Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
True Story (2015)
"[An] intermittently fascinating movie version from first-time features director Rupert Goold and stars Jonah Hill and James Franco in roles that, for once, don't ask them to be caricatures of arrested adolescence. "
Ex Machina (2015)
"Alex Garland brilliantly brings the past into the present with the near-future tale Ex Machina, a stark but dazzling meditation on intelligence, consciousness and morality that discreetly uses special effects in service of story, dialogue and character. "
While We're Young (2015)
"A sometimes poignant paean to struggling to age gracefully while time drags you kicking and screaming to the inevitable end, While We're Young effectively balances wry comedy and bittersweet drama. "
Furious 7 (2015)
"James Wan came up in the horror ranks and gave the world the first Saw... If "F&F" fans feared that he would tamper with the box-office formula and end up slaying and gutting this cinematic golden goose for shocks and giggles, they can rest easy. "
A Girl Like Her (2015)
"Tim Johnson ( Antz) has capitalized on DreamWorks' proprietary animation platform, Apollo to create a rich, intricate setting...But the technology doesn't save the film from falling flat on other levels. "
Get Hard (2015)
The Walking Deceased (2015)
It Follows (2015)
"Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, from last year, turned parenthood into the scariest story of all, and now comes David Robert Mitchell's It Follows, which merges paranoia and teen sexuality into an exercise in delicious dread. "
"Shot by first-time feature director Yann Demange on the gritty streets of Sheffield and Liverpool in a style that puts the viewer in the crosshairs of the action, '71 is bracing from beginning to end. "
" If you're looking for a tried-and-true telling filled with elaborate settings and beautiful ball gowns, this glass slipper is the right fit. However, if you're looking for a fresh, modern take on your average fairy tale, don't bother trying on this one. "
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 1 (TV, 2015)
The Returned (US): Season 1 (TV, 2015)
These Final Hours (2015)
"The low-budget Australian apocalyptic drama has such a terrific start - an adrenaline rush of panic and dread as a huge asteroid colliding with the Earth sends a wall of fire around the planet. It's a shame the movie peters out about halfway through. "
"Even though the atrocities committed by radical jihadists dominate the headlines and airwaves, few in the West know what it's like to live under their reign. Timbuktu...is a moving, haunting and beautifully shot peek behind the closed cultural curtain. "
What We Do In The Shadows (2015)
"Shadows takes what could have been a one-joke sketch and turns it into a very funny, and occasionally even touching, take on brotherhood and friendship...It's certainly more authentic and realistic than recent seasons of The Real World. "
The Artist (2011)
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
"Yet the film's biggest problem is its two stars. Despite all the ripped abs and exposed breasts, blindfolds and cuffs, there are few sparks between them. Without that, Fifty Shades of Grey feels as cold and sterile as Grey's sleek penthouse. "
The Slap: Season 1 (TV, 2015)
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
"For the sake of Neo, Morpheus, the red pill, [and] the blue pill... it would be great to report that the Wachowskis indeed got their groove back. But the only groove they're going to see is the one on multiplex floors as moviegoers stampede the exits. "
Black Sea (2015)
"While the film doesn't cut nearly as deep as [the director's] The Last King of Scotland, it's nevertheless a suspenseful, taut thriller with political undertones that delivers on its low-key promises. "
Still Alice (2015)
"It's Moore who really brings the film home. It's in her expression when the doctor gives his diagnosis and pessimistic prognosis. It's in the way she looks at her family, knowing there will come a time when she won't recognize them. "
"Paddington...comes off as a charming character. The kind of character that children around the world have fallen in love with...But even with all the bear's charm, a plodding pace and a questionable plotline leave the film version less desirable to watch. "
"A dim-witted, dullard of a thriller about hacking and terrorism for profit that has one saving grace: timeliness...Being current only gets you so far when the script is techno-babble nonsense and the acting is as wooden as the Sequoia National Forest. "
"It may be coincidence that Selma reverberates with a particular timeliness...Still, it's thanks to director DuVernay and first-time features writer Paul Webb that the film has more than the luck of timing on its side. "
The World Made Straight (2015)
"The performances are strong... and Earle is particularly memorable. The film glows with a dark energy when he's on screen. But it's too long, has a musical soundtrack that's often intrusive, and sometimes sags when it should be taut with tension "
John Wick (2014)
"Yet, for all the film's stylishness and a body count worthy of a small civil war, there's no getting around the fact that stiff, stoic Reeves -- who is capable of a few funny, deadpan lines -- isn't a particularly compelling lead action figure. "
Dear White People (2014)
The LEGO Movie (2014)
"It's a smart, subversive tip of the hat to everything from American and Italian Westerns to horror movies, Jim Jarmusch, love stories, Iranian traditionalism and rock 'n' roll. Oh, and there's a vampire. "
Into the Woods (2014)
"The sly send-up of fantasy tropes and healthy doses of humor help Into the Woods feel very much like the books and films it gently satirizes, even as it stands on its own as a solid entry into the musical-fantasy genre. "
"If nothing else, it's certainly better than the last time a good-looking Hollywood star decided to direct a movie about WWII. But the less said about George Clooney's The Monuments Men, the better . "
The Imitation Game (2014)
American Sniper (2015)
"But the adrenaline can't replace perception, and despite Eastwood's deft staging of the Iraqi scenes, they don't bring viewers any closer to understanding why Kyle insists on repeatedly returning to the war zones. "
"Phenom Quvenzhané Wallis proves her Oscar nomination for Beasts of the Southern Wild was no fluke. As a modern-day Annie, Wallis shines with her sweet portrayal. However, her performance alone can't save the film from being a dim adaptation. "
"What the book communicates better than the movie is just how grueling the Pacific Coast Trail can be...But that's only a quibble. Like the book, the movie inspires wanderlust, whether the quest is for your body or your psyche. "
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
"An even better special effect would have been having a main cast that actually reflects the Mediterranean/North African desert environment...There are darker-skinned actors on the screen, though they just happen to be all slaves, servants and soldiers. "
"Disney has another hit in its repertoire with this heartfelt story of sisterly love and one of the few films released in 3-D this year that splendidly incorporates the technology into the plot line. "
The Babadook (2014)
"Director Kent has made the kind of striking film that is going to have mainstream Hollywood haunting her like a Babadook in a bad mood. For the sake of her idiosyncratic vision, let's hope she doesn't frighten easily. "
Penguins Of Madagascar (2014)
"However, even with all of well-intentioned references and good humor, Penguins doesn't break new ground. The film is fun, light-hearted fare that could be watched in the comfort of a long car ride to Grandma's house. "
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (2014)
Low Down (2014)
"Whiplash is like one of those Buddy Rich solos the kid idolizes: hot, sweaty and in-your-face. Low Down is like the version of Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life played in one of this film's club scenes: somber, moody and cool to the touch. "
"If it's more talky and less satisfying than its predecessor, the propulsive The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - largely because the conclusion won't come until next year with Part 2 - it's still a sporadically involving adventure. "
"For 10 years and eight films we've gotten to watch these young actors grow as people, as performers and as characters. It has been a true coming-of-age saga, in the fullest and most moving sense of the term. "
The Theory of Everything (2014)