The Dissolve

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 19%

Transcendence (2014)

"Transcendence wants [...] to comment meaningfully on our current interconnectedness and inorganic lifestyle, but it's screaming too much to have that conversation."

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Scott Tobias

2 88%

Bears (2014)

"True to its Disney lineage, Bears is a theme-park version of reality, but one built on sincere understanding of and affection for the natural world and all its creatures-especially the really cute ones."

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Genevieve Koski

3 94%

The Final Member (2014)

"Directors Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math favor a deadpan, clear-eyed, strikingly simple approach that brings out both the humor and the pathos in the story."

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Nathan Rabin

4 9%

Tasting Menu (2014)

"The film is so busy attending to all its people that it never manages to adequately serve any of them[.]"

Posted Apr 17, 2014

David Ehrlich

5 65%

Proxy (2014)

"Low-budget genre pictures as bold and ambitious as Proxy don't come around often; even when they do, few of them boast execution that's as accomplished as the concept. "

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

6 53%

Heaven Is for Real (2014)

"It seems unlikely that anyone but a father with a few loose screws could see Colton's story as proof of anything but an active imagination. That he could become a beacon of hope to those who want to believe in God seems downright impossible."

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Keith Phipps

7 58%

Fading Gigolo (2014)

"Sex is treated with goofy solemnity [...] and credible human behavior repeatedly gets tossed aside so that people do whatever is necessary to keep the ludicrous plot in motion."

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

8 60%

13 Sins (2014)

"13 Sins tries to demonstrate the potential everyone has to fall down a slippery moral slope, but the missions get so ridiculous and gruesome [...] that it's hard to take the film seriously, even on its heightened terms. "

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Scott Tobias

9 77%

Small Time (2014)

"'Small Time' still closes the deal, thanks to that one indefinable selling point: star charisma."

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Jordan Hoffman

10 8%

Authors Anonymous (2014)

"[...] Perhaps because the fake-doc construct has become so familiar [...] the bar for turning that approach into something fresh and genuinely funny is simply too high for this movie to clear."

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Jen Chaney

11 83%

Kid Cannabis (2014)

"Brown's performance as Norman goes deep enough to penetrate his protective bluster: There's more Max Fischer in him than Tony Montana. He's the reason this convincing pro-legalization editorial is also a memorable coming-of-age story. "

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Chris Klimek

12 100%

Manakamana (2014)

"Manakamana is both calming and imagination-sparking, forcing viewers to look at human faces for 10-minute stretches, whether those faces are talking excitedly or quietly looking around."

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Noel Murray

13 ——

Visions of Mary Frank (2014)

"The film isn't so much a vision as a conversation, and it isn't revelatory, but it's engaging. "

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Noah Berlatsky

14 87%

Breaking the Waves (1996)

"It's a testament to Emily Watson's astounding performance as Bess that she comes across as more than a von Trier construct; she's a woman of boundless passion, who follows her faith wherever it takes her."

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Scott Tobias

15 100%

Alice (Neco z Alenky) (1988)

"Nothing in Svankmajer's Alice is inappropriate per se [...] and Svankmajer does stay true to the particulars of Carroll's book. But he also put his personal stamp on Alice, by literalizing on film a lot of what reads as fantasy on the page."

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Noel Murray

16 86%

Young at Heart (1954)

"Young At Heart is a smartly cast, expertly acted ensemble film, but it unmistakably belongs to Sinatra. "

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Nathan Rabin

17 62%

Draft Day (2014)

"This isn't the side of pro sports shown on television-which is exactly why it's refreshing to have a film about it."

Posted Apr 10, 2014

Matt Singer

18 66%

The Railway Man (2014)

"The Railway Man is such a safe, respectful portrait of true-life catharsis that it feels afraid to reopen the same old wounds it exalts Lomax for confronting."

Posted Apr 9, 2014

David Ehrlich

19 86%

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

"Only Lovers Left Alive excels mainly as a vampire slice of life, functioning beautifully as both an inventory of Jarmusch's literary, philosophical, and musical interests, and a larger comment on the follies of human existence. "

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Scott Tobias

20 70%

A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power And Jayson Blair At The New York Times (2014)

"A Fragile Trust [...] does little more than rehash the story [of reporter Jayson Blair] for those who missed it the first time around, without ever finding much of a bigger picture."

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

21 63%

No God, No Master (2014)

"[No God, No Master is] ambitious in a way that more expensive films are rarely allowed to be anymore, illuminating a fascinating, underexplored era of American history [...]"

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Chris Klimek

22 59%

Hank And Asha (2014)

"Even if the Skype romance turns out to be the wave of the future, however, Hank And Asha, [...] proves that such tales are only as interesting as the people who inhabit them."

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

23 46%

Hateship Loveship (2014)

"Hateship Loveship is unimpressive as a whole, but it's stitched together with small, memorable touches [...]"

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Noel Murray

24 83%

Joe (2014)

"[...]Joe is paradoxically brutal yet tender, populated by hard men who wear the scars of difficult lives inside and out [...]"

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Nathan Rabin

25 13%

Jinn (2014)

"A deeply dopey, distinctly not-terrifying, unintentionally hilarious supernatural thriller."

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Chris Klimek

26 83%

The Big House (1930)

"It's an outsized, abstracted version of everyday life circa 1930."

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Noel Murray

27 50%

Stage Fright (2014)

"Stage Fright strikes a balance between its song-and-dance theatrics and the grisly business of those same kids being slaughtered by a masked killer. The songs are fine; the slaughter is sub-standard. "

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Scott Tobias

28 84%

Performance (1970)

"For all its hallucinatory excesses, however, Performance is a film of ideas, even if it's happier to let them swirl around than attempt to explain them."

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Keith Phipps

29 92%

Persona (1966)

"[...]Persona marks a radical break for Bergman, an acknowledgment up front of the illusion and fundamental artifice of making movies."

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Scott Tobias

30 23%

Frankie & Alice (2014)

"Dusted off a full five years after it finished filming, [Frankie & Alice] is now a strange, wounded beast that cries out for Academy validation with every histrionic frame, yet has already missed its window of opportunity."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Nathan Rabin

31 79%

Watermark (2014)

"Documentaries that shove a message down viewers' throats are a drag, but it's possible to place too much emphasis on aesthetics at the expense of a thesis. Still, if one must err in one direction or the other, this direction is preferable."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

32 25%

Goodbye World (2014)

"This film can't decide whether it's a Noah Baumbach-ian character study or an episode of NBC's Revolution."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Jen Chaney

33 75%

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden (2014)

"Celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, and Josh Radnor supply plain voiceovers of the islanders' writings, usually over still photos, and the point of view changes so haphazardly it's difficult to keep all the personalities straight."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Andrew Lapin

34 82%

Afflicted (2014)

"Multiple shots are thrillingly disorienting without straying into incoherence-a tricky line to walk-and it's genuinely hard to tell whether certain effects [...] are practical or computer-generated. "

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

35 92%

The Retrieval (2014)

"The Retrieval is hardly the first indie to transcend its budget, but it's one of the few to tackle the kind of prohibitively expensive period setting that has restricted such stories to prestige pictures. "

Posted Apr 1, 2014

David Ehrlich

36 58%

Dom Hemingway (2014)

"It's a thoroughly obnoxious piece of work that's nonetheless winning in its boorishness, which is precisely the tone Law is trying to strike [...]"

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Scott Tobias

37 89%

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

"[...] The Winter Soldier smartly integrates a crisply orchestrated Marvel action movie with the paranoid thrillers of the 1970s, which were pegged to a mistrust of government and the shadow organizations that orbit it."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Scott Tobias

38 91%

The Freshman (College Days) (1925)

"Flawlessly executed and edited for maximum impact, the gags have timepiece precision, but Lloyd always sells his mishaps as things that just kind of happen to his character [The Freshman] works because it keeps viewers rooting for its hero. "

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Keith Phipps

39 ——

Evil - In the Time of Heroes ()

"It tries to make up for what it lacks in coherence and character development by splattering guts-and, occasionally, the head-spiraling prophecies of Billy Zane-all over the place. "

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Jen Chaney

40 100%

The Swimmer (1968)

"As effectively as almost any movie ever made about American suburbia, The Swimmer gets the contentment that comes with material success[...] And it gets how the fantasy is hard to sustain."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Noel Murray

41 36%

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

"[Director Amy Holden] Jones tries the more effective tack of playing the slasher stuff straight and inserting clever visual jokes when she has the opportunity. "

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Scott Tobias

42 77%

Noah (2014)

"For all the liberties Noah takes with the traditional narrative, that thematic element becomes its most significant addition, and it dominates the film once everyone's aboard the ark"

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Keith Phipps

43 40%

Cesar Chavez (2014)

"The film seems more intent on educating and inspiring than entertaining."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Nathan Rabin

44 14%

Locker 13 (2014)

"Locker 13 isn't a film so much as a dire symptom of a culture in which the ability to fund a movie has become reason enough to make one. "

Posted Apr 1, 2014

David Ehrlich

45 95%

Finding Vivian Maier (2014)

"Finding Vivian Maier treats Maier's background as a puzzle that doubles as self-promotion, supporting her photographs with an amazing story that gives them context-and [...] stokes more interest in her work."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Scott Tobias

46 93%

Mistaken for Strangers (2014)

"If Mistaken For Strangers weren't a documentary, it might have worked as a high-concept comedy."

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Keith Phipps

47 80%

Hide Your Smiling Faces (2014)

"All in all, Smiling Faces is a strongly promising first effort, introducing a talented filmmaker who's still in the process of finding his own voice."

Posted Mar 31, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

48 22%

Sabotage (2014)

"Schwarzenegger's (less effective) version of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven."

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Matt Singer

49 54%

Breathe In (2014)

"At every possible turn, the film chooses to take the dumbest and most reductive path. It remains semi-watchable nonetheless, which is a testament to the skill of its four lead actors, who valiantly struggle to remain truthful. "

Posted Mar 25, 2014

Mike D'Angelo

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