanxia Haoren) (d. Jia Zhang-ke) ** 1/2
STILL ORANGUTANS (d. Gustavo Spoldoro) *** 1/2
STOP-LOSS (d. Kimberly Peirce) Extraordinarily affecting, difficult & appropos film; superb script & acting. *** 3/4
STRANGERS (d. Erez Tadmor, Guy Nattiv) ** 1/2
STRAWBERRY STATEMENT, THE (d. Stuart Haggman) V. '69 student tumult in this non-dated cult film.  ***
STREET KINGS (d. David Ayer) Too many unbelieveable loose ends. Why is Chris Evans not a star?  ** 1/2
SUMMER HEAT (d. Monique van de Ven) ** 3/4
SWEET AND THE BITTER, THE (Il dolce a l'amaro) (d. Andrea Porporati) *** 1/4
SWING VOTE (d. Joshua Michael Stern) Costner is ideal "everyman"; nicely acted (esp. Kelsey Grammar), predictable, timely.  ***
SYNECDOCHE, N.Y. (d. Charlie Kaufman) Excruciating exercise in self indulgence...but funny in an in-joke kind of way.  **
TAARE ZAMEEN PAR (d. Aamir Khan; India) ** 3/4
TALK TO ME ABOUT LOVE (Parlami d'amore) (d. Silvio Muccino) ***
TBS [NOTHING TO LOSE] (d. Pieter Kuijpers) *** 1/4
TEAR THIS HEART OUT (Arráncame la vida) (d. Roberto Sneider, Mexico) *** 1/4
TEDDY BEAR (d. Jan Hrebejk) *** 1/4
THE SORROW OF MRS. SCHNEIDER (d. Piro & Eno Milkani; Albania) ***
THE WRESTLER (d. Darren Aronofsky) Despite cringeworthy wrestling action, humanistic Aronofsky shines. Rourk is phenomenal, as are the women. *** 1/4
THEATER OF WAR (d. John Walter) ** 1/2
THEN SHE FOUND ME (d. Helen Hunt) Enjoyable, if predictable, romantic dramidy.  ** 3/4
THEY KILLED SISTER DOROTHY (d. Daniel Junge) Shocking docu about miscarried justice in the Brazil rainforests. *** 1/4
THOSE WHO REMAIN (Ceux qui restent) (d. Anne Le Ny) ** 3/4
THREE BLIND MICE (d. Matthew Newton)  ***
TIME TO DIE (Pora Umierac) (d. Dorota Kedzierzawska) ***
TIMECRIMES (d. Nacho Vigalondo) ** 1/2
TIMES AND WINDS (d. Riha Erdem) *** 1/4
TOKYO! (d. Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, Joon-ho Bong) ** 1/2, * 3/4, ** 1/2
TONY MANERO (d. Pablo Larrain) ** 1/2
TRAITOR (d. Jeffrey Nachmanoff) Superior, if predictable, terrorism thriller with superb perfs by Cheadle and Guy Pearce.  *** 1/4
TRANSSIBERIAN (d. Brad Anderson) ***
TRAP, THE (d. Srdan Golubovic; Serbia) *** 3/4
TRIANGLE (Tie Saam Gok) (d. Tsui Hark, Johnnie To, Ringo Lam) ** 1/4
TROPIC THUNDER (d. Ben Stiller) One of the funniest, most clever set ups of the movie biz ever. Often silly; but it worked for me.  *** 1/4
TROUBLE THE WATER (d. Deal & Lessin) Docu with amateur video work, but a strong personalized message about Katrina lessons.  ***
TULPAN (d. Sergei Dvortsevoy; Kazakhstan) *** 1/4
TWILIGHT (d. Catherine Hardwicke) Paradigmic film with vampirism as metaphor for teenage insecurities. Strangely beautiful & involving. *** 1/4
TWO LOVERS (d. James Gray) ***
UNCERTAINTY (d. Scott McGehee, David Siegel) ** 1/4
UNDER THE BOMBS (d. Philippe Aractingi) ** 1/2
UNDER THE SAME MOON (d. Patricia Riggen) Predictable, but the kid is great & the story just works.  ** 1/2
UNIVERSALOVE (d. Thomas Woschitz) * 3/4
UNKNOWN, THE (d. Giuseppi Tornatore) + *** 1/4
UNSPOKEN PASSION (d. Roni Bertubin) ** 1/2
UP THE YANGTZE (d. Yung Chang) ** 3/4
VALKYRIE (d. Bryan Singer)  Fine complex action flick with real tension despite knowing the plot.  ***
VANTAGE POINT (d. Pete Travis) Script doesn't compute; but really exciting filmmaking wins the day. ***
VERY YOUNG GIRLS (d. David Schisgall) Well meaning, ernest docu about 13-16 year old sexually exploited girls & an organization in N.Y. (GEMS) to help them.  ** 1/2
VICE (Tiski) (d. Valery Todorovsky) ***
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (d. Woody Allen) Talky, narration filled, often clever but (for me) uninvolving dramedy about relationships.  ** 3/4
VIE D'ARTISTE, LA (d. Marc Fitoussi) *** 1/4
VIE DES MORTS, LA (d. Arnaud Desplechin) ***
VISIONEERS (d. Jared Drake) 1/2*
VISITOR, THE (d. Tom McCarthy) Heartfelt, distressing film about another depressed prof. (cf. Smart People) ***
VOY A EXPLOTAR (I'm Going to Explode) (d. Gerardo Naranjo) ** 3/4
W.  (d. Oliver Stone) Well made, if creepy biopic. Drags in the 2nd act. Brolin is fine; but I'd rather forget that Bush ever existed if I could.  ** 3/4
WACKNESS, THE (d. Jonathan Levine) *** 1/4
WALL*E (d. Andrew Stanton) Technically fine, complex 3-D animation.  But for me lacked entertainment value. ** 3/4
WALT & EL GRUPO (d. Theodore Thomas) ** 1/2
WALTZ WITH BASHIR (d. Ari Folman; Israel) *** 1/2
WANTED (d. Timur Bekmambetov) Totally amazing kick ass film,  MATRIX².  McAvoy & Bekmambetov fulfill their destinies.  *** 3/4
WAR GAMES (d. Dariusz Jablonski) Polish docu about the tragic life of cold war Pole who spied for U.S. Quite creative filmmaking, fascinating but scattered.  ***
WATER LILIES (d. Céline Sciamma) **
WATERCOLORS (d. David Oliveras) Touching, beautiful, evocative drama of gay teenage love. One of the best ever.  *** 1/2
WAVE, THE (Die Welle) (d. Dennis Gansel) *** 1/2
WAY I SEE THINGS, THE (d. Brian Pera) New Agey, pretentious, arty gay film of about recovering from depression.  ** 1/4
WELCOME TO THE LAND OF CH'TIS (Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis) (d. Dany Boone) ** 1/2
WELLNESS (d. Jake Mahaffy) ** 1/2
WENDY AND LUCY (d. Kelly Reichardt) Quietly effective character study which mirrors bad economic times. Michelle Williams very fine here. *** 1/4
WERE THE WORLD MINE (d. Tom Gustafson)  Good try at a gay Midsummernight's Dream prep school fantasy.  But no cigar.  **
WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU (d. Brian Goodman) ***
WHAT IF...? (Notre univers impitoyable) (d. Léa Fazer) ** 1/4
WHAT JUST HAPPENED (d. Barry Levinson) Funny, truthful look at Hollywood from pov of a fading power-broker producer (DeNiro's best role in years.)  *** 1/4
WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER (d. Anand Tucker) *** 1/4
WHIRLWIND (d. Richard LeMay) Multi-character NY gay friends story, mostly poorly acted and only intermittently involving. **
WHITE NIGHT WEDDING (Brúdguminn) (d. Baltasar Kormákur) ** 3/4
WHITE SILK DRESS, THE (d. Huynh Luu; Vietnam) **
WHORE & THE WHALE, THE (d. Luis Puenzo) V. Gorgeous Patagonian photography, naked women & sexy Leo Sbaraglia. *** 1/4
WICKER MAN, THE (d. Neil La Bute) V. Hokey, cult-as-bee-colony metaphor film.  Great northwest island homes! **
WINDS OF SEPTEMBER (Jiu Jiang Feng) (d. Tom Shu-Yu Lin) **
WINE AND KISSES (Come le Formiche) (d. Ilaria Borrelli) * 1/2
WINTERLAND (d. Hisham Zaman) ** 3/4
WITNESSES, THE (d. André Téchiné) *** 1/2
WORLDS APART (To verdener) (d. Niels Arden Oplev; Denmark) ***
WRECKING CREW, THE (d. Denny Tedesco) *** 1/4
YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION, THE (d. Cao Hamburger; Brazil) ***
YEAR OF THE WOLF, THE (d. Olli Saarela) ***
YOUNG PEOPLE FUCKING (d. Martin Gero) *** 1/4
ZACK AND MIRA MAKE A PORNO (d. Kevin Smith) Intermittantly funny and Rogan is the perfect pomo hero...still, Smith's script sucks.  ** 1/2

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