Authors

Shared Darkness

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 83%

Prince Avalanche (2013)

"Deeper meaning rises sneakily to the surface in the offbeat, austere Prince Avalanche, writer-director David Gordon Green's re-imagined, loose adaptation of a 2011 Icelandic film."

Posted Aug 13, 2013

Brent Simon

2 46%

Off Label (2013)

"Acute moments of heartbreak punctuate Off Label, a collage-type snapshot of runaway pharma-culture which otherwise struggles to find a topic sentence or cultivate a cogent point-of-view."

Posted Aug 9, 2013

Brent Simon

3 92%

Casting By (2013)

"Informative and enormously entertaining in equal measure, Casting By throws a warm, deserving spotlight on casting directors, charting the overlooked profession's inception and growth."

Posted Aug 7, 2013

Brent Simon

4 51%

The To Do List (2013)

"Nothing about this lackluster comedy's potentially rich conceit is handled in an emotionally honest or resonant manner."

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Brent Simon

5 40%

Only God Forgives (2013)

"A shadow-drenched, fever-dream rumination on vague notions of loyalty and honor that labors so hard to wrap up its narrative in abstruse metaphor it ends up saying almost nothing of consequence at all."

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Brent Simon

6 93%

The Hunt (2013)

"An uncommonly thoughtful, and thought-provoking, entry in the social-issue drama subgenre, anchored by Mikkelsen's gripping performance."

Posted Jul 21, 2013

Brent Simon

7 67%

Downloaded (2013)

"Downloaded provides a robustly engaging overview of Napster's renegade birth and premature death rattle."

Posted Jul 16, 2013

Brent Simon

8 65%

The Heat (2013)

"A great comedy of contrasts. Channels the same anarchic spirit as last year's 21 Jump Street, delivering a wild and enjoyable ride of nicely balanced verbal sparring and physical comedy."

Posted Jun 28, 2013

Brent Simon

9 ——

L.A. Superheroes (2013)

"Amateurishly staged and unevenly acted, this microbudget indie serves as ample evidence that, absent a unifying aesthetic and artistic hand on the tiller, a camera simply turned back upon "real life" does not a compelling movie make."

Posted Jun 28, 2013

Brent Simon

10 99%

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

"Its stories are so rich in detail -- and, alternately, humor, heartache and triumph -- that one will leave never quite being able to listen to the FM dial in quite the same way."

Posted Jun 17, 2013

Brent Simon

11 22%

Rapture-Palooza (2013)

"In a post-South Park world, lazy execution of a ribald, potentially controversial concept will not suffice -- especially not when the apocalypse is being handled with much more wit, vim and verve just across the megaplex."

Posted Jun 14, 2013

Brent Simon

12 ——

Us ()

"An unusual yet sympathetically pitched examination of mental illness through the prism of an odd love triangle, Us is anchored by a superb lead turn from Alanna Ubach."

Posted Jun 13, 2013

Brent Simon

13 49%

The Great Gatsby (2013)

"Luhrmann's take on perhaps the original American #RichPeopleProblems novel -- about misplaced male ambition and romantic longing, and the perils of female drivers -- is a work of fizzy, surface decadence."

Posted May 25, 2013

Brent Simon

14 78%

Iron Man 3 (2013)

"Crackerjack popcorn entertainment done right, Iron Man 3 is a robust example of what Hollywood can do right when it puts its mind to it."

Posted May 1, 2013

Brent Simon

15 25%

Aroused (2013)

"An uncommonly intelligent doc exploration of the inner lives of 16 women in the adult film industry; has an easy, unforced quality to go with its acuity, allowing the humanity and vulnerability of its subjects to come through."

Posted May 1, 2013

Brent Simon

16 15%

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013)

"A light (and slight) surrealistic comedy of emotional waywardness -- intriguing enough to qualify as a playful lark."

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Brent Simon

17 45%

The Lords of Salem (2013)

"Zombie fails to fully wrestle to the ground any of the movie's themes in an engaging or meaningful way... so its swan-dive into arbitrariness from the second act on is fairly complete."

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Brent Simon

18 100%

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington (2013)

"A warm, fitting capstone for a man who saw the best in people during some of the worst circumstances, and helped notably reshape notions of war photography."

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Brent Simon

19 47%

Phil Spector (2013)

"A strange thing -- a film that at times feels like it's trying to cancel out the very reason for its existence -- powered by the magnetic watchability of its two leads."

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Brent Simon

20 92%

Gimme The Loot (2013)

"A slim, low-budget coming-of-age tale whose richness lies entirely in its interstices. A keenly observed work that celebrates the unfettered joys of youth, and rewards by reminding of the power of a simple tale told well."

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Brent Simon

21 54%

Oblivion (2013)

"A boldly rendered film with faulty nuts, bolts and wiring is still, at its core, a movie that doesn't work. Witness Oblivion."

Posted Apr 20, 2013

Brent Simon

22 68%

The We and the I (2013)

"An artful, scrambled, energetic blend of youthful connection and hormonally charged carousing [that] works more as a caffeinated conveyance of feeling than an actual plotted story."

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Brent Simon

23 89%

Koch (2013)

"The gift of Koch is that it embraces the clutter and volume of opinion about the man."

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Brent Simon

24 28%

Upside Down (2013)

"What begins as a grand concept full of unusual possibilities quickly succumbs to a frustrating mixture of pretentiousness and torpor in this threadbare narrative that unfolds in perpetual pursuit of memorable images over narrative sense."

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Brent Simon

25 55%

The Company You Keep (2013)

"A decidedly American story of graying moral certitude to match graying temples, Robert Redford's ninth film as a director is about secrets, principles and the melting value of absolutes."

Posted Apr 17, 2013

Brent Simon

26 90%

A Place at the Table (2013)

"A smart, poignantly argued documentary [which] casts obesity and hunger as neighbors, and makes a persuasive case for important social investments."

Posted Apr 17, 2013

Brent Simon

27 83%

Uprising (2013)

"The authoritative behind-the-scenes snapshot of a watershed event in human history -- the first digital age people's revolution."

Posted Apr 15, 2013

Brent Simon

28 55%

Thale (2013)

"Ultimately all wind-up -- a work that dances around a couple moods and genres without ever really wholeheartedly committing to one in particular."

Posted Apr 15, 2013

Brent Simon

29 98%

Beware Of Mr. Baker (2012)

"By turns sad and darkly comedic, but never less than mesmerizing -- a moving and morally conflicted portrait of a true questing spirit."

Posted Apr 15, 2013

Brent Simon

30 94%

Blancanieves (2013)

"A loving tribute to European silent films of the 1920s; a reminder that cinema need not be constrained by words."

Posted Apr 14, 2013

Brent Simon

31 65%

Spring Breakers (2013)

"An audacious, synth-pop mélange of ecstatic heaven and drugged-out hell -- an allegory for the corruption of innocence and the fear of blossoming female sexuality."

Posted Apr 14, 2013

Brent Simon

32 79%

42 (2013)

"Skimming pleasantly enough along the surface of more potentially roiling drama, and lacking an inner boil, 42 is a biopic of carefully crafted but ultimately superficial uplift."

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Brent Simon

33 93%

Room 237 (2013)

"Powered by a deep and abiding affection for both The Shining and Kubrick in general, Room 237 is an amuse-bouche of remix culture."

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Brent Simon

34 14%

K-11 (2013)

"A pulpy, psychologically hollow and emotionally indiscernible mélange of phony jailhouse intrigue and showy gender-politicking, with a bit of anal rape sprinkled in."

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Brent Simon

35 40%

Mental (2013)

"If one wants to see Toni Collette light a fart on fire, well, this misguided reunion with her Muriel's Wedding director may be the only chance they get."

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Brent Simon

36 53%

Come Out And Play (2013)

"An unnerving, humid slice of elemental horror that conjures up memories of Children of the Corn by way of George Romero. It mostly works, until it doesn't."

Posted Mar 25, 2013

Brent Simon

37 70%

The Croods (2013)

"The Croods tells a pleasant story about family, the utility of man, and letting go -- all of which I will demonstrate in review with caveman-speak."

Posted Mar 25, 2013

Brent Simon

38 87%

Trashed (2012)

"A vividly sketched doc of environmental warning which deploys co-producer Jeremy Irons as its inquisitive guide, Candida Brady's film serves as a compelling indictment of modern profligacy."

Posted Mar 21, 2013

Brent Simon

39 75%

Murph: The Protector (2013)

"A moving chronicle of some of the traits that should be more widely venerated in a media and pop cultural landscape too driven by the elevation of the trivial."

Posted Mar 21, 2013

Brent Simon

40 94%

The Bitter Buddha (2013)

"Forget the tears of a clown as it pertains to inner psychology of a comedian -- what about the rage of a clown? That's the principal focus of The Bitter Buddha, a doc that's too polite and removed."

Posted Mar 20, 2013

Brent Simon

41 57%

The Power Of Few (2013)

"A jumbled, offbeat mash-up of conspiracy-tinged action and armchair philosophizing that is hamstrung by a strange combination of slapdash plotting and its own self-importance."

Posted Mar 20, 2013

Brent Simon

42 9%

If I Were You (2012)

"An odd little duck of a film [that] kicks around enjoyably for a while in the same sandbox as some of Woody Allen's mid-career farces, before eventually pivoting and skipping off into less rewarding territory."

Posted Mar 17, 2013

Brent Simon

43 80%

Warm Bodies (2013)

"A funky, fresh tale of adolescent self-doubt and blossoming love funneled through the prism of post-apocalyptic zombiedom, Warm Bodies conjures a lovely, commingled tone of wistfulness and witticism."

Posted Mar 15, 2013

Brent Simon

44 36%

The ABCs of Death (2013)

"Weighed down by some sub-par entries and lacking some great genre minds, this compilation overall pales in comparison to other recent anthologies."

Posted Mar 15, 2013

Brent Simon

45 28%

Knife Fight (2013)

"A fun, tack-sharp political drama with satirical underpinnings, buoyed by crisp characterizations."

Posted Feb 23, 2013

Brent Simon

46 87%

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2013)

"A stirring meditation on the human spirit in extreme conditions, Happy People also reflects Herzog's passion and fascination for the often unforgiving nature of the wild."

Posted Feb 23, 2013

Brent Simon

47 14%

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

"Unquestionably the worst entry of the once-great action franchise and, worse, totally drained of the vital spirit, charm and meticulous smarts that made the original movie such a breath of fresh air."

Posted Feb 21, 2013

Brent Simon

48 57%

$ellebrity (2013)

"A smart, noteworthy socio-cultural snapshot, $ellebrity evinces a surprising depth."

Posted Feb 17, 2013

Brent Simon

49 64%

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2013)

"An art collage project that unnecessarily obscures its sizzle and raison d'être when a more straightforward tack would have worked better."

Posted Feb 16, 2013

Brent Simon

50 71%

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012)

"A wildly engaging documentary that not only details the exploits of Anonymous, but also delves substantively inside the roots and culture of the group."

Posted Feb 10, 2013

Brent Simon

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