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Kinetic Directing Failed to Improve 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'

Flashy directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor attempted to make Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance more exciting than its predecessor, but their style sapped the energy that fueled the flame.

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Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

Reviews

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

So likable that many can only describe the experience of watching it in terms of clouds and frosting.

Reviews

Stop-Loss

Realism doesn't make a better movie, just a more sensitive one.

Reviews

There Will Be Blood

However fictional, Daniel Plainview is like history come to life -- more Frankenstein's monster than wax doll.

Reviews

Stop-Loss

In Brandon's confrontations with his own delusions, Stop-Loss focuses on unhealthy rituals of manhood and male community recalling Peirce's Boys Don't Cry.

Reviews

Margot at the Wedding

Vivid impressions that make us look closely into Baumbach's fascinating, semi-miserable world.

Reviews

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day sends a lonely, sanctimonious governess from dejection to delight within a mere 24 hours.

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A Gallery of Good Works: The Best Films of 2007

From Julian Schnabel's artsy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the legendary Coen Brothers splendid adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, PopMatters counts down the 30 best films of 2007.

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Performance Art: The Best Acting of 2007 - Female

From the most sweetly nuanced performance of Jennifer Jason Leigh's career to Cate Blanchett's revelatory portrayal of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, the women of 2007 were stellar.

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Performance Art: The Best Acting of 2007 - Male

From the tender and eerie precision of Sam Riley's depiction of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control to yet another superlative performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, PopMatters highlights the best male actors of 2007.

Film

There Will Be Blood

Land, oil, blood. There will be lots of all in Paul Thomas Anderson's stunning new movie.

Reviews

Margot at the Wedding

The brisk 92-minute film explores the intensity of the women’s relationship, and how they are inherently tied to one another, whether they like it or not.

Matt Mazur
Reviews

Margot at the Wedding

Margot at the Wedding doesn’t resolve as much as it devolves into a series of arguments and dire revelations.

Reviews

The Nativity Story (2006)

Unlike the story from which it derives, there is no "oomph". There is no sense of danger. There is no excitement.

Reviews

Amazing Grace (2006)

The movie's thematic insistence on seeing takes shape through slavery, a horrible moral blight even if it's off-screen in the colonies and not in London with our heroes.

Television

Rome

The lofty political rhetoric disguising base power-grabbing in Rome is all too familiar in a contemporary US context.

Todd R. Ramlow
Reviews

The Nativity Story (2006)

When word of Catherine Hardwicke's attachment to The Nativity Story first surfaced, the possibilities swirled: what if the film reimagined the about-14-year-old Mary as a recognizable teenager?

Reviews

Miami Vice (2006)

Gong Li's face and form are made for this: she absorbs the movie's energies and just like that, it hardly matters what Crockett or Tubbs thinks he's doing.

Film

Munich (2005)

Munich is about the shifting meaning the city's name took on after that dire moment in 1972, the shorthand it became for survivors, historians, and avengers.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Rome

If there is a civics lesson to be gleaned from Rome, it is to beware the passions inflamed by a government in the midst of an identity crisis.

Michael Buening
Reviews

Rome

Lest one fear the consequences of amoral political realism get a watered-down treatment, Rome proves steadfast -- eager, even -- in its refusal to skimp on detail.

Ryan Vu
Film

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

You might read this as a not-so-subtle indictment of the bourgie masses who consume popular culture: their taste sucks.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Calendar Girls (2003)

A roll call of Britain's prime acting talent renders this movie watchable but cannot lift it beyond the forgettable.

Lesley Smith
Reviews

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

'She's really pretty handy with knives and guns, this girl.'"

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Veronica Guerin (2003)

Such moments illustrate Veronica's earnest incentive while undermining her hard work with crazily implausible coincidences.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

The focus on her irate face reveals Lara's resolve, fury, and urgency. She's not playing.

Cynthia Fuchs

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