Q Network Film Desk
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Devil's Knot (2014)
"constructs a compelling narrative out of what must have been an enormous amount of footage, focusing on the age-old trope of the journey to give the bears' plight for survival a sense of sincere thematic heft"
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
"While there is much to enjoy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it is also hard not to feel like it is working primarily as yet another set-up, building the foundation for future films at the expense of the central narrative "
Blood Ties (2014)
Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)
"Siegel, with his innate sense of cinematic intensity and how to deploy violence with both visual and thematic heft, keeps the film's style relatively simple and straightforward, which allows the complexities of the situation at hand to take center-stage."
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
"Anderson's focus on oddball humor, audaciously eloquent dialogue, and cartoonish absurdity remains central and doesn't get derailed by the overly forced attempts at familial pathos that have marred some of his other films"
"It goes on a bit longer than it probably needs to, but the humor hits more than it misses, resulting in only a few sluggish places in a film that otherwise pays its audience's desire to revel in nonstop absurdity with just a dash of genuine social satire"
The Freshman (College Days) (1925)
"Aronofsky's film may not be perfect, but criticizing it for not sticking directly to the source material unnecessarily obscures what it does so well, which is bring to life the conflicts of an ancient world that still have much to tell us today."
Le passé (The Past) (2013)
"another stunning drama that confirms Farhadi's artistic preeminence in making films that are simultaneously intimate psychological portraits of interpersonal conflict and detailed, nerve-wracking mysteries"
King of the Hill (1993)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
Son Of God (2014)
"only about half as bad as you imagine it will be, which is actually not a good thing because the film ends up being just mediocre, rather than the kind of howlingly enjoyable train wreck that reminds you how good unintentional comedy can be"
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
The LEGO Movie (2014)
Lone Survivor (2014)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
"While it hardly breaks new ground cinematically or truly challenges any prevailing notions about the cultural impact of Walt Disney, Saving Mr. Banks is nevertheless an entertaining portrait of conflicting artistic temperaments in action"
American Hustle (2013)
All Is Lost (2013)
"benefits from the impressive acting chops of Jennifer Lawrence, whose intensity and sense of self makes Katniss into a prototypical action heroine who embodies an ideal set of values but still stays psychologically and emotionally grounded."
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Maniac Cop 2 (1990)
"its action sequences have a real sense of grit and danger due to their pre-CGI use of actual city locations and stuntpeople lighting themselves on fire, jumping out of buildings, and hanging on the outside of speeding cars"
The Uninvited (1944)
"ends with what has to be the cheesiest, most inexplicably silly image of any film this year, a desperate stab at giving this retread a memorable exit that only confirms how utterly unnecessary and inferior a remake it is"
All Is Bright (2013)
Don Jon (2013)
I Married a Witch (1942)
Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) (1978)
"has a steady, accumulating power, and while it ranks high among Bergman's dramas, it is not quite a masterpiece, at least not on the level of Cries and Whispers (1972) and Scenes From a Marriage (1973), his signature films of the period. "
"nothing if not a technical tour de force, possibly one of the greatest examples in recent years of how far cinematic technology can take us into experiences-both visceral and emotional-that most of us are unlikely to ever encounter"
"Hemsworth and Brühl make Hunt and Lauda into memorable figures, and it is telling that, by the end, I genuinely wanted them to like each other, but still appreciated the fact that they maintained their air of mutual animosity. "
The Family (2013)
To Be or Not to Be (1942)
The Hot Flashes (2013)