Film Reviews (2003)

The Italian Job
Review Date: May 13, 2003
Rating: 4
As brazenly commercial as the Super Bowl half-time show. Read more.
The Matrix Reloaded
Review Date: May 15, 2003
Promising but inconclusive; hard to shake the feeling this is a mediocre, bloated, pretentious film. Down the rabbit hole!
Down With Love
Review Date: May 17, 2003
Cinematic cocktail goes down smooth as silk. Fall for it.
The Hulk
Review Date: June 22, 2003
Rating: 6
A watchable sci-fi movie, but its lack of humor and heart leave it flat. Go green!
Pirates of the Caribbean
Review Date: July 2, 2003
Rating: 7
Stands head and shoulders above the throng of summer blockbusters merely for its solid craftsmanship. Get hooked.
Scarface (Re-Release)
Review Date: July 14, 2003
Brash, Shakespearean mythmaking—for a murderous thug? Read the rap sheet.
Legally Blonde 2
Review Date: July 24, 2003
2 pink, 2 trite, and 2 dull. Objection overruled.
Buffalo Soldiers
Review Date: July 25, 2003
Spark of a love story rubbed out by the tank-treads of an unfocused satire. Enlist thyself.
Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life
Review Date: July 28, 2003
Plagiarized travelogue runs out of ammo early and often. Slap in a clip and get going.
The Secret Lives of Dentists
Review Date: August 1, 2003
Rating: 8
Outstanding screenplay brought to life by nuanced performances. One of the year’s best. Breathe it in.
Dirty Pretty Things
Review Date: August 8, 2003
Smart, sophisticated, well-acted drama that slowly builds to a heartbreaking resolution. Embrace it.
American Splendor
Review Date: August 15, 2003
Rating: 8
Remarkably funny and original biopic that flirts with but falls short of genuine greatness. Take a Pekar.
Lost In Translation
Review Date: September 10, 2003
A marvel of taste and discernment that throws down the gauntlet for a generation of filmmakers. Sophia's finest two hours.
Matchstick Men
Review Date: September 12, 2003
Rating: 6
Fine acting livens up a movie with nowhere to go. Can't escape the Cage, right?
Once Upon A Time in Mexico
Review Date: September 15, 2003
Moviemaking without apology, bold and totally uproarious. Cross the border.
Review Date: September 19, 2003

Alternate titles I might suggest: Underfunded, Underwritten, Underacted. Bite into it.

Anything Else
Review Date: September 20, 2003
Attempts buoyancy and sinks, but more enjoyable than not. Woody The Inevitable.
The Rundown
Review Date: September 27, 2003
Undistinguished attempt at a crowd-pleaser. Go for it.
School of Rock
Review Date: October 2, 2003
Jack Black turned up to 11. Enough said. Kick out the jams.
Review Date: October 4, 2003
Kilmer is superb in a twisty true-crime affair that explores the untarnishable magic of stardom. Be dazzled.
Mystic River
Review Date: October 10, 2003

First-rate crime drama with an understated but subtle comment about the American patriarchy.Dip on in.

Kill Bill: Volume One
Review Date: October 11, 2003

A beautiful amputee.Vengeance is a click away.

Intolerable Cruelty
Review Date: October 12, 2003

Heartless but sporadically funny concoction.Don't hesitate.

Alien: The Director’s Cut
Review Date: November 1, 2003

A marvel of cinematic elements working together to create an unforgettable sense of dread.Let it hug your face.

Review Date: November 2, 2003

Strong performances by Paltrow and Craig can’t overcome a superficial and timid screenplay.Walk the shining Plath.

The Matrix Revolutions
Review Date: November 5, 2003

A breathless, “whoa”-worthy ending to the series.Download here.

Melvin Goes To Dinner
Review Date: November 9, 2003

Modest, congenial debut for director Odenkirk, displaying new dimensions of his comic talents.Take a seat.

The Station Agent
Review Date: November 8, 2003

Sophisticated comedy about loneliness that avoids the treacly perils of the usual no-man-is-an-island movies.All aboard.

Review Date: November 11, 2003

Harrowing film that focuses on the essence rather than the causes of a Columbine-like massacre.Enroll here.

Master & Commander: The Far Side of The World
Review Date: November 15, 2003

Extraordinary period piece plagued by a drifting story.Come aboard.

The Last Samurai
Review Date: December 7, 2003

Gorgeous but cliche-ridden Hollywood epic..Take a swing.

Bad Santa
Review Date: December 13, 2003

Hilarious and (somehow) subtle study of depravity, as good as anything Billy Bob Thornton has done since “Sling Blade”.Sit in his lap!

Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King
Review Date: December 14, 2003

Impressive epic but easier to admire than love.Hobbit your way.

Cold Mountain
Review Date: December 26, 2003

A better title would have been The Bridges of Cold Mountain County.Come take a hike.

Briefly Noted:
November 30,2003
Rating: 5

Sporadically charming holiday confection.

The Cooler
December 16, 2003
Rating: 8
Why do troubled losers trying to escape Las Vegas bring out the best in actors?
The Fog of War
December 19, 2003
Rating: 10
No film has more relevance and insight into our current political and military woes than Morris’ fascinating—and often harrowing—documentary.
Big Fish
December 22, 2003
Rating: 6
Rudderless fantasy quickened by spirited performances.
House of Sand and Fog
December 27, 2003
Rating: 8
First-rate drama that works as a parable of American relations to the Middle East.