Kansas City Star
Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck (2015)
The Big Short (2015)
"To answer the big question first: Yes, The Empire Strikes Back is just as enjoyable as Star Wars. In fact, this is one sequel that defies tradition by being better than the original on several counts -- most of them technical, but a few dramatic."
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
"I don't know what other Christmas-celebrating TV critics want from Santa, but somewhere after world peace... I'm hoping the Netflix special "A Very Murray Christmas" will turn out to be a back-door pilot for new variety series hosted by Bill Murray."
"This mashup of rap concert, poetry reading (the bulk of the dialogue is in rhyming verse) and burlesque sometimes slips into preachiness or heavy-handed satire, but even the shortcomings become part of the film's overall strength."
The Judge (2014)
Still Alice (2015)
St. Vincent (2014)
"With his feature debut, writer/director Theodore Melfi can be accused of dishing Hollywood cliches, but his cast's sheer good humor and professionalism lift this yarn. And the pile of improbabilities is offset by real heart and solid laughs."
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
Penguins Of Madagascar (2014)
While We're Young (2015)
The Homesman (2014)
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)
"Unbroken is a good film. But you can't help wondering what it would have been like if it had been made by believers ... or at least by talents not averse to considering the role of faith in human perseverance."
"Director Ava DuVernay has given us Selma, a docudrama about a pivotal campaign in the fight for civil rights for black Americans. You could say this film writes history not so much with lightning as with compassion."
Two Days, One Night (2014)
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
"It's not overstating the case to say that Dakota Johnson achieves stardom with this role. She mines moments of humor that help offset the soul-searching and weeping, and she's appealing without being impossibly beautiful."
The Gunman (2015)
Furious 7 (2015)
"Holding it all together is Diesel, who comes off as a steroid-stoked Buddha; even in the midst of chaos he calmly delivers proverbs in a rumbling basso: "Everyone's looking for the feel, but what's real is family." Whatever."
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
"The main problem with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is its tone. We can't take this stuff seriously, yet Ritchie misses all sorts of opportunities to make the movie fun. The result isn't particularly satisfying as either adventure or comedy."
Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
Dark Places (2015)
Irrational Man (2015)
I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)
Mr. Holmes (2015)
"The subject already provokes rage and/or revulsion without having to endure a step-by-step procedural. But this stark and effective prestige picture makes the experience palatable by approaching the material with journalistic tenacity."
The Peanuts Movie (2015)
The 33 (2015)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
""How to Train Your Dragon 2" rises above its animated peers with more troubling themes, outstanding character design and innovative "camera" movements. And it rarely, if ever, takes the easy way out."
The End Of The Tour (2015)
Love & Mercy (2015)