Authors

Orange County Register

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 65%

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

"Frank mostly overdoses on portentousness as he roots his solid hero in a city that fears coming to pieces."

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Michael Sragow

2 43%

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

"Director Levy and screenwriter Jonathan Tropper, who adapted his own novel, tone down or eliminate the wildest incidents in the book, but they're true to its depiction of a pent-up, discordant clan on the verge of a group nervous breakdown."

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Michael Sragow

3 63%

The Maze Runner (2014)

"Ball is deft, though, at evoking claustrophobia of every kind, whether in the open-air prison of the Glade or the actual tight spaces of the Maze. And he elicits a hair-trigger performance from O'Brien."

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Michael Sragow

4 88%

The Skeleton Twins (2014)

"What makes the movie memorable is the open-ended talent of its actors. They supply The Skeleton Twins with flesh and blood, some firm connective tissue and generous heart and soul."

Posted Sep 11, 2014

Michael Sragow

5 61%

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2014)

"This movie resembles a Beatlemania version of an art house cult film."

Posted Sep 11, 2014

Michael Sragow

6 70%

Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)

"Smith has an eye for knockabout farce and for untrammeled beauty, and his camera is always in the right place to capture the ecstatic sight of dolphins in motion."

Posted Sep 11, 2014

Michael Sragow

7 88%

The Drop (2014)

"In his final role, Gandolfini may be playing a mobbed-up man again, but he was too gifted an actor to repeat himself."

Posted Sep 11, 2014

Michael Sragow

8 99%

Starred Up (2014)

"The British prison movie Starred Up has the excitement of a nonstop psychological cage fight, but its goal is enlightenment, not terror or cheap thrills."

Posted Sep 5, 2014

Michael Sragow

9 54%

Frontera (2014)

"It captures the desperation of illegal immigrants and the confused rancor that often greets them on the American side of the border."

Posted Sep 5, 2014

Michael Sragow

10 14%

Innocence (2014)

"The film is ridiculous without being enjoyably campy."

Posted Sep 4, 2014

Michael Sragow

11 35%

The November Man (2014)

"It's unfortunate that the shrewdness -- dare I say thought? -- that went into shaping Brosnan's aging hero doesn't extend to the rest of the movie."

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Michael Sragow

12 63%

Life Of Crime (2014)

"[Bey] steals every scene he's in. Unfortunately, in a film this pallid, that amounts to petty theft."

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Michael Sragow

13 30%

The Last Of Robin Hood (2014)

"The Last of Robin Hood treads delicately on dangerous ground. Without being prurient or titillating, it could have dared to tell us more."

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Michael Sragow

14 76%

The Congress (2014)

"The movie is a howl of pain at the technological and corporate takeover of our fantasy lives - and, increasingly, our real lives."

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Michael Sragow

15 98%

Love Is Strange (2014)

"Lithgow, with his modulated flamboyance, and Molina, with his sad-eyed realism, are perfect individually and as a team. But the movie tends to drift away from an audience, because it's all sensibility, no sense."

Posted Aug 22, 2014

Michael Sragow

16 37%

If I Stay (2014)

"The heroine lies in the coma, but the audience may feel brain-dead by the end of If I Stay."

Posted Aug 22, 2014

Michael Sragow

17 46%

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

"Miller's original comic-book frames serve narrative functions, but these movies are all grabby graphics, devoid of compelling style."

Posted Aug 22, 2014

Michael Sragow

18 80%

The One I Love (2014)

"First-time director Charlie McDowell and writer Justin Lader are skillful at subverting domestic-comedy clichés, and Moss and Duplass are superb at being tender, funny and borderline satiric."

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Michael Sragow

19 92%

Frank (2014)

"The movie roots the mask in mental illness without scanting Frank's artistic playfulness and power. The result is that rarity, a genuine pop tragicomedy."

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Michael Sragow

20 7%

Are You Here (2014)

"Are You Here is an infuriating blend of woozy farce, self-important social commentary and failed ambiguity."

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Michael Sragow

21 94%

The Dark Knight (2008)

"The Dark Knight is probably the smartest and most stylish action movie since the "The Matrix." It thinks and philosophizes. The subject it thinks and philosophizes about, perhaps not surprisingly, considering the times, is the Iraq war."

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Timothy Mangan

22 33%

The Expendables 3 (2014)

"The series did reignite a few careers and bring forth one decent popcorn movie (The Expendables 2). Rather than artificially extend its life, maybe the time has come to say Rest in Peace."

Posted Aug 15, 2014

Michael Sragow

23 83%

A Master Builder (2014)

"A film that plays not as a theatrical antique, but as a crackling, profound entry in The Twilight Zone."

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Michael Sragow

24 40%

Life After Beth (2014)

"First-time writer-director Baena casts the film slyly and directs individual sequences with a lot of sneaky wit."

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Michael Sragow

25 87%

The Trip To Italy (2014)

"The sumptuous views of gorgeous locations and savory foods combine with the improvised dialogue and behavior to give these movies a sensuous sort of spontaneity."

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Michael Sragow

26 35%

The Giver (2014)

"Not even Streep and Bridges can lift The Giver beyond the level of a post-apocalyptic after-school special."

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Michael Sragow

27 20%

Into The Storm (2014)

"This must be the only disaster movie in which presumably intelligent characters decide to hide from a storm in a storm drain."

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

28 69%

What If (2014)

"A film that is like one extended, excruciating anticlimax."

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

29 95%

The Dog (2014)

"Outrageous, funny and sad."

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

30 67%

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

"It's a rare delight to watch Puri and Mirren play off each other."

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

31 19%

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a reboot that plays as if it were made from a starter kit. Everything comes right out of the 2014 blockbuster catalog."

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

32 92%

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

"Pratt is their prime asset for turning the comedy up to 11. With him playing Star-Lord, you never question what Quill brings to the team: a sparkling, cracked esprit de corps."

Posted Aug 1, 2014

Michael Sragow

33 37%

Child Of God (2014)

"Too bad all this grungy intimacy renders him neither knowable nor fascinating as he hunkers down in a shack and then in a cavern that doubles as a crypt."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Michael Sragow

34 89%

Calvary (2014)

"Self-conscious dialogue, stiff characterizations and unimaginative filmmaking prove to be a recipe for the forgettable."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Michael Sragow

35 78%

Get On Up (2014)

"Even as a musical celebration, the movie is a misfire. Instead of re-creating the ecstatic, improvisatory flow of Brown's stage act, the film cuts almost everything into glittering bits and pieces."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Michael Sragow

36 91%

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

"[Hoffman] scales his performance to Olympian heights, yet he elevates all his collaborators, too."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Michael Sragow

37 78%

Happy Christmas (2014)

"Happy Christmas is a jaunty domestic dramedy that covers some of the same territory as Neighbors under one roof, with characters who are smart, funny, endearing and unpredictable rather than boorish and silly."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Michael Sragow

38 51%

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

"Allen hasn't lost his comic spark -- he's still in the midst of a comic revival."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Michael Sragow

39 66%

Lucy (2014)

"In the showiest sequence, Lucy's body starts exploding into bursts of confetti. Even then, Johannson holds everything together. She's the rare actress who brings conviction and clarity to flights of fancy."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Michael Sragow

40 18%

And So It Goes (2014)

"The pieces of this would-be feel-good movie sink into place with a depressing thud."

Posted Jul 24, 2014

Michael Sragow

41 99%

Boyhood (2014)

"Boyhood, at its best, boasts qualities that are usually under-valued in avant-garde work: tingling observations, unforced comedy and quirky, enduring charm."

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Michael Sragow

42 100%

The Battered Bastards Of Baseball (2014)

"This film is a labor of love in which the sweat never shows."

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Michael Sragow

43 77%

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (2014)

"Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger is the equivalent of a gripping true-crime "read.""

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Michael Sragow

44 90%

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

"Serkis outdoes himself as Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This gigantic spellbinder of a movie rests on his ability to convey power and command with his posture, and an array of emotions via his incredibly malleable face."

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Michael Sragow

45 48%

Earth to Echo (2014)

"Spielberg's E.T., so ugly it was cute, was also full of personality. Echo is adorable and forgettable, and the rest of the characters are simply plot holders in a narrative contraption that generates jeopardy-raising obstacles to Echo going home."

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

46 99%

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

"The whole movie is an ecstatic mix of serendipity and invention. The Beatles were ready for their cinematic breakthrough."

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

47 97%

Life Itself (2014)

"What makes Life Itself such a wonderful documentary is that it weds Ebert's passion for the good things in life to his quest to find great movies."

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

48 95%

Gabrielle (2014)

"Writer-director Louise Archambault uses a free and easy camera style and mosaic-like editing to suggest how intensely Gabrielle responds to elements of everyday life."

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

49 24%

Tammy (2014)

"It's obnoxious when it means to be comic, and excruciating when it wants to be moving."

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

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