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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

127 Hours (2010)

James Franco’s impish appeal as outdoorsman Aron Ralston is caught between a hard place and two rocks: the stone that pins down his right arm in a Utah canyon and the clobbering boulder of director Danny Boyle’s “art.” Complicating the simple story are flashbacks, visions, jokes, music, and the hero’s ... (R)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

Agora (2010)

Funereal toga party commemorating the culture clash in a majestic computer-generated Alexandria, pre-Islam: pagans, Christians, Jews. It is no surprise — although given the locale, and given the drift of current events in the region, it is an undoubted provocation — that the Christians, out from under the Roman sandal, ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Tim Burton’s adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic gives him license, free rein, greased rails, to stage a congenial freak show in a hermetic netherworld: a 3-D moving-picture book. The customary merger of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, has the innovation of a marriageable ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All Good Things (2010)

Romantic mystery starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. The story is loosely based on real experiences of Robert Durst, a real estate heir whose first wife disappeared in 1982. (R)

None starsDuncan Shepherd

The American (2010)

George Clooney, sole American in the cast, has been enrolled to glamorize further the most glamorous profession, to go by Hollywood, in the world today: the high-end assassin. (Vampire is not a profession.) Director Anton Corbijn, a former music-video guy, places him in existential exile amid the Medieval townscapes and ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Animal Kingdom (2010)

Writer-director David Michôd gives us Australian cops-and-robbers and three solid characterizations, James Frecheville as an almost catatonic callow youth (casting glances at a TV game show as paramedics administer to his unresponsive OD’d mother on the couch), Jacki Weaver, a bottle-blonde little dumpling of a woman, as the sugar-coated monstrous ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The A-Team (2010)

The F-grade. Smug quartet of rogue commandos on a noisy, chaotic, impossible mission to — besides recover some Ben Franklin engraving plates from Baghdad — clear their records and start a film franchise. Based on the Eighties TV series. With Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jessica ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Babies (2010)

A kind of nature documentary that looks at the human species the way another documentary might look at apes: a human-nature documentary, if you like. The French filmmaker Thomas Balmès follows four newborns from far-flung corners of the globe — a Namibian, a Mongolian, a Japanese, an American — from ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Back-Up Plan (2010)

Jennifer Lopez, artificially inseminated and pregnant with twins before she meets Mr. Right, stands out as a pearl among pebbles. Her hair and makeup (in the part of a pet-shop proprietor) are a wonder to behold, and are indeed beheld with tunnel vision and starry eyes by director Alan Poul ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Big Picture (2010)

Wealthy French lawyer Paul Exben (Romain Duris) wanted to be a photographer, but instead wound up an overworked, almost frenetic career man, pouring money into his family and telling himself that everything is okay. But of course, everything is not okay: his wife feels stifled in her role as suburban ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsMatthew Lickona

Black Death (2010)

A cobblestone tale of one of the world’s most caustic times: England, circa 1348. The filmmaking is undeniably modern: shaky, handheld camerawork, jump-cut editing, stuttering slow motion. The connection to the 14th-century epidemic is rather derivative. Director Christopher Smith seems more concerned with making a bloody mess of things. At ... (NR)

0.0 starsJohn Rubio

Black Swan (2010)

Ballet hokum becomes a head trip of pop-goth stylization as director Darren Aronofsky falls off his raw, real form of The Wrestler. Natalie Portman worked hard as the traumatized ballerina but spins around in a blur of bad dancing, one-note acting, and demented plot. Helping to creep it up are ... (R)

0.0 starsDavid Elliott

The Book of Eli (2010)

Post-apocalyptic chic. In metallic monochrome, in sterilizing shafts of light, in portentous slo-mo, Denzel Washington safeguards the only extant copy of the King James Bible, with his archer's bow, shotgun, pistol, and terrible swift sword: the new Messiah. One of many head-scratchers is why on earth the tin-pot town boss ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Bounty Hunter (2010)

Laboriously contrived rom-com action thriller, laboriously directed by Andy Tennant, wherein a pair of hostile exes, he a skip-tracer and she a bail-jumper, re-bond while solving a murder and dodging a hit man en route to the hoosegow. Not a good showcase for the assets of Jennifer Aniston, apart from ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Boxing Gym (2010)

Documentarian Frederick Wiseman's sustained gaze into the interior of Lord's Boxing Gym in Austin, Texas. There is no narrative to speak of, and besides proprietor Richard Lord, there are hardly any characters. Instead, you get a profound sense of what has to be done to a body to ready it ... (NR)

2.0 starsMatthew Lickona