movie film review | chris tookey

Jeff Craig


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Angels & Demons (2009)
A pulse-pounding thriller that keeps springing surprises.
 Might have been classy, entertaining junk - if only it were entertaining.
 (Stephanie Zacharek,
 Of course, the problem with Angels & Demons is that to get to the final 40 minutes, it's necessary to endure the first 90, and that would be defined as cruel and unusual punishment.
 (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 It's not so-bad-it's-good bad. It's not even amusingly bad. It's worse-than-The Da Vinci Code bad. It's they're-taking-the-piss bad. It's don't-give-them-your-money bad.
 (Mike McCahill, Sunday Telegraph)
 About as exciting as looking over someone’s shoulder while they finish a crossword.
 (Trevor Johnston, Time Out)
 Brown really is one of the dumbest authors ever. In terms of style, characterization and plotting, he makes the routinely and rightly reviled Jeffrey Archer look like Dickens. This is a terrible movie with barely concealed contempt for its audience. Please don’t go to see it, or another of these calamities may be along next summer.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Planet 51 (2009)
A funny and inventive comedy. Planet 51 is loaded with funky cool animation and off-the-wall comedy. It is lots of fun.
 The jokes are far too weak for adults or children, at least on this planet.
 (Kyle Smith, New York Post)
 A movie so flat and derivative that it seems to have been desperately cobbled together from other, better pictures.
 (Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion)
 A poorly conceived comedy spotlighting a collection of anal-centric humor that’s about as appealing as baseball bat to the face.
 (Brian Orrndorf,
 This is a grimly inauspicious first feature from Ilion, a Spanish company that has endowed the film with no fewer than 14 producers but no decent script.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Driving Aphrodite/ My Life In Ruins (2009)
An irresistible comedy that will put a big fat smile on your face.
 Words cannot express how weary I am of watching lifeless, hollow movies like My Life in Ruins - generic romantic comedies that have no clue when it comes to either "romance" or "comedy."
 (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 Not likely to spur much tourism to Greece. The sights, though impressive, are not photographed interestingly, and the citizens of the host country are less than welcoming.
 (Stephen Holden, New York Times)
 Nia Vardalos has brought back the tourist comedy and delivered the dumbed-down If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium no one wanted.
 (Nathan Rabin, Onion)
 This mess - henceforth to be known as My Big Fat Greek Tragedy - is the most embarrassing thing to come out of the Eastern Med since Prince Philip.
 (Robbie Collin, News of the World)
 Greece? No, surely this is Turkey.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)
An irresistible action comedy that’s pure tail-waggin’ family fun.
 A lazy, painfully dull, unfunny and nauseatingly silly action comedy that should have gone direct-to-DVD.
 (Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru)
 Why isn't there a group that protects moviegoers from films like Cats & Dogs? Something like: The Don't Underestimate Moviegoer Brainpower Society — or DUMBS.
 (Gary Wolcott, Tri-City Herald)
 The kitties and puppies are cute to look at, no doubt, but your average cat on YouTube is far more charming than anything in this kitty litter.
 (Adam Graham, Detroit News)
 Going to see Cats & Dogs would be daft at any time of year. While Toy Story 3's still in cinemas, it's outright lunacy.
 (Robbie Collin, News of the World)
The Book of Eli (2010)
A powerhouse thriller that throbs with action and suspense. Denzel is dynamite and Gary Oldman is in top form.
 The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence.
 (David Denby, New Yorker)
 An absurd, incoherent narrative defined by contradictions: religious and violent, arty and exploitational, serious and trashy, stylized and gritty.
 (Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com)
 A post-apocalyptic western cursed by laborious pacing and a sense of self-importance which its nutty story does not warrant. Ponderous in the extreme and laced with portentous religious overtones.
 (Mike Goodridge, Screen International)
 As with All About Steve, it’s hard to convey exactly how mad this film is. Imagine The Road, remade by Christian fundamentalists with a sadistic interest in mutilation in general, and amputation in particular. It’s that weirdly deranged.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Dinner For Schmucks (2010)
Smart. Hysterical.
 More than just sour and mean-spirited; it's lurching, desperate and borderline incomprehensible – a movie whose characters act according to no known precept of recognizable human behavior.
 (Christopher Kelly, Dallas Morning News)
 At times unbearable to watch, Dinner for Schmucks is disguised as a movie with profound life lessons about friendship and acceptance. If you really get swindled into believing this comedy has heart, please raise your hand. There’s this dinner I’d like to invite you to.
 (Kiko Martinez, San Antonio News)
 Roach's remake manages both mean-spiritedness and timidity the same time. That's some feat — moviemaking for boneheads.
 (Tom Shone, Slate)
 There's not a trace of actual COMEDY in it whatsoever. Laugh? Reader, I barely flexed a tonsil... Has it been beamed to earth from a parallel universe? Or is it just rubbish? Frankly, it doesn't matter.
 (Robbie Collin, News of the World)
 A movie of zero emotional intelligence.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
How Do You Know (2010)
A smart, bright comedy. Hilarious and heartfelt. Funny, romantic and refreshingly playful.
 Unfortunately, this dull and listless movie fails to live up to expectations and will be competing for Razzies rather than Academy Awards as one of the worst movies of the year.
 (Keith Cohen, Entertainment Spectrum)
 We now know Spanglish wasn't a fluke. Writer/director Brooks' artistic decline continues with How Do You Know.
 (Christian Toto, What Would Toto Watch)
 An airless, sometimes distressingly mirthless comedy.
 (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)
 Misguided, frighteningly comatose tale of love and neuroses; a maze of bad ideas that Brooks robotically assembles. He's surviving this picture, not directing it.
 (Brian Orndorf,
 A fatuous parade of nothingness.
 (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
 As bad as it gets.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
The Chamber (1996)
The best John Grisham adaptation yet. Chris O’Donnell’s most demanding role.
Swordfish (2001)
One of the most breathlessly entertaining releases of the summer. You'll be pinned to your seat by Swordfish.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
****! The scariest film in years!
Manic (2003)
Emotional intensity…muscular performances…intimate and edgy.
Night at the Museum 2 (2009)
A summer smash. Fun for the whole family. You won’t have a better time at the movies.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Exhilarating. Powerful.
Valentine's Day (2010)
Letters to Juliet (2010)
****. A lovely and irresistible tale of true love... It's altogether wonderful. A pure delight.
Gulliver's Travels (2010)
The holiday's biggest comedy.
Hall Pass (2011)
Pure fun.
Unknown (2011)
Unknown tops Taken in every way. Liam Neeson's most exciting action thriller yet.
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