With Thanksgiving behind and Christmas/New Year ahead, we’re in the middle of the holiday season gauntlet, but there are no holidays this week. And Hollywood followed the calendar’s example and released a collection of movies that don’t deserve much celebration.  However, our first movie takes place during the holidays, which almost counts so long as Everybody’s Fine (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Robert De Niro is the ‘Everydad’ in this sad and thoughtful family holiday film that will make you call your own father to tell him you love him”  Chris Cox Hollywood.com


“The gag-inducing melodrama “Everybody’s Fine” hails from Kirk Jones, whose phone calls, kisses and hugs no longer will be returned the moment this baby hits theaters.” Christopher Smith Bangor Daily News (Maine)

I wouldn’t worry about him.  He’s fine, right?

“Some might say poetic. Some might say, “oh please.”” Joanna Langfield The Movie Minute

Some might say “oh please”
If you got down on your knees,
But it can be harder to write a poem that rhymes,
If you’re stuck at work and don’t have the time.

“In his career-debasement race against Al Pacino, must Robert De Niro inflict a moribund genre botch like Everybody’s Fine on the public just in time to grinch us up for Christmas?” Bill Weber Slant Magazine

I sometimes wish that movies ran smear ads (like candidates do near elections) against other movies, just so I could hear the commercial voice over call this movie “a moribund genre botch.”

“It’s all so much raging bull.” Robert Wilonsky Village Voice

Don’t put too much Heat on DeNiro, he’s a Goodfella, not some Casino Taxi Driver Focker.  Hopefully critics won’t be so Intolerable of the Out Of Sight King of Up In The Air (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).  At least the title answers the question of Where Art Thou?

“Clooney — slim, dark, perfectly tailored — glamorizes insincerity in a way that makes you want to go out and lie.” David Edelstein New York Magazine

All right.  My movie-title seque was clever, smart, and not forced in any way.

“Up in the Air goes down like a sedative. This is a movie that’s easy to like–and to dislike as well.” Village Voice J. Hoberman

“Nobody gets offended, nothing gets questioned, the crowd goes home properly cheered.” Fernando F. Croce Slant Magazine

I look forward to feeling properly sedated.

“Only seriously deluded people could enjoy Reitman’s funny-sad whiplash. He’s playing that same Hollywood game: keeping people ignorant of political economy.” Armond White New York Press

I don’t think Hollywood can change until more than fifty percent of moviemakers understand what you’re talking about.

“It deserves it and should stand up as one of 2009’s best pictures” Pete Hammond Boxoffice Magazine

“Does it live up to the hype? Hell yeah!” Chris Bumbray JoBlo’s Movie Emporium

Speaking of hype, I need a minute on the soapbox to call out our last two movies: Armored (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic) and Brothers (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).  Both films have strong casts, one word titles, and might be fine movies, but they committed the same promotional sin – spoiler trailers.  You know how some movies have teasers that don’t tell you much about the movie, but still make you want to see it?  Well, these movies go the other way and condense their films into a three-minute summaries.  So, as my Christmas present to all readers of these roundups, I will now save you twenty dollars in movie tickets.  Enjoy.

“Inspired by Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and countless films about seemingly perfect heists that go uproariously wrong, Armored is an unpretentious, fast-moving, action-packed thriller that delivers its generic goods unapologetically.” Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com


“This intense story of family conflict is powerful and gripping, an absolutely mesmerizing motion picture experience.” Pete Hammond Boxoffice Magazine

“Feels contrived,rather than organic. It’s like a cynical attempt to make movie version of a downbeat Bruce Springsteen song.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine


PDJ should really get started on his Christmas shopping