Latest Film Reviews
The Spectacular Now (2013)
A mature film about immature people, tenderly performed by its young leads and skillfully adapted, by
(500) Days of Summer
screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, from Tim Tharp's YA novel.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Give this to
: it's never boring...Even so,
has lost most of its transgressive charge along with its element of surprise and its heroes' disturbingly unwavering conviction.
Faced with almost three decades of complicated history,
does a fair job of telling the story of Apple and conveying something of what made its co-founder unique.
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
Despite admirable work from Whitaker and Winfrey,
Lee Daniels' The Butler
is nearly crushed by its own symbolic weight and its contrivance of a central character arc from keeping one's head down to learning to stand up.
Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (1970)
In many ways,
Spearhead from Space
is terribly clunky...[but it] remains an historically important adventure and one with recognizable influences on stories to come...
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
For all its apocalyptic fate-of-the-world theatrics, this...[adaptation of] the 2011 graphic novel
by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert...has an emotional core to give purpose to its crazy amounts of mayhem.
A highly personal tale of undergrown men and overgrown boys experiencing the growing pains of love turned unrequited, and the realization that nothing—not freedom, not security, not innocence, not love—lasts forever.
It's hard not to see
today as a corny contraption...
The Devil's Backbone (2000)
Pure, uncut del Toro. The filmmaker accomplishes riveting scenes of suspense and scares he honestly come by, sticking the landing of every effect he attempts.
Lord of the Flies (1963)
While showing great fidelity to his source, Brook succeeded in delivering a version of
Lord of the Flies
that could best be described as psychological horror...
Wild Bill (2013)
With a concept and influences consciously in mind; fine performances by Creed-Miles, Poulter, and Williams; and approving cameos...Fletcher is able to put his best foot forward in this creditable debut.
The Driver (1978)
Hill has remained a steadily stylish presence in the idiom of action cinema. His genres of concern tend to be the Western and the urban crime drama, and the twain meet in neo-noir
In the Family (2011)
In the Family
is an 'issue movie'...But in practice, it's a made-to-scale love story and a thoughtful family drama. In other words, it's a true rarity of contemporary cinema.
There's a tough-mindedness there that's admirable, even if it's preaching to a mall-multiplex choir. But one wishes Blomkamp were less concerned with his
-style run-and-gunning and more interested in the subtler repercussions...
We're the Millers (2013)
Mean-spirited to squishy does not a convincing trajectory make...That wouldn't be so much of an issue if
We're the Millers
weren't such a dismally unfunny endurance test, but there you are.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)
Yes, Percy faces his Charybdis, but...
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
not surprisingly feels more dutiful than creatively energized.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season Four (1987)
Under the leadership of head writer Michael Piller...the series broke the mold with the outstanding character piece 'Family.' That episode title would also serve as a pithy summation of the fourth season's primary theme.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Redemption (1991)
Perhaps the most commonly applied adjective when it comes to the Klingon homeworld episodes of
...is 'Shakespearean'...[given] a certain unity of voice, as well as compelling throne-room drama and civil-war intrigue.
Doctor Who: The Snowmen (2012)
In the show's grand tradition of family entertainment, with scary creatures, exciting chases, chaste romance (with a buxom companion), and more than a few choice laughs on the off chance anyone might start taking the show too seriously.
2 Guns (2013)
While we've seen plenty of R-rated action buddy comedies before, the stream of amusing banter here comes with plotting that has a few good tricks in reserve.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Blanchett's edgy comic brio, in Jasmine's blithely imperious manner, magically complements her tragic mental fragility and self-defeating desperation.
The Wolverine (2013)
Handsome but flatfooted,
comes tantalizingly close to working, which makes it all the more disappointing that Mangold comes up short.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Coogler isn't after much more than what naturally comes with his approach: a memorial in dramatic prose, an occasion for cathartic outrage and empathetic grief.
Still Mine (2013)
Handled with care and patience by McGowan, proves mightily compelling, and deftly sidesteps sentimentality and cliche.
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special (2012)
'Blackout comedy' for the Comic-Con set, the nerd's
...all in good fun.
Girl Most Likely (2013)
The kind of movie you root for to get its act together..Take the great Kristen Wiig out...and it would be unbearable.
Kids...will probably ho-hum their way through
happily enough and forget it moments later. But they deserve better, too, than this lackluster, generic kiddie flick.
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Culminates in a double-music video finish designed to see audiences out in a pop-narcotic laughing-gas daze. As a tactic, it’s a poor substitute for a satisfying story.
I'm So Excited (2013)
A perverted comedy of manners, with the characters spilling drinks, secrets, and sperm...but coming more from a place of 'I'm going to make my dolls kiss. Won't that be naughty?' than one of productive social satire.
The Heat (2013)
The meeting of McCarthy's stinging zingers and Bullock's practiced exasperation almost justifies
, but it's more of a lob than a fastball.
Unfinished Song (2013)
If you're an inveterate softie looking to hydrate your eyes, yes...can't bear the thought of missing good work by Redgrave and Stamp, maybe...low tolerance for having your intelligence insulted (or dreadful renditions of "Love Shack"), it's a definite no.
The Bling Ring (2013)
True crime with a dash of social satire...Coppola remains mesmerizingly stylish, but...
The Bling Ring
winds up being skin deep: superficial characters portrayed superficially in a shallow-pool reflection of shallowness.
Fill the Void (2013)
The film is undeniably a celebration of community, but on Shira, one gets the disturbing whiff of Stockholm Syndrome.
Man of Steel (2013)
On balance, this new cinematic take on a 75-year-old icon constitutes a worthy Superman movie and a modest improvement for a franchise that had creatively stalled.
Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season (2012)
The show continues to grow in dimension and in scope, a reality that's also meaningful within its fictional universe.
Safety Last! (1923)
is a certified treat, but in packed movie houses, with audiences invariably gasping and giggling on every cue, it's a near-religious experience.
This Is the End (2013)
This type of thing has already been diluted by...Funny or Die...The main difference...is that
This is The End
is profane in the extreme, an R-rated stoner comedy gleefully grafted onto a 'splatstick' horror picture...
In Old Arizona (1929)
The first major Western in sound...One can occasionally feel the filmmakers showing off the technology, with close-ups of a crying baby or sizzling ham and eggs.
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful
gets saved from the junk heap by Franco and especially by director Sam Raimi, who happily treats the enterprise as a sandbox.
The Newsroom: The Complete First Season (2012)
By setting the show in the recent past, Sorkin can productively remind or inform a broad audience of the pith of important news we've lived through...a subplot about [NSA] wiretapping...[even] gets ahead of the curve...
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