Reviews

Review: “The Fault in Our Stars”

It's easy to roll your eyes when a film's central theme is cancer. While such an affliction is inarguably sad, its handling in the movies is typically heavy-handed. The natural drama from the disease never seems to be enough...

Review: “Edge of Tomorrow”

Doug Liman had dropped the radar as a filmmaker for most of the past decade, but with the surprisingly smart and suitably bombastic science fiction thriller Edge of Tomorrow, he pops back up with more of the high-concept action...

Review: “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Returning as director to the franchise he put on the movie map after an absence of more than a decade, Bryan Singer has turned out what feels like the first true "X-Men" movie since, well, the last one he...

Review: “Godzilla”

It's been ten years since Toho Studios put the Godzilla franchise in mothballs after the release of the sub-par 50th anniversary feature Godzilla: Final Wars. The feeling was that everything that could be done with the world's most famous...

Review: “Neighbors”

Comedies, perhaps more than any other genre, are subjective. While all can agree that a drama about the loss of a child is inherently sad, not everyone will agree on what is funny. Our senses of humor have been...

Review: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Fledgling director Marc Webb displayed promise when the bumpy but enjoyable Amazing Spider-Man hit the big screen in 2012. It was rough around the edges - the tone was all over the place and the plot was always a...

Review: “Oculus”

An atypical horror movie that could have been great but instead settled for mediocrity and recycled tropes, "Oculus" is a frustrating near-miss. By focusing less on gore (though there's still enough on display to meet minimum requirements) and more...

Review: “The Raid 2”

Gareth Evans' follow-up to the Indonesian martial arts action cult hit "The Raid" takes an approach almost diametrically opposed to that of its predecessor whilst still retaining its impactful action and skilled filmmaking. Which one you prefer will...

Review: “Sabotage”

A loud, visceral, and messy assault on the senses - and not in a fun way - actor/California governor/actor again Arnold Schwarzenegger's Sabotage delivers what it promises - to its star's career.It's an ugly piece of work whose innate...

Review: “Muppets Most Wanted”

The Muppets are some of the most endearing pop culture icons in history. They're just so darn lovable that even in their most kid-centric fare, there's usually enough in there to entertain the adults, especially now. Many adults today...

Review: “Need for Speed”

With the popularity of franchises like "The Fast and the Furious," it was only a matter of time before a film adaptation of the popular video game racing series "Need for Speed" blasted its way into theaters. Coming from...

Review: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

For years now the whimsical movie stylings of Wes Anderson have regularly been dismissed as something of an acquired taste, as rambling, self-indulgent musings drenched in artifice and contrivance. Granted, there's a lot of truth to that, but...

Review: “300: Rise of an Empire”

Believe it or not, the pseudo-sequel "300: Rise of an Empire" manages to one-up its predecessor, in the sense that it's even more gratuitous, over-the-top, and fetishistic than Zack Snyder's stylistic adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel about the...

Review: “Non-Stop”

When a film's opening shots consist of its protagonist prepping a hard drink for himself, it's hard to not assume the events that follow will be a little heavy-handed. When it's in slow motion, it's also easy to assume...

Review: “Pompeii”

Granted, no one can (or should) go into "A Film by Paul W. S. Anderson" expecting quality film-making, so in a certain sense his historical melodrama Pompeii meets expectations; the flat acting and paint-by-numbers plot are only exceeded by...

Review: “Robocop”

If you ask me, the original 1987 "RoboCop" is no classic. It's an entertaining movie, to be sure, but the "classic" status given to it by many always seemed a bit hyperbolic, its biggest issues stemming from a satire...

Review: “The LEGO Movie”

When "The LEGO Movie" was announced, the world let out a collective groan. While the beloved brand has branched out in recent years to various media forms, including an ever growing popular series of video games starring Batman, Harry...

Review: “The Monuments Men”

A lukewarm effort that fails to adequately plumb the depths of a winning premise, director/actor/screenwriter George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" positions itself to make a grand commentary on the importance of art and its preservation - and then says...

Review: “That Awkward Moment”

When Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller feature in what looks to be a standard rom com, you'd rightly hope that these terrific young performers with impeccable recent choices on their resume could elevate the material. Don't...

Review: “Labor Day”

Jason Reitman showed an amazing degree of emotional acuity with his first three movies: Thank You for Smoking (2005), Juno (2007), and Up In the Air (2009); sadly, every single bit of that seems to have evaporated with...

Review: “Ride Along”

I heard a radio spot on my drive to the screening for "Ride Along" that spoke quite highly of it, in which it called star Kevin Hart the funniest man in America and the film itself as "the first...

Review: “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

If I could just get you to affect Ben Kingsley's Mandarin voice from "Iron Man 3" for a moment and repeat following: "The name of an iconic character, the bathroom fight origins of 'Casino Royale' James Bond, the motorcycle...

Review: “Lone Survivor”

Last year's "Battleship," directed by Peter Berg, was hands down one of the worst movies of the year. It was a stupid idea based off a simplistic board game that was full of enormous amounts of cheese and patriotic...

Review: “Her”

When it comes to full length directorial efforts, Spike Jonze can do no wrong. With only three previous films under his belt over a career that has spanned over two decades, it might be easy for one to assume...

Review: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

It's hard to watch a movie with a lot of pretense. When you watch one that has really fooled itself into thinking it's something special when you know full well that it's not, it brings forth a peculiar kind...

Review: “The Wolf of Wall Street”

There's no doubt that Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest directors to have ever lived. From "Taxi Driver" to "Goodfellas" to 2010's underrated "Shutter Island," he has given filmgoers some of the best and most memorable movies ever...

Review: “August: Osage County”

Though it may not seem like it at first glance (check out the trailer below), John Wells' screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play is ideal viewing for anyone dreading a family get-together this week, or any other....

Review: “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Directors Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the most celebrated filmmakers working today. Their films, even those that fail to reach the lofty standards some have set for them, manage to be insightful, poignant and sometimes even frightening....

Review: “American Hustle”

The Scorsese movie that Martin Scorsese never directed, American Hustle is a stylish tour de force for director David O. Russell and its stellar cast. Russell creates a taught, delicately plotted caper-comedy that plays out like The Sting filtered...

Review: “Saving Mr. Banks”

There's no telling how much of "Saving Mr. Banks" is actually true. Just how callous was P.L. Travers? Was Walt Disney really out to make dreams come true in adapting her popular book, "Mary Poppins"? And is it true...

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