While everyone else is still arguing over whether The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Up in the Air, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, or some other choice is the best film of 2009, we're looking forward to what we expect to be talking about in eleven to twelve months â€“ what are the best movies of 2010? We can't guarantee you what's going to be the most Oscar-nominated film of 2010 but we can guarantee you one thing â€“ of our 20 most anticipated films below at least one will suck Amelia-style and a few of the absolute best films of the year aren't on this list. Who saw District 9 coming at this time last year? Who knew The Lovely Bones would tank? One of the greatest things about this job is that uncertainty of what will happen when the lights go down â€¦ but we still like to guess.
By now, youâ€™ve probably been exposed to a lot of conflicting opinions on James Cameronâ€™s Avatar. You've probably read more than a few rave reviews and a fair number of less than flattering ones. You may even have friends divided along those same lines. This writer, for example, loved the film and totally bought into the entire spectacle and thoroughly enjoyed the film (heck, no one does an...Read More
The past decade in horror makes one sad fact abundantly clear â€“ Americans are falling behind in more than just math class. Most of the truly interesting material in the genre came from overseas. What would you rather sit through? A festival of the four Final Destination and six Saw films produced this decade or one of the French hardcore horror wave (including Inside, Martyrs, Frontier(s), Them, High...Read More
Recapping an entire decade is an amazingly daunting task, the kind of endeavor that really makes a critic take account of what he values in film. Looking over the last ten years of movies and the thousands of reviews I have written, I realized a few things about what I view as important when it comes to truly great films. I said a few years ago that the...Read More
We've covered the best of the year and now it's time to flip the coin and look at the dirty underside of film in 2009. Of course, it's easy to point fingers at the disappointing major sequels of the summer (nearly all of which fell below their predecessor in terms of quality) but the Hollywood machine wasn't alone in the production of lackluster product in 2009.
Amplified by a slate of "Best of the Decade" pieces (which we'll get to in early 2010), this year's "best of" features seem more overcrowded than ever, but it's human nature to want to rank. When I tell people that I'm a film critic, they almost always ask me what the best movie is I've seen lately or my favorite of all time. As much as we like...Read More
Well, itâ€™s that time of year again. You know when we all pretend that weâ€™re all one people regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation and yet â€“ no matter how many times we force ourselves to say â€śHappy Holidaysâ€ť â€“ itâ€™s still hard to ignore that 95% of the Western world is swathed in Christmas decorations and the only thing on TV is George Bailey and Rudolph....Read More
Ah, Christmas! Tis the season for mistletoe, holly, shopping, and the career-derailing office Holiday party. Between online shopping, giving out Secret Santa presents, and wandering from cubicle to cubicle snagging holiday cookies, not a lot of work is getting done this week across America, and the annual office gathering puts the icing on the anti-productivity cake. Woo hoo! But itâ€™s not always peace on earth and goodwill toward...Read More
After going through the best supporting turns of the year earlier this week (check out that feature by clicking here) and dealing with the onslaught of awards and nominations this week including the Golden Globes and Chicago Film Critics Association (a group of which this critic is a proud board member), we thought we'd take a look at the names above the title that really stood out...Read More
As the awards season really ramps up, itâ€™s time to look back at what happened in darkened theaters in 2009, starting with the best supporting work of the year. Weâ€™ll get to the best films, best lead performances, and worst films over the next few weeks, but today is dedicated to the men and women who did the best work outside of the main spotlight.