Dinner For Schmucks

“Every performance is hideously over-scaled, and Roach’s unfortunate tendency to keep the camera within six inches of everyone’s face underlines the performers’ strain. There’s a pleading quality to Dinner for Schmucks that’s the antithesis of funny, with cramped, pore-exposing close-ups inspiring more pity than giggles.” – The Improper Bostonian, 07/28/2010

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Countdown To Zero

“I know, nukes are so 1985, yet Lucy Walker’s slick doc serves as a reminder that our old sum of all fears wasn’t quite laid to rest at the end of the Cold War. But even at 91 minutes, Countdown to Zero can’t help repeating itself. Walker makes her points early and often, with too many PowerPoint slogans and an allegedly inspirational Pearl Jam song.” – Philadelphia Weekly, 07/28/2010

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The Kids Are All Right

“Cholodenko might be the only filmmaker working today who makes sex look like fun. These days, it’s startling to see characters in movies behave as if they even have genitals, but Cholodenko’s giggly encounters feel true to life. In an age of airbrushed Maxim poses and Hollywood kabuki sexuality, her awkward hookups are absurdly hot.” – Philadelphia Weekly, 07/21/2010

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“It’s an expansive brain-fuck rooted in base genre satisfactions—half Solaris, half Matrix. Simultaneously goofy and inspired, Inception is a thrilling, ultimately exhausting headlong rush through its creator’s science-minded pulp fatalism. If Nolan only knew when to say when, it might have been a masterpiece.” – Philadelphia Weekly, 07/14/2010

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“Cruise has already refocused his career around the idea that America privately considers him to be a pants-peeing lunatic. So he tried to play that to his advantage by starring in a broad, boring romantic comedy that’s bogged down with a plot that doesn’t even seem to matter to its participants.” – The Improper Bostonian, 07/14/2010

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The Girl Who Played With Fire

“The Girl Who Played With Fire, alas, is one of those sad sequels that fail to understand why anyone might’ve enjoyed the original. Daniel Alfredson takes over directing chores from Neils Arden Opev, but the transition is a smooth one aesthetically, as the icky after-hours aura of sexual assault still pervades every frame.” – Philadelphia Weekly, 07/07/2010

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The Last Airbender

“Based on an allegedly popular Nickelodeon cartoon—which I’ve never seen because I am a grown man —the movie already had me baffled during the opening expository crawl. Shyamalan’s authorial signature shines through in the film’s commitment to solemn humorlessness and shooting entire action sequences in cramped single takes.” – Philadelphia Weekly, 07/07/2010

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