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Criticwatch 2007 - The Whores of the Year and the Axing of Pete Hammond
by Erik Childress

And we come once again to the time of listmaking. As we all scramble to put together our best and our worst of the year, a hush falls over the crowd. The crowd being the general public. The hush the dispirited indifference over the “everyman” opinion they are supposedly being sold in every newspaper ad, radio spot and television commercial. They are the silent antidote to those with integrity and expect more out of your average movie. The once-a-month moviegoer may not always agree with our assessments of Jesse James, Once or There Will Be Blood, but those folk are likely to ignore those choices in favor of Transformers, Spider-Man or The Wibberley’s National Treasure: Book of Secrets anyway. The 15-24 demographic who haven’t seen half of the movies your average respectable critic (and yet double the moviegoing dollar over the elders crying for more adult entertainment – and never go) will soon discover with each purchase that their tastes will become more refined as time passes. That the next summer movie they see was quite inferior to the one they saw last year. It’s one of the greatest attributes of being a human. To grow with age. To learn from our mistakes. So what is the excuse of those on the Criticwatch list? Why do I have to take time every day, every week and every year to point out the stupefying recommendations and questionable ethics of so-called professionals to get their names and their names of their employers into those ads you see and hear every day? Year-in and year-out we see the same names and the same familiar quotes. They are not growing. They are not learning. Are we to draw the only sensible conclusion that they are less than human? But hey, everyone’s a critic right? So be one and join me for the selections of the only exclusive Top Ten list this time of year with 2007’s Whores of the Year, a few special award winners and a look back at the repetition of a year that a lot worse than some would have you believe.

THE 2007 MICHAEL MEDVED BAG OF DOUCHE MEMORIAL AWARD
You may remember from last year that we created a new award for the critic who displayed an incredible amount of supercilious douchebaggery. In 2006 the award went to Good Morning America’s Joel Siegel after storming out of a screening of Kevin Smith’s Clerks II due to an overextension of animal love conversation. We named the award after him to dishonor such critics for years to come. Alas, six months later, after trying to explain the entanglements of reviewing on live TV and subsequently threatening legal action against Criticwatch, Mr. Siegel passed away. To avoid the appearance of complete heartlessness, we immediately renamed the award after Michael Medved, an act we deemed more than appropriate since Medved is the epitome of an untrustworthy critic with an agenda larger than the aesthetics of critiquing film and the fact that he also boasts a big, bushy mustache.

Many avid readers of Criticwatch may find our choice this year to be slightly controversial. Those with betting pools may be disappointed and maybe even shocked that this year’s winner is not going to repeat as the Peter Travers Whore of the Year. But his behavior in 2007 warrants something stronger than just an award he is going to be favored for year after year until he is fired or, at least, no longer paid attention to as a fluffy Q&A host or an Oscar prognosticator planting stories for films with little hope of receiving (or even worthy) of attention. You’ve seen it coming all year. He’s been impossible to avoid. The 2007 Michael Medved Bag of Douche Memorial Award goes to Maxim’s Pete Hammond.

Oh, easy Petey. Where’s the movie review show featuring you and Peter Travers? It’d be like a sequel to Chinatown, only with more whores. Hammond’s accomplishments in 2007 certainly made him worthy of keeping his title as the Whore of the Year. 24 straight weeks with a quote on a new release. 88 quotes in the calendar year, 16 more than the previous record at Criticwatch made from a little critic named Roger Ebert. The second straight year he provided a quote for a direct-to-video American Pie sequel. How about the story in which Hammond gave permission to swap adjectives on a quote for Hannibal Rising after those overly sensitive Super Bowl viewers were apparently shocked over the use of the word “terrifying.” (Apparently no one said squat about the actual images in the trailer.) At Rotten Tomatoes, Hammond lists 189 of his one paragraph reviews. Of those 189 films, 133 of them have been provided with a “fresh” or positive “tomato”.

This list is an interesting place to focus our concentration on. That 70% positive percentage is pretty high for any moviegoer, let alone a critic even in a good year – which 2007 sparks quite a debate about between those who think it’s a great year and those, like myself, who believe it to be a shining year for comedy and an overrated one for drama. I bet if a Family Feud survey were done on 100 filmgoers and they were asked to see 100 random films in any calendar year, less than 20% would come back saying they would recommend 70 of them to a friend. OK, that’s more like a Card Sharks survey but back to Hammond’s list. He saw nearly 200 films (or at least “reviewed” as many) and still hit the 70% recommendation list. But look a little closer at those ratings at Rotten Tomatoes. Over at our own site, eFilmCritic, we utilize a five-star scale. The graphics don’t indicate ratings with halves (just 4 stars, 5 stars, etc…) but if you grabbed one of us in conversation we would implement halves here and there just like most star ratings. Three-and-a-half stars out of five and above would institute a positive recommendation from us. A three-star rating is typically one of average status that misses the mark and one that would get 99 times out of 100 a “rotten” tomato over at the site which graciously links to many of our writers’ reviews. Hammond goes the other way and offers up a fresh, recommended tomato for his three-star reviews. It presents an interesting quandary. It may not be how we do things at eFilmCritic, but to earn a “fresh” tomato at R.T. a film has to statistically have a 60% positive percentage (or 3 out of 5.) If Hammond wants to go both ways, hey, that’s his business.

But of the 37 films that Hammond gave the 3 out of 5 rating to, you may notice that only 36 of them actually got the “fresh” tomato. 30 Days of Night which bares this quote from Pete ("The premise of this film has just got to be the ultimate wet dream for your average vampire.") has a rotten tomato. Why is that? Oh I see, bizarro Hammond is just going the other way. Where one of our hundred 3-star reviews might be just good enough to recommend, one of his is just not quite worthy enough. Fine. So what’s with the nine films he gave only two-and-a-half stars to and gave the fresh tomato to? Strange since consistency seems to be Hammond’s strongest attribute. Could it be that Hammond’s writing style lends itself to placing in easily accessible and overtly positive verbage for studios to snatch up like bald eagles at a toupee convention? Four of those nine 2.5-star reviews (Premonition, September Dawn, The Game Plan, P.S. I Love You) all led to quotes in the film ads:

Premonition - A gripping psychological thriller that will have you guessing from start to finish.
September Dawn - Gripping and fascinating…A pulse-pounding experience that is bound to create waves of controversy.
The Game Plan - A comic touchdown for The Rock!
P.S. I Love You - A romantic comedy straight from the heart.


Two films so gripping they were only worth half of the five stars he can provide. Hardly seems right. 20 of the 36 films he gave 3-stars to got himself quoted in the ads. Two of them he calls “must-sees” (The Number 23, The Bucket List). Three have career performances:

El Cantante - It’s hot stuff. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off fireworks. Lopez has never been better. El Cantante scores big time.
Revolver - Electrifying. A psychological thriller full of great visual style…Jason Statham has never been better.
La Vie En Rose - Screen acting just doesn’t get better than this.


Five of them he comments on how they are virtually non-stop heart-racers:

Vacancy - Frightening and highly intense! It doesn’t let up for a minute, delivering one jolt after another.
The Condemned - It packs enough red-hot fiery action for six movies.
Shoot ‘Em Up - Loaded for fun. A trigger-happy, full-frontal assault. So out there you’ll just have to see it to believe it. Clive Owen rules! Whoa baby!
Rendition - Guaranteed to get your heart racing.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets - Heart-pounding action! Total entertainment from start to finish!


Another four apparently go straight to the heart unlike P.S. I Love You which comes “from the heart”:

Rails & Ties - Deeply emotional and heartfelt.
Introducing the Dwights - Winning combination of memorable moments that go straight to the heart
King of California - An extremely entertaining and human story. The pitch-perfect performance by Michael Douglas is a hidden treasure.
Grace Is Gone - John Cusack is simply terrific in a fine and moving film.


Another is compared to The Exorcist (Bug), one is “lots of fun for everyone” (Enchanted), a third is “strong and intelligent” (Even Money). Is a film that can be called either “strong” or “intelligent” worthy of only three stars or are we merely talking semantics here? Either Hammond has a serious issue with coming up with an equitable rating system for his reviews or he is proving the ultimate bit of whoredom in writing up copy that will appease the studios even if somewhere deep inside that black heart he knows the films aren’t as good as his words. (The other 3-star films for inquiring minds out there were: Meet the Robinsons, Stomp the Yard and Wild Hogs.)

Hammond is more than just a cancer on the film critic profession. He’s the poster boy for everything that’s wrong with an American media preaching to the lowest common denominator and a vocation that receives its most vocal criticism from outsiders when it’s actually doing its job of criticizing. Do you really want to see a nation of Pete Hammonds telling you what to see? I understand you may not always agree with what we say, but surely you can at least respect the lot of us for being able to articulate an opinion and have a general common knowledge about the art of film to distinguish a great film from merely an average one. In Hammond’s eyes everything averages out thus making his opinions on positive films no different than his negative permutations. He’s a whore of the first class; an easily corruptible piece of advertising fluff ready to give you a happy ending before the studio logo can even present itself. We have announced in the past that we have no plans to give Pete Hammond his own award name – because that will take away his pre-determined advantage to winning it each year. If he can aspire for 88 quotes in 2007, who knows how far he can go in 2008 & beyond. I will amend that statement though. The day Hammond is eliminated from our discussion; such a day when we no longer see his name on a film ad – I promise, here and now, to offer him his own memorial award. One in his honor to maybe kick start a Criticwatch hall of fame which he has already earned a spot within. Guys don’t read Maxim for Hammond’s type of whoredom

A great American movie. (No Country for Old Men)
A masterwork! This film already has the feel of a classic. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
A major motion picture achievement. (A Mighty Heart)
A landmark motion picture. (300)

One to see! (Resurrecting the Champ)
Everyone should see it. (In the Shadow of the Moon)
A must-see movie. (The Number 23)
It’s a must-see movie! (The TV Set)
A must-see film that audiences will love. (The Bucket List)
Do yourself a big favor and put this movie at the top of your must-see list. (Starter for 10)
A movie you must see. (Reign Over Me)
Do not miss this film. (Zodiac)
This is a movie not to be missed (A Mighty Heart)
The can’t miss it, gotta see it feel great comedy of the year. (Dan In Real Life)
A movie that should – and must – be seen. (Trade)
This is one of those rare gems you must not miss. (Control)

Justin Timberlake is a complete revelation, creating a whole new career for himself as an actor. (Alpha Dog)
Breakout stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera go to the head of the class. (Superbad)
Guy Pearce just nails it. (First Snow)
Brosnan and Neeson deliver performances that are as tough as nails. (Seraphim Falls)
Kevin Costner is at the top of his game! (Mr. Brooks)
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are at the top of their game. (The Bucket List)
Both Buscemi and Miller give tour-de-force performances that rank with the best of the year. (Interview)
David Duchovny is perfect. (The TV Set)
Richard Gere has never been better. (The Hoax)
Lopez has never been better. (El Cantante)
Jennifer Connelly delivers one of her best performances. (Reservation Road)
Tom Cruise gives one of his finest performances. (Lions for Lambs)
Jodie Foster commands the screen and delivers one of her finest performances, one that should again put her front and center at the Academy Awards. (The Brave One)
Angelina Jolie gives the performance of her career as Mariane Pearl, expressing a wave of emotions and brilliantly weaving between anger, fierce determination, hope, love, heartbreak and renewal. This is a movie not to be missed and certain to become a force at Oscar time. (A Mighty Heart)
Chris Cooper, in a career-best performance, is sensational and Ryan Phillippe matches him every step of the way. (Breach)
Don Cheadle soars into the highest rank of film actors with this role. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Taraji P. Henson are magnificent. (Talk to Me)
Screen acting just doesn’t get better than this. (La Vie En Rose)
Meryl Streep again proves there is no one better. (Lions for Lambs)

The incredibly sexy Sienna Miller burns up the screen. (Interview)
This movie is on fire!...A great young cast delivers performances that can only be described as explosive. (Alpha Dog)
It’s hot stuff. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off fireworks. El Cantante scores big time. (El Cantante)

A blockbuster of suspense that will have you jumping out of your seat. (Disturbia)
Takes you to the edge and keeps you there all the way. (28 Weeks Later)
Guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat! (First Snow)
Even though it is based on well-known events it plays like an edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller. (A Mighty Heart)
The new year’s most terrifying thriller (Hannibal Rising)
The most electrifying thriller of the year (Hannibal Rising)
A first-rate thriller! (First Snow)
Fascinating, timely, downright, thriller. (The Brave One)
A bone-chilling, disturbing thriller. (Trade)
A spellbinding, real-life suspense thriller. (Breach)
A psychological thriller full of great visual style… (Revolver)
A gripping psychological thriller that will have you guessing from start to finish. (Premonition)
A sleek, surprising and surefire thriller that will grab you by the throat. (Fracture)
A fiercely original shocker. (Alpha Dog)
An absolute shocker in every way imaginable. (Hannibal Rising)
A smart, highly entertaining non-stop shocker. (1408)
A true shocker that will shatter your nerves and get you talking. (The Brave One)
One of the most shocking movie endings ever! A masterpiece! (Stephen King’s The Mist)
Ranks with The Shining as one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever! (1408)

The most wondrous film of its kind since E.T. is an incredible fantasy adventure for the kid in every one of us. (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep)
Beyond spectacular! Transports you to an alternate world of jaw-dropping awe and unforgettable adventure. (The Golden Compass)
***** An incredible ride! (Grindhouse)
Smokin’ Aces is one wild, super-kinetic ride! Loaded with laughs, action, excitement, twists, attitude – you name it.! (Smokin’ Aces)
Loaded for fun. A trigger-happy, full-frontal assault. So out there you’ll just have to see it to believe it. Clive Owen rules! Whoa baby! (Shoot ‘Em Up)

Total excitement… (28 Weeks Later)
Heart-pounding action! Total entertainment from start to finish! (National Treasure: Book of Secrets)
Your heart pounds as you watch this story meticulously unfold under Michael Winterbottom’s expert direction. (A Mighty Heart)
Guaranteed to get your heart racing. (Rendition)
A pulse-pounding experience… (September Dawn)

A beautifully crafted, superbly well-acted suspense-filled tale that will creep you out. (Joshua)
It will send chills down your spine. (Stephen King’s The Mist)
Mind-bending! Jim Carrey skillfully leads us on a twisted trek with hair-raising jolts. A must-see movie. (The Number 23)
Frightening and highly intense! It doesn’t let up for a minute, delivering one jolt after another. (Vacancy)
Rips into you like a hurricane! A powerful human drama that packs a strong punch. (Reservation Road)
A riveting, hold-your-breath ticking time-bomb of a movie! The last 30 minutes are so intense you won’t be able to move. (The Kingdom)
Breathtaking and exhilarating! Easily one of the year’s best. A once-in-a-lifetime movie. (In the Shadow of the Moon)
Exciting! It’s the kind of big, beautiful widescreen action adventure we don’t get to see much anymore. (Seraphim Falls)
Awesome! You have never seen anything like it before! One of the year’s most exciting films. This movie pushes the limit with indescribable eye-popping crazy feats of big mountain glory. (Steep)
The Bourne Ultimatum is the best action film in decades. A two hour high-tech chase around the world that surpasses everything that’s come before it, including Oscar-winning classics like The French Connection and Bullitt. (The Bourne Ultimatum)
It packs enough red-hot fiery action for six movies. (The Condemned)

A mesmerizing game of cat and mouse. (Fracture)
You won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen as this terrific psychological game of cat and mouse unfolds. (Interview)
An intense and startling movie for our times. (Civic Duty)
…bound to create waves of controversy. (September Dawn)
A wake-up call for America…Certain to become the most controversial and talked-about movie of 2007! (Lions for Lambs)

Gripping and fascinating… (September Dawn)
Absolutely fascinating. (The Hoax)
An absolutely fascinating film. (Interview)
Powerfully compelling! (American Gangster)
A powerful human drama that packs a strong punch. (Reservation Road)
One of the most powerful films in years. (Reign Over Me)
A Mighty Heart stands apart as a powerful, provocative and spellbinding film. (A Mighty Heart)
Vital and powerfully important. (Trade)
Screamers is an urgent and vitally important new film that serves as a stirring call to action for a new generation… (Screamers)
American Gangster makes a return to the lost art of true storytelling, every bit as epic as The Godfather. (American Gangster)
Engrossing, surprising…will restore your faith in the power of movies. (Resurrecting the Champ)
Magnificent! An absolute triumph for Denzel Washington. Will make you believe again in the power of movies. (The Great Debaters)

An unforgettable cinematic experience. (Into the Wild)
A remarkable motion picture experience. (Sharkwater)
A truly memorable movie experience like no other. (Paris, je Ta’ime)
A unique and surprising movie experience! (Mr. Brooks)
A vibrant, funny, moving, highly entertaining and richly rewarding movie experience! Will have you talking long after leaving the theatre. Unforgettable. (Talk to Me)

Terrific fun! A funny, romantic, seriously smart comedy. (Starter for 10)
A rare original. A truly inventive and totally wacky tale of love. A real find. (Eagle vs. Shark)
John Cusack is simply terrific in a fine and moving film. (Grace Is Gone)
The surprise movie comedy treat of the year!...Whimsical, funny and moving…Ryan Gosling is no less than astounding…This is the real deal! (Lars and the Real Girl)
Finally, a really smart and really funny movie about the ups and downs of life, love and family. (Dan In Real Life)
A wonderful mix of humor and humanity. You’ll love it! (The Darjeeling Limited)
An extremely entertaining and human story. (King of California)
Deeply emotional and heartfelt. (Rails & Ties)
The Water Horse is the perfect holiday film, a fantastic fusion of humor, heart and pure excitement. (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep)
The most purely entertaining film of the summer. This one hits the jackpot as a sleek and stylish caper flick even Sinatra himself would have loved (Ocean’s Thirteen)
Sensationally entertaining! You’ll definitely want to stand up and cheer for Charlie Wilson. (Charlie Wilson’s War)

**** A 100% unqualified summer smash! (Hairspray)
Superbad is the surprise blockbuster hit of the summer. (Superbad)
The comedy smash of the holiday season. (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)

It’s absolutely fall-down screaming funny. They are like a live-action Beavis and Butthead – and beyond. Christopher Mintz-Plasses ought to be arrested for stealing so many scenes. Every generation seems to have one iconic movie comedy that gets to a special place, is talked about endlessly, quoted non-stop, seen over and over and lives on forever as a true classic of its times. For this generation, Superbad is going to be that film. (Superbad)
Hysterically funny! It’s City Slickers on bikes! (Wild Hogs)
Blades of Glory is pure hilarity (Blades of Glory)
A wonderful piece of filmmaking. Hilarious…A great American comedy…You will love this movie. (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters)
Hilarious and lots of fun for everyone. (Enchanted)
A great time at the movies for everyone! Huge laughs, spectacular special effects and the pure animal magnetism of Steve Carell make this the summer movie comedy event that proves to be every bit as much fun as it’s meant to be – times two! (Evan Almighty)
It…just may kill you with laughs. A fast, furious and riotously funny farce in the tradition of Monty Python and Peter Sellers. (Death at a Funeral)
Ben Stiller's funniest film. Brace yourself for an outrageously hilarious comedy. This kid hits the comic bullseye! Scene for scene the most explosively funny movie Ben Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers have made since There’s Something About Mary. It creates so many huge, and we mean humungous laughs you’ll probably have to see it more than once just to catch all the dialogue… (The Heartbreak Kid)

Super great in every way. (Superbad)
a gold medal comedy winner. (Blades of Glory)
…a honeymoon you won’t soon forget. (The Heartbreak Kid)
…A winning bet at the movies. (Even Money)
A comic touchdown for The Rock! (The Game Plan)


All from your 2007 Michael Medved Bag of Douche Memorial Award Winner…Pete Hammond!

BREAKING NEWS
In the midst of putting the finishing touches on this year’s wrap-up, Radar magazine came down with the most extraordinary of news. Pete Hammond has been canned from Maxim Magazine. Who knows what this will mean for his whoring future as he is still writing a shilling column for Variety’s Oscar site, The Envelope, about the awards but at least he’s got a parting gift with that big ol’ bag of douche on the way out. Not sure why Radar used links to some old blog commentary about Easy Petey when there’s a whole year of fresh material over at Criticwatch, but it leads nicely into another special award we’re giving out this year.

BAG O' DOUCHE DEUX
Oh, but what’s this? Looks as if we have a second bag of douche to give away. This one is of the unnamed variety. Just a plan ol’ bag o’ douche just the way Inside Edition likes it. Oh lookee there, I’ve opened the envelope too soon. Ah, no harm, no foul though as the build-up was about as long as their piece on the quote whore phenomenon. Why the bag of douche then? They seem to be on our side, do they not? I suppose the “shame on you” award should go directly to me for trusting them to do a full-fledged report on the subject. But for over two months beginning last August, my counsel was sought out week after week for information about the various blurbees. I gladly volunteered new bits as often as I could and I honestly had faith that a news story of some weight was going to help further the dialogue I have been fighting for over the last six years.

Then the report aired.

Instead of tightening the noose on people like Pete Hammond and Earl Dittman it focused on no-names like Mark Seman from Sirius Radio who called Good Luck ChuckA comedy gem!” and that “Dane and Jessica are hilarious!” It’s the only quote we’ve ever seen from Mark because he’s not a critic but, as Inside Edition calls it, “the host of a late-night comedy show” Also on their hitlist – Milan Paurich represented from CBS-TV but really from WKBN-TV. Milan said “it’s great to get exposure” after providing a rave for The Nanny Diaries. The biggest name they got was Mike Sargent who all but pleaded the fifth when asked if he’d ever given a quote to a movie he hadn’t seen. That was as good as it got.

But the truth is there was a greater disappointment surrounding the entire report (which lasted all of three-plus minutes). Besides it coming off as rather amateurish and old news, revealing little about the extent that this phenomenon has reached, I’d actually be lying if I said I wasn’t upset that the piece couldn't find any room to provide any credit to myself and the website. Two months of research, phone calls and e-mails and they couldn’t find 10 seconds to maybe offer their viewers a place to go that is known, from studios and reporters alike, as the definitive resource on the subject. I'm not even angry that they had their cameras in Chicago to interview Richard Roeper and didn't even bother to consider me to provide some info on-air. But to focus on the few "critics" they did, ignoring the big fish entirely and the one place that has offered consistent information (not to mention your chief resource on the story) is just flat-out sloppy reporting which, ironically, is supposed to be the whole point of the story in the first place.

Inside Edition also receives a bag of douche for 2007.

And Now...The Top Ten Criticwatch Whores of the Year

#10. STEVE OLDFIELD
One of the surest ways to spot a quote whore is to Google them. If all you can find (besides a listing on Criticwatch) is a short bio from a TV website, well that’s much more than your average one. You see, most quote whores don’t write. They work in TV speak, soundbites as big as Daniel Plainview’s ego. They don’t craft reviews, only high-concept sentences like FOX-TV 19’s Steve Oldfield from Cincinnati. This is his inaugural into the Top 10; a year where he also hit double digits in quotes for the first time. Not bad for a guy who once typed Jerry Springer’s “final thoughts” into his teleprompter. Oldfield is just one of the many whores populating the now somehow revered Broadcast Film Critics Association, but not the only one to make our list.

A terrific cast! A charming film. Bright, cheery and very funny. Heather Graham’s great! (Gray Matters)
Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe give powerhouse performances. A first-class movie. (Breach)
…a smart, compelling film with powerhouse performances. (Black Snake Moan)
Powerhouse performances! (Georgia Rule)

An intense captivating film. (Breach)
An intense…riveting…adventure. (28 Weeks Later)
A powerful film! A riveting story, expertly directed by Peter Berg (The Kingdom)
****! I loved this film! Brilliantly acted! Masterfully directed, from the stunning cinematography to the hypnotic Oscar-caliber score! (Evening)
Explosive! Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo give Oscar-caliber performances. (Reservation Road)

Magical. (Stardust)
A magical world! A magical movie! (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium)
A wonderful film for the entire family! Head to the theatre two-by-two! (Evan Almighty)
A rare film that’s both a great date movie and the perfect family film. (August Rush)



#9. JEFFREY K. HOWARD
Now, I love Vegas. I really do. Not just as a leisurely patron, but also as a professional film critic. I’ve been attending the CineVegas film festival since 2003 and I’ve met several very helpful colleagues in the area – both critics and publicists alike. But I’ve never met the King. No, not Elvis, but the President of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society. That’s Jeffrey K. Howard and he’s been on the watch list for years. Last year he was only seen on five film ads, but the catch was that they were all uniquely for films from The Weinstein Co. Bobby became “one of the year’s best films”, Scary Movie 4 was “a riot” while School for Scoundrels was simply “Funny! Funny! Funny!” J.K. even managed to secure a quote on the horrendous remake, Black Christmas (“A thrilling fright-night delight! A new holiday horror classic!”) despite the studio itself not screening it for critics. That’s Dittman territory, baby, and Howard upped his quotient for 2007. Only two of his nine quotes went to Weinstein’s films (1408 & Who’s Your Caddy?) but including the black Caddyshack, J.K. had two quotes for unscreenable flicks and that’s a sure sign of whoredom.

Mind-blowing! A terrifying experience! (1408)
Infectious, contagious, captivatingly entertaining. (Resident Evil: Extinction)

***** (Ratatouille)
Perfectly delightful. Warm, funny and heartfelt. (Martian Child)
Wild, funny and over-the-top action! (Rush Hour 3)
It’s laugh out loud funny! (The Brothers Solomon)
Pure comic gold. (Blades of Glory)
Spectacular! Pure holiday magic. (Fred Claus)
Big laughs! Outrageous fun! An over-the-top comedy that will leave you in stitches! (Who’s Your Caddy?)



#8. JANET STOKES / FILM ADVISORY BOARD
Stokes and the Film Advisory Board didn’t stamp as many films as they did last year. At least none we saw in the paper. Janet made sure to do her own dirty work, attaching her own name to the six films they did recommend. It was a pretty pathetic year for family entertainment. Aside from maybe seven films (Bee Movie, Bridge to Terabithia, Enchanted, Harry Potter, Meet the Robinsons, Ratatouille, Surf’s Up), this was a year where our children got dumber or lost when parents dropped them off to avoid seeing Alvin and the Chipmunks. More than ever we could have used someone to show our children the way. But for some reason we’re stuck with Stokes and the FAB who don’t exist to extol the virtues of the best family entertainment there is to offer. No, sir. No, maam. They continue to throw their stamp on some of the shittiest product available. We’re talking Daddy Day Camp and Firehouse Dog, which Janet calls “one of the best family films of all time.” It’s nice to see that they finally found it in them to extend their hand to Warner Bros. (whose Happy Feet and The Ant Bully they ignored last year.) But was it to give approval to Harry Potter (admittedly PG-13, but fine enough for most kids?) No. They gave it up for August Rush and Fred Claus! What does any of this mean? Damned if I know. But here are the more important questions. Why wouldn’t a studio want their stamp? Does FAB even offer it to films like Enchanted and Bridge to Terabithia? Disney clearly isn’t using their services. And what if they were? What does that mean? What could it possibly mean if their already recommending the bottom of the barrel. Once they get to the middle and eventually the top then they are just recommending everything…and once again…worthless. From all the evidence I’ve seen over the last two years, this “Advisory Board” has no purpose and no reason to exist. They should disband immediately and adopt another vocation that doesn’t involve children.

Phenomenal. (August Rush)
Incredibly exciting! Thrilling!...Captivating. (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep)
Families will love this film. It’s a winner! (The Final Season)
Fred Claus sparkles with festive holiday excitement. Families will love it. (Fred Claus)
This is fun entertainment families will enjoy. (Daddy Day Camp)
Wonderful. One of the best family films of all time. (Firehouse Dog)



#7. BEN LYONS
Statistically, Ben doesn’t quite measure up to the other whores on this list. You would be right in assuming that many of the movies on his list were well-respected by the critical community. You may even know what it means to assume, but don’t worry cause there’s only one ass on display here and you can see his picture to the left. Normally Criticwatch’s top whore list concentrates on critics who are out there shilling for the worst crap Hollywood has to offer, but as you’ve already seen with Pete Hammond, some make their case way too candidly by offering up quotes in bulk packages and in a simplified manner that has yet to catch up with the laws of evolution.

For me, Ben’s fate was sealed the minute he posted up an above-page quote for I Am Legend, pronouncing it as “one of the greatest movies ever made.” OK, ignoring my own negative feelings about the film, does Ben understand the implications of calling a film such a thing? He’s not even streamlining it as one of the best sci-fi or action films of the year. Greatest Movies….EVER made! If he were 12 and had only seen 50 movies in his lifetime it would STILL be one of the dumbest god damn statements ever made by a human being named Lyons. See, I saved myself by narrowing it down. But who are we to question Ben’s taste, right? Maybe he truly believes that I Am Legend is just that great and deserves to rank in the pantheon of Lawrence of Arabia and The Searchers. That’s a bold choice to put above your Top Ten list of 2007, let alone on an AFI list in-waiting. Oh, but wait. I Am Legend DOESN’T EVEN APPEAR ON HIS TOP 10 LIST!!! One of the “greatest movies ever made” isn’t even one of the ten best films of 2007! So where was that quote on There Will Be Blood, Zodiac or No Country for Old Men? Those are the three films that sit atop his list.

(AMENDMENT: According to Ben's blog, I Am Legend actually DID make his Top Ten List, ranking at #2. The previous list that's I Am Legend-less, can be found amongst the various top tens at MovieCityNews. Those lists are generally sent in so I hardly believe it was some kind of mistake on the part of MCN's editors.)

Ben Lyons' Top Ten At MovieCityNews
(1) There Will Be Blood
(2) Zodiac
(3) No Country for Old Men
(4) Persepolis
(5) The Host
(6) Exiled
(7) The King of Kong
(8) The Darjeeling Limited
(9) Black Snake Moan
(10) Hot Fuzz

Ben Lyons' Top Ten At Blog
(1) Into the Wild
(2) I Am Legend
(3) No Country for Old Men
(4) Gone Baby Gone
(5) Juno
(6) The Kite Runner
(7) Atonement
(8) The 11th Hour
(9) Superbad
(10) Black Snake Moan

Ben is the guy who called American Gangster “Goodfellas for the next generation”, but only a week earlier said that Mr. Untouchable “makes American Gangster look like a fairy tale.” He says it was “the real deal, nothing Hollywood about it” implying that American Gangster (intentionally or not) was Hollywood-ized, aka whitewashed and fake. Yet, its comparable to Goodfellas and not even on the Top 10 list. Coupled with his tripled quote output for 2007 (19 up from only 6 in ’06), Ben is on his way to becoming worthy of the Lyons name. Dad should be so proud.

In a summer of sequels, Mr. Brooks stands out! (Mr. Brooks)
A special summer surprise. Heart warming and inspiring. (Resurrecting the Champ)
Heartwarming, intelligent, and hilarious. One of the best movies of the year. (Year of the Dog)
King of California is the surprise of the fall season! (King of California)
The must-see kids flick of the season! (Bee Movie)
Fun for turtle fans of all ages! (TMNT)
A perfect family film. (Arctic Tale)

The early favorite for best picture at this year’s Oscars. Angelina Jolie is this year’s front runner for an Academy Award. (A Mighty Heart)
The first must-see of the Oscar season. An instant classic. (Into the Wild)

Suspenseful and masterfully executed. A powerful and intense thriller. A true testament to the power of filmmaking, Casey Affleck delivers the best performance of his career. (Gone Baby Gone)
Powerful and intense, The Kingdom grabs hold of you and never lets go. Four tremendous performances from Cooper, Foxx, Bateman and Garner. Truly outstanding. (The Kingdom)
It makes American Gangster look like a fairy tale. It’s the real deal, nothing Hollywood about it. (Mr. Untouchable)
A new American classic. Washington and Crowe both deliver outstanding performances. Goodfellas for the next generation. (American Gangster)
Awesome! 300 is the most unique movie-going experience of a generation. One of the best films of 2007, and of the last 25 years. (300)
The future of filmmaking is now. Beowulf in 3D is a night at the movies you will never forget! (Beowulf)
The Golden Compass takes its place amongst the great fantasy films of all time. In the tradition of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. (The Golden Compass)
One of the greatest movies ever made. (I Am Legend)



#6. MARK S. ALLEN
After managing to narrowly avoid the Whore Ten since 2004, Markass Allen returns to recommend the blasphemous Underdog with his own brand of rhyme and one of the worst-reviewed films of the year, Premonition (140-of-152 negative at Rotten Tomatoes). Plus for extra gags, he’s got a blog now. And who needs my words to bury the guy when he’s got his own?

An epic and awesome experience. (300)
The best Pirates yet! Epic and amazing! (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End)
Intense, smart and very cool! (Disturbia)
Intelligent, thought provoking and intense beyond measure. You’ll be talking about it long after the end credits… (Premonition)
The most riveting, provocative, engaging movie experience in years. A stellar cast in a movie that will grab you, lock you in and not let go till the credits end. (The Kingdom)
The most sophisticated, smartest, coolest action movie in years! (Smokin’ Aces)

Brilliant, imaginative and inspirational. (The Astronaut Farmer)
The perfect holiday film! (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium)
The feel-good movie of the season! Your heart will be singing and your spirit will soar! (August Rush)
Funny, thoughtful and the most heart-felt movie you’ll see this season! (P.S. I Love You)

Outstanding! (Enchanted)
Exciting! Spectacular! Funny…and absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end! (Meet the Robinsons)
One of the most original animated films ever. (Surf’s Up)
Awesome fun for thy whole family! Elephant sized laughs! Divine! Thou shalt laugh a lot! (Evan Almighty)
See this movie, do not fail! You will leave with a wagging tail! (Underdog)



#5. JIM FERGUSON
I spent a considerable amount of time, more time than anyone really should to find any of Ferguson’s contributions to the world of cinematic journalism. Go ahead, try it. The best you might find is his listing as a board member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association or his profile over at Rotten Tomatoes that has a grand total of ZERO reviews. In 2004 Ferguson was our runner-up for Whore of the Year and after a significant decrease in his quotage the following year, he was back on the horse and placed sixth in last year’s rankings. He’s our five choice for 2007, spreading his man love for one weak chick flick after another, bad family films and even worse comedies. Is the BFCA really proud to have him as a high-ranking representative?

A love story for the ages. A beautiful adaptation of Jane Austen’s life. (Becoming Jane)
Make a reservation for the feel-good romance of the summer! (No Reservations)
The perfect date movie for the holidays. (P.S. I Love You)
A must-see for the holiday season. (National Treasure: Book of Secrets)
Don’t miss this wonderful holiday film. You’ll enjoy this film right along with the kids. (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium)
Both adults and kids will laugh and scream during this hilarious comedy. Steve Carell, lots of animals and Morgan Freeman as God, you can’t ask for anything more in a comedy! (Evan Almighty)
A must-see! (Enchanted)
A classic! A must-see! (Evening)

Utterly hilarious. Fresh, exciting and utterly original. (Meet the Robinsons)
Entertaining, wild fun! (Wild Hogs)
Jackie & Chris have never been funnier. (Rush Hour 3)

Suspenseful & compelling! Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly give award-worthy performances. (Reservation Road)
The Reaping is an outstanding supernatural thriller. (The Reaping)
The best psychological thriller in years. (Mr. Brooks)
One of the best films of the year. (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Rob Reiner directs two super stars in one of the best films of the year. (The Bucket List)



#4. JEFFREY LYONS
I was only one spot away from guessing Jeffy’s best film of the year, a ritual that myself and colleague, Collin Souter, engage in every fall as we know his gooey old woman taste all too well. Boy, that sounded disgusting didn’t it? My guess was The Kite Runner, in case you were wondering, which was #2 on his list, an oh-so-appropriate number if there ever was one to describe his ever-expanding list of quotes. Pete Hammond and Peter Travers weren’t the only one to break their own records in 2007. Lyons Sr. came in third in total quotes with 56 this year, besting his 2006 total of 50 when he won the Kevin Thomas Sloppy Seconds Whore of the Year Award. With his sixth straight year in the Criticwatch Top Ten, one of the very few to accomplish that feat, Jeffy can now boast an exclusive one, that of the first father/son duo to make our list in the same year. Congratulations, Jeffrey and Ben! What a legacy you’re leaving on the critical profession and here are 35 examples of your work in 2007 to prove why you are a continuing staple of Criticwatch.

A scary thriller…you can sink your teeth into. (Blood & Chocolate)
A genuine, intelligent, scary thriller. (The Number 23)
An excellent thriller. (Shooter)
An edgy thriller with wonderful, creative & very impressive performances. (The Hunting Party)
Civic Duty is a riveting psychological thriller… (Civic Duty)
A riveting thriller. Superb. (The Lookout)
A carefully-crafted thriller! John Cusack gives a superb performance. (1408)

A slick, intelligent film. Anthony Hopkins gives a superb, nuanced performance. (Fracture)
A tense, intelligent, superbly performed tour de force by two great actors from two generations. (Sleuth)
James McAvoy and Dame Maggie Smith head a superb supporting cast. (Becoming Jane)
…Superb performances. (Lyons & Bailes, Reeltalk) (Holly)
Superb! One of those rare movies you hate to see end. (In the Land of Women)
Superb! Provocative…with unforgettable images and a screenplay which resonates with issues in today’s headlines. (Lions for Lambs)
… a microcosm of the tense, turbulent times in which we live. (Civic Duty)

A brilliant, incredibly absorbing historical drama with Washington and Crowe at the top of their game. (American Gangster)
Richard Gere and Alfred Molina give two of the best performances of their career. (The Hoax)
One of the great performances of this or any year! (La Vie En Rose)
Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor are two of the finest actors in films. (Talk to Me)
(Angelina Jolie) solidifies herself as one of the greatest actresses in the world. (A Mighty Heart)
Billy Bob Thornton has more range than almost any other actor of his generation. (The Astronaut Farmer)
Cate Blanchett takes a permanent place as one of the great actresses of her generation. (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Christopher Plummer confirms his place as one of the great actors of our time! (Man In The Chair)

Sure to be a holiday classic. (Fred Claus)
Sure to be a contender for one of the best films of the year. (Moliere)
Surely one of the great films you are ever going to see! (The Kite Runner)

A tender, touching and intelligent movie about a courageous family. (Gracie)
A tender, touching story. (Martian Child)
An amazing personal journey that will touch you deeply. (Into the Wild)

Inspiring! (Pride)
An inspiring story of courage. (O Jerusalem)
An inspiring, uplifting movie which pulls no punches. (Freedom Writers)
The Final Season will inspire and entertain everyone. (The Final Season)

Unforgettable…A fitting tribute to Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, one of the great heroes of the 20th century. (I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal)
A sweeping historical epic that brings overdue glory to a true hero! (Amazing Grace)
A witty, well-directed and acted story about a fascinating character. Luke Wilson should be proud! (The Wendell Baker Story)



#3. EARL DITTMAN
I honestly thought The Ditt was beginning to slowly fade into obscurity after two straight years claiming the “Whore of the Year” title. Even with his quote total down a full 22 from 36-to-14, he was still whorish enough to rank eighth on our list. He’s still significantly down from his heyday in ’04 & ’05, but up with 19 quotes in 2007 and slinks in easily to our #3 slot. Frankly, I get tired of talking about this guy. He’s a whore’s whore with a surname that should have been turned into a verb by now. The Weinstein ad people love him, oh what the hell, ‘nuff said. Dittman says it all.

Exhilarating! (Grindhouse)
Magnificent. (I Am Legend)
Ingenious. Outrageous. Gut-busting. (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)
A big screen adventure rich with excitement and laughter. (The Astronaut Farmer)
Wildly entertaining! Totally original and hilarious! A hilarious reimagining of the King Arthur legend. (Arthur and the Invisibles)
Touching, inspirational, moving, a delightful time at the movies! One of the most heartfelt films of the year! (Music Within)
**** Nancy Drew is a definite must-see! (Nancy Drew)
A hilarious comedy for campers of all ages. (Daddy Day Camp)

That’s just a little appetizer to Dittman’s adjective-laden ways. We’ve pointed it out in previous years but it bares repeating (just as Dittman likes it)

...Eerie...Haunting...It doesn't get more terrifying than this (The Messengers)
The Reaping will terrify...even the most seasoned movie-goer. (The Reaping)

(2005) Terrifying! It will shock even the most experienced horror fan! (Wolf Creek)
(2006) Truly haunting. It takes fear and terror to a whole new level. (Silent Hill)

A spectacular supernatural thriller. ****...full of shocking twists and turns. (Premonition)
Terrifying. A tour de force. A worthy companion piece to the original. A shocking masterpiece with twists and turns around every corner! (Halloween)

(2005) The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a shocking, top-notch supernatural thriller unlike any you've seen before or will likely see again. (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
(2004) A haunting supernatural thriller. (The Forgotten)
(2005) **** A breathtaking supernatural thriller! (Cursed)

Breathtaking...Thrilling...An unforgettable experience. The best Spider-Man yet. (Spider-Man 3)
The year’s best psychological thriller. Intense & edgy…It will leave you breathless! Jessica Alba is stunning! (Awake)

(2006) A shocking psychological thriller. Samuel L. Jackson is brilliant. He will leave you breathless. (Freedomland)
(2005) A shocking nail-biting thriller! It will leave you breathless. ****! A film for movie-goers in search of an intelligent and emotional thriller. (Derailed)
(200-) An expertly-conceived psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from the moment it lights up the screen to the final flicker of its last frame. (Suspect Zero)
(2005) A heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Jessica Alba gives a knockout performance. It will leave you breathless. (Into the Blue)

...A first class thriller...It will keep you on the edge of your seat. (Vacancy)
Sexy and smart…Pure unadulterated fear. (Disturbia)
Startling and intense. A terrifying masterpiece. (1408)
Intense. The scariest film of the year! (Stephen King’s The Mist)

(2006) A terrifying, bone-chilling, horror masterpiece. Scariest movie of the year! It will feed your fear of technology! Unlike any horror film you’ve seen before or will ever see! (Pulse)
(2005) Electrifying. Bone-chilling (Constantine)
(2005) A spine-tingling, bone-chilling thriller. (Venom)
(2005) Spine-tingling...Heart-stopping...Terrifying... (The Cave)
(2005) Bone-chilling. Heart-stopping. Panic-filled. Robert DeNiro's performance is shocking and intense. A provocative nail-biter! It'll raise your heart rate! It will keep you guessing from start to finish. (Hide and Seek)



THE WINNER OF THE KEVIN THOMAS SLOPPY SECONDS AWARD IS….

BILL BREGOLI
If consistency is a virtue than Bill Bregoli is one virtuous whore. More than nearly any blurbmeister in 2007, Bregoli shelled out praise for nearly one sub-par reviewed film after another. Even the big boys manage to circumvent their obvious shit shilling with the occasional recommendation for an Oscar contender or other overwhelmingly positive flicks. No, not Bregoli. Of his 15 quotes (second only to his 17 in 2005, the only time Bill made the list prior), only one of them (Things We Lost in the Fire) received a “fresh” at Rotten Tomatoes. Five of them languished between 40-59% and three each in the 10%, 20% and 30% range. We’d say he had a face you couldn’t trust, but I’ll be damned if you can find a picture of him anywhere on the web. Go ahead and try…and remember what I said about a sure sign on whoredom. All you can find are Bill’s quotes. At Criticwatch, on video boxes, derision on message boards or on the membership list for the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Another winner, fellas! You can’t find this guy anywhere, just like Dittman before he finally came out of hiding to do interviews with me and Jimmy Kimmel. Bregoli has been tight, almost exclusively tight with the Dreamworks junkets in past years, but he spread like a fungus in 2007. It’s about time someone cured discerning moviegoers from reading anything this guy…haha…I almost said “writes”. That’s funny. Of all the tools Bregoli could magically represent, a writing instrument would hardly be one of them. Congratulations, Bill, on your first Criticwatch Whore Award.

Sexually charged. (Factory Girl)
Intense and very scary. (Hannibal Rising)
A sure-fire thriller in the tradition of The Bourne Identity. The action is non-stop. (Shooter)
Truly moving and emotionally honest. This is the kind of movie you thought they couldn’t make anymore. (Things We Lost in the Fire)
Tender and truly touching. An auspicious directing debut for Alison Eastwood. (Rails & Ties)
A perfect blend of humor and heart. (No Reservations)
The best romantic comedy in a very long time. (P.S. I Love You)

A family movie that’s smart and thrilling! (The Last Mimzy)
Great summer comedy fun! (Shrek the Third)
The best animated movie of the year is also the funniest! (Bee Movie)
Scathingly funny & witty! (The Nanny Diaries)
Edgy and outrageously funny! Braff and Bateman are hysterical! (The Ex)
One of the best screen pairings ever! They will have you on the edge of your seat laughing. (Rush Hour 3)
Borat with a badge. (Reno 911: Miami)
Would make Borat blush. Finally, an “R”-rated comedy for adults. (The Heartbreak Kid)


And now, it’s time to reveal the Whore of the Year. A long time coming, but surely worth the wait.

The 2007 PETER TRAVERS WHORE OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO…

SHAWN EDWARDS
For years people who know and have worked with Shawn personally have been asking me when he was going to finally get his just dessert and win this award. Well, your prayers have been answered because Shawn truly earned this award in 2007. He’s been a top five whore for the last four years (The “Sloppy Seconds” winner in ’05) and Top Ten since Criticwatch’s inception. Proudly equating himself to Roger Ebert simply because his name appears (sometimes) in the same ads may be the most egregious of all of Shawn’s shameless quotes; some 30 or more in four of the last five years. He may work for a Fox affiliate, but only two of his quotes were good enough for them in 2007 (on I Think I Love My Wife & Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.) No, the studio that loved him up the most was Sony and their various branches. Nearly a third of his quotes (10) went to Sony, including two for films that weren’t even screened for critics (Ghost Rider & Resident Evil: Extinction). He also gave it up for such screen gems like Stomp the Yard, Are We Done Yet? and P2. Warner Bros. was second on his list getting 6 quotes. Both Universal and The Weinstein Company got five each. Paramount/Dreamworks received 3 and New Line got one for Hairspray that’s arguably one of the 11 or 12 good films he got quoted for. Listing stats like that almost make it sound like we’re counting up Oscar nominations, which each quote must feel like to this preening, self-promoting egotistical hack. We know we aren’t done with this guy. He’ll be up for another 30 quotes in 2008 if the studios seek out his counsel. But with the news coming down about Pete Hammond, there is some proof that we shouldn’t give up hope. Revel in Shawn’s whoredom from 2007.

Scarlett Johansson is exceptional! (The Nanny Diaries)
Jane Fonda is exceptional. Lindsay Lohan’s performance is phenomenal. Felicity Huffman continues to prove her brilliance as one of today’s best actresses. (Georgia Rule)

Totally entertaining. (Surf’s Up)
Totally awesome! So much fun you’ll want to see it twice. (TMNT)
A delightful & totally fun fantasy! Smart, funny and imaginative! (Arthur and the Invisibles)
Steve Carell is hilarious, touching and completely engaging. (Evan Almighty)
A heartfelt, moving and touching film. (Georgia Rule)
It’s a soulful and heartwarming crowd-pleaser that will have you laughing, crying and cheering. (This Christmas)

Outrageously funny! (I Think I Love My Wife)
Hilarious! (Hairspray)
Hilarious. Brilliant. (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)
**** Brilliant! (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) -
A must-see movie ****. (Freedom Writers)
An intelligent and intense thriller. (1408)
****. Stylish, sexy and riveting!...More intense and entertaining than The Departed! (We Own the Night)

An electrifying cinematic achievement! (American Gangster)
Terrifying and shocking! (Vacancy)
Razor-sharp! It will jolt you with its edginess & originality. (The Hunting Party)
Engaging and exhilarating. Brilliant! It’s a movie you won’t soon forget nor can you easily ignore. (The Kingdom)
Dynamic. Exhilarating. Exciting. Entertaining (I Am Legend)
A high-energy thrill ride! (Ghost Rider)

A modern-day masterpiece. (American Gangster)
An undeniable masterpiece! (Grindhouse)
One of the best movies of the year! (Hairspray)
One of the best films of the year! (American Gangster)
P2 does to parking garages what Psycho did to taking a shower and what Jaws did to swimming in the ocean. One of the scariest movies of the year! (P2)

Vacancy is one of the most suspenseful and truly frightening movies of the year. (Vacancy)
One of the funniest comedies of the year. (Fred Claus)
The funniest, craziest, wildest comedy of the year. (Are We Done Yet?)
- (2006) The wildest, funniest, most hilarious movie of the year. (Little Man)
- (2005) Outrageously funny! The craziest comedy of the year! (Waiting)
The most original film of the year. (Transformers)
The most delightful movie of the year! (No Reservations)
The most magical movie of the year! (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium)
- (2006) The most magical film of the year. **** An instant classic. (Charlotte’s Web)
****…The most exciting movie of the year! (Resident Evil: Extinction)
The best movie of the year! (I Am Legend)

Wonderful! The surprise of the summer. (Georgia Rule)
The coolest movie of the summer. **** (Surf’s Up)
- (2006) Sexy. The coolest movie of the summer is one of the best of the year! (Miami Vice)
- (2005) The coolest movie of the year! (Be Cool)
- (2004) Refreshingly funny, super hip and the coolest flick you’ll see all year! DYN-O-MITE! (Starsky & Hutch)
One of the coolest movies you’ll ever see! (Stomp the Yard)
One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made. (I Am Legend)

A perfect 10. (Surf’s Up)
- (2006) A family film that's perfect for everyone. It will have you laughing from beginning to end. (Are We There Yet?)
Perfect family entertainment. (Are We Done Yet?)
- (2006) Perfect family entertainment! (Nanny McPhee)
A heavenly comedy that’s perfect for the entire family! (Evan Almighty)
- (2005) This comedy is perfect for the entire family! (Kicking and Screaming)
An irresistibly charming comedy for the whole family! (Mr. Bean’s Holiday)

Those last four titles were all for Universal.
(2006) The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - The best action movie of the year.
(2005) The Skeleton Key - Unlock the secret of the best thriller of the year. Totally creepy and intense



FIVE TO WATCH IN 2008

PRAIRIE MILLER
Recommending The Ex and Awake in the same year is not going to win you any trust as a critic.

A potent weapon of truth! In the brave, defiant tradition of The Battle of Algiers. (Meeting Resistance)
A stunning portrait. (Alice Neel)
Rich with imagination and wonder. (The Last Mimzy)
Genius. (The Ex)
One of the year’s best! (The Nanny Diaries)
Stylishly gritty, raw and electrifying. (Alpha Dog)
Sexy, stylish, scary (Awake)


BILL MCCUDDY
Any adult male that recommends a live-action Bratz movie and considers it a positive thing for families needs to be put on a different kind of watch list.

Don’t miss it! Chills ran up my spine! (Mr. Brooks)
These Bratz are non-stop fun with great laughs and lessons for the whole family. (Bratz)
One of the best films of the year! An instant classic! (3:10 To Yuma)
The best film of the year so far. (The Kingdom)
…Electrifying. (Things We Lost in the Fire)


ROGER MOORE
The Florida critic gets screenings all to himself while the rest are shut out and forced to wait. Could it be he’s just a little too appreciative of those? Roger, prove me wrong and tell the studios and their publicists that you don’t think its fair. Invite the rest of the Florida press in with those screenings. These opinions don’t get any better, but I’ll be happy to report that you’re a stand-up guy.

Lots of heart and plenty of laughs. (Orlando Sentinel) (Because I Said So)
The story is rich and heartwarming. (The Orange County Register) (The Last Mimzy)
Laugh-out-loud funny! A winner! (Philadelphia Daily News) (You Kill Me)
**** Greg Kinnear is at his most endearing. Morgan Freeman has never been sweeter. (Feast of Love)
**** Well worth seeking. (The Seeker: The Dark is Rising)
Entertaining. (The Golden Compass)


(AMENDMENT: Roger has responded to being called out as one to watch in 2008 and rather pettily as well. Aside from bashing my love of Knocked Up and Art School Confidential and my dislike of Transformers & Stardust, he questions my skills as a journalist and called me "not bright" on another blog. It's a typical whore response. Call it "The Shawn Edwards Response". In order to justify one's existence they play up how exposed they are in print and play down the role of the one who calls them out. What you won't read about are his own skills as a journalist where he originally slammed this piece and saying that a site called Hollywood Bitchslap did it much better. Little did his astute eyes notice that the link he provided had an authorship at the top that read "by Erik Childress". It's gone from the blog entry which you can read here.)

MIKE SARGENT
The one brief coup of the Inside Edition report was the deer-in-the-headlights look they got from Mike Sargent when asked if he had ever provided a quote for a film he had not seen yet. That seems to also implicate Warner Bros. who were all too happy to have Mike’s praise on FIVE of their films in 2007. Mike once e-mailed me and said he enjoyed being on the Criticwatch list. Hopefully this makes his month.

Brilliant! (King of California)
The most fun you will have at the movies all year. These turtles rock! (TMNT)
Exhilarating! Easily the summer’s best film experience! (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Laugh out loud funny! (Music and Lyrics)
Smart, original, warm and funny. (P.S. I Love You)
The funniest comedy of the year. (License To Wed)


KEVIN STEINCROSS
Give Harry Potter as many stars as you’d like but its hard to ignore recommendations for Premonition and Perfect Stranger, two of the worst thrillers of the year.

Hysterically funny. (Blades of Glory)
**** (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Magical! One of the best family films of the year! (Martian Child)
Thrilling and chilling. Sandra Bullock is terrific. (Premonition)
A sexy thriller that keeps you guessing every step of the way. The ending will blow you away. (Perfect Stranger)



DISNEY’S MANAGE-A-TROIS


That’s Jim Svejda, Lisa Stanley and Bryan Erdy. Year after year it was Jim who had Disney all to himself. But in 2006, Miss Stanley turned up and started getting a piece. Now in 2007, it was Erdy who branched off from going on record for Disney’s straight-to-video fare (Bambi II, Brother Bear 2, Cinderella III & The Fox and the Hound 2) and ventured out to match Lisa blow-for-blow. Svejda actually was the man on the bottom while Stanley and Erdy fought it out on top going exclusive for the Mousehouse. No other studios got quotes from Stanley or Erdy, but between the three of them we have 10 shameless blurbs for Buena Vista.

Irresistible. (The Game Plan) – Jim Svejda
Riveting! One of the most fascinating stories of all time. A classic American tale of fame, scandal and a country that ate it up. (The Hoax) – Bryan Erdy
On a regular screen it’s stunning; in 3-D, it’s unbelievable! The next great breakthrough in Disney animation. (Meet the Robinsons) – Jim Svejda
A must-see for the entire family! Heartwarming! An adventure with a twist that will leave you breathless. (Bridge to Terabithia) – Lisa Stanley
Breathtaking! An exciting, moving family adventure that will stay with you forever! (Bridge to Terabithia) – Bryan Erdy
The greatest adventure of all time. (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) – Lisa Stanley
Spectacular, exciting fun! (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) – Bryan Erdy
Laugh-out-loud funny! (The Game Plan) – Lisa Stanley
The funniest comedy of the fall. (Dan In Real Life) – Lisa Stanley
Pure Disney entertainment. A winner. One of the funniest movies in years. It’s hilarious and full of heart. (The Game Plan) – Bryan Erdy


Now, it’s time for one last recap of the year in quotes. There’s usually some confusion in this portion of Criticwatch that we’re condemning every single critic that we name here, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re simply laying the groundwork from quote to the next, one written word to the spoken one, some paid for by employers to inform readers and others essentially bought with free trips, free food, free hotels and ten minutes to ask celebrities “how are they doing?” We have nothing but the utmost respect for critics like A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, Michael Phillips and a number of others. But we leave it up to you to pick apart the respected to the disreputable. And if we just happen to lay it out in a way that nudges you to the right answer, all the better.

REALLY? REEEEAAAALLLLLYYYYY?????
Occasionally we critics like to express ourselves that we’re truly, really, guaranteeing you that you’re not going to waste your money.

…The first movie to really deal with the Iraq war. (The Situation) - Roger Friedman
This film really stays with you. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) - Leah Rozen
It’s a story about one man but really about us all. (Into the Wild) - Dean Richards
The film’s real power comes from its building sense that something really, really bad is about to happen…to all of us. (The Last Winter) - Andrew O’Hehir

Really funny. (The Ten) - Richard Roeper
A really funny, flavorful thriller! (You Kill Me) - Bob Strauss
Powerful and really funny. (The Hunting Party) - Robert Wilonsky
Finally, a really smart and really funny movie about the ups and downs of life, love and family. (Dan In Real Life) – Pete Hammond

A very funny film with clever writing and really good acting. (The Darjeeling Limited) - Richard Roeper
The race for the Best Actor Oscar really should detour in the direction of Michael Douglas. (King of California) - Elizabeth Weitzman
You Kill Me belongs to Ben Kingsley! He really kills! (You Kill Me) - Lou Lumenick
Nicole Kidman is really sensational here. (Margot at the Wedding) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Nathan Fillion really shines! (Outing Riley) –eFilmCritic (This one actually belongs to yours truly.)

A thriller that really thrills. (The Lookout) - Peter Travers
A thriller that actually thrills. (P2) – Moriarty, Ain’t It Cool News
It’s gory, funny and really baaaad-ass! (Black Sheep) - Dennis Dermody
Funny and dark, and really sexy. (Black Snake Moan) - Richard Roeper
…Living in Oblivion writer/director Tom DiCillio really delivers the goods! (Delirious) - Jan Stuart
The third time really is a charm. (Ocean’s Thirteen) - Manohla Dargis

It’s really one of the best movies of the year! (The Simpsons Movie) - Stephen Hunter
I really liked this movie! (You Kill Me) – Jeffrey Lyons
I really, really loved this movie. Guys be smart and take your ladies to this movie! (Cashback) – AICN
It’s terrific! Really, really fun! (Ocean’s Thirteen) - Richard Roeper
They really don’t make movies like this anymore…and they really should. (Golden Door) - Gene Seymour
Once is – really, truly, deeply – one of this year’s best so far. (Once) - Newsday
…Really powerful. (Duck ) - Christine Connalion, GC Magazine

Guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat! (First Snow) - Pete Hammond
Guaranteed to get your heart racing. (Rendition) - Pete Hammond
Guaranteed to make you scream out loud. (Disturbia) - Rex Reed


OVERSTATING IT A BIT, DON’T YOU THINK?
I’ve certainly had religious experiences watching movies, but they are rare, special occasions. I can’t remember the last film that saved my life or made me like strangers, but hey, to each his own, right?

A celebration of the art of storytelling, and of the power of stories to transcend all barriers of space, time and language. (Ten Canoes) - Scott Foundas
A modern twist on a beloved classic that transcends generations. (Nancy Drew) – Alanna Slepitsky, AOL
A great holiday film that exhibits the power of believing in yourself…It’s transcending! (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) - Greg Russell

A film for discerning audiences who still believe the cinema can illuminate the human condition. (Snow Cake) – Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun
A reminder of what was and still is the best of America. (The Final Season) – Dan Wood, The NCCAA
It may change your life. (How To Cook Your Life) – Leslie Harlib, Marin Independent Journal

Ian McKellen’s captivating performance might be the most memorable voice work since James Earl Jones took on Darth Vader. (The Golden Compass) - Kenneth Turan
Language this lethal has all but disappeared from the movies... (Sleuth) - Carina Chocano
This is the kind of movie you thought they couldn’t make (Things We Lost in the Fire) -Bill Bregoli
It gives me renewed faith that good and great movies can still be made. (Atonement) - Andrew Sarris
An overwhelming experience that has revived my faith in motion pictures. (Atonement) - Rex Reed
…will restore your faith in the power of movies. (Resurrecting the Champ) - Pete Hammond
Will make you believe again in the power of movies. (The Great Debaters) – Pete Hammond

A valuable contribution to the power of the cinema of truth! (Beyond the Gates) - Rex Reed
The movie everyone will be talking about. I hope that it makes people livid, that it’s furiously debated. DePalma makes me proud to be an American. (Redacted) - David Edelstein
**** Robert Benton’s Feast of Love serves admirably as a playful respite from the Iraq-war-driven flood of media violence that threatens to engulf us with a perpetual hangover of hopeless paranoia. (Feast of Love) - Andrew Sarris
At a time when most films wallow in mankind’s basest instincts, Man in the Chair is a rare, once-in-a-blue-moon kind of movie that celebrates the best qualities in people and makes you applaud the human race. (Man In The Chair) - Rex Reed


YEAH, BUT NOT EVERYONE’S AN PROGNOSTICATOR
I like to think I am. I’ve been doing it since I was seven while my friends played kickball. (Shameless Plug ALERT: Check out The Oscar Eye.) But some people should stick to what they know. Except for Pete Hammond who doesn’t know anything.

The fall's first Oscar worthy film. (Feast of Love) - Paul Fischer
The first must-see of the Oscar season. (Into the Wild) - Ben Lyons

Julie Christie’s intelligent and nuanced portrayal is Oscar-worthy. (Away From Her) – USA Today
A best actress Oscar-worthy performance if there ever was one. (A Mighty Heart) - David Sheehan
Another Oscar worthy performance from Ryan Gosling. (Lars and the Real Girl) - Jeanne Wolf
Don Cheadle’s brilliant performance is Oscar-worthy. (Talk to Me) - Pat Collins
A truly grown-up comedy with Oscar-worthy performances. (The Savages) - Thelma Adams
Christian Bale and Russell Crowe deliver Oscar-worthy performances. (3:10 To Yuma) - Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
Steve Carell gives an Oscar-worthy performance. (Dan In Real Life) - Jim O’Brien
Ashley Judd gives a raw, shattering Oscar-worthy performance! (Bug) - Dennis Dermody
Marcia Gay Harden etches another Oscar-worthy portrayal. (Rails & Ties) - Stephen Farber
Will Smith is Oscar-worthy. (I Am Legend) - Kelli Gillespie

An oscar-caliber performance by Julie Christie. (Away from Her) - Ruthe Stein
Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo give Oscar-caliber performances. (Reservation Road) - Steve Oldfield
Steve Carell deserves consideration at Oscar time. (Dan In Real Life) - Julie Washington, The Plain Dealer
Amy Ryan deserves an Oscar nomination. (Gone Baby Gone) - Jeffrey Lyons
Frank Langella is just about perfect. He deserves an Oscar nomination. (Starting Out in the Evening) - Ruthe Stein
Samuel L. Jackson richly deserves an Oscar nomination for the most complex and moving performance of his great career. (Resurrecting the Champ) - Michael Medved

Put Chris Cooper in the running pronto for next year’s Best Actor Oscar. (Breach) - Peter Travers
Depp is simply stupendous. He erases the line between singing and acting, fusing them into something that keeps the movie blazing. Oscar, take note. (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) - Peter Travers
****! It flows almost seamlessly. If this came out in October, Oscar talk would be fully in order for Parker Posey. (Broken English) - David Elliot, San Diego Union Tribune
The race for the Best Actor Oscar really should detour in the direction of Michael Douglas. (King of California) - Elizabeth Weitzman
Brilliantly acted! Masterfully directed, from the stunning cinematography to the hypnotic Oscar-caliber score! (Evening) - Steve Oldfield

Julie Christie is simply astounding…it’s the sort of performance that wins Oscars. (Away from Her) - Lou Lumenick
Frank Langella’s finest work, may gain an Oscar nomination. (Starting Out in the Evening) - Ebert
This is a movie not to be missed and certain to become a force at Oscar time. (A Mighty Heart) - Pete Hammond
The early favorite for best picture at this year’s Oscars. Angelina Jolie is this year’s front runner for an Academy Award. (A Mighty Heart) - Ben Lyons
Don’t bother voting. Just give the Oscar to Marion Cotillard now. (La Vie En Rose) - Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic

Jolie’s performance is complex, sophisticated…and a sure thing for an Oscar nomination. (A Mighty Heart) - Thelma Adams
Angelina Jolie is guaranteed a Best Actress nomination. (A Mighty Heart) - Lou Lumenick
Expect Oscar nominations for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney… (The Savages) - Lou Lumenick
Tommy Lee Jones’ unforgettable performance will lead directly to Oscar’s door. (In the Valley of Elah) - New York Daily News
Douglas’ role could earn him his first Oscar since Wall Street. (King of California) - Larry Carroll
Tanna Frederick’s debut is the best female starring performance so far this year, one that will win Oscar & Golden Globe voters! (Hollywood Dreams) - Tim Sika, ABC/San Francisco
It has the stuff Best Pictures are made of. (The Great Debaters) – Pete Hammond[/big]


NO, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TRIPLE H
I like puzzles. I love playing Halo and Rock Band on xBox. Aside from that failed experiment with the interactive doo-dads in some movie theaters, what was the last game you associated with a movie besides throwing pennies at the annoying bastards on the cell phones?

Director Robert Redford walks the high wire with the defiant grace of a filmmaker who knows he’s battling the odds and is still up for the game. (Lions for Lambs) - Peter Travers
A riveting game of role-playing that grows downright perverse. (Interview) - Jack Mathews
A sharp cat-and-mouse game. (Breach) - Jack Mathews
…An excruciantingly tense, nerve-wracking game of cat and mouse. (Them) - Village Voice
Phillippe and Cooper and fantastic in this mesmerizing game of cat and mouse. (Breach) - Guy Farris, ABC-TV
Kenneth Branagh’s masterful cat and mouse thriller.... (Sleuth) - Paul Fischer
A mesmerizing game of cat and mouse. (Fracture) - Pete Hammond
You won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen as this terrific psychological game of cat and mouse unfolds. (Interview) - Pete Hammond

The filmmakers and stars are on the top of their game. (Charlie Wilson’s War) - Richard Corliss
Kevin Costner is at the top of his game! (Mr. Brooks) - Pete Hammond
Ridley Scott is on the top of his game. (American Gangster) - Peter Travers
Tommy Lee Jones shows the kind of wit and assurance that reveals a master actor at the top of his game. (No Country for Old Men) - Peter Travers
A brilliant, incredibly absorbing historical drama with Washington and Crowe at the top of their game. (American Gangster) - Jeffrey Lyons
Caine and Law are at the peak of their game in this dazzling film. (Sleuth) - Paul Fischer
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are at the top of their game. (The Bucket List) – Pete Hammond
Zodiac stars a trio of beauties – Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo – all at the top of their performance game. (Zodiac) - Manohla Dargis
Lumet is working at the very tippy-top of his considerable game. (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) - Jan Stuart


IN THE WORDS OF SIX FLAGS….EN-JOY THE RIDE!
Maybe theaters need to start installing seatbelts and lap bars and harnesses. These critics can’t seem to stay in their seats, creating a cheer-ocracy and reminding us of Vin Diesel/Paul Walker craptaculars.

Sit back and enjoy the ride… (I’m Not There)– David Gates
A terrific ride with one of the most audacious, mind-blowing characters you’ll ever meet. (The Hoax) - Jan Wahl
Anytime Wes Anderson is in the driver’s seat, the ride is worth taking. (The Darjeeling Limited) - Stephen Rebello
Four Lane Highway offers audiences quite a ride… (Four Lane Highway) – Patricia Freeman, Independentfilm.com

A thrill ride for the whole family. (Stardust)– Bruce Kluger, Parenting Magazine
The Water Horse takes you on a wonderful, fantasy thrill ride. (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) - Ted Baehr
Put on those 3D glasses and ride, baby, ride. (Beowulf) - Peter Travers

One of the wildest rides to ever hit the screen. (Crazy Love) – Interview
We’ve waited all summer for a wild ride to grab us with more than jolts. Now it’s here. Hang on. (The Bourne Ultimatum) - Peter Travers
Smokin’ Aces is one wild, super-kinetic ride! (Smokin’ Aces) - Pete Hammond
A wild ride! (Wild Hogs) – Ukee Washington, CBS-TV/Philadelphia

A hilarious ride that is laugh out loud funny. Don’t walk, run to this Ark! (Evan Almighty)– Gorman Woodfin, CBN/The 700 Club
Smart, funny and terrifying! All in one compelling ride! (1408) – Desson Thomson, The Washington Post
A block-busting scarefest & thrill ride! (Halloween)– Simon Racal, Entaction.com
The scariest ride of the summer! (1408)– Manny the Movie Guy, NBC-TV Palm Springs

A thrill ride. (Stephen King’s The Mist) - Richard Roeper
A thrill ride. (Smokin’ Aces) - Owen Gleiberman
An easygoing, enjoyable ride. (Antonia)– New York Magazine
A very entertaining ride. (The Hoax) - Bill Zwecker
Hot Rod is a fun ride… (Hot Rod)– Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
An incredible ride! (Grindhouse) - Pete Hammond
A clever action-packed ride! (Next) - Neil Rosen
A high-energy thrill ride! (Ghost Rider) - Shawn Edwards
A lusty 3D thrill ride! (Beowulf) - Richard Roeper
If you want a nonstop thrill ride, here’s your ticket! (300) - Richard Roeper

A fabulous funhouse ride with a whole lot of humor and heart! (Nancy Drew) - Clay Smith
A roller-coaster ride. (Day Watch) – Kevin Crust
A star-studded roller coaster ride… (The Golden Compass) - The London Sun
A total roller-coaster ride. 100 minutes of pedal to the metal. (I Am Legend) Matt West, CNN

Fast and furious. (Mr. Untouchable) - Stephen Hunter
The laughs come fast and furious and they’re sharp enough to draw blood… (Margot at the Wedding) - Peter Travers
A fast, furious and riotously funny farce in the tradition of Monty Python and Peter Sellers. (Death at a Funeral) - Pete Hammond
A fast and furious and sublime comedy! (Balls of Fury) - Thelma Adams

It’s heart-pumping stuff, doing what movies do at their best: transporting you even as you sit safely in your theater seat. (The Bourne Ultimatum) - Leah Rozen
Cate Blanchett is so convincing and intense that you shrink back in your seat when she fixes you with her gaze. (I’m Not There)– David Gates
You’re not leaving your seat once the lights go down. (Transformers) - Elizabeth Weitzman

Even though it is based on well-known events it plays like an edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller. (A Mighty Heart) - Pete Hammond
A film that puts viewers on the edge of their seats wanting to know what happens next. (Atonement) - Mick LaSalle
Danny Boyle mixes eye-popping special effects and edge-of-your-seat action to make this a sci-fi scorcher. (Sunshine)– The Sun
Filled with edge-of-your-seat action and excitement. (Shooter) - Chuck “The Movie Guy” Thomas

It keeps you on the edge of your seat. (Breach) - Kelli Gillespie
…will keep you on the edge of your seat! (The Kingdom) - Scott Mantz
Guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat! (First Snow) - Pete Hammond
Keeps you on the edge of your seat. (Civic Duty) - Jack Mathews
You’ll be on the edge of your seat! (Mr. Brooks) - Steven Chupnick
An edge-of-your-seat thriller! (Hannibal Rising) - Steven Chupnick
An edge-of-the-seat thriller…. (Breach)– S. James Snyder, The New York Sun
An edge-of-the-seat thriller. (Rendition) - Patrick Stoner
...A first class thriller...It will keep you on the edge of your seat. (Vacancy) - Earl Dittman
A terrific thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat! (The Reaping) - Shawn Edwards
The Hitcher is an action-packed blood-and-metal thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. (The Hitcher) - Maria Salas
They will have you on the edge of your seat laughing. (Rush Hour 3) - Bill Bregoli
It’ll have you on the edge of your bike seat! (The Flying Scotsman)– Brian Taibl, KOMO-TV ‘Northwest Afternoon’

A star-studded roller coaster ride…that will have you jumping out of your seat… (The Golden Compass)– The London Sun
A blockbuster of suspense that will have you jumping out of your seat. (Disturbia) - Pete Hammond
Packed with jump-out-of-your-seat moments. (The Reaping) - Dan Jewel

It jumps off the screen, grabs you and quickly makes you feel like you are singing and dancing a mile a minute with everyone up there! (Hairspray) - Jeffrey Lyons
A great screen musical that will have audiences dancing in their seats for decades to come. (Hairspray) - Lou Lumenick
You’ll be jumping out of your skin and begging for more. (Beowulf) - Peter Travers

You’ll definitely want to stand up and cheer for Charlie Wilson. (Charlie Wilson’s War) - Pete Hammond
The Kingdom gets audiences cheering! (The Kingdom) - Stephen Rebello
Audiences will cheer for Michael Clayton. (Michael Clayton) – Ned Martel, Men’s Vogue
It will make you cheer! (Amazing Grace) – Marshall Fine
A film one cheers for. (Broken English) – Steve Ramos, Indiewire.com
It’s a soulful and heartwarming crowd-pleaser that will have you laughing, crying and cheering. (This Christmas) - Shawn Edwards
Norbit is a delightfully hilarious romp that will make you laugh until you cheer! (Norbit) – David Foucher, Edge Boston



DON’T GET YOURSELF IN A TWIST
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Twists are perfectly fine, particularly of the sort you can’t see coming. But if you are still trying to guess once the movie has already told you the final answer, you need to find a padded room somewhere. That’s just twisted.

The accelerating plot twists are more than just clever surprises. (The Lives of Others) - David Ansen
It would be criminal to spill any more about the plot twists and turns of this sweeping epic ... (Atonement) - Stephen Rebello
Enough twists and turns to full four weepies. (After the Wedding) – Rob Nelson, The Village Voice
Director David Cronenberg subverts genre expectations with every plot twist. (Eastern Promises) - Lou Lumenick
A stirring, hair-raising adventure and jaw-dropping twists! (Deep Water) - Kenneth Turan
Great twists, wit and incisiveness. (You Kill Me) - Stephen Hunter

Shooter is a thriller with a twist or two... (Shooter) - Joel Siegel
A twist-a-minute thriller. (Fracture) - Peter Travers
A mind-bender of a thriller with twists you don’t see coming! (Mr. Brooks) - Peter Travers
Loaded with laughs, action, excitement, twists, attitude – you name it.! (Smokin’ Aces) - Pete Hammond
…Full of twists and turns…Don’t miss it! (Perfect Stranger) - Mose Persico
...full of shocking twists and turns. (Premonition) - Earl Dittman
A shocking masterpiece with twists and turns around every corner! (Halloween) - Earl Dittman
A fantastic thriller…with so many great twists. (Awake) – Nathan Young, Final Cut
Twists, twists and more twists! (Mr. Brooks) - Stephen Hunter

An adventure with a twist that will leave you breathless. (Bridge to Terabithia) - Lisa Stanley
The most dazzling twist ending since The Sixth Sense. I can’t think of anything in the last 10 years that comes close. (Atonement) - Lou Lumenick
A twist worth waiting for! (Right at Your Door) – The New York Times
With a plot twist you will never forget. (Awake) – Jack Rico, Showbizcafe.com
Doesn't let go even after the final twist. (Fracture) - Gene Shalit
A tightly wound thriller that will keep you guessing. (Gone Baby Gone) - Richard Corliss
It manages to keep you guessing from scene to scene. (First Snow) – Jenelle Riley, Backstage
A sexy thriller that keeps you guessing every step of the way. The ending will blow you away. (Perfect Stranger) - Kevin Steincross
Next keeps you thinking, guessing and entertained! (Next) – Arthur Salm, The San Diego Union-Tribune
A gripping psychological thriller that will have you guessing from start to finish. (Premonition) - Pete Hammond
…keeps us guessing until the stunner finish. (Joshua) - Elizabeth Weitzman
Premonition is a rare supernatural thriller that manages to be engaging and fascinating with an ending that keeps you guessing all the way. (Premonition) – Tom Long, Detroit News
A rare mystery thriller…with twists that will keep you guessing. (Awake) - Stephen Hunter

Mind-twisting, eye-tickling wonder. (Paprika) - Manohla Dargis
Completely original and twistedly clever! (Mr. Brooks) - Fred Topel
A brilliant and twisted vision! (Fido) - AICN
A truly twisted villain. (The Hitcher) - Christy Lemire
…Gruesome and twisted…Jaw dropping. (Antibodies) - Bloody Disgusting
Insanely dark, funny, twisted and sexy. (Shoot ‘Em Up) - Stephen Rebello
Intriguingly twisted, intense and beautifully made. (Fierce People) – Scott Hoffman, MoviePictureFilm.com
Ingeniously twisted. (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) – Joe Leydon
Jim Carrey skillfully leads us on a twisted trek with hair-raising jolts. (The Number 23) - Pete Hammond



FIVE ADJECTIVES TO RETIRE FOR 2008
We’re going to try something here. At least pave the way for a bold experiment, particularly for the true writers out there. I don’t even know if I can pull it off, but I’m going to do my best to eliminate five adjectives from my reviews for 2008. It will hopefully have a two-pronged effect, forcing us to find and experiment with some new vocabulary and greatly reducing the standard hyperbole we see way too often. We can bring them back for 2009 when we get tired of five new ones, but for 12 months let’s do our best to keep these words out of the papers, out of the ads and out of the reviews. See if you can figure out which words I’m talking about.

Stunning! (In the Shadow of the Moon) – New York Magazine
Stunning. (Into Great Silence) – Stuart Klawans, The Nation
Stunning! (War Dance) – Adam B. Vary, Entertainmentweekly.com
Stunning. (Paris, je Ta’ime) – Joe Morgenstern
Stunning! (3:10 To Yuma) - Jeffrey Lyons
Stunning (Arctic Tale) – Jeannette Catsoulis
Stunning! (Paprika) - – David Ansen

Stunning and shocking. (1408) - Robert Wilonsky
Stunning and unforgettable! (This Is England) - Elizabeth Weitzman
Stunning and heartbreaking. (Deep Water) - Joshua Rothkopf
Stunning…Spellbinding…! (Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)) - David Fear
Stunning! Gripping! Intense! (Midnight Eagle) - Jeff Craig
Stunning…shocking…powerful. (September Dawn) - Jeffrey Lyons

A stunning achievement in storytelling. (No Country for Old Men) - Lou Lumenick
A stunning film. (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) – David Ansen
A stunning portrait. (Alice Neel) - Prairie Miller
A stunning epic. (The Golden Compass) - Jeanne Wolf
A stunning movie experience. (I Am Legend) - David Sheehan

Merging stunning scenery and complex character study, Four Lane Highway offers audiences quite a ride… (Four Lane Highway) – Patricia Freeman, Independentfilm.com
Stunning images of the American landscape. (Into the Wild) - A.O. Scott
Unforgettable, beautiful and visually stunning. (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) – Terry Lawson
A visually stunning 3-D experience! (Meet the Robinsons) - Mose Persico
On a regular screen it’s stunning; in 3-D, it’s unbelievable! (Meet the Robinsons) - Jim Svejda
Masterfully directed, from the stunning cinematography to the hypnotic Oscar-caliber score! (Evening) - Steve Oldfield
All of those great Hollywood dream films of the ‘30s and ‘40s pegged the melodrama meter firmly in the red. It worked for A Star is Born and for All About Eve, and it works for Hollywood Dreams! Director Henry Jaglom and wily new actress Tanna Frederick pull it off to stunning effect! (Hollywood Dreams) – Tim Cogshell, Box Offic Magazine

Stunningly good. (Atonement) - Leah Rozen
…Stunningly funny! (Ira & Abby) - Joe Morgenstern
Tea Leoni’s stunningly honest portrayal gives the movie its heart. (You Kill Me) – Karen Durbin
Broken English has moments of revelatory, stunning power and Parker Posey is on my short list for best actress of 2007. (Broken English) – James Verniere
A stunning performance by Ashley Judd! (Bug) - Richard Schickel
Jessica Alba is stunning! (Awake) - Earl Dittman

You won’t see a more gripping or compelling flick in a theater this year. (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters) – Kevin Smith

Gripping. (Terror’s Advocate) – Timothy Knight, Reel.com
Gripping. (God Grew Tired of Us) – MTV.com
Gripping. (Fracture) – Kelli Gillespie
A gripping meditation on the very hot-button-ness of the Israeli-Palestinian question. (Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains) - Owen Gleiberman
A gripping, bittersweet fable... (Great World of Sound) - Andrew O’Hehir
A gripping thriller. (Michael Clayton) - David Ansen
A gripping action thriller! (The Kingdom) - Leah Rozen
A gripping, thought-provoking thriller! (Rendition) - Stuart Lee
A gripping psychological thriller... (Premonition) - Pete Hammond
A gripping, important film. (Beyond the Gates) – Harry Forbes, Catholic News Service
As gripping as it is important. (Trade) - John Anderson

Very gripping and very satisfying! (After the Wedding) - Richard Schickel
A gripping and mesmerizing story. (Breach) - Chuck “The Movie Guy” Thomas
A gripping and…devastating story. (Stephanie Daley) - A.O. Scott
A gripping and intelligent movie. (Lucky You) - Richard Schickel
Gripping and fascinating… (September Dawn) - Pete Hammond
Gripping and hypnotic! (First Snow) - Paul Fischer
Gripping and engaging! (Even Money) - Scott Mantz
Gripping and powerful! (Deep Water) - Kenneth Turan
Remarkable and gripping! (Deep Water) - Logan Hill
Original and gripping! (Reservation Road) - Richard Schickel

Gripping, exciting, and inspirational. (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters) – Rafer Guzman, Newsday
Gripping, brilliantly made and grown-up. (Atonement) - Stephen Rebello
Gripping, riveting and totally engaging… (The Kingdom) - Scott Mantz
Gripping, suspenseful and non-stop action. (I Am Legend) - Kelli Gillespie
Powerful, dramatic, gripping and action-packed. (American Gangster) - Bill Zwecker
Bold, gripping, passionate. (The Rocket) – Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly
Stunning! Gripping! Intense! (Midnight Eagle) - Jeff Craig

Gripping…Breathtaking! (Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)) - David Edelstein
Gripping, compelling! (Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman) – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Completely gripping… (No Country for Old Men) - Kenneth Turan
Incredibly gripping… (In the Valley of Elah) - Leonard Maltin
Intensely Gripping! (Death Sentence) - Variety

To create such a subtle yet gripping world is an accomplishment worthy of all those awards, and more. (The Lives of Others) - Kenneth Turan
State-of-the-art special effects make this gripping odyssey unforgettable. (The Golden Compass) - Jeanne Wolf
Hilary Swank gives a powerhouse performance in this gripping film. (Freedom Writers) - Michael Wilmington
Gripping tension. (Eastern Promises) – James Verniere
The most gripping suspense film in years. (The Lookout) - Stephen Farber
Every bit as gripping as the best-selling novel. (The Kite Runner) - Karen Durbin
Totally gripping from start to finish. (The Invasion) - Stephen Hunter

The actors deliver compelling, intense and detailed performances. (Zodiac) - Thelma Adams
Cate Blanchett is so convincing and intense that you shrink back in your seat when she fixes you with her gaze. (I’m Not There) – David Gates
Josh Brolin gives a vivid and intense performance. (No Country for Old Men) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Brosnan shines…One of the most intense and memorable performances of his career! (Seraphim Falls) - Richard Roeper
…contains some violent and shocking scenes that are the most intense since Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. (Badland) – Roy Trakin, HITS Magazine
Humorous, heartfelt and intensely moving. (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Karen Durbin
…An intensely specific film about the universal yearnings of adolescence. (In Between Days) - Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
Intriguingly twisted, intense and beautifully made. (Fierce People) – Scott Hoffman, MoviePictureFilm.com

Intense! (Ghosts of Cite Soleil) – New York Magazine
Intense. (A Mighty Heart) - Gene Shalit
Intense. (Stephen King’s The Mist) - Earl Dittman
Intense (I Am Legend) – Bonnie Laufer
Intense! (Hostel Part II) – I Film

An intense and unexpectedly timely thriller. (The Brave One) – Amy Taubin, Film Comment
An intense and startling movie for our times. (Civic Duty) - Pete Hammond
An intense captivating film. (Breach) - Steve Oldfield
Intense, psychologically intricate. (Lust, Caution) - Kenneth Turan
Searingly intense! (Bug) - Roger Ebert
A powerful and intense thriller. (Gone Baby Gone) - Ben Lyons
Powerful and intense (The Kingdom) - Ben Lyons
Startling and intense. (1408) - Earl Dittman
Frightening and highly intense! (Vacancy) - Pete Hammond
Intense & edgy… (Awake) - Earl Dittman
Intense and very scary. (Hannibal Rising) - Bill Bregoli
The last 30 minutes are so intense you won’t be able to move. (The Kingdom) - Pete Hammond

An intense…riveting…adventure. (28 Weeks Later) - Steve Oldfield
An intense, clever, thought-provoking thriller. (Sunshine) - Thelma Adams
Intense, smart and very cool! (Disturbia) - Mark S. Allen
Stunning! Gripping! Intense! (Midnight Eagle) - Jeff Craig
Intensely Gripping! (Death Sentence) – variety

An intelligent and intense thriller. (1408) - Shawn Edwards
An intense thriller that will keep you up at night. (Awake) - In Touch Magazine
…More intense and entertaining than The Departed. (We Own the Night) - Shawn Edwards
One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made. (I Am Legend) - Shawn Edwards

Intelligent, audacious and intense, with images that will linger in your mind long after you've left the theater. (There Will Be Blood) - Stephen Pizzallo, American Cinematographer
Intelligent, thought provoking and intense beyond measure. You’ll be talking about it long after the end credits… (Premonition) - Mark S. Allen

A spellbinding, real-life suspense thriller. (Breach) – Pete Hammond
A Mighty Heart stands apart as a powerful, provocative and spellbinding film. (A Mighty Heart) – Pete Hammond

A superbly directed, brilliantly acted, spellbinding original. (Mr. Brooks) – Gene Shalit
A spellbinding, intelligent thriller. (Red Road) - Kevin Crust
****. Spellbinding and harrowing from start to finish. (Sunshine) – Mina Hochberg, AMNY
A spellbinding exploration of love and belonging. (The Namesake) - Karen Durbin
Spellbinding. Intriguingly twisted, intense and beautifully made. (Fierce People) – Scott Hoffman, MoviePictureFilm.com
Stunning…Spellbinding… (Manda Bala (Send a Bullet) - David Fear
Utterly spellbinding. (I Think I Love My Wife) - A.O. Scott
A spellbinding film… (Into the Wild) - Roger Ebert
Spellbinding. (My Kid Could Paint That) – Roger Ebert
Spellbinding. (The Brave One) - Roger Ebert
Spellbinding. (Eastern Promises) – James Verniere
Spellbinding (Rescue Dawn) – GQ
Spellbinding! (The Lookout) – Peter Travers
Spellbinding… (Lady Chatterley) - Peter Travers
A spellbinder that builds unbearable suspense… (No Country for Old Men) - Peter Travers
A potently erotic spellbinder. (Atonement) - Peter Travers
…a spellbinder of breathtaking beauty and terror. (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) - Peter Travers

Amy Adams is the wish your heart makes…she’s wicked good. (Enchanted) - Peter Travers
Wickedly well-cast Nicole Kidman is the film’s most spectacular special effect… (The Golden Compass) - Manohla Dargis

Wickedly entertaining. (Sleuth) - Jennie Punter, Toronto Globe and Mail
Wickedly entertaining! (Sleuth) - Rex Reed
Wickedly entertaining. (Stephen King’s The Mist) - Richard Roeper
A wickedly entertaining thriller! (Mr. Brooks) - Karen Durbin
A wickedly entertaining, amazing-but-true story. (Color Me Kubrick) - Ruthe Stein

Sharp-edged, wickedly funny comedy! (Charlie Wilson’s War) - Roger Ebert
A wickedly funny dark comedy! (You Kill Me) - Dennis Dermody
Wickedly funny! An aces ensemble cast. (The TV Set) – Kevin Crust
Wickedly funny. (Ratatouille) – Rossiter Drake, San Francisco Examiner
Wickedly funny. (The Life of Reilly) – Seattle Times
The most wickedly hilarious crowd pleasing British comedy since Four Weddings and a Funeral. (Death at a Funeral) - Avi Offer
Wickedly witty! (Fido) – Pam Grady, Reel.com
Wickedly brilliant! (Laura Smiles) - Variety
Wicked satire! (Delirious) – The New York Times
Wicked laughs! (You Kill Me) - Bob Strauss
A funny, wicked, smart, fly-ball satire! (You Kill Me) – Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer


YOUR BABY HAD FINGERNAILS
It nails the essence of Joy Division’s music! (Control) - Jim Farber, NY Daily News
Guy Pearce just nails it. (First Snow) - Pete Hammond
Brosnan and Neeson deliver performances that are as tough as nails. (Seraphim Falls) - Pete Hammond
Sharp as nails comedy. (Starter for 10) - Jessica Houston, Harper’s Bazaar
A real nail biter of a thriller! (The Lives of Others) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
A nail-biter. Cool stuff. Cool movie. (Disturbia) - Peter Travers
An exceptionally suspenseful nail-biter with a shocking conclusion. (Fracture) - Rex Reed
A nail-bitingly tense science-fiction thriller. (Sunshine) - Kenneth Turan
**** You’ll be biting your nails the whole time! (Mr. Brooks) - Karen Berg
An incredible nail-biter! (Saw IV) - Shock Till You Drop



WHAT ABOUT MICHAEL CERA OR MARKETA IGLOVA?
Every year I’m neck deep in the argument with colleagues over what constitutes a “breakthrough performance” in terms of awards voting. I maintain that the category doesn’t mean the first movie you liked them in or the first dramatic performance for a comedian. Certainly Angelina Jolie and John C. Reilly “broke through” a long time ago. When will people have a revelation on the subject?

Steve Zahn is a revelation (Rescue Dawn) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Casey Affleck is a revelation. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Casey Affleck is a revelation. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) - Scott Mantz
Justin Timberlake is a complete revelation, creating a whole new career for himself as an actor. (Alpha Dog) - Pete Hammond

John Cusack’s performance is a revelation. (Grace Is Gone) - Jeremy Matthews, Film Threat
Emma Roberts is a delightful revelation. (Nancy Drew) – Susan Granger
Amy Ryan is a revelation. (Gone Baby Gone) – Gene Seymour
(Meg) Ryan is a revelation. (In the Land of Women) – Robert W. Butler, The Kansas City Star



IS THAT THE SAME AS A GRINDHOUSE?
Somewhere there’s a health club getting free advertising.

A powerhouse! (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) – Jan Stuart
A powerhouse film! (Resurrecting the Champ) - Jeff Craig
A powerhouse of a movie! (Brooklyn Rules) - Neil Rosen
This powerhouse of a movie should be required viewing for every member of Congress. (No End In Sight) – David Ansen
A cinematic powerhouse in every sense. (Silk) – Toronto International Film Festival

Hilary Swank gives a powerhouse performance in this gripping film. (Freedom Writers) – Michael Wilmington
…a smart, compelling film with powerhouse performances. (Black Snake Moan) - Steve Oldfield
Powerhouse performances! (Georgia Rule) - Steve Oldfield
Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe give powerhouse performances. (Breach) - Steve Oldfield
David Fincher is a powerhouse filmmaker. (Zodiac) - Peter Travers
An emotional powerhouse… (Into the Wild) - Peter Travers
An emotional powerhouse. (We Own the Night) - Peter Travers



MAMMA MIA LET ME GO!
Bad Boys 2 certainly hurt. The Bucket List was certainly violating. Do you normally like to go to movies and get physically assaulted? Yeah? Then these must be the movies for you.

Seizes you by the collar and never lets you go! (After the Wedding)
– Darrell Hartman, The New York Sun
Zodiac grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go. (Zodiac) - Claudia Puig
Holds you in an increasingly tight grip. (Eastern Promises) - Christy Lemire
… a movie that will grab you, lock you in and not let go till the credits end. (The Kingdom) - Mark S. Allen
Winterbottom exerts a grip that won’t let go. (A Mighty Heart) - Peter Travers
Doesn't let go even after the final twist. (Fracture) - Gene Shalit

It grabs you and packs a punch. (Gone Baby Gone) - Stephen Schaefer
Packs a punch…John Hurt has never been better. (Beyond the Gates) - Stephen Holden
Rips into you like a hurricane! A powerful human drama that packs a strong punch. (Reservation Road) - Pete Hammond
A mesmerizing, power-punch of a thriller! (Eastern Promises) - Peter Travers
An inspiring, uplifting movie which pulls no punches. (Freedom Writers) - Jeffrey Lyons

A knockout! (The Lookout) - Peter Travers
Apatow builds a knockout fable of modern immaturity. (Knocked Up) – Peter Travers
Hairspray earns knockout status for its humor, heart and high spirits. (Hairspray) – Peter Travers
A knockout monster movie. (The Host) - Leah Rozen
****. Marion Cotillard is a knockout in this scintillating and soulful musical bio. (La Vie En Rose) - Jan Stuart
Emile Hirsch in another knockout performance. (Alpha Dog) - Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press
A visual knockout, extremely captivating and a sci-fi feast. (The Golden Compass) - Roger Friedman

You'll laugh till your knees hurt and you can't breathe. (The Simpsons Movie) - Gene Shalit
Stardust is truly original and a breath of fresh air… (Stardust) - Richard Roeper
A breath of fresh air! Winning! (Puccini for Beginners)– HX Magazine
A riveting, hold-your-breath ticking time-bomb of a movie! (The Kingdom) - Pete Hammond
It’s an excellent hold-your-breath thriller. (Disturbia) - Joel Siegel

Ira & Abby radiates a breathless charm. (Ira & Abby) - Jeannette Catsoulis
This brimming declaration of love to the City of Lights leaves one breathless. (Paris, je Ta’ime) – Ed Gonzalez, The Village Voice
It will leave you breathless. (Gone Baby Gone)– James Verniere, Boston Herald
An adventure with a twist that will leave you breathless. (Bridge to Terabithia) - Lisa Stanley
Intense & edgy…It will leave you breathless! (Awake) - Earl Dittman
Breathless entertainment! (Reservation Road) - Rex Reed
An inventive, exciting and breathless adventure. (I Am Legend) - Kyle Smith
…a breathless, delirious stew... (Dragon Wars) – Andy Webster, The New York Times

So good, it takes your breath away. (No Country for Old Men) - Leah Rozen
One of the most devastating, inspired and breath-taking performances in film history. (La Vie En Rose) - Rex Reed
Saoirse Ronan simply takes your breath away. (Atonement) - Peter Travers
While the film is a superior effort in all respects, it’s (Aishwarya) Rai’s performance – and the hypnotic fury in her breathtakingly beautiful eyes – that resonates most forcefully. (Provoked) – Wade Major, City Beat
Sally Field is breathtaking. (Two Weeks) – Bob Rivers, CBS Radio

There hasn't been a more breathtaking, damning portrait of frontier paranoia since McCabe & Mrs. Miller (There Will Be Blood) - David Ansen
The heart-stopping, breathtaking journey of 3:10 To Yuma reminds us just how exciting a good, old-fashioned movie can be. (3:10 To Yuma) – Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
Covered in blood, Sweeney is finally engulfed by his emotions, and Depp finds the character’s grieving heart. It’s a staggering moment in a spellbinder of breathtaking beauty and terror. (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) - Peter Travers
Funny…and absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end! (Meet the Robinsons) - Mark S. Allen
Gripping…Breathtaking! (Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)) - David Edelstein
Breathtaking. (No Country for Old Men) - Christy Lemire
Breathtaking! (Dans Paris) – Aaron Hillis, Premiere
Breathtaking! (Bridge to Terabithia) - Bryan Erdy
Breathtaking and exhilarating! (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Pete Hammond
Breathtaking...Thrilling... (Spider-Man 3) - Earl Dittman
Breathtakingly human. (Eastern Promises) - Christy Lemire
A breathtakingly exciting creation of a thrilling universe and its characters. (The Golden Compass) – Alonson Duralde, MSNBC.com

Jaw-dropping. (Terror’s Advocate) - A.O. Scott
Jaw dropping. (Transformers) - Chuck “The Movie Guy” Thomas
Jaw-dropping fun. (Color Me Kubrick) - Andrew O’Hehir
A jaw-dropping true story… (Crazy Love) - Harlan Jacobson, USA Today
A visually jaw-dropping film! (Steep) – Nathaniel Vinton, Men’s Journal
300 is nothing short of jaw-dropping. (300) – Sam Hallenbeck, NBC-TV (Tampa)
Transports you to an alternate world of jaw-dropping awe and unforgettable adventure. (The Golden Compass) - Pete Hammond

Tanna Frederick gives a jaw-dropping performance…! (Hollywood Dreams) - Jim Svejda
…Gruesome and twisted…Jaw dropping. (Antibodies) - Bloody Disgusting
A stirring, hair-raising adventure and jaw-dropping twists! (Deep Water) - Kenneth Turan
A delirium-inducing jaw-dropper! (Tears of the Black Tiger) - David Edelstein

Fincher’s polished technique can leave you slack-jawed (Zodiac) - Manohla Dargis
For those of you who don’t know the story, I’ll let director Klores spring his jack-in-the-boxes – and let your jaw drop as low as mine did. (Crazy Love) - David Edelstein
Even well-informed [audiences] will find their jaws dropping… (Robert Koehler) (No End In Sight) - Variety
Try to keep your jaw closed! (Steep) – Christian DeBenedetti, Outside Magazine
A literally jaw-dropping battle of the ice bears. (The Golden Compass) - Richard Corliss
A high-energy movie with heart and the dance moves will make your jaw drop! (Stomp the Yard) - Rachel Smith

Prepare your eyes for popping – they just might fly out of their sockets! (300) - Peter Travers
Eye-popping 3D! (Beowulf) - Joe Morgenstern
…Eye poppingly cool (Shoot ‘Em Up) - Claudia Puig
Absolutely outstanding and eye-popping! (Meet the Robinsons) - Bonnie Laufer
An audacious eye-popping debut. (Tears of the Black Tiger) - David Fear
An eye-popping, cinematic spectacular. (Beowulf) - Michael Medved
A rapturous and eye-popping spectacle. (Golden Door) - Andrew O’Hehir
Danny Boyle mixes eye-popping special effects and edge-of-your-seat action… (Sunshine) – The Sun
This movie pushes the limit with indescribable eye-popping crazy feats of big mountain glory. (Steep) - Pete Hammond

A terrific ride with one of the most audacious, mind-blowing characters you’ll ever meet. (The Hoax) - Jan Wahl
Mind-blowing action. (The Bourne Ultimatum) - Roger Ebert
Mind-blowing! (300) – Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today
Mind-blowing! (1408) - Jeffrey K. Howard

The electrifying result will blow you away. (Crazy Love) - Peter Travers
The Kingdom will blow you away! (The Kingdom) - Scott Mantz
The ending will blow you away. (Next) - Tim Estiloz
The ending will blow you away. (Perfect Stranger) - Kevin Steincross
Transformers will blow your mind. (Transformers) - Sandie Newton
Hostel Part II will blow your mind! (Hostel Part II) – Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle

Jason Schwartzman’s performance cuts to the bone… (The Darjeeling Limited) - Peter Travers
George Clooney is transfixing. Clooney inhabits this burnt-out case with haunting brilliance. It’s a bone-deep performance that raises the bar. (Michael Clayton) - Peter Travers
A bone-chilling, disturbing thriller. Vital and powerfully important. A movie that should – and must – be seen. (Trade) - Pete Hammond

Sigourney Weaver delivers an infectious performance. (Snow Cake) – Stella Papamichael, BBC Movies
Hilarious, sweetly romantic and as infectious as a great pop song. (Music and Lyrics) - Dan Jewel
Infectious and irresistible! (Black Sheep) – Rob Nelson, The Village Voice
The delight is infectious. (Talk To Me) - Ty Burr
The excitement is contagious. (Romance & Cigarettes) - Stephen Holden
Infectious, contagious, captivatingly entertaining. (Resident Evil: Extinction) - Jeffrey K. Howard

You’ll die laughing! (You Kill Me) - – Scott Mantz
You’ll die laughing! (Fido) – Newsday
A comedy to die for…(Death at a Funeral) – Gene Shalit



…AS A MOUNTAIN STREAM
Most things in this world are already tainted. It’s good that we have the occasional movie to filter out all the crap.

Rarely is time so intensified, or so pure. (Into Great Silence) – Stuart Klawans, The Nation
By the time the film is over, you feel like an entire season of The Sopranos has been distilled to its purest essence and injected directly into your brain! (Election) – Grady Hendrix, NY Sun
…a fantastic fusion of humor, heart and pure excitement. (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) - Pete Hammond
Clever, fun and pure cinematic joy! (Severance) - AICN

The most purely entertaining film of the summer. (Ocean’s Thirteen) - Pete Hammond
The freshest, funniest, most purely enjoyable movie of the season! (The Nanny Diaries) – Milan Paurich, CBS-TV

Scheming princes, wicked witches, flying pirates, celestial love, a pure-hearted hero, all in a magical land. What more do you want? (Stardust) - Gene Shalit
Wilberforce is…a true believer, a crusader, a man of action…he’s at once pure and seductive, a dashing, romantic figure…unfailingly attractive. (Amazing Grace) - Manohla Dargis
Huge laughs, spectacular special effects and the pure animal magnetism of Steve Carell make this the summer movie comedy event that proves to be every bit as much fun as it’s meant to be – times two! (Evan Almighty) - Pete Hammond

Blades of Glory is pure hilarity... (Blades of Glory) - Pete Hammond
Pure comic gold. (Blades of Glory) - Jeffrey K. Howard
Pure entertainment! (The Astronaut Farmer) – Bobbie Wygant, NBC 5 (Dallas / Ft. Worth)
Pure popcorn moviemaking. (Live Free or Die Hard) – James Verniere, The Boston Herald
Pure movie magic! (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) – Teri Hart, Family Channel
Pure holiday magic. (Fred Claus) - Jeffrey K. Howard

Two hours of pure adrenaline! (Live Free or Die Hard) - Richard Roeper
Pure unadulterated fear. (Disturbia) - Earl Dittman
Pure dynamite! (Lions for Lambs) - Leonard Maltin
Pure entertainment. (Transformers) - Sarah Zapp
Pure Disney entertainment. (The Game Plan) - Bryan Erdy
Pure brilliance! (Across the Universe) - Alison Bailes
A pure joy! (Offside) - John Anderson
A pure lark! (Delirious) - Jack Mathews



DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN…OR NOT
300 Looks like nothing you’ve ever seen… (300) – Lev Grossman, Time
The fight in the steam bath…is like nothing you’ve seen before. (Eastern Promises) - Richard Roeper
You’ve never seen anything like it! (Beowulf) - Michael Medved
You have never seen anything like it before! (Steep) - Pete Hammond
Tanna Frederick gives a jaw-dropping performance like nothing you’ve seen before! (Hollywood Dreams) - Jim Svejda
This is one you haven’t seen before. (Wristcutters: A Love Story) - David Ansen

The unlikeliest thriller of the year! (Mr. Brooks) - Jack Mathews
Unlike anything else this summer. (A Mighty Heart) - Marshall Fine
Unlike any movie experience you've ever had. (Beowulf) - David Viggiano, FOX-TV
Unlike anything you could ever imagine! (Meet the Robinsons) - Larry King
Unlike anything you have ever seen before. (Bridge to Terabithia) - Clay Smith
Unlike anything you’ve seen on the big screen. (Stomp the Yard) - Melanie Moon
Unlike any other movie you’ll see this year. (The Bothersome Man) – Joshua Land, Time Out New York



NEVER SAY NEVER…UNTIL THE NEXT TIME
Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black have never been better. (Margot at the Wedding) - A.O. Scott
Richard Gere has never been better. (The Hoax) - Pete Hammond
John Hurt has never been better. (Beyond the Gates) - Stephen Holden
Michael Douglas has never been better. (King of California) - Leonard Maltin
John Cusack has never been better. (Martian Child) - Jeanne Wolf
(Jennifer) Lopez has never been better. (El Cantante) - Pete Hammond
Jason Statham has never been better. (Revolver) - Pete Hammond



THE COMPARATIVE RARITY OF GENUINE QUOTE-WORTHY MATERIAL
The rare American documentary that doesn’t preach to the converted. (No End In Sight) – Rob Nelson, Village Voice
Rarely, if ever, has a feature film so perfectly captured a band’s sound in a look. (Control) – Jim Farber, NY Daily News
Rarely is time so intensified, or so pure. (Into Great Silence) – Stuart Klawans, The Nation
3:10 To Yuma reminded me of what a rare pleasure it has become to watch a straightforward and convincing adult genre film. (3:10 To Yuma) – John Beifuss, Memphis Commercial-Appeal

A rare hybrid of balls-out gunplay, explosions and hair-raising chases powered by an unexpected, hugely welcome dose of smarts. (The Kingdom) - Stephen Rebello
Explores dark territory rarely seen in any film… (Badland) – Roy Trakin, HITS Magazine
A rare modern horror film that’s both genuinely smart and genuinely scary. (Joseph O’Brien) (The Abandoned) – Fangoria
The rare sequel that’s superior to its predecessor. (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) – IGN Movies
A rare mystery thriller… (Awake) - Stephen Hunter
Premonition is a rare supernatural thriller that manages to be engaging and fascinating with an ending that keeps you guessing all the way. (Premonition) – Tom Long, Detroit News

A true movie rarity! (Talk To Me) - Richard Schickel
One of those rare literary works that has been filmed most reverently. (The Kite Runner) - Richard Schickel
This intricately constructed story of fathers and sons has a genuine resonance and reason rare in movies. (Resurrecting the Champ) - Stephen Schaefer
The Astronaut Farmer is a rare live-action family film that engages adults and children equally. (The Astronaut Farmer) - Leah Rozen
A rare film that’s both a great date movie and the perfect family film. (August Rush) - Steve Oldfield

A rare moviegoing treat! (Waitress) - Leonard Maltin
A kind of treat we are only rarely offered these days. (After the Wedding) - Richard Schickel
A wry, charming romance that avoids the usual single girl clichés and displays a level of emotional honesty and character development that’s confoundingly rare these days, especially for female characters. (Broken English) - Carina Chocano
Rarely has Paris seemed more enchanting than in Thompson’s optimistic ode to Gallic romance! (Avenue Montaigne) - Elizabeth Weitzman
A rare original. A truly inventive and totally wacky tale of love. A real find. (Eagle vs. Shark) - Pete Hammond
This is one of those rare gems you must not miss. (Control) - Pete Hammond
One of those rare movies you hate to see end. (In the Land of Women) - Jeffrey Lyons

Grant and Barrymore demonstrate a chemistry that is rare in most of today’s comedies. (Music and Lyrics) - Rex Reed
Evening is a superbly acted, well-made and something of a rarity. I can’t remember an ensemble cast with so much emotional power. (Evening) - Rex Reed
Man in the Chair is a rare, once-in-a-blue-moon kind of movie… (Man In The Chair) - Rex Reed



MUST-SEE OR DIE HARD
Around 50 movies you were told to see at the cost of $10 a pop. That’s $500 before the popcorn, soda, candy and chicken fingers. If you listened to me, I may have told you to drop everything and see maybe four of these movies in a theater and highlight a couple others on Netflix. Caveat emptor, right?

Unmissable! (Lake of Fire) - Joshua Rothkopf
Unmissable! (Black Sheep) - Richard Corliss
Potent and unmissable! (The Lives of Others) - Richard Corliss
Unique and unmissable. (Ratatouille) - Peter Travers
An unmissable movie event. (I’m Not There) - Peter Travers

Must see! (God Grew Tired of Us) – Marie Claire
A must-see! (In the Shadow of the Moon) Scott Mantz
A must-see! (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten) – Mojo
A must-see! (Protagonist) - John Anderson
A must-see. (Eagle vs. Shark) - Mark Bell
A must-see… (Fracture) - Elizabeth Weitzman
A must-see! (Enchanted) - Jim Ferguson
A must-see! (Evening) - Jim Ferguson
A must see! (Beyond the Gates) - Baz Bamigboye, The Daily Mail
A must-see! (Wild Hogs) – Bessie Tsionis, Comcast CN8 Network/Boston
A must see!!!! (The Final Season) - Mike Nabors, Cox Sports
A must-see! (The Flying Scotsman) - Brian Taibl, KOMO-TV ‘Northwest Afternoon’
A must-see! (2 Days in Paris) - Rebecca Rothbaum
A must-see! (Amazing Grace) - Rebecca Rothbaum
A must-see movie! (Offside) - Rebecca Rothbaum
A must-see movie. (Freedom Writers) - Shawn Edwards
A must-see movie. (The Number 23) - Pete Hammond
It’s a must-see movie! (The TV Set) - Pete Hammond
It’s a must-see (The Golden Compass) - The London Sun
A must-see film! (Lars and the Real Girl) - Roger Friedman, Fox News
A must see film. (Amu) - Mira Nair
A must-see! (The TV Set) - Christy Lemire
There’s nothing else like it. A must-see! (Grindhouse) - Christy Lemire

The first must-see film of the year. (Amazing Grace) - Shawn Edwards
The first must-see of the Oscar season. An instant classic. (Into the Wild) - Ben Lyons
The first must-see movie of 2007! (Starter for 10) - Scott Mantz
The first must-see film of 2007! (Offside) – Michael Koresky, Interview

A must-see laugh-out-loud comedy. (I Think I Love My Wife) - Pat Collins
A must see for Sex and the City fans! (Broken English) - Ruthe Stein
Sharkwater is a must see! (Sharkwater) – Joyce Kulhawik, WBZ-TV CBS Boston
An absolute must-see (Dan In Real Life) - Bonnie Laufer
Nancy Drew is a definite must-see! (Nancy Drew) - Earl Dittman

A must-see film that audiences will love. (The Bucket List) - Pete Hammond
A must-see for the entire family! (Bridge to Terabithia) - Lisa Stanley
A must-see for families and for kids. (The Last Mimzy) - Joel Siegel
A must-see family film. (Alvin and the Chipmunks) - Robert Sanchez, IESB.net
The must-see kids flick of the season! (Bee Movie) - Ben Lyons
The season’s first must-see! (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) - Lou Lumenick
The season’s first must-see film for adults! (Eastern Promises) - Jack Mathews
A must-see for the holiday season. (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) - Jim Ferguson

Do yourself a big favor and put this movie at the top of your must-see list. (Starter for 10) - Pete Hammond
A movie you must see. (Reign Over Me) - Pete Hammond
A movie that should – and must – be seen. (Trade) - Pete Hammond
This is one of those rare gems you must not miss. (Control) - Pete Hammond
You must see this film. (Lions for Lambs) – Blogger David Atkins, Daily Kos
An intelligent masterpiece that must be seen. (The Great Debaters) - Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr.
It must be seen by people of all faiths and all who believe in peace. (O Jerusalem) - Rabbi Aryeh Oberstein, Governor NY Board of Rabbis

The must-see movie of 2007! (Bridge to Terabithia) – Susan Granger
The must-see film of the year. (August Rush) Tony Toscano
You must, must, must see this movie! (The Host) - Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune



CONFUSION NOW HATH MADE HIS MASTERPIECE!
If it wasn’t a must-see, it was a classic masterpiece. There are certainly some better films on this list, but just as many, if not more, staggering claims of superiority for absolute crap.

This film is a masterpiece. (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) - David Edelstein
A masterpiece. (No Country for Old Men) - Rex Reed
A masterpiece. (No Country for Old Men) - Lou Lumenick
A masterpiece!... (Black Book) – Tom Carson, GQ
A masterpiece. (The Lookout) - Richard Roeper
A masterpiece. (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) – Wade Major, LA City Beat
A masterpiece. (Meet the Robinsons) - John Anderson
A masterpiece! (Stephen King’s The Mist) - Pete Hammond
A masterpiece. (Mr. Brooks) - Fred Topel

A masterpiece from Paul Thomas Anderson. (There Will Be Blood) - Pete Hammond
A modest masterpiece from Hal Hartley. (Fay Grim) - Troy Patterson
An intelligent masterpiece that must be seen. (The Great Debaters) – Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr.
…An artistic masterpiece. (Bella) – Tony Bennett, Grammy & Emmy Award winning singer
***1/2 Masterpiece. Never misses a beat. (The Page Turner) – Jay Carr, AM New York

A gritty, stoic masterpiece. (American Gangster) – Tom Carson, GQ
A spectacular, magical masterpiece. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) - Clay Smith
A masterpiece that is thrilling, sexy and totally mesmerizing. (300) - Paul Fischer
…a stylish, hypnotic and flawlessly acted masterpiece. (Sleuth) - Paul Fischer

An enduring cinematic masterpiece. (Atonement) - Andrew Sarris
A modern masterpiece! (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) - Andrew Sarris
A modern masterpiece! (Breaking and Entering) – Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail
A modern-day masterpiece. (American Gangster) - Shawn Edwards
An undeniable masterpiece! (Grindhouse) - Shawn Edwards
A terrifying masterpiece. (1408) - Earl Dittman
A shocking masterpiece…! (Halloween) - Earl Dittman

A classic Simpsonian interplay of family psychology, social commentary, and brainy visual and verbal jokes tossed off at rat-a-tat speed (The Simpsons Movie) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
An era-defining comedy classic to rank with Little Miss Sunshine. (Knocked Up) - Kyle Smith
A new American classic. (American Gangster) - Ben Lyons
A classic American tale of fame, scandal and a country that ate it up. (The Hoax) - Bryan Erdy
A once-in-a-lifetime underdog American classic. (Romance & Cigarettes) - Andrew O’Hehir
It looks and feels like an Italian neo-realist classic. (The Italian) – Maria Garcia, Film Journal

A classic! (Evening) - Jim Ferguson
A classic! (Bridge to Terabithia) - Paul Fischer
A classic thriller in the Hitchcock tradition. (Fracture) - Paul Fischer
A classic family film. (Nancy Drew) – Lorraine Ali, Newsweek
A classic whodunit! (First Snow) – Patrick Knowles, SOMA
A classic coming-of-age tale! (This Is England) - David Ansen

An instant classic! (No Country for Old Men) – Newsweek
An instant classic!...graceful & deeply intelligent! (Blame It on Fidel!) – David Noh, Film Journal Int’l
An instant classic… (Fido)- Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight
An instant classic! (Knocked Up) - A.O. Scott
An instant classic. (Into the Wild) - Ben Lyons
An instant classic! (3:10 To Yuma) - Bill McCuddy
A gem-an instant classic! (You Kill Me) - Scott Mantz

Destined to become a classic. (Juno) - Richard Roeper
Destined to be a Disney classic. (Meet the Robinsons) - Bonnie Laufer
An action-packed thriller, a drama and a love story all rolled into one amazing movie that’s bound to become a true cinema classic! (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) - Bill Zwecker

This classic-in-the-making is the Coen Brothers at the peak of their powers! (No Country for Old Men) - Peter Travers
This film already has the feel of a classic. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) – Pete Hammond
Sure to be a holiday classic. (Fred Claus) - Jeffrey Lyons
Already a cult classic! (Black Sheep) - Elizabeth Weitzman
A true horror movie classic! (Hostel Part II) - Dennis Dermody



DID WE LEARN NOTHING FROM JOE E. BROWN?

A perfectly colibrated drama both compassionate and unsentimental. (The Savages) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
A perfectly funny sincere salute to dog and pet lovers everywhere. (Year of the Dog) - Michael Wilmington
….Each scene is just so perfectly done. (The Lookout) - Richard Roeper
Rarely, if ever, has a feature film so perfectly captured a band’s sound in a look. (Control) – Jim Farber, NY Daily News
A perfect example of how a film can stir the soul. (Paris, je Ta’ime) - Joe Morgenstern
A perfect warm-hearted antidote to the winter blahs. (Music and Lyrics) - Rex Reed

A perfect blend of humor and heart. (No Reservations) - Bill Bregoli
Evan Almighty is a perfect blend of star and story (Evan Almighty) - Patrick Stoner
The perfect blending of director Ang Lee’s two most popular films. (Lust, Caution) - Richard Corliss

Perfectly delightful. (Martian Child) - Jeffrey K. Howard
Perfectly hilarious! (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) - Maria Salas
Feast of Love is perfectly titled… (Feast of Love) - Larry King

See the perfect Valentine’s day treat. (Music and Lyrics) – Taylor Johnson, MSN.com
The perfect date movie. (No Reservations) - Bonnie Laufer
The perfect date movie for the holidays. (P.S. I Love You) - Jim Ferguson
A rare film that’s both a great date movie and the perfect family film. (August Rush) - Steve Oldfield

The Water Horse is the perfect holiday film… (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) - Pete Hammond
The perfect holiday film! (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) - Mark S. Allen
The perfect holiday movie! (Alvin and the Chipmunks) – Teri Hart, The Movie Network / Family Channel

Perfect family entertainment. (Are We Done Yet?) - Shawn Edwards
A heavenly comedy that’s perfect for the entire family! (Evan Almighty) - Shawn Edwards
Perfect for the whole family! (Evan Almighty) - Sandie Newton
A perfect family film. (Arctic Tale) - Ben Lyons
The perfect family film. (The Game Plan) - Greg Russell

A perfect 10. (Surf’s Up) - Shawn Edwards
A perfect 10! (Blades of Glory) - Chuck “The Movie Guy” Thomas

…Meticulously acted by a perfect cast (Atonement) - Rex Reed
It’s smart, inventive and perfectly cast. (Dan In Real Life) – Glenn Whipp
Chris Cooper perfectly embodies real-life double agent Robert Hanssen. (Breach) – Entertainment Weekly
A sly, knowing comedy, with a perfectly cast John Malkovich. (Color Me Kubrick) - Stephen Holden
…The two leading ladies are note-perfect. (The Page Turner) - Leah Rozen
Timothy Spall is perfect. (Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman) - Rex Reed
David Duchovny is perfect. (The TV Set) - Pete Hammond
…Ben Stiller is perfect! (The Heartbreak Kid) - Claudia Puig
Paul Giamatti is perfect! (The Nanny Diaries) – Betsy Pickle, Knoxville News Sentinel
Frank Langella is just about perfect. (Starting Out in the Evening) - Ruthe Stein
Langella is better than perfect. (Starting Out in the Evening) - David Edelstein
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder make the perfect team! (Blades of Glory) – John Hartl
Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood are perfect together... (King of California) - Jeanne Wolf
Written, directed and acted to perfection. (Atonement) - Peter Travers
It’s perfection. (Eagle vs. Shark) – Mark Bell, Film Threat
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is perfection! (Harry Knowles) (Southland Tales) - AICN

Sienna Miller is near perfect. (Factory Girl) – Jeffrey Wells
The Namesake is near perfect. (The Namesake) – Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Close to perfect. (Once) - A.O. Scott
a delicious comedy that is close to perfection. (Waitress) - Joe Morgenstern
…an almost perfect movie with flawless performances. (Lars and the Real Girl) - Joe Morgenstern
The film nears perfection in almost every single aspect (Them) - Bloody-Disgusting
Every shot, movement and speech seems perfect. (Private Fears in Public Places) - Michael Wilmington
Superclose to perfect. (Superbad) – Devin Gordon

Sophisticated. Brilliant. Perfect. (The Simpsons Movie) – David Wiegand
A perfect thriller! (1408) - Fred Topel
Juno is a perfect movie and it only gets better with each viewing. (Juno) - Robert Wilonsky
This film is perfect. (Rendition) - Roger Ebert
**** A perfect movie. (Bella) – Tony Bennett, Grammy & Emmy Award winning singer

Pitch-perfect! (Brooklyn Rules) – Denis Hamill, NY Daily News
***** Pitch-perfect satire! (12:08 East of Bucharest) – Time Out NY
It’s a pitch-perfect crime thriller. (Gone Baby Gone) - Richard Roeper
The performances are pitch-perfect. (Interview) - Jack Mathews
…the actors are pitch-perfect. (The Savages) - Lou Lumenick
Jennifer Jason Leigh is pitch-perfect (Margot at the Wedding) - Peter Travers
The pitch-perfect performance by Michael Douglas is a hidden treasure. (King of California) - Pete Hammond
A pitch-perfect lead performance by Parker Posey. (Broken English) - Dennis Harvey, Variety
…breezy charm, snappy dialogue and pitch-perfect performance by Posey… (Broken English) - Catherine Hong, W Magazine
Director George Ratliff plays our innermost fears pitch-perfectly on tautly wound strings. (Joshua) – Gianni Truzzi, Seattle Post-Intelligencer



SPEAKING OF PITCHING
This is precisely what Griffin Mill would love.

As relevant as Super Size Me, and as important as An Inconvenient Truth. (King Corn) – The Austin Chronicle
Like Mystic River, it will leave you talking for days. (Gone Baby Gone) - Rachel Smith
Like a true-life Syriana. (The Devil Came on Horseback) – Los Angeles Times
It’s the first Hollywood Iraq movie to remind me of a Vietnam film like Coming Home. (In the Valley of Elah) - Owen Gleiberman
The only Iraq film I would rank alongside No End In Sight in the category of essential viewing. (Redacted) - Scott Foundas
Ranks with The Shining as one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever! (1408) - Pete Hammond
An era-defining comedy classic to rank with Little Miss Sunshine. (Knocked Up) - Kyle Smith
…this year’s Little Miss Sunshine-size surprise. (Juno) - Stephen Rebello
The Orphanage is this year’s Pan’s Labyrinth and that’s high praise indeed. (The Orphanage) – Joe Utichi, IGN Movies

If Napoleon Dynamite and Rocky had a kid and placed it in New Jersey, it would be the delightful and fresh Rocket Science… (Rocket Science) - Zack Haddad, Film Threat
It’s like Rocky with air guitars! (Air Guitar Nation) - AICN
If you liked Bend It Like Beckham, you’ll love Gracie. (Gracie) - Karen Berg
The Gladiator of hockey movies. (The Rocket) – Maclean’s Magazine
The Final Season is Hoosiers on the diamond, in a Field of Dreams setting with the man who played Rudy coaching the winning team. A must see!!!! (The Final Season) – Mike Nabors, Cox Sports

Friday Night Lights meets Field of Dreams. (The Final Season) – Todd Jensen, KIRO-TV
Desperate Housewives’ meets Jane Austen. (The Jane Austen Book Club) - Jeanne Wolf
…feels like Grizzly Man meets The Perfect Storm. (Deep Water) - Logan Hill
…plays like Dumb & Dumber meets Knocked Up. (The Brothers Solomon) – Adam Graham, Detroit News
It's Psycho Meets Saw… (Vacancy) - Larry Carroll, MTV News
Election meets The Office. (Chalk) – The Boston Phoenix
The Office meets The Hills Have Eyes. (Severance) - Dennis Dermody

Hot Fuzz is Naked Gun and Lethal Weapon at the same time. (Hot Fuzz) - Kyle Smith
It’s a dream fusion of Jaws and Little Miss Sunshine. (The Host) – Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
It’s a cross between A Wrinkle In Time and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (The Last Mimzy) - Ty Burr
…a cross between Sideways and Five Easy Pieces! (Four Lane Highway) – Rhea Goodman, KSFR Public Radio
…part Bad Seed, part Rosemary’s Baby…(Joshua) - J. Hoberman
A combination of Network and The Player. (The TV Set) - Rex Reed
The perfect blending of director Ang Lee’s two most popular films. (Lust, Caution) - Richard Corliss

Reminiscent of Fargo and Memento! (First Snow) – Jenelle Riley, Backstage
A hilarious mockumentary in the tradition of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show! (Pittsburgh) – eFilmCritic
A great sci-fi film in the Alien tradition. (Sunshine) – Glenn Whipp, LA Daily News
A smart, sharp, action thriller in the tradition of The Bourne Identity. (Shooter) – Edward Douglas
A fast, furious and riotously funny farce in the tradition of Monty Python and Peter Sellers. (Death at a Funeral) - Pete Hammond
In the tradition of Dr. Zhivago… (Beauty Remains) – Leonard Klady, Screen International
In the brave, defiant tradition of The Battle of Algiers. (Meeting Resistance) - Prairie Miller
The Golden Compass takes its place amongst the great fantasy films of all time. In the tradition of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia (The Golden Compass) - Ben Lyons

At a time when movie fight scenes are as routine as the dances in musicals, Viggo Mortensen engages in a fight in this film that sets the same kind of standard that The French Connection set for chases. (Eastern Promises) - Roger Ebert
A two hour high-tech chase around the world that surpasses everything that’s come before it, including Oscar-winning classics like The French Connection and Bullitt. (The Bourne Ultimatum) - Pete Hammond
Pulp Fiction with a Southern accent and a heart of gold. (Black Snake Moan) - Andrew O’Hehir
Very much a bookend to Vera Drake in its mixture of post war British reserve and ugly reality. (Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman) - Ty Burr
A Russian Godfather. (Eastern Promises) - Rex Reed
The French answer to Shakespeare in Love (Moliere) - Jeffrey Lyons
Approached near Pythonesque genius with some of these skits. (The Ten) - Richard Roeper
Think of it as The Full Monty blown to smithereens. (Hot Fuzz) - Manohla Dargis
A must see for Sex and the City fans! (Broken English) - Ruthe Stein
The Ex has the off-the-wall, go-for-broke zaniness of Flirting with Disaster. Inspired! (The Ex) - Scott Foundas
One of the raunchiest movies this side of Superbad or Knocked Up. (The Heartbreak Kid) - Stephen Schaefer
Gags as envelope-pushing as anything in Borat! (The Ten) – Variety
Borat with a badge. (Reno 911: Miami) - Bill Bregoli
Would make Borat blush. (The Heartbreak Kid) - Bill Bregoli
If Borat was brain-damaged, this would be his fantasy. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters) – Brandon Judell, CultureCatch.com

An Easy Rider for our times (Into the Wild) – Tom Charity, CNN.com
It’s this generation’s When Harry Met Sally. (Knocked Up) - Kyle Smith
Grease for today’s generation! (Hairspray) - Jan Wahl
E.T. for a new generation…(The Last Mimzy) - Paula Nechak, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Goodfellas for the next generation. (American Gangster) - Ben Lyons
It makes American Gangster look like a fairy tale. It’s the real deal, nothing Hollywood about it. (Mr. Untouchable) - Ben Lyons

There hasn't been a more breathtaking, damning portrait of frontier paranoia since McCabe & Mrs. Miller (There Will Be Blood) - David Ansen
As good, in its own way, as Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico. He hasn’t lost one beat in 50 years. (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) - Roger Ebert
Director David Cronenberg tops his last outing A History of Violence. (Eastern Promises) - Dan Jewel
…contains some violent and shocking scenes that are the most intense since Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. (Badland) – Roy Trakin, HITS Magazine
DePalma’s strongest cinematic statement since Casualties of War. (Redacted) - Richard Corliss
Verhoevens’ best film since Robocop. (Black Book) - Glenn Kenny
Paul Schrader’s best film since Affliction! (The Walker) - Roger Ebert
This could be Ridley Scott’s best movie since Blade Runner. (American Gangster) – Tom Carson, GQ
William Friedkin's most daring movie since The Exorcist! (Bug) - Pete Hammond
One of the strongest directorial debuts since Garden State! (Dedication) – Comingsoon.net

It does for the buddy-cop movie what Shaun of the Dead did to the zombie movie. It has more laughs per scene than any film of its kind since the Naked Gun movies. (Hot Fuzz) - Richard Roeper
The out and out scariest monster movie to come down the pike since Aliens. (The Host) - Glenn Kenny
One of the wisest studies of urban loneliness since Paddy Chayevsky’s Marty. (I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With) - Ella Taylor
The best western since Unforgiven. (3:10 To Yuma) - Scott Mantz
The best western since Unforgiven! (3:10 To Yuma) – Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle
The most achingly romantic movie since Titanic…and the most dazzling twist ending since The Sixth Sense. I can’t think of anything in the last 10 years that comes close. (Atonement) - Lou Lumenick
The most enthrallingly stylish tale of love and war since The English Patient. (Atonement) - John Powers
The most subversive slasher film since Scream. (Tony Timpone) (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) – Fangoria
One of the best crime dramas since A Bronx Tale! (Brooklyn Rules) - Avi Offer
It’s the funniest French comedy since La Cage Aux Folles!!! (The Valet) - Stuart Lee
The most wickedly hilarious crowd pleasing British comedy since Four Weddings and a Funeral. (Death at a Funeral) - Avi Offer
One of the best sci-fi fantasy adventures since E.T. (The Last Mimzy) - Maria Salas
The most wondrous film of its kind since E.T... (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) – Pete Hammond
Scene for scene the most explosively funny movie Ben Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers have made since There’s Something About Mary. (The Heartbreak Kid) - Pete Hammond

It’s even more riotously and consistently hilarious than The 40 Year-Old Virgin. (Knocked Up) - Christy Lemire
Scarier than 24! (Day Night Day Night) - Logan Hill
…a lot cleverer than Scream. (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) - Ty Burr
A darker, deeper fantasy epic than the Rings trilogy, Narnia or Potter films. (The Golden Compass) - Roger Ebert

Ryan Gosling continues to astonish…He is Brando at the time of Streetcar, or Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces… (Fracture) - Scott Foundas
Dawson’s intricate, imaginative performance equals those of Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver and Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry… (Descent) - Matt Zoller Seitz
Sandler has never before held the screen with greater intensity…reminiscent of Peter Sellers in Being There. (Reign Over Me) - Scott Foundas

On a par with Jaws. (The Host) - Harry Knowles)
Captures the moonbeam awe of E.T. (The Last Mimzy) – Carrie Rickey
It will remind you of E.T. (The Last Mimzy) - Jeffrey Lyons
…every bit as epic as The Godfather. (American Gangster) - Pete Hammond
A triumph on the order of The Lord of the Rings. (The Golden Compass) - Liz Smith
It’s the Citizen Kane of cinematic graphic novels. (300) - Richard Roeper
Muriel’s Wedding can take a well-earned rest because Introducing the Dwights is set to take the mantle. (Introducing the Dwights) – Empire Magazine

It’s Finding Nemo with a “wow!” factor of about 100. (Sea Monsters IMAX) – Ann Hornaday
It’s City Slickers on bikes! (Wild Hogs) - Pete Hammond
Crash by way of the gambling world! (Even Money) - Scott Mantz
P2 does to parking garages what Psycho did to taking a shower and what Jaws did to swimming in the ocean. (P2) - Shawn Edwards



HANGING IS TOO GOOD FOR A MAN WHO MAKES PUNS
You’ll feel the heat! (The Hottest State) - Marshall Fine
A surefire family hit. (Firehouse Dog) – Susan Walker, Toronto Star
Make a reservation for the feel-good romance of the summer! (No Reservations) - Jim Ferguson
He shoots, it scores. (Shooter) – Los Angeles Times
A comic touchdown for The Rock! (The Game Plan) - Pete Hammond
A touchdown for the entire family! (The Game Plan)– Roseann Rogers, NBC-TV/Houston
… a gold medal comedy winner. (Blades of Glory) - Pete Hammond
Pure comic gold. (Blades of Glory) - Jeffrey K. Howard

Lucky You comes up aces. (Lucky You)– Larry Ratliff, San Antonio Express-News
Lucky Number 13! They’re baaaaaack and better than ever! The absolute best of the summer threequels, and you can bet on it! Jackpot! (Ocean’s Thirteen)– Joel Siegel

The right stuff. (The Astronaut Farmer) – New York Post
An out-of-this-world cinematic experience! (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Scott Mantz
It’s a major ocean picture event the whole family won’t want to miss… (Surf’s Up) - Bonnie Laufer
A razor-sharp comedy. (Wristcutters: A Love Story)– Harlan Jacobson, USA Today
Sicko is socko! So funny you may pop a stitch! (Sicko) - Richard Corliss
Infectious, contagious, captivatingly entertaining. (Resident Evil: Extinction) - Jeffrey K. Howard
…as infectious as a great pop song. This one hits all the right notes! (Music and Lyrics) - Dan Jewel
Terminally funny! (You Kill Me) - Marshall Fine

Head to the theatre two-by-two! (Evan Almighty) - Steve Oldfield
Evan Almighty is a perfect blend of star and story – a match made in Heaven! (Evan Almighty) - Patrick Stoner
Awesome fun for thy whole family! Elephant sized laughs! Divine! Thou shalt laugh a lot! (Evan Almighty) - Mark S. Allen
…these turtles have come out of their shell! (TMNT) - Dan Jewel
…this Dog deserves its day at the box office. (Year of the Dog) - Dan Jewel
See this movie, do not fail! You will leave with a wagging tail! (Underdog) - Mark S. Allen
It’s gory, funny and really baaaad-ass! Riotously funny – ewe will love it! (Black Sheep) - Dennis Dermody



WATCH YOUR F&!@ING MOUTH, DERMODY!
A hell of a good time. (The Hunting Party) - Richard Roeper
A hell of an entertaining western! (3:10 To Yuma) - Richard Roeper
One hell of a film! (No Country for Old Men) - Roger Ebert
One helluva monster movie. (The Host) – Jim Emerson
One hell of a melodrama! (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) - J. Hoberman
One hell of an exciting movie. (American Gangster) – Peter Travers
One hell of a satisfying surprise. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) – Peter Travers
…a tribute to director Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), who sure as hell knows his way around a laugh. (Knocked Up) - Peter Travers
If you’re looking for a family story that’s all about healing and reconciliation, permit me to steer you the hell away from Margot at the Wedding. (Margot at the Wedding) - Michael Phillips
Funny as hell. (Eagle vs. Shark) – Eric Kohn, NY Press
Funny as hell! (The Darwin Awards) - Film Threat

A kissing, kick-ass cousin to Shaun of the Dead. (Hot Fuzz) - Peter Travers
It’s gory, funny and really baaaad-ass! (Black Sheep) - Dennis Dermody
It will leave you laughing, gasping, thrilled at a movie that knows how to put the bad back in badass! (Grindhouse) - Owen Gleiberman
Victor Crowley is fU©!<ing awesome. (Hatchet) - Harry Knowles



COLD SHOWERS FOR ALL MY COLLEAGUES
Do we need to make a rule that we all must clean the pipes before entering the screening room? OK, let’s not even think about that.

Feast of Love is perfectly titled…It’s a wonderful glimpse at every type of love that exists. This film hits every mark. (Feast of Love) - Larry King
Blatantly erotic dance numbers turns up the heat in this crowd-pleasing movie. (Yellow) – Variety
Genteelly erotic and directed with supreme polish. (Cashback) - Justin Chang, Variety
Erotic, passionate, funny. (Feast of Love) – Dave DuBos, WGSO-AM
Provocative and potently erotic. (Black Book) - Peter Travers
Ang Lee’s potently erotic and suspenseful Lust, Caution casts a spell you won’t want to break! (Lust, Caution) - Peter Travers
Sweeps you up on waves of ravishing romance. A potently erotic spellbinder. Sex, lies and carnal fury spark one of the year’s best films. It speaks of what’s timeless about passion, art and redemption. (Atonement) - Peter Travers
Lady Chatterley is a sizzler in every sense of the word. (Lady Chatterley) - Peter Travers

A sexy thriller… (Perfect Stranger) - Kevin Steincross
Sexy and smart… (Disturbia) - Earl Dittman
Sexy and passionate (Feast of Love) - Steve Ramos, indiewire
Funny and dark, and really sexy. (Black Snake Moan) - Richard Roeper
Sexually charged. (Factory Girl) - Bill Bregoli
Sense and sexuality! A celebration! (The Jane Austen Book Club) - Roger Ebert
Raw sexuality and fever-pitched emotion. (Red Road) - James Rocchi, Cinematical

Powerfully moving.…with a physicality that seeps into your skin. (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) - David Ansen
Pleasing and often moving…Wilberforce is…a true believer, a crusader, a man of action…he’s at once pure and seductive, a dashing, romantic figure…unfailingly attractive. (Amazing Grace) - Manohla Dargis
Boldly romantic and seductively cinematic… (Youth Without Youth) - Richard Corliss
A work as modernly poignant as it is retro-seductive. (Dans Paris) – Aaron Hillis, Premiere

Salma Hayek embodies the ultimate femme fatale! (Lonely Hearts) - Ronnie Scheib, Variety
While the film is a superior effort in all respects, it’s (Aishwarya) Rai’s performance – and the hypnotic fury in her breathtakingly beautiful eyes – that resonates most forcefully. (Provoked) – Wade Major, City Beat
Sienna Miller is sensationally sexy in a breakthrough performance. (Factory Girl) - Roger Friedman
Rosario Dawson delivers a raw, sexually charged performance! (Descent) - Avi Offer
…Honore brings a sensual poetry to his films…and uses his cast of hot young French talent to delicious effect. (Dans Paris) - Andrew O’Hehir

Prudes, be forewarned. A movie in which a dirty mind is a good thing…call it The Singing Id. (Romance & Cigarettes) – Stephen Holden
Seriously dirty. A suave and salacious new movie. (The Exterminating Angels) - A.O. Scott
Raunch of the most decorous kind. (The Exterminating Angels) - Manohla Dargis
So spectacularly perverse, (Crazy Love) - Owen Gleiberman
A riveting game of role-playing that grows downright perverse. (Interview) - Jack Mathews

Lushly sensual. (Lust, Caution) - Leah Rozen
The most frankly sensual movie in memory. (Lady Chatterley) - Kenneth Turan
Every frame of the movie seems alive: with risk, with pleasure, with a sensuality that is both wild and intelligent. (Lady Chatterley) - A.O. Scott
A gem! The Eiffel Tower sparkles and the banks of the Seine are an inviting lovers’ rendezvous. (Paris, je Ta’ime) - Stephen Holden
Nair’s movie brims with intelligence, compassion and sensuous delight all the way from the Taj Mahal to Pearl Jam. (The Namesake) - Michael Wilmington
A rapturous visual tone poem in which the images of the forest…and the couple’s lovemaking converge in a pantheistic delirium. (Lady Chatterley) - Stephen Holden
A passionate ode to the sensual pulse of life. Ms. Winslet shoots the moon as a trash-talking lingerie clerk…who looks hot enough to burst into flames. (Romance & Cigarettes) - Stephen Holden
The chemistry between Keira Knightley and James McAvoy is white-hot. (Atonement) - David Ansen
It’s hot stuff. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off fireworks. El Cantante scores big time. (El Cantante) - Pete Hammond
Loaded for fun. A trigger-happy, full-frontal assault. (Shoot ‘Em Up) - Pete Hammond
Hilarious! An orgasm for comedy fans! (The Ten) - AICN
All but bursts with outsize passions. (After the Wedding) - Joe Morgenstern
It’s climax is an astonishment. A movie that arouses us to care about its characters and what happens to them is doing something right. (Gone Baby Gone) – Gene Shalit
Red-hot! Not since Basic Instinct has a modern noir gotten so playfully aroused! (The Exterminating Angels) – Rob Nelson, Village Voice

A comedy of lust, therapy and Manhattan angst. (Ira & Abby) - Jeannette Catsoulis
…reveals more about emotional and sexual chemistry than any film I can recall. (2 Days in Paris) - Stephen Holden
A screwball comedy of sexual confusion. (Puccini for Beginners) - Stephen Holden
A rare hybrid of balls-out gunplay, explosions and hair-raising chases powered by an unexpected, hugely welcome dose of smarts. (The Kingdom) - Stephen Rebello
The bath house fight is a showstopper! (Eastern Promises) - Peter Travers
Patrice Leconte’s mastery of tone makes this delightful farce a nutty feel-gooder. (My Best Friend) - Ella Taylor


TOP TEN QUOTES THAT ARE JUST THIS SIDE OF DIRTY

10. Just about everyone with a heartbeat has had this tingly experience… (Once) - Owen Gleiberman

9. Impressively mounted and involving. (Lisa Nessleson) (La Vie En Rose) - Variety

8. Ticklishly amusing…It won’t make you bleed, just howl. (Fido) - Manohla Dargis

7. Hopkins and Gosling go at each other with relish. (Fracture) - Peter Travers

6. You’ll never be more inspired to let it rip. (Steep) – Nathaniel Vinton, Men’s Journal

5. Think of it as The Full Monty blown to smithereens. (Hot Fuzz) - Manohla Dargis

4. As fantasies go, this one digests quite smoothly. (Cashback) – Justin Chang, Variety

3. Pack your spandex, stuff your crotch and press on your temporary tattoos, we’re going to Finland! (Air Guitar Nation) – High Times

2. It’s near impossible to be this willfully weird and yet so compulsively watchable, but somehow Guy Maddin pulls it off… (Brand Upon the Brain!) - Logan Hill

1. Tony Leung goes places he’s never been before as an actor. (Lust, Caution) - Peter Travers


DO YOU KNOW HOW I KNOW YOU’RE GAY?

10. A masterpiece that is thrilling, sexy and totally mesmerizing. (300) - Paul Fischer

9. Huge laughs, spectacular special effects and the pure animal magnetism of Steve Carell make this the summer movie comedy event that proves to be every bit as much fun as it’s meant to be – times two! (Evan Almighty) - Pete Hammond

8. Seamlessly odd, poignantly pubescent! (Wild Tigers I Have Known) - John Anderson

7.Why is there a naked man on the roof of a pleasant English country house…See Death at a Funeral it’s insanely funny! (Death at a Funeral) - Richard Schickel

6. If you thought you had a sense of Vince Vaughn’s range, wait until you see his delicious turn a Dakota farmer. (Into the Wild) - Joe Morgenstern

5. Fans of Shaun of the Dead should be pitching their tents in anticipation. (Severance) - Jan Stuart

4. …chock-full of sexy surprises! (Boy Culture) - Clay Smith

3. Uncommonly gorgeous. Astonishingly beautiful. (Zoo) – Time Out New York

2. A surreal masturbatory fantasy! (Wild Tigers I Have Known) - Stephen Holden

1. Mark Wahlberg is Shooter and that is a good thing. (Shooter) - Kenneth Turan



AND NOW, TIME TO RAID THE FRIDGE!
Maybe this is why we’re rarely given free snacks before movies. Studio reps want to starve and torture us. Just kidding, they don’t want us to starve.

A classic American tale of fame, scandal and a country that ate it up. (The Hoax) - Bryan Erdy
A foodie’s delight. (Nina’s Heavenly Delights) – Colleen Farrell, Bellaonline
A really funny, flavorful thriller! (You Kill Me) - Bob Strauss
For the holidays, Tim Burton serves up the sugar-plum tale of serial-killing barber Sweeney Todd, who slits the throats of his customers and then, with the help of bake-shop owner Mrs. Lovett grinds up the corpses and serves them as meat pies to a salivating if unsuspecting public. (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) - Peter Travers
This smarty-pants cousin of An Inconvenient Truth goes easy on the pie charts and graphs! (Everything’s Cool) – Maitland McDonagh, Time Out New York
A veritable feast of sounds, sights, story and so-vivid-you-could-almost-smell-them aromas of a five-star Parisian restaurant kitchen. (Ratatouille) – Miriam Di Nunzio, Chicago Sun-Times
Becoming Jane has all the ingredients that make great cinema. (Becoming Jane) – Mark Edelstein, Glamour

Writer-director Adrienne Shelly took such perishable ingredients as wit, daring, poignancy, whimsy and romance, added passionate feelings plus the constant possibility of joy, decorated her one-of-a-kind production with pastel colors and created a delicious comedy that is close to perfection. (Waitress) - Joe Morgenstern
Delicious… (Nina’s Heavenly Delights) – Tim Plant, Metro Weekly

A deliciously funny comedy! (The Valet) - Kenneth Turan
Deliciously smart. (The Hoax) - David Ansen
A delicious Robert Altman-like mosaic. (Avenue Montaigne) - Stephen Holden
A delicious black comedy. (Death at a Funeral) - Peter Travers
Stunning! Delicious! (Paprika) - David Ansen
…savory and delicious… (No Reservations) - Clay Smith
A delectable comedy! A sinfully delicious bonbon! (The Valet) - Stephen Holden
A deliciously sardonic and witty screenplay by Harold Pinter. (Sleuth) - Paul Fischer
The darkly delicious Bonham Carter is funny and touching. (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) - Peter Travers
If you thought you had a sense of Vince Vaughn’s range, wait until you see his delicious turn a Dakota farmer. (Into the Wild) - Joe Morgenstern

A delicious movie treat. (The Hoax) - Pete Hammond
The perfect Valentine's Day treat. (Music and Lyrics)- Taylor Johnson, MSN.com
An enjoyable romantic treat. (Music and Lyrics) - Claudia Puig
The summer’s classiest comedy treat! (Moliere) - Marshall Fine
One of this summer’s genuine treats. (Rocket Science) – Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
The biggest treat of the summer! (Live Free or Die Hard) – Dan Dunn, Philadelphia Metro
A holiday treat that delivers. (This Christmas) - Greg Russell
A bona fide cinematic treat that plays out with intelligence and wit. (Fracture) - Claudia Puig
The surprise movie comedy treat of the year! (Lars and the Real Girl) - Pete Hammond
A rare moviegoing treat! (Waitress) - Leonard Maltin
A kind of treat we are only rarely offered these days. (After the Wedding) - Richard Schickel

A crackerjack cast. (The TV Set) - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Pure popcorn moviemaking. (Live Free or Die Hard) – James Verniere, The Boston Herald
Daywatch is popcorn for your eyes. (Day Watch) - MTV News
Willis puts pungent pop in this popcorn. (Live Free or Die Hard) - Leah Rozen
A brawny, thrill-a-minute popcorn flick. (Live Free or Die Hard) – Dan Dunn, Philadelphia Metro
An action-packed, family-friendly popcorn adventure. (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) – Mike Scott, The Times Picayune
Transforms the genre of the summer popcorn movie. (Transformers) - Jeffrey Lyons

A feast of moviemaking. (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) - David Denby
…extremely captivating and a sci-fi feast. (The Golden Compass) - Roger Friedman
A full meal of a feature. (Great World of Sound) - Joshua Rothkopf
It’s the war cry of two rebels out to restore rude, crude vitality to a cookie-cutter film industry.
Rich, juicy chunks of bravado, camaraderie, sex talk and pop-culture. (Grindhouse) - Peter Travers
The jolts are juicy and so are the jokes. (Severance) - Peter Travers
A scary thriller…you can sink your teeth into. (Blood & Chocolate) - Jeffrey Lyons
…a breathless, delirious stew... (Dragon Wars) – Andy Webster, The New York Times

A bracing, honey of a movie. (The Last Mimzy) - Gene Shalit
A hilarious honey of a movie! (Bee Movie) - Jeffrey Lyons
A cinematic sugar rush. (Tears of the Black Tiger)– Richard Brody, New Yorker
A French soufflé. (Avenue Montaigne) - Ella Taylor
A delectably elaborate and savory soufflé. (Ocean’s Thirteen) - Owen Gleiberman
Will Ferrell is a ferocious marshmallow. (Blades of Glory) - Stephen Holden
It’s all so lovely, you’ll want to go out at 3:00 am to buy cool whip! (Cashback) - Jim Ridley

A tangy and sardonic entertainment. (Great World of Sound) – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Thrilling, tough and tangy! (No Country for Old Men) - Richard COrliss
Satisfying and surprising…it is by turns tart and sweet, charming and tough…it is lovely, touching and infused with life. (Waitress) - A.O. Scott
Light, airy and sweet… (My Best Friend) - Ella Taylor
…sweet but never syrupy… (The Band’s Visit) - Lisa Schwarzbaum

A sweet romantic comedy as bracing as a daiquiri. (The Jane Austen Book Club) - Rex Reed
The elegant, worldly movie leaves you with the satisfied glow of sharing a healthful nouvelle repast with stimulating company and topping it off with the best Champagne. (Avenue Montaigne) - Stephen Holden
A gin-soaked valentine to New York City in its heyday. (Toots) – Time Out NY
…like a Spalding Gray monologue loosened up with a few shots of tequila. (The Life of Reilly) – Village Voice
This is the film event of the year and it arrives dripping with something called Orphan Nectar. (Brand Upon the Brain!)– Grady Hendrix, The New York Sun



AND BACK TO THE HOT AND COLD PLEASURE

Live Free or Die Hard saves its best and most emblematic moment for the finish. I won’t say anything more, except that is takes a classic climactic situation and resolves it in the coolest, most unexpected and most low-tech way imaginable (Live Free or Die Hard) - Mick LaSalle
Cool elegant thriller… (The Page Turner) - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Cool stuff. Cool movie. (Disturbia) - Peter Travers
A cool thriller with big scares. (Disturbia) - Richard Roeper
Intense, smart and very cool! (Disturbia) - Mark S. Allen
Justin Theroux’s very cool directorial debut. (Dedication) - Daily News
Nancy Drew makes it cool to be smart. (Nancy Drew) - Vancouver Sun

****! Effortlessly cool. (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten) - Joshua Rothkopf
…Eye poppingly cool (Shoot ‘Em Up) - Claudia Puig
Fast, funny and uber-cool. (Ocean’s Thirteen) - Leah Rozen
A sexy slice of ‘60s cool. (Factory Girl) - James King, Radio One

Viggo Mortensen coolly dominates. (Eastern Promises) - Christy Lemire
A coolheaded, devastating expose. It leaves you furious, yet offers the catharsis of cold, hard truth. (No End In Sight) - Owen Gleiberman
Something vitally new…that has cool and savvy fun with your fears… (Joshua) - Owen Gleiberman
Full of cool imagery, by a moviemaker with a lot of talent. (The Bothersome Man) - Michael Wilmington

The coolest movie of the summer. **** (Surf’s Up) - Shawn Edwards
The most sophisticated, smartest, coolest action movie in years! (Smokin’ Aces) - Mark S. Allen
One of the coolest movies you’ll ever see! (Stomp the Yard) - Shawn Edwards
No ruler is cooler. (Shrek the Third) - Gene Shalit

A hot weather thriller to fill you with chills. (Mr. Brooks) - Gene Shalit
Smokin’ hot! (Smokin’ Aces) - Bonnie Laufer-Krebs, Tribute-TV
Red-hot! (The Exterminating Angels) - Rob Nelson, Village Voice
The chemistry between Keira Knightley and James McAvoy is white-hot. (Atonement) - David Ansen
It’s hot stuff. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off fireworks. (El Cantante) - Pete Hammond
Ms. Winslet shoots the moon as a trash-talking lingerie clerk…who looks hot enough to burst into flames. (Romance & Cigarettes) - Stephen Holden
Carell is one of today’s hottest comedy actors. (Dan In Real Life) - Kenneth Turan
The hip, hot and hilarious Superbad packs in more gut-busting laughs than you’ll be able to count. (Superbad) - Peter Travers
It packs enough red-hot fiery action for six movies. (The Condemned) - Pete Hammond



4 MONTHS, 3 YEARS AND 2 DECADES
Before we wrap things up with the choices for the 15 dumbest quotes of 2007, we give you this final look at Hyperbole Central; the pre-determined statements that someone was seeing the best of the year (or ever) with another ten months or more to go. This is usually the whore’s breeding ground and they usually drown out the legitimate opinions for truly top-notch achievements in cinema. Enjoy!

The first great comedy of the year! Allen, Travolta, Lawrence and Macy are a comedy dream team. Big…Big…BIG laughs! Laugh-out-loud funny! (Wild Hogs) - Ross King, KTLA-TV/Los Angeles
The comedy event of the year! (Wild Hogs) – Erica Land, NBC-TV/Houston
One of the funniest movies of the year! (The Amateurs)– Ross King, KTLA
One of the funniest comedies of the year. (Fred Claus) - Shawn Edwards
One of the funniest movies of the year! (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) – Michael Cardamone, WKYC-TV (NBC)
One of the funniest movies of the year! (I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With) – Daniel Holloway, Metro NY

The best animated movie of the year is also the funniest! (Bee Movie) - Bill Bregoli
The flat-out funniest movie of the year… (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) - Dan Jewel
The funniest film of the year! (The Nanny Diaries) – Jack Egan, BTL News
The funniest comedy of the year. (License To Wed) - Mike Sargent
Funniest family film of the year! (Alvin and the Chipmunks) – Ted Baehr
One of the smartest, funniest, most audacious films of the year. (Southland Tales)– Melissa Anderson, Time Out New York
The funniest, craziest, wildest comedy of the year. (Are We Done Yet?) - Shawn Edwards

Knocked Up is the comedy of the summer, and maybe the year. (Knocked Up) - Peter Travers
Superbad is the surprise blockbuster hit of the summer. (Superbad) - Pete Hammond
The best film of the summer. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) – Rusty Gatenby, ABC-TV
The best film of the summer. (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) - Tony Toscano
The best movie of the summer by far. (Ratatouille) - Scott Mantz
The best action film of the summer. (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) - Sara Edwards, CN8-Comcast Network Boston
The best date movie of the summer! (Dedication) - Roger Friedman
Make a reservation for the feel-good romance of the summer! (No Reservations) - Jim Ferguson

The absolute best of the summer threequels… (Ocean’s Thirteen) – Joel Siegel
The most purely entertaining film of the summer. (Ocean’s Thirteen) - Pete Hammond
The scariest ride of the summer! (1408) – Manny the Movie Guy, NBC-TV Palm Springs
The biggest treat of the summer! (Live Free or Die Hard) – Dan Dunn, Philadelphia Metro
The biggest laughs of the summer! (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) - Jeanne Wolf
The coolest movie of the summer. **** (Surf’s Up) - Shawn Edwards
The surprise of the summer. (Georgia Rule) - Shawn Edwards
A better movie this summer is hard to find! (The Nanny Diaries) – Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times

The funniest comedy of the fall. (Dan In Real Life) - Lisa Stanley
One of the best movies of the fall season (Into the Wild) - Peter Travers
King of California is the surprise of the fall season! (King of California) - Ben Lyons

The comedy smash of the holiday season. (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) - Pete Hammond
The date movie of the holiday season. (P.S. I Love You) – Dan Dinicola, CBS-TV
The best holiday film of the year. (Alvin and the Chipmunks) – Francine Brokaw, Los Angeles Family Magazine

The first must-see of the Oscar season. (Into the Wild) - Ben Lyons
The must-see kids flick of the season! (Bee Movie) - Ben Lyons
The feel-good movie of the season. (Juno) - Jack Mathews
The feel-good movie of the season! (August Rush) – Mark S. Allen
…Turns out to be the romantic sleeper of the season. (The Treatment) - Andrew Sarris
The freshest, funniest, most purely enjoyable movie of the season! (The Nanny Diaries) – Milan Paurich, CBS-TV
Funny, thoughtful and the most heart-felt movie you’ll see this season! (P.S. I Love You) - Mark S. Allen
One of the most enjoyable pictures of the season. (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) - Mick LaSalle
The most entertaining adventure of the season. (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) - Jeffrey Lyons

One of the best films of 2007. (Gone Baby Gone) - Richard Roeper
One of the best films of 2007. (The Bucket List) – Forrest Hartman, Gannett News Service

One of the best films of the year. (Gone Baby Gone) - Jeffrey Lyons
One of the best films of the year! (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Leonard Maltin
One of the best films of the year! (3:10 To Yuma) - Bill McCuddy
One of the best films of the year! (American Gangster) - Shawn Edwards
One of the best films of the year. (Dan In Real Life) - Bill Zwecker
One of the best films of the year. (Into the Wild) - Leonard Maltin
One of the best films of the year! (The Amateurs) - Paul Fischer
One of the best films of the year. (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) - Jim Ferguson
… one of the best films of the year. (The Bucket List) - Jim Ferguson
Sure to be a contender for one of the best films of the year. (Moliere) - Jeffrey Lyons

One of the best movies of the year. (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters) - (Quint) AICN
One of the best movies of the year! (Hairspray) - Shawn Edwards
One of the best movies of the year… (The Savages) - Carina Chocano
One of the best movies of the year. (American Gangster) - Richard Roeper
One of the best movies of the year. (American Gangster) – Christina Vandre, KARE-TV (NBC)
One of the best movies of the year! (Year of the Dog) - Ben Lyons
It’s really one of the best movies of the year! (The Simpsons Movie) - Stephen Hunter

One of the best pictures of the year. (Gone Baby Gone) - Steve Oldfield
One of the best movies I’ve seen this year. (A Mighty Heart) - Richard Roeper
One of the best biopics I’ve seen. (La Vie En Rose) - Roger Ebert
One of the best films I’ve seen (Bella) - Maria Salas

Easily one of the year’s best. (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Pete Hammond
…quite simply one of the year’s great films. ***** (Into the Wild) – Nick Roddick, The Evening Standard
…One of the year’s best. (Once) - Christy Lemire
One of the year’s best! (The Nanny Diaries) - Prairie Miller
One of the 10 best films of 2007! (Nanking) - Jeffrey Lyons
One of the year’s best. (Sicko) - Peter Travers
One of the year’s best pictures (Private Fears in Public Places) – Philip Lopate, Film Comment
…one of the year’s best films. (Atonement) - Peter Travers
One of the year’s best films. (Beowulf) - Michael Medved
One of the year’s best films! (The Kite Runner) – A.M. Homes, Vanity Fair
One of the year’s best movies! (This Is England) - Andrew O’Hehir
One of the year’s best movies! (Control) – Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail
One of the year’s very best movies! (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Scott Mantz
It’s far and away one of the year’s very best films! (Charlie Wilson’s War) - Scott Mantz

One of the great moviegoing experiences of the year! (The Lives of Others) – Glenn Whipp
One of the most amazing experiences you will have in a theatre this year! (Meet the Robinsons) - Bonnie Laufer
One of the year’s most astonishing films. (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) - Jim Svejda
One of the most satisfying movies of the year. (3:10 To Yuma) – John Beifuss, Memphis Commercial-Appeal
One of The richest and most satisfying films of the year so far. (After the Wedding) - Andrew O’Hehir
One of the most accomplished, elegant and exciting action films of the year. (Exiled) – Dave Kehr
One of the most accomplished films of the year! (Drama/Mex) – Filmmaker Magazine
One of the year’s most exciting films. (Steep) - Pete Hammond
Vacancy is one of the most suspenseful and truly frightening movies of the year (Vacancy) - Shawn Edwards
One of the scariest movies of the year! (P2) - Shawn Edwards
One of the most heartfelt films of the year! (Music Within) - Earl Dittman
…One of the best romantic comedies of the year. (Wristcutters: A Love Story) – Daniel Holloway, Metro
One of the best family films of the year! (Martian Child) – Stephanie Webb, WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids)
One of the best family films of the year! (Martian Child) - Kevin Steincross
One of the most important films of 2007. (Rendition) - Dean Richards
The Brave One is sure to one of the most controversial movies of the year. It’s also one of the best. (The Brave One) - Richard Roeper

It may be the best film of the year so far. (No End In Sight) - Michael Phillips
The best film of the year so far. (The Kingdom) - Bill McCuddy
It’s the movie of the year! (Michael Clayton) – Dave Karger, Entertainment Weekly
Best picture of the year. (No Country for Old Men) – David Germain
The best picture of the year! (The Lives of Others) – David Thomson, Guardian
The best movie of the year! (2 Days in Paris) – Caroline Kepnos, E! Online
The best film of the year. (Election)– Quentin Tarantino
The best film of the year. (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) - Paul Fischer

Easily the documentary of the year! (Lake of Fire) - Joshua Rothkopf
One of the wittiest, most slyly intelligent and captivating documentaries of the year. (Helvetica) – Time Out London
The funniest and most poignant documentary of the year. (The Life of Reilly)– Ed Gonzalez

The smartest movie of the year. (The Hoax) - Bob Strauss
The most challenging and exciting movie of the year. (Lions for Lambs) – Joanna Langfield
The single most entertaining movie of the year! (Bee Movie) – Sandy Kenyon, WABC-TV
Into the Wild is my favorite movie of the year. (Into the Wild) – Steve Persall

The can’t-wait-to-see-it-again movie of the year! (Ratatouille) - Gene Shalit
The can’t miss it, gotta see it feel great comedy of the year. (Dan In Real Life) - Pete Hammond
The must-see film of the year. (August Rush) - Tony Toscano

The sleeper of the year. (The Kite Runner) - Larry King
The surprise movie comedy treat of the year!... (Lars and the Real Girl) - Pete Hammond
One of the year’s nicest surprises! (The Nanny Diaries) – Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times
The most delightful movie of the year! (No Reservations) - Shawn Edwards
The most magical movie of the year! (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) - Shawn Edwards
The most exciting movie of the year! (Resident Evil: Extinction) - Shawn Edwards
The most electrifying thriller of the year… (Hannibal Rising) - Pete Hammond
The unlikeliest thriller of the year! (Mr. Brooks) - Jack Mathews
The scariest film of the year! (Stephen King’s The Mist) - Earl Dittman
The best horror movie of the year! (Saw IV) – Horrormovies.ca
The best family film of the year! (Evan Almighty) – Phil Boatwright, The Movie Reporter

The best, most original comedy of the year. (Ratatouille) - Clay Smith
The most original film of the year. (Transformers) - Shawn Edwards
The most original movie of the year. (Transformers) - Greg Russell

Once may well be the best music film of our generation. (Once) - Michael Phillips
The movie’s appeal leaps across generations in a single bound… (Superbad) - Carina Chocano
Emma Roberts has genuine star power as she brings the famous teen sleuth to life for a new generation. (Nancy Drew) - Sara Edwards
A modern twist on a beloved classic that transcends generations. (Nancy Drew) – Alanna Slepitsky, AOL
3 generations of women, 3 great performances. (Georgia Rule) – Kellie Gillespie, XETV-TV (Fox)
Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are two of the most talented actors of their generation… (The Savages) - Claudia Puig
Billy Bob Thornton has more range than almost any other actor of his generation. (The Astronaut Farmer) - Jeffrey Lyons
Cate Blanchett takes a permanent place as one of the great actresses of her generation. (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) - Jeffrey Lyons

Every generation seems to have one iconic movie comedy that gets to a special place, is talked about endlessly, quoted non-stop, seen over and over and lives on forever as a true classic of its times. For this generation, Superbad is going to be that film. (Superbad) - Pete Hammond
Screamers is an urgent and vitally important new film that serves as a stirring call to action for a new generation… (Screamers) - Pete Hammond
Alpha Dog is a riveting look at a lost generation, an unpredictable real-life account of a group of teens in freefall. (Alpha Dog) - Pete Hammond
300 is the most unique movie-going experience of a generation. (300) - Ben Lyons

We can now add David Cronenberg to the short list of directors who have made the greatest gangster films of our time. (Eastern Promises)– James Verniere
Christopher Plummer confirms his place as one of the great actors of our time! (Man In The Chair) - Jeffrey Lyons
Benicio Del Toro again shows why he is one of the finest screen actors of our time. (Things We Lost in the Fire) - Gene Shalit
A once-in-a-lifetime movie. (In the Shadow of the Moon) - Pete Hammond
A once-in-a-lifetime underdog American classic. (Romance & Cigarettes) - Andrew O’Hehir

Astonishing…one of the most engaging morally unsettling political thrillers in quite some time (Terror’s Advocate) - A.O. Scott
…Likely to stay in your head for a long time. (Eastern Promises) - A.O. Scott
The best romantic comedy in a very long time. (P.S. I Love You) - Bill Bregoli
One of the most touching and vital works I have seen in a good long time. (Canvas) - Peter Travers
Go see this movie! It is the most startling, surprising, wacky, moving, bizarre, dark and truly exciting thing you’ve seen in a long time. (Hollywood Dreams) - Jim Svejda

A vision that will be talked about for years. (Atonement) - Peter Travers
This is a film people will be talking about for years. (Beowulf) - Jeffrey Lyons
Newcomer Tang Wei gives a performance that will be talked about for years. (Lust, Caution) - Peter Travers
Clooney’s performance is the best and most intimate work he’s ever done. (Michael Clayton) - Karen Durbin
Bale gives the performance of his life. (Rescue Dawn) - Rex Reed
Angelina Jolie’s performance is out of this world…one of the best in years! (A Mighty Heart) - Larry King
Nicole Kidman gives her best and riskiest performance in years… (Margot at the Wedding) - Peter Travers
Sutherland gives his strongest performance in years. (Fierce People) – David Noh, Film Journal International
Christopher Plummer turns out his best performance in years! (Man In The Chair) – Ken Lombardi, CBSNews.com

This is the happiest marriage of novel to filmmakers in years. (No Country for Old Men) – Nick James, Sight & Sound
Hal Hartley’s funniest and sharpest movie in years. (Fay Grim) – New York Magazine
One of the best and most powerful films I have seen in years! (Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)) – Errol Morris
One of the most powerful films in years. (Reign Over Me) - Pete Hammond
No other movie in years has moved me so entirely. (Evening) - Gene Shalit
One of the most touching and vital works I have seen in a good long time. (Canvas) - Peter Travers

One of the best movies I’ve seen in years. (Gone Baby Gone) - Larry King
One of the most dramatically explosive gangster movies in years. (American Gangster) - Andrew Sarris
Gracie scores in one of the most exciting sports movies of recent years. (Gracie) – Bob Polunsky, WOAI-TV and WOAI-AM
The most riveting, provocative, engaging movie experience in years. (The Kingdom) - Mark S. Allen
The most sophisticated, smartest, coolest action movie in years! (Smokin’ Aces) - Mark S. Allen

One of the greatest screwball relationships in years! (You Kill Me) - Stephen Hunter
The funniest, most original comedy in years. (Meet the Robinsons) - Greg Russell
One of the most original films in years! (Hot Rod) – Kevin McCarthy, WJFK-FM
The funniest film I’ve seen in years! (Hot Rod) – Carrie Keagen, NGTV.com
One of the funniest movies in years. (The Game Plan) - Bryan Erdy
I haven’t laughed this much in years! (Wild Hogs) – Marian Etoile Watson, FOX-TV/New York

The best horror-comedy in years. (Severance) – Horror View
One of the darkest, creepiest and most tantalizing thrillers I have seen in years. (Zodiac) - Rex Reed
The most gripping suspense film in years. (The Lookout) - Stephen Farber
The most intelligent crime thriller in years! (Mr. Brooks) - David Sheehan
The best psychological thriller in years. (Mr. Brooks) - Jim Ferguson
The best scary movie in years! (1408) - Jim O’Brien

One of the best horror films of the past ten years! (Hostel Part II) – horroryearbook.com
The best slasher film in twenty years! (Hatchet) – John Gray, Pit of Horror
One of the best films of 2007, and of the last 25 years. (300) - Ben Lyons
The most terrifying vampire movie in years, if not decades! (30 Days of Night) - Scott Mantz
The Bourne Ultimatum is the best action film in decades. (The Bourne Ultimatum) - Pete Hammond
…One of the best crime movies of the decade. (Gone Baby Gone) - Kirk Honeycutt
One the most powerful documentaries of the decade. (Darfur Now) - Greg Archer, The San Francisco Examiner
...One of the most enjoyable films of the decade. (Spider-Man 3) - Charlotte Sullivan, London Evening Standard
The best western adventure in a decade! (Seraphim Falls) – Karen Walters, Premiere Magazine Live
It’s the best movie of the last decade. (300) – Robert Sanchez, IESB.net
The best vampire film in decades. (30 Days of Night) - Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting

The best of the best is back and better than ever. (Live Free or Die Hard) – Anne Craig, WNYW-TV, New York
Spidey’s back and better than ever! (Spider-Man 3) - Scott Mantz
One of the best screen pairings ever! (Rush Hour 3) - Bill Bregoli
One of the most iconic casts of artists ever assembled! (Evening) - Rex Reed
…punctuated by the most exciting hockey scenes ever presented in a feature film. (The Rocket) – Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly
An endearing story wrapped around some of the most compelling footage ever captured at the top of the world. (Arctic Tale) – Valerie Kukienski, Daily News

One of the best adaptations of a major novel ever. (No Country for Old Men) – Stephen King
Ranks as one of the sexiest, smartest page-to-screen transfers ever made… (Lady Chatterley) – Time Out New York
One of the most emotionally mature American movies ever made about emotionally immature people. (Margot at the Wedding) - David Fear
One of the greatest love stories ever told. (Love In the Time of Cholera) - Dean Richards
The most achingly romantic movie since Titanic….and the most dazzling twist ending since The Sixth Sense. I can’t think of anything in the last 10 years that comes close. (Atonement) - Lou Lumenick
One of the most shocking movie endings ever! (Stephen King’s The Mist) - Pete Hammond
Ranks with The Shining as one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever (1408) - Pete Hammond
One of the best fright films ever. (Disturbia)– Sandra Varner, Celebrity Profiles
One of the best chillers ever made. (The Invasion) – David Elliott, The San Diego Union-Tribune
The most terrifying vampire film ever made. (30 Days of Night) - Andrew Kasch, DreadCentral.com

Best animated movie ever! (The Simpsons Movie) – John Esther, Los Angeles Journal
Sicko may be the best film ever! (Sicko) – Caroline Kepnes, E! Online
The funniest movie ever set in such a deadly serious setting… (Death at a Funeral) - Claudia Puig
The fastest-moving, intentionally funny action movie ever made! (Shoot ‘Em Up) - Jack Mathews

One of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Period. (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters) - Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat
One of the best anime movies ever. (Tekkonkinkreet) – Eric Nakamura, Giant Robot Magazine
Disney Pixar’s funniest movie ever! (Ratatouille) - Pete Hammond
One of the most original animated films ever. (Surf’s Up) - Mark S. Allen
One of the most fun films you’ll ever see. (Air Guitar Nation) – AICN
One of the best westerns you’ll ever see! (3:10 To Yuma) - Gene Shalit
One of the coolest movies you’ll ever see! (Stomp the Yard) - Shawn Edwards
Surely one of the great films you are ever going to see! (The Kite Runner) - Jeffrey Lyons

…one of the most audacious, mind-blowing characters you’ll ever meet. (The Hoax) - Jan Wahl
…One of the two or three best films ever made about an artist or musician. (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten) - Andrew O’Hehir
One of the best personal histories ever set to film. (Pete Seeger: The Power of Song) – Ted Fry, Seattle Times
One of the wildest rides to ever hit the screen. (Crazy Love)– Interview
One of the most relentlessly exciting, white-knuckle Vietnam epics ever made. (Rescue Dawn) – Rex Reed
One of the smartest, nastiest, funniest and most truthful send-ups of television network programming ever made. (The TV Set) - Rex Reed
One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made. (I Am Legend) - Shawn Edwards
One of the greatest monster movies ever made! (The Host) - Logan Hill
One of the greatest movies ever made. (I Am Legend) - Ben Lyons

One of the most disturbing horror movies imaginable. (Bug) - Stephen Schaefer
One of the most fascinating stories of all time. (The Hoax) - Bryan Erdy
One of the best family films of all time. (Firehouse Dog) - Janet Stokes
The greatest adventure of all time. (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) - Lisa Stanley
The Golden Compass takes its place amongst the great fantasy films of all time. (The Golden Compass) - Ben Lyons



THE FIFTEEN DUMBEST QUOTES OF THE YEAR
Normally I do 25 on this list, but you’ve already read most of the dumbest things said in 2007. So I’m going (mostly) with ones you haven’t seen yet. If you saw any more stupefying than these, I’d love to hear from you. But these are my picks and I’m sticking to them.

15. ...Easily the best of the trilogy...One of the most enjoyable films of the decade. (Spider-Man 3) - Charlotte Sullivan, London Evening Standard

14. The best movie adaptation of a video game so far. (DOA: Dead or Alive) – Matthew Turner, View London

13. Girl-power revenge story not often seen on screen. (P2) – Jeffrey Epstein, US Weekly

12. Baldwin is so good in the coming-of-age gangster drama Brooklyn Rules that it’s like watching a voodoo priest. (Brooklyn Rules) - David Edelstein

11. Vince Vaughn for the whole family. (Fred Claus) – Lynn Barker, Teen Hollywood

10. (tie) (1) The scariest Halloween to date! (2) Even better than the original! (3) Re-establishes Mr. Zombie’s status as modern American horror’s most eccentric and surprising filmmaker. (Halloween) (1) Debbie Rochon, Fangoria Radio (2) Staci Wilson, Horror.com (3) Matt Zoller Seitz

9. Dane Cook is spectacular! (Mr. Brooks) – Robert Butler, Kansas City Star

8. These Bratz are non-stop fun with great laughs and lessons for the whole family. (Bratz) - Bill McCuddy

7. The sort of entertainment that people with genuine talent now make. (Smokin’ Aces) - Owen Gleiberman

6. Mandy Moore gets a chance to prove she is an underrated actress as well as a dazzling beauty. Why she isn’t the biggest romantic comedy star on the planet is a mystery. (Dedication) - Kyle Smith

5. …a movie that knows how to put the bad back in badass! (Grindhouse) - Owen Gleiberman

4. The perfect blending of director Ang Lee’s two most popular films. (Lust, Caution) - Richard Corliss

3. If you're looking for a great date movie so you can get laid over the holidays, this is the one. (P.S. I Love You) – Pete Hammond, not from an ad but his linked quote on Rotten Tomatoes. Classy!

2. Awake is on my top ten list for 2008 & I highly recommend it. (Awake) - Nathan Young, Final Cut (No joke, the ad quote read “2008”)

1. A comedy to die for…It reminds us that the first three letters of “Funeral” are F-U-N…FUN. (Death at a Funeral) - Gene Shalit


THE END




link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=2346
originally posted: 01/08/08 12:19:05
last updated: 01/10/08 11:48:18
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