A hard to follow, if not entertaining and very well acted story of con artists, cops, mobsters, and politicians all taking place in the state of New Jersey concerning two criminals (Christian Bale, Amy Adams) who are forced to work with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) who wants to take down bigger fish in the state, including an emotional mayor (Jeremy Renner). This movie is sure to garner a lot of Oscar nominations given the names involved, especially in the acting department. However, I still came away not totally in love with it, notably due to its convoluted plot line which sometimes threatens to lose the viewer completely. Also, as fantastic as Jennifer Lawrence is as Bale's alienated wife, she looks way too young to play the part, which is an unfortunate distraction. Overall, an average movie that unfortunately comes across as a poor man's "Goodfellas" at the end of the day.
A supremely entertaining adrenaline charged film about two rival Formula One racers (Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl), and how each battled each other in the mid 70's for the title of world champion of their sport. Director Ron Howard shows plenty of muscle in the flash department, and deserves a ton of credit for putting together some startling, awesome race sequences. The acting is also phenomenal, and although Hemsworth might get top billing due to his movie-star persona, it is Bruhl who shows just how talented and great an actor he is, in an Oscar-caliber performance. This film does a great job borrowing from the "Warrior" style of how to tell a sports story, where you go back and forth from pulling and sympathizing from these two characters. This is a special sports film, and one that effortlessly moves through its two-hour time frame.
A heart-wrenching, truly saddening documentary which concerns the corrupt practices of SeaWorld, notably how they put the well-being of their trainers on the line in the name of money and profits. This film is geared to get the viewer angry, and it does that by giving many examples of how SeaWorld knew what they were doing was wrong, but still lied about it to cover their own tracks. The death of Dawn Brancheau and how they have the gaul to blame her for her demise instead of the killer whale that viciously murdered her. It is a heavy film, at times threatening to pummel the viewer down into submission, but ultimately is an effective one that will not leave you quickly.
A touching, deceptively hilarious story about a delusional, alcohol ridden man (Bruce Dern) and how he is convinced he must go to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect one million dollars he won in a sweepstakes. His sympathetic son (Will Forte), although knowing his father is wrong, decides to accompany him as sort of one last adventure to get to know his father and family better. Director Alexander Payne handsomely paints this story through black-and-white lenses, while also providing some hysterical dialogue delivered by his actors, notably June Squibb who plays Dern's wife, who almost steals the entire show herself. Forte is surprisingly effective and solid as their son, and the story veers from funny to moving in an organic way that is both refreshing and memorable. A beautiful finale caps off one of Payne's best works yet.
A classic, influential movie concerning the legendary "Tramp" character (Charlie Chaplin) and how he struggles to keep up in a modern day world of advances in the work force, which sadly makes going to jail seem like an appealing option. Despite mostly being a farce, this treasure of a film has a ton to say about society, and gives some different, touching looks on a few characters who are doing their best to make it in this world despite being at disadvantages financially and not having a real set of skills. The factory scenes with Chaplin are priceless, but it is the creatively constructed and moving finale that makes this film so special. This is an absolutely timeless comedy featuring one of the most iconic characters in all of film.