Kansas City Star

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 40%

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

2 26%

When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

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

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Jon Niccum

3 82%

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

4 71%

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

5 49%

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

6 31%

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

7 57%

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

8 19%

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

9 86%

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

10 92%

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

11 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

12 64%

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

13 17%

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

14 58%

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

15 77%

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

16 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

17 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

18 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

19 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

20 69%

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

21 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

22 25%

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

23 90%

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

24 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

25 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

26 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

27 88%

Chef (2014)

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

Posted May 22, 2014

Jon Niccum

28 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

29 91%

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

30 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

31 61%

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

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

Posted May 15, 2014

Jon Niccum

32 79%

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

33 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

34 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

35 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

36 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

37 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

38 19%

Transcendence (2014)

"Even when ensconced in a traditional shoot-'em-up, the film still kicks around some heady ideas. If only there were some underlying momentum to energize such poetic, intellectual flourishes. "

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Jon Niccum

39 47%

Rio 2 (2014)

"More characters, more montages, more singing, more dancing, more preaching - it's certainly more exhausting."

Posted Apr 10, 2014

Jon Niccum

40 62%

Draft Day (2014)

"an entertaining mosaic that has more in common with "The Social Network" than "Any Given Sunday.""

Posted Apr 10, 2014

Jon Niccum

41 74%

Oculus (2014)

"What it has going for it is a slow, steady build-up of tension, leading to a final act that makes up in pure intensity what it lacks in originality."

Posted Apr 10, 2014

Loey Lockerby

42 88%

Cheap Thrills (2014)

"How you feel about it will depend on how much creative debasement you can stand to watch."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Loey Lockerby

43 89%

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

"The lack of green-screen laziness makes the red, white and blue workmanship pop out that much more."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Jon Niccum

44 20%

Sabotage (2014)

"This is not wink-wink "Commando"-type violence; this is an immersive, documentary-style barrage of exploding heads, torture, guttings and graphic crime scenes - like a drug cartel home movie."

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Jon Niccum

45 77%

Noah (2014)

"It rivals "Battlefield Earth," "Showgirls" and other touchstones of bad modern cinema. But it's the kind of bad that only a mad genius like Aronofsky can muster."

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Jon Niccum

46 79%

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

"Admittedly, "Muppets Most Wanted" doesn't deliver the emotional impact or nostalgic tug of the beloved 2011 reboot. The delights reside in the dippy details, from the absurdist flourishes to the self-referential asides."

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Jon Niccum

47 41%

Divergent (2014)

"A satisfying dystopian adventure but not much else."

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Loey Lockerby

48 22%

Need For Speed (2014)

"For a film about racing, it takes a looooong time to locate the finish line."

Posted Mar 13, 2014

Jon Niccum

49 42%

300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

""Empire" proves that no decapitation can be too slow and no disemboweling too implied."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Jon Niccum

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile