Latest Film Reviews
When the Game Stands Tall (2014)
We've seen the 'Full eyes, clear hearts, can't lose' ethic before on screen, and more winningly dramatized, but
When the Game Stands Tall
does a good, and family-friendly, job of encapsulating Ladouceur's 'winning' approach...
If I Stay (2014)
Shamelessly engineered and sappy, but swoony romantics (c'mon, you know you are one!) may not much mind.
The resulting mystery-play-goes-mystery-movie allegory may have a heavy hand, but it also has its finger on the pulse of the struggles facing the [Catholic] Church and the emotional needs of its drifting parishioners.
The Expendables 3 (2014)
It's a bit like watching old friends drunkenly mud wrestle: it's good to see them, but not like this.
The Giver (2014)
Too bad that this junior version of
turned out drippy...It's odd to watch a film about the rediscovery of love, faith, passion, and color, and for the film to be so by-the-numbers colorless.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
This GMO hybrid of foodie drama, culture-clash comedy, travelogue, and romance gently establishes, in middlebrow just-go-with-it fashion, the tone of a fable.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
To be fair, this isn't
War and Peace
. It's a movie with a nunchuk-wielding reptile standing over six feet tall, drooling over pizza, and making boner jokes about Megan Fox.
Into the Storm (2014)
It's ironic but true that
remains more palatable by being a consciously entertaining action fantasy, a cinematic roller-coaster, rather than a hellish 'you are there' safari tour through death and destruction.
Need for Speed (2014)
Like throwing a pile of car parts at the wall to see what'll stick. Spoiler: nothing.
Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
While it's not unpleasant, this
disappointingly fails to capture the imagination.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Lurches along a bit awkwardly, but always with utterly dazzling visuals and a goofy gag at the ready.
Besson reminds us how limber he can be...The material is always cheeky in its sense of humor and stylistic and cultural allusions...and frequently, if not fundamentally, provocative...
Fading Gigolo (2014)
At times thuddingly earnest...at times, jazzily, goofily endearing...Turturro's romanticism keeps undercutting the humor before it has a chance to get satisfyingly irreverent. Call it comoedia interruptus.
Cinematic poetry...As that greatest of screen rarities—a potentially mainstream experimental film—the writer-director earns a bit of slack in gratitude for the strange and wonderful gift
Operation Petticoat (1959)
Hasn't aged especially well. Still, on the strength of Grant and co-lead Tony Curtis, Edwards' film remains a diverting enough escape from reality.
Radio Days (1987)
[A] ridiculously entertaining nostalgia exercise...
emerged from a highly fertile period for [Woody] Allen, and the film bubbles with creativity and Allen hallmarks.
Le Week-End (2014)
Little satisfies more at the movies than the relatively cheap special effect catalyzed by putting together a couple of great actors and letting them (figuratively speaking) dance a lengthy pas de deux.
Blue Ruin (2014)
A hauntingly memorable, even thoughtful shoot-'em-up.
Sex Tape (2014)
A sometimes amusing R-rated comedy that never quite hits the spot.
Wish I Was Here (2014)
Were you to sit down and write a movie with the instruction that it be funny, sad, and inspirational, you're likely to come up with better ideas than...this tepid Generation X version of a James L. Brooks film.
An Adventure in Space and Time (2013)
Thrilling—you are there at the inception of
!—and deeply poignant, sometimes at the same time...with actors like Bradley and Cox in place, it's difficult to imagine a better treatment.
Rio 2 (2014)
was pretty generic to begin with, and the follow-up doesn't fly far from the nest...[it's the] vocally virtuosic amorous aria, 'Poisonous Love,' that is the picture's hands-down highlight.
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
It's more than a movie; it's a key artifact (minus must or muss) of a cultural phenomenon.
McCarthy delivers another all-in performance, but so much so as to be more sad than funny much of the time.
Third Person (2014)
The tasteful austerity of style and solid performances can't overcome a script that largely stands between emotional humanity and the viewer.
A movie-movie, with edgy cred and a vivid dystopian vision that, while ostensibly futuristic, speaks harshly to the class divide already defining us.
Masters of Sex: Season One (2013)
Like Bill Condon's seriocomic film
Masters of Sex
takes a sociohistorical perspective on a subject of inherent fascination to us all.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Chain of Command (1992)
Considerably ahead of the curve in taking on the character and meaning and consequences of torture as a fruitless and brutal human rights abuse...shows
The Next Generation
operating at the top of its game.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season Six (1992)
By its sixth season,
Star Trek: The Next Generation
had figured out how to maximize its cast and characters.
Jersey Boys (2014)
Neither theatrical fish nor cinematic foul...literalized on film, the theatrical reduction of the [Four Seasons]’s story has an anemic complexion.
Obvious Child (2014)
Robespierre has conceived something you don't see every day: a feminist rom-com that unapologetically allows its flawed protagonist to let it all hang out...But [it's] one of those pictures that's just good enough that you dearly wish it were better.
22 Jump Street (2014)
Purposely blurs the lines between the actors and their characters for 'meta' gags, but it doesn't change what the movie is: just another dumb sequel.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
While delivering the epic goods, the
How to Train Your Dragon
franchise continues to keep its eye on helping kids become better people, and that's a cause worth fighting for.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
A fairly eye-popping futuristic war story with a clever (to a point) structure.
Almost certainly wouldn't have been made were it not for Angelina Jolie, whose extraordinarily striking presence recalls the Old Hollywood potency of Garbo. If only the film around Jolie were worthy of her.
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
Within spitting distance of good...lesser than the sum of its parts due to deficits of ambition, invention and commitment.
The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes (1955)
Sincere in enobling the working class, and there's something magical and poignant in the way these 'low-rent' stories came on each week to the tune of the romantic, impossibly swanky 'You're My Greatest Love'...
The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1 (1960)
A network sitcom with predictable conflicts meandering their way to 'all's well that ends well' resolutions, but the show—starting out on its now-historic eight-year run—functions not unlike its bucolic setting: it's a nice place to visit.
Driving Miss Daisy (2014)
This otherwise wispy two-hander-plus-one could easily collapse under a sociopolitical weight it isn't all that interested in lifting...so it's no surprise that the play has returned very much as a star vehicle, with old-pro actors...
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
What makes [it] more than just a thrilling science-fiction actioner is the past-present poignancy allowed by time travel and astral projection, indulging everyone's fantasy of telling a younger self what he or she needs to hear.
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