Film Reviews (2005)

A Love Song For Bobby Long
Review Date: January 3, 2005
Rating: 7
Uninspiring drama enlivened by Travolta and Johansson. Listen in.
Million Dollar Baby
Review Date: January 4, 2005
Rating: 9
The only problem with this film is that it’s a Best Picture that knows it’s a Best Picture. Just give in already.
Assault on Precinct 13
Review Date: February 5, 2005
Rating: 7

By making a ridiculous story palpable, Richet and his cast have created a competent remake of Carpenter’s classic. Calling all units.

Review Date: February 26, 2005
Rating: 8
Pitch-perfect translation of a graphic novel. A rebirth for Keanu Reeves. Don’t miss out.
Melinda and Melinda
Review Date: March 18, 2005
Rating: 7
Stronger than recent Allen offerings but not much more than a technical exercise devoid of cinematic, if not dramatic, interest. Meet the Melindas.
Review Date: April 8, 2005
Rating: 8
Explosively cinematic treatment of a turgid revenge opera. Not to be missed.
Sin City
Review Date: April 10, 2005
Rating: 7
Killer looks, dirty mouth, and brains as dull as ditchwater. Get it? Memorable?
Fever Pitch
Review Date: April 11, 2005
Rating: 7
Sweet, unaffected comedy that thankfully doesn’t overdo it on the Red Sox cult. Where’s the soccer?

Review Date: April 16, 2005
Rating: 1
So slimy-bad you’ll skip complaining and head straight for a scalding shower. Cross the desert.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
Review Date: April 30, 2005
Rating: 6
Uneven tone spoils some of the fun, but plenty of good humor and inventiveness. Flip through it.
Review Date: May 11, 2005
Tough drama hampered by a nagging need for the soft conclusion. Buckle up.

Layer Cake
Review Date: May 14, 2005
Rating: 8
Lean crime drama with oodles of smarts. Get hooked.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith
Review Date: May 18, 2005
Rating: 9
A worthy conclusion to a trilogy that isn’t as flawed as it’s made out to be. Give in to the Dark Side.
War of The Worlds
Review Date: July 5, 2005
Rating: 7
Surprising fidelity to Wells’ original is both its strong point and the fatal flaw relegating it to curio status. Spielberg’s fluid, confident direction Band-Aids the errors. Be converted.
9 Songs
Review Date: August 4, 2005
Rating: 2
Impressively boring, although at times, admittedly, the film ups the ante and becomes excruciating. Need more?

Green Street Hooligans
Review Date: September 9, 2005
Rating: 5
Botched attempt to sex up a fascinating piece of investigative journalism. See how they run.

Review Date: September 30, 2005
Rating: 10
Deftly-made portrait of one of the twentieth century’s great prose stylists. Right this way.
Goodnight and Good Luck
Review Date: October 9, 2005
Rating: 8
First rate historical drama that fudges here and there but portrays the essence of honest journalism. Read all about it.
The Chronicles of Narnia
Review Date: December 10, 2005
Rating: 5
Some real delights offset by horrendous special effects and cartoonish religious allegory. Visit here!
Memoirs of A Geisha
Review Date: December 12, 2005
Rating: 7
The Hollywood treatment serves the cause of melodrama, but not the truth. Kimono my house.
King Kong
Review Date: December 20, 2005
Rating: 7
Almost a masterpiece of adventure cinema. (Kill your darlings, Peter Jackson!) Go ape.
The Producers
Review Date: December 26, 2005
Rating: 7
A clever but pointless adaptation. Soak it up.
Review Date: December 29, 2005
Rating: 10
Flawed but brilliant. A work of depth and style; the year’s best. Right this way.
Briefly Noted:
Masculine Feminine
February 22, 2005
Rating: 10

Godard’s masterpiece. An essay on film containing many layers of wit, inventiveness, and canny self-knowledge.

Batman Begins
June 27, 2005
Rating: 8
Christopher Nolan joins Bryan Singer at the top of the lineup of directors who have finally given movie adaptations of comic books a good name.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
July 4, 2005
Rating: 6
Confused and confusing story but visually arresting. Johnny Depp is wonderful as always.
The Island
July 31, 2005
Rating: 4
Science Fiction 1, Michael Bay 0.
The Aristocrats
August 3, 2005
Rating: 9
One of the funniest documentaries to have hit the big screen in many years. The comedians offer both great humor and insight into their art. The joke isn’t particularly effective, which is the point, but watching it take on a life of its own is a treat.
Wedding Crashers
August 12, 2005
Rating: 5
Vaughn’s charm is the only reason to watch this tepid, uninspired, and drippy film.
The 40-Year Old Virgin
August 21, 2005
Rating: 8
Intelligently silly farce that capitalizes on a stellar cast led by the dauntless Carrill playing his first likable character.
The Constant Gardener
August 31, 2005
Rating: 8
Interesting fusion of dreamlike narrative with stark realities of famine-ravaged Africa. Fiennes is fine playing to type, the soulful mute.
The Outsiders: The Complete Novel
September 12, 2005
Rating: 8
Beautiful, baroque teen drama that makes a sweet sidelight to Coppola’s masterpieces.
September 23, 2005
Rating: 7
Hopkins glowers, Gwyneth frets, Jake grins. Engaging material overtaken by the A-listers.
The Squid and The Whale
October 14, 2005
Rating: 8
Dry, unsentimental, at times unbearably raw comedy with a script as dysfunctional as its family.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
October 17, 2005
Rating: 10
Hilarious and clever. A jewel in the resume for Kilmer, Downey, Jr., and Black.
October 21, 2005
Rating: 6
Satisfying L.A. riff on Woody Allen-ish material, but doomed by a tonally disastrous voiceover unsuccessfully translated from the pages of Martin’s novella.
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
November 11, 2005
Rating: 8
The best of the Potter films to date.
Pride and Prejudice
November 12, 2005
Rating: 8
Tarted up with a pinch of Brontë, but Austen’s novel hardly treated shabbily. Impressive ensemble cast.
Walk The Line
November 30, 2005
Rating: 9
Incredible performances make the movie a success.
December 2, 2005
Rating: 7
Absorbing film, but far more interesting as fact-based speculation than a work of drama.
December 10, 2005
Rating: 7
A war story without the blood and guts—and that’s just speaking of this on a dramatic level.
Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic
December 11, 2005
Rating: 8
Devastating satire onstage, but not all the side skits work as well as they should.
The Family Stone
December 15, 2005
Rating: 7
Clunky comedy gives way to absorbing melodrama anchored by a fine performance by Diane Keaton.
Brokeback Mountain
December 21, 2005
Rating: 9
Beautiful, tender, evocative film. Larry McMurtry’s script hits all the right notes.