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Hometown:
Waco, TX
 
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Hi, I'm Jameson. I watch movies.
 

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Immigrant

Marion Cotillard is great.

Begin Again
Begin Again (2014)

So lovely. Great cast. Fantastic songs.

The Way Way Back

THE WAY WAY BACK features some of the most under-appreciated actors in Hollywood, and (not surprisingly) the film is great. This is a top-notch coming-of-age story, but it is so much more. All of the characters are flawed making each of them all the more relatable. I loved this movie.

When will people come to realize that Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, and Allison Janney make every film they are in better?

Under the Skin
½

This is my least favorite kind of film to rate. I was intrigued by the film, but I'm not sure I was that impressed with it as others have been. I thought UNDER THE SKIN worked as an interesting commentary on the superficiality of the human's perception of beauty. Just because a film is interesting and/or intriguing does not make it a great film, though I do think this particular movie is a good film for other reasons. Scarlett Johansson chews up the screen; I was glued to her performance here, and I thought she nailed it (I have really been impressed with her work from the past few years). The visuals were fascinating and the score was very fitting with the overall tone of the movie. Overall I thought this was a good movie but I did not love it.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
½

This is a fantastic summer blockbuster, but it's also a fantastic film in general. I liked RISE despite some weaknesses, but the stage was set for greatness and DAWN does not disappoint at all. In fact, I loved this film. The visuals are terrific, as are the action sequences, but the drama and performances are what really stand out to me. Andy Serkis is brilliant (again) but Toby Kebbell also shines as Koba. The human characters on the other hand were mostly one-dimensional; Jason Clarke is sympathetic as the human lead, and Gary Oldman works with what little he was given, but overall the human characters hardly stand out. Even while the apes are more compelling characters than the humans, DAWN moves along with a drama that's both riveting and ambiguous. Each side is portrayed not as black or white, but instead with shades of gray, and only shades of gray. The result is a highly intelligent summer movie that is also emotionally involving and exciting, and I will never complain about such things. Looking forward to what is next in the franchise.

Patton
Patton (1970)

At nearly 3 hours, PATTON serves as both an excellent biopic but also as a strong war epic. Thanks to a brilliant lead performance from George C. Scott as General Patton we get a sense of the character, but the key to this film is that we also get to experience this within a very competent historical chronicling of the war; the film paints a clear picture of the flow of the war. While this is not one of my favorite war pictures, I do respect it immensely and think it's a worthy Oscar winner.

A Streetcar Named Desire

The film has a brilliant screenplay on its own (based on a famous play), but thanks to a handful of explosive performances, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE is elevated to even greater heights. Marlon Brando is the clear highlight here. He gives, what is in my opinion, one of the best male performances of all time, though Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden are brilliant as well. From what I've read regarding the play it seems like a lot of the more sexual parts were removed, but that is of no significance because the tension between the characters is quite strong regardless. Elia Kazan does a great job directing the film, channeling each of these elements in a drama of the highest order. Classic film.

The Lady Vanishes

I'm not very familiar with Hitchcock's early, more British films, so I had no expectations going into this, but I have to say that I was quite impressed by this film. The film follows a woman who wakes up to find that her companion on a train ride has disappeared, and in her search for the truth uncovers an involving conspiracy endangering those around her. It's a top-notch thriller that's engaging, entertaining, but also very funny. I loved all the characters, particularly the way the film pokes fun at the posh British travelers. If you're at all a fan Hitchcock, The Lady Vanishes is one of his early films that is worth checking out. I had a great time with it (much to my surprise).

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
½

A very solid first entry/prequel in this (re)rebooted franchise that sets the stage nicely for future installments. This is not a great film, but thanks to a brilliant mo-cap performance from Andy Serkis, the film possesses a very compelling human drama that allows you to sympathize for the apes. This elevates the film and makes me optimistic for what's to come later on.

Witness for the Prosecution
½

I loved the ending to this. The film works as a straight-forward, 100 minute long courtroom drama, but thankfully it doesn't stop there and delivers one heck of a finale thanks to multiple plot twists in quick succession during its closing 15 minutes; the film ends in style making this one of Billy Wilder's more memorable films. The screenplay is fantastic with an air-tight plot and great characters, but it also has its humorous moments. The result is a highly entertaining and fully satisfying film.

Enemy
Enemy (2014)
½

A very solid little psychological thriller. It's a puzzle of a film, but one that can be deciphered. The performances were solid, Jake Gyllenhaal in particular shines in his two roles, and Sarah Gadon does a good job of portraying a wife coming to terms with her husband's psychosis. Solid direction, an interesting score, and the hazy appearance of the film all add contribute to the film's effect. If you want to watch a film that will force you to use your brain, ENEMY is one to check out.

Atonement
Atonement (2007)
½

Simply stunning. One of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. A fantastic romance-epic.

Garden State
Garden State (2004)

Garden State is such a great film. Zach Braff truly shows is talent not only as a performer, but also as a talented writer and director. A brilliant script, with smart dialogue in nearly every scene. Natalie Portman is nothing short of amazing in this film.

Absolutely fantastic film. I recommend it. One of my favorites!

When Harry Met Sally
½

One of the all-time great romantic comedies.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

This film, from Woody Allen, is unlike most of the other films I've seen of his. Hardly romantic at all, it instead was more of a drama/thriller. It's not my favorite film he's done, but it has a great screenplay and good performances.

On a side note, at times I was distracted because many story elements reminded me of another Woody Allen movie, Match Point (2005), and while it was mas made decades later, I saw it prior to Crimes and Misdemeanors and therefore was shocked how similar the two were.

The Little Mermaid

Certainly a classic, but this film has never been of my favorite Disney movies.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Features two fine performances from Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, but the film has aged terribly and I didn't find it that compelling as a social commentary on racism. Somehow managed to garner 10 Academy Award nominations.

Born on the Fourth of July
½

A powerful war film with a message that lingers long after watching because a perfect lead performance from Tom Cruise. Say what you will about his capabilities as an actor, but he gives the performance of his career in this film and it should have won him an Oscar. The direction, writing, everything is top-notch here, but it's Cruise's performance that makes the film work. At times I felt the message was a little too heavy-handed, but overall this is a war picture that needs to be seen if you're at all a movie person.

Thelma & Louise

I really enjoyed this film a lot. Two women hit the road for some much needed time away but after an encounter with the law they're forced to run. The two lead performances are simply amazing here from Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis; they dominate the screen and have great chemistry, making the film so much fun as we witness them discover more of themselves. The film runs over 2-hrs, but thanks to solid direction and a top-notch screenplay, the movie flows brilliantly and overall I had a great time with this film. A great buddy/roadtrip movie.

Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief) (Bicycle Thieves)
½

Simple, nearly too simple at times, but the film manages to be effective all the while. The main reason for this being the strong characters presented to us. Right away I felt sympathy for the main protagonists, making the seemingly menial quest of finding a stolen bicycle all the more profound and significant. Also to the the films benefit is the subtle humor scattered throughout the film. While I'm not sure this is one of the "all-time greats" it certainly has some powerful moments, and I did enjoy the film overall.

The Fall
The Fall (2006)
½

Beautiful. Features a great lead performance from Lee Pace.

The World's End

My least favorite of the trilogy. Still a great comedy in its own right.

Babel
Babel (2006)

Powerful. Cannot be misses. Rinko Kikuchi gives the performance of a lifetime.

Downfall (Der Untergang)
½

Very long film. Tells a very important piece of history that many people are quick to discount, but seeing Hitler and these people in this way, from this perspective, is essential if we're to understand our past as human beings (history buff rant over). DOWNFALL is an excellent film; it covers a lot of material, but does a great job of doing so even while the running length is almost 3 hrs. Great war picture.

The Hunt
The Hunt (2013)
½

A great film. With powerfully realistic performances (especially Mikkelsen) and a restrained directorial effort from Thomas Vinterberg, THE HUNT builds slowly, but with ease, as its plot unfolds. The screenplay here is sharp and focused, and I thought it was particularly fascinating the way it portrays so many of these characters not as villains, though most were infuriating, but as victims. The films paints a vivid picture of a society of victims and its response to unnatural drama. All in all, I thought the movie was nuanced and overall just a fantastic, thrilling experience.

Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Fascinating film. Told mostly from the point of view of a paralyzed man.

De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone)

While the plot was unfocused at times, RUST AND BONE is a terrific romance film featuring two great lead performances from Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. A unique and soulful drama. I enjoyed it immensely.

21 Grams
21 Grams (2003)

My least favorite of the trilogy. The story jumps around a little too much in my opinion, but the film holds together enough to still deliver a powerful finale. Profound. Stunning cast.

Godzilla
Godzilla (2014)
½

Not as stylish or sophisticated as I was hoping, but this new version of GODZILLA is very well done and certainly is an adequate summer disaster/blockbuster movie. The direction is solid and the cast seems interested in the material, the main problem I had with the film was how safe it played it. There were no surprises, no twists, and the plot moved along in obvious ways. Even so, the film was entertaining.

Glory
Glory (1989)

Excellent movie all around. I only have a few, very minor, issues with the film. Terrific performances from a great cast. Matthew Broderick stood out to me; I thought he really captured the character of Col. Shaw.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Works in many ways, but it has a lot of problems...

As I Lay Dying

Only see this film if you've read the novel. It was a brave undertaking to attempt to adapt it, but this was surprisingly solid as an adaptation.

Amour
Amour (2012)
½

Thought it was okay. It has its powerful moments, plus it features two great performances, but by the 1-hr mark I was checking the time every five minutes. The film moves at a glacial pace and I was quite bored towards the end. An admirable film for those involved considering the things they had to do and the subject material, but I wasn't blown away by it.

Blackfish
Blackfish (2013)

I was floored by BLACKFISH. Just a terrific documentary; it really has some great insight.

V/H/S
V/H/S (2012)

Though the wrap-around story in which the vhs tapes are introduced isn't very good, I found the short (unrelated) films included in the movie themselves to be very creative and unpredictable. The film ran a little long, but I actually enjoyed the movie a lot.

The Devil Inside

Do not even waste your time on this movie. It has one of the worst endings (probably the worst) in recent memory. The film wasn't that bad, honestly, but it stops after the 80-min mark. There wasn't a final act, not even a bad one.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I was really impressed by this film and how it worked on so many different levels; as a superhero movie, as a Marvel film, as a spy-themed or political thriller, it had elements from all these genres and the filmmakers really used that to the film's benefit. Cap2 was well written and had a plot with some unexpected but key twists that I think will have huge implications for the future MCU. On top of that, the characters were great and each had their moments to shine, even the minor characters; Chris Evans lacks the charisma of a Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Hemsworth, but he carries the film enough especially with the help of a terrific supporting cast. Great action sequences and effects. No complaints here, only positives; it builds off of the Marvel films we've seen before and it also really sets up things nicely for Age of Ultron. Can't recommend the film enough.

Thor: The Dark World
½

I personally really dug this movie. There was a lot of humor here, but behind it all there remained interesting character drama; I didn't enjoy the frequent comedic dialogue (Kat Dennings, so annoying), but the situational humor (particularly within the action sequences) was quite entertaining. Speaking of the action sequences, there's certainly a lot more action happening in this sequel than in its predecessor. It's a good thing too because we get to see more characters participate and the scenes were well choreographed. Apart from the action sequences, the film felt larger in general as well; Asgard is expanded upon and important characters get more screen time. The performances were strong all around, Hiddleston and Hemsworth stand out, and the film is at its best when the actors are in the forefront. There are some hiccups plot-wise, and tonally the film was inconsistent (I didn't like all the humor). Also, it was slow moving early on, but the film picks up steam and by the end of it all I was very satisfied with it.

August: Osage County
½

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY features one of the absolute best ensembles of 2013; everyone in the cast is at the top of their game here. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts stun, but to be honest, the whole cast was excellent. I was prepared to give this film a 4/5 rating because I thought the film really captured the heart and the layers of flawed and dysfunctional families; sure the characters were irritating, but I was able to accept them for what they were, making the film hit all the right notes. Then a disastrous final act rolls in, essentially derailing everything that had come before it. This wasn't just a dysfunctional family, this was a completely irrational family; by the end, I hated every single character in the movie. Even so, the brilliant, powerhouse performances make A:OC worthwhile.

King Arthur
King Arthur (2004)
½

Doesn't really work as a historical drama. It could have worked as an action film especially since Antoine Fuqua tends to direct gritty action sequences well, but there wasn't really much action going on here. The film tried to be serious, and while I was entertained, I found the characters to be involving and the story overlong.

In the Heat of the Night

"They call me Mr. Tibbs!"

Great film! Not really one i'd call a classic, but this is timeless piece that was completely ahead of it's time.

Released in 1967, during the Civil Rights movement, In the Heat of the Night is about a Black Philadelphia cop who gets involved in a murder case in a small rascist Mississippi town. The film dared to go where so many other films of the time dared not, and it's for that reason it will remembered forever.

Strong performance by Sidney Poitier, but the whole film is driven by the masterful performance by Rob Steiger! He definitely deserved the Oscar.

In the Heat of the Night is a great crime/mystery film! I recommend it to everyone!

Kingdom of Heaven

If you're going to check out this film, be sure to see the DIRECTOR'S CUT; I haven't seen the wildly disliked theatrical version so I can't comment on it, but the extended edition is quite good actually. The film is a historical epic in all the best ways possible, plus it's assembled by a director who really puts a lot of effort into the project; Ridley Scott directs the heck out of this movie. The characters are well-developed, each with personalities and motives all their own. The plot is highly engaging and layered, but it never drags and maintains its urgency even with a 3-hr running length. Orlando Bloom isn't the most compelling of leads, but the supporting cast here is terrific, as are the action sequences. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: DIRECTOR'S CUT is a film that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Flags of Our Fathers

A lot of great moments here. Some of the editing choices weren't ideal because it prevented the film from getting into a good rhythm, but FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is a really good war film that only gets better when viewed along with its companion piece, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA.

The LEGO Movie
½

The first great film of 2014!

Frozen
Frozen (2013)

Took me a while to get into it, but the second half is terrific.

The Slaughter Rule
½

Ryan Gosling and David Morse give terrific performances; I was very impressed by both of them actually. Features a young Amy Adams in a minuscule role.

Raging Bull
Raging Bull (1980)
½

Scorsese does a great job here, and De Niro gives the performance of his career, but I had a hard time connecting with the character.

The Family Stone
½

Good film, underrated in my opinion.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
½

A lot of fans, including myself, were taken by surprise when reviews of An Unexpected Journey were mixed to positive at best. People questioned Jackson's decision to return to Middle Earth, and even more questioned the decision to expand the film into 3 films. Now that I've seen the film multiple times, I am confident that Peter Jackson is the only person I trust that can bring Middle Earth to life on the screen. An Unexpected Journey is a highly entertaining and satisfying tale but not without a few flaws. Two of the big problems I had with the film were the slow beginning and heavy use of CGI. This film takes its time in the early moments, but the film as a whole doesn't drag. The Hobbit relies heavily on computer generated orcs/creatures unlike LotR; I personally found the CGI to be poor at times, it really takes you out of the film during certain scenes.Flaws aside, this is an entertaining adventure and fully satisfying return to Middle Earth. Jackson's vision remains the same, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Andy Serkis return, New Zealand's beauty shines, and Howard Shore's (excellent) musical score ties everything together by reminding us that we have in fact returned to ME. On top of that, Martin Freeman joins as Bilbo and we have a dozen dwarves to meet; not all of the dwarves are fully realized characters, but they're very entertaining and we have two more films to get to know them better. Freeman is the heart and soul of this film, I really could not have imagined a better fit for Bilbo.2 films would have sufficed to tell this story, imo. As a fan of Tolkien, I enjoyed all the additions to the film, it really makes it obvious where the trilogy is going, but this first film suffers a bit because it lacks its own real narrative, but I am beyond excited for where the next films are going to go.In short, The Hobbit 1 is not as good as LotR. It feels bloated at times in the beginning due to a lot of backstory/additions to the story and a strange dependence on cg effects, but it is a wonderful return to Middle Earth and will satisfy fans of the original trilogy.

Cruel Intentions 2
½

A mostly bland movie that builds to nothing. The drama and tension is non-existent. Mildly entertaining though. Features Amy Adams early in her career.

Moonlight Serenade
½

I expected a bad film, but honestly I've seen much worse. Probably the equivalent of a cheap TV movie, but I found this to be entertaining. I only watched it for Amy Adams. It was interesting because this didn't seem like the type of movie she'd be in during 2009, but when I read a little about the film I realized that it was actually made in 2005...meaning this was Amy before Enchanted and Junebug even. Decent film at best. I enjoyed the music scenes and Amy Adams has a great voice.

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey is great, but Jared Leto is really great. He delivers one of the best male performances of year.

Oblivion
Oblivion (2013)

Featuring some really great visuals, a stylish soundtrack, and two really good lead performances from Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough, the first forty minutes were absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, Oblivion includes a few too many predictable, unimportant, or borrowed plot twists that really made the film less satisfying than it could have been.

The Wolverine
½

The Wolverine flew mostly under my radar this year; the trailers failed to grab my attention, plus the last Wolverine movie was poorly received, but I must say, I was very pleased with this film. I do not know if it's for everyone, because it is slow moving and will probably satisfy fans of comic book movies more than other viewers. The film does move slowly (in a good way), but it is because of the excellent work from director James Mangold. He directs the heck out of the film, ensuring that the story gets told in a way that moves characters forward, but also that action sequences never overpower the movie; he also utilizes Japanese culture which I liked. Hugh Jackman is great as usual, and the supporting cast was surprisingly good as well. The film competently builds to an ending that sort of feels out of place and slightly over-the-top, and it seemed like something Wolverine would never have encountered in that time or place, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mangold and Jackman's work. The film truly brought something to this character so it's well worth your time.

Drinking Buddies

Really enjoyed this movie a lot actually. There's no script here; apparently the entire film was improvised, which make the already great performances and direction all the more impressive. It felt so current, so genuine, so honest; it was fun, charming, but it still had a dramatic body to it. Really good film.

X-Men: First Class

One of the better additions to the X-Men series. For once I felt for the characters, I actually cared about what happened to them and how they interacted with each other. Credit must go to the cast because their performances contributed to this, especially James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. McAvoy gives a great performance as Professor X, and Fassbender is incredible as Magneto. (You will see Erik/Magneto in a whole new light). The film does have some flaws which are even more apparent with multiple viewings. Even so, there's much to look forward to with this prequel series (or soft-reboot rather).

The Birdcage
The Birdcage (1996)
½

A really good comedy that's a bit too over-the-top at points, but benefits from a solid cast and an excellent performance from Nathan Lane.

The Fighter
The Fighter (2010)
½

The Fighter was the one movie that I knew I had to see in 2010. My two favorite actors are Amy Adams and Christian Bale, so I knew I had to see this film to see them together. As the release date came closer, and as more and more Oscar buzz flowed, I knew this was going to be a great one. It is. This film is easily among the 5 best films of the year, if not the best.

The best part of this film is the acting. Unbelievable! The three main supporting cast members give some of the best performances I have ever seen. They have to go down as one strongest supporting casts ever. I believe Christian Bale will finally receive his long overdue Oscar. His performance is simply incredible. He completely takes ownership of the role and simply disappears entirely into the character. His character changes so much throughout the film and no better actor could have delivered as affectively. I also loved Melissa Leo's performance. Absolutely stunning! She is so real and believable as the tough mother. Her performance is truly remarkable. I believe Melissa Leo will win the Oscar for best supporting actress, but it was Amy Adams that completely made this film for me. Her performance is phenomenal! She completely steals every scene. She flawlessly portrays the quiet but tough Charlene. This film shows Amy Adams at her best. She, too, will receive an Oscar nomination, hopefully the win. Also, her performance really allows Mark Wahlberg to shine as well. He gives a good performance, but the entire film is dominated by stellar supporting actors.

A thing that surprised me was the screenplay. The script is simply fantastic. It is so real, strong, and genuinely portrays what the people of the area and time would have been like. The script also has many humorous moments that were surprising, but absolutely perfect.

The Fighter is so much more than a typical sports or boxing film. It focuses more on relationships, family, and conflicts as opposed to the boxing.

I have to mention the final fight scene.....brilliant. The perfect ending to a great movie. After being blessed with the first 90 minutes of the film, we are treated by an awesome final boxing scene. Loved it!

Nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, this is a brilliant film. Far better than Rocky and Raging Bull will ever be. This deserved every amount of praise it received. Props to Mark Wahlberg for pushing to create this film!

Absolutely loved it. One of my favorites!

The Host
The Host (2013)

Not as bad as I was anticipating. Some of the narration, which may have worked in the novel, did not translate well onto film, making for some frequent awkward scenes; Saoirse Ronan handles this as best she can and gives a decent performance despite some material that's basically crap. The whole movie felt very small and the stakes were never elevated, even so I didn't hate it.

Match Point
Match Point (2005)

Great ending, infuriating. Good film.

Casablanca
Casablanca (1943)

I like it but don't love it.

West Side Story

One of the best of its kind in its time, but it hasn't aged well. Winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

The Conjuring

Disappointing. Wasn't really that impressed by it, honestly. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are terrific as Ed & Lorraine Warren, but as for the rest of the cast, they were borderline awful at times. Sure the production values are high, but there's nothing here that separates THE CONJURING from any other average horror film. I wanted it to be so much better especially since I like James Wan and what he did with Insidious.

Stoker
Stoker (2013)
½

Deeply disturbing and creepy, but strangely erotic and satisfying. Terrific lead performances from Wasikowska (who I'm not a huge fan of), Goode, and Kidman, as well a small but solid supporting turn by Jacki Weaver. Good film.

The Family
The Family (2013)
½

THE FAMILY is an entertaining action-comedy that would have been a little better had it gone with a more over-the-top finale rather than a strangely melodramatic finale. Other than the tonal inconsistencies (action vs. comedy), I actually enjoyed the film a lot. Could have been shorter, but worth at least renting.

Arbitrage
Arbitrage (2012)
½

A crisp little political/business thriller that uses every second of its run time thanks to a focused screenplay. Solid performances. Good film.

Gravity
Gravity (2013)

GRAVITY was an experience beyond almost anything else I've ever seen on screen. Amazing effects, brilliant use of sound (and lack thereof), and a terrifying, catastrophic setting make for a really good film. The acting was top-notch as well with Sandra Bullock giving a terrific performance as a vulnerable astronaut fighting for survival in the harshest of scenarios. The screenplay and story elements weren't on the same level as its spectacle, but this unbelievably intense film cannot be missed.

Comment on 3D (which I hate, btw): The 3D for this film was probably the best I've seen; you really feel like you're there. However, I personally thought the picture quality was poor. Everything looked blurry to me in the 3D. It may have just been my theater, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing the film a second time in 2D or Blu ray because half of the shots were blurred.

Captain Phillips
½

Amazing. Grabs you right from start and only gets better as the film progresses. Tom Hanks is terrific as Cap. Phillips; the final scene in particular stood out to me not only because it was the brilliant ending for the film, but also one of the best acted and most powerful scenes I've seen this year. He is certainly Oscar nom. worthy here and this is definitely a return to form for him. Overall, I thought this was a very exciting movie that delivers the thrills with relentless intensity. An absolute must-see! This is Greengrass at his finest. One of the best films of the year.

Side Effects
Side Effects (2013)

I loved this movie. Side Effects is an incredibly complex and amazingly smart thriller; because of a fantastic screenplay, the plot convincingly leads you down one path, but by the end of it all, you're nowhere close to where you thought the film was going. The film does take its time setting itself up during the first third of the film, but once the story starts to unfold, it twists relentlessly while never being entirely obvious. This is one of Soderbergh's best directorial efforts; he directs with style, the aesthetics are beautiful, and he gets some really good performances from his cast. Rooney Mara is terrific, she delves into many different levels of depression and she really impressed me my with her performance. Jude Law is also really good. I think he's a great (and underrated) actor; he was given a great role here and he nails it. Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum both step out of their comfort zones and deliver solid performances, which is really nice, but he was terribly miscast. Side Effects is one of the best thrillers I've seen in years. It's highly intelligent, but it lets its audience join in the fun of trying to figure it out. This makes for a thrilling, exciting, and satisfying movie experience. Check it out!

The Place Beyond The Pines

Amazing film. After 2010s Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance again partners with Ryan Gosling on a film about the workings of the family unit, but this time he focuses on fathers in particular. The film is split into three interrelated storylines, each one so well done and excellently developed that we almost get 3 (great) films at once. At a lengthy 2hrs. 20 minutes, The Place Beyond Pines packs a powerful punch thanks the involving story, perfect performances from the cast, and the flawless direction from Cianfrance. He was somehow able to catch every actor at their absolute best and most realistic moment on camera; the performances are all stunning. Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Dane Dehaan are electric, and Eva Mendes, Rose Bryne, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn round out a stunning supporting cast. Though I felt the film was a bit heavily plotted at times (a bit like Blue Valentine was as well, actually), overall the film remains grounded. I fell for every bit of it. Thought provoking, unpredictable, and wholly original, The Place Beyond the Pines is one of the best films of the year.

Insidious: Chapter 2

Even though it is very much inferior to the original, I still had a good (enough) time with this film. It cleverly manages to connect to the first film, but it isn't very scary. The original film terrified me, but this one only occasionally delivered a good scare. The performances and concept remain solid, but don't expect a great film like Chapter 1.

Prisoners
Prisoners (2013)

PRISONERS is one heck of a thrill ride. It's dark, disturbing, unsettling, and riveting thanks to its many powerful performances (Jackman and Gyllenhaal especially), but also from strong direction from Denis Villeneuve and some excellent cinematography from Roger Deakins; these things all come together (almost perfectly) to create an experience unmatched by anything else I've seen this year. The only problem I had with the film was that certain characters just went too far; I hate when characters take things into their own hands and that is one of the major plot points here, also the script could have been tighter; a few plot lines were left out in the open. The only reason this didn't hinder my liking of the film is because it is very well done and extremely realistic. Really good film.

Smashed
Smashed (2012)

Fueled by a stunning lead performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, SMASHED is a surprisingly excellent little film about alcoholism. The director and actors seemed to really understand where they wanted to take this film and I think that made it incredibly profound even at a mere 81 minutes. Loved every second it.

The Spectacular Now

Loved it. Amazing performances across the board; Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller shine, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead also stands out despite minimal screen time. The only real problem I had with the film was that certain plot elements from the climax were later shrugged off by the main characters, but overall I thought this was an excellent coming-of-age story with characters I actually cared for.

Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine (2013)
½

Cate Blanchett is stunning.

Lee Daniels' The Butler
½

With a handful a great performances being an exception, THE BUTLER remains an adequate but average film that fails to separate itself from the many other films dealing with the Civil Rights Movement. Entirely entertaining, touching, and inspiring, even if it's a little too ambitious for its own good.

Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher (2012)

Not one of my favorites from 2012. I enjoyed it; Tom Cruise is solid in the lead, and the film had a rugged aggression that I liked. My main problem with the movie however was that it didn't have as much action as I was expecting. Well directed, which explains the slower pace, but I thought it was too slow. Still recommended. JACK REACHER is not your typical mystery/thriller/action movie.

Before Midnight
½

My least favorite of the trilogy. Not as charming as its predecessors (which is why it's my least favorite), but it is much deeper, raw, real, and emotional. The dramatic sequences on display here are simply stunning. These characters, this relationship, their love, it doesn't feel fake at all; this film, with these actors and this screenplay doesn't feel like a movie. Perfectly written, and powerfully acted by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (she deserves an Oscar nomination), BEFORE MIDNIGHT is one of the best films of 2013.

Elysium
Elysium (2013)
½

Good film, not great, but ELYSIUM remains an overall success for Blomkamp. Elysium does not quite build a world as effectively as District 9 or other films of the genre, and some of the characters felt underdeveloped, but the action, visuals, and intelligence of the movie make it well worth your time.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
½

While TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY is an incredibly complex film that's hard to follow on more than one occasion, I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless. The direction is intense. The performances are spot on; Oldman and Cumberbatch stood out to me, but everyone is on the top of their game here. The film is gorgeous to look at and I loved the tone. One that can be viewed multiple times and only get better with each additional view. Highly recommended, and it's one of the best films of 2011 in my opinion.

Shallow Hal
Shallow Hal (2001)

It's amazing how much better a romantic comedy can be when you actually care for the leads. SHALLOW HAL is not a great movie, but thanks to its strong message and likable characters, it is able to transcend a few of its problems and work.

Upstream Color

Literally made no sense. It's almost euphoric at times, but the key word there is almost. The film is ALMOST interesting, but instead it's entirely boring. UPSTREAM COLOR is a movie that's getting a lot of praise, but I personally hated it.

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Definitely not as good as Volume 1, but still a good film. It dragged in a few places and wasn't as entertaining.

Inception
Inception (2010)
½

My mind has been blown by Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and now....Inception. Easily alongside the top films of 2010, this film is truly unbelievable in every way. Basically, if you have not seen this film, you have waited way to long, as I did. You must see this film for yourself! There is so much to be said of it, but so few words that can explain it.

The story is simply brilliant, written by Nolan himself. Dream within a dream, within a dream, within a dream......just when you think you got everything sorted out, Nolan dishes an ending that, like the characters, makes the audience rethink everything they just viewed.

AMAZING special effects! I figured that they would be good, but I was blown away. The slow-mo, the rotating rooms, the anti-gravity scenes....awesome!

Also the cast is (mostly) great. I do not like Leonardo DiCaprio, but he has yet to make a movie that I have disliked, so his average at best performances do not bother me, even though I felt he needed to bring more to this character (sorry, I'm just not a fan). I love Ellen Page. Marion Cotillard is incredible in this film, and Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are just too cool.

Back to the Future
½

Always entertaining no matter how many times I watch it. One of the best films of the 80s.

The Breakfast Club
½

John Hughes's masterpiece. Perfectly written with fully realized characters portrayed brilliantly by pitch perfect performances. Entertaining, hilarious, but also emotionally resonant. THE BREAKFAST CLUB is one of film's greatest comedies.

Zodiac
Zodiac (2007)
½

Fincher's most underrated film. Riveting even with a running time of almost 3 hours.

Lars and the Real Girl

An excellent film. Fueled by a really good screenplay, solid direction, a great cast, and a truly remarkable lead performance from Ryan Gosling, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL manages to speak despite its odd concept. I really connected with all of the characters and believed everything that was going on onscreen. Worth a watch. I also think this is Gosling's best performance.

The Matrix
The Matrix (1999)
½

An amazing Sci-fi/action film. Action-packed, stylish, but also unique and intelligent. Laurence Fishburne is a badass.

The Call
The Call (2013)

A half decent little thriller that features a solid lead performance from Halle Berry. THE CALL is strong for the first hour, but stumbles in its final act.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel (2013)
½

Despite some pacing problems and the occasional choppy storytelling (particularly in the first half), Man of Steel manages to work thanks in part to its cast, stunning action sequences and visuals, and a strong central performance from Henry Cavill. The film is not perfect by any means, but I personally think MAN OF STEEL is a very solid start for what has the potential to be a great franchise.

42
42 (2013)
½

A mostly average/typical sports drama elevated by some really solid performances from Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman. Recommended.

My Week with Marilyn
½

Parts of it felt a little bland, but regardless MY WEEK WITH MARILYN is a very well made film featuring a fantastic cast and a handful of stellar performances. Not one of the best films of 2011, but it's certainly a solid film.

Moonrise Kingdom
½

One of the best films of 2012.

Blown Away
Blown Away (1994)

I wasn't blown away by BLOWN AWAY.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
½

A pretty good little mystery thriller featuring a special debut performance from the immensely talented Elizabeth Olsen (who would have guessed?). Using a lot of flashbacks, the story is quite dark and haunting at times. The film leaves a lot left undeveloped, but overall it's a good movie. Worth seeing for the solid performances. Hated the ending.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

A really good film. Swinton is fantastic, as is Ezra Miller. Not the easiest film to watch, but it's definitely worth the time. It's also perfectly paced and well directed.

The Hurt Locker

I've seen this film four times now, and I must admit the first time I saw I wasn't a huge fan, but every time I've watched it since I've gotten more and more out of it. Stunning and amazing in many ways. A Kathryn Bigelow masterpiece.

A Single Man
A Single Man (2009)
½

A gorgeous film. Excellent performances from everyone involved, but it's Colin Firth's masterful work and Tom Ford's assured direction that makes A SINGLE MAN work. One of the best films of 2009.

True Lies
True Lies (1994)

A really good action movie that's also funny. One of Arnie's better films even if the finale is over-the-top.

Overboard
Overboard (1987)

Goldie Hawn is great!

The Broadway Melody
½

The dialogue is frequently cringe-worthy, the acting is less than stellar (except Bessie Love who shines in the lead role), and it has a cheap stage theater look about that certainly makes it hard to credit this early Best Picture winner. But overall, the film has its charming moments and finds a good balance between story, music, and dance.

Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane (1941)
½

A really great screenplay, an amazing lead performance from Orson Welles, and some excellent editing choices makes CITIZEN KANE worthy of its pristine reputation as an important film in history. While I do not think it's worthy of its title as the "best movie ever made," it's plain to see why the film is consistently in that conversation. Not my favorite piece of classic cinema, but it must be experienced.

Blazing Saddles

A great comedy/western that's consistently hilarious.

Maria Full of Grace
½

Excellent film featuring a stunning debut performance from Catalina Sandino Moreno. Shines a light onto the drug trade, but also tells a fascinating "American Dream" story from an interesting angle.

Fast Five
Fast Five (2011)

It's incredible, actually, how much life Fast 5 injects back into the franchise after a few missteps. I enjoyed all the previous films (even Tokyo Drift), but now I'm a fan. A really great action movie and an exciting heist film.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
½

Considering it lacks even more pieces from the solid first entry than Fast 2, I thought this third film was actually pretty entertaining and is certainly better than its predecessor.

Last Night
Last Night (2011)
½

An underrated little film about life, relationships, and choices. The wonderful direction by Tadjedin and good performance from Keira Knightley make this film what it is. Worthington is also solid, but not as much when Knightley is not on screen with him. I might have wanted a little more from Mendes and Canet. Good character piece.

Scream
Scream (1996)

Loved it. Clever, surprising, unpredictable, well-written, and mostly well-acted. Scream is a very good teen/horror flick. Great ending/reveal.

Wayne's World

Dumb. Parts of this were almost unbearable.

The Mask
The Mask (1994)

A really great performance from Jim Carrey; he works his comedic genius and really makes The Mask an entertaining film.

Tommy Boy
Tommy Boy (1995)

A mediocre comedy that's mostly unfunny.

The Usual Suspects
½

Great performances, especially from Spacey, a brilliant screenplay, and some excellent direction from Bryan Singer make THE USUAL SUSPECTS one of the most intelligently manipulative films you'll ever see. The plot is twisted and complicated, but by the end of it all, you realize you were fooled thanks to one kicker of a twist. I personally find the film hard to follow which is why I like it less than some, but the ending alone is worth seeing. One of the all-time great endings.

Encino Man
Encino Man (1992)

Encino Man has some fun moments, for sure, but it's a pretty awful film. The plot is ridiculous and Pauly Shore is annoying af.

Clerks
Clerks (1994)

Classic comedy. Amazing dialogue.

Monsters, Inc.

Another underrated Pixar gem! Monster's Inc. is a brilliant film.

Alien3
Alien3 (1992)
½

Not even in the same league as the first 2, but this isn't a bad film by any means. I strongly disliked the cgi in this film. Honest to God, the alien looked like a cartoon running around; it really took away from the experience. Still plenty to enjoy here though.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
½

This was a surprising little period comedy elevated by some stellar performances from its cast. Frances McDormand is great in the title role (no surprise), but I thought it was Amy Adams that really makes the film something special. We've seen her in this sort of role before as the cute, peppy, ditsy girl, however, she really finds something in the character and by the end of the film you really feel like you've completed her journey alongside her. Lee Pace is also terrific (underrated actor imo) and has some great chemistry with Adams. The movie is predictable in some regards because you know exactly where the film is going to go, but I didn't mind having these actors take me there. Great 1930s setting. I was surprised by how much I loved the film, I fell for every bit of it.

Doubt
Doubt (2008)

Based on a play, also entitled "Doubt," the film unfolds much like a piece of theater would with the dialogue and actors all in the spotlight. It's in this way that Doubt ultimately succeeds. The performances are all fantastic. Meryl Streep is brilliant in the lead role, while Philip Seymour Hoffman owns as the Priest and Amy Adams shines in a more reserved role; throughout the film, I found myself anxious for the next scene where the 3 would be together because they had great chemistry. Also Viola Davis delivers a great performance, she has only one scene in the film but makes it count by stealing it from the great Meryl Streep. All 4 garnered Oscar nominations. The film also benefits from a really good screenplay. It is never too obvious in delivering its themes and topics, but the dialogue and drama is enthralling nonetheless.

Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia is a mostly average film, but the reason I rate it so high is because it is teeming with the joy of life. Bolstered by a brilliant lead performance from Meryl Streep, but also by Amy Adams who does a lot with very little, the film manages the capture the spirit of these women. Sweet, charming, well-done, and entertaining, J&J is a film I'd recommend to anyone and everyone.

Now You See Me

Now You See Me has it all, an interesting concept, a fantastic cast, cool magic tricks, stylish action sequences, and a car chase, basically anything you could want from a high(er) concept thriller, this film delivers. The third act is a bit underwhelming, but that did not change how much fun I had with this film. With that said, Now You See Me is not as brilliant as it could have been or as smart as it thinks it is, but regardless, it is a lot of fun and I'd definitely recommend it.

Lincoln
Lincoln (2012)
½

Lincoln is a really good film! Not a brilliant film, but it's extremely well done which is certainly not a complaint. Daniel Day-Lewis is terrific, he truly disappears into the role/character and gives a fantastic (Oscar worthy) performance. The screenplay by Tony Kushner is outstanding. Heavy on the politics, but moving and humorous at all the right moments. The film is rounded off by a perfect supporting cast, dotted with many well-known/renowned actors, and none of them disappoint. Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field stand out. Overall, Lincoln is a great biopic about a great American figure. The film captures the conflict of the era, as well as the humanity of good ole' Abe.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies (2013)
½

What a surprise this film was. So charming. Warm Bodies benefits from two excellent lead performances from Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer; they carry this film nicely, but it's really the strong direction from Jonathan Levine (50/50) that makes the film work. Had someone else helmed the picture I don't think it would have been as effective as Levine's WB. Using concepts popularized by the likes of Twilight and The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies takes pieces of those projects to make a film that's highly entertaining and satisfying to a diverse audience.

Bully
Bully (2012)

A poor documentary, told entirely from one perspective without at all actually identifying the complexities of the issue. Bully follows the stories of a handful of children all dealing with bullying in different ways. The problem with the film though is that it is emotionally manipulative; we see these figures which we're supposed to feel sad for, but so little else is said about the issue. Bully makes the issue of bullying seem hopeless.

Boy A
Boy A (2007)

Boy A is an extremely powerful little film. It's a fascinating coming of age story with a unique twist that really makes you think about relationships, love, the past, and second chances. The story and its many themes are channeled brilliantly by solid lead performances from Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan. The film is a little slow, but by the end it pays off. Worth a watch.

In the Bedroom

Fantastically acted. Loved it until the film decided it wanted to be a revenge story. Still a really good film though.

Promised Land

Promised Land is an adequate political drama. It has a decent screenplay and some good performances, but nothing special here. The film, while solid, lacked urgency and any real conviction; it seemed like these actors were stuck in a bland movie.

The Impossible
½

Features stunning imagery as well as some amazing performances from Watts and McGregor, and Tom Holland who plays the youngest son, but this is director Juan Antonio Bayona's movie. His direction makes The Impossible one of the most intense films of last year, despite a mediocre screenplay.

Before Sunrise
½

This dialogue driven romance is close to perfection; Before Sunrise is simply the story of a tourist and a French traveler who meet on a train, talk, and fall in love. Though it is simple and nothing more than a 100 minute conversation between two strangers, it's so much more. The script is absolutely perfect, with dialogue so smart, powerful, and incredibly real. Add to that the brilliant chemistry between Hawke and Julie Delpy and you have an excellent film that completely takes you in. You fall in love with the characters and believe everything they say.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

An okay Sci-fi film. The performances and script were pretty solid, but the film is 30 minutes too long and moves at a glacial pace at times. I thought the final bits were really good and I enjoyed the NASA connection at the end, but with a slow-moving middle and the showcasing of some horrendous visual effects, Star Trek 1 is a mediocre entry in the genre.

Before Sunset
½

Even better than the amazing first film! Jesse and Celine reunite after 9 years and their relationship is just as affecting as ever. Before Sunset benefits (again) from a brilliant screenplay and a special/indescribable chemistry between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. This film cannot be missed.

Memento
Memento (2000)

Complex in its simplicity, Memento is one of the most tense, intriguing, and involving thrillers ever made. The film features an amazing screenplay bolstered by some fantastic editing choices. A masterpiece from genius Christopher Nolan. One of my all-time favorite films, and one of the best films of the 2000s.

Requiem for a Dream

With a unique visual style and some amazing performances, Requiem manages to be one of the most effective films about drug addiction ever. Ellen Burstyn gives a stunning performance, and Jennifer Connelly is also really good. Right from the start you get the sense that the film will end horribly for these characters, but predictability aside, the film delivers a powerhouse conclusion that left me completely wrecked upon watching it. Disturbing, depressing, hopeless, and unforgettable, Requiem for a Dream is a really good little film from Darren Aronofsky.

Erin Brockovich
½

Courtroom drama filmmaking at its finest.

Step Brothers
½

A lot of crazy over-the-top humor, but unfortunately there about as many stupid moments as well. Ferrell and Reilly are alarmingly convincing. A good laugh.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Great performances and a good plot couldn't overcome the fact that The Order of Phoenix lacks a strong ending like its predecessors.

I liked it a lot more the second time on Blu-Ray.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 (2013)
½

I liked it, didn't love it. Iron Man 3 takes a completely different approach than its predecessors did; in some ways it worked, but in some is did not. The best thing about the film, in my opinion, is that the character of Tony is completely stripped down and his relationship with Pepper gets some more depth; Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are better than ever in this installment. Such a human approach to the story does leave you wanting a little more at certain points. Apart from the the two main figures, the remaining characters (even the villains) are either underdeveloped or criminally underused. The final moments do deliver some excitement that the rest of the movie lacked. Overall, the result IS an entertaining superhero film even if it is slightly underwhelming.

Mud
Mud (2013)

Could be the Winter's Bone of 2013. Mud features some interesting characters and excellent performances.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas (2012)
½

Ambitious, featuring six stories all set in various time periods. Often times with a film like this, there is always that one storyline that is just not as good, or in the case of Cloud Atlas, 2 or 3 storylines that fail to compare to the others. That's really the main problem I had with this film, the performances, music, and visuals are all top notch, but not all the stories were that engaging, diluting the effectiveness of the major themes. I still really enjoyed the film. My favorite parts were set in Korea and the 1970s.

X2: X-Men United

A great addition to the X-Men series. I love that this film stays true to the original, but still maintains a unique identity as well. With many new characters, a great story, intensity and emotion, and great action, this film really adds to the series. Not as good as the first, but a great film nonetheless.

X-Men
X-Men (2000)
½

Marvel has certainly come a long way, but X-Men started it all.

Blue Valentine
½

Realistic and honest, and both beautiful and tragic, Blue Valentine grips you and never lets go. Gosling and Williams give astounding performances, truly heartbreaking, devastating performances. This film is unforgettable and powerful. One of the best films of 2010!

The Devil Wears Prada

I'm pretty confident that I'm one of the only guys in the world that seriously likes this film. I think it's more than just a chick-flick; it serves, also, as a film about life in general. Great performances by Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Solid performances by the supporting actors Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt as well. I really love this film!

Spirited Away
½

Stunning film. Magical experience captured by some beautiful animation. I really liked the film despite the main character being a bit irritating.

Super 8
Super 8 (2011)

Truth is...I didn't want to see this that bad. I only saw it because it got good reviews and the movie that I originally wanted to see (Green Lantern) didn't. I'm so so glad I saw this film in theaters! It blew me away and I absolutely loved it! One of the best films of 2011 so far.

First off, props to the kid actors. They were excellent, especially Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. Sometimes films that revolve mainly around kids fail because of annoying performances, but Super 8 was very good. I thought all the young actors did a fantastic job, as did the entire cast, but this movie's all about the kids.

The story and pace of the film were also very good. The premise of the story is something that isn't entirely original, especially as of late, but I thought it was brilliantly executed by the cast, and director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek). The pace and intensity was constantly building as the film progressed. It would slowly answer questions but not giving away too much like so many films do. The film builds wonderfly to a somewhat obvious, but very effective ending.

Also the visual effects were awesome, as was the 1970's cinematography. Good musical score, too.

Super 8 is definitely the surprise hit of the summer! I loved every second of it, and i'm really glad J.J. Abrams was able to pull off another solid film after the near perfect Star Trek in 09. Super 8 = 100% recommended!

Olympus Has Fallen
½

This film will certainly get your patriotic juices flowing, and it's for that reason that Olympus Has Fallen is without a doubt one of the more satisfying films of 2013. Its plot is preposterous and borderline unbelievable, but thanks to a really great cast, you believe (almost) every bit of it. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Angela Bassett, Ashley Judd, Dylan McDermott, they all give convincing performances and really give the film a lot of credibility. Credit also must go to director Antoine Fuqua who directs the heck out of this movie; his aggressive approach really ups the stakes and makes OHF a hell of a thrill ride. I was surprised by the action/violence in this, it certainly earns its R rating... villains get what you think they deserve and I just had a great time with the film. The CGI is absolutely horrible, but this is a very fun movie that is worth seeing.

Brave
Brave (2012)

While Brave is certainly smarter than your average animated film, it nonetheless lacks the charm that permeates nearly every other Pixar film. It's still a very solid film that features some fantastic voice work, but Pixar has yet to return to its true form of masterful animation filmmaking.

Django Unchained
½

Tarantino never disappoints; Django is a hilarious, super stylish, unbelievably bloody, and just plain badass film that happens to be one of the best movies of last year. The performances are all terrific, Waltz, Foxx, DiCaprio (who I normally dislike), and Jackson in particular. The script is great as well. While it may not be as good as Pulp Fiction or Inglorious Basterds (amazing film), Django Unchained is likely the most entertaining film he's ever done.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
½

While I love the action/special effects, I cannot bare the rest of the film. Dreadful.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

This film frustrates the heck out of me. I had high expectations, I wanted to like it so much. But I cannot because there is too much of the film that is just BAD! Essentially everything that held the second film back holds this film back as well. Horrendous dialogue, useless characters, annoying characters, preposterous plot, lame attempts of humor...it was just not very entertaining. The action in this film is pretty AMAZING! I was so entertained by the second part. The effects, sounds, explosions, music was all perfect. Michael Bay is definitely a master of awesome action. But in-your-face nonstop action is not enough for a good film.

Anna Karenina

Stunning! I might have preferred a more conventional period piece similar to Wright's other works (Atonement, P&P) that used actual shooting locations, but the aesthetic choices made for this film are incredible. The production design, costume design, and cinematography are absolutely gorgeous and really make the film one of the most beautiful you'll ever see. The performances are all solid and Knightley gives one of her best and most mature performances to date. The film is a bit emotionally cold at times due to the horrendous casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky, but overall Anna Karenina is a good period piece.

Safe Haven
Safe Haven (2013)
½

This is not a good movie, nor is it my type of movie, but I was okay with it until the twist at the end. Safe Haven is both dull and dumb; had there been no twist at the end, the film still would have been dull, but it would not have been dumb.

Rosemary's Baby
½

Amazing, classic film. Rosemary's Baby builds slowly but effectively under the great direction from Polanski, its good script, and brilliant lead performance by Mia Farrow. An absolute must-see that is probably one of the best horror films ever made.

Oz the Great and Powerful
½

I honestly really disliked this film; this is not a bad film, but it had a lot of major problems in my opinion. The visuals were okay, I just really have a hard time getting immersed into a film when everything is clearly computer generated; I literally felt like I was watching a cartoon at times. The tone awkwardly switched between sweet and silly, to dark and ominous, the combo really didn't work. I liked the performances, they may have been underwhelming at best, but I enjoyed the lead performances. The main problem I had with the film is that, for the most part, I was completely bored. I thought the finale was great; the last 20-30 minutes were really entertaining and also added to the original 1939 film. As for the rest of the 90 minute running length though, well, I couldn't wait to get out of Oz. Oz is an okay film, but (re)enter at your own risk.

The Sessions
The Sessions (2012)
½

This is an okay film. It features some terrific performances, Helen Hunt in particular; it's really nice to see her getting good roles again. Overall though, I thought The Sessions could have been so much more.

The Master
The Master (2012)
½

Just another terrific piece of filmmaking from Paul Thomas Anderson. Not a film that's to be liked as much as it is one simply to be experienced.