Captain America: Civil War (2016)
"Since the movie is opening in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis and just days after the Brussels attacks, the hostility conjured between these superheroes feels incredibly and uncomfortably pertinent. "
The Hateful Eight (2015)
"Playing a gun-control parlor game for 90 minutes without letting a single bullet loose is an intense and bravura direction to take for a Western, that most American genre where the 2nd Amendment rings loudest. "
"The nostalgic callbacks are so insistent that they can stop the narrative dead, like when some real drama is about to go down but everything pauses so we can have a meet-cute with C-3PO. Even the main villain comes off as some emo Darth Vader fanboy. "
The Big Short (2015)
"Turns out Adam McKay is the ideal filmmaker to tackle the absurd and infuriating circumstances behind the credit bubble. The Big Short is a load of laughs that get stuck in your throat when you realize the harm behind the insanity. "
"Ace visuals and simmering performances from Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux, as a reluctant Bond girl, divert attention from the cockamamie plot and backstory cooked up for Christoph Waltz's shadowy and excruciatingly foreshadowed villain. "
"French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve builds a taut, thrilling mood piece, where Roger Deakins' vivid cinematography holds your eyes hostage and Jóhann Jóhannsson's score pounds like a jackhammer on your pulse. "
The Martian (2015)
Black Mass (2015)
"Hardy's Reggie is smooth, clever, romantic and calculated. His Ron is fearsome, with eyes permanently bulging and a mouth mumbling out threats as if he were trying to speak and keep a squirrel trapped inside at the same time. "
Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
"At no point does the empowering gender switch compromise the movie's speed demon action and pyrotechnics, which are a refreshing return to operatic thrills after all the same-old CGI shenanigans we've become numb to. "
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
" There is a significant lack of that human touch in Age of Ultron's very fabric, where the winning personalities of its core superheroes feel diminished, defeated and consumed by whatever algorithm keeps these movies going. "
A Most Violent Year (2015)
"These characters coolly roam through every precise, purposeful scene like the metaphors they are, seemingly motivated by artistic intent as opposed to baser human desires. Even Michael Corleone had a temper; a libido; a pulse. "
American Sniper (2015)
Inherent Vice (2015)
"A thrilling, seductive game of deception fit for film noir, where lies seek to unearth truths that would rather stay buried. Throughout it all, Petzold concocts images that will sear their way into your memory. "
Force Majeure (2014)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Museum Hours (2013)
Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Spring Breakers (2013)
American Hustle (2013)
Pain & Gain (2013)
Gangster Squad (2013)
Django Unchained (2012)
"Samuel L. Jackson's wicked house slave Stephen is the raison d'ętre for Django Unchained. The layered and loaded Uncle Tom figure speaks to Jackson's legacy of shuckin' and deconstructin' black stereotypes with Tarantino. "
Zero Dark Thirty (2013)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
"Like a production of When Harry Met Sally put on by the characters from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Silver Linings uses cliches like a straight-jacket, containing an otherwise nutty film and making it safe for audiences to approach. "