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The Fifth Element
Besson's smart editing and sly sense of humor keep this science-fiction epic from bogging down. Despite a grim storyline, the film never takes itself too seriously.
"...story Besson wrote as a 16-year-old schoolboy, The Fifth Element chronicles the adventures of Korben Dallas (Willis), a 23rd-century..."

May 9, 1997 Movie Review by Marc Savlov

The Element of Crime
"...Me Lei, Preben Lerdorff Rye and Ghota Andersen. The Element of Crime, von Trier's first feature-length film (originally released..."

March 29, 1996 Movie Review by Marc Savlov

Unstable Element
Are Austin's water fluoridation policies dangerous? It depends who you ask.
"...The reduced form of the highly reactive chemical element fluorine – better known as fluoride – is commonly..."

Nov. 27, 2009 News Feature by Wells Dunbar

The Human Element
"...A key element of the plan is to use $1 million in..."

Feb. 5, 1999 News Feature by Bryan Mealer

All Over Creation: Element of Surprise
The joys and importance of 'I didn't see that coming'

Sept. 16, 2011 Arts Column by Robert Faires

The Silence of Neto
"...what is wrong. Director Argueta brings in the fantasy element here, allowing the boy to call up his wise..."

Nov. 10, 1995 Movie Review by Marc Savlov

Giant Little Ones
Teen sexuality as a spectrum in this tender drama of growing up and coming out
"...Ones apart from the pack. But that's just one element of a wider story, told with a charming earnestness,..."

March 22, 2019 Movie Review by Richard Whittaker

The House That Jack Built
Lars von Trier, back pushing buttons, to little response
"...at best, a dour affair, with Jack in his element, dispatching one unlucky body after another, his red van..."

Dec. 14, 2018 Movie Review by Josh Kupecki

American Animals
Truth, lies, and self-deception in this remarkable true-crime docudrama
"...down blindly may be surprised to find a second element at play. Layton, a longtime documentary filmmaker, has chosen..."

June 15, 2018 Movie Review by Matthew Monagle

Sweet Country
The modern Western goes to Northern Australia.
"...move since the film’s look is as much an element of the story as any of the characters. One..."

April 13, 2018 Movie Review by Marjorie Baumgarten

The Commuter
Liam Neeson still has a very particular set of skills
"...sealed bottle sequence is by far the most fun element. An increasingly desperate but focused MacCauley whittles down the..."

Jan. 12, 2018 Movie Review by Richard Whittaker

Marjorie Prime
"...Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Cymbeline.) Marjorie Prime has a sci-fi element to it, but the drama here is as human..."

Sept. 15, 2017 Movie Review by Marc Savlov

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Luc Besson's latest is a kaleidoscopic mess
"...and content, his flamboyant 1997 science-fiction adventure The Fifth Element, a guilty pleasure that improves with repdeated viewings despite..."

July 21, 2017 Movie Review by Steve Davis

The Void
A gory serving of cosmic horror
"...might enjoy tracing the referential origins of each plot element, but the story never progresses into anything particularly novel...."

April 14, 2017 Movie Review by Dan Gentile

Silence
Two missionaries in feudal Japan are tested
"...situation. Latin and Japanese are also spoken. A certain element of the drama gives off the timeless odor of..."

Jan. 6, 2017 Movie Review by Marjorie Baumgarten

Dark Horse
True horse saga beguiles with its simplicity and purity of heart
"...he mingles amongst the racetrack crowd.) While the underdog element of this tale is emotionally gratifying, it’s the humanity..."

May 27, 2016 Movie Review by Steve Davis

Eye in the Sky
Helen Mirren is a British colonel engaged in modern drone warfare
"...in the war on terror and humanizes every terrible element of it. Remarkable...."

March 25, 2016 Movie Review by Marc Savlov

Hercules
Director Brett Ratner puts Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson through his paces as the Greek demigod.
"...notion of mythic deconstruction is the single most intriguing element of Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos’ comic-based screenplay, but..."

Aug. 1, 2014 Movie Review by William Goss

Lucy
Scarlett Johansson goes totally badass in this far-fetched but riveting Luc Besson action film.
"...his last great film as a director: The Fifth Element in 1997?..."

July 25, 2014 Movie Review by Louis Black

Silver Linings Playbook
David O. Russell finds finds another family in distress; Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence kept it consistently fun.
"...O. Russell, adapting Matthew Quick’s novel, is in his element here: The family in crisis and true-to-life cultural/geographical texture..."

Nov. 16, 2012 Movie Review by Kimberley Jones

Mars Needs Moms
Based on a children's book by Berkely Breathed, this animated film looks good but lacks emotion.
"...Express, but what’s missing too often is the human element, especially during all the rambunctious activity on Mars. The..."

March 11, 2011 Movie Review by Marjorie Baumgarten

Farewell
Loosely based on historic events surrounding the end of the Cold War, this French espionage film shows how some spies are just regular folks.
"...on the two men, the film retains a human element that is gripping. However, one suspects that a lot..."

Aug. 20, 2010 Movie Review by Marjorie Baumgarten

Just Wright
Queen Latifah co-stars with Common in this rote romantic comedy in which the only surprise element is the success of the New Jersey Nets.
"...this completely rote modern romance, the only surprising plot element is that the New Jersey Nets, the favorite ball..."

May 14, 2010 Movie Review by Marjorie Baumgarten

The Spiderwick Chronicles
This children's fantasy holds a lot of emotional promise but get waylaid by an overabundance of CGI effects.
"...before, and yet they can also overwhelm the human element in a film to the point of distraction. The..."

Feb. 22, 2008 Movie Review by Steve Davis

Rambo
In his fourth cinematic outing, Rambo's tasked with saving Christian missionaries in Burma.
"...was an above-average action film with a real human element to it, but its follow-ups are this side of..."

Feb. 1, 2008 Movie Review by Steve Davis

Trade
This drama about international sex trafficking is tremendously sincere but also brutal.
"...Motorcycle Diaries) shapes an intrigue thriller with a buddy element from Peter Landesman’s hotly contested slavery exposé, “The Girls..."

Sept. 28, 2007 Movie Review by Marrit Ingman

Step Up
This snooty-dancer-meets-street-dancer musical romance is so painfully intent on teaching its characters life lessons every few minutes that it forgets to be trashy.
"...note to future generations: When relieved of an interracial element, the snooty-dancer-meets-street-dancer musical romance (think: Save the Last Dance)..."

Aug. 11, 2006 Movie Review by Marrit Ingman

The Benchwarmers
Another comedy from ex-SNLers, along with Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder and baseball's Reggie Jackson.
"...me, you’ll be better for it. The truly frustrating element is the presence of Heder in this film. After..."

April 14, 2006 Movie Review by Toddy Burton

Stay
With a script by David Benioff (25th Hour) and direction by Marc Forster of Monster's Ball fame, Stay is an ambitious experiment that never quite jells.
"...immerse themselves in their roles and add a much-needed element of reality to what is in all other areas..."

Oct. 21, 2005 Movie Review by Marc Savlov

Herbie: Fully Loaded
This deluxe retread is sort of annoying, but it’s so scrappy and persistent that it seems kind of cute in spite of itself.
"...the surface of this movie, and it adds an element of playfulness and anarchy to the proceedings. Robinson imports..."

June 24, 2005 Movie Review by Marrit Ingman

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