Authors

Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 88%

Gone Girl (2014)

"Fincher's compositions offer the characters no exit; the widescreen keeps them in view, no matter how extreme their deceits and disguises."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

2 74%

The Boxtrolls (2014)

"Laika's oddest feature yet, a film that adds a faceful of leeches and a Monty Python/Mr. Creosote homage to an already eccentric story."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

3 31%

Annabelle (2014)

"With Alfre Woodard as yet another of those hardworking and self-sacrificing movie black women who takes one for the team, 'the team' being affluent, elegant white folks."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

4 23%

Dracula Untold (2014)

"This Vlad is not just an impaler but a hugger, at least when his young son is around. He is 'endearing,' according to his beautiful wife, citing a quality rarely if ever attributed to Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

5 93%

The Guest (2014)

"A worthy heir to the horror traditions John Carpenter and Joseph Ruben, whose 'The Stepfather' provided the template for this story in which a figure who should be worthy of trust insinuates his way into an all-American family with deadly consequences."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

6 42%

I Am Ali (2014)

"The movie loses momentum the more it relies on what is supposed to be its novel aspect, the participation of Ali family members. The hagiography becomes tiresome..."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

7 11%

Meet The Mormons (2014)

"Breaks the shocking news that LDS members 'come in all sizes, shapes and colors' and 'love God and believe he has a plan for all of us. Is this news worth $10.50 a ticket?"

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

8 88%

Chef (2014)

"A feel-good people-pleaser that is less 'food porn' than Favreau career metaphor..."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

9 80%

The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

"Devotees of the book may have some concerns, but for those willing to take this movie on its own terms, as what reviewers used to call a 'four-hanky weeper,' it's something of a wow."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

John Beifuss

10 97%

Love Is Strange (2014)

"If it was conceived as a 'message' movie, the message is one of love and hope."

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

11 62%

The Equalizer (2014)

"Note to mobsters: If you hope to eliminate an ex-agent whose very particular set of skills make Neeson seem as lethal as Cera, do not stage your assault in a big-box store where your target has access to barbed wire, blow torches and power drills."

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

12 87%

The Skeleton Twins (2014)

"Yet another wan indie comedy-drama that plays like an adaptation of something plucked from the slush pile of short story submissions in the fiction editor's office at The New Yorker. "

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

13 85%

The Good Lie (2014)

"The poster suggests a redux of 'The Blind Side,' times three. At top is Reese Witherspoon, airbrushed and beaming with charity. At bottom are three faceless Africans. Thank goodness this image is not an accurate representation of the movie's priorities."

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

14 No Score Yet

Five Of A Kind (1938)

"'They sing! They dance! They act!' promised the poster for the film; in fact, 'the quints' go 0 for 3 in these talents, although the four-year-olds do struggle through a few verses of 'Frere Jacques.'"

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

15 No Score Yet

Call Her Savage (1932)

"Prostitution, 'half-breeds,' cross-dressing, cat fights, dog-wrestling, 'wild poets,' wagon-train lechery and rampant bralessness are among the consistently jaw-dropping elements of this rollicking 1932 melodrama,"

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

16 14%

Blended (2014)

"Hasn't Africa suffered enough? "

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

17 41%

Lake Placid (1999)

"'I'm rooting for the crocodile,' announces Betty White. The line is funny and revealing: The film is smart enough to admit the monsters are usually the most interesting characters in these movies, but it's also smart enough to make the people interesting."

Posted Oct 3, 2014

John Beifuss

18 90%

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

"A genuine American nightmare that is not only uncompromisingly ferocious but truly original, and as much an art film in its way as another fact-inspired murder movie shot a year earlier by another Texas-connected filmmaker, Terrence Malick's 'Badlands.'"

Posted Sep 22, 2014

John Beifuss

19 68%

Memphis (2014)

"'I created this,' Beal says early in the film. 'I imagined it into existence.' The words could be a manifesto for filmmakers, an articulation of the director's mission, particularly in the case of as singular a work as 'Memphis.'"

Posted Sep 19, 2014

John Beifuss

20 39%

Tusk (2014)

"For all the cornball Canadian comedy that interrupts the horror, the cry of 'Coo-loo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo' is less relevant here than 'Goo goo goo joob.'"

Posted Sep 19, 2014

John Beifuss

21 11%

No Good Deed (2014)

"A cunningly calculated pulp thriller that coincidentally arrives at a moment when outrage over violence against women has become impossible for even the NFL to ignore."

Posted Sep 19, 2014

John Beifuss

22 60%

Hercules (2014)

"The movie could use more of its surprising if intermittent wit and less of its unsurprising if efficiently staged sword-and-sandal violence."

Posted Sep 19, 2014

John Beifuss

23 22%

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

"Apparently designed as a Michael Bayhem gateway drug to hook the few kids considered too young for 'Transformers' movies, this grim and charmless update is about the last thing the culture needs: The 'Dark Knight' of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies."

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

24 90%

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

"Et tu, Koba?"

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

25 20%

Into The Storm (2014)

"The rotating funnel clouds are almost spectacular enough to make up for the rote drama (a strict dad butts heads with his teenage son, yawn) and routine characterization (redneck comic relief, yee-haw)."

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

26 18%

Sex Tape (2014)

"Can a movie be rife with profanity, nudity, vulgarity and sexual content, yet ultimately be as corny and wholesome as an Ozzie and Harriet episode? Unfortunately, yes."

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

27 29%

The Last Of Robin Hood (2014)

"Belongs to a newly active subgenre that we might dub the celebrity bio-episode, to distinguish it from the more conventional biopic..."

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

28 71%

Take Me to the River (2014)

"Not so much a traditional documentary as a musical celebration of Memphis' status as what host Terrence Howard calls one of the 'special places on this Earth'..."

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

29 88%

The Drop (2014)

"A convincing crime thriller and a worthy final feature for the late James Gandolfini..."

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

30 86%

The Trip To Italy (2014)

"Is it inappropriate to laugh in the presence of a petrified victim of the volcanic eruption at Pompeii, even if that 'presence' is footage on a movie screen? If you think the answer is 'Yes,' then please avoid 'The Trip to Italy.' "

Posted Sep 13, 2014

John Beifuss

31 33%

The Expendables 3 (2014)

"A particularly flavorless serving of flaccid beef jerky and brine-cured ham."

Posted Sep 5, 2014

John Beifuss

32 27%

As Above/So Below (2014)

"Scarlett -- a pretty young archeologist who favors allowing her sweater to slip coyly off one shoulder to expose a fashionable bra strap while she's vandalizing ancient relics -- may be the year's most absurd movie character."

Posted Sep 5, 2014

John Beifuss

33 46%

Life After Beth (2014)

"Love means never having to say you're wormy."

Posted Sep 5, 2014

John Beifuss

34 7%

The Identical (2014)

"Long a subject of fascination for certain Elvis fans and scholars of American popular culture, the connection between the King of Rock and Roll and the King of Kings finds its most elaborate expression yet in 'The Identical.'"

Posted Sep 5, 2014

John Beifuss

35 57%

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

"This violent survival saga wears its angry politics on its bloody sleeve: Government conspiracies, black revolutionaries, 'the redistribution of wealth' and the 'worship' of firearms are among the topics broached (and sometimes bludgeoned)."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

36 95%

Snowpiercer (2014)

"As it circumnavigates the frozen globe of the climatic post-apocalypse, 'Snowpiercer' sometimes seems loaded with more allegorical freight than even a futuristic bullet train can carry. Yet it remains one of the year's more impressive films."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

37 95%

Ida (2014)

"The odd compositions imply the camera is respectfully aware of the presence of something hovering above the characters, something invisible and mysterious that perhaps affirms the nun's faith, even in this awful world of Nazi murders and Communist purges."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

38 52%

I Origins (2014)

"What develops inside this Petri dish is a pretentious and fatally self-conscious piece of work -- the most wearying example to date of a new subgenre we might label 'Sundance Science Fiction.'"

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

39 88%

Obvious Child (2014)

"I left 'Obvious Child' thinking not of Donna, the story's heroine, but of Jenny Slate, an intriguing screen presence who deserves better material."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

40 24%

Third Person (2014)

"'Third Person' takes place in New York, Paris and Rome, but what it offers moviegoers is a trip to Dullsville."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

41 82%

Begin Again (2014)

"The best thing about 'Begin Again' is what it's not. It's not a love story, or at least not a conventional love story; it's more of a friendship story between a man and a woman, which is something we almost never see in movies."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

42 91%

Venus in Fur (2014)

"Polanski seems to revel in defeating the limitations imposed by this stagey project, which may be among the most personal of his career -- a movie that laughs at pain and sex and the absurdity of life even as it acknowledges life's terror and wonder."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

43 97%

Life Itself (2014)

"Ebert once said: 'For me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.' This documentary might be Exhibit A in an argument in support of Ebert's definition. "

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

44 66%

Lucy (2014)

"Besson's most ambitious realization of his peculiarly exuberant notion of girl power."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

45 99%

Boyhood (2014)

"The effect is uncanny and heartbreaking, yet exhilarating, not depressing. Mom sums it up, when Mason celebrates his 15th birthday: 'I'm so glad you were born.' We'd like to think she's speaking to all of us."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

46 97%

We Are the Best! (2014)

"An unexpected charmer about friendship, identity and the liberating power of making a racket."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

47 79%

Get On Up (2014)

"A largely successful attempt to present the life story of the impenetrable and eccentric genius of funk in a way that respects Brown's memory and experiments with the biopic formula while also entertaining a mainstream audience."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

48 18%

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

"Transformers have souls, this movie repeatedly tells us, but does Michael Bay?"

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss

49 53%

Jersey Boys (2014)

"Eastwood jettisons the 'jukebox musical' approach of his source material to transform the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons into another of his inquisitions into the hopeful myths and dark realities of American history and celebrity. "

Posted Sep 4, 2014

John Beifuss