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Criticwatch Presents: Peter Travers (The 2014 Retrospective)

by Erik Childress

Another year of movies and another year where no studio can seem to avoid the name of Peter Travers. The Rolling Stone "critic" who turned his capsule reviews into an easy game of "find the quote" threw in the towel a long time ago when it came to being part of the marketing rather than the conversation. For a guy that only gave three 4-star reviews in 2014 (Boyhood, Birdman & Foxcatcher), the verbiage often found in the newspapers and the commercials make it sound like he is giving away 5 stars left and right. On the slightly plus side, barring any late-year hyperbolic fits on some limited releases, Travers' 60 quotes in 2014 is the lowest since his 56 in 2003. Small consolation seeing as how as still had 60 quotes which is more than double of any critic (whore or legit) we tracked this year, but its a far cry from the 81 he got out there in 2010. Keeping him under 70 since then seems like a small consolation, but it is time to offer the yearly retrospective on how each quote is more meaningless than the last.

Before we kick this into high gear, we want to offer a little prologue into why we take the time to care about what seems like a trivial bit of skullduggery. If we can't fix something as small (and some might argue, as meaningless) as this what hope do we have in fixing journalism and commentary that matters. To wit...consider this quote from Travers for one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last films and what we have dug out of Peter's Criticwatch archives:

"Philip Seymour Hoffman is flawless. A tense, twisty and terrific spy thriller. Philip Seymour Hoffman is simply magnificent...A master class in acting." (A Most Wanted Man)
"Jenkins delivers a master class in acting." (The Visitor)
"Langella delivers a master class in acting." (Starting Out in the Evening)
"Kevin Kline gives a master class in acting." (The Extra Man)
"Devilishly clever, mind-bending thriller! Gary Oldman gives a performance that is flawless in every detail. A dream cast. A master class in film artistry." (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

The "master class" thing is amusing in its own right, but did you make any other connection there? A Most Wanted Man is based on a John le Carré novel. So is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. According to Travers, both Hoffman and Oldman are "flawless" and each deliver a master class in acting and film artistry. One is a twisty thriller. The one is a mind-bending one. Whether or not you agree with the reviews is beyond the point. That is quite a coincidence isn't it?

Exhibit B: We continue by taking an in-depth look at just one of Travers' full reviews at Rolling Stone. A recent one too for Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings. Here is the full review as published:

Banish all memories of a hambone, harrumphing Old Testament Charlton Heston as Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, the 1956 campfest that TV shoves at us during religious holidays. DeMille's once-thrilling parting of the Red Sea plays today like CG primitivism. Director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) is determined not to make his Exodus: Gods and Kings old-hat. But he's after way more than FX pow – although wait until you see that Red Sea heave in 3D and the damage done by those 10 deadly plagues, from crocodiles, frogs and locusts to the death of every first-born in Egypt. Shooting on location, mostly in Spain, with thousands of non-digital extras, the ferociously cinematic Scott aims to keep things real and raw. He gets that and more from Christian Bale, in rousing form, as a hot-blooded warrior Moses ready to question all comers, including the gods and kings of the title. After learning of his Hebrew identity, Moses rises up against a childhood pal, the pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), and builds the mettle he needs to lead 600,000 Israelite slaves out of Egypt. Like Darren Aronofsky in Noah, Scott, who crafted the script with four other writers, departs from Scripture enough to raise hackles. For example, this Moses sees God in the person of an insolent schoolboy (Isaac Andrews), who takes guff from Moses for waiting 400 years to get around to freeing the slaves. In the large cast, including Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley and John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver stands out as the mother of Ramses. "I don't want Moses exiled," she snaps. "I want him dead." You get the picture. Exodus is a biblical epic that comes at you at maximum velocity but stays stirringly, inspiringly human.

Reading through that you see words like "rousing", "inspiringly human" and "ferociously cinematic." What you do not see is "Rock-em Sock-em. This is not your daddy's Moses." That is the quote to be found in the ads, but it is nowhere to be found in the review. Which means that was a tailor-made quote given directly to a Fox publicist that wasn't good enough to make his hyperbolic review. Would you call that a rave? With no insight into anything that makes it a good movie, one must determine that with such adjectives, that was certainly a positive review. Yet, it was only worth 2.5 stars. Generally that is a rating given to an OK film that kinda just misses the mark for recommendation. In Travers world, "a biblical epic that comes at you at maximum velocity" is only worth 2.5 stars. It was one of five 2.5-star reviews of Travers' this year that wound up getting quoted. They include Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West (where the pulled word "dirtiest" appears nowhere in his review), 1000 Times Good Night, The One I Love and Non-Stop. Shall we look at those and see if they look familiar?

"A tense, terrific thriller!" (Non-Stop)
"A juicy, jolting financial thriller." (Arbitrage)
"A gripping thriller. It's jolting, juicy stuff made juicier by the actors. State of Play keeps the twists coming." (State of Play)
"Devilishly clever, mind-bending thriller! A master class in film artistry." (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
"A mind-bender of a thriller with twists you don't see coming!" (Mr. Brooks)
"A hell of a thriller! Terrific and packed with surprises. It's full of twists and nail-biting suspense. You can't get it out of your head." (Side Effects)
"Diabolically fun and beautifully intricate. A twist-a-minute thriller." (Fracture)
"A red hot thriller that keeps popping surprises that shouldn't be spoiled...Hang on for the ride." (Salt)
"You're in for a hell of a ride with this high-voltage thriller." (Zero Dark Thirty)
"A combustible spy thriller." (Body of Lies)
"This dynamite thriller shivers with suspense." (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 2009)
"A mesmerizing thriller." (Gone Baby Gone)
"A mesmerizing, power-punch of a thriller!" (Eastern Promises)
"A fierce and deeply moving thriller!" (I'm Not Scared)
"A ferociously exciting thriller." (Argo)
"An ace action thriller." (Green Zone)
"An addictive thriller." (The Ghost Writer)
"A slam-bang twister of a legal thriller." (The Lincoln Lawyer)
"Redford builds a riveting, resonant political thriller that values the complexity of its characters and the intelligence of its audience." (The Company You Keep)
"A techno-thriller driven by genuine feeling." (Disconnect)
"A different kind of thriller, one with a mind and heart." (Nothing But the Truth)
"A knockout! Spellbinding! It spins a web that will pull you in. A thriller that really thrills." (The Lookout)[br]
"A knockout of a thriller!" (A Prophet)
"A pulse-racing thriller. A big, bruising thriller." (The Ides of March)
"This spellbinder will sneak up and floor you. It's that good. A supremely intelligent and deeply touching thriller. Thunderously exciting!" (The Secret In Their Eyes)
"The best thriller of summer 2005 has finally arrived...this baby will pin you to your seat. Wes Craven is back in true nightmare form." (Red Eye)
"A sizzling thriller that ends summer on a high note! Prepare for a thrilling ride! Long after it's over, you still feel its sting." (The Constant Gardener)
"A crazy-quilt comic thriller! It would be no country for movie lover without the Coens." (Burn After Reading)
"A thriller-diller from start to finish: Scary, monstrously funny and melodically thrilling. (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
"A potent and provocative thriller. Sexy and scary in equal doses!" (Splice)
"There's more killer suspense in this one-of-a-kind film than you'll find in a dozen thrillers. You'll be talking about this spellbinder for weeks. It pushes every button. Don't let anyone spoil this story." (Catfish)
"It grabs you like a thriller with an ending that will haunt your dreams. Profoundly persuasive on a topic that's scarier than anything in a dozen Japanese horror flicks." (An Inconvenient Truth)
"A chillingly intense psychological thriller! Involves God, sex and murder!" (Enduring Love)
"Tremendously exciting. The film moves like a thriller." (Munich)

"You've never seen anything like this." (The One I Love)
"Tony Leung goes places he's never been before as an actor." (Lust, Caution)
"John Malkovich has never been funnier." (Burn After Reading)
"Jim Carrey has never done anything this deeply felt." (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
"Cruz, never more voluptuous or vulnerable, is a force of nature." (Volver)
"Meryl Streep has never been this fierce, this diabolically funny - you can't take your eyes off her." (The Manchurian Candidate)
"A never-better Jeff Bridges!" (The Door In The Floor)
"A never-better Christopher Plummer is simply stupendous." (Beginners)
"A never-better Kate Winslet goes so deep into her character you can almost feel her nerve endings." (Little Children)
"Get ready for Will Ferrell like you've never seen him!" (Everything Must Go)
"Bond like you've never seen him before. In a word: Wow. (Skyfall)
"This dynamite thriller shivers with suspense. In a word, wow!" (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

"Stunning!" (1000 Times Good Night)
"Stunning. Brad Pitt is tremendous. Fury grabs you from the first scene and never lets go." (Fury)

"A stunningly drawn map of the human heart." (Million Dollar Baby)
"A stunning film!" (I've Loved You So Long)
"An emotional powerhouse! Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a miracle worker, a filmmaker whose soaring visuals and passionate intensity are artfully blended in this stunning film... "(A Very Long Engagement)
"Stunning...A powerhouse film!" (Maria Full of Grace)
"Stunning! A passionate, haunting, and truly unforgettable story!" (The Devil and Daniel Johnston)
"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)
"It grabs you like a thriller with an ending that will haunt your dreams." (An Inconvenient Truth)
"Drop-dead dazzling knockout beautiful...this movie will grab you." (Step Into Liquid)
"The movie grips you and won't let go. Get ready to be knocked for a loop." (Waltz with Bashir)
"Winterbottom exerts a grip that won't let go." (A Mighty Heart)
"Tremendously entertaining. The excitement doesn't quit." (Troy)
"A tremendously exciting film that can suddenly, unpredictably move you to tears. There's not a dull second in it." (Black Book)
"Tremendously exciting. The film moves like a thriller." (Munich)
"Terrifically exciting. Liam Neeson is tremendous. Hold on tight." (The Grey)

From Non-Stop to The Grey in how many moves? Too many to count to make a Six Degrees of Peter Travers game truly catch on. Since why would you want to remember those quotes anyway. It's the burden Criticwatch has taken on over the years. You will notice we threw in a quote for the Brad Pitt war film in there along with the Juliette Binoche war photographer film. Coincidence? You be the judge. From here on out we'll give you the 2014 Travers quote followed by his quotes over the years. Then decide for yourselves if this is a guy is a film critic or a catch phrase machine? Since one biblical epic is fresh in your mind, let's start there. Remember how the Gods and Kings review ended? "Exodus is a biblical epic that comes at you at maximum velocity but stays stirringly, inspiringly human."

"Epic, powerful, daring. A triumph. Noah is epic and human." (Noah)
"The Hunger Games has epic spectacle, yearning romance and suspense that won't quit!" (The Hunger Games)
"Epic fireworks." (Thor)
"Clint Eastwood's epic enters the Oscar race with banners flying." (Letters from Iwo Jima)
"A bloody wonder, intimate and epic, horrific and heartrending as it flies on the wings of Sondheim's most thunderously exciting score." (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
"Just sit back and behold as Jeunet takes you to hell and back with this epic love story." (A Very Long Engagement)
"The epic movie we've been waiting for all year!" (The Aviator)
"The jaw-dropping, eye-popping, heart-stopping epic we've been waiting for all year." (King Kong)
"Super smart, super cool triumph. A blockbuster that will blow away all your senses!" (The Avengers)
"A triumph!" (The Road)
"Closer is a triumph." (Closer)
"A superb comedy! A triumph!" (Look at Me)
"A forceful, impassioned and unsparing triumph from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. (l'enfant)
Ralph Fiennes, as star and commander, pulls off a triumph! Vanessa Redgrave gives a tour-de-force performance." (Coriolanus)
"Triumphant and enthralling. A double tour-de-force for James Franco and Danny Boyle." ( 127 Hours)
"Michael Douglas deserves serious award attention for his triumphant performance..." (Solitary Man)
"Riveting! A triumphant success." (The Tillman Story)
"A triumph! Uma Thurman is sizzling in an electrifying performance!" (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"An electrifying movie event. One of the year's best...Clooney's maverick triumph." (Good Night, And Good Luck.)
"A total triumph! An American classic! Gus Van Sant's best film." (Milk)
"Hits you right in the heart. It's the classic American tale of the family man triumphant. Ron Howard's best movie." (Cinderella Man)
"Unmissable and unforgettable! Hits you like a shot in the heart. This classic in the making ranks high on the list of the year’s best movies. It's a landmark film and a triumph for Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal." (Brokeback Mountain)
"Triumphant! A new American crime classic from the legendary Martin Scorsese, whose talent shines here on its highest beams." (The Departed)
"A triumph of the highest order! A new crime classic." (A Prophet)
"Peter Weir stages a storm at sea - filmed in the same tank where 'Titanic' was shot - and a climactic battle that will shiver anyone's timbers. His triumph, though, is in balancing action and character. 'M&C' rides that road to glory." (Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World)
"As the film follows its tragic course, Burton scores an explosive triumph. 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)
"The go-for-broke intensity and emotional layering Watts brings to her role is an acting triumph. The surprise is young Holland, who shows how the terror and anger in Lucas grow into courage. He gives this powerhouse film its grieving heart." (The Impossible)
"A triumph that brings lyricism, laughs and dark magic to the party. Irresistible fun!" (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
"Harry is better than ever, a triumph of visual wonder and emotional storytelling." (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
"A triumphant conclusion to a decade of Pottermania." ( Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2)

His next quote after NOAH was...

"Flood your senses with something extraordinary." (Under the Skin)
"A blockbuster that will blow away all your senses!" (The Avengers)
"Extraordinary!" (The Triplets of Belleville)
"An extraordinary film." (The Class)
"Funny, touching and altogether extraordinary!" (Beginners)
"Absolutely extraordinary!" (Away We Go)
"Extraordinary in every way." (The Door In The Floor)
"An extraordinary movie in every way." (Momma's Man)
"Writer/Director Wes Anderson links the everyday and the extraordinary with virtuosos artistry." (Moonrise Kingdom)
"What David Fincher does is simply extraordinary." (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
"Mathieu Amalric's performance defines the word extraordinary." (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

"**** Irresistible, funny and romantic! It hits the summer sweet spot! No disease. No teens dying. And yet Begin Again, from writer-director John Carney (the Irish dream-weaver of Once), hits the summer sweet spot by breezing in on waves of humor, heartache and ravishing romance. And, oh yeah, irresistible music you can't get out of your head. Mark Ruffalo continues to astonish. Keira Knightley is at her best. Adam Levine is a revelation. They perform subtle, irresistible magic. It's rare to find a movie that uses music to define love without sentimentalizing it. But Begin Again is a wonderful exception." (Begin Again)

"Wes Anderson makes sweet, mad magic." (The Grand Budapest Hotel)


Over the past decade, he's seen a lot of magic. (We pointed this out in the 2013 retrospective and figured that if Travers can use the same words, so can we.)

"It's a movie you want to hold inside. The magically compelling Darjeeling Limited is the fullest blossoming yet of the gifted Wes Anderson's talents as a total filmmaker. Owen Wilson skillfully blends humor and heartbreak...I love this movie." (The Darjeeling Limited)
"Blending humor and heartbreak in a performance that makes Is Anybody There? A richly satisfying film, Caine truly is magic." (Is Anybody There?)
"Sublimely smart, sexy and seriously funny. I feel mad love for this film and its stars. 500 Days of Summer is magic. It will own you." ((500) Days of Summer)
"Start the Oscar talk now for Bill Murray! Delicate magic from director Sofia Coppola. Scarlett Johansson is sublime." (Lost in Translation)
"Coppola works her magic again...Your eyes will be dazzled..." (Marie Antoinette)
"Expertly choreographed by Tarantino and martial-arts advisor Yuen Woo-Ping who outdoes his Matrix magic!" (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
"A triumph that brings lyricism, laughs and dark magic to the party." (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)[br]
"Hot, heartfelt movie magic!" (Raising Victor Vargas)
"Hilarious and heartfelt. Irresistible. The Kids Are All Right makes its own special magic. Mark Ruffalo is dynamite." (The Kids Are All Right)
"Magic." (Saving Mr. Banks)
"Be on the lookout for this one. There's magic in it." (Whale Rider)
"There is magic in Mud." (Mud)
"Do not miss this absolute stunner of a film! There is magic in it!" (Broadway: The Golden Age)
"There's magic in it. Allen and Elliott perform acting miracles in this quietly devastating spellbinder. Scott has built a movie that sneaks up and knocks you flat." (Off the Map)
"Magic! A French knockout!" (A Christmas Tale)
"There's magic in it." (Bottle Shock)

HOLD UP! Let's just take a breath.


"Magic. Nobody does animation better than Hayao Miyazaki. Sit back and behold." (Howl's Moving Castle)
"Magical and loaded with surprises too juicy to reveal. Double the fun of the original...one of the best movies of this summer." (Shrek 2)
"Visual magic. Pixar has outdone itself!" (Brave)
"There's magic in Paranorman!" (Paranorman)

So apparently Miyazaki isn't the only animator who can put magic up on the big screen. Please, continue Travers you unimaginative twat.

"Thrilling! The wow factor is off the charts!" (The Raid 2)
"Wow! One hell of a satisfying surprise." (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
"It's a spellbinder. Prepare to be wowed." (Let Me In)
"Prepare to be wowed by Chris O'Dowd." (The Sapphires)
"A miracle of a movie! Prepare to be wowed by Carey Mulligan who is sensational and incandescent." (An Education)
"A beauty of a movie. Midler is a wow and then some." (Then She Found Me)
"A wow of an action movie that buries the competition and sets a new gold standard for thrills and smarts." (The Bourne Ultimatum)
"Bond like you've never seen him before. In a word: Wow." (Skyfall)
"This dynamite thriller shivers with suspense. In a word, wow!" (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

"A pulse-pounding experiment in terror. Maybe risk hasn't died yet in filmmaking." (Grand Piano)
"Pulses will pound..." (Domino)
"A pulse-racing thriller." (The Ides of March)
"A thrilling, nail-biting, pulse-racing adventure at sea." (All is Lost)
"This summer...the movie to beat in the race to push your pulse rate past the danger zone." (Mission: Impossible 3)
"Edward Norton at the top of his risk-taking game" (Down in the Valley)
"Nicole Kidman gives her best and riskiest performance in years." (Margot at the Wedding)
"This is the bravest, riskiest role of Dench's film career." (Notes on a Scandal)

"The suspense is killer. The scale is epic!" (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1)
"The final chase is killer and getting there actually is half the fun." (Fast Five)
"Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman, oozing killer charm, handle the sexual hijinks in style! (Scoop)
"Bob Hoskins is killer-good." (Hollywoodland)
"...killer smart, lacing combustible action with explosive gags." (Tropic Thunder)
"What's better than action, hair-trigger suspense, and a machine-gun spray of killer dialogue?" (Inglourious Basterds)
"Bennett's dialogue sparkles and skewers with killer wit." (The History Boys)
"There's more killer suspense in this one-of-a-kind film than you'll find in a dozen thrillers." (Catfish)
"Killer-funny. You'll laugh 'till it hurts! Produces more laughs than any hundred jokes you ever heard." (The Aristocrats)
"Role Models is killer funny." (Role Models)
"The beginning, middle and end are all killer funny." (The Hangover)
"A killer comedy!" (You Kill Me)
"Crazy, killer fun"! (Seven Psychopaths)
"Rutger Hauer is killer-good." (Hobo with a Shotgun)

------------------------------------------

LIGHT YOUR GLORIOUS, GROUNDBREAKING WICK

"Dynamite. Gloriously entertaining." (Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me)
"Dawn is dynamite entertainment! A groundbreaking spectacle." (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)
"James Gandolfini is dynamite in his final screen role." (The Drop)

"Glorious entertainment!" (Finding Neverland)
"A glorious sight to see." (Frances Ha)
"Keira Knightley is glorious." (Anna Karenina)
"Catherine Keener is glorious!" (Please Give)
"Mulligan is glorious." (Drive)
"Rashida Jones is simply glorious." (Celeste and Jesse Forever)
"Groundbreaking" (Looper)
"This movie deserves to be called groundbreaking." (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
"(Carrey) and Kate Winslet give groundbreaking performances." (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
A riveting spectacle! (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi)
"Feverish action? Check. Dazzling spectacle? Check. Devilish fun? Check. Just hang on for a shock to the system." (The Dark Knight)
"The Hunger Games has epic spectacle, yearning romance and suspense that won't quit! (The Hunger Games)
It's James Bond, Indiana Jones and the X-Men all rolled into one kick-out-the-jams spectacle. (The Incredibles)
"It's quite a spectacle, watching Lance Armstrong lie his ass off." (The Armstrong Lie)
"A rapturous spectacle and the movie, directed full throttle by Joel Schumacher, goes the show one better. It smolders." (The Phantom of the Opera)
"Mark Ruffalo is dynamite." (The Kids Are All Right)
"Diane Lane is dynamite!" (Hollywoodland)
"Catherine O'Hara is dynamite!" (For Your Consideration)
"Gael Garcia Bernal is dynamite!" (Bad Education)
"Sean Penn is dynamite as Willie Stark." (All the King's Men)
"Depp is comic dynamite!" (Pirates of the Caribbean)
"Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt are dynamite." (Your Sister's Sister)
"Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul are dynamite!" (Smashed)
"Brad Pitt is dynamite. John Malkovich has never been funnier. His slow burn is priceless." (Burn After Reading)
"Dynamite performances from Annette Bening and Naomi Watts ignite this strong drama." (Mother and Child)
"The two leads are dynamite and director Alfredson knows to to pin you to your seat." (Let the Right One In)
"Dynamite stuff." (Moneyball)
"A dynamite thriller!" (Shattered Glass)
"This dynamite thriller shivers with suspense. In a word, wow!" (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
"A slice of celluloid dynamite!" (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days)
"Catherine Zeta-Jones is dynamite. You can't get it out of your head." (Side Effects)
"Explosive! Comes at you like Dillinger did: all of a sudden. It's movie dynamite." (Public Enemies)
"A dynamite movie. It will knock you sideways." (Carlos)
"A dynamite film that ranks with the year's best. No way you won't be knocked for a loop." (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)

------------------------------------------

ARE YOU THRALLED?

"A stimulating detective story that holds you in thrall!" (Tim's Vermeer)
"Holds you spellbound!" (Rachel Getting Married)
"Relentless suspense holds you in a viselike grip..." (The Girl Who Played With Fire)
"Tightens the screws of suspense. Christian Bale's gripping, beyond-the-call-of-duty performance holds you in thrall!" (The Machinist)
"Gondry's hallucinatory brilliance holds you in thrall." (The Science of Sleep)
"Robert Duvall holds you in thrall." (Get Low)

"Enthralling. Nirvana for movie lovers." (Interstellar)
"It is a spectacular adventure for film lovers of all ages. Hugo will take your breath away. It truly is the stuff that dreams are made of." (Hugo)
"A Tarantino power punch! What's better than action, hair-trigger suspense, and a machine-gun spray of killer dialogue? If you love movies, you can't resist!" (Inglourious Basterds)
"It's a movie you want to hold inside. The magically compelling Darjeeling Limited is the fullest blossoming yet of the gifted Wes Anderson's talents as a total filmmaker...I love this movie." (The Darjeeling Limited)
"What I feel for Slumdog Millionaire isn't just admiration, it's mad love." (Slumdog Millionaire)
"Sublimely smart, sexy and seriously funny. I feel mad love for this film and its stars. 500 Days of Summer is magic. It will own you." ((500) Days of Summer)
"I love it. Sexy, built to thrill." (Wanted)
"I loved every minute of it." (The Way Way Back)
"It would be no country for movie lover without the Coens." (Burn After Reading)

------------------------------------------

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT
From one film about the dangers of food to another that is basically food porn.

"Here is something rare at the multiplex: A movie that matters." (Fed Up)
"That rare summer movie - one that matters." (Summer Hours)
"A tough nut that demands attention...It's the kind of give 'em-hell filmmaking that Hollywood left for dead, the kind that matters." (Syriana)
"Invictus is a movie that matters. Eastwood's achievement is something rare: He's made a film that actually is good for the soul." (Invictus)
"A film of rare courage and imperishable heart." (Hotel Rwanda)
"Dares you to explore the violence of the mind. Take the dare. It's something rare these days: untamed." (Down in the Valley)
"Dazzling, uproarious, rare and remarkable!" (Please Give)
"Garner is a radiant actress of rare spirit and sensitivity." (Dallas Buyers Club)
"Let's toast Lena Dunham. An original new voice in film is something rare and worthy of celebration." (Tiny Furniture)
"Smart and potently funny. Mike Judge has a rare talent." (Extract)
"Director Stephan Elliott uncorks a rare vintage of laughs! A comedy of bad manners done by experts. The elegant barbed wit of Noel Coward bubbling up in a time of wolverine grunts." (Easy Virtue)
"A sharply observed comedy filled with wonderful mischief! A rare film that richly rewards!" (Broken Flowers)
"Shopgirl is a rare commodity: A grown-up romance. The film recalls Lost In Translation and Breakfast at Tiffany's while finding its own personality." (Shopgirl)

"***1/2. Irresistible! Deliciously entertaining! The perfect antidote to Hollywood junk food. All the actors are aces...It's Favreau's best performance to date. Dustin Hoffman is wonderful. Oliver Platt is superb." (Chef)
"The perfect antidote to a synthetic, overblown movie summer" (Camp)
"Jolie takes on her most challenging role and aces it." (A Mighty Heart)
The acting is aces, especially Brad Pitt mixing it up with the superb James Gandolfini. (Killing Me Softly)
"The entire cast comes up aces." (Last Vegas)
"Laura Linney is superb and Jeff Daniels gives the performance of his career." (The Squid and the Whale)
"Brings out the best in Bill Murray. Jeffrey Wright is superb." (Broken Flowers)
"Want to see great acting, from comic to tragic and every electrifying stop in between? Then focus on Cate Blanchett. Her triumphant performance is one for the time capsule. Sally Hawkins is the definition of wonderful. Bobby Cannavale is ever superb." (Blue Jasmine)
"Director Quentin Tarantino brings delicious sin back to movies!" (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
"Sinfully funny. Deliciously glossy." (The Devil Wears Prada)
"A delicious black comedy." (Death at a Funeral)
"A bonbon spiked with delicious wit and malice" (Le Divorce)
"Johnny Depp's delicious take on Willy Wonka demands to be seen." (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
"The darkly delicious Bonham Carter is funny and touching." (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
"Keira Knightley scores a knockout...Impurely delicious..."(The Duchess)
"There is something delicious about Anne Hathaway." (Get Smart)

"Deliciously dishes out the shivery. Sexy suspense of a Hitchcock thriller. You can't help being drawn in. A potent directing debut by Hossein Amini." (The Two Faces of January)
"Director Quentin Tarantino brings delicious sin back to movies!" (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
"Sinfully funny. A party of a movie. Deliciously glossy." (The Devil Wears Prada)
"A delicious black comedy. It's total fun." (Death at a Funeral)
"A tart, terrific social comedy about the cultural rift between America and France... a bonbon spiked with delicious wit and malice" (Le Divorce)
"Johnny Depp's delicious take on Willy Wonka demands to be seen." (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
"The darkly delicious Bonham Carter is funny and touching." (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
"Keira Knightley scores a knockout...Impurely delicious...There's a fire in her eyes that won't be extinguished." (The Duchess)
"There is something delicious about Anne Hathaway." (Get Smart)
"Smart and potently funny." (Extract)
"A potently witty look at Giuliani Manhattan circa 1994." (The Wackness)
"A potently acted powerhouse that sticks in the mind and the heart. Gripping entertainment that keeps springing surprises" (Appaloosa)
"Potent and profound! The movie grips you and won't let go. Get ready to be knocked for a loop." (Waltz with Bashir)
"A potent frightfest that will fry your nerves and creep you out." (Paranormal Activity)
"Potent and heartfelt!" (Promised Land)
"Stephen Gaghan is in top form, mixing potent writing with images that tear at the heart." (Syriana)
"A potent tale of sex and betrayal." (Blue Car)
"A spellbinding true crime story. Potent and provocative." (All Good Things)
"Ang Lee's potently erotic and suspenseful Lust, Caution casts a spell you won't want to break!" (Lust, Caution
"A potently erotic spellbinder." (Atonement
)
"Provocative and potently erotic." (Black Book)
"A potent and provocative thriller. Sexy and scary in equal doses!" (Splice)
"Potent and provocative." (Bully)
"Potent and provocative." (Page One: Inside the New York Times)
"Potent and provocative." (The Fifth Estate)

------------------------------------------

FLY HIGH LESBIAN SEAGULL

"A high-flying wonder to behold. The first movie was a crazy good time. The sequel is more than that, way more. It's thrilling, a soaring blend of 3D animation and spectacular storytelling." (How To Train Your Dragon 2)
"Unbroken has a spirit that soars. One of the best films of the year." (Unbroken)

"The first summer movie that's crazy good. Spectacular" (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Crazy, killer fun!" (Seven Psychopaths)
"A crazy-quilt comic thriller!" (Burn After Reading)
"Magic. Nobody does animation better than Hayao Miyazaki. Sit back and behold." (Howl's Moving Castle)
"Sit back and behold Michelle is luminous." (My Week With Marilyn)
"Just sit back and behold. The movie rises and, at times, even soars." (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)
"Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a miracle worker, a filmmaker whose soaring visuals and passionate intensity are artfully blended in this stunning film...Just sit back and behold as Jeunet takes you to hell and back with this epic love story." (A Very Long Engagement)
"A movie miracle! It soars! You feel privileged!" (Winged Migration)
"The best and boldest Hollywood musical in years soars! (Les Miserables)
"Awesome...Soars on the imagination of its creators. (District 9)
"Every actor brings his "A" game to show the lure of the dark side. The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. (The Dark Knight)
"Man of Steel soars high." (Man of Steel)
"The best and boldest Hollywood musical in years soars!" (Les Miserables)
"It has a spirit that soars" (Precious)
"Leaves you moved like no film in years and then lifts you up in ways you don't see coming. It has a spirit that soars" (Precious)

------------------------------------------

AND IF YOU THOUGHT PRECIOUS COULD MOVE YOU...

"An emotional knockout." (Pride)
"A knockout!" (Crash)
"A French knockout!" (A Christmas Tale)
"A knockout! A visual miracle!" (Rize)
"A game-changer. A breathless rush of a movie that jumps off the screen, spins your head around and then works its way into your heart. Dazzling...A visual wonderland that is literally a knockout." (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
"Drop-dead dazzling knockout beautiful...this movie will grab you." (Step Into Liquid)
"Hits the jackpot! Maria Bello dazzles! A knockout!" (The Cooler)
"Great acting is quicksilver, impossible to pin down in words. But you know it when you see it. "And you see it with dazzling clarity in this landmark portrayal. A movie that doesn't pull its punches. It's a knockout! A terrific no-nonsense Catherine Keener." (Capote)
"Jonah Hill scores a no-joke knockout." (Moneyball)
"Keira Knightley scores a knockout...Impurely delicious...There's a fire in her eyes that won't be extinguished." (The Duchess)
"It's a comic knockout. Sharply funny and touching...A dream cast! Playful." (Crazy Stupid Love)
"Hairspray earns knockout status for its humor, heart and high spirits." (Hairspray)
"Hilarious in ways you have to see to believe! Apatow builds a knockout fable of modern immaturity." (Knocked Up)
"Think of all the ways you can hurt yourself laughing, as in fall down, split your sides, bust a gut, blow your mind. You get it all in Tropic Thunder, a knockout of a comedy that keeps you laughing constantly. It's also killer smart, lacing combustible action with explosive gags." (Tropic Thunder)
"Thunderous action and nail-biting suspense...A potently acted powerhouse that sticks in the mind and the heart. Harris and Mortensen make a knockout team. Gripping entertainment that keeps springing surprises" (Appaloosa)
"A knockout! Spellbinding! It spins a web that will pull you in. A thriller that really thrills." (The Lookout)
"A knockout of a thriller! A triumph of the highest order! A new crime classic." (A Prophet)
"A globe-trotting, butt-kicking, whiplash-paced action movie done with humor, style and smarts. A knockout performance by Matt Damon" (The Bourne Supremacy)
"A knockout in every way...Passing Strange blows the roof off!" (Passing Strange)
Kinsey wanted to snap the public out of sexual ignorance. And Condon's knockout of a movie tries to do the same. You'll be shocked at how far we haven't come." (Kinsey)
"One sweet sexy sting of a movie! Edward Burns gives a knockout" (Confidence)
"A knockout! Like nothing you've ever seen!" (Hanna)

"Hits you like a shot in the heart! Love is Strange has the kind of humor and humanity that resonates with the issues of love, sex, separation, aging and loss. A triumph for Lithgow and Molina, two consummate actors as emotionally expressive in silence as they are in words. Acting doesn't get better than this." (Love is Strange)
"Detachment gets to you. It hits hard." (Detachment)
"Hits you like a full-tilt adrenaline rush." (Limitless)
"This is a movie to bring home and live with, to kick around in your head after it hits you in the heart. It's damn near perfect." (Nebraska)
"Hits you right in the heart. It's the classic American tale of the family man triumphant. (Cinderella Man)
"Unmissable and unforgettable! Hits you like a shot in the heart. This classic in the making ranks high on the list of the year's best movies." (Brokeback Mountain)
"You won't know what hit you." (A History of Violence)
"Will knock you for a loop." (Irreversible)
"Potent and profound! The movie grips you and won't let go. Get ready to be knocked for a loop." (Waltz with Bashir)
"A dynamite film that ranks with the year's best. All the actors are first-rate: Hoffman continues to astonish. "No way you won't be knocked for a loop." (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
"A dynamite movie. It will knock you sideways." (Carlos)
"I couldn't take my eyes off it, my guess is that it will knock you sideways." (I'm Still Here)
"Allen and Elliott perform acting miracles in this quietly devastating spellbinder. Scott has built a movie that sneaks up and knocks you flat." (Off the Map)
"Heath Ledger's performance is an acting miracle." (Brokeback Mountain)
"Great acting is quicksilver, impossible to pin down in words. But you know it when you see it. And you see it with dazzling clarity in this landmark portrayal. Capote is a movie that doesn't pull its punches. It's a knockout!" (Capote)
"Want to see great acting, from comic to tragic and every electrifying stop in between? Then focus on Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Her triumphant performance is one for the time capsule." (Blue Jasmine)
"If you want to see explosive acting, just watch Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett ignite. (Notes on a Scandal)
Keira Knightley is sensational. James McAvoy is dynamic. They are heaven-sent acting partners. Vanessa Redgrave demonstrates what great acting is." (Atonement)
"Hopkins and Mirren are acting giants in stellar form." (Hitchcock)
"The incomparable Helen Mirren is simply astounding. Christopher Plummer is her match. The sight of these two acting giants going at each other should come under the heading of pure, rowdy pleasure." (The Last Station)
"Helen Mirren is acting royalty." (The Queen)
"The acting is aces, especially Brad Pitt mixing it up with the superb James Gandolfini." (Killing Me Softly)
"John Hawkes and Helen Hunt give award-caliber performances that turn The Sessions into a unique film that brims over with humor and heartbreak. Hawkes does the kind of acting that awards were invented for." (The Sessions)
"This is award-caliber acting." (Then She Found Me)
"Benicio Del Toro gives a magnificent performance. No one who cares about organic film acting will want to miss it. He keeps you riveted." (Che)
"The go-for-broke intensity and emotional layering Watts brings to her role is an acting triumph." (The Impossible)
"Anne Hathaway delivers an acting tour de force." (Rachel Getting Married)
"Kevin Kline gives a master class in acting." (The Extra Man)
"A summer movie that has everything - non-stop thrills, laughs, and top tier acting." (The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3)

"A powerhouse of suspense and fierce emotion." (Locke)
"A powerhouse. Laces action with moral questions that haunt and provoke. Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch add to the impact." (Lone Survivor)
"A powerhouse!" (Mother and Child)
"A powerhouse of a documentary! This one shakes you." (Crude)
"A potently acted powerhouse that sticks in the mind and the heart." (Appaloosa)
"A mind-bending, nonstop mesmerizer of a movie. David Fincher is a powerhouse filmmaker." (Zodiac)
"Director Tom Hooper breathes fresh urgent life in to every frame of this powerhouse." (The King's Speech)
"A funny-sexy-scary powerhouse!" (Better Luck Tomorrow)
"Pure sizzle! A powerhouse of an actress! She is the real, riveting deal!" (Sherrybaby)
"Stunning...A powerhouse film!" (Maria Full of Grace)
"Visually the movie is a powerhouse." (Speed Racer)
"The film is a remarkable visual achievement, made deeply and unforgettably affecting by the depth of the actors. The surprise is young Holland, who shows how the terror and anger in Lucas grow into courage. He gives this powerhouse film its grieving heart. (The Impossible)
"An emotional powerhouse! Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a miracle worker, a filmmaker whose soaring visuals and passionate intensity are artfully blended in this stunning film... (A Very Long Engagement)
"Hang on for an emotional powerhouse." (Rachel Getting Married)
"An emotional powerhouse!" (In a Better World)
"An emotional powerhouse" (Into the Wild)
"An emotional powerhouse." (We Own the Night)
"Fierce and fiendishly funny." (No Country for Old Men)
"Uproarious...fiendishly funny! The laughs come with a sting! Jon Heder orbits past his Napoleon Dynamite character at last by getting seriously fierce!" (School for Scoundrels)
"Jamie Foxx's fierce, funny, deeply felt performance deserves to be legendary." (Ray)
"Geoffrey Rush is his match, fiercely funny in a feast of a role." (The King's Speech)
"Pierce Brosnan is roaringly fierce and funny!" (The Matador)
"Meryl Streep has never been this fierce, this diabolically funny - you can't take your eyes off her." (The Manchurian Candidate)
"Nicole Kidman is just astonishing - subtle, fierce, brutally funny, tender when you least expect it." (Rabbit Hole)
"Crowe continues to astonish as an actor - fierce, funny and every inch the hero." (Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World)
"It's been years since a movie superhero was this fierce and this funny." (Iron Man)
"Fiercely funny!" (Delirious)
"Fierce & darkly funny." (Mail Order Wife)
"Fierce and ferociously funny!" (Killer Joe)
"Fierce, funny, and moving." (The Class)
"A fiercely funny human comedy that manages to be both hilarious and haunting." (The Upside of Anger)
"This mischievous blend of The Office and Friday the 13th keeps things fierce and funny enough to give Steve Carell ideas." (Severance)
"A radically fierce & funny fireball. You'll laugh till it hurts." (Sicko)
"Michael Moore isn't the only filmmaker packing enough heat to bust out of the documentary ghetto. A shockingly fierce and funny spell-binder that leaves your head spinning." (Crazy Love)

"An emotional powerhouse. James McAvoy is in peak form! (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby)
"It offers the pleasure of watching a great actor at the peak of his form." (Crazy Heart)
"Eastwood, at the peak of his artful powers, tightens the screws of suspense without ever forgetting where the heart of his film lies." (Changeling)
"This classic-in-the-making is the Coen Brothers at the peak of their powers! A new career peak for the Coen Brothers." (No Country for Old Men)
"Mann hits a new peak, orchestrating action, atmosphere and bruising humor." (Collateral)
"Hanks hits a new career peak." (Captain Phillips)
"The brilliant screenwriter Charlie Kaufman plumbs new emotional depths." (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
"Tommy Lee Jones does the finest work of his career...Haggis goes for broke emotionally." (In the Valley of Elah)
"This is DiCaprio's most haunting and emotionally complex performance yet." (Shutter Island)
"Woody's full-out emotional range here ranks as a career pinnacle." (The Messenger)
"Lacing laughs with emotional gravity, Woody Allen is working at the top of his game, sending out each laugh with a sting in its tail." (Blue Jasmine)
"Zemeckis at his most emotionally open and thematically provocative." (Flight)
"An emotional free-for-all that comes close to spilling over." (The Fighter)
"Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give two of the most explosive and emotionally naked performances you will see anywhere." (Blue Valentine)
"Erotically-charged and emotionally daring. Sparks will fly." (Blue is the Warmest Color)
"Pulsates with emotional intensity." (Watchmen)
"Lyrical and emotionally rigorous." (Quinceanera)
"A triumph of visual wonder and emotional storytelling." (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
"A visual and emotional tour de force." (Where the Wild Things Are)
"Anne Hathaway delivers an acting tour de force. Hang on for an emotional powerhouse." (Rachel Getting Married)
"An emotional powerhouse!" (A Very Long Engagement)
"An emotional powerhouse!" (In a Better World)
"An emotional powerhouse" (Into the Wild)
"An emotional powerhouse." (We Own the Night)
"One of the most important, powerful and emotional films I've seen." (United 93)
"The emotional battlefield strikes a universal chord that transcends politics and preaching." (Stop-Loss)
"There's no denying the emotional force of this movie. It gets to you." (The Heart of the Game)
"The year's richest, most emotionally explosive film. A towering achievement." (Babel)

"The best film of the year is also the biggest emotional powerhouse. Unique and unforgettable." (Boyhood)
"A hilarious and heartfelt wonder! A new miracle in animation from Pixar...Unique and unmissable." (Ratatouille)
"John Hawkes and Helen Hunt give award-caliber performances that turn The Sessions into a unique film that brims over with humor and heartbreak." (The Sessions)
"Miranda July hits a grand slam as the writer, director and star of her first film. Her unique take on the world is cause for celebration." (Me and You and Everyone We Know)
"Brings out what's unique and gripping in Gibson as a director." (Apocalypto)
"Unforgettable. It's the party game movie of the year." (Room 237)
"A passionate, haunting, and truly unforgettable story!" (The Devil and Daniel Johnston)
"Savagely moving. Julianne Moore's tour de force performance is unforgettable." (Savage Grace)
"Meryl Streep is unmissable and unforgettable. You may have doubts about which side to choose, but there's no doubt about this mind-bender." (Doubt)
"Philip Seymour Hoffman's unmissable and unforgettable performance as Truman Capote should make him the front-runner for every Best Actor prize in the book." (Capote)
"Unmissable and unforgettable! Heath Ledger's performance is an acting miracle." (Brokeback Mountain)
"A powerfully moving film that is unmissable and unforgettable." (Vera Drake)
"An unmissable film. Illuminating and unforgettable." (Michael Jackson's This Is It)
"Unique and unforgettable." (Take Shelter)

------------------------------------------

MESMERIZINGLY, HYPNOTICALLY THE SAME

"A mesmerizing, timeless film." (The Immigrant)
"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)
"Has the power and intimacy of a timeless love story...let it sweep you away." (The Painted Veil)
"Mesmerizing." (The Conspirator)
"Mesmerizing fun!" (The Illusionist)
"A mesmerizing thriller." (Gone Baby Gone)
"A mesmerizing, power-punch of a thriller!" (Eastern Promises)
"A mesmerizing film." (Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson)
"Mesmerizing. Creates a new definition of courage." (Murderball)
"Mesmerizing...Kaye is an enormous talent. Detachment gets to you. It hits hard." (Detachment)
"A mesmerizing film that burns in the memory. Angelina Jolie plays the role like a gathering storm, moving from terror to a fierce resolve." (Changeling)
"Magnificent! Mesmerizing! A wild ride of a movie! Gael Garcia Bernal gives a breakthrough performance, playing Guevara like a gathering storm." (The Motorcycle Diaries)
"Mesmerizing! A wild, witty ride that will creep you out big time!" (Lemming)
"A mesmerizing erotic odyssey!" (Don't Move)
"A mesmerizing erotic odyssey." (Friday Night)
"A mesmerizing look at sex, lies and infidelity..." (Separate Lies)
"Johansson is tart and terrific, exuding enough come-on carnality to singe the screen...the effect of this mesmerizing mind teaser is spellbinding." (Match Point)
"A mesmerizing mind-teaser." (The Manchurian Candidate)
"A mesmerizing mindbender!" (Moon)
"A mesmerizing mind-bender." (Cosmopolis)
"A mesmerizing mind-bender." (Unknown)

Now, it seems like we are repeating ourselves at this point. Actually it is Travers that is repeating himself.
"A mesmerizing mindbender that vibrates with energy and suspense. Benedict Cumberbatch gives an explosive, emotionally complex performance. Keira Knightley is poignant and terrific. Morten Tyldum directs with masterly assurance." (The Imitation Game)
"Matthew McCounaughey has found the role of his career! His explosive, unerring portrayal defines what makes an actor great. " (Dallas Buyers Club)
"Julianne Moore is explosively good." (A Single Man)
"Brad Pitt gives a performance of indelible explosive power." (The Tree of Life)
"Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give two of the most explosive and emotionally naked performances you will see anywhere." (Blue Valentine)
"If you want to see explosive acting, just watch Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett ignite." (Notes on a Scandal)
"An erotic mindbender! (A Dangerous Method)
"A gripping mindbender." (Blackfish)
"Arguably [Lynch's] most ambitious mind-bender yet..." (Inland Empire)
"A mind-bender of a thriller with twists you don't see coming!" (Mr. Brooks)
"A brain bender!" (Wordplay)
"You may have doubts about which side to choose, but there's no doubt about this mind-bender. It is explosive." (Doubt)

"Hypnotic...Coppola makes us care, capturing the fever and fleetingness of first love in a way that marks a born filmmaker." (Palo Alto)
"In Super 8, J.J. Abrams makes us care. This movie, a true beauty, will put a spell on you." (Super 8)
"A star-is-born Dane DeHaan is stellar, displaying a charm that is both seductive and cruel." (Kill Your Darlings)
"A star is born in Hailee Steinfeld." (True Grit)
"Mamie Gummer gives a star-is-born performance." (Evening)
"A new star is born in Jamal Woolard, who defines what it means to hypnotize in this compulsively watchable biopic of rap icon Biggie Smalls." (Notorious)
"Kristin Scott Thomas is exceptional in this hypnotic look at John Lennon's life..." (Nowhere Boy)
"Hypnotic! (The Magdalene Sisters)
"Hypnotic! (When You're Strange)
"A hypnotic film means to shake you, and does." (Rust and Bone)
"Sarah Polley conquers the documentary form with this hypnotic and haunting look into her own family secrets." (Stories We Tell)
"Hypnotic and haunting." (Down in the Valley)
"Hypnotic and haunting." (Miss Bala)
"A haunting and hypnotic film." (Cairo Time)
"A haunting and hypnotic tale of love!" (Japanese Story)
"This is the best acting George Clooney has ever done - he's hypnotic, haunting and quietly devastating" (Syriana)
"Haunting and hypnotic, it's pure movie-going bliss." (The Good German)

------------------------------------------

A HELLISH BLAST OF EXHILARATING HOT AIR

"An exhilarating blast of a movie. Totally irresistible." (We Are the Best!)
"Laugh all you want...It's a blast" (21 Jump Street)
"A rowdy blast. A date-movie must." (She's Out Of My League)
"A blast of pure movie oxygen." (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"A blast of music and joy that ignites with spirit and humor." (The Sapphires)
"A blast of exuberant fun that stays rooted in humanity." (Camp)
"A roaring blast of energy! It dares you to dive into its anarchy!" (Kick-Ass)
"An erotic blast of sinful flesh, fun and fantasy that you don't want to stop." (Kaboom)
"Even better than before. This is the real Fast and Furious. A tire-burning blast of action and fun with a beating heart under its hood. You can bet (it) will rev your engines." (Cars 2)
"A total blast. Robert Downey Jr. is better than ever." (Iron Man 2)
"It's a blast. Hits the action button and never stops!" (Poseidon)
"A blast of good gory fun that just won't quit!" (Cabin Fever)
"A blast of fright and fun! Keeps the blood and the laughs gushing!" (Shaun of the Dead)
"A blast! A kissing, kick-ass cousin to Shaun of the Dead. Bloody good fun!" (Hot Fuzz)
"What do you say about a movie that launches a charm assault that is damn near irresistible?" (Me and Orson Welles)
"Irresistible!" (Quartet)
"Irresistible." (The Family Stone)
"Spanglish is irresistible." (Spanglish)
"Irresistible fun!" (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
"Utterly irresistible..." (City Island)
"Crazily inventive and totally irresistible." (Like Crazy)
"An irresistible campfest with a stinging political subtext." (I'm So Excited)
"A burst of pure filmmaking exhilaration and an irresistible invitation for fun! What more could you ask of a summer movie?" (Star Trek)
"A fireworks display of action, smarts and fun, plus a touch of class from actors who can really act. Irresistible. Go mutants! You just made this summer movie the badass place to be." (X-Men: First Class)
"The fall movie season achieves comic liftoff with Ghost Town! Tea Leoni is irresistible." (Ghost Town)
"An irresistible blend of humor and heartbreak." (Cemetery Junction)
"Hilarious and heartfelt. Irresistible. The Kids Are All Right makes its own special magic." (The Kids Are All Right)
"The Coens make their own kind of music. Hilarious, heartfelt and irresistible." (Inside Llewyn Davis)

"Exhilarating blast of fun. Does the impossible. Should the Guardians take on the Avengers...Hell yeah!" (Guardians of the Galaxy)
"Kicks ass so hard and often it's impossible not to be thrilled by it." (Prometheus)
"Exhilarating!" (The Human Stain)
"Exhilarating. Perfection!" (20 Feet from Stardom)
"Exhilarating... a once-of-a-kind marvel!" (American Splendor)
"Exhilarating. A fresh, funky jolt of filmmaking joy. Fills each frame with raw talent and exuberance." (Gimme the Loot)
"You see it with the exhilarating feeling that a movie can make a difference." (Syriana)
"Exhilarating!" (The Human Stain)
"An exhilarating rush." (Django Unchained)
"An exhilarating provocation!" (A Dangerous Method)
"An exhilarating trip!" (Shortbus)
"An exhilarating gift." (Fish Tank)
"An exhilarating gift of a comedy! To luxuriate that retro bubble of sparkling wit is a pleasure not to be missed!" (Damsels In Distress)
"An exhilarating gift filled with humor and heartbreak." (The Help)
"John Hawkes and Helen Hunt give award-caliber performances that turn The Sessions into a unique film that brims over with humor and heartbreak. An exhilarating gift of a movie." (The Sessions)
"Exhilarating! Brims over with bracing humor and ravishing romance, but there are also haunting shadows." (Midnight In Paris)
"It's exhilarating to watch, Hereafter is truly haunting." (Hereafter)

"It's hellish good fun...A blast of wicked mirth and malice. (The Guest)
Hellishly hilarious! (Religulous)
Fiendishly funny and hellishly scary! Wicked, twisted fun! (The Cabin in the Woods)
"You'll thrill to the action, savor the tasty dialogue and laugh like hell! A blast of pure movie oxygen." (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"A blast of music and joy that ignites with spirit and humor." (The Sapphires)
"A blast of exuberant fun that stays rooted in humanity." (Camp)
"A blast of good gory fun that just won't quit!" (Cabin Fever)
"A blast of fright and fun!" (Shaun of the Dead)
"A blast! A kissing, kick-ass cousin to Shaun of the Dead. The dream team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost - not to mention choice bits from Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy and Timothy Dalton - lace the mayhem with mirth. Bloody good fun!" (Hot Fuzz)
"A chance to salute these masters of mirth and music. Take it!" (Soul Men)
"Kevin Kline gives a master class in acting. He finds every nuance of mirth and melancholy in this wonder of a role and rides it to glory." (The Extra Man)
"... a bonbon spiked with delicious wit and malice" (Le Divorce)
"Blends mirth & malice with deadpan brilliance." (Submarine)
"Destruction ensues. Also, sex and laughs lace the mirth with malice." (Youth In Revolt)

------------------------------------------

HOW FUNNY IS IT?

"Damn funny." (22 Jump Street)
"Damn, Drive is good." (Drive)
"It's damn near perfect." (Nebraska)
"What do you say about a movie that launches a charm assault that is damn near irresistible?" (Me and Orson Welles)
"Comes in the nick of time to prove a point: movies that give a damn do have a place in summer." (The Constant Gardener)
"It's the kind of give 'em-hell filmmaking that Hollywood left for dead, the kind that matters." (Syriana)
"One hell of a satisfying surprise." (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
"One hell of an exciting movie." (American Gangster)
"A hell of a ride!" (The Place Beyond the Pines)
"You're in for a hell of a ride with this high-voltage thriller." (Zero Dark Thirty)
"A hell of a thriller!" (Side Effects)
"You'll thrill to the action, savor the tasty dialogue and laugh like hell!" (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"You'll laugh like hell." (Don Jon)
"Funny as hell" (Observe and Report)
"...a tribute to director Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), who sure as hell knows his way around a laugh." (Knocked Up)
"A juicy, career-crowning role. Bridges - a master of subtle brilliance - plays the hell out of it." (Crazy Heart)
"It's a hell of a thing, this Lincoln." (Lincoln)
"Who in hell wants to see a Mel Gibson movie? The answer is: you do." (The Beaver)

"Daring, devastating, howlingly funny." (Birdman)
"A brain bender! So suspenseful your palms will be sweating! It will have you howling!" (Wordplay)
"Hugely enjoyable. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are howlingly funny. It's sweet, sweet hanging." (I Love You, Man)
"Uproarious...fiendishly funny! The laughs come with a sting! Thornton and Heder keep you howling." (School for Scoundrels)

"Funny, touching and vital." (Frank)
"Some kind of miracle! From Sondheim to the Stones, Graff creates something funny, touching and vital." (Camp)
"John Hawkes and Helen Hunt give award-caliber performances that turn The Sessions into a unique film that brims over with humor and heartbreak. Funny, touching and vital. Hawkes does the kind of acting that awards were invented for." (The Sessions)
"Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Philip Bosco give award-caliber performances in Tamara Jenkins' funny, touching and vital film." (The Savages)
"A funny, touching and vital film. Clive Owen gives a heartfelt, award-caliber performance." (The Boys Are Back)
"A funny, touching, vital script by Jenny Lumet." (Rachel Getting Married)
"Sally Hawkins is irresistible in this funny, touching and vital salute to women." (Made In Dagenham)
"Sarah Jessica Parker is funny, touching and vital." (Sex and the City)

"A tour de force of comic wickedness." (Bad Words)
"This stinging satire is easily the best and wickedest comedy of the year." (Thank You For Smoking)
"Wicked clever." (The Prestige)
"Amy Adams is the wish your heart makes...she's wicked good." (Enchanted)
"Louis C.K. is a tender, wicked surprise." (Blue Jasmine)
"A wickedly probing documentary" (Inside Deep Throat)
"A wicked invitation for the audience to scream its head off." (The Village)
"Wicked, twisted fun!" (The Cabin in the Woods)
"Wicked, kinky fun." (A Dirty Shame)
"A visual and emotional tour de force." (Where the Wild Things Are)
"This tour-de-force gets you high on movies again!" (Grindhouse)
"It's a tour-de-force performance in a stylistically bold movie." (Birth)
"A tour de force for Sally Field." (Lincoln)
"Vanessa Redgrave gives a tour-de-force performance." (Coriolanus)
"Norton delivers a tour de force." (Leaves of Grass)
"Anne Hathaway delivers an acting tour de force." (Rachel Getting Married)
"You'll never forget Javier Bardem's tour de force." (No Country for Old Men)
"Viggo Mortensen's tour de force." (Eastern Promises)
"Savagely moving. Julianne Moore's tour de force performance is unforgettable." (Savage Grace)
"Streep's performance is a comic and dramatic tour de force." (The Devil Wears Prada)
"Marion Cotillard is a tour-de-force of unleashed emotions." (Rust and Bone)
"(Cohen's) performance is a tour de force that sets off comic and cosmic explosions in your head. (Borat)
"Frank Langella gives the performance of a lifetime as Nixon in a bone-deep tour de force." (Frost/Nixon)
"Jeff Daniels' portrait is a tour de force and his shining hour onscreen." (The Squid and the Whale)
"A double tour-de-force for James Franco and Danny Boyle." (127 Hours)

"Fall-on-the-floor funny. Top Five is authentically hilarious." (Top Five)
"Fall-down funny." (Anchorman 2)
"Think of all the ways you can hurt yourself laughing, as in fall down, split your sides, bust a gut, blow your mind." (Tropic Thunder)
"Lethally hilarious." (The Wolf of Wall Street)
"Profanely hilarious!" (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work)
"Hellishly hilarious!" (Religulous)
"Hot and hilarious." (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
"The hip, hot and hilarious Superbad packs in more gut-busting laughs than you'll be able to count." (Superbad)
"Hilarious in ways you have to see to believe!" (Knocked Up)
"Rogen is nutso hilarious." (Observe and Report)
"Hardcore hilarious and the movie also has a heart." (Pineapple Express)
"Achingly hilarious and heartfelt." (50/50)
"Acutely hilarious...This film will make you laugh till it hurts!" (Thank You For Smoking)
"Outrageously, gut-busting hilarious!" (Team America: World Police)
"John C. Reilly and Woody Harrelson are gut-busting hilarious." (A Prairie Home Companion)
"Bill Murray is flat-out hilarious." (Lost in Translation)
"Steve Carell is flat-out hilarious." (The 40-Year Old Virgin)

We're not done with Top Five yet.

"A raunchy comic ride." (Top Five)
"Almodovar's wildest comic ride since Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." (I'm So Excited)
"The director of District 9 has done it again. It sticks with you. Strap in for a wild ride." (Elysium)
"A hell of a ride! Pines sticks with you. Hold on tight." (The Place Beyond the Pines)
"Hang on for the ride." (Salt)
Hang on. You're in for a bumpy ride." (Compliance)
"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)
"A wild ride of a movie!" (The Motorcycle Diaries)
"A wild, witty ride that will creep you out big time!" (Lemming)
"A ride that starts at wild and accelerates from there." (Source Code)
"You're in for a hell of a ride with this high-voltage thriller." (Zero Dark Thirty)
"Prepare for a thrilling ride! (The Constant Gardener)
"An enchanted ride of a movie." (Moonrise Kingdom)
"A breathtaking ride." (Up)
"A dazzling ride." (Jack Reacher)
"A bracing ride." (Melinda and Melinda)
"A raucous ride." (Due Date)
"Put on those 3D glasses and ride, baby, ride." (Beowulf)

------------------------------------------

JUST...CAUSE...WHATEVER

"A winner" (Big Hero 6)
"We have a winner!" (The Hunger Games)
"A winner! You'll be glad you came." (We Bought a Zoo)
"Charlie Bartlett is...a winner!" (Charlie Bartlett)
"Be on the lookout for Bottle Shock, it's a winner." (Bottle Shock)
"It's a winner! The two leads are dynamite and director Alfredson knows to to pin you to your seat." (Let the Right One In)
"Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul are dynamite! smashed joins the ranks of the winners. Winstead is a revelation." (Smashed)
"A winner...Its characters manage to be romantic, hilarious and recognizably human at the same time." (Dan In Real Life)
"Hilarious and heartfelt...a winner." (Garden State)
"Hilarious and heartfelt. What makes Prime a winner is the way writer-director Ben Younger blends raucous laughs with touching gravity." (Prime)
"It's the Pixar touch that makes Cars 2 a winner." (Cars 2)

"Exuberantly clever. Hugely entertaining." (Edge of Tomorrow)
"Wicked clever." (The Prestige)
"Devilishly clever, mind-bending thriller!" (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
"Devilishly clever plot twists." (Duplicity)
"A thing of beauty, hugely entertaining and way cool!" (Finding Nemo)
"Hugely entertaining!" (Hancock)
"Hugely entertaining!" (Bottle Shock)

"The summer's most beguiling romantic comedy. Colin Firth and Emma Stone make a magnetic pair of opposites, Emma Stone lights up the screen. The actors are a pleasure to be around." (Magic in the Moonlight)
"Brilliant, beguiling, and original." (Her)
"Yum! Meryl Streep is at her brilliant, beguiling best!" (Julia & Julia)
"it offers the pleasure of watching a great actor at the peak of his form." (Crazy Heart)
"Scary, sexy and terrifically twisted! Antonio Banderas is magnetic with a vengeance!" (The Skin I Live In)
"The films pulls you in like a magnetic force." (Little Children)
"Val Kilmer is magnetic as John Holmes!" (Wonderland)
"It lights up a dim movie sky with flares of startling brilliance. (The Social Network)
"Lights up the landscape of film. (Sugar)
"Allen is the blaze that lights the film." (The Upside of Anger)
"Nicole Kidman lights up the screen." (Cold Mountain)
"Farmiga proves as fearless a director as she is an actress. She lights up Higher Ground." (Higher Ground)

"That Rosewater is as tense, chilling and indelible as it is, owes much to Stewart's keen eye for detail the way humor surfaces even in the darkest places. Gael Garcia Bernal is exceptional." (Rosewater)
"Spellbinding! A chillingly intense psychological thriller! Involves God, sex and murder! Daniel Craig is riveting." (Enduring Love)
"Directed with a keen eye for detail by Pieter Jan Brugge." (The Clearing)
"George Clooney is exceptional." (The Ides of March)
"Ben Stiller is exceptional!" (Greenberg)
"Kristin Scott Thomas is exceptional..." (Nowhere Boy)
"An exceptionally well-acted version of John Irving's A Widow For One Year! (The Door In The Floor)
"Indelibly funny...the cast could not be better." (Friends with Kids)
"Indelible! Will pin you to your seat!" (Trouble the Water)
"Brad Pitt gives a performance of indelible explosive power." (The Tree of Life)
"Hail to Daniel Day-Lewis who plays Lincoln with immersive, indelible power of an actor who wears his role like a second skin." (Lincoln)

"Scary, suspenseful, seductive. The date-night movie of the decade." (Gone Girl)
"A rowdy blast. A date-movie must." (She's Out Of My League)
"Scary, suspenseful and shockingly intense. It's quite a spectacle, watching Lance Armstrong lie his ass off." (The Armstrong Lie)

------------------------------------------

SAY NO TO CRACK...AND PETER TRAVERS



"You'll be hooked." (The Rover) (Rolling Stone)
This is a movie that gets its hooks into you early, and no chance is it letting go! (Infernal Affairs)
It will hook you and keep you riveted. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Make no mistake, you will be hooked. Also creeped out big time. (Zodiac)

"A compelling untold story. A fun and addictive adventure." (The Monuments Men)
"One of Roman Polanski's best. An addictive thriller. Dazzling." (The Ghost Writer)
"Addictively exciting. Smart, scary and tension fueled. Everything you want in a blockbuster." (World War Z)
"A solid outlaw adventure." (Lawless)
"High-style adventure." (Tron: Legacy)
"A triumph. A thrilling, nail-biting, pulse-racing adventure at sea." (All is Lost)
"A rousing high-seas adventure that sweeps you into another world." (Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World)
"It is a spectacular adventure for film lovers of all ages. Hugo will take your breath away. It truly is the stuff that dreams are made of." (Hugo)

"Snowpiercer is everything Transformers wishes it could be. You're in for a wild whoosh of a ride." (Snowpiercer)
"Action, laughs, tears. It's everything we go to the movies for!" (The Artist)
"Addictively exciting. Smart, scary and tension fueled. Everything you want in a blockbuster." (World War Z)
"A summer movie that has everything - non-stop thrills, laughs, and top tier acting. This baby is popcorn movie heaven." (The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3)
"You're in for a treat." (Spanglish)
"You're in for something special!" (The Secret Lives of Dentists)
"You're in for something special!" (Lonesome Jim)
"You're in for a bumpy ride." (Compliance)
"You're in for a hell of a ride with this high-voltage thriller." (Zero Dark Thirty)
"A hell of a ride! Pines sticks with you. Hold on tight." (The Place Beyond the Pines)
"It sticks with you. Strap in for a wild ride." (Elysium)
"Prepare for a thrilling ride!" (The Constant Gardener)
"Hang on for the ride." (Salt)
"A bracing ride." (Melinda and Melinda)
"A breathtaking ride." (Up)
"A raucous ride." (Due Date)
"A dazzling ride." (Jack Reacher)
"An enchanted ride of a movie." (Moonrise Kingdom)
"Put on those 3D glasses and ride, baby, ride." (Beowulf)
"A wild ride of a movie!" (The Motorcycle Diaries)
"A wild, witty ride that will creep you out big time!" (Lemming)
"Almodovar's wildest comic ride since Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." (I'm So Excited)
"A ride that starts at wild and accelerates from there." (Source Code)
"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)

"Non-stop fun. The cast is top-tier and Justin Simien is a talent to watch. The hype is justified." (Dear White People)
"It's exhilarating to watch, (Hereafter)
"As timely as it is thrilling to watch." (Lady Chatterley)
"It's a kick to watch Kevin Spacey and a gifted young cast use smarts to deal audiences a winning hand." (21)
Rudd and Mann are a joy to watch." (This Is 40)
"It's a hoot to watch Fonda cut loose and mix it up with Lopez." (Monster-in-Law)
"This is the bravest, riskiest role of Dench's film career. It's spellbinding to watch her blow the lid off." (Notes on a Scandal)
"A mind-bending, nonstop mesmerizer of a movie." (Zodiac)
"A mesmerizing, power-punch of a thriller! The bath house fight is a showstopper!" (Eastern Promises)
"An unstoppable cinematic force." (Fruitvale Station)
"The movie never stops spewing scares at you." (Drag Me To Hell)
"Enroll in his class and you won't stop laughing." (School of Rock)
"A movie you can't stop cheering." (Made In Dagenham)
"McG pulls out all the stops." (Terminator: Salvation)
"It's a blast. Poseidon hits the action button and never stops!" (Poseidon)
"An erotic blast of sinful flesh, fun and fantasy that you don't want to stop." (Kaboom)
"A summer movie that has everything - non-stop thrills, laughs, and top tier acting. This baby is popcorn movie heaven." (The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3)
"Electrifying performances from a top tier cast." (American Hustle)

------------------------------------------

ADDING UP THE PERFORMANCES OF ALL-TIME...WITH PETER TRAVERS

"McAvoy's bonkers brilliance will blow you away." (Filth)
"The electrifying result will blow you away." (Crazy Love)
"A bolt of brilliance." (The Wolf of Wall Street)
"The actors provide flashes of brilliance!" (Evening)
"It lights up a dim movie sky with flares of startling brilliance." (The Social Network)
"Gondry's hallucinatory brilliance holds you in thrall." (The Science of Sleep)
"Clooney inhabits this burnt-out case with haunting brilliance." (Michael Clayton)
"A juicy, career-crowning role. Bridges - a master of subtle brilliance - plays the hell out of it." (Crazy Heart)
"Blends mirth & malice with deadpan brilliance." (Submarine)
"...literate, erotic, brutally funny and touched by brilliance." (We Don't Live Here Anymore)

"Electrifying! Andre Benjamin's magnetic performance is a star-spangled triumph!" (Jimi: All Is By My Side)
"Electrifying!" (It Might Get Loud)
"Electrifying." (Breach)
"Brilliant...Electrifying...Amazing." (Bronson)
"Electrifying performances from a top tier cast." (American Hustle)
"Josh Brolin is truly electrifying." (W.)
"Want to see great acting, from comic to tragic and every electrifying stop in between? Then focus on Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Her triumphant performance is one for the time capsule." (Blue Jasmine)
"A triumph! Uma Thurman is sizzling in an electrifying performance!" (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"An electrifying movie event. Clooney's maverick triumph." (Good Night, And Good Luck)
"Carrey has never done anything this deeply felt. He and Kate Winslet give groundbreaking performances. She is electrifying." (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
"Ray is electrifying! Jamie Foxx's fierce, funny, deeply felt performance deserves to be legendary." (Ray)
"The electrifying result will blow you away. A shockingly fierce and funny spell-binder that leaves your head spinning." (Crazy Love)

HOW ABOUT A COMBINATION OF THE TWO?
"McAvoy's bonkers brilliance will blow you away." (Filth)
+
"Electrifying! Andre Benjamin's magnetic performance is a star-spangled triumph!" (Jimi: All Is By My Side)
=
"Electrifying! A diabolically entertaining spellbinder. Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons will blow you away." (Whiplash)
"A triumph! Uma Thurman is sizzling in an electrifying performance!" (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"An electrifying movie event. One of the year's best...Clooney's maverick triumph." (Good Night, And Good Luck.)
"Kate Winslet is electrifying." (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
"Josh Brolin is truly electrifying." (W.)
"Want to see great acting, from comic to tragic and every electrifying stop in between?" (Blue Jasmine)
"Meryl Streep has never been this fierce, this diabolically funny." (The Manchurian Candidate)
"Subversive and diabolically funny." (The Yes Men)
"Diabolically fun and beautifully intricate." (Fracture)
"It's a spellbinder." (Let Me In)
"A spellbinder of breathtaking beauty and terror." (Sweeney Todd)
"...the effect of this mesmerizing mind teaser is spellbinding." (Match Point)
"Spellbinding...As timely as it is thrilling to watch." (Lady Chatterley)
"Sweeps you up on waves of ravishing romance. A potently erotic spellbinder. It speaks of what's timeless about passion, art and redemption." (Atonement)
"Spellbinding! A chillingly intense psychological thriller! Involves God, sex and murder! (Enduring Love)
"Ang Lee's potently erotic and suspenseful Lust, Caution casts a spell you won't want to break!" (Lust, Caution)
"This movie, a true beauty, will put a spell on you." (Super 8)
"...This film portrait casts a spell..." (Tupac Resurrection)
"What gives this spellbinder a similar raw power is the way Boyer reveals the parallels between DeLuca and Sutherland." (I Trust You to Kill Me)
"This is the bravest, riskiest role of Dench's film career. It's spellbinding to watch her blow the lid off." (Notes on a Scandal)
"Lou Pucci rides this spellbinder!" (Thumbsucker)
"A spellbinder of breathtaking beauty and terror." (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
"This you do not want to miss! A spellbinder that builds unbearable suspense without losing sight of the story's grieving heart. A spellbinder that builds unbearable suspense." (No Country for Old Men)
"A spellbinding true crime story. Potent and provocative. Gosling is terrific. Kirsten Dunst is heartbreakingly good." (All Good Things)
"There's more killer suspense in this one-of-a-kind film than you'll find in a dozen thrillers. You'll be talking about this spellbinder for weeks. It pushes every button. Don't let anyone spoil this story." (Catfish)
"A knockout! Spellbinding! It spins a web that will pull you in. A thriller that really thrills." (The Lookout)
"It pins you to your seat. A spellbinder! The stuff that dreams are made of!" (Brick)
"Holds you spellbound!" (Rachel Getting Married)
"A shockingly fierce and funny spell-binder that leaves your head spinning." (Crazy Love)
"A one-of-a-kind spellbinder that's not afraid to shock!" (The Libertine)
"This spellbinder will sneak up and floor you. It's that good. A supremely intelligent and deeply touching thriller." (The Secret In Their Eyes)
"Allen and Elliott perform acting miracles in this quietly devastating spellbinder. Scott has built a movie that sneaks up and knocks you flat." (Off the Map)

"Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and effing uproarious! The comic and dramatic range of their performances will blow you away! (The Skeleton Twins) (Rolling Stone)
"Think of all the ways you can hurt yourself laughing, as in fall down, split your sides, bust a gut, blow your mind." (Tropic Thunder)
"A mind-blowing comedy classic" (Borat)
"Dazzling, uproarious, rare and remarkable!" (Please Give)
"Uproarious...fiendishly funny!" (School for Scoundrels)
"Close's range, energy, originality, humor and intelligence merit serious Oscar attention. Then there's Janet McTeer, who is pure pow!" (Albert Nobbs)
"If you want to see explosive acting, just watch Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett ignite. This is the bravest, riskiest role of Dench's film career. It's spellbinding to watch her blow the lid off." (Notes on a Scandal)
"The mind-blowing movie event of the summer arrives just in time." (Inception)
"A blockbuster that will blow away all your senses!" (The Avengers)
"The electrifying result will blow you away." (Crazy Love)

"Michael Keaton delivers the best performance of his career." (Birdman)
"Norton is a wonder to behold, catching Harlan in the act of inventing himself and crafting a performance to rank with his career-best work in Fight Club, Primal Fear and American History X." (Down in the Valley)
This is the bravest, riskiest role of Dench's film career." (Notes on a Scandal)
Tommy Lee Jones does the finest work of his career." (In the Valley of Elah)
Viggo Mortensen in the performance of his career so far. "(A History of Violence)
Jeff Daniels gives the performance of his career." (The Squid and the Whale)
Colin Firth gives the performance of his career" (A Single Man)
"Matthew McCounaughey has found the role of his career!" (Dallas Buyers Club)
"A juicy, career-crowning role. Bridges - a master of subtle brilliance - plays the hell out of it." (Crazy Heart)
"Woody's full-out emotional range here ranks as a career pinnacle." (The Messenger)
"A new career peak for the Coen Brothers." (No Country for Old Men)
"Hanks hits a new career peak." (Captain Phillips)

"A showstopping performance. Reese Witherspoon goes deep, rattling between desperation and determination. It is an exciting, elemental adventure that takes you to places and feelings you don't see coming." (Wild)
"A knockout of a movie filled with nerve-jangling tension, and surprises you don't see coming." (Captain Phillips)
"A mind-bender of a thriller with twists you don't see coming!" (Mr. Brooks)
"Prisoners is packed with twists you don't see coming. Jackman and Gyllenhaal burn with white-hot intensity." (Prisoners)
"Tommy Lee Jones shakes you in way you do not see coming. His movie is a powder keg." (The Three Burials of Melquaides Estrada)
"David Hyde Pierce is pricelessly good at taking you places you don't see coming." (The Perfect Host)
"Precious leaves you moved like no film in years and then lifts you up in ways you don't see coming." (Precious)
"For her stirring, soul-deep performance...Marion Cotillard goes to the front of the line for every Best Actress award out there...Marion Cotillard...gives a performance for the ages." (La Vie en Rose)
"Jamie Foxx's fierce, funny, deeply felt performance deserves to be legendary." (Ray)
"Jim Carrey has never done anything this deeply felt." (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
"Andy Samberg shines in a grounded performance that digs deep, sharply funny and touching, a breath of fresh comic air!" (Celeste and Jesse Forever)
"A never-better Kate Winslet goes so deep into her character you can almost feel her nerve endings." (Little Children)
"A juicy, career-crowning role. Bridges - a master of subtle brilliance - plays the hell out of it. Not by showing off, but by going bone-deep into a character who only thinks he's running on empty." (Crazy Heart)
"Ewan McGregor goes bone-deep in a performance of shining subtlety." (Beginners)
"Frank Langella gives the performance of a lifetime as Nixon in a bone-deep tour de force." (Frost/Nixon)
"It's a bone-deep performance that raises the bar." (Michael Clayton)

"If you need a reminder of what a fine, nuanced actor Nicolas Cage can be, take a look at Joe." (Joe)
"Kevin Kline gives a master class in acting. He finds every nuance of mirth and melancholy in this wonder of a role and rides it to glory. You can't take your eyes off him." (The Extra Man)
"Scott Thomas uses every nuance in her acting arsenal to register their impact." (I've Loved You So Long)
"Patricia Clarkson's sublimely nuanced performance is in every way transporting." (Cairo Time)
"Zach Galifianakis is a comic force of nature! He digs down here and delivers a beautifully nuanced performance that gets under your skin." (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
"Brad Pitt nails every nuance." (Moneyball)
"Sarandon nails every nuance." (The Greatest)
"Annette Bening and Julianne Moore nail every nuance." (The Kids Are All Right)
"Chris Hemsworth is revelatory. He nails every vulnerable nuance." (Rush)

"Force Majeure is a jolt. You won't know what hit you. Director Ostlund shifts gears from humor to psychological thriller with cunning skill." (Force Majeure)
"You won't know what hit you." (A History of Violence)
"Hits you like a full-tilt adrenaline rush. (Limitless)
"Hits you like a shot in the heart." (Brokeback Mountain)
"Hits you right in the heart." (Cinderella Man)
"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)
"If you're looking for a crime story that sizzles with action, sex and the visceral jolt of life on the edge, Miami Vice is the one." (Miami Vice)
"A funny-sexy-scary powerhouse! Bursts through the cliches of race, sex, violence and morality and caps it with a jolt of an ending!" (Better Luck Tomorrow)
"A fresh, funky jolt of filmmaking joy." (Gimme the Loot)
"A juicy, jolting financial thriller." (Arbitrage)
"It's jolting, juicy stuff made juicier by the actors. State of Play keeps the twists coming." (State of Play)
"The jolts are juicy and so are the jokes. This mischievous blend of The Office and Friday the 13th keeps things fierce and funny enough to give Steve Carell ideas." (Severance)

"**** One of the year's very best films. A mesmerizing masterwork. Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo give the performances of their lives. Bennett Miller Hits a new peak as he takes a scalpel to the privileged worlds of olympic sports and inherited wealth. A unique and unforgettable psychological thriller that knocks the ground out from under you." (Foxcatcher)
"Get ready to have the rug pulled out from under you!" (In Bruges)
"Allen and Elliott perform acting miracles in this quietly devastating spellbinder. Scott has built a movie that sneaks up and knocks you flat." (Off the Map)
"It offers the pleasure of watching a great actor at the peak of his form." (Crazy Heart)
"Hanks hits a new career peak." (Captain Phillips)
"Mann hits a new peak, orchestrating action, atmosphere and bruising humor. (Collateral)
"This classic-in-the-making is the Coen Brothers at the peak of their powers! A new career peak for the Coen Brothers." (No Country for Old Men)
"Eastwood, at the peak of his artful powers, tightens the screws of suspense without ever forgetting where the heart of his film lies." (Changeling)
"A masterwork. Grips you in a vice of suspense..." (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days)
"A lyrical masterwork. A near perfect blend of humor and heartbreak." (Summer Hours)
"A unique film that brims over with humor and heartbreak." (The Sessions)
"A hilarious and heartfelt wonder! A new miracle in animation from Pixar...Unique and unmissable." (Ratatouille)
"Miranda July hits a grand slam as the writer, director and star of her first film. Her unique take on the world is cause for celebration." (Me and You and Everyone We Know)
"Brings out what's unique and gripping in Gibson as a director." (Apocalypto)
"Unique and unforgettable." (Take Shelter)

Let's bring it all full circle shall, we?

"It's riveting, emotional, and a one-of-a-kind love story all rolled into one triumphant film. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones reach for the stars in two of the year's best performances." (The Theory of Everything)
"One of the year's best. It's James Bond, Indiana Jones and the X-Men all rolled into one kick-out-the-jams spectacle." (The Incredibles)
"Super smart, super cool triumph. A blockbuster that will blow away all your senses!" (The Avengers)
"A triumph. A thrilling, nail-biting, pulse-racing adventure at sea." (All is Lost)
"A triumph!" (The Road)
"Closer is a triumph." (Closer)
"A superb comedy! A triumph!" (Look at Me)
"A forceful, impassioned and unsparing triumph from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne." (l'enfant)
"Ralph Fiennes, as star and commander, pulls off a triumph! Vanessa Redgrave gives a tour-de-force performance." (Coriolanus)
"Triumphant and enthralling. A double tour-de-force for James Franco and Danny Boyle." ( 127 Hours)
"Michael Douglas deserves serious award attention for his triumphant performance..." (Solitary Man)
"Riveting! A triumphant success." (The Tillman Story)
"A triumph! Uma Thurman is sizzling in an electrifying performance!" (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
"An electrifying movie event. One of the year's best...Clooney's maverick triumph." (Good Night, And Good Luck.)
"A total triumph! An American classic! Gus Van Sant's best film." (Milk)
"Hits you right in the heart. It's the classic American tale of the family man triumphant. Ron Howard's best movie." (Cinderella Man)
"Hits you like a shot in the heart. This classic in the making ranks high on the list of the year's best movies. It's a landmark film and a triumph for Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal." (Brokeback Mountain)
"Triumphant! A new American crime classic from the legendary Martin Scorsese, whose talent shines here on its highest beams." (The Departed)
"A triumph of the highest order! A new crime classic." (A Prophet)
"As the film follows its tragic course, Burton scores an explosive triumph." (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
"The go-for-broke intensity and emotional layering Watts brings to her role is an acting triumph." (The Impossible)
"A triumph that brings lyricism, laughs and dark magic to the party. Irresistible fun!" (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
"Harry is better than ever, a triumph of visual wonder and emotional storytelling." (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
"A triumphant conclusion to a decade of Pottermania." ( Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2)
"(Weir's) triumph, though, is in balancing action and character. 'M&C' rides that road to glory." (Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World)
"Kevin Kline gives a master class in acting. He finds every nuance of mirth and melancholy in this wonder of a role and rides it to glory." (The Extra Man)
"Matt Damon puts everything into the role and rides it to glory." (True Grit)
"Greg Kinnear takes the star spot in Flash of Genius and rides it to glory." (Flash of Genius)

Is it not time to ride Travers out of town? Or at least off every film ad until the end of time. That would be truly glorious.





link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=3723
originally posted: 12/22/14 12:42:16
last updated: 12/22/14 14:09:50
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