Latest Film Reviews
The Gambler (2014)
The extent to which
may intentionally or unintentionally glamorize or romanticize gambling does raise concerns, but...[the film] remains a study in the self-destructive personality.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Narratively bereft...thematically redundant...[but] fans of the series and fanboy grumblers may have to agree that
The Battle of the Five Armies
is often entertaining.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Serviceably dramatizes an important historical story while giving rising star Cumberbatch suitably juicy material.
Top Five (2014)
more deeply felt and less by-the-numbers, Rock might have avoided the impression of a long-winded, self-massaging fantasy about reclaiming authenticity...
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
A biblical epic in 2014 is a strange beast indeed, walking a fine line in the hopes of pleasing both the faithful...and those audiences more accustomed to secular myths.
Quietly but firmly interprets the disturbing story of millionaire John du Pont through bifocal lenses of American dreaming and the sexual fantasies made accessible by wealth.
Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
Will probably divert kids with ease, given its manic exertion and pace...[but] we find out the hard way that these waddlers are better in small doses.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 (2014)
We're meant to feel the weight of Katniss' situation, and we do, but the picture can also fairly be called leaden...
The Theory of Everything (2014)
With its equation tantalizingly out of reach, winds up being by the numbers.
Above all, and not surprisingly, media icon Stewart shows his deep belief in the almost holy power of media to bolster political change, and he's not wrong.
While the borderline silly material could easily have sunk like a lead balloon, Shelton and her actors sprinkle enough pixie dust to make
Love is what's really between the stars, y'all.
The Notebook (2014)
Are you a nihilist? Trouble finding a way to bring satisfaction to a Friday night in the void of meaningless suffering that is your universe? Well, do I have the movie for you.
The Boxtrolls (2014)
The stealth allegory of the insidious nature of gossip as a tool of domination, and the scathing class satire of misbegotten and socially unjust personal goals, carry a productive sting that should leave kids smarting but a bit wiser...
Dear White People (2014)
This intelligent, funny, articulately hyper-verbal campus comedy-drama...serves up tart satire...
on some level tells a relatable story of one person's attempt to get, for once, something right, while functioning as a useful cultural critique of the disconcerting inextricability of commerce from art on stages and screens.
...it's the career-best performances by Simmons and Teller...that make
A throwback combat movie that offers tanks for the memories, along with vivid performances.
The Judge (2014)
Runs on clichés and ultimately earns more credit for what it doesn’t do...than for what it does.
Kill the Messenger (2014)
Rather than a fiercely intelligent, live-wire exposé, the well-intentioned picture comes across as weak-tea drama that never fully justifies its docudramatic form.
Pays heartwarming testament to the flexibility of solidarity.
Gone Girl (2014)
Once the chaotic adult-fairy-tale elements override Fincher’s otherwise meticulous style, one suspects this tawdry tale of marital fury signifies nothing more than a nihilistic view of heterosexual marriage.
The Equalizer (2014)
The star makes the film something like a guilty pleasure, but he and touches like the film-opening Mark Twain quotation form little more than a gilded cover wrapped around pure pulp.
A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)
What’s best about
A Walk Among the Tombstones
is atmospheric...What’s worst about the film is its sense of generic luridness...
My Old Lady (2014)
How relevant or relatable viewers will find all this is questionable, but fans of the actors will take true pleasure in their tart verbal sparring...
The Skeleton Twins (2014)
Wiig and Hader's shared history beautifully informs their entirely credible screen relationship, which can be as testy as it is loving, as distressingly haunted as it is funny...
The Maze Runner (2014)
One could wish the picture were less thematically anemic...but there's something to be said for the nifty concept and pure adrenaline, when it kicks in.
Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
Wait—is this a lesbian dolphin dating movie?
The Last of Robin Hood (2014)
Technically qualifies as a true-crime tale, and seems to exist mostly out of a sense of marketable prurience: hallmarks of Lifetime’s infamous cable movies.
The Trip to Italy (2014)
The Trip to Italy
is almost exactly like its predecessor
, and for the most part, that's a good thing.
Love Is Strange (2014)
The film may seem to be doing very little, but it evinces great sensitivity...as it explores a universal theme of dealing with life's unexpected derailments and trying to get back on track.
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.
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