Q Network Film Desk

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 94%

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

"an evocative, impressionistic masterwork"

Posted Jul 21, 2014

James Kendrick

2 30%

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

"Derrickson successfully breathes life into some of the more exhausted aspects of the horror genre and produces a film that both scares and provides significant food for thought."

Posted Jul 12, 2014

James Kendrick

3 100%

Judex (1963)

"a lot of fun, especially for discerning cinephiles who know their film history"

Posted Jul 10, 2014

James Kendrick

4 49%

Maleficent (2014)

"whenever the film threatens to sink into CGI oblivion or narrative clunkiness, Jolie is there to save the day with her screen-grabbing presence"

Posted Jul 10, 2014

James Kendrick

5 85%

Joe (2014)

"a beautifully, painfully wrought drama about violence and redemption"

Posted Jun 25, 2014

James Kendrick

6 34%

Miracle at St. Anna (2008)

"Lee clearly has magical realism, fable, and historical enormity on the brain, and even though he stuffs the film with everything but the proverbial kitchen sink, his ultimate point is anyone's guess"

Posted Jun 11, 2014

James Kendrick

7 100%

Red River (2001)

"inaugurated the second, more intriguing half of John Wayne's career, enabling him to be cast in roles that were more than just macho posturing and gruff heroism"

Posted Jun 9, 2014

James Kendrick

8 47%

Stalingrad (2014)

"while the narrative encourages a sense of philosophical reflection about the horrors of war, the film's video-game-inspired look constantly puts us at a distance by overly aestheticizing the violence with extreme slow motion and bullet time effects"

Posted Jun 4, 2014

James Kendrick

9 83%

Il Sorpasso (The Easy Life) (1962)

"Risi proves to have a deft sense of managing the intertwined humor and drama of his incredibly complex characters"

Posted Jun 3, 2014

James Kendrick

10 92%

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

"the story's stakes are, despite the familiarly bleak post-apocalyptic setting, inherently more personal and intimate, which makes the film as a whole more emotionally gripping"

Posted Jun 2, 2014

James Kendrick

11 23%

Devil's Knot (2014)

"doesn't have enough of a unique take on the overly familiar material to elevate it from the documentaries that covered the story so much better"

Posted May 30, 2014

James Kendrick

12 91%

Bears (2014)

"constructs a compelling narrative out of what must have been an enormous amount of footage, focusing on the age-old trope of the journey to give the bears' plight for survival a sense of sincere thematic heft"

Posted May 12, 2014

James Kendrick

13 53%

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

"While there is much to enjoy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it is also hard not to feel like it is working primarily as yet another set-up, building the foundation for future films at the expense of the central narrative "

Posted May 12, 2014

James Kendrick

14 19%

Transcendence (2014)

"built on a set of intriguing moral and ethical conundrums involving our relationship with rapidly evolving computer technology, but it finds virtually no dramatic traction"

Posted May 1, 2014

James Kendrick

15 47%

Blood Ties (2014)

"more of a slow-burn familial drama, although its plot, which revolves around two brothers living on opposite sides of the law, presents plenty of opportunity for gunshots and squealing tires. "

Posted Apr 25, 2014

James Kendrick

16 100%

Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)

"Siegel, with his innate sense of cinematic intensity and how to deploy violence with both visual and thematic heft, keeps the film's style relatively simple and straightforward, which allows the complexities of the situation at hand to take center-stage."

Posted Apr 22, 2014

James Kendrick

17 89%

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

"the movie stabs right at the heart of the ultimate virtue for which Captain America stands--freedom--by questioning what exactly such a virtue entails and what is required to preserve it"

Posted Apr 14, 2014

James Kendrick

18 92%

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

"Anderson's focus on oddball humor, audaciously eloquent dialogue, and cartoonish absurdity remains central and doesn't get derailed by the overly forced attempts at familial pathos that have marred some of his other films"

Posted Apr 11, 2014

James Kendrick

19 75%

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

"It goes on a bit longer than it probably needs to, but the humor hits more than it misses, resulting in only a few sluggish places in a film that otherwise pays its audience's desire to revel in nonstop absurdity with just a dash of genuine social satire"

Posted Apr 3, 2014

James Kendrick

20 92%

The Freshman (College Days) (1925)

"there is not a college-themed cinematic yukfest that doesn't owe something to Lloyd's standard-bearer--the original revenge of the nerd"

Posted Apr 2, 2014

James Kendrick

21 77%

Noah (2014)

"Aronofsky's film may not be perfect, but criticizing it for not sticking directly to the source material unnecessarily obscures what it does so well, which is bring to life the conflicts of an ancient world that still have much to tell us today."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

James Kendrick

22 94%

The Past (2013)

"another stunning drama that confirms Farhadi's artistic preeminence in making films that are simultaneously intimate psychological portraits of interpersonal conflict and detailed, nerve-wracking mysteries"

Posted Mar 27, 2014

James Kendrick

23 97%

King of the Hill (1993)

"one of Soderbergh's best films: a painterly, thoughtful, and subtly emotional portrait of preadolescent coming of age in dire circumstances"

Posted Mar 20, 2014

James Kendrick

24 79%

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

"maintains just enough of the irreverent charm and ironic humor of the crudely drawn original series to balance out the sleekness of its new digital presentation"

Posted Mar 20, 2014

James Kendrick

25 21%

Son Of God (2014)

"Although nicely shot and capably acted, it mostly feels inert, shackled into moderation and flatness by its fear of offending (and possibly challenging) its core audience."

Posted Mar 19, 2014

James Kendrick

26 60%

Non-Stop (2014)

"Neeson effectively redeems the potentially ludicrous murder mystery set aboard an airplane during a transatlantic flight with a compellingly gruff performance"

Posted Mar 18, 2014

James Kendrick

27 29%

Pompeii (2014)

"only about half as bad as you imagine it will be, which is actually not a good thing because the film ends up being just mediocre, rather than the kind of howlingly enjoyable train wreck that reminds you how good unintentional comedy can be"

Posted Mar 3, 2014

James Kendrick

28 49%

RoboCop (2014)

"blandly inoffensive.... It's like they took the original and sanded off all the sharp corners and rough edges to make something slicker, but also undeniably rote."

Posted Feb 25, 2014

James Kendrick

29 94%

Foreign Correspondent (1940)

"It doesn't always proceed as smoothly as some of Hitchcock's best films, but it is never anything less than grandly entertaining. "

Posted Feb 20, 2014

James Kendrick

30 96%

The LEGO Movie (2014)

"a hectic bum-rush of clever pop-culture and corporate satire that works just well enough to help us forget that it is essentially a 100-minute commercial"

Posted Feb 19, 2014

James Kendrick

31 96%

Thief (1981)

"James Caan gives a standout performance, investing in Frank a sense of determination that runs contrary to the fatalistic drive of the narrative."

Posted Feb 12, 2014

James Kendrick

32 75%

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (2003)

"lives up to its intentions as an epic madcap farce, and it offers enough comic variation through the multiple characters and situations that it never feels overlong or monotonous"

Posted Feb 9, 2014

James Kendrick

33 92%

Philomena (2013)

"Equal parts uplifting tearjerker, odd-couple comedy, and righteous screed against abuse of power in the name of religion"

Posted Feb 6, 2014

James Kendrick

34 60%

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

"Bad Grandpa's biggest, most eyebrow-rising surprise may very well be the fact that we actually grow to care about him and Billy by the final reel"

Posted Feb 3, 2014

James Kendrick

35 83%

Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena) (1973)

"an edgy, energetic ode to youthful idealism and rebellion molded quite clearly on the rough-hewn vibrancy of various European New Waves, particularly the works of Jean-Luc Godard"

Posted Jan 29, 2014

James Kendrick

36 75%

Lone Survivor (2014)

"nothing if not a deeply felt paean to the characters' toughness, bravery, and, most importantly, humanity"

Posted Jan 29, 2014

James Kendrick

37 76%

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

"No one generates narrative momentum quite like Scorsese when he's in his element, and The Wolf of Wall Street provides the kind of meaty material into which he can really sink his aesthetic claws."

Posted Jan 10, 2014

James Kendrick

38 74%

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

"More tightly paced and action-oriented than its predecessor"

Posted Jan 8, 2014

James Kendrick

39 79%

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

"While it hardly breaks new ground cinematically or truly challenges any prevailing notions about the cultural impact of Walt Disney, Saving Mr. Banks is nevertheless an entertaining portrait of conflicting artistic temperaments in action"

Posted Jan 6, 2014

James Kendrick

40 93%

American Hustle (2013)

"The actors act up a storm and the tacky period detail, from hideous sofas to men in curlers, fills the screen, but in the end it all feels too staged, too played, too self-aware to fully work. "

Posted Jan 1, 2014

James Kendrick

41 89%

Frozen (2013)

"an immensely enjoyable, surprisingly invigorating marriage of the old and the new"

Posted Dec 15, 2013

James Kendrick

42 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"if the film maintains our attention, it is simply because we connect with the base desire to survive, which embodied by someone like Robert Redford becomes all the more gripping"

Posted Dec 11, 2013

James Kendrick

43 89%

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

"benefits from the impressive acting chops of Jennifer Lawrence, whose intensity and sense of self makes Katniss into a prototypical action heroine who embodies an ideal set of values but still stays psychologically and emotionally grounded."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

James Kendrick

44 97%

12 Years a Slave (2013)

"avoids an easy sense of moralizing and propels us deep into the characters' experiences"

Posted Nov 24, 2013

James Kendrick

45 65%

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

"While there is a lot at stake plotwise, it never feels all that grave"

Posted Nov 24, 2013

James Kendrick

46 60%

Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

"its action sequences have a real sense of grit and danger due to their pre-CGI use of actual city locations and stuntpeople lighting themselves on fire, jumping out of buildings, and hanging on the outside of speeding cars"

Posted Nov 21, 2013

James Kendrick

47 83%

The Uninvited (1944)

"a serious-minded, visually elegant chiller with real dramatic weight that was destined to stand apart"

Posted Oct 29, 2013

James Kendrick

48 49%

Carrie (2013)

"ends with what has to be the cheesiest, most inexplicably silly image of any film this year, a desperate stab at giving this retread a memorable exit that only confirms how utterly unnecessary and inferior a remake it is"

Posted Oct 27, 2013

James Kendrick

49 45%

All Is Bright (2013)

"a relatively lackluster dark comedy that is elevated several notches by Giamatti's cantankerous presence"

Posted Oct 20, 2013

James Kendrick

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