Linda Barnard

The quick-quipping critters who escaped from the Central Park Zoo fashion a Euro crisis of their own

One big, frantic Euro crisis, with animals

The quick-quipping critters who escaped from the Central Park Zoo fashion a Euro crisis of their own, embarking on a third adventure in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

  • Jun 15, 2012
The quick-quipping critters who escaped from the Central Park Zoo fashion a Euro crisis of their own

Fractured fairy tale lacks heart

The most interesting character in Snow White and the Huntsman is neither of the title characters. It’s Ravenna, the diabolical diva formerly known as the Evil Queen.

  • Jun 8, 2012
Boots on the deck! The terrorists have reason to worry

High action, poor acting in Act of Valor

Considering Act of Valor is, at its heart, a multimillion-dollar U.S. military recruitment video, it’s fitting that the film opens with a commercial message from directors Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh.

  • Mar 2, 2012
Boots on the deck! The terrorists have reason to worry
Without being saddled with a plot

No dividends in this deal with the devil

Without being saddled with a plot, Nicolas Cage has an easy zoom down the devil’s highway in silly sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

  • Feb 24, 2012
Without being saddled with a plot
Dolly Parton as G.G. Sparrow

Joyful Noise preachin’ to the choir

At the intersection of God and Glee, you’ll find Joyful Noise.

Dolly Parton as G.G. Sparrow

Strut loudly, and wear a funny hat

Come for the gore, stay for the headgear.

  • Nov 18, 2011
What kid wouldn’t want to fight bad guys with cool gadgets? And what mom wouldn’t want to look like Jessica Alba a few months after having a baby?

Gimmick stinks, but the movie’s not bad

It doesn’t make scents for Robert Rodriguez to add a scratch-and-sniff dimension he calls Aromascope to the fourth Spy Kids movie, All the Time in the World. It doesn’t work — most of the eight scented circles on the cardboard card to be scratched and sniffed when the appropriate number flashes onscreen smell the same, like papery bubble gum.

  • Aug 25, 2011
What kid wouldn’t want to fight bad guys with cool gadgets? And what mom wouldn’t want to look like Jessica Alba a few months after having a baby?
Comparisons with the original Conan movie are inevitable. Jason Momoa appears to be a better actor than Arnold Schwarzenegger (though he’s an unlikely candidate for state governor). But the remake’s plot and dialogue are pretty well nonexistent

Big, bold bonehead

“I live. I love. I slay. I am content.” Well, that looks after you, Conan, but what about the rest of us who would like a little plot with our mindlessly splattering gore?

  • Aug 25, 2011
Comparisons with the original Conan movie are inevitable. Jason Momoa appears to be a better actor than Arnold Schwarzenegger (though he’s an unlikely candidate for state governor). But the remake’s plot and dialogue are pretty well nonexistent
Save your life miss? Not that it will help any. If enough people like movies gone one step past self-parody

Fifth stop at Final Destination is getting close to overkill

Stick a fork in the Final Destination franchise — probably something that’s been done in some variation to a poor slob in every one of the ongoing series — it’s done.

  • Aug 18, 2011
Save your life miss? Not that it will help any. If enough people like movies gone one step past self-parody
Array

Behold the power of glee

Who’d ever think a packed stadium of modern-day teens could lose their minds over nerds in Harry Potter-like school uniforms crooning forgettable ’70s sappy popper Silly Love Songs?

  • Aug 12, 2011
Array
Usually computer graphics are used to add muscle

An old-fashioned hero

The 90-pound weakling does the heavy lifting in the otherwise lightweight World War II-set Captain America: The First Avenger.

  • Jul 22, 2011
Usually computer graphics are used to add muscle
Millions of hand-drawn images later

Disney plays it old school

“Oh bother,” said Winnie the Pooh as he pulled his red shirt over his furry tummy, which was still round even though it was as empty as his hunny jar.

  • Jul 21, 2011
Millions of hand-drawn images later
Lovely bird the Brazilian Blu

Spectacular colourfest Rio shows nerds still rule

The animation crew behind Ice Age heads south to shake a tail feather in riotously colourful Rio, but the by-the-books story shows Pixar’s spot at the top of the animation heap still remains supreme.

  • Apr 22, 2011
Lovely bird the Brazilian Blu
Helen Mirren as Hobson and Russell Brand as Arthur do manage to create some comedic chemistry

Arthur reboot a sobering affair

Time and compound interest haven’t done much for Arthur Bach’s bank account.

  • Apr 14, 2011
Helen Mirren as Hobson and Russell Brand as Arthur do manage to create some comedic chemistry

Hop can’t pull a rabbit out this hat

Easter was a holiday that has pretty much managed to stay under Hollywood’s radar — with the exception of the 1948 musical Easter Parade, which had no rabbits — and certainly none that poop jelly beans.

  • Apr 5, 2011
Wimpy Kid Greg (Zachary Gordon

Diary shines as siblings grow up together

What’s worse than having a sarcastic, tormenting bully of an older brother?

  • Apr 1, 2011
Wimpy Kid Greg (Zachary Gordon
Emma Stone perfectly captures her character as a girl with a reputation she hasn’t earned

A-plus, easy

Full marks to Easy A, a razor-sharp teen comedy that carries the world-weary angst and acerbic high-school social strata observations of John Hughes into 2010 with quick-witted success.

Emma Stone perfectly captures her character as a girl with a reputation she hasn’t earned
This is probably Drew Barrymore’s last shot at playing custsey-pie

Surfing on bad taste

Hey Drew, this star’s for you. As Erin in Going the Distance, the ever-bubbly Barrymore is playing the same lovable loon — often with a fondness for booze — that she’s been doing since 1995’s Boys on the Side.

This is probably Drew Barrymore’s last shot at playing custsey-pie