Jean-François Tremblay’s reviews

SUNSHINE CLEANING

I have a low tolerance for a certain kind of film that specializes in quirkiness obviously, patently meant to get your sympathy.

NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS

This is an observant, heart-warming film.

QUARANTINE

For a decent portion of its running time, it is as nerve-wracking and pulse-pounding as they come.

IRON MAN

As superhero movies go, it ranks among the very best efforts of the genre.

HITMAN

Sometimes feels like an empty vessel type of shoot’em up, but it has dazzling action and a surprisingly compelling central relationship.

HALLOWEEN

In short, we see way too much of Michael, and that robs him of the mystique he had in John Carpenter’s 1978 classic.

HOSTEL: PART II

Worth seeing for horror fans, but a lot has been lost from the standout original film, most importantly the crucial element of surprise.

RISE: BLOOD HUNTER

Lucy Liu is absolutely remarkable here, revealing a depth of emotions rarely hinted at in her previous work.

SPIDER-MAN 3

The main problem is not the number of villains or the abundance of special FX, but rather that it all amounts to so little in the end.

FRACTURE

Sometimes the line is very thin between tedious and quietly gripping, and this film has a little too much of the former.

DEAD SILENCE

Laden with atmosphere and a sustained sense of dread.

WILD HOGS

William H. Macy has never approached such unbridled zaniness, and he’s a riot.

BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE

For a while, there is poignancy in the story of these star-crossed lovers and how it impacts the werewolf clan.

BLACK CHRISTMAS

Fails to commit to a specific tone: at no point is it self-conscious enough to be amusing or dark enough to be disquieting.

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Cheerful, upbeat and quite enjoyable.

LET’S GO TO PRISON

While lowbrow, it still delivers enough funny moments to stun gun its way to a rating.

FLICKA

You’re bound to be touched someway, somehow by this delightful story of a girl and her beloved four-legged friend.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING

Focuses a little too much on the deranged Sheriff, to the detriment of the chainsaw-wielding maniac.

THE WICKER MAN

Cage is not the best casting decision, but he’s saddled with streaky dialogue and a few scenes that are just plain silly.

THE DESCENT

A film of rare intensity – the ferocity of the crawlers when they attack will leave you breathless.

THE LAKE HOUSE

Hints at a more upbeat mood, but the movie falls prey to a formula that locks them into mournful star-crossed lovers.

THE BREAK-UP

Peyton Reed’s non-romantic, misguided semi-comedy is not that movie.

POSEIDON

Large-scale entertainment that’ll leave you in shock at the devastation, but also in awe of the moviemaking.

BLOODRAYNE

Overall I enjoyed BloodRayne a good deal, and it’s certainly not as atrocious as many people would like you to believe.

RUNNING SCARED

A dynamic remixing of the timeless themes of good and evil, suffering and retribution, and love and commitment.

FIREWALL

If ever a movie needed an explanatory sheet about what the hell is going on, this one would be a good candidate.

THE MATADOR

An unassuming, low-key dark comedy whose highlight is a most interesting performance by Pierce Brosnan.

THE ICE HARVEST

Echoes the too-much-money- will- bring-you-hell storyline of Fargo and the disregard for Christmas goodwill of Bad Santa.

SAW II

Don’t trick yourself out of such a treat this Halloween!

SHOPGIRL

Anybody who’s ever loved (and possibly lost) can empathize with Mirabelle’s longing.

JUST LIKE HEAVEN

Jean François and Kevin love the Reese – but what do they think of the movie?

BAD NEWS BEARS

Virtually every development feels like a watered-down version of the previous film, which was funnier.

DARK WATER

However efficient it is as a horror movie, it’s not the kind of stuff I’d want to see again.

HERBIE: FULLY LOADED

The film was shot in 2004, so at least we get a much better-looking Lindsay in comparison to her current appearance.

THE LONGEST YARD

The football game is shown with bone-crunching energy, but the screenplay involves too many odd or overly quirky characters.

HOUSE OF WAX

This is just your basic slasher film with the volume once again cranked up to deafening levels.

A LOT LIKE LOVE

Refreshingly approaches characters and situations without straining to get easy laughs when bright smiles are more satisfying.

MISS CONGENIALITY 2: ARMED AND FABULOUS

Shows that female buddy movies can be just as cloying as the lesser examples of their male equivalent.

HOSTAGE

A stylish and very well done entry into the genre.

CONSTANTINE

Constantine is not captivating, but it has a few neat turns and some inspired visuals.

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13

A whole lot of people get killed and a whole lot of stuff is destroyed, but not much sense is made of it all.

RACING STRIPES

What it attempts to do, it does with flair and only a few false notes. It is certainly comparable to Babe.

BLADE: TRINITY

This time it makes us care more about its main character and it offers an involving connection to our world.

SAW

Extremely intense and definitely not for everybody.

TAXI

If you like your laughs served with a generous helping of action, you could do a lot worse than Taxi.

PAPARAZZI

A violent and rather clumsily told revenge fantasy.

OPEN WATER

This is a film that hits hard, with a finale of the kind that stays with you for a long time.

ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF ROB BURGUNDY

Jean-François and Kevin agree that Anchorman is an hilarious must-see!

THE CLEARING

It uses an incomplete jigsaw puzzle to set up its psychological portraits, but it remains a noteworthy effort.

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK

Science-fiction and action fans will love these Chronicles.

RAISING HELEN

Kate Hudson really is the glue holding this film together.

GODSEND

A very underwhelming horror movie, feebly evoking The Omen.

JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION

It feels disconnected and the laughs are few and far between, with some objectionable parts.

SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED

Primarily an action romp for kids, but there’s a charm to this bunch that is enjoyable and a few quiet moments that work.

SECRET WINDOW

David Koepp has put together a very good terror film.

CLUB DREAD

A hit-and-miss hybrid of a movie [that] wants to be both funny and scary.

THE BLUE BUTTERFLY

A moving experience of poetic beauty.

BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS

Feels a bit like a hairdresser tinkering endlessly with your haircut when you thought the first go at it was just right.

ALONG CAME POLLY

The film leaves an impression of being drawn out but is saved by the chemistry of Stiller and Aniston.

PETER PAN

The film as a whole equals less than the sum of its parts.

HONEY

The charm of Honey is in the resiliency of the title character.

Also:
2004’S BEST & WORST BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY
THE BEST & WORST MOVIES OF 2005 BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY
THE BEST & WORST MOVIES OF 2006 BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY
THE BEST & WORST MOVIES OF 2007 BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY
2008’S BEST & WORST BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY
2009’S BEST & WORST BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY