Authors

Orange County Register

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 90%

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

2 81%

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

3 60%

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

4 58%

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

5 16%

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

6 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

7 100%

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

8 79%

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

9 91%

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

10 49%

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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 23%

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

15 91%

Venus in Fur (2014)

"[The] rare filmed theater piece that leaves you smiling, thinking, and maybe a bit hot and bothered, to boot. "

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Michael Sragow

16 75%

The Last Sentence (2014)

"A master psychological filmmaker, Jan Troell, puts a towering anti-Nazi crusader under his microscope in the urgently compelling biopic The Last Sentence."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Michael Sragow

17 25%

Think Like a Man Too (2014)

"When it comes to wisdom about marriage - well, as Henny Youngman might have said, "Take this movie. Please.""

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Michael Sragow

18 54%

Jersey Boys (2014)

"The film's wooziness wouldn't be disastrous if it swept audiences up in the zest of pop creation."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Michael Sragow

19 82%

Dormant Beauty (2014)

"The film pits their honest passion against the stylized desperation of the actress' religious theater and the decadent hollowness of Berlusconi's political theater."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Michael Sragow

20 55%

The Signal (2014)

"The Signal doesn't bludgeon you in the manner of big-budget misfires like Transcendence -- it retains the appearance of freshness -- but it doesn't slake your thirst for story, either."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Michael Sragow

21 85%

22 Jump Street (2014)

"22 Jump Street may be the most arbitrary sequel since Bad Boys II. If it's not the worst, that's strictly because of Channing Tatum."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Michael Sragow

22 92%

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

"A solid sequel sets its goals and meets them, but a movie as elating as How to Train Your Dragon 2 soars beyond conventional objectives and upends audience expectations."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Michael Sragow

23 80%

The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

"Amid everything that's forced or ersatz about the movie, Woodley and Elgort are the real thing."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Michael Sragow

24 90%

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

"What stays with you are Cruise's off-type performance, a few bravura sequences, and Blunt's molten presence."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Michael Sragow

25 91%

The Case Against 8 (2014)

"Filmmakers Cotner and White use fly-on-the-wall footage, fresh interviews and the reading of court transcripts to capture these intimate revelations, as well as the crackle of history in the making."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Michael Sragow

26 87%

Obvious Child (2014)

"Maturity -- what a concept! That's the humorous, self-lacerating notion at the core of Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Michael Sragow

27 97%

We Are the Best! (2014)

"The movie is refreshingly sensitive to gender, but also transcends it. What unites the three clashing heroines is their resistance to conventional cliques and schoolhouse conformity. In more ways than one, they're a band of outsiders."

Posted May 30, 2014

Michael Sragow

28 84%

Night Moves (2014)

"Fanning is marvelous as a woman who's so bright and charming on the surface you can't tell whether she's floundering underneath."

Posted May 30, 2014

Michael Sragow

29 49%

Maleficent (2014)

"All would be forgiven if the film had more magical feeling."

Posted May 30, 2014

Michael Sragow

30 33%

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

"In A Million Ways to Die in the West, director-star Seth MacFarlane builds an imposing, affectionate reconstruction of the American movie West, then defaces it with funny mustaches -- often literally."

Posted May 30, 2014

Michael Sragow

31 14%

Blended (2014)

"Comedians often draw on childhood influences, and Adam Sandler and his team do it in the worst possible way in Blended.. [which] is like a Bizarro version of The Brady Bunch."

Posted May 23, 2014

Michael Sragow

32 43%

Words And Pictures (2014)

"Each combination of word and picture conjures something even stronger, as happens in memorable movies like Words and Pictures -- and with passionate couples like Marcus and Delsanto, who demonstrate the incandescent power of love and art. "

Posted May 22, 2014

Michael Sragow

33 86%

Cold in July (2014)

"The best thing about Jim Mickle's movie is that it retains the down-home-gone-wrong feeling of Lansdale's book."

Posted May 22, 2014

Michael Sragow

34 92%

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

"The most exciting big-studio release so far this year is X-Men: Days of Future Past. It tops even Captain America: The Winter Soldier, another bold Marvel superhero film, for ambition, emotion and thrills."

Posted May 22, 2014

Michael Sragow

35 87%

The Immigrant (2014)

"I can't think of another actor today who could vitalize the character of a virtuous, wronged woman as vividly and unsentimentally as Marion Cotillard does in The Immigrant."

Posted May 15, 2014

Michael Sragow

36 92%

The Retrieval (2014)

"The Retrieval's potency transcends its scope. It shows you, in microcosm, the sacrifices that forge the conscience not only of a boy, but of a nation."

Posted May 15, 2014

Michael Sragow

37 74%

Godzilla (2014)

"Director Gareth Edwards bloats the film with human figures that never spring to life and sabotage the primal story."

Posted May 15, 2014

Michael Sragow

38 61%

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

"Hamm doesn't embarrass himself as Bernstein, but the role is hollow -- a savvy guy who needs to learn how nice and lovable he can be."

Posted May 15, 2014

Michael Sragow

39 82%

Fed Up (2014)

"Stephanie Soechtig's attack on Big Food for sweetening us to death goes down like a tart, stiff drink."

Posted May 8, 2014

Michael Sragow

40 71%

Palo Alto (2014)

"Franco's stories, sometimes coarse and flimsy on the page, operate like launch pads for a slew of fresh, frisky performers. But the delicacy of the movie's narrative and its almost mystical thread of yearning come from Coppola."

Posted May 8, 2014

Michael Sragow

41 88%

Chef (2014)

"As a director, Favreau keeps his music and his palette bold; the grass-roots American food and road views look inviting."

Posted May 8, 2014

Michael Sragow

42 31%

God's Pocket (2014)

"God's Pocket, despite its tiptop cast, fails to sustain its comedy or drama. It becomes, at best, a piece of sardonic anthropology."

Posted May 8, 2014

Michael Sragow

43 73%

Neighbors (2014)

"A movie about the unexamined and excruciating phenomenon of "neighbor noise" turns out to be mostly about party envy (and, yes, the other kind of envy, too). "

Posted May 8, 2014

Michael Sragow

44 53%

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

"The new Spider-Man series has managed to do in two films what the previous Spider-Man series did in three: transform an engrossing comic-book coming-of-age epic into an overstuffed and off-putting battle royale."

Posted May 1, 2014

Michael Sragow

45 94%

Ida (2014)

"The performances are beyond reproach. As Wanda, Agata Kulesza is mournfully magnetic. As Ida, Agata Trzebuchowska expresses a complex consciousness budding up from behind her sweet blank slate."

Posted May 1, 2014

Michael Sragow

46 75%

Bicycling with Moliere (2014)

"As long as it's putting Moliere through a Pirandellian prism, Bicycling With Moliere is sophisticated fun."

Posted May 1, 2014

Michael Sragow

47 83%

Belle (2014)

"Director Amma Assante and screenwriter Misan Sagay weigh down everything by introducing portentous melodrama and brittle social dramedy."

Posted May 1, 2014

Michael Sragow

48 89%

Locke (2014)

"As a visual tour-de-force, Locke is workmanlike and mechanical. As a piece of drama it amounts to watching an easy-to-read character check off the boxes on an existential to-do list."

Posted Apr 24, 2014

Michael Sragow

49 96%

Blue Ruin (2014)

"A gory instant-classic cult film about a maladroit revenge killer."

Posted Apr 24, 2014

Michael Sragow

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