Muscle Shoals (2013)
"It posits that the spirit of community forged by the musicians that created this music was part of its magic, and listening to it in the movie, it's hard to argue. The records they created defined an entire genre and hold up today as completely timeless. "
Ender's Game (2013)
"Hood balances Ender's ascension in the military -- filled with conventional but exciting montages about beating the odds -- with scenes that, although all-too-obvious, challenge the morality of his situation. "
A Woman Under the Influence (1975)
Only God Forgives (2013)
Embrace of the Vampire (2013)
The Counselor (2013)
"Inevitability is a theme foreshadowed and then played out in grisly fashion throughout The Counselor, which is crammed with so much nihilistic philosophizing that it makes the fatalistic tirades of Killing Them Softly seem like Fried Green Tomatoes. "
"As a technical achievement, it's unparalleled...and its depiction of courage leaves a lasting impression. The little triumphs are always tempered by huge moments of melancholy and doubt, because there's always more harrowing danger just around the corner. "
Captain Phillips (2013)
"...too long and doesn't hold up the tension or danger long enough. Hanks lends his Phillips some emotional heft, but the typical heroics of the Hollywood thriller seem out of place in this style of presentation. "
"The racing scenes are dizzying. Quick-take point-of-view shots alternate from various spots inside the car and on the track, while engines roar away. The stakes for each race are clearly set out, and the result is thrilling. "
"Swims in the murky waters of moral complexity, content to skim the surface without engaging fully with the questions it raises...delivers a disappointingly convoluted mystery plot in an attempt to give the audience what it thinks it wants. "
Killing Season (2013)
"It wants to be a war-is-Hell 'coming home' story, but it ends up playing like a cheap action flick starring two men who are obviously too old to be running through the woods beating the living crap out of each other. "
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
The Act Of Killing (2013)
West of Memphis (2012)
"A documentary that distills 19 years of a witch hunt, a grass roots movement, lost leads, confusion, countless appeals, and hope into one remarkable movie that is hellbent on setting the record straight. "
Magic Magic (2013)
2 Guns (2013)
The Ice Storm (1997)
"Kline had to walk the thinnest tightrope of all, as his selfish and immature adulterer and bad father could have come across as virtually irredeemable. Instead, he anchors the most poignant moment of the film "
The Wolverine (2013)
Fruitvale Station (2013)
The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)
"a tedious, underwhelming cash grab if there ever was one - a cynical attempt to use the iconic bent-over-backwards image of a possessed girl and the name recognition of the first movie to swindle people out of their money. "
"Classic film language has been fixed since the 20th century and modern film language can be so frenetic that it's refreshing to see a daring filmmaker creating tension and dread out of slow-paced, deliberate choices rather than quick-cut chaos. "
Wild Strawberries (1957)
World War Z (2013)
A Hijacking (2013)
Evil Dead (2013)
An Affair of the Heart (2012)
"Although it veers dangerously into whitewash territory several times, the movie wears its heart on its sleeve, which is appropriate for a film full of Springfield's poppy hard-rock music and the unbridled enthusiasm of his loyal fans. "
Safety Last! (1923)
Rolling Thunder (1977)
"The connection to an emotional truth is key to its success, because as the plot starts moving and the elements of the violent revenge flick start rearing their head, the movie feels grounded in Rane's reality. "
Pacific Rim (2013)
"It has enough bombast and vigor for 100 summer movies, but it also has a firm grasp on what makes genre storytelling work, and it's del Toro's true love and respect for Kaiju that holds Pacific Rim up, even in its most predictable moments. "
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
"There is a lot of hollow talk about codes of honor and some really corny dialogue and delivery, but the light tone and breakneck pace make these things easy to forgive. Lin has become a top-flight action director. "
"Besides being a stirring portrait of a youth culture in crisis, the film is very charming and accessible - especially for anyone that's experienced teen alienation...at once a snapshot in time and a timeless piece of cinema. "
This Is the End (2013)
"Because its transplanted the egotistical and childish behavior normally reserved for Team Apatow's lovable manchild characters onto the actors themselves, it feels dangerous. For awhile, it feels like anything can happen, and its thrilling. "
Medium Cool (1969)
"Despite the 1968 conflict(s) dating the film to a very specific time and place in American history, there's nothing that can't be applied to what's going on today, especially with the new relevance of video images on computers and handheld devices. "
The Last Ride (2012)
Man of Steel (2013)
Now You See Me (2013)
"A slick piece of populist entertainment [with] an extra layer of fun guesswork built in because its characters are constantly explaining how magic tricks and misdirection work, essentially giving you the answers while daring you to figure it out ... "
Pain & Gain (2013)
"His slow-motion prowess and action-film chops add a surreal element, but Bay's camera leers at the world the same way his characters do. He wants to celebrate his "heroes" at the same time he's making fun of them, but his delivery gives him away. "
The Great Escape (1963)
"Each group of characters get their own riveting planning sequences, all skillfully told. This is one "heist" film where knowing the details of how the escape is supposed to go down before it happens only strengthens the suspense further. "
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
"Do we boldly go where no man has gone before? From a plot standpoint, the answer is a resounding no, but that doesn't mean that its is a boring retread of past storylines. It's an energetic, thrilling mash-up of past storylines. "
The Hangover Part III (2013)
"Phillips knew enough not to remake the same situation a third time, but this strategy, revealed even more of his limitations. Without a fantastic high concept to hold everything together, he is truly lost. "
Iron Man 3 (2013)
"In the midst of various plot threads with varying degrees of contemporary relevance, Black pulls off a crazy plot twist a little more than halfway through the film that's truly inspired and solidifies it as a comedy. "
Naked Lunch (1991)
"A challenge if you're expecting a forward-moving plot but there's also more than enough pitch-black humor and straight-faced madness to lighten the mood, especially since Burroughs' strange lingo and vicious knack for language are intact. "
"Plot holes and mismanagement of suspense aside, it fails because it establishes an interesting premise and then abandons its characters as soon as things get complicated in favor of a typical save the world-type action story. "
The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)