James on screenS

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 53%

The Zero Theorem (2014)

"Terry Gilliam's listless and shallow futuristic fantasy lands like a pale evocation of his classic "Brazil.""

Posted Sep 15, 2014

Caryn James

2 87%

The Knick: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" It's 'House' set in 1900, but Clive Owen's charisma and Steven Soderbergh's virtuosity elevate this conventional hospital drama dressed up in period clothes. "

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Caryn James

3 44%

The Killing: Season 4 (TV, 2014)

" An intense, electrifying final season, as Linden joins Walter White & other murderers we root for. The grim, rainy setting has never reflected the characters' inner lives more. "

Posted Aug 1, 2014

Caryn James

4 62%

Mood Indigo (2014)

"The film resembles a genius' workshop filled with old-fashioned toys.Gondry's visual imagination is so sparkling,it hardly matters that the whimsy overhwhelms the characters. "

Posted Jul 15, 2014

Caryn James

5 24%

Third Person (2014)

"Does Haggis actually believe that this pretentious, simplistic film has any substance? An overwrought, vapid three-strand story, each thread more banal than the last."

Posted Jun 20, 2014

Caryn James

6 66%

The Rover (2014)

"Michod's arresting and tense film -- part thriller, part warning of dystopia -- is played with ferocious restraint by Guy Pearce."

Posted Jun 13, 2014

Caryn James

7 90%

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

" 'Groundhog Day Meets Alien.' Relatively good compared to Cruise's recent, unwatchable movies because Liman orchestrates spectacular action; the talking scenes are tiresome. "

Posted Jun 2, 2014

Caryn James

8 91%

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

"Bold and entertaining, this is not as sleek or clever as X-Men:First Class, but makes up for those lapses with McAvoy's fiercely emotional performance and dazzling set pieces."

Posted May 22, 2014

Caryn James

9 85%

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

"A brilliant, magical combination: pure Jarmusch and entirely new. It's visually sumptuous, but his droll attitude remains in this wry story of perfectly cast vampires in love."

Posted Apr 10, 2014

Caryn James

10 95%

Finding Vivian Maier (2014)

"Was she the Emily Dickinson of photos or the anti-Mary Poppins? This fascinating film reveals a lot about Maier's rich photos & glimpses at her bizarre, hidden personality. "

Posted Mar 26, 2014

Caryn James

11 99%

The Missing Picture (2014)

"A survivor's story,a political statement and an eloquent meditation on images and memory. The miniatures and the film are exquisite works of art infused with living memory "

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Caryn James

12 73%

Enemy (2014)

"Gyllenhaal is eloquently subtle, but this muddled identity-thriller relies on misdirection and leaves you feeling not stunned, just cheated. "

Posted Mar 13, 2014

Caryn James

13 60%

Non-Stop (2014)

"'Taken' meets 'Speed' on a plane, with a dash of Agatha Christie, but as breezily entertaining as a commercial action thriller is supposed to be. Neeson and cast make it work."

Posted Feb 26, 2014

Caryn James

14 13%

Winter's Tale (2014)

"Is it a Valentine's Day prank? Gives magic and realism a bad name; doesn't make romance seem so hot either. So dull it feels like a vanity project with a Hollywood budget. "

Posted Feb 14, 2014

Caryn James

15 31%

The Monuments Men (2014)

"Part 'Oceans 11' with Nazis, part Clooney lecturing us about art and culture. Blissfully acted but strangely flat, it shifts uncomfortably between caper and classroom lesson. "

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Caryn James

16 89%

Tim's Vermeer (2014)

"Jenison's obsession is the basis for a playful,entertaining film. I wasn't convinced for a millisecond by his wackadoodle theory, but I enjoyed every minute of Tim's Vermeer. "

Posted Jan 31, 2014

Caryn James

17 75%

Lone Survivor (2014)

"With a conventional style,the film puts us in the center of a relentless, fatal battle in Afghanistan. Lone Survivor will make you squirm, but earns every wrenching minute. "

Posted Jan 10, 2014

Caryn James

18 69%

Downton Abbey: Season 4 (TV, 2013)

" The new season is as deliriously captivating as ever, but this time you have to get past some truly wince-inducing dialogue and even more melodrama. "

Posted Jan 3, 2014

Caryn James

19 75%

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

"There is something hilarious about a journalistic doofus like Ron Burgundy creating cable news. Ferrell & McKay are silly-smart. Not pointed satire but ridiculously funny. "

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Caryn James

20 93%

American Hustle (2013)

"Never quite lets you forget you're watching bravura acting but that acting is deliriously funny. The film is just enough over the top so the artifice becomes part of the joke."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Caryn James

21 80%

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

"Thompson is so delightfully acerbic and convincing that she makes Saving Mr. Banks safe for people who find Disney films too saccharine. Not adventurous, but entertaining. "

Posted Dec 9, 2013

Caryn James

22 53%

Out of the Furnace (2013)

"Bale is nuanced & affecting in an overloaded, overcalculated film that doesn't deserve him. The characters' problems seem orchestrated by Screenwriting 101 rather than fate. "

Posted Dec 4, 2013

Caryn James

23 92%

Philomena (2013)

"If you're going to tell a heart-warming story about a sweet wronged little old lady,it helps to have a witty,cynical journalist along. Dench & Coogan create a perfect balance."

Posted Nov 20, 2013

Caryn James

24 81%

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

"An amazing film, at once happy, sad and exhilarating to watch. Told in an elegant pattern of present-day and flashbacks,full of music that suits every graceful shift in tone. "

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Caryn James

25 100%

The Square (2013)

"A galvanizing documentary with rare first-hand perspectives. With great immediacy, Noujaim provides a smart eye-opening view as activists maneuver toward an uncertain future."

Posted Oct 24, 2013

Caryn James

26 48%

All Is Bright (2013)

"All is Bright is unsugary, a small out-of-season miracle."

Posted Oct 7, 2013

Caryn James

27 97%

Gravity (2013)

"Gravity comes loaded with technical wizardry, but Cuaron's visceral, dynamic story-telling is the film's most magical special effect. He makes outer space seem intimate. "

Posted Oct 2, 2013

Caryn James

28 37%

Child Of God (2014)

"Franco's powerful adaptation, directed with discipline and intelligence, captures McCarthy's mordant darkness. It reveals the humanity buried beneath animalistic behavior. "

Posted Sep 26, 2013

Caryn James

29 90%

Broadchurch: Series One (TV, 2013)

" Broadchurch is based on a generic premise, but nothing feels stale. With depth and passion, Colman brings her character's profound questioning to vibrant life. "

Posted Sep 24, 2013

Caryn James

30 100%

The Fall: Season 1 (TV, 2013)

" A fantastically creepy thriller shaped by the heroine's feminism and unapologetic sexuality. Anderson's delivery is sharp as her jaw in a series smarter and richer than most. "

Posted Sep 17, 2013

Caryn James

31 82%

Prisoners (2013)

"So sharply directed, tautly edited, rich and believably acted by Jackman and Gyllenhaal that you quickly forgive its tired story. An intense, satisfying thriller. "

Posted Sep 16, 2013

Caryn James

32 75%

The Grandmaster (2013)

"Poetic, operatic, historically sweeping, as lush and seductive as Wong's previous films. Don't think of it as a kung fu movie; think of it as the work of a master filmmaker. "

Posted Aug 22, 2013

Caryn James

33 72%

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

"Audience-pandering History Lite. Whitaker is dazzling, but Daniels' self-congratulatory film spoon-feeds us a civil rights lesson without adding nuance to the conversation."

Posted Aug 12, 2013

Caryn James

34 91%

Blue Jasmine (2013)

"Witty about social pretensions, eloquent about failure & loss, acerbic about family, Allen's light-handed tragedy is a major work. Blanchett is dazzling as the fragile heroine."

Posted Jul 22, 2013

Caryn James

35 40%

Only God Forgives (2013)

"Gosling and Scott Thomas elevate this stylish midnight movie but not enough to overcome its emptiness. More camp and cult than art; sometimes silly and gross but never boring."

Posted Jul 16, 2013

Caryn James

36 93%

Fruitvale Station (2013)

"Galvanizing, tense gritty-indie, brilliantly acted by Jordan and Spencer. Very much worth watching even though the too-neat, manipulative screenplay undercuts it artistically."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

Caryn James

37 85%

The Way Way Back (2013)

"Warm, engaging, and thoroughly charming even though we can predict every turn in this old-fashioned coming of age story. Carell is terrific as an unlikable bully. "

Posted Jul 5, 2013

Caryn James

38 68%

World War Z (2013)

"Sounds unlikely, but Brad Pitt + Zombies = Dull in this self-defeating, formulaic action film. "

Posted Jun 21, 2013

Caryn James

39 56%

Man of Steel (2013)

"Predictable action crushes character & story. If all you want is blockbuster action it's there and Cavill wins Best Looking Superman. If you want more revisit a Dark Knight. "

Posted Jun 13, 2013

Caryn James

40 95%

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

"Hugely entertaining, the film walks the line between hilarious kitsch & character study. Douglas' performance is brilliant, sympathetic, an act of impeccable mimicry & depth. "

Posted May 22, 2013

Caryn James

41 49%

The Great Gatsby (2013)

"DiCaprio is wonderful but can't save this misbegotten film, which is tethered to Fitzgerald's words while failing to approach "Gatsby"'s romantic, heartbreaking soul. "

Posted May 7, 2013

Caryn James

42 54%

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013)

"This beautifully textured drama about a man caught between two cultures reflects the distrust, misunderstanding and harsh political reality of Pakistan-American relations. "

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Caryn James

43 89%

In the House (2013)

"A sharp, enticing psychological cat-and-mouse game. Its gleeful dark wit comes from manipulations, voyeurism, the idea that we all invade each other's lives and thoughts. "

Posted Apr 19, 2013

Caryn James

44 65%

Antiviral (2013)

"A slick, vapid thriller. Cronenberg has style and flair, but his all-too-obvious ideas about fame leave us with caricatures, not characters. "

Posted Apr 15, 2013

Caryn James

45 45%

To The Wonder (2013)

"This may be Malick's most diasppointing film. Art at its purest, but with hollow characters and cliched images, not the best example of an art or Malick film you'll ever see. "

Posted Apr 11, 2013

Caryn James

46 77%

It's a Disaster (2013)

"An offbeat little gem of a black-comedy that plays much better than it sounds. The deft screenplay and straight-faced comic actors make a familar premise feel fresh. "

Posted Apr 10, 2013

Caryn James

47 68%

Trance (2013)

"Boyle is always worth paying attention to, and McAvoy is captivting, but this twisty film is a stylish disappoint with a long, dull middle section. "

Posted Apr 4, 2013

Caryn James

48 80%

The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

"This triptych about fathers, sons and the determinism of class is two-thirds of a terrific film. The last part is a letdown because the first are so powerfully believable. "

Posted Mar 28, 2013

Caryn James

49 93%

Room 237 (2013)

"The rapturous responses seem over-the-top for this modest, entertaining,visually clever film. The fun is arguing with its subjects' looney theories; rewatch The Shining first."

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Caryn James

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