HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

What a year Jay Baruchel is having. His winsome voice acting is a big
reason why the storybook saga HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON comes so
spiritedly to life. A seamless marrying of lifelike animation and
fantastical effects, it's also remarkable for its moments of subtle
emotion, especially the first time the boy touches the dragon. The
story's nothing new (they could have called it Cutie and the Beast)
but the execution is top notch. All aboard this Train. — Jeff Schultz

BROOKLYN’S FINEST

Every year there's a movie critics dump all over and they turn out to
be completely wrong. This year that movie is Brooklyn's Finest. Don
Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and even Richard Gere do fantastic work as
conflicted cops on the edge. Wesley Snipes reminds us why he was once
a star, and the gritty story keeps you riveted until the end. It's not
groundbreaking. Just one hell of a good movie. Maybe critics would
have been kinder if it was in 3D or took place in Iraq. — Stormy Curry

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

The gold standard of time-space continuum comedies, HOT TUB TIME
MACHINE is much like The Hangover — only with laughs! Lots of them.
All the way through. Rob Corddry takes charge like nobody's business,
overpowering Cusack and Robinson, but joined in comic glory by
deadpan, sharp-as-a-tack Clark Duke (what, is 2010 the breakout year
for tubby young actors?) Clever, tight and hysterical, this is one hot
tub we should all soak in together. — Jeff Schultz

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

A fable that even adults can appreciate, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
should have been nominated for an Oscar. Young Max Records is sweet
and troubled and thinks he finds refuge in a fantasy world. But the
lesson here might be that family is screwed up no matter real or
imagined. Great voice over work as the Wild Things of the title by a
cast too numerous to list here. Beautifully directed by Spike Jonze.
Just goes to show that you don't have to be Disney or Pixar to make a
great family movie. — Alan Yudman

THE RUNAWAYS

Music? check. Hot Girls? check. Drugs? yup. Asshole producer/
manager? got it. THE RUNAWAYS has all that, but they're just pieces
that don't necessarily come together. Dakota Fanning stretches a bit,
but only because we've never seen her like this. Kristen Stewart
becomes Joan Jett, but dark, angry & brooding have become her
signature. Michael Shannon is very good as weirdo record producer Kim
Fowley. But the movie is filled with cliches & is as shallow as the
band's music. Don't runaway, but don't run towards it either. — Alan
Yudman

THE CRAZIES

A tight well done suspense thriller, you gotta be nuts to not enjoy
THE CRAZIES. Refreshing to see a thriller with real actors instead of
the cast of Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill. Genuine creepiness and a
solid script keeps Crazies from veering into eye rolling territory.
And I'll think twice before going through a car wash again! Its still
a B movie, just a well done B movie! –Stormy Curry

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

They could have called it Malcolm in the Multiplex. Or even The Little
Bang Theory. But whatever the title, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID works
because of its two leads, standout kid actors both: future
heartbreaker Zachary Gordon manages to play a self-centered, even
mean, tweener yet still remain charming. He's more than matched by
chubby buddy Robert Capron, whose heart-melting genuineness is this
sweet story's very moral. When he disappears for a stretch toward the
end, you look forward to his coming back. — Jeff Schultz

REPO MEN

Intriguing premise, glossy look, decent acting — so why was I not
possessed by REPO MEN? Maybe because the entire story arc is played
out in the trailer, leaving no room for surprise. Maybe because the
ending (both endings, actually) you see coming a mile away. Or maybe
because it alternates between too quiet and dull… and too many
ridiculous fight scenes with the hero single-handedly killing ten
people — a by now kung fu cliche that needs to be put to rest. —
Jeff Schultz

THE CRAZIES

A solid zombie flick that's more a commentary on the government, THE
CRAZIES won me over. The town is the victim of an accident & an
attempt at containing it. But you are figuring all this out along with
the cast. The enemy is out there and just as crazy as the zombies.
Olyphant and Joe Anderson are great & have great scenes together. This
was crazy good! — Alan Yudman

EDGE OF DARKNESS

Despite being a mess off screen, nobody plays grieving/avenging angel
on screen better than Mel Gibson. And that powers Edge of Darkness, a
payback film that takes its time building to its unavoidable climax.
Satisfying and heartbreaking, what could have been a no brainer tried
for something more …and succeeds. — Stormy Curry