NPR

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 48%

RoboCop (2014)

"It's well made, polished, and hits every mark - but is it crazy to want a futuristic sci-fi action flick about a motorcycle-riding metal supercop to be just a little more fun?"

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

2 53%

Jimmy P. (2014)

"Jimmy P. tells the more-or-less-true story of two men's friendship and one man's recovery. Beneath that, though, is a meditation on exile and lost identity in which very different people share remarkably similar circumstances."

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Mark Jenkins

3 52%

Adult World (2014)

"This amiable, occasionally sharp-eyed movie makes us understand ... that lofty ambition often equals an evasion of hard work, humility and the insight that not everyone has what it takes."

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Ella Taylor

4 58%

The Returned (2014)

"Pivotal scenes dive too deep into melodrama, and there's something inevitably sterile about a script that includes only scenes that propel the plot or provide obvious foreshadowing."

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Tomas Hachard

5 84%

Teenage (2014)

"Wolf blends newsreels, archival footage, written personal diaries and vivid 16mm recreations in an entrancing collage that puts the voice of youth at the center of a narrative in which the broad strokes of history tend to overlook them."

Posted Feb 11, 2014

Joel Arnold

6 ——

Borgen: Season 3 (TV, 2013)

" Borgen plays like a more astringent version of The West Wing, a show it clearly borrows from and improves on. "

Posted Feb 7, 2014

John Powers

7 33%

The Monuments Men (2014)

"There's lots of information, some nice images, plenty of earnest sermonizing about culture and almost no suspense, or tension, or character development, or structure. Or, well, art."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Bob Mondello

8 96%

The Lego Movie (2014)

"The Lego Movie maybe be one giant advertisement, but all the way to its plastic-mat foundation, it's an earnest piece of work - a cash grab with a heart. Made for, with and about Legos, the movie is also made for, with and about imagination ..."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Joel Arnold

9 57%

Demi-soeur (2014)

"Sweet but silly, Demi-Soeur leaves plot strands flapping as it romps to a hasty conclusion."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Mark Jenkins

10 97%

The Last of the Unjust (2014)

"Short, squat and vibrantly pugnacious, Murmelstein at age 70 is a dazzling raconteur, more than ready for his close-up and ravenous for the chance to make his case."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Ella Taylor

11 33%

A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2014)

"The effect eventually becomes that of about a dozen story pitches all strung together. Any one of them might have the potential for greatness in isolation. Try to mash them up into one movie, though, and much like Jack, they fall to pieces."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

12 91%

12 O'clock Boys (2014)

"Nathan's film defies easy categorization; he's interested in neither telling a fairy tale nor painting issues in broad strokes."

Posted Jan 30, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

13 56%

At Middleton (2014)

"Though it's fun to watch Garcia let out his inner goofball, the jewels in the crown of At Middleton are the dynamic sisters Farmiga."

Posted Jan 30, 2014

Ella Taylor

14 80%

Charlie Victor Romeo (2014)

"Everything the principal actors say was uttered, in a crisis, by a real person, although the sometimes frantic chatter has been edited for clarity by authors Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Irving Gregory."

Posted Jan 30, 2014

Mark Jenkins

15 95%

Stranger by the Lake (2014)

"A psychosexually intriguing blend of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and William Friedkin's Cruising ..."

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Bob Mondello

16 25%

24 Exposures (2014)

"Improvised dialogue can work wonderfully if the actors have a solid feel for their characters, but everyone here seems rushed and uncomfortable."

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

17 99%

Gloria (2014)

"Gloria is told entirely from its leading lady's point of view, and her mobile features, shot from every possible angle, register pain, amusement, exasperation and a kind of befuddled ecstasy."

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Ella Taylor

18 86%

Like Father, Like Son (2014)

"[An] engaging if ultimately predictable film ..."

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Mark Jenkins

19 78%

Big Bad Wolves (2014)

"Big Bad Wolves uses child abduction as tinder to spark both characters' and viewers' emotions, before asking us to examine the extremities of the reactions."

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

20 56%

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

"Branagh brings no style to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and no heart."

Posted Jan 16, 2014

David Edelstein

21 11%

The Nut Job (2014)

"Once Surly and Buddy case the joint, develop a plan, and deal with the inevitable surprises, The Nut Job could be any classic caper flick."

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Joel Arnold

22 63%

Generation War (2014)

"Generation War forces us to see that cruelty and indifference to suffering were not only practiced institutionally but individually, by nice young people to whom we grow ever more attached even as they progressively alienate us."

Posted Jan 14, 2014

Ella Taylor

23 100%

Parks and Recreation: Season 6 (TV, 2013-2014)

" Parks And Recreation has quietly been proving itself to be the best show about nerds (and the nerds who love them) on television. "

Posted Jan 13, 2014

Marc Hirsh

24 100%

The Square (2013)

"If, like me, you watched all this on TV, the ongoing turmoil began to feel like a distant, abstract blur. Noujaim takes us inside this history by centering on three protesters, each from a different background."

Posted Jan 13, 2014

John Powers

25 87%

True Detective : Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" It has the feel of an indie film spread over eight episodes starring two of the best character actors in the business. "

Posted Jan 10, 2014

Eric Deggans

26 98%

The Rocket (2014)

"Disamoe demonstrates the resourcefulness he learned during a period when he was a street seller and beggar. It's his exuberant performance, as much as the pungently naturalistic setting, that lifts The Rocket's scenario above the generic."

Posted Jan 9, 2014

Mark Jenkins

27 28%

The Truth About Emanuel (2014)

"The movie, trapped in the weeds of self-pity and skin-deep badassery, never quite earns the sympathy it so strenuously solicits."

Posted Jan 9, 2014

Ella Taylor

28 92%

Grzeli nateli dgeebi (In Bloom) (2014)

"The double meaning becomes clear early on. What takes longer to recognize is the title's bitter irony."

Posted Jan 9, 2014

Tomas Hachard

29 47%

Raze (2014)

"The entertainment value of the violence trumps most of the larger meaning, and the film exploits its characters just as they do their prisoners."

Posted Jan 9, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

30 87%

True Detective : Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" True Detective is very smartly written and structured, and artfully photographed. But it's the performances that dazzle me the most here. "

Posted Jan 8, 2014

David Bianculli

31 81%

The Spoils of Babylon: Season 1

" The Spoils Of Babylon isn't a drama, and isn't even must-see - but it's fun. "

Posted Jan 8, 2014

David Bianculli

32 69%

Downton Abbey: Season 4 (TV, 2013)

" When you think about what Downton Abbey has achieved, and is continuing to pull off, it's actually pretty remarkable. "

Posted Jan 8, 2014

David Bianculli

33 18%

Open Grave (2014)

"The film's aura of mystery only works in the first 20 minutes or so, when it seems effortless; after that it feels like it's working very hard to keep the truth obscured, and in so doing just becomes a colorless slog."

Posted Jan 2, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

34 76%

Lone Survivor (2014)

"Berg is relentlessly unsparing - in Lone Survivor, we discover what it is like to topple downhill from rock to rock, and what it is like to reach for your gun and find that your hand is missing - but never Tarantino-sadistic."

Posted Dec 26, 2013

Ella Taylor

35 76%

The Invisible Woman (2013)

"The Invisible Woman is slow to build - but worth its wait in gold."

Posted Dec 24, 2013

Ella Taylor

36 77%

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

"Various Cheech-and-Chong-style slapstick scenarios play out repeatedly, just with different props."

Posted Dec 24, 2013

Mark Jenkins

37 64%

August: Osage County (2013)

"Everyone here has pain, everyone has secrets, and while we join these characters for a short time, it's easy to see that the cycles of lies, distrust, and abuse go back for generations ..."

Posted Dec 24, 2013

Ian Buckwalter

38 96%

The Crash Reel (2013)

"Few documentaries manage to show character arcs as full as the one Walker captures here."

Posted Dec 22, 2013

Ian Buckwalter

39 78%

All The Light In The Sky (2013)

"Where the film excels is in capturing the quiet revelations in Marie's life over the few days it chronicles - revelations that represent the aftermath of choices made years before, when expectations were higher."

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Joel Arnold

40 57%

Some Velvet Morning (2013)

"I came away from this malevolent exercise with the sense that these two add up to little more than the sum of their awfulness."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Ella Taylor

41 75%

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

"Time will tell if this film is as quotable as its predecessor, but for now, Anchorman 2 coasts along quite successfully on sheer manic eccentricity."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Ian Buckwalter

42 93%

American Hustle (2013)

"Russell out-Scorseses Scorsese with hyperbolic technique: whip-pans, whooshes, slo-mo, and tacky but great '70s chart-toppers. He winds his actors up and lets them loose."

Posted Dec 13, 2013

David Edelstein

43 40%

The Sound Of Music Live! (2014)

"It was something I hope they try again. Because in truth, it wasn't good, but I enjoyed it."

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Linda Holmes

44 74%

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

"It often feels like the movie's title character is marginalized in his own story."

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Ian Buckwalter

45 79%

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

"Like the Mary Poppins film Disney would eventually serve up, Saving Mr. Banks is an affable, enjoyable spoonful of sugar that sweetens into palatability the sinus-clearing bite of the books - and the implacable iron lady who wrote them."

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Ella Taylor

46 90%

Nuclear Nation (2013)

"[Funahashi's] approach is direct, intimate yet respectful, and sometimes as mournful as the stark piano-and-flute score."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Mark Jenkins

47 100%

Six By Sondheim ()

"Countless backstage stories, culled mostly from interviews and archival footage, are assembled in Six by Sondheim into the story of a life - and a life's work."

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Bob Mondello

48 88%

Tim's Vermeer (2014)

"The process of putting those three-dimensional objects on canvas in natural light is so fascinating that no one's going to make jokes about watching paint dry - though at one point the film is literally about watching paint dry. And then applying varnish."

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Bob Mondello

49 95%

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

"The brothers challenge their audience to find the vanishingly fine line between nervous laughter at Llewyn's relatable human foibles and schadenfreude over the notion that his defeats represent a morally just comeuppance ..."

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Ian Buckwalter

50 52%

Out of the Furnace (2013)

"[An] unusually deliberate but otherwise predictable drama."

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Mark Jenkins

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