Latest Film Reviews
[Has] a soupçon of military-industrial complexity...Judged on its own merits, this
pump-fakes in some interesting directions without getting to fully explore any of them.
The Monuments Men (2014)
It all feels a bit like an overearnest deleted subplot from someone else's war epic, rather than a confident Clooney picture.
The Lego Movie (2014)
Zany episodes...provide a clothesline on which to hang social satire and an overriding message that an individual's imagination can trump social and cultural oppression. Throw out the instructions, and make what you want of the world. Plus butt jokes.
The wild pulp adventure that prefigured Raimi's eventual direction of the
franchise...If you've a taste for Hollywood-funded outré,
is one of those rare films that fits the bill.
Labor Day (2013)
A laughably precise, even parodic, archetype of a fantasy male...[and an] offensive stereotype of a female basket case who, more than anything, needs a strong man, preferably a bad-boy hunk with an easy touch for her and a slow hand for a Swiffer.
The Fifth Estate (2013)
Cumberbatch gives a commanding performance, but corrective rewrites to the worrying early drafts of the script obviously were too little, too late to do justice to the nuanced complexities of [Assange] and his revolution.
The Invisible Woman (2013)
Crucially, we stay at the side of the conflicted Nelly, and Jones proves as powerful in nuanced moments of quiet emotional availability as in Nelly's few, stirring allowances to speak truth to male privilege...
The Nut Job (2014)
Like many rodents, the plot runs in circles, covering over and over again the same ground...[Plus,] Psy, who parties like it's 2012.
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013)
A culminative reflection on the reboot's characterization of the Doctor, a respectful hat tip to the decades that preceded the show's return to the airwaves in 2005, and a jumping-off point for...the next fifty years of
20 Feet from Stardom (2013)
Neville does a good job of highlighting songs that are especially characterized by backup singers, like Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side,' and introducing us to some of the 'unsung' talent that made those hits possible.
Archer: The Complete Season Four (2009)
is coming for you. Phrasing. Boom!
Lone Survivor (2013)
The unwillingness to 'engage' in larger questions disconcertingly reduces a real-life tragedy to an action movie.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Achieves some romantic uplift when Mitty dreams of Cheryl and literally takes flight, but most of the time, the picture strains to make any kind of sense, much less entertain.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Rests comfortably alongside Scorsese's masterpieces
, but carries a sting that even they don't by examining the most acceptable, yet most rapacious, of criminal swindles.
The Past (2013)
With patient sensitivity, Farhadi expertly elicits sympathy, followed by empathy, for each character, almost in turns, to resist misguiding the audience to easy answers.
Captures the zeitgeist of a tech-centric world that may be too 'smart' for its own good...It's about the life of the mind and emotional dysfunction as much as it is a quirky romance, and every scene opens up new questions.
The Lone Ranger (2013)
Prompts 'The Cosplay Kid' of the Comic-Con era of cinema to swallow the sins of our forefathers and the ones we countenance today.
American Hustle (2013)
There's a self-aware feel to the period pageantry, the alternatingly seductive and kinetic cinematography, and the actor's showcase this ramshackle contraption has been held together with spit and bailing wire to be.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
By neatly assembling an uplifting weepie out of a few choice lies, it’s almost as pleasant a fantasy as
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Had me at 'Ride Like the Wind.' But by 'Shilo,' I was not so sure.
Mary Poppins (1964)
One of the great movie musicals and of that rare breed of deathless family entertainment that's guaranteed to transfix children, well beyond this, its fiftieth anniversary.
Out of the Furnace (2013)
This material...isn't deceptively simple: it's just simple.
If you can grin and bear [certain] eye-rolling situations...there's found poetry in
's slow builds of respect and its deeply understated emotional climax: a father and son crossing past each other as they switch places.
The Book Thief (2013)
This craven refusal to risk offense demonstrates the length to which the film is willing to go for truth: not very far at all.
Delivery Man (2013)
Benefits from the estimable comic instincts of Vince Vaughn. It's just too bad that the movie around him is squishy.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
A competent sequel...
The Hunger Games
could be fairly accused of being what it satirizes, but it's not without a thought in its deadly little head.
Frances Ha (2013)
Brims with funny ideas both verbal and visual that are finely tuned by Baumbach and his cast, and sharply edited...
Makes an epic impact, fully exploiting cinema to chase the intensity of a live musical while also allowing time for intimate expression of character.
The Armstrong Lie (2013)
Gibney frames his film as being somewhat catch as catch can, and it is...educates about the details of doping, the 'moral relativism' so pervasive in the age of juiced athletics, and the willful ignorance that attends it.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Classic 'Oscar bait,' and falls into some of the common traps of exploiting a true story. But it's also lively, funny, and scary...
Robot Chicken: Season 6 (2012)
Say what you will about stop-motion sketch-comedy show
, but there's nothing else like it on television.
Doctor Who: Complete Series 1-7 Limited Edition Blu-ray Giftset (2005)
It's Christmas morning for Whovians with the release of the entire rebooted
series in 1080p high-definition on Blu-ray.
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series (2010)
[A] family-friendly science-fiction series redefined for the new millenium by an especially grand, generous spirit to its storytelling.
Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series (2011)
The Doctor dead? Not on your life.
Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series (2012)
In the penultimate batch of episodes before
's jubilee year, executive producer Steven Moffat continues to marvel with his ability to keep the time-and-space-travelling Doctor in ever-so-complicated trouble.
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series (2005)
Thundered back onto the BBC in a manner that honored the series' canon while also injecting new energy and reestablishing a show previously aimed primarily at children as one sophisticated enough that adult geeks could love it unabashedly.
Doctor Who: The Complete Specials (2009)
Davies, and especially Tennant, made
more catchy than campy...
Shrek the Musical (2013)
The good-natured show...has a winningly inclusive spirit, a fantastical appeal, and a Vaudevillian comic showmanship that evoke
The Wizard of Oz
(surely a conscious inspiration).
Kill Your Darlings (2013)
A lurid yet fascinating look into Allen Ginsberg's formative influences...fearlessly explores dark places and the compulsion to exorcise the shadows and remake the world through art.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The film succeeds by simply, plainly placing audiences in the emotional crucible of pre-abolition America and firing their imaginations.
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