Films by Title : U - Z

U2-3D (2008)  Very Good
Undefeated (2011)  Very Good
February 4, 2012

At its best, Undefeated is a Hail Mary TD pass. It recently received an Oscar nomination as Best Documentary feature. Other times, it's a routine punt.

Undefeated is an anthem of decency and empathy. It's also about l ... more

Under the Same Moon (2008)  Very Good
April 3, 2008

Lou Dobbs will hate Under the Same Moon (la Misma Luna). In the past Dobbs has debunked his roots.

He said, "I have no idea who in the heck or where in the heck my grandparents came from. I don't even care."

Some who are not so dismi ... more

Unfinished Song (2013)  Watchable
July 2, 2013

Unfinished Song is shameless hokum, but it should please its target audience.

It's about Arthur (Terence Stamp), a grumpy pensioner in London, whose beloved wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) has cancer. She has an incredibly sunny ... more

Unforgiven (1992)  Great
Unknown (2011)  Watchable
February 25, 2011

Unknown turns Hitchcock into Hitchschlock.

The movie is purring along nicely relying on character and suspense, until suddenly it takes a U-turn and goes on a violent car chase, which shatters credibility. From then on it never reco ... more

Unraveled (2012)  Badly flawed
April 24, 2012

Unraveled is a con job.

It has the clammy hands of its crooked main figure all over it.

Unraveled is a documentary, directed by entertainment attorney and filmmaker Marc H. Simon, about Marc Dreier, who bilked hedge f ... more

Unstoppable (2010)  Very Good
Up (2009)  Great
Up in the Air (2009)  Better than average
V for Vendetta (2006)  Very Good
Vantage Point (2008)  Badly flawed
Venus (2006)  Exemplary
Venus in Fur (2014)  Very Good
June 26, 2014

Venus in Fur bristles with possibilities - some intriguing, some galling.

Adapted from a play by David Ives, based on a novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, it's stagebound but vaults into multi-faceted imagination.

... more
Verdict, The (1986)  GreatVerdict, The (1986)  Great
Vertigo (1958)  Classic
Very Bad Things (1998)  Very Good
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)  Great
Vincent and Theo (1990)  Very Good
Visitor, The (2008)  Great
W (2008)  Exemplary
Wag the Dog (1997)  Better than average
Waking Ned (1998)  Better than average
Walk the Line (2005)  Better than average
Walkabout (1971)  Better than average
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)  Better than average
September 29, 2010

Director Oliver Stone based some of his film Nixon (1995) -- an underrated movie -- on Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941). It added to the vision and scope.

With Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Stone may be follow ... more

WALL-E (2008)  Better than average
Waltz with Bashir (2008)  Very Good
March 5, 2009

The Israeli film Waltz with Bashir looked like a sure thing to win the Oscar as Best Foreign Film.

It had received raves; it had garnered more than 90% favorable reviews. It had better distribution than any of the other candidates. ... more

War Horse (2011)  Very Good
January 8, 2012

Every once in a while, one needs unbridled sentimentality.

Director Steven Spielberg and War Horse fill that need. War Horse is a combination of The Wizard of Oats and Gone with the Whinny.

Sentimentality is ... more

War of the Worlds (2005)  Exemplary
Watchmen (2009)  Better than average
March 13, 2009

Duck, here comes the kitchen sink -- from Mars!

Author Alan Moore kept the sink secure in his graphic novel Watchmen; director Zack Snyder throws it clattering erratically across the screen in his screen version.

Watchme ... more

Way We Were, The (1973)  Very Good
Way, The (2011)  Very Good
We Are Marshall (2006)  Watchable
We Have a Pope (2012)  Better than average
April 16, 2012

Although We Have a Pope is a heady concoction, it may not have mass appeal.

It is part romp, part pratfall, part hymn. It's difficult to get a grasp on the sensibility of We Have a Pope. Where is it going, and how is it g ... more

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)  Exemplary
West Side Story (1961)  Very Good
What Goes Up (2009)  Watchable
June 4, 2009

Usually I'm the naysayer, going against the preposterous flackery of such venal arbiters as Pete Hammond and Rex Reed.

But I find myself giving faint praise to a movie that 20 out of 20 reviewers on Rottentomatoes rated "rotten."

... more
What Happens in Vegas (2008)  Better than average
What Just Happened (2008)  Watchable
What's Up, Doc? (1972)  Very Good
Where Eagles Dare (1968)  Very Good
White Bird in a Blizzard (2014)  Watchable
October 16, 2014

Gregg Araki has lost his sting.

It's a sad loss.

Director Araki's latest film White Bird in a Blizzard is a floundering satire. It's American Beauty (1999) revisited in a flaky, snowy glaze.

It has ... more

White Heat (1949)  Better than average
White House Down (2013)  Watchable
June 29, 2013

After seeing White House Down, you could well leave the theater as I did, saying, "God, that was an awful movie."

But you could have a smile on your face, as I did, because of the sheer amount of nonsense which you've su ... more

White Hunter Black Heart (1990)  Better than average
White Ribbon, The (2009)  Very Good
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)  Very Good
Wild Bunch, The (1969)  Classic
Wild Grass (2010)  Very Good
August 29, 2010

In Wild Grass 87-year old director Alain Resnais sows his wild oatmeal.

Born in 1922 (now 88), Resnais was a paragon of the French New Wave (La Nouvelle Vague) in the late 1950s and 1960s.

His latest film Wild Grass i ... more

Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, The (2003)  Great
Wild Strawberries (1957)  Great
Will Penny (1968)  Great
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)  Very Good
Win Win (2011)  Very Good
Winslow Boy, The (1999)  Classic
Winter in Wartime (2008)  Better than average
May 4, 2011

Winter in Wartime (2008) is an evocative Dutch movie about a youthful adolescent coming of age in Nazi-occupied Holland in January 1945.

It smacks of familiarity, but has a few surprises that invest it with life, if not originality. ... more

Winter Light (1962)  Exemplary
Winter's Bone (2010)  Exemplary
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)  Great
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)  Classic
Wolf of Wall Street, The (2013)  Exemplary
Wolfman, The (2010)  Better than average
February 19, 2010

To mix monsters -- The Wolfman is one of those films that was put together like Frankenstein.

It's a patchwork mess, but it lives!

The Wolfman had severe problems -- delays, reshoots, a change of director, new edi ... more

World Trade Center (2006)  Watchable
World War Z (2013)  Very Good
Wrestler, The (2008)  Very Good
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)  Very Good
May 25, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the best movies of the year - until it Xs out.

In its climactic last 1/4, it loses its nerve and settles for blowing everything apart. At that point, it becomes just another action movie. It& ... more

X-Men: First Class (2011)  Very Good
June 3, 2011

On the surface, prequels may seem to be the final attempt to drain the last dregs from a franchise.

But, on occasion, a prequel can not only revive a franchise; in some cases, it can enhance it.

X-Men: First Class brings fre ... more

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)  Very Good
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)  Very Good
You Kill Me (2007)  Watchable
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)  Very Good
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)  Better than average
Zabriskie Point (1970)  Watchable
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)  Very Good
Zodiac (2007)  Great

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