Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The Unknown Known (2014)
"Rumsfeld seems to suggest that any pre-emptive strike can be justified, if we have the 'imagination' to envision future history as a succession of Worst Case Scenarios, enacted by America's enemies. "
The Nut Job (2014)
"A tired assembly of the expected celebrity voices (Liam Neeson is a despotic raccoon) and already dated pop-culture references (the end credits feature an animated version of Psy leading the cast of animals in a dance-along to 'Gangnam Style'). "
Frankie & Alice (2014)
"It may be based on true events, but it seems more truly inspired by the star-producer's desire for an ostentatious showcase to demonstrate that her Best Actress recognition didn't Jinx (ouch) a career notable for such post-Oscar calamities as 'Catwoman.' "
The Face of Love (2014)
The Great Flood (2014)
"The damage gives the images an appropriately mud-spattered, post-disaster appearance; sometimes the splotchy, jumpy degradation transforms these smalltown flood scenes into abstract animated splatter paintings. "
Bad Words (2014)
"A feat of sustained tension and unrelieved dread that spins its web of unease with elegantly creepy visuals (the Toronto sky seems dusted with noxious yellow pollen) and spooky sound design (the score consists of nervous strings and sonorous woodwinds). "
Tim's Vermeer (2014)
"Jenison's compulsiveness and ingeniousness are interesting, and his research may prove to have some art-scholarship value, but another impresson is that spending 180 days to reproduce 'The Music Lesson' is a colossal waste of time. "
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
The Book Thief (2013)
"This extremely moving drama suggests the Holocaust story Ray Bradbury might have written: Events are seen through a child's eyes; books are shown to contain a healing, transformative power; and the supernatural is real, if symbolic. "
Tennessee Queer (2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
"As Persia's sexiest naval commander, Eva Green is to this 'sidequel' as Cate Blanchett is to 'Blue Jasmine,' and I mean that as a compliment and not a joke: She's a frightening and awe-inspiring force of nature, draped in camp instead of Chanel. "
"The premise is sure-fire, but director Jaume Collet-Serra's grip on the material is not as tight as the cabin pressure; moments of sentiment and unnecessary back story relieve the claustrophobia and stall the momentum. "
The Art of the Steal (2014)
"There's more steal than art in 'The Art of the Steal,' a second-tier caper comedy-drama that pilfers its inspiration from such superior stories of crime and misdirection as 'The Usual Suspects' and 'Reservoir Dogs'... "
The Visitor (1979)
"The movie suggests that contrary to Cassius' claim, the fault is not in ourselves but in our stars -- that, as the paranoid and psychotic have suspected, our unhappiness is the collateral damage of an eternal and cosmic struggle. "
Mother Of George (2013)
The Great Beauty (2013)
The Selfish Giant (2013)
Adult World (2014)
"Described on its website as 'a feature documentary about the beginning of Rwanda's film industry,' this is a paean to the therapeutic 'ppower of fim': most of the featured movies relate directly to the effects of genocide in Rwanda. "
The Wind Rises (2014)
"Possibly Miyazaki can relate to Horikoshi's dilemma. He is both technician and artist, engineer and dreamer, and he works in a field -- cinema -- that too often promotes violence as a shortcut to a solution rather than as a last resort. "
Le passť (The Past) (2013)
"'The Past' opens at a Paris airport, where Marie and the newly arrived Ahmad greet each other through a pane of glass. Their lips move, but they don't actually hear one another. This is a state that will be maintained more or less throughout the film. "
The LEGO Movie (2014)
Vampire Academy (2014)
"Previous teen films from brothers Daniel and Mark Waters had a lot of bite, so it's sad their first collaboration is a toothless horror-adventure-comedy-romance motivated by The Weinstein Company's eagerness for a Harry Potter-meets-Twilight franchise. "
A Fierce Green Fire (2013)
"Not another documentary exposť of a particular disaster or eco-crime but a history of the environmental movement itself, motivated by the idea that 'our industrial civilization has grown so powerful that it threatens the natural world...' "
In Secret (2014)
"'Love Means Breaking All the Rules' is the misleading slogan on one promotional graphic. In this case, the hijinks defined as 'breaking all the rules' include adultery, murder and the excess drinking of absinthe "
About Last Night (2014)
"Padilha protracts Murphy's existential ordeal,so that the revenge plot that motivates the action becomes secondary to Murphy's struggle to hold onto his identity even as political, corporate and scientific interests seek to erase it. "
The Iran Job (2013)
The Monuments Men (2014)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
The Invisible Woman (2013)
"When the Dickens-Ternan relationship becomes physical, Fiennes presents the event as more a redundancy than a revelation. A truer consummation occurs earlier, when Dickens allows Nelly to read 'Great Expectations' in manuscript form... "
Farewell, My Queen (2012)
Ride Along (2014)
Escape Plan (2013)
Devil's Due (2014)
"Distressingly locates evil in ethnicity: A scene in which the wife marvels at the lovely 'whiteness' of her nude husband sleeping among snowy sheets seems more troubling than cute after the couple falls victim to dusky satanists in the Dominican Republic. "
The Legend of Hercules (2014)
"A low point is when Hercules kills the Nemean lion, who seemed to be minding his own business in his forest; not cool, Herc, even if he was all digital and as fakey as those stuffed cats they used to throw at Steve Reeves. "
"More sidebar than sequel, this interesting fifth film in the found-footage fright franchise attempts to reboot (re-boo?) the series by relocating the supernatural action to a low-income but vibrant Hispanic neighborhood... "
Last Vegas (2013)
Lone Survivor (2014)
"At its best, it recalls the intimate fist-to-face, bayonet-to-belly battlefield films of yore; less successfully, it wears its (purple) heart on its sleeve, almost demanding at times that you rise from your seat with your hand on your heart... "
August: Osage County (2013)
"The grande dame demiurge presiding over this Dust Bowl carnival of souls is, of course, La Streep, who channels the stoned fury of Liz Taylor in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' and the ghoulish glee of Bette Davis in 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' "
Grudge Match (2013)