The Playlist

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 100%

Leviafan (2014)

"If there was ever any doubt as to Zvyagintsev's position as one of world cinema's foremost auteurs, it's put to rest here. "

Posted Oct 20, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

2 79%

Son of a Gun ()

"There are worse ways to spend a couple of hours, especially if you're a fan of the film's Australian crime predecessors, but the film's forgotten almost as soon as the credits roll."

Posted Oct 17, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

3 No Score Yet

Monsters: Dark Continent ()

""Monsters: Dark Continent" is a sour, tedious, and derivative film that doesn't just prove disappointing in its own right, it actively makes us resent the first film retroactively for inspiring it."

Posted Oct 17, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

4 8%

The Best Of Me (2014)

""The Best of Me" will likely play well with its intended audience, who know to bring a travel-size pack of tissues to the theater. But thanks to its ending, this doesn't rank among the better Nicholas Sparks adaptations, like "The Notebook." "

Posted Oct 17, 2014

Kimber Myers

5 40%

Default (2014)

"There is a better, more contemplative movie to be made with this material, but with the filmmakers opting for cheap thrills, it leaves the movie, like the passengers on the plane, stuck on the tarmac."

Posted Oct 16, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

6 69%

Camp X-Ray (2014)

"An on-the-nose approach smothers all subtext into submission and leaves nothing of interest alive."

Posted Oct 16, 2014

Nikola Grozdanovic

7 100%

Stretch (2014)

" "Stretch" is a truly enjoyable oddity, a movie that was too brash, too weird, too idiosyncratic for a major release, but one that should settle into a nice, long shelf life. "Stretch" is a wild ride, and one very much worth going on. "

Posted Oct 15, 2014

Drew Taylor

8 96%

Citizenfour (2014)

""Citizenfour" shows that Snowden, the guy with the guts to expose these shadowy practices, is the one who pays the biggest price. Senators lie and congressmen squirm, and nobody is held accountable. Nobody, that is, except Snowden. "

Posted Oct 15, 2014

Drew Taylor

9 No Score Yet

Testament Of Youth ()

"Beautifully observed moments, captured gorgeously by Kent, and excellently performed by his cast, make the film linger, adding up to a of mosaic of grief, loss, and anger at the waste of an inhuman conflict, all without showing a single bullet fired."

Posted Oct 14, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

10 91%

Alleluia ()

""Alleluia" works best late at night, where the spindly tendrils of its bizarro narrative can seep into a less lucid, exhausted brain, one that's far more susceptible to its (anti) charms."

Posted Oct 14, 2014

Erik McClanahan

11 33%

Serena ()

""Serena" isn't bad enough to be some kind of potential cult classic: it's tedious, with even the stranger moments and plot developments failing to raise the pulse."

Posted Oct 14, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

12 100%

Red Army (2015)

""Red Army" deserves a wide audience and should even play better for those who don't care one iota about hockey, mostly because it's so entertaining and character-driven."

Posted Oct 13, 2014

Erik McClanahan

13 No Score Yet

The Possibilities Are Endless ()

"Stunningly photographed by Richard Stewart, and gorgeously scored by Collins and a handful of collaborators, "The Possibilities are Endless" is one of the most distinctive, formally experimental and moving documentaries we've seen in a long time."

Posted Oct 13, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

14 67%

The Falling ()

"Every time the picture opens a fascinating door, you're held back by a naff filmmaking choice or a rote story move. It's not the step up we hoped for from Morley, but there's also enough here to ensure that we'll pay attention wherever she goes."

Posted Oct 11, 2014

Oliver Lyttelton

15 No Score Yet

Retour ŕ Ithaque (Return to Ithaca) ()

""Return to Ithaca" gently expands our understanding of life within a society that, in contrast to our own, did not even pretend to cultivate the idea that its citizens were free. "

Posted Oct 10, 2014

Jessica Kiang

16 100%

Altman ()

"There never was a filmmaker quite like Robert Altman. And as "Altman," the new documentary from director Ron Mann, makes clear, there'll probably never be another like him again."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

Jessica Kiang

17 No Score Yet

Belye nochi pochtalona Alekseya Tryapitsyna (The Postman's White Nights) ()

"If "The Postman's White Nights" presents an accurate picture of this reality, then it feels like it's a reality that is unstable, so far cut off from the mainstream of life that it has begun to fray into the surreal and the magic at the edges."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

Jessica Kiang

18 No Score Yet

Bypass ()

"Overusing lens-flare-y wooziness and a handheld, shallow depth of field aesthetic in an effort to inject a kind of lyricism into its dehumanized urban environments and working-class interiors, "Bypass" never settles into anything like a compelling rhythm."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

Jessica Kiang

19 79%

Fury (2014)

"It's not the most complex WWII movie you'll see, but there's no denying the blunt intensity of "Fury," and even if it doesn't sustain, Ayer commits to staring straight into hellish eye of war and bringing audiences along to witness every gruesome detail."

Posted Oct 10, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

20 92%

Last Hijack (2014)

"Easily one of the best documentaries of 2014, "Last Hijack" explores the motivations, circumstances, fears and dreams of a real-life pirate in an admirably objective fashion, while also visualizing his thoughts via gorgeous, lucid-dream-like animation."

Posted Oct 8, 2014

Oktay Ege Kozak

21 35%

Autómata (2014)

"A mid-budget science-fiction effort that borrows so freely from so many other genre favorites, "Automata" barely has an original piece of circuitry in its mainframe. "

Posted Oct 8, 2014

Oktay Ege Kozak

22 98%

Transparent: Season One (TV, 2014)

" Each episode of "Transparent" maintains the cozy relationships and wry humor without sacrificing narrative drive. The amazing thing about it is just how effortless it seems. "

Posted Oct 8, 2014

Katie Walsh

23 71%

Inherent Vice (2014)

""A hilarious, but melancholy and intuitive stoner noir that leaves much to contemplate." "

Posted Oct 5, 2014

Rodrigo Perez

24 8%

Drive Hard (2014)

""Drive Hard" is just a bore, barely registering as a movie, which is a shame, because with the oddball cast and somewhat notable director, it could have been fun and trashy."

Posted Oct 3, 2014

Drew Taylor

25 31%

Annabelle (2014)

"Intentionally or not, "Annabelle" reeks of being a cynical cash-grab of the highest order."

Posted Oct 2, 2014

Drew Taylor

26 100%

Born To Fly (2014)

""Born to Fly" is a special film about an artist very much dedicated to an original vision, one that articulates the relationship of human bodies to space and time, and strength and resilience towards unstoppable and unmovable forces beyond our control."

Posted Sep 30, 2014

Katie Walsh

27 75%

Kill the Messenger (2014)

"Ultimately jejune and hokey in spots, 'Messenger' has a lot of heart and passion. It's even soulful in its best quiet moments, but the well-meaning film doesn't possess the skills to transform admirable ambitions into something with lasting resonance. "

Posted Sep 26, 2014

Rodrigo Perez

28 100%

Hellaware (2014)

" A very funny slice of art world satire, "Hellaware" will ring true for anyone who's encountered this kind of behavior before, and really, haven't we all?"

Posted Sep 25, 2014

Katie Walsh

29 74%

The Boxtrolls (2014)

""The Boxtrolls" is charming, with a gorgeous animation style that combines lo-fi with high-tech, with the huggable nature of the characters, and with the boldness of its storytelling and thematic concerns. "

Posted Sep 25, 2014

Drew Taylor

30 88%

Gone Girl (2014)

""Gone Girl" starts off investigating Nick, turns to make more queries about Amy, and leaves you questioning both of them, and watching Fincher turn that narrative upside down and back again is pretty exciting to witness."

Posted Sep 25, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

31 67%

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)

"While "Town That Dreaded Sundown" is ambitious and supremely weird, it fails to cohere into something more resonant."

Posted Sep 22, 2014

Drew Taylor

32 94%

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films ()

"'Electric Boogaloo' is often a deeply entertaining and amusing romp through the annals of trash cinema history. At least initially. Even at a fairly routine 105 minutes, the doc begins to wear out its welcome with its repetitive style and narrative."

Posted Sep 21, 2014

Rodrigo Perez

33 No Score Yet

Everly ()

""Everly" is effective and gore-soaked and occasionally shocking. And when it plays to packed audiences, it's easy to imagine them whooping in agreement."

Posted Sep 20, 2014

Drew Taylor

34 100%

John Wick (2014)

""John Wick" is ostensibly a B-grade action movie about a hitman's quest for (bloody) revenge, but in Keanu Reeves' nimble hands, it becomes a much more joyous experience."

Posted Sep 20, 2014

Drew Taylor

35 67%

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

"Despite some lackluster moments and standard characteristics, Scott Frank has exploited his writing talents to successfully adapt an intriguing personality onto the screen, and create a morally complex enough environment to sustain intrigue."

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Nikola Grozdanovic

36 63%

The Maze Runner (2014)

""The Maze Runner," as a film, is free of texture, nuance, or dimensionality. And those wishing for the kind of visceral excitement and subtle socio-political commentary of "The Hunger Games" will be found desperately wanting. "

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Drew Taylor

37 No Score Yet

1001 Grams ()

"Lacking the looseness and easy charm of previous efforts, Hamer's "1001 Grams" is a forgettable disappointment. "

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

38 No Score Yet

The Smell of Us ()

"With little story, no character development and no insight at all into a world that exists anywhere outside the mind, and perhaps the trousers, of its director, it's going to take weeks of showering to rid ourselves of "The Smell of Us.""

Posted Sep 16, 2014

Jessica Kiang

39 0%

Kill Me Three Times (2014)

"From the electric guitar on the soundtrack to the predictable duplicitous nature of practically every single character, "Kill Me Three Times" kills all the fun by the time you reach the halfway point. "

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Nikola Grozdanovic

40 No Score Yet

Trois coeurs (Three Hearts) ()

"Those willing to invest in the lives of these characters, even if the framework around them directly and without apology guides them toward inevitable tragedy, they will experience a drama of deep, genuine feeling."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

41 No Score Yet

Elephant Song ()

" "Elephant Song" isn't so much a bad film as it is exceedingly safe. It brings a stew of potentially challenging themes and ideas, particularly for the time, and backgrounds them for a verbal fight that is never fair or in question from the first word."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

42 11%

No Good Deed (2014)

"Not only did the "twist" they had been endlessly hyping come across as a limp afterthought, but the movie itself is a gruelingly unpleasant slog. "No Good Deed" deserves to be punished."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Drew Taylor

43 67%

Ned Rifle ()

"Hartley has made a smaller piece, one that closes the books on what are some of his finest comic character creations to date."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

44 No Score Yet

X+Y ()

"Matthews has made a thoroughly successful switch from documentary filmmaking to emotionally captivating fiction. "X+Y" multiplies your expectations and charms your pants off in a teary-eyed emotional roller coaster full of life's stirring profundities."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Nikola Grozdanovic

45 No Score Yet

Before We Go ()

"If there is anything Chris Evans can take away from "Before We Go," it would be to treat the film as a tremendous learning experience. Making a good film requires more than simply aping the structure and superficial qualities of better movies."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

46 100%

Fight Church ()

"Storkel and Junge largely get it right, taking the viewer into a truly unique, and not oft-documented place, remaining observant of their subjects, but never critical."

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

47 No Score Yet

Boychoir ()

"Thanks to a few exemplary moments of monumental acting from Dustin Hoffman, truly harmonious singing from the boys, and a graceful score by Brian Byrne, "Boychoir" is, at its best, a comfortable viewing and listening pleasure."

Posted Sep 12, 2014

Nikola Grozdanovic

48 80%

Big Game ()

""Big Game" isn't as witty as it thinks it is, rarely transcends the very movies it wants to knock, and its intentionally hamfisted approach isn't particularly endearing. "

Posted Sep 12, 2014

Kevin Jagernauth

49 44%

Cake ()

"Ultimately, a few chuckles can't cover up the fact that this is a character study of a character not worth studying."

Posted Sep 12, 2014

Nikola Grozdanovic