Kansas City Star

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 79%

Fury (2014)

"Action fans will not be disappointed. Fury is a slam-bam, blood-spattered, convulsively kinetic experience."

Posted Oct 16, 2014

Robert W. Butler

2 77%

The Book of Life (2014)

" The project bears the unmistakable thumbprint of producer Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth"), with its themes of adolescent expectations and grotesque alternate worlds whose mystical denizens intersect with our own."

Posted Oct 16, 2014

Jon Niccum

3 23%

Dracula Untold (2014)

"Its best facet (or worst, depending on perspective) is its departure from the iconic vampire flicks of the past. "Dracula Untold" has about as much to do with Bela Lugosi's "Dracula" as "The Wolf of Wall Street" does with "The Wolf Man.""

Posted Oct 9, 2014

Jon Niccum

4 65%

Gracepoint: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" Gracepoint's story isn't implausible or boring, and the show is stuffed with scenes that will twist your gut and characters that will stick with you. (Full disclosure: Nick Nolte made me cry.) But how many times can we watch this same basic story? "

Posted Oct 1, 2014

Sara Smith

5 87%

The Skeleton Twins (2014)

"A profoundly moving study of two damaged characters."

Posted Sep 25, 2014

Jon Niccum

6 90%

Gotham: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" Gotham will be well-served if it follows the example of [the] HBO drama, The Wire, rather than the melodrama of the WB's comic book show, Arrow. The pilot, for better or worse, offers plenty of both. "

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Sara Smith

7 67%

Madam Secretary: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" This [is a] half-hearted attempt to cash in on the steamy political success of The Good Wife and Scandal. "

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Sara Smith

8 43%

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

"This is a movie where the characters are more interesting than the plot twists or comedic throwdowns (of which there are plenty). "

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Jon Niccum

9 63%

The Maze Runner (2014)

"A mostly entertaining adventure that plays like "Lord of the Flies" meets "Cube" meets an intelligent design lecture."

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Jon Niccum

10 88%

The Drop (2014)

"This is a film rife with simmering menace."

Posted Sep 11, 2014

Jon Niccum

11 7%

The Identical (2014)

"It might join "Xanadu" and "Cool as Ice" in the campy pantheon of all-time worst musical mishaps."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

Jon Niccum

12 66%

Life Of Crime (2014)

""Life of Crime" may have a hard-boiled title, but this comedic thriller provides rather innocent amusement."

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Jon Niccum

13 36%

If I Stay (2014)

"Nearly every conversation reveals a hollow disconnect, as if the performers didn't understand English and learned all the dialogue phonetically."

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Jon Niccum

14 18%

When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

"This sports biopic mounts a goal line stand between inspirational and dull."

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Jon Niccum

15 83%

Rich Hill (2014)

"Palermo and Tragos make it impossible to judge these kids or their parents. There is no glossing over of anyone's failings -- just a straightforward acknowledgment that this is how life has turned out. All that matters now is moving forward."

Posted Aug 19, 2014

Loey Lockerby

16 69%

What If (2014)

"Ultimately, "What If" hinges on whether you care if Wallace and Chantry will hook up. The filmmakers do everything possible to ensure you do."

Posted Aug 15, 2014

Jon Niccum

17 51%

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

""Magic in the Moonlight" is by no means unwatchable, just flat and familiar. Like the filmmaker may be as tired of his ploys as the viewer."

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Jon Niccum

18 35%

The Giver (2014)

"If the literary aspects of "The Giver" sometimes fall flat, at least the cinematic ones sparkle."

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Jon Niccum

19 56%

Legends: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" It's a pleasure to watch Bean fall into his "legends," or fake identities, even as the show pushes the boundaries of what TV audiences might accept when it comes to instantaneous computer heroics. "

Posted Aug 11, 2014

Sara Smith

20 20%

Into The Storm (2014)

"This latest disaster/adventure movie works purely on a visceral level, efficiently coordinating in-the-moment mayhem. Once the credits roll, however, the impact simply blows away. Much like the common sense of the characters."

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Jon Niccum

21 89%

The Knick: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" Like True Detective, The Knick benefits from a consistent vision and stellar cinematography. "

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Sara Smith

22 91%

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

"Without being shackled to fanboy expectations of how iconic costumed characters should be depicted, filmmaker James Gunn ("Super") runs wild with the opportunity."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Jon Niccum

23 89%

Manhattan: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" Manhattan is the must-watch drama of the summer. You can watch it on the Cubs channel. "

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Sara Smith

24 66%

Lucy (2014)

"The film's tone shifts so drastically, as if Carl Sagan suddenly replaced John Woo as director."

Posted Jul 24, 2014

Jon Niccum

25 18%

And So It Goes (2014)

"The plot has the odor of sitcom conventions, but it's less cloying than you might think."

Posted Jul 24, 2014

Jon Niccum

26 57%

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

""Anarchy" expands the setting and the social commentary, resulting in a fierce thriller that roars with contemporary relevance."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Jon Niccum

27 79%

You're the Worst: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" It's Gretchen and Jimmy's repartee, their unrelenting need to voice their awful thoughts, that makes Worst worth watching. "

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Sara Smith

28 56%

Married: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" But thanks to its excellent cast, led by Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as Russ and Lina, Married rises above its cliched setup. "

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Sara Smith

29 87%

The Strain: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" The lack of visual creativity is just one of many reasons why The Strain, despite being nauseating, isn't scary. "

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Sara Smith

30 90%

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

""Dawn" isn't just a rousing summer sequel, it's a testament to Hollywood's fundamental ability to make something from nothing."

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Jon Niccum

31 24%

Tammy (2014)

"If ever McCarthy can find the right balance between these brief revelatory scenes and the overloaded gags of her improvising insults and knocking things off shelves in a huff, she might actually make a real movie."

Posted Jul 1, 2014

Jon Niccum

32 70%

The Leftovers: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" The Leftovers has an inherently depressing premise that fascinates in its first few hours. "

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Sara Smith

33 66%

The Rover (2014)

"The violent, nihilistic and tedious revenge drama emerges as this year's standard for meaningless."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Jon Niccum

34 23%

Think Like a Man Too (2014)

""Think Like a Man Too" ultimately rests on the charm of its cast, an appealing mix of 30- and 40-somethings. Had this been a batch of 20-year-olds, the movie might have come across more crass, more frat party."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Jon Niccum

35 90%

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

"This is a movie that is constantly ahead of the audience, where smart characters do smart things to thwart a seemingly smarter menace."

Posted Jun 13, 2014

Jon Niccum

36 97%

Orange is the New Black: Season 2 (TV, 2014)

" Luckily for us, as the show moves further afield from [Piper's] origin story, it reminds us again and again of that awful truth Piper still can't quite accept: that it's not all about her. "

Posted Jun 2, 2014

Sara Smith

37 33%

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

"What helps the picture work - and makes some of the unnecessarily graphic bits easier to forgive - is the interaction between the two leads."

Posted May 29, 2014

Jon Niccum

38 61%

Crossbones: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" [Lowe and Blackbeard's] dynamic evokes the tense partnership between Al Swearengen and Sheriff Bullock in Deadwood. "

Posted May 26, 2014

Sara Smith

39 88%

Chef (2014)

"Few movies are better suited for a dine-in theater."

Posted May 22, 2014

Jon Niccum

40 14%

Blended (2014)

"It's nice that "Blended" showcases the natural wonders of South Africa, but writers Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera seem to have forgotten what century it is."

Posted May 22, 2014

Loey Lockerby

41 92%

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

"The novelty has somewhat worn off after we've been bombarded by six previous "X-Men"/"Wolverine" efforts and umpteen other Marvel flicks. But the talent has never been better than in this rousing adventure."

Posted May 22, 2014

Jon Niccum

42 73%

Godzilla (2014)

""Godzilla" fully embraces its blockbuster stature, using high production values, cavernous sets and convincing special effects to create a monstrously entertaining experience."

Posted May 15, 2014

Jon Niccum

43 61%

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

"Charming and compelling, even when you know what pitch is coming."

Posted May 15, 2014

Jon Niccum

44 78%

Penny Dreadful: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" Penny Dreadful is a smart, self-referential Dracula vs. the Wolf-Man vs. Frankenstein concept delivering the scares, chills and laughs that summer TV needs. "

Posted May 12, 2014

Sara Smith

45 73%

Neighbors (2014)

"What actually resonates is the relationship between Rogen and Byrne. They completely nail the love/hate dynamic of new parents who view their 30s as both a fresh chapter and a death sentence."

Posted May 8, 2014

Jon Niccum

46 5%

'Til There Was You (1997)

"'Til There Was You is a rarity -- a film in which absolutely nothing works. Nothing. Not one redeeming performance. Not one convincing moment. Not one solid laugh."

Posted May 5, 2014

Robert W. Butler

47 53%

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

"One must go back to the Joel Schumacher "Batman" fiascos to find a director more disconnected from his superhero source material."

Posted May 1, 2014

Jon Niccum

48 24%

The Other Woman (2014)

"Few movies have gone off the rails on a crazy train more disastrously than this comedy."

Posted Apr 24, 2014

Jon Niccum

49 89%

Bears (2014)

"Whether adventurous Scout is getting his claw stuck in a clam or the fuzzball siblings are riding on the back of their mom as she fords a river, the movie is crammed with memorable images. "

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Jon Niccum