Reviews : Drama Reviews

Inception

"Inception" is a stunning feature of impossible technical virtuosity, but at times it's got the emotional resonance of a college lecture. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

A film that should have been heroic is reduced to an exposition-heavy slog that barely makes any headway. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: Shutter Island

Director Martin Scorsese works with his typical widescreen gusto, only to end up with a flaccid central mystery barely worth the exertion. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Boldly produced and vivid throughout, "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" isn't brave enough to shut up and let the audience process the screen magic. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Valentine's Day

With the exception of a few charming stars, "Valentine's Day" is an unsufferable lifeless film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: The Wolfman

A mangled, short-sheeted stab at reanimating a horror icon, "The Wolfman" is a mess. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Extraordinary Measures

A frivolous disease-of-the-week picture avoids a severe case of the blahs due to strong casting. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B-)
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Review: The Lovely Bones

Director Peter Jackson condenses a frightful story of loss into something between a Hitchcockian thriller and an Enya music video. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Book of Eli

The Hughes Brothers craft a compellingly abrasive tone of moral manipulation to embellish the traditional post-apocalyptic tale. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B-)
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Review: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Perhaps Heath Ledger's death tore the heart out of this film. Or maybe Terry Gilliam never knew what to do with it. Either way, "Parnassus" is a mess. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Sherlock Holmes

This reworked version of Sherlock Holmes goes far beyond pipe sucking and deerstalker hats. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Nine

"Nine" suffers from a debilitating case of the blahs. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Brothers

A tremendous film, "Brothers" gently reworks its inspiration into a raw emotional experience. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Up in the Air

Despite George Clooney's stellar performance, "Up in the Air" is a crude deconstruction of loneliness. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon

While promising in spurts, "New Moon" is a stilted drag when concentrating on the love triangle. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Blind Side

"The Blind Side" is a friendly, tender audience pleaser. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Pirate Radio

Despite a sparkling cast and soundtrack supremacy, director Richard Curtis can't find solid footing. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: 2012

"2012" is disturbingly repetitive, obnoxiously noisy, and almost pornographic in length. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: The Box

Director Richard Kelly gets overly ambitious, making "The Box" feel like amateurish stalling. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: A Christmas Carol

The latest version of "A Christmas Carol" takes a bold technological leap forward, with dazzling results. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Precious: Based on the Novel �Push� by Sapphire

"Precious" retains an impressive dramatic grip through unimaginable horror. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Amelia

Despite a wonderful director and fantastic actors, the ambition of "Amelia" never connects with its execution. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Cirque du Freak: The Vampire�s Assistant

Director Paul Weitz offers up a joyless, verbose picture. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Despite thought-provoking material, "Law Abiding Citizen" is morphed into a contrived thriller. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Where the Wild Things Are

Director Spike Jonze has his heart in the right place, but extending something so perfectly concise invites more trouble than triumph. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Whip It

"Whip It" is a coming-of-age dramedy that bites off a little more than it can chew.Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B-)
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Review: Fame

Director Kevin Tancharoen is more devoted to hackneyed stylistics than emotional substance. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Love Happens

"Love Happens" is passably engaging and semi-poignant, but can't elevate above mediocrity. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Post Grad

"Post Grad" is a meandering mess of a motion picture. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Bandslam

There�s a great movie somewhere in "Bandslam," but director Todd Graff won�t allow it to emerge. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

"The Time Traveler�s Wife" is a beautifully crafted mood piece placed in the center of an engrossing love story. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Julie & Julia

"Julie & Julia" surprises as much as it delights. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Funny People

"Funny People" offers keen insight into the mind of the stand-up comic at his most game, blistered, and vulnerable. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The latest "Potter" film ably taps teen angst while keeping the series' bar set high. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Public Enemies

Director Michael Mann misses with "Public Enemies," losing himself in deafening filmmaking. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: I Hate Valentine's Day

With "I Hate Valentine's Day," Nia Vardalos has elected to make the same nondescript junk as everyone else, Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: Ch�ri

Michelle Pfeiffer ia a marvel in this sexy, pithy, and enchantingly cutting adaptation. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: My Sister's Keeper

Director Nick Cassavetes creates moments of genuine tragic ache despite obnoxiously calculated emotional manipulation. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Skip this wasted effort from ineffectual filmmaker Tony Scott. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: Watchmen

"Watchmen" may speak to fans of the original story, but the the film's execution is muddy and jarring for newcomers. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The International

"The International" is more concerned with protracted conversation than thrilling suspense. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: He's Just Not That Into You

Plagued by poor direction and unlikeable characters, "He's Just Not That Into You" never reaches an insightful plateau. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

"Benjamin Button" conveys a soul-rattling ache of life with storytelling electricity and piercing thematic resonance. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Valkyrie

"Valkyrie" mixes classic thriller tones and invigorating compositional rhythms to erect an exquisite architecture of suspense. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Wrestler

"The Wrestler" is a stupendous achievement of tone and emotional fullness. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Seven Pounds

In "Seven Pounds," the end doesn't justify the protracted means. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood's latest is a pleasurably performed character study of racism and redemption. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Doubt

"Doubt" is a magnificent experience with top shelf performances. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: The Reader

Sexually charged "The Reader" is an unsettling depiction of mournful obsession. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Milk

Gus Van Sant returns with a noble bio-pic awash with colorful characters and a pinpoint recreation of 1970s San Francisco. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review Cadillac Records

"Cadillac Records" is a frustratingly thin depiction of the famed Chess Records blues factory. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Frost/Nixon

"Frost/Nixon" is an intelligent, riveting war of minds. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Australia

"Australia" reaches dazzling heights of romantic sincerity and nerve-racking adventure. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Twilight

Alternating between embarrassingly overindulgent and outright boring "Twilight" is a poorly contained unintentional joke. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: Changeling

"Changeling" is compelling and flush with period detail, but can't sustain its too-long running time. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Pride and Glory

Lack of innovation is overcome by emotionally searing execution in this exceptional cop drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Predictability and maudlin sentimentality make for a tiresome sequel. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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The X-Files: I Want to Believe

"The X-Files: I Want to Believe" offers faithful fans a rewarding odyssey. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Dark Knight

"The Dark Knight" is a mesmerizing crime story that just happens to be a comic book film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: WALL-E

Pixar's latest is a misguided, preach-fest that suffers from storytelling lethargy. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: The Happening

Despite a blood-spurting, skin-crawling first act, "The Happening" slowly, painfully deflates. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Sex and the City

"Sex and the City" is a lazy, mean-spirited mess of materialism and melodrama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: War, Inc.

"War Inc," is a mischievous political satire full of outrage, slapstick, and ultraviolence. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

"The Chronicles of Narnia" sequel lacks needed dimension and narrative. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Street Kings

"Street Kings" offers a compelling look at police corruption. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Smart People

Faulty editing and directing squander a capable cast. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: The Visitor

Director Thomas McCarthy executes a courteous absorbing drama about relationships. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Flawless

"Flawless" proves to be an entertaining heist film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Stop-Loss

Director Kimberly Peirce's stunning lack of vision results in a a fumbled passion play. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: 21

"21" is a charming, slick adaptation. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Never Back Down

Mixed Martial Arts' cinematic debut is a laughably directed artistic travesty. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D-)
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Review: Paranoid Park

An idiotic mash note to skateboarders and fluttery teen introspection. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: F)
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Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

A mix of comedy and tragedy with thrilling results. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

This melodramatic costume drama is a guilty pleasure. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Charlie Bartlett

Clouded execution and miscasting weaken a study on disenfranchised youth. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Vantage Point

A serviceable, but absurd, thriller. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: How She Move

Promising young actors step up. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: There Will Be Blood

Epic storytelling is spotlessly executed in this astounding film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: P.S. I Love You

Director Richard LaGravenese turns a potentially pleasing dramedy into a frustrating jumble. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Great Debaters

A heartfelt portrait of intelligence and pride. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Charlie Wilson's War

A too distant comedy about world conflict and giant personalities. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tim Burton's adaptation is a blood-spurting, brave embellishment. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: I Am Legend

An introspective study on isolation-until the unimpressive special effects ruin EVERYTHING! Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: The Kite Runner

Based on the book by Khaled Hosseini, "The Kite Runner" is an effective, deeply felt meditation on forgiveness. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Atonement

"Atonement" is a sophisticated beautiful tragedy. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: The Golden Compass

Despite an overly dense narrative and no ending, "The Golden Compass" offers a lively visually stunning fantasy. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: The Savages

A refreshingly real family drama suffers from a lack of directorial vision. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: This Christmas

Charm and heart make for a pleasing, if overlong holiday movie. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: August Rush

August Rush is undermined by melodrama and a distinct lack of focus. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: I'm Not There

Surrealism, idolatry, and psychological babbling converge in a (sort of) Dylan biopic. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

An epic romance is undermined by its horny hero. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Lions for Lambs

Robert Redford's exhilarating direction makes for entertaining drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Martian Child

A sweet well-intended family drama that's nothing new. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: American Gangster

Style and substantial star power make for a dependable crime drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Intricate characters and flawless direction drive this multifaceted psychological drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Bella

Wonderful performances elevate this modest drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Reservation Road

Extraordinary performances drive this emotional and suspenseful drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Things We Lost in the Fire

Exceptional directing and beautiful performances create an authentic exploration of emotion. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Rendition

This political drama preaches the obvious and is a complete bore. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D-)
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Review: Gone Baby Gone

Ben Affleck's directorial debut is an exceptional crime drama that explores conscience and morality. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Why Did I Get Married?

Tyler Perry's surprisingly sophisticated portrayal of interpersonal relationships is undermined by his inane comedy. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: We Own the Night

Action and emotion combine in this potent crime drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Impressive visuals and exquisite acting define this unlikely sequel. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Michael Clayton

George Clooney gives a complex performance as the morally ambiguous lawyer at the center of this compelling thriller. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson doesn't reinvent his oeuvre with "Darjeeling," but devotees will still be pleased. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Into the Wild

Natural vistas and a free spirt give director Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" a loose, experimental feel. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Kingdom

"The Kingdom" is nothing more than a puffed-up action flick wrapped in flimsy politics. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: In the Valley of Elah

Tommy Lee Jones' remarkable performance anchors this somber murder-mystery. (Grade: B)
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Review: Eastern Promises

David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen create another engrossing and intelligent thriller. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: The Brave One

This revenge fantasy is elevated by A-list talent, but "Death Wish" impulses seep into the finale. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: 3:10 to Yuma

This western had everything going for it -- cast, story, location -- but it fails to connect. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Resurrecting the Champ

Director Rob Lurie bludgeons this promising film's final act with overt sentimentality. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: The Invasion

This film's behind-the-scenes director switch leads to a jarring shift of pace. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

"Phoenix" raises the bar for Harry Potter films while whetting the appetite for future installments. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Evening

Despite sumptuous cinematography and a strong cast, "Evening" doesn't connect. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: A Mighty Heart

"A Mighty Heart" respectfully chronicles Daniel Pearl's tragic death. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Gracie

"Gracie" embraces coming-of-age and empowerment themes without caving to cliches. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Lucky You

Don't believe the rom-com marketing: Poker is the true star of this entertaining film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Year of the Dog

This film's detached observation staves off emotional connection to the story and characters. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: Fracture

Anthony Hopkins vs. Ryan Gosling isn't a fair fight. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Disturbia

"Disturbia" fancies itself a thriller, but tonal shifts and a cheap suspense spoil the mood. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Perfect Stranger

Halle Berry's turn as a hardened journalist is almost as bewildering as this thriller's finale. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D-)
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Review: The Lookout

Director Scott Frank's intricate character development enhances this thriller's payoff. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Reign Over Me

Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle are both excellent, but third-act melodrama detracts from the film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Premonition

Fate and time and all that other mind-bendy stuff get mushed up in this confusing thriller. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Namesake

Despite a hurried third act, "The Namesake" offers a poignant look at multi-generation tensions. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Black Snake Moan

The ribald atmosphere of this film's excellent first act is unceremoniously dropped in the second half. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Zodiac

David Fincher's newfound restraint allows for a meticulous examination of the Zodiac murders. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: The Astronaut Farmer

"The Astronaut Farmer" is a pleasant and visually appealing film, but it doesn't resonate. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage clearly enjoys himself, but "Ghost Rider" doesn't match its star's entertainment level. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Smokin' Aces

A surprisingly complicated story lies beneath this film's visual trickery and ultra violence. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Stomp the Yard

"Stomp the Yard" works during its high-energy dance sequences, but sloppy melodrama kills the buzz. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Little Children

This remarkable drama expertly taps into suburban suffocation and ill-conceived desire. Review by Brian Orndorf.
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Review: Dreamgirls

Intricate production design and stunning vocals cannot mask this musical's gaping character holes. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: Apocalypto

Yet again, we're faced with a massive dose of Mel Gibson's ultra-violence. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Blood Diamond

Shunning subtlety, "Blood Diamond" rams its "message" down the audience's throat. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: The Nativity Story

Director Catherine Hardwicke's recount of Jesus' birth is oddly cold and distant. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: The Fountain

Darren Aronofsky masterfully tackles weighty themes in this revelatory film. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Flicka

Unnecessary family angst screws up what should have been a simple story of a girl and a horse. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D)
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Review: The Prestige

A dark and dirty battle between magicians plays to director Christopher Nolan's storytelling strengths. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Marie Antoinette

This film's risky second act should have been the norm, not the exception, for this loose historical picture. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: Flags of Our Fathers

Clint Eastwood's well-crafted WWII film captures the horror of battle and the unexpected pitfalls of heroism. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Departed

Martin Scorsese makes a triumphant return to the crime genre in one of the best films of the year. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: The Guardian

Despite a decent performance from Kevin Costner, "The Guardian" caves under the weight of its action/heroism cliches. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: Fearless

Jet Li's elegant performance gives "Fearless" a potent mixture of wire-fu and surprising drama. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: All the King's Men

The cast and pedigree of "All the King's Men" scream "Oscar." Too bad the movie is such a bore. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: The Last Kiss

This surprisingly honest film explores the battleground between commitment and desire. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A-)
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Review: Gridiron Gang

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's earnest performance is the best part of this by-the-numbers sports flick. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C+)
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Review: The Black Dahlia

"Black Dahlia" is a gorgeous noir, but this adaptation's final scenes are weighed down by immense exposition. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Hollywoodland

Ben Affleck's pitch-perfect portrayal of former "Superman" George Reeves elevates this drama-mystery. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: The Quiet

"The Quiet" certainly isn't a good film, but where else can you find a menagerie of cheerleaders, revenge and incest? Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: The Wicker Man

This film's saving grace is its unintentionally funny third act. Beyond that, it's yet another unnecessary remake. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D-)
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Review: Invincible

This true story of Vince Papale's improbable rise to the NFL has undeniable charm. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B+)
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Review: The Illusionist

This period piece focuses on magic and awe, but it delivers neither. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: World Trade Center

The tragedy of 9/11 is painful, but "World Trade Center" is ultimately a hopeful film. Review by Elizabeth Bronkesh. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Miami Vice

Michael Mann delivers a vivid "Vice" update, but a disconnect between characters keeps the audience at arm's length. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: B)
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Review: Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan's intriguing bedtime story is brought to a grinding halt by the director's self-serving choices. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D+)
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Review: A Scanner Darkly

Rotoscoping blends well with this hallucinogenic tale, but untethered acting sends the core story into a tailspin. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C)
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Review: The Devil Wears Prada

The soul-sucking venom of the fashion industry is watered down to TV movie-of-the-week levels in this soft adaptation. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Superman Returns

With the majestic "Superman Returns," director Bryan Singer has crafted one of the best films of the year. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: A)
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Review: Waist Deep

This film aims for anti-hero revenge and gritty street violence. What it gets are unintentional laughs. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: D-)
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Review: A Prairie Home Companion

Robert Altman's laissez-faire directing meshes with the source material, but side-plots diminish the central story. Review by Brian Orndorf. (Grade: C-)
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Review: Akeelah and the Bee

Can you use cliche in a sentence? "The film started well, but quickly fell victim to cliche." Cliche ... C-L-I-C-H-E ... Cliche. (Grade: B-)
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Review: United 93

Despite renewed anguish, "United 93" finds remarkable balance between heroism and fright. It is a must-see film. (Grade: A)
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Review: Friends with Money

Director Nicole Holofcener and her excellent cast examine the nuanced relationships between four complex friends. (Grade: B+)
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Review: Take the Lead

Melodrama and shallow character development give this dance film an unintended "After School Special" feel. (Grade: C)
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Review: Lucky Number Slevin

This crime caper is so busy trying to be clever, it forgets one key component: entertainment. (Grade: D)
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