The Rover (2014)
"Snowpiercer alternates between sudden violence, high camp, and heavy-handed political allegory with breakneck speed, and even when its disjoined plot mechanics seem a little too convenient, it's brimming with new cinematic technique. "
Jodorowsky's Dune (2014)
Life Itself (2014)
"Over 60 years later, Ace in the Hole has lost none of its sharpness. The only thing that's hard to believe about the movie is that Wilder and his co-screenwriters could have been this far ahead of the curve in their criticism of the media. "
"There's several moments where the titular character sits around watching other people and waiting for things to happen. In order to re-invent it from her POV, there were bound to be a lot of things that don't make sense, such as believable motivations. "
"A foreboding aura manifests itself, and what Gareth Edwards and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey do throughout all of the giant monster scenes is keep them in perspective, framing every shot of the monster with scale in mind. "
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
"Shows Singer exercising some much-needed control over the franchise he built 14 years ago and wrangling a lot of loose ends -- a welcome return, and although the material itself is a little unwieldy, it successfully brings together characterizations. "
Stage Fright (2014)
"Kurosawa was drawing influence from American directors like John Ford, so its an enjoyable film, but sometimes the movies that influenced a generation of filmmakers lose some of their luster because they've been borrowed from so many times. "
"Remove the supernatural threat and you have a film that preys on the sometimes scary dynamic of any dysfunctional family. Leave it in and you have a genuinely creepy ghost story that spotlights some nightmarish scenarios without resorting to gore. "
Bettie Page Reveals All (2013)
"Mori hammers home her status as a pop culture icon to a numbing degree, perhaps because parts of Bettie's spotty narration gloss over huge chunks of her life while other portions reduce what might otherwise seem fascinating to one-dimensional levels. "
Under the Skin (2014)
"Aptly named, it feels otherworldly. It explores the the difference between simply being sentient and actually becoming sympathetic. As a moviegoing experience, it is thrillingly alive, hearkening back to the heyday of '70s art cinema. "
Nymphomaniac: Volume II (2014)
"Somehow, despite all the meta digressions, unlikely coincidences, and nihilistic tendencies of von Trier's storytelling (the ending certainly subscribes to this leaning), a convincing sense of sadness and loss comes through. "
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
"It stubbornly adheres to old-school comic conventions and can sometimes feel like an episode of the cheesy '60s Batman TV series. This may drive some audiences batty, but as classical tribute, the throwback strategy is quite charming. "
"A cynical piece of trash that thinks it's smarter than it is. It's what happens when filmmakers mistake "violent" and "unlikable" as keywords for gritty adult entertainment. None of those traits matter if your movie is just plain stupid. "
"Yes, kids should embrace individuality, and yes, they should think for themselves. But this thinly veiled metaphor can be rough going sometimes, and the humorless, dumb script asks way too much of its cast. "
The Book Thief (2013)
"Zusak's story is stirring, and it holds the film up during most of its predictable parts, but The Book Thief never rises too far above that. The narration from Death only serves to make it more like some sort of fantastical fairy tale. "
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
"Hitting the same story beat four times in one movie isn't very common (and a really bad idea), but it isn't concerned with telling a story so much as it's on a rinse-and-repeat cycle of purging CGI blood as and one-upping the last big battle. "
"an interesting diversion that holds a lot of promise at first, is pleasant but generally underdelivers throughout, and then almost redeems itself with a last-minute twist that almost makes sense considering the movie's core weakness. "
The Armstrong Lie (2013)
"The satire's still there, albeit not as angry and more obvious, and the targets have shifted. It may not have the original's subversive nutso attitude but there's a couple of crazy surprises up its sleeve and a surprisingly engaging story. "
3 Days To Kill (2014)
That Awkward Moment (2014)
"The characters, their motivations, the plot machinations, the forced banter - it's all contrived. Not only can you see the entire story coming from miles away, there's a late-in-the-game plot twist that feels desperate and tonally wrong. "
"Murnau deftly balances the changes in tone, going from a deep foreboding to complete bliss, and using Expressionistic techniques like forced perspective, wonky set design, and long shadows to project a huge range of emotion. "
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
"A cynical, nasty satire about humans regressing to infantile levels. I would love for it to be the final, insane word on indecent power-hungry Wall Street behavior, but you and I both know that probably won't be the case, so trust me, it's okay to laugh. "
American Hustle (2013)
"Very similar to LOTR with lots of walking montages and an identical central conflict--the corrupting temptation of the ring and a call to courage for a hobbit. Far from the journey then, it's individual moments that elicit the greatest pleasure. "
All Is Lost (2013)
"The key ingredient to the film's success is Redford's vulnerability. He's trying so desperately to stay alive that he has few moments for reflection, but they register - and all without the aid of dialogue. "
Out of the Furnace (2013)
All Is Bright (2013)
White House Down (2013)
The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
"Through a rich, grueling portrait of the machinery of institutionalized slavery, it asks us to examine the rotten core of slavery and how it permeates our entire culture, not just to ponder life in the 1840s. "
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
"After a good 20 minutes of laborious setup, the film finally moves forward. When it does, it's the charisma of the actors (especially Tom Hiddleston) and the film's sense of humor that keep it afloat. "
How I Live Now (2013)