2009 List of All Films Watched

Links are to longer reviews on site.  All ratings based on **** stars best.  A film defined as at least a 70 min. event usually on big screen; but not always.
(V) =  TV, Video or DVD    ( +) = repeat viewing      (W/O) Walked out

In 2009 I watched 456 films.

[500] DAYS OF SUMMER (d. Marc Webb) *** 1/2
[UNTITLED]  (d. Jonathan Parker) ***
17 AGAIN (d. Burr Steers) Absurd wish fullfilment fantasy revisiting hi-school with hints of incest.  Strangely enjoyable since Zac Efron pulls it off; ** 3/4
A WOMAN IN BERLIN, A (Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin) (d. Max Färberböck) ***
ABOUT ELLY (d. Asghar Farhadi) ***
ADAM (d. Max Mayer) *** 1/4
ADMIRAL, THE (d. Andrei Kravchuck) *** 1/2
ADORATION (d. Atom Egoyan) + Not quite as stunning the 2nd time around...but worse: 2nd time this week I went to a film I didn't realize I'd seen before! *** 1/4
ADVENTURELAND (d. Greg Mottola) Jesse Eisenberg, like Michael Cera is the ideal pomo hero.  Pleasant, if subdued, rom-com.  ** 3/4
AFGHAN STAR (d. Havana Marking) ***
AGAINST THE CURRENT (d. Peter Callahan) *** 1/2
AJAMI (d.Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani; Israel) *** 3/4
ALIVE! (d. Artan Minarolli; Albania)  ** 3/4
AMELIA (d. Mira Nair) Straightforward romantic biopic which informs rather than involves.  Borderline boring for a Hollywood pic.   ** 1/2
AMERICAN PRIMITIVE (d. Gwen Wynne) ** 1/2
AMERICAN VIOLET (d. Tim Disney) Prdictable "based on true" story of ACLU victory over Texas racial injustices.  Good intentions & acting; but so so. ** 3/4
AMREEKA (d. Cherien Dabis) *** 1/2
ANARCHIST'S WIFE, THE (d. Marie Noelle, Peter Sehr) ***
ANDER (d. Roberto Caston) Closeted Basque farmer tenderly falls for Peruvian immigrant. Slow, but well observed & touching.  *** 1/4
ANSWER MAN, THE (d. John Hindman) ***
ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (d. Sasha Gervasi) V. Real life version of Spinal Tap, sort of sad, sort of involving; but by the end I was unaccountably moved.  ***
ANYTOWN (d. Dave Rodriguez) ** 3/4
ARMY OF SILENCE (d. Jean-Pierre Melville) Eerily austere depiction of French resistance cell in Lyon, fascinating and strangely moving. *** 1/2
ART AND COPY (d. Doug Pray) ***
AT WEST OF PLUTO (d. Myriam Verreault & Henry Bernadet) ***
AUTUMN OF THE MAGICIAN  (d. Vaheh & Reuben Gevorkyants; Armenia) Fascinating docu about artist screenwriter Tonino Guerra who should be world famous. ***
AVATAR (d. James Cameron: 3D) The most sense-of-wonder instilling film since 2001:Space Odyssey; a visual triumph with story to match. Bravo! Cameron.  ****
AWAY WE GO (d. Sam Mendes) Wildly variable road flick, social satire. John Krasinski is becoming a major star. ** 3/4
BAARIA (d. Giuseppi Tornatori; Italy) *** 1/2
BABY LOVE (d. Vincent Garenq) ***
BACKYARD (d. Carlos Carrera; Mexico) *** 1/4
BAD DAY FOR FISHING (d. Alvaro Brechner;Uruguay) ***
BAGHDAD, TX (d. David H. Hickey) * 1/2
BANDSLAM (d. Todd Graff) Sweet, fun coming of age/forming a rock band film. Gaelan Connell is LaBeouf lite...very likable. GREAT rock score. Predictable plot. *** 1/4
BATTLE FOR TERRA (d. Aristomenis Tsirbas) Excellent 3D animation plus superior SF script with subtle issues of loyalties & humanity.  *** 1/4
BE CALM AND COUNT TO SEVEN (d. Ramtin Lavafipour) ** 1/2
BE LIKE OTHERS (d. Tanaz Eshaghian) *** 1/4
BEACHES OF AGNES, THE (d. Agnès Varda) What treasures Agnes Varda's mementos are. Her docus are moving & strangely beautiful. Et j'adore Jacques Demi. *** 1/2
BEAST STALKER, THE (d. Dante Lam) ***
BEAUTIES AT WAR (La Guerre des miss) (d. Patrice Leconte) **
BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES (Se souvenir des belles choses) (d. Zabou Breitman) *** 1/2
BEESWAX (d. Andrew Bujalski) Mumblecore madness right up to very (startlingly unsatisfying) ending. Successful character study, in any case. ***
BELLE PERSONNE, LA  (d. Chrisophe Honoré) *** 1/4
BETWEEN LOVE AND GOODBYE (d.  Casper Andreas) Gay relationship drama; mediocre direction & acting...but vital, sexy & powerfully realistic. ** 1/2
BEYOND THE CIRCLE (d. Golam Rabbani Biplob; Bangladesh) **
BLACK DOG BARKING (d. Mehmet Bahadir Er & Maryna Gorbach) * 1/2
BLUE TOOTH VIRGIN, THE  (d. Russell Brown) + *** 1/2
BOLT (d. Howard & Williams) OK if predictable script.  Good vocal acting.  But ultimately mediocre.  Lousy year for Academy animated features. ** 1/2
BORN IN 68 (d. Olivier Duscastel, Jacques Martineau) *** 1/2
BOX, THE (d. Richard Kelly) Don't ask me to explain it...but I liked the mood and look of Kelly's film, this one murkier than either of his others. ** 3/4
BOY (d. Aureaus Solito) ***
BOY INTERRUPTED (d. Dana Perry) V. Filmmaking parents make exhaustive study of their depressed, 15 year old suicide son. Moving & insightful.  *** 1/2
BOYS ARE BACK, THE (d. Scott Hicks) Clive Owens is remarkable as a lost father (of 2 boys) after his wife dies. Predictable plot, but emotionally powerful. *** 1/4
BREATHLESS (d. Yang Ik-june) ** 1/4
BRIGHT STAR (d. Jane Campion) Weepy, authentic costume romance with an amazingly affecting perf by Ben Winshaw as John Keats.  *** 1/4
BROKEN EMBRACES (d. Pedro Almodovar) Typical Almodovar. Over plotted, gorgeous, a little long. Some breathtakingly original shots, but ultimately disappointing ** 3/4 
BROKEN PROMISE (d. Jill Chlumský; Slovakia)  *** 1/2
BRONSON (d. Nicolas Winding Refn) ***
BROTHERS (d. Jim Sheridan) Superb adaptation to a truthful American war story, changing emphasis of original, maybe for the better.  Maguire is great!  *** 1/2
BROTHERS AT WAR (d. Jake Rademacher) V. Affecting and illuminating documentary by one filmmaker brother embedded in Iraq while 2 other brothers are serving. *** 1/4
BRÜNO (d. Larry Charles) Über confrontationalist Cohen manages ütter tastelessness.  Funny in a transgressive way, but sort of a mess.  * 3/4
BUDDENBROOKS (d. Heinrich Breloer) *** 1/4
BURMA VJ: REPORTING FROM A CLOSED COUNTRY (d. Anders Ostergaard) V. Astonishing docu footage of government repression of populace. *** 1/2
BURNING PLAIN, THE (d. Guillermo Arriaga) *** 1/4
CAKE EATERS, THE (d. Mary Stuart Masterson) Quirky, realistic contemporary heart tugger with some really wonderful perfs & assured direction.  *** 1/4
CAN GO THROUGH SKIN (d. Esther Rots) ** 1/2
CAPITALISM:  A LOVE STORY (d. Michael Moore) In your face docu, always interesting even though Moore's opinions often rankle this time around.  ** 3/4
CAPTIVE  (d. Aleksei Uchitel) ** 3/4
CARMO HIT THE ROAD (d. Murillo Pasta) ** 1/4
CASANEGRA (d. Nour Eddine Lakhmari; Morocco) ** 1/4
CHAMELEON (Kaméleon) (d. Kristzina Goda; Hungary) *** 1/4
CHEF'S SPECIAL  (d. Nacho Velilla) ** 1/4
CHÉRI (d. Stephen Frears) Outstanding, lavish evocation of Belle Epoque; Pfeiffer is radient, Rupert Friend fabulously epicene. Literate script.  *** 1/2
CITY OF BORDERS (d. Yun Suh) ***
CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH (d.Lu Chuan) *** 1/4
CLOUD 9 (d. Andreas Dresan) German septuagenarians screw like rabbits in an attack on filmic taboo against showing wizened bods. VERY true to life, though. ** 3/4
COAL COUNTRY (d. Mari-Lynn Evans & Phylis Geller) V. Alarming and reasonably even-handed docu about dangers & destruction of coal industry In Appalachia. ** 3/4
COCK COLLEGE (short films) (d. various)
COCO BEFORE CHANEL (d. Anne Fontaine) Tatou has matured into a superb actress.  Great costumes & sets; but a tad overlong and just didn't involve me. ***
COLD SOULS (d. Sophie Barthes) ** 1/2
CORALINE (d. Henry Selick) Incredible 3D animation. Fantasmagorical plot not my cuppa; but the imagery is superb & expands the art of cinema.  *** 1/4
COUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (d. Lord & Miller) Clever, fun 3-D animated kids film with enough in-humor to amuse adults.  ***
COUNTRY WEDDING (d. Vladis Öskarsdóttir) ***
COVE, THE (d. Louie Psihoyos) ** 3/4
COVERBOY (d. Carmine Amoroso) ***
CRAZY HEART (d. Scott Cooper) Almost makes me love country music.  Bridges is great, iconic. Nicely realized love story plus the music...winning como.  *** 1/4
CREATION (d. Jon Amiel) Earnest, boring costumer biofilm...Bettany is good as Darwin; but I never believed the film was true to the real characters.  ** 1/2
CROSSING OVER (d. Wayne Kramer) Like Crash, only better, this is an involving ensemble drama about distressed immigrants in L.A. *** 1/4
CROSSING  (d. Kim Tae-kyun; Republic of Korea) ** 3/4
CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE (d. David Fincher) + Even more moving 2nd time around. Epic, emotional, great film. *** 3/4
CURSED (d. Wes Craven) V. Campy parody of werewolf stories with a great cast (Jesse Eisenberg & Milo Ventimiglia are wonderful). Ridiculous; but clever & fun. ***
CYCLES (d. Cyril Gelblat) *** 1/2
DAMNED UNITED, THE (d. Tom Hooper)  Good script & fine perfs (especially Michael Sheen) in a sports biopic more about people than sports. *** 1/4
DANCER AND THE THIEF, THE (d. Fernando Trueba; Spain *** 1/4)
DANCERS (d. Pemille Fischer Christensen) ** 1/2
DARE (d. Adam Salky) High school sexual angst film which nails situation & characterizations (though actors are too old). Zach Gilford has genuine star qualities. *** 1/4
DARK HARBOR (d. Naito Takasugu) ***
DAVID COPPERFIELD (d. Simon Curtis) V. The first half, Daniel Radcliffe as young Copperfield, is fine. Then it all turns to treacle and sentiment.  ** 1/2
DAWSON, ISLA 10 (d. Miguel Littin; Chile) ***
DAY AT THE MUSEUM, A (Musée haut, musée bas)  (d. Jean-Michel Ribes) ** 1/4
DEADGIRL (d. Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel) ** 1/2
DEATH IN LOVE (d. Boaz Yakin) Good cast mostly wasted on incoherent effects-of-Holocaust-on-2nd-generation-family sexually explicit melodrama. ** 1/4
DECEMBER HEAT (Detsembrikuumus) (d. Asko Kase; Estonia) ***
DEFINITELY, MAYBE (d. Adam Brooks) V. Fine romcom with intriguing premise & a remarkable perf by Ryan Reynolds, whom I am coming to appreciate!  *** 1/4
DEGRASSI GOES HOLLYWOOD (d. Stefen Brogren) V. The nextgen Degrassi kids grown up & unrealistically placed in a Jason Mews directed film. Bizarrely fun.  ** 1/2
DIAMONDS (d. Andy Wilson) V. Sprawling TV mini-series melodrama of world of diamonds, wastes Judy Davis and a scowling James Purefoy. ** 1/4
DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL (d. Robert Zemeckis) The 3D f/x & motion capture wonderful, seminal. Story too familiar & over ripe. Best as a theme park ride.  ** 1/2
DISTRICT 9 (d. Neill Blomkamp) Smart, inventive alien invasion actioner, subtly moving & lacking Hollywood bombast. *** 1/4
DOG EAT DOG (d. Carlos Moreno; Columbia) * 3/4
DONKEY (d. Antonia Nuic; Croatia) ** 1/2
DON'T LET ME DOWN (d. Cruz Angeles) ***
DOOMED LOVE (Um Amor de Perição)  (d. Mário Baroso; Portugal) ***
DREAM WEAVERS (d. Jun Gu; China) ** 1/2
DRUMMER, THE (d. Kenneth Bi) *** 1/4
DUPLICITY (d. Tony Gilroy) Script double crosses itself once too many times, but stars have chemistry & it's slick.  ** 3/4
EASIER WITH PRACTICE (d. Kyle Patrick Alvarez) ***
EATING OUT: ALL YOU CAN EAT (d. Glenn Gaylord) Clichéd gay romantic comedy; but sweet and sexy, albeit with mediocre, if attractive, actors.  ** 1/2
EDEN IS WEST (Eden à l'ouest) (d. Costa-Gavras) ** 3/4
EDGE OF LOVE, THE (d. John Maybury)  Fine cast, nice evocation of blitz England and arty circle doings; but turgid drama doesn't spark.  ** 1/2
EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS, THE (d. Fred Durst) Fascinating character study of nerd vs. charismatic sociopath (and Jason Ritter is amazing.) *** 1/4
EDUCATION, AN (d. Lone Scherfig) Superb '60s character study of a 16 yr. old English girl & her family who are seduced by an older, romantic roué.  *** 3/4
ELDORADO (d. Bouli Lanners; Belgium) ** 3/4
EMMA (d. Diamuid Lawrence, 1996) V. The Kate Beckinsale/BBC version.  Not my favorite Austin story, but Andrew Davies' scenario quite good.  ***
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (d. Werner Herzog) + Fascinating docu footage of Antarctica & modern scientific explorers.  *** 1/2
END OF LOVE, THE (d. Simon Chung; Hong Kong) Mediocre digital film: story of young gay hustler/druggie involved with Christian sect. Nicely acted. ** 1/2
ESCAPE, THE (d. Kathrine Windfeld) ***
EUGENE (d.Jake Barsha) * 3/4
EVERY LITTLE STEP (d. James Stern & Adam Del Deo) Superb meta-docu (film about trying out for a musical about trying out). Riveting & emotional. *** 3/4
EVERYBODY'S FINE (d. Kirk Jones) I'm not a father; but DeNiro's situation is one that hit me with particular emotional wallop. Fine script, rings true, engrossing.  *** 1/2
EVERYONE ELSE (d. Maren Ade) *** 1/4
EVERYTHING STRANGE AND NEW (d. Frazer Bradshaw) ***
EXPLICIT ILLS (d. Mark Webber) Somewhat muddled continuity, but a quite moving anti-poverty drama with some memorable perfs.  ***
EXPLODING GIRL, THE (d. Bradley Rust Gray) *** 1/4
EXTRACT (d. Mike Judge) Often funny comedy with iconic Jason Bateman perf. Judge replaces biting edge satire with more traditional farce structure. *** 1/4
FALLEN GODS (d. Ernesto Daranas; Cuba) * 3/4
FAME (d. Kevin Tanchardoen) The cast is attractive and talented, the singing & dancing well done.  Too bad there was no real story. Greatly inferior to the original. ** 3/4
FAST AND FURIOUS (d. Justin Lin) Testosterone soaked film with some nicely edited & conceived auto stunts; but ridiculous and predictable script. ** 1/2
FEAR ME NOT  (d. Kristian Levring) ** 3/4
FIG TREES (d. John Greyson) ** 3/4
FIGHTING (d. Dito Montiel) Clichés abound & Montiel's mis-en-scène just seems confused. Tatum isn't a convincing actor; but he sure looks the part. ** 1/4
FINAL ARRANGEMENTS (Bouquet final) (d. Michel Delgado) ** 3/4
FINDING BLISS (d. Julia Davis) ** 1/2
FIRM LAND, THE (d. Chapour Haghighat) * 1/4
FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (Le premier jour du reste de ta vie) (d. Rémi Bezançon) *** 3/4
FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN (d. Oliver Hirschbiegel) Moral Dilemmas 'R Us.  Reconciliation in N. Ireland with 2 great performances, esp. James Nesbitt.  *** 1/4
FLIGHT TO FREEDOM (Fuga per la libertà) (d. Carlo Carlei) ** 1/2
FOOD INC (d. Robert Kenner) ** 1/2
FORASTERS (d. Ventura Pons) ** 3/4
FOREVER ENTHRALLED (d. Chen Kaige) ** 1/2
FORTRESS, THE (d. Fernand Melgar) ** 1/2
FOUR BOXES (d. Wyatt McDill) ***
FRANK THE RAT (d. Jim Cozza) *** 1/4
FRENCH GIGOLO, A (Cliente) (d. Josiane Balasko) *** 1/4
FUNNY PEOPLE (Judd Apatow) Well written & acted dramedy; could have benefited from tightening, but much genius is on display here.  *** 1/2
G.I. JOE: RISE OF COBRA  (d. Stephen Sommers) Truly dreadful, bombastic, empty-headed actioner which wastes every actor, tho the f/x are pretty good.  * 1/2
GAMER (d. Neveldine & Taylor) F/x galore can't save this future death game film from its ridiculous over-the-top (but predictable) premise.  **
GARBAGE DREAMS (d. Mai Iskander) ** 3/4
GENERAL, EL (d. Natalia Almada) * 3/4
GIFT TO STALIN, THE  (d. Rustem Abdrashev) *** 1/2
GIRL ON THE TRAIN, THE (La fille du RER) (d. André Téchiné) *** 1/4
GIVE ME YOUR HAND (d. Pascal-Alex Vincent) ***
GIVING IT UP (d. Frank Ruy) ***
GO-GETTER, THE (d. Martin Hynes) V.  Typical indie road flick, but a good vehicle for Lou Taylor Pucci.  ** 1/2
GRANDPA IS DEAD (d. Soxie H. Topacio; Philippines) *
GROWN UPS (Les grandes personnes) (d. Anna Novion) ** 1/4
GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH (d. Damien Chazelle) **
HACHIKO:  A DOG'S STORY (d. Lasse Hallstrom) ** 3/4
HANGOVER, THE (d. Todd Phillips) One of those great bad comedies:  earned laughs, surprising plot development, fresh acting by 4 comic actors. *** 1/4
HANSEL AND GRETEL (d. Yim Phil-sung) W/O
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (d. David Yates) Series marking time; but excellent script and f/x make it worthwhile.  *** 1/4
HEADLESS WOMAN, THE (d. Lucrecia Martel) ** 1/2
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (d. Guillermo del Toro) Bombastic fantasy with del Toro's nightmarish imagery, but a soporific, predictable plot. **
HELLO GOODBYE (d. Graham Guit) ** 1/2
HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU (d. Ken Kwapis) Attractive cast, but clichés abound in this all too clever rom-com about coupling. ** 1/2
HIGHER FORCE, THE (d. Olaf de Fleur Johannesson) * 3/4
HOME (d. Ursula Meier) ***
HOOKED (d. Adrian Sitaru) ** 1/2
HOUSE ON THE CLOUDS, THE (La casa sulle nuvole) (d. Claudio Giovannesi) ***
HUMPDAY (d. Lynn Shelton) *** 1/4
I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL (d. Bob Gosse) The Hangover with twice the raunch & characters half the age; but as funny & well played as it is tasteless. ***
I IMAGINE A DREAM LIKE THAT (Pense che un sogno cosi) (d. Marco De Luca) ** 1/2
I KILLED MY MOTHER (J'ai tué ma mère) (d. Xavier Dolan) *** 1/2
I KILLED MY MOTHER (J'ai tué ma mère) (d.Xavier Dolan) + Actually better the second time around. Dolan is like a reincarnation of young Orson Welles. *** 3/4
I KNOW YOU KNOW (d. Justin Kerrigan) ***
I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER (d. Chris Columbus) Horrible teen nerd+cheerleader comedy. Jack Carpenter as gay best friend can't redeem it. *
I LOVE YOU, MAN (d. John Hamburg) Great to see an endearing, straight male bonding flick not based on homo panic!  Rudd & Segal are wonderful.  *** 1/4
I SAW THE SUN (d. Mahsun Kirmizigül; Turkey) ** 3/4
ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (d. Carlos Saldanha) Nice 3-D animation...but boring, clichéd and not up to previous.  * 3/4
IL DIVO  (d. Paolo Sorrentino) ** 3/4
I'M FROM TITOV VELES (d. Teona Mitevska; Macedonia) **
IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS (d. Terry Gilliam) Diverting...but what?!  Depp, Law & Farrell do fine channelling Heath.  ** 1/2
IN THE LOOP (d. Armando Iannucci) ***
IN YOUR ABSENCE  (d. Iván Noel) ***
INFORMANT, THE! (d. Steven Soderbergh) Matt Damon is great, film has its funny moments but just falls short with unconvincing Keystone Feds. ** 3/4
INFORMERS, THE (d. Gregor Jordan) Glossy, trashy film based on Bret Easton Ellis depraved L.A. novel. More meandering than Crash. Nobody wins.  * 1/2
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (d. Quentin Tarantino) Not being a Tarantino fan, I was blown away by the Wellesian imagery & great alternate history plot. *** 1/2
INSPECTOR LEWIS: AND THE MOONBEAMS... (d. Dan Reed) V. Superb whodoneit reminiscent of "The Secret History". Tom Riley amazing as autistic artist. *** 1/2
INSPECTOR LEWIS: EXPIATION (d. Dan Reed) V. My kind of mystery show, good cast, reasonable psychology, & interesting detectives. Lame case, tho. ** 3/4
INSPECTOR LEWIS: LIFE BORN OF FIRE (d.Richard Spence) V. Intriguing religion vs. gay guilt serial killer plot...but I fgured it out way too soon.  ***
INSPECTOR LEWIS: MUSIC TO DIE FOR (d. Bill Anderson) V. Disappointingly opaque episode. Auspicious debut for Merlin's Bradley James. ** 1/2
INTERNATIONAL, THE (d. Tom Tykwer) Competent,  disappointingly concluded thriller with 1 great shoot-out at the Guggenheim Museum, NY. ** 3/4
INTO THE STORM (d. Thaddeus O'Sullivan) V. Astonishing perf. by Brendon Gleason.  History lite...but quite absorbing.  *** 1/4
INVENTION OF LYING, THE (d. Ricky Gervais) A less bloated Evan Almighty but just as misguided. Gervaise is tiresome, the humor curdles. Only the surprising cameos work. **
INVICTUS (d. Clint Eastwood) Morgan Freeman is eerily perfect, bringing Mandela's heroism home. Film is truly affecting and unexpected.  *** 1/2
INVOLUNTARY (d. Ruben östlund) ***
ISLAND, THE  (d. Sherif Arafa; Egypt) ** 3/4
IT MIGHT GET LOUD (d. Davis Guggenheim) Great subjects & superb guitar playing subverted by poor editing scheme in otherwise excellent rock docu. ***
IT'S COMPLICATED (d. Nancy Meyers) Funny, even enchanting rom-com which hit the right notes for me. Streep & esp. Alec Baldwin are so good. *** 1/2
IT'S COMPLICATED (d. Nancy Meyers) V.+ Funny, lush rom-com which hit the right notes for me. Streep, Baldwin & Krasinski are so good. *** 1/2
IT'S NOT ME, I SWEAR! (d. Philippe Falardeau) ** 3/4
JAMILA & THE PRESIDENT (d. Ratria Sarumpaet; Indonesia)  **
JERICHOW (d. Christian Petzold) A German riff on The Postman Always Rings Twice, with a different twist.  Good atmosphere & acting.  ***
JERUSALEMA (d. Ralph Ziman; South Africa) *** 1/4
JULIE & JULIA (d. Nora Ephron)  A delectible dish of a movie. Streep is marvelous, Amy Adams almost keeps up. Clever & funny, Ephron is back!  *** 1/2
JUST A FATHER (Solo un padre) (d. Luca Lucini) *** 1/4
KABEI (d. Yôji Yamada) *** 3/4
KAIFECK MURDER (d. Esther Gronenborn) ** 1/2
KANCHIVARAM (d. Priyadarshan) ** 3/4
KILL THEM ALL (d. Esteban Schroeder; Uruguay) ***
KNOWING (d. Alex Proyas) Good f/x, great sound; but Proyas is no Spielberg.  Distubing plot which only fitfully holds water.  ** 1/2
KRABAT (d. Marco Kreuzpaintner) + *** 1/2
KUNG FU PANDA (d. Osborne & Stevenson) Fine opening dream animation; but rest of film is quite ordinary 3-D with silly story.  ** 1/2
LAILA'S BIRTHDAY (d. Rashid Masharawi) ** 1/2
LANDSCAPE NO. 2 (d. Vinko Möderndorfer; Slovenia) *** 1/2
LAST PULCINELLA, THE (L'ultimo Pulcinella) (d. Maurizio Scaparro) ** 1/2
LAST STATION, THE (d. Michael Hoffman) Superb perfs by Mirren, Plummer & McAvoy make this otherwise tedious, if good looking, historical biopic watchable. ***
LAST STOP 174 (d. Bruno Barreto; Brazil) *** 3/4
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (d. F. Gary Gray) Intriguing revenge script, well executed; but unrealistic in the real world and a singularly unsavory experience. ** 3/4
LEAVING BARSTOW (d. Peter Paige) ** 1/2
LETTERS TO FATHER JACOB (d. Klaus Härö; Finland) *** 1/4
LEWIS: POINT OF VANISHING (d. Maurice Phillips) V. Overly convoluted Brit mystery episode. Left me unsure about who did what to whom.  ** 1/4
LIBERTADOR MORALES, EL JUSTICIERO (d. Efterpi Charalambidis; Venezuela)  ** 1/4
LITTLE ASHES (d. Paul Morrison) Overwrought but fascinating hodge-podge,drama of famed true-life gay artists in '30s Spain. Javier Beltran is true find. ** 3/4
LITTLE JOE (d.Nichole Haeusser) ** 3/4
LITTLE SOLDIER (d. Annette K. Olesen) ** 3/4
LITTLE TRAITOR, THE  (d. Lynn Roth) *** 1/4
LIVE AND REMEMBER (d. Alexander Proshkin) *** 1/4
LIVING IN EMERGENCY: STORIES OF DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS (d. Mark Hopkins) V. Viscerally affecting docu about 4 doctors in dire Africa.  *** 1/4
LONDON RIVER (d. Richard Bouchareb) *** 1/4
LOOKING FOR ERIC (d. Ken Loach) ** 1/2
LOSER (d. Amy Heckerling) V. Jason Biggs is pretty good here, but the film is all NYC & collegiant clichés...and unforgivably, sort of boring.  ** 1/4
LOSS OF A TEARDROP DIAMOND (d. Jodie Markell) Tennessee Williams' script (& Bryce Howard's Southern belle) should've remained lost. But Chris Evans is ideal. ** 1/2
LOUISE-MICHEL (d. Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern) *
LOVE HAPPENS (d. Brandon Camp) Unoriginal romance; but actors make it work up to a point. John Caroll Lynch is fine in moving supporting role. ** 1/2
LOVELY BONES (d. Peter Jackson) Looks great, but eyerollingly earnest and obvious, emotionally misfiring.  ** 1/2
LOVELY LONELINESS (d. Victoria Galardi & Martin Carranza) ** 3/4
LUNATICS, LOVERS & POETS (d. John Scoular) * 3/4
LYMELIFE (d. Derick Martini) Culkin brothers are quite fine; but unremitting miserablism overwhelms slender plot.  ** 1/2
MADE OF HONOR (d. Paul Weiland) V. Horribly clichéed and predictable if slick romantic comedy. Even McDreamy couldn't save this one. * 3/4
MADE OF HONOR (d. Paul Weiland) V. Horribly clichéed and predictable if slick romantic comedy. Even McDreamy couldn't save this one. * 3/4
MAID, THE (d. Sebastian Silva) ***
MAKING LOVE  (d. Arthur Hiller) V.+ Watched again 25 yrs. later at a friend's behest. Still one of the most romantic, realistic gay stories ever; but just misses.  ** 3/4
MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE, THE (d. Stian Kristiansen; Norway) Confused punk rocker straight boy falls for new boy in class. Beautiful & involving despite.  ***
MAN WHO LOVES, THE (L'uomo che ama) (d. Marie Sole Tognazzi) ***
MARCELLO MARCELLO (d. Denis Rabaglia) ***  3/4
MARKET - A TALE OF TRADE, THE (d. Ben Hopkins) ** 1/4
MARPLE: MURDER IS EASY (d. Hettie Macdonald) V. Dense vedy British whodunit with talky, unsatisfying denoument.  ** 1/4
MARPLE: POCKET FULL OF RYE (d. Charles Palmer) V. One of the best of this Mystery series, good plot, nicely acted and directed.  ***
MAX MANUS (d. Espen Sandberg, Joachim Roenning; Norway)  *** 3/4
ME TWO (La personne aux deux personnes) (d. Bruno Lavaine, Nicolas Charlet) **
MEDIATOR (d. Dito Tsintsadze; Georgia) ***
MELODRAMA HABIBI (d. Hany Tamba) **
MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, THE (d.Grant Heslov) Satire of supposed U.S. army psy-ops, half funny, half ridiculous.  ** 1/2
MERRY GENTLEMEN, THE (d. Michael Keaton) ** 3/4
MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE (Part 1) (d. Jean-François Richet) *** 1/2
MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE (Part 2) (d. Jean-François Richet) *** 1/4
MESSENGER, THE (d. Oren Moverman) Simple perfection. Nicely understated perfs by Foster & Morton, best perf ever by Harrelson. Touching and relevant.  ****
MIAO MIAO (d. Hsiao-Tse Cheng) ***
MID-AUGUST LUNCH (d. Gianni di Gregorio) ***
MILK (d. Gus Van Sant) + A 2nd viewing discloses subtleties unseen before.  Superb script, direction & acting make this the year's most important film. ****
MILK OF SORROW, THE (d. Claudia Llosa; Peru) ***
MISFORTUNATES, THE (d. Felix van Groeningen; Belgium)  ** 3/4
MISSING PERSON, THE (d. Noah Buschel) **
MISSION, LA (d. Peter Bratt) *** 1/4
MOON (d. Duncan Jones) ** 3/4
MOSCOW, BELGIUM (d. Christophe van Rompaey) ***
MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA (d. Ehrlich & Goldsmith) V. Great year for docus & this one is important, informative & well crafted.  *** 3/4
MOTHER (d. Bong Jong-ho; South Korea) *** 1/4
MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (d. Carl Bessai) *** 1/4
MR. RIGHT (d. Jacqueline Morris) 3 gay couples live & romance in modern day London. Clunky, confusing exposition, but nifty resolution & well observed. ** 3/4
MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN (d. Bailey & Thompson) V. Shocking docu about violent land reform in Mugabe's Zimbwabe & legal struggles. *** 1/2
MUTUAL APPRECIATION (d. Andrew Bujalski) V. Involving slice of Gen-Y life per a 3-way friends relationship. B&W, talky, ugly: Woody Allen + Cassavetes. ***
MY DEAR ENEMY (d. Yoon-Ki Lee) ** 3/4
MY ONE AND ONLY (d. Richard Loncraine) Fun, involving '50s biopic & road flick: Zellweger, Lerman & especially Rendall are fine, but script is formulaic.  ***
MY SISTER'S KEEPER (d. Nick Cassavetes) Emotionally over-the-top, but satisfying weeper. Watch "Medium" kid Sofia Vassilieva & Tom Dekker spark. ***
MY SUICIDE (d. David Lee Miller) *** 3/4
MY WINNIPEG (d. Guy Maddin) V. Hypnotic docu-fantasia and amusing psychic personal history of this filmmaker. Michel Gondry + David Lynch + snow.  *** 1/4
NEW YORK I LOVE YOU (d. Various) Intermittently interesting portmanteau film; NY with no gays? Some sequences worked, most didn't.  ** 1/2
NINE  (d. Rob Marshall) Liked: intercutting of singing with story, Cruz, Fergie's singing and her one song, Day-Lewis's accent. Disliked most everything else. ** 3/4
NO PUEDO VIVIR SIN TI (I Can't Live Without You)  (d. Leon Dai; Taiwan) ***
NOBODY TO WATCH OVER ME (d. Ryoichi Kimizuka; Japan)  *** 1/2
NORTH (d. Rune Denstad Langlo) ** 1/2
NORTH FACE (d. Philipp Stölzl) *** 3/4
NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY (d. Charles Officer) ***
OBSERVE AND REPORT (d. Jody Hill) Very black, obscene, mostly unfunny comedy...however surprisingly entertaining with Rogan & Anna Faris standouts. ***
ONE-HANDED TRICK, THE (d. Santiago Zannou) **
OPEN ROAD, THE (d. Michael Meredith) Jeff Bridges, in best dissipated Dude mode & game Timberlake do road trip clichés. Predictable; but better than expected. ** 3/4
OTHER BANK, THE (d. George Ovashvili) *** 1/2
OUTRAGE (d. Kirby Dick) V. Confrontational docu, intriguingly edited, about hypocritical gay Congresscritters and the harm they foist on the Republic. *** 1/2
OVERBROOK BROTHERS (d. John Bryant) ***
PAIN IN THE ASS, A (d. Francis Veber) **
PAPER HEART (d. Nicholas Jasenovec) *** 1/4
PARIS (d. Cédrick Klapisch) Sprawling romcom with large, fine cast but too many characters and unfocused script and direction.  Too bad.  ** 1/4
PARTLY PRIVATE (d. Danae Elon) V. Excellent, if discomforting docu of a secular Jewish family's struggles with idea of circumcision. My reaction was visceral. *** 3/4
PARTS LEFT OVER, THE (d. Roy Wageman) ** 3/4
PEDRO (d. Nick Oceano) V.+ MTV is a natural place to show this superior biopic. Dustin Lance Black should now add an Emmy to his Oscar for Milk.  *** 1/2
PERFECT GETAWAY, A (d. David Twohy) Gorgeous Kawaii scenery is all that's good about this predictable Natural Born Killers wannabe.  **
PERFECTIONIST, THE (La perfezionista) (d. Cesare Lanza) 1/2*
PERPETUUM MOBILE (d. Nicolas Pareda) * 1/4
PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND (d. Daniel Barnz) Simplistic psycho stuff well presented.  Fine acting; but just not all that original.  ** 3/4
PIRATE RADIO (d. Richard Curtis) Wonderful evocation of the mid-60's with a dynamite song score (gotta get the CD). Great double bill with Across the Universe! *** 1/2
POIROT: MRS. MCGINTY'S DEAD (d. Ashley Pearce) V. Fussy & talky British Agatha Christie whodunit with a ridiculous plot, but a nice noir look.  **
POISON FRIENDS (Les amitiés maléfique) (d. Emmanuel Bourdieu) V. Literary, unpleasant story of college students taken in by a pathological liar friend. ***
POLICE ROMANCE, A (d. Stéphanie Duvivier) *** 1/4
POLICE, ADJECTIVE (d. Corneliu Porumbolu; Romania)  ***
PONYO (d. Hayao Miyazaki) Gorgeous 2-D animation; but I just couldn't relate to the plot's flights of fancy, inscrutable message and dare I say boring characters. ** 1/2.
POP STAR ON ICE (d. David Barba) ***
PORNOGRAPHY (d, David Kittredge) Disquieting, arty thriller/ghost story set in porno world...a gay EYES WIDE SHUT as if directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.  *** 1/4
POST GRAD (d. Vicky Jenson) Attractive, interesting actors wasted in a totally cliché ridden family comedy.  Whoever greenlit this waste of celluloid should be fired.  * 3/4
PRAYERS FOR BOBBY (d. Russell Mulcahy)V. Well acted tear jerker tv movie based on true story of gay boy's suicide. Emotionally devistating.. *** 1/4
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL "PUSH" BY SAPPHIRE (d. Lee Daniels) Difficult to watch drama, but quite fine & amazingly well acted and ultimately uplifting. *** 3/4
PRESSURE COOKER (d. Becker & Grausman) V. Inspiring docu about an inner city high school, a dedicated Culinary Arts teacher, &  3 students. ***
PROPOSAL, THE (d. Anne Fletcher) Adequate, if predictable romcom with revelatory leading man perf by Ryan Reynolds.  ** 3/4
PROTEKTOR (d. Marak NajbrtCzech Republic) ** 1/2
PUBLIC ENEMIES (d. Michael Mann) Mann's direction is claustrophobic & confusing - but visually striking. Lots of shoot-em-ups, little emotional involvement.  ** 3/4
PUSH (d. Paul McGuigan) Psi powers thriller with muddled, contradictory plot but some nifty acting, especially Fanning and Evans.  ** 1/2
QUIET CHAOS (d. Antonello Grimaldi) *** 1/2
RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (d. Andy Fickman) Loveably dumb scrip and just ok f/xt; but then I'm not the target audience. ** 1/2
RACING DREAMS (d. Marshall Curry) V. Superb, involving docu about three 12-13 year old circuit go-kart racers & their dreams during a year of racing. *** 3/4
RAGING SUN, RAGING SKY (d. Julián Hernández) *** 1/2
READY? OK! (d. James Vasquez) ***
RECOUNT (d. Jay Roach) V. The 2000 election still hurts & it's taken me several false starts to finish this fine, well acted, well written tv film.  *** 1/4
RED CLIFF (d. John Woo) Even the truncated US version is fantastic filmmaking. Leung & Kaneshiro are so fine, the battle scenes lucid & unsurpassed in memory. *** 3/4
RED RIDING: 1974 (d. Julian Jarrold) ***
RED RIDING: 1980 (d. James March) *** 1/4
RED RIDING: 1983 (d. Anand Tucker) ** 3/4
REPORTER (d. Eric Metzgar) V. Committed docu about NY Times journalist Nicholas Kristof & his trip with two young contest winners to war ravaged east Congo. ** 3/4
REVERSE (Rewers) (d. Borys Lankosz; Poland) *** 1/2
RIVERS WASH OVER ME (d. John G. Young) Nicely shot and acted issue film about gay black boy returned to small town South.  ***
ROAD FROM ELEPHANT PASS, THE (d. Chandran Rutnam; Sri Lanka) ** 1/2
ROAD, THE (d. John Hillcoat)  Bleak story drenched in miserablism & puzzling causality.  Impressive acting, especially cameos by Robert Duval & unrecognizable Guy Pearce. ***
RUDO Y CURSI (d. Carlos Cuarón) Bernal & Luna are good enough; but soccer story and direction don't ignite.  ** 3/4
SALT OF THIS SEA (d. Annemarie Jacir: Palestine) ***
SAMSON & DELILAH (d.Warwick Thornton; Australia)  ** 1/4
SCHOOL DAYS WITH A PIG (d. Tetsu Maeda) ***
SCRATCH (d. Michal Rosa) ** 3/4
SECRET IN THEIR EYES, THE (El secreto de sus ojos)  (d. Juan José Campanella; Argentina) *** 3/4
SECRETS OF STATE (Secret défence) (d. Philipe Haïm) ***
SEED OF DISCORD, THE (Il seme della siscordia) (d. Pappi Corsicato) ** 1/4
SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING, THE (d. David L. Cunningham) V.+ Adolescent fantasy with an interesting hero in Alex Ludwig. ** 1/2
SÉRAPHINE (d. Martin Provost) *** 1/4
SERGIO  (d. Greg Barker) V. Docu of the 2003 bombing by al-Qaeda of the UN mission in Iraq led by martyred Sergio de Mello. Gripping recreations. Affecting.  ***
SERIOUS MAN, A (d. Joel & Ethan Coen) Different Coens film: personal, very Jewish, amusing riff on the Job story. Loved it until the weird unsatisfactory conclusion, again! *** 1/2
SEVEN DAYS, THE  (d. Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz) * 1/2
SHERLOCK HOLMES (d. Guy Richie) It looks like Victorian London; but its criminally anachronistic rock-and-roll sensibility is all Richie's fault.  * 1/4
SHOTGUN STORIES (d. Jeff Nichols) V. Quietly powerful, reflective Amer. indie pitting half-brothers against each other.  ***
SHRINK (d. Jonas Pate) *** 1/4
SIN NOMBRE (d. Cary Joji Fukunaga) Superbly executed drama of Central American gangs & the plight of immigrants with a believeable, moving romance. *** 1/2 .
SINGLE MAN, A (d. Tom Ford) Ford's visual sense right on, narrative not so much. Fine acting; but ambiguous characters detract. Nick Hoult all grown up & a beauty.  ***
SKIN (d. Anthony Fabian) ** 3/4
SNIPER, THE (d. Dante Lam) *** 1/4
SOLOIST, THE (d. Joe Wright) Wright throws every directorial trick in the book at this sappy script, and Downey & Foxx are fine; but I was bored. ** 1/2
SOMEONE I LOVED (Je l'aimais) (d. Zabou Breitman) ***
SOMERS TOWN (d. Shane Meadows) Delightful and insightful, if slight, youth dramedy where Midlands youth befriends Polish boy in modern London. *** 1/4
SOUL POWER (d. Jeffrey Levy-Hinte) '74 Zaire concert film, well shot but music varies in quality. Bill Withers, Celia Cruz & BB King really impressed. Star James Brown less.  ***
SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION (d. Guttentag and Sturman) V. Superb docu of Civil Rights struggle emphasizing music. Poignant & emotionally uplifting. *** 3/4
SOUTH DESERT (d. Shawn Garry)  ** 3/4
SPINNING INTO BUTTER (d. Mark Brokaw) Racism in a New England college has never been so banal or clichéd.  * 3/4
SPLIT ESTATE (d. Debra Anderson) V. Involving, informative muckraking docu about enviromental hazards to people in pristine oil/gas drilling areas of Rocky Mts.. *** 1/4
SPREAD (d. David Mackenzie) Kucher is quite fine as successor to Gere's American Gigalo. Clichés abound, but this is hot, enjoyable, sexy stuff.  ***
SPRING 1941 (d. Uri Barbash) * 1/2
SPRING BREAKDOWN (d. Ryan Shiraki) * 1/4
SQUARE, THE (d. Nash Edgerton) ***
ST. GEORGE SHOOTS THE DRAGON (d. Srdjan Dragojevic; Serbia)  ***
STAR TREK (d. J.J. Abrams) Spectacular in IMAX, well cast, nothing special about the plot...but as a summer action flick it is about as good as they come. ***
STATE OF PLAY (d. Kevin Macdonald) More focused than the BBC series, Good character driven thriller with fine acting.  ***
STATEN ISLAND (d. James DeMonaco) Clever plotting, dynamite acting (Hawke, Onofrio & esp. Seymour Cassel), different take on gangster film. Engrossing.  *** 1/2
STELLA (d. Sylvie Verheyde) ***
STILL WALKING (d. Kore-ea Hirokazu) *** 1/2
SUGAR (d. Anna Bodin, Ryan Fleck) Fine American indie about a young Dominican baseball player & his minor league tryout in Iowa. ***
SUMMER (d. Kenny Glenaan) ** 3/4
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'été)  (d. Olivier Assayas) + *** 3/4
SUNSHINE CLEANING (d. Christine Jeffs) Enjoyable indie dramedy.  Amy Adams better here than in Doubt.  ***
SUPERBAD (d. Greg Mattola) V.+  One of the rare cases of a film where the over-the-top raunch works better on video than in the theater. ***
SURROGATES (d. Jonathan Mostow) Super f/x and makeup almost make this futuristic potboiler worth watching. But I don't buy the fundamental take on human nature. ** 3/4
SWEET CRUDE (d. Sandy Cioffi) ***
SWIMSUIT ISSUE (d. Mans Herngren) ** 3/4
SYDNEY WHITE (d. Joe Nussbaum) V. Clever concept (Snow White & 7 Dorks on university Greek row), but dumb & predictable. Give Jack Carpenter a leading role.  ** 1/4
TAHAAN - A BOY WITH A GRENADE (d. Santosh Sivan) * 3/4
TAKING CHANCE (d. Ross Katz) V. Emotionally devastating TV movie about the consequences of war on the homefront. *** 1/2
TAKING WOODSTOCK (d. Ang Lee)  Very interesting oblique look at the '60s & seminal event. Henry Goodman deadpan excellent; but Staunton is fabulous. *** 1/4
TALHOTBLOND (d. Barbara Schroeder) *** 1/4
TCHAO PANTIN (d. Claude Berri) *** 1/4
TEARS OF APRIL (d. Aku Louhimies) *** 3/4
TELSTAR (d. Nick Moran) ***
TERMINATOR 4 (d. McG) I love the "Terminator" world, including the tv-show contrib to the mythos. This film worked, consistent and thrilling.  *** 1/4
TERRIBLY HAPPY (d. Henrik Ruben Genz) ** 3/4
TETRO (d. Francis Ford Coppola) Visually ravishing with creative films & operas within the film. But the narrative is too over-the-top operatic for my tastes. ** 3/4
THIRD WAVE, THE:  A VOLUNTEER STORY (d. Alison Thompson) Inciteful docu of volunteers who went to small Sri Lankan town destroyed by 2004 tsunami. *** 1/4
THIRTY DAYS OF NIGHT (d. David Slade) V. Hyper-violent vampire film with ridiculous script, some bad overacting, but also a scary Arctic atmosphere. **
THIS IS IT (d. Kenny Ortega) Valuable testament to MJ's talent. The show would have been great, and what is on screen is fascinating & near great.  *** 1/4
THREE MONKEYS (d. Nuri Bilge Ceylan; Turkey) *** 1/2
TIME OF FEAR (Salve Geral) (d. Sergio Rezendi; Brazil) ***
TIME TRAVELERS WIFE, THE (d. Robert Schwentke) Glossy, but cheesy romantic melodrama with SF twist. Well cast; but tries too hard to tearjerk and only jerks.  ** 1/4
TOKYO SONATA (d. Kiyoshi Kurosawa) Excellent screwed-up family drama & morality tale which is more Kore-eda + Cantet  than Kurosawa. *** 1/2
TOUR, THE  (d. Goran Markovic; Serbia) ** 1/4
TREELESS MOUNTAIN (d. So-Yong Kim) ** 1/2
TRICKS (d. Andrzej Jakimowski; Poland) ***
TRIMPIN: THE SOUND OF INVENTION (d. Peter Esmonde) ** 1/2
TROUBLED WATER (d. Erik Poppe) *** 3/4
TRUE ADOLESCENTS (d. Craig Johnson) *** 1/2
TURNING GREEN (d. Michael Aimette & John Hoffman) An American teenager in Ireland goes entrepreneur as porn king. Donal Gallery as the kid is worth watching. **
TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON, THE (d. Chris Weitz) Lugubrious, short on action compared to 1st, disappointing even with low expectations. Lautner is *hot*, though. **
UGLY TRUTH, THE (d. Robert Luketic) Heigl's a star & there is real romantic chemistry with Butler; but way too talky & not nearly as clever as it wants to be. ** 1/4
UNDER OUR SKIN (d. Andy Wilson) V. Most shocking adversarial exposé docu I've ever seen. If not faked, this is a dynamite indictment of medical establishment. ****
UNIDENTIFIED, THE (d. Kevin Tucker) *** 1/4
UNMISTAKEN CHILD (d. Nati Baratz) ***
UP IN THE AIR (d. Jason Reitman) Reitman redeems himself for Juno. Clooney never better; Kendrick & Farmiga are great again. Funny, trenchant, insightful.  *** 1/2
VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR (d. Matt Tyrnauer)V.  Interesting docu, though somewhat cold. Reminded me of Project Runway in a good way.  *** 1/4
VINCERE (d. Marco Bellocchio) *** 1/4
WANTED (d. Timur Bekmambetov) + A kinetic thriller even better 2nd time around. Ridiculous plot; but amazing acting & f/x plus a great cast. *** 1/2
WARD NO. 6 (d. Karen Shakhazarov; Russia). **
WARLORDS (d. Peter Chen, Wai Man Yip) *** 1/4
WATCHMEN (d. Zack Snyder) Fabulous f/x and a script to match.  Brilliantly evocative '80s depiction and superhero deconstruction just thrilled.  *** 3/4
WE LIVE IN PUBLIC (d. Ondi Timoner) *** 1/2
WEDDING SONG, THE (Le Chant des Mariées) (d. Karen Albou) ** 1/4
WELCOME (d. Philippe Lioret) *** 3/4
WHATEVER WORKS (d. Woody Allen) Pure comedy, sunny & funny throwback to earlier Allen works. Evan Rachel Wood & Larry David perfect. ***
WHEN A MAN COMES HOME (d. Thomas Vinterberg) ** 3/4
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (d. Spike Jonze) Laudable attempt at personalized art film; but not my cuppa...more annoyed by wanton child than edified. ** 1/2
WHICH WAY HOME (d. Rebecca Cammisa) V. Heartbreakingly effective docu about Cent. Amer. children trying to reach the U.S. Real life version of Sin Nombre. ****
WHIP IT (d. Drew Barrymore) Good: Ellen Page is not annoying, roller derby is fun.  Bad: totally predictable plot, melodramatic & fake.  ** 1/4
WHITE RIBBON, THE  (d. Michael Haneke; Germany) Nobody does enigma better than Haneke, even when taken to a maddening extreme. Gorgeous film. *** 1/2
WHITE WEDDING (d. Jann Turner; South Africa) ** 1/4
WHOLE TRUTH, THE (d. Coleen Patrick) 0*
WILD FIELD (d. Mikhail Kalatozishvili) *** 3/4
WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE (d. Sarah Kunstler & Emily Kunstler) ***
WIND JOURNEYS, THE (Los Viajes el Viento) (d. Ciro Guerra; Colombia) ***
WINGLESS (d. Ivo Trajkov; Macedonia) **
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MYSELF (Aide-toi, et le Ciel t'aidera) (François Dupeyron)  *** 1/4
WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO (d. Javier Rebollo) ** 3/4
WOMAN'S WAY, A (Strella) (d. Panos H. Koutras) *** 1/2
WONDERFUL WORLD (d. Joshua Goldin) ** 1/4
WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER, THE (d. Stefan Komandarev; Bulgaria) *** 1/2
WORLD'S GREATEST DAD (d. Bobcat Goldthwait) ** 1/4
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (d. Gavin Hood) Entertaining action, better than average acting.  What did happen to Liev Schreiber's character? ** 3/4
YES MEN FIX THE WORLD, THE (d. Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno, Kurt Engfehr) *** 1/4
YOUNG VICTORIA, THE (d. Jean-Marc Vallée) I'm a sucker for a great period love story.  This is extraordinary, with Blunt & Friend superbly matched. Gorgeous.  *** 3/4
YOUNG VICTORIA, THE (d. Jean-Marc Vallée) V.+ Even better 2nd time. Blunt & Friend superbly matched with regal chemistry. Gorgeous sets, costumes.  *** 3/4
YOUTH IN REVOLT (d. Miguel Arteta) ***
ZIFT (d. Vladislav Todorov; Bulgaria)  ***
ZOMBIELAND (d. Rubin Fleischer) Eisenberg is always good; and there are some amusing things here; but I guess that I'm just immune to zombies.  ** 1/2

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