Latest Theatrical Reviews
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Purees your brain for two hours...proudly and pointedly credited as 'A Frank Coraci Movie'—not a film, y’hear? Nerd-os, go home!
Palo Alto (2014)
Coppola shows genuine interest in emotional detail, and it accumulates into a depth of real feeling.
All about the riff...it's not easy having less story than a Will Ferrell movie, but
In its broad strokes,
captures the intrigue of the real Dido, subject of a famously captivating portrait that is more fascinating and extraordinary than the film positioned around it.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Succeeds in being a largely well-produced comic-book movie extravaganza, but its weighty baggage may leave audiences wishing it had traveled light.
The Other Woman (2014)
If this is girl power, we're experiencing rolling blackouts.
Particle Fever (2014)
Even a science dunce will walk away with a basic understanding of the project and a strong impression of the community around this important research...a film about the idealistic pursuit of knowledge...
A throwback to the fear-mongering science fiction of the past...the lab-bound likes of
The Andromeda Strain
, circa the paranoid '70s.
Draft Day (2014)
This combo of 'inside football' and Capra-corn fable of being one's own man in the face of total opposition...amounts to a corporate training film full of Trump-card koans...
The Raid 2 (2014)
Evans can't compete with more or less obvious influences like
, but he's certainly no slouch in the sadism department, making his films in some ways exhilarating but also wearying, for better and worse.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
never strays far from preposterousness, the picture's real-world implications give its high-flying action at least a tug of gravity.
Bad Words (2014)
Doesn't seem to know what to do with itself once it gets where it's going...And yet, it's hard to throw on the trash heap, because Jason Bateman.
Ma vie en rose (1997)
About the unimaginative struggle to maintain conventional respectability, and the transgender child who is having none of it...
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
The state of the Muppet union remains strong...self-reference sits comfortably along hip pop-cultural references for the 'rents: stylish parodies and retro musical numbers along with vintage Muppet gags...
The Lunchbox (2014)
The picture belongs to world-class actor Khan. I'll wager right now that there won't be a better performance all year, though it's not the type to win awards.
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