Willamette Week

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 15%

Transcendence (2014)

"In moving between the smaller story of tragic lovers and a greater fable about the dangers of playing God, Pfister's film jackknifes jarringly, with characters inexplicably switching allegiances and fundamentally flipping their ideals halfway through."

Posted Apr 16, 2014

AP Kryza

2 93%

The History Of Future Folk (2013)

"It plays out as a simple, sweet story of two alien lifeforms who discover that falling in love and playing the banjo is a better mission than intergalactic genocide. And that's a message I think we can all get behind."

Posted Apr 14, 2014

Ruth Brown

3 82%

The Unknown Known (2014)

"The most interesting thing about The Unknown Known is how seemingly unrevealing it is."

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Michael Nordine

4 89%

Alphaville (1965)

"Its melding of classic Hollywood archetypes and a terrifying future was ahead of its time when it was released. Five decades later, filmmakers are still trying to catch up."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

AP Kryza

5 87%

Far From Heaven (2003)

"Far From Heaven should create a wider audience for Haynes, long considered one of America's leading independent directors."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Steffen Silvis

6 63%

Bad Words (2014)

"Remember that scene in Billy Madison where Adam Sandler makes fun of a second-grader because she can't spell "couch"? Bad Words is kind of like that, only 90 minutes longer."

Posted Mar 19, 2014

Michael Nordine

7 13%

Winter's Tale (2014)

"That almost none of this makes real-world sense isn't a problem. What is a problem is that much of it isn't even consistent with its own internal logic."

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Michael Nordine

8 95%

Stranger by the Lake (2014)

"Hitchcock by way of Cruising."

Posted Feb 12, 2014

Michael Nordine

9 100%

Gabrielle (2014)

"It isn't entirely free of sugar, and by the end loses sight of the qualities that initially made it so engaging."

Posted Feb 5, 2014

Michael Nordine

10 95%

Child's Pose (2014)

"Deftly examines loss, dependency, and the delicate bonds that hold families together."

Posted Feb 5, 2014

Michael Nordine

11 91%

12 O'clock Boys (2014)

"With so many advocacy documentaries on screens of late, Nathan's unwillingness to take a side is refreshing."

Posted Jan 30, 2014

Ruth Brown

12 33%

Labor Day (2014)

"There's no burger phone, but Reitman makes up for it with the most patently absurd baking sequence you'll ever see."

Posted Jan 29, 2014

Michael Nordine

13 94%

The Past (2013)

"Farhadi all but perfects the art of making mountains out of molehills."

Posted Jan 29, 2014

Michael Nordine

14 97%

The Hurt Locker (2009)

"The Hurt Locker is horrifying. It's hopeless. I want to go see it again."

Posted Jan 13, 2014

Aaron Mesh

15 96%

Argo (2012)

"By not pandering sentimentality, Affleck has managed a task that, like its subject, seems impossible: He's taken what others would have turned into farce and emerged with one of the year's best pictures."

Posted Jan 10, 2014

AP Kryza

16 76%

Lone Survivor (2014)

"Berg clearly has nothing but reverence for the armed forces, but that admiration renders him incapable of portraying anything dispassionately."

Posted Jan 8, 2014

Michael Nordine

17 30%

Grudge Match (2013)

"The seniors' climactic bout might be the most dispiriting scene to unfold in a boxing ring since a broken-down Mike Tyson surrendered to Kevin McBride back in 2005."

Posted Jan 2, 2014

Curtis Woloschuk

18 98%

Blackfish (2013)

"Plainly, it's an advocacy film. And it's a brilliant one -- nail-biting, upsetting, maddening and at times even uplifting,"

Posted Jan 1, 2014

Ruth Brown

19 80%

Warm Bodies (2013)

"Let's be clear: This is a popcorn flick. The CGI effects are laughable, and it takes a while to adjust to the willfully cheeseball tone, but once it clicks, it's irresistible. In this world, all you need is love. And sometimes a shotgun."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Kelly Clarke

20 69%

The Wolverine (2013)

"It's basically a high-budget take on an old-school samurai flick, with Wolverine as the ronin. And it's as awesome as it sounds."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

AP Kryza

21 96%

Cutie And The Boxer (2013)

"It's a deeply affecting yet keen-eyed portrait of the struggles of art, love and life."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Rebecca Jacobson

22 89%

The World's End (2013)

"Wright is one of the most original and energetic filmmakers out there, and paired with Pegg and Frost's expert rapport and a highly charismatic cast, there is no limit to what the team can tackle."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

AP Kryza

23 13%

47 Ronin (2013)

"A curious folly, albeit an almost endearingly sincere (and strange) one that seems to revere its legendary source material as much as it distorts it."

Posted Dec 25, 2013

Michael Nordine

24 92%

Philomena (2013)

"After the film ends, it's Philomena's story that sticks. Director Stephen Frears and company should be given credit only for staying out of the real Philomena's way."

Posted Dec 22, 2013

Mitch Lillie

25 79%

Quartet (2013)

"While Hoffman seems very aware he's gently closing the book on an entire generation of entertainers, he nonetheless allows them to do what they've always done best: be entertaining."

Posted Dec 22, 2013

Matthew Korfhage

26 82%

Prisoners (2013)

"It's engaging and gut-wrenching -- without diving into an abyss of emotional torture in the name of entertainment."

Posted Dec 21, 2013

AP Kryza

27 83%

The Armstrong Lie (2013)

"Faced with an opponent desperately clinging to the last vestiges of his reputation, Gibney uncharacteristically fails to fully pull back the curtain."

Posted Dec 21, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

28 71%

Go For Sisters (2013)

"Few other filmmakers could handle this material with such an even hand."

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Michael Nordine

29 95%

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

"Sharing in Llewyn's struggle is more than worth the accompanying sorrow."

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Michael Nordine

30 91%

Blue Jasmine (2013)

"Blanchett's performance is fascinating. She's an Ingmar Bergman figure yanked straight out of Tennessee Williams."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Matthew Korfhage

31 95%

War Witch (2013)

"War Witch doesn't sermonize or propose a solution to its larger problems. It's a portrait of a life. It just so happens that said life is playing out in a living hell."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

AP Kryza

32 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"This is one man, alone, facing death. Redford is playing himself, and he's not playing around."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Mitch Lillie

33 95%

The Act Of Killing (2013)

"Of all the uncomfortable experiences you might endure in the name of understanding the evils of history, this film is arguably the kind that is most necessary."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Ruth Brown

34 93%

Frances Ha (2013)

"Exuberant and disarming."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Rebecca Jacobson

35 99%

Wadjda (2013)

"On the most basic level, Wadjda is a wonderful piece of filmmaking. It's a tale that's delightful and insightful and gently transgressive, and Al-Mansour tells it with economy, lyricism and terrific warmth."

Posted Dec 10, 2013

Rebecca Jacobson

36 89%

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

"Though flawed, Catching Fire manages something no adaptation since Harry Potter has: It respects its fans enough to challenge them while maturing alongside them."

Posted Dec 8, 2013

AP Kryza

37 80%

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

"The Broken Circle Breakdown is a very American romance. It is also a very European tragedy."

Posted Dec 6, 2013

Matthew Korfhage

38 42%

Oldboy (2013)

"There's little perverse pleasure to be found in a revenge tale that's told without a trace of passion. "

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

39 38%

Delivery Man (2013)

"A new release has rarely felt so stillborn."

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

40 60%

Ender's Game (2013)

"A young adult film that refuses to be easily dismissed."

Posted Nov 7, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

41 73%

The Motel Life (2013)

"The Motel Life fulfills its modest ambitions, mining glimmers of muted beauty from these brothers' otherwise bleak existences."

Posted Nov 7, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

42 47%

Last Vegas (2013)

"No one onscreen seems to be having an especially good time, a feeling likely to be shared by the audience."

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Michael Nordine

43 96%

Muscle Shoals (2013)

"The film possesses considerable persuasive power despite its modest substance and simple construction, making it very much like the timeless songs it showcases. "

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

44 37%

The Fifth Estate (2013)

"There's perhaps nothing more cringe-inducing than a square's view of a radical subculture."

Posted Oct 21, 2013

Curtis Woloschuk

45 60%

Bad Milo! (2013)

"This is Marino's film all the way, and the comic vet of Wet Hot American Summer and Party Down effortlessly steps into the spotlight after decades in supporting roles."

Posted Oct 4, 2013

AP Kryza

46 29%

The Family (2013)

"Quite literally self-parody--only without the self-awareness of Analyze This."

Posted Sep 18, 2013

Michael Nordine

47 52%

Thérèse (2013)

"Exactly the kind of film the French New Wave was rebelling against."

Posted Sep 18, 2013

Michael Nordine

48 38%

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

"The scariest thing about it is that there will probably be a Chapter 3."

Posted Sep 12, 2013

Michael Nordine

49 32%

A Teacher (2013)

"Mood divorced from meaning."

Posted Sep 11, 2013

Michael Nordine

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