Willamette Week

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 92%

Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

"Amazingly, no one gets lost in the shuffle. The Avengers are an all-star team, and directing The Avengers is like coaching one: Half the work is ego management. Of all he accomplishes here, Whedon's greatest achievement is the balance of his script."

Posted Aug 24, 2014

Matt Singer

2 49%

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

"Much of this reads as wish fulfillment for Allen, who's spent half a century detailing his fear of mortality. No one, after all, wants to believe in nothing."

Posted Aug 6, 2014

Michael Nordine

3 2%

Getaway (2013)

"Little more than a 90-minute chase scene, this film is targeted directly at the Fast & Furious crowd, but it has only one expensive car to smash up instead of many dozen."

Posted Jul 22, 2014

Richard Grunert

4 41%

Wish I Was Here (2014)

"Braff claims to have turned to Kickstarter to avoid financier interference, but nothing in Wish I Was Here feels out of the norm for an Indiewood production."

Posted Jul 16, 2014

Michael Nordine

5 83%

Coherence (2014)

"The questions Byrkit raises about the intermingling of previously separate realities may be more inspired than some of the answers that his out-of-their-depth characters stumble upon, but the implications are quietly terrifying nonetheless."

Posted Jul 9, 2014

Michael Nordine

6 90%

Knocked Up (2007)

"[Apatow] makes responsibility and commitment funny; no mean feat."

Posted Jul 8, 2014

Aaron Mesh

7 24%

Tammy (2014)

"If you've seen one Melissa McCarthy movie, you've seen them all."

Posted Jul 2, 2014

Michael Nordine

8 83%

Northern Light (2014)

"You feel as though you've been given the keys to a town that trusts you to look around at your own pace and turn off the light on your way out. And the longer you stay, the less you feel like leaving."

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Michael Nordine

9 90%

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

"Its recursive conceit often seems poised to devolve into a cheap gimmick, but, much like Cage, it consistently makes slight course corrections that keep it feeling fresh."

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Michael Nordine

10 50%

Trouble with the Curve (2012)

"It is a funny world in which everyone always witlessly says what they mean, every life episode is dubiously calculated for your favorite character's benefit, and every incompetent person is also morally repellent and physically grotesque."

Posted May 12, 2014

Matthew Korfhage

11 79%

42 (2013)

"42 is a hackneyed, cookie-cutter film that manages to tell us absolutely nothing about a turning point in American history."

Posted May 7, 2014

AP Kryza

12 96%

Blue Ruin (2014)

"Does a great job of masking how little it has to say about the bloodshed it deals in."

Posted May 2, 2014

Michael Nordine

13 19%

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

14 94%

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

15 84%

The Unknown Known (2014)

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

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Michael Nordine

16 90%

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

17 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

18 65%

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

19 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

20 94%

Stranger by the Lake (2014)

"Hitchcock by way of Cruising."

Posted Feb 12, 2014

Michael Nordine

21 95%

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

22 93%

Child's Pose (2014)

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

Posted Feb 5, 2014

Michael Nordine

23 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

24 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

25 94%

The Past (2013)

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

Posted Jan 29, 2014

Michael Nordine

26 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

27 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

28 75%

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

29 29%

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

30 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

31 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

32 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

33 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

34 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

35 14%

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

36 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

37 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

38 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

39 84%

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

40 72%

Go For Sisters (2013)

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

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Michael Nordine

41 94%

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

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

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Michael Nordine

42 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

43 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

44 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

45 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

46 93%

Frances Ha (2013)

"Exuberant and disarming."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Rebecca Jacobson

47 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

48 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

49 81%

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

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