Ash1138's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Warrior
The Warrior(2002)

Musa is depressing and hard to make sense of. Virtually all the death in this film (and there is a lot of it) is meaningless. The setting, which takes place almost entirely in a desert wasteland only adds to the bleakness of the film. There's virtually no color to this film as everything (from the sand, skin, clothes, horses, buildings, etc) is some shade of brown. The action scenes, what few there are, are hidden behind poor cinematography that can't ever seem to figure out the camera should be pointed out what's going on. For a movie of this type, Musa is just ok. If you are interested in it because you liked films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers, you may be disappointed.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

I've come to expect greatness whenever I see a David Fincher film, but for some reason I didn't expect Gone Girl to be as great as it was. A great deal of the credit goes to the amazing screenplay by Gillian Flynn (adapting her own novel), however not much should be said about the story, as the less known about this film beforehand the better. It's as taut and intelligent a psychological thriller as ever put on film. It feels like this was a film Fincher was born to direct, and a film Alfred Hitchcock wish he could have directed. Ben Affleck gives a superb performance which is just another nod to the brilliance of David Fincher's direction. Gone Girl could easily walk away as the best film of the year.

The Dark Knight Rises

After director Christopher Nolan created the comic book masterpiece The Dark Knight, it was a pretty safe bet that his third installment of his Batman trilogy would be something to see even though it would surely fall below the bar. What was unexpected was just how close he'd come duplicating his landmark acheivement. As a singular film, The Dark Knight Rises falls short, but as a third act in a much larger epic, it succeeds for directly the opposite reasons The Godfather part III failed. Here Nolan not only gives us a fantastic film in it's own right, but one that makes the previous two entries (especially the first) even better by contributing to the overall lore and revealing a narrative that arcs across all three films. Finally it succeeds in ending an unparalleled franchise in such an elegant and satisfactory way that is rarely, if ever, seen.

Escape from New York

Need to see this again to remember it.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game(2013)

I don't believe there is any way the book will accurately translate to the screen. But I am cautiously optimistic that this will at least serve as a visual compliment to those of us who have read the book.

Oblivion
Oblivion(2013)

Oblivion is the most original take on the alien invasion genre that I've seen in a long, long time. It's also the best.

Some people like Tom Cruise. Others hate him. He's a polarizing mega-star that can bring in audience as well as keep some away. I myself think he's a fine actor who only suffers from having too much on screen personality (and perhaps offscreen as well?), making really hard to forget you're watching Tom Cruise instead of the character he's portraying. The Last Samurai is a great example of an excellent film with a strong performance but where you can never see the character as not being Tom Cruise. Oblivion suffers from the same problem.

My anticipation for this film stemmed from the excellent trailers depicting a compelling sci-fi story with a thoughtful plotline where all was not as it seemed. Right up my alley. Then there was the fact it was directed by Joseph Kosinski whose previous work was Tron: Legacy, a film I adored despite it's failings (say what you want, but the problems with that film were not the directing).

Oblivion was one of my most highly anticipated films of the year. That's saying quite a bit when you consider what films are on the docket to be released. Did it let me down? Quite the contrary.

The premise of the film is that Earth was invaded by an alien race called Scavs (short for scavengers) by the remaining survivors. Humanity won the war but devastated the planet in the process so the remaining survivors had to emigrate offworld into a massive station known as the Tet (short for tetrahedron?) leaving behind massive fusion processors that are sucking up the Earth's oceans to make fuel for the trip to and colonization of Titan (one of Saturn's moons). Only a few maintenance crews remain behind to oversee and repair robotic drones used to protect the fusion processors from Scav remnants still remaining on the planet seeking to destroy them. Jack and Victoria are such a two man crew. They only have two more weeks on the job before they get to join the others on the Tet and make their way to Titan. Victoria can't wait. Jack is beginning to dread the idea as Earth is his home, and he's starting to have memories of the past, before the war, that he shouldn't have.

The film starts off slow, and takes it's time getting into things. This is a good thing as it really helps the audience buy into this world and the lives of these two survivors Jack and Victoria. The character development that results is important to the emotional impact the film strives for later.

Unfortunately, the trailers for this film spoil quite a bit. Morgan Freeman's character should have been a huge reveal but instead it's more of a, "I was wondering when we'd get to this part of the story," moment. Fortunately, this film has several other tricks up it's sleeve to keep you guessing and surprise you with. Just avoid any spoilers (including the trailers) if you can help it.

While the film has some big twists, the plot points in between are relatively straightforward. This has lead many to call the film predictable. I am reminded of a little film called Star Wars. Was anyone surprised that Luke used the Force to blow up the Death Star? Of course not, and it was still satisfying. But no one saw Vader being Luke's dad. Oblivion is a lot like that; it progresses along paths you'd expect until every once in a while it hits you with a curve ball. And like Star Wars, Oblivion liberally and unapologetically borrows from past sci-fi classics, but in doing so makes something wonderfully new and exciting.

Oblivion is a strikingly beautiful film with fantastic visuals. Joseph Kosinski has an eye for visual storytelling that certainly carried over from Tron: Legacy. He apparently has an ear for music as well. Tron: Legacy was hailed for it's musical accompaniment, and the score for Oblivion is almost equally as powerful (coincidentally pairing up with a different Tron composer, Joseph Trapanese). Because of this, I highly recommend seeing this film in IMAX.

All is not perfect with this film. As much as I liked it and want to praise it, I struggle with giving it five stars. There's just something intangible missing from it that I can't put my finger on. It's definitely a film I need to see again, but more importantly for the purpose of this review it's definitely a film I want to see again.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I have mixed feelings about The Hobbit. I never thought anyone could make a worthy film adaption of The Lord of the Rings, but Peter Jackson more than proved me wrong. And while I think The Lord of the Rings is a much better story, I always felt that The Hobbit would make a better movie. It's a simple adventure story with great pacing, abundant action beats, and epic money scenes. Who better to bring it to the silver screen than Peter Jackson?

There probably isn't anyone better, and the problem is that Jackson knows it. Where The Lord of the Rings was Jackson proving to legions of Tokien fans that he could faithfully bring the saga to the big screen, The Hobbit feels more like a film Jackson made because he now believes fans would rather see his vision rather than Tolkien's. It makes for one of the most bloated, indulgent films I've ever seen. Let's put this into perspective. Of the four books, The Hobbit and the three in the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is the shortest, most concise, and has the simplest story. Yet, it's being stretched into a film that is the length of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Now let me be clear. The Hobbit is not a bad film. It's very good. Those who are die-hard fans of the Lord of the Rings will find much to love as Jackson layers on helping after helping of additional lore; so much so that it feels like scenes in the movie that are taken from the actual book are less than those that aren't. Indeed, it seems very clear that Peter Jackson is taking much from Tolkien's other writings to create an expanded story that transforms The Hobbit into another part of the Lord of the Rings (which it originally wasn't). I honestly feel this film would be better named, The Lord of the Rings: An Unexpected Journey, because it feels more to do with that then it does the original tale. As I said, this doesn't make it a bad film. It makes it a film that sacrifices The Hobbit in order to give us more Lord of the Rings. Sadly, we can now only wonder what a true Hobbit adaptation would have been like.

So while fans of the series will have much to like, there are still the inherent problems Jackson's new vision brings. If you thought the Extended Editions of the Lord of the Rings were drawn out, prepare yourself as The Hobbit feels like an extended, extended edition. While all the epic moments of the book are faithfully rendered on screen, Jackson fills the gaps between them with so much extraneous lore and backstory that the ride feels very disjointed, and sometimes it just drags. There is just way too much non-essential footage; repeating the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring was totally unnecessary and should have been cut for an Extended Edition DVD release.

When all is said and done, I really enjoyed the film despite it's problems. Jackson has so superbly brought Middle Earth to life that it's a pleasure just to see it again. And while Jackson may have added a ton to the story that wasn't there before, he doesn't depart from the scenes in the book. I think one 3-hour movie faithfully telling only the story of The Hobbit would have made for a much better film, but then I wouldn't have two more to look forward to. Hence, my mixed feelings. While The Hobbit isn't the greatness that was the first three films, it's certainly no Star Wars Prequel. This, and hopefully the next two, feel worthy additions to the saga.

I saw this film in 24FPS in 2D on a giant screen an recommend seeing it that way.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

It's been about a week now since I've seen Life of Pi and I'm still at a loss for words. This film moved me in a spiritually profound way that I cannot describe. Who would have thought that a story of a boy lost at see on a lifeboat alone with a bengal tiger could be so exciting, dramatic, and emotionally moving?

Ang Lee is best known for his masterpiece "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," but he outdoes himself here. The visuals are treated like fine art and the story like classic literature. Suraj Sharma carries this film with what might be one of the greatest solo lead performances in the history of film. And yet his performance is not entirely solo if you consider the virtual performance by computer animated Richard Parker, who from a technical standpoint is so amazing, it makes me wonder what all that fuss about Golum in Lord of the Rings was about.

I could go on to speak about how wonderfully crafted this film is, and boy is it, but that's not what's impressive about this film. While everyone involved deserves the praise they are sure to get, is a rare piece of art that has the ability to reach out and touch your very soul. It's beauty on the surface captures your imagination, but it's beauty underneath stirs your soul.

Though I suspect many will close their hearts and minds to what this film is trying to say to them, I think everyone should see this film. This is what master film making looks like. It isn't just one of the best films of the year, it's one of the best films ever made.

Southland Tales

I wish I understood this movie.

Trouble with the Curve

An entertaining, feel good movie that suffers from being too "Hollywoodized" and formulaic. Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood bring a quality to this movie that it desperately needs. Unfortunately, every other character suffers from being a two dimensional cookie-cutter cut out. I can't help wondering what this film might have been with a slightly better screenplay and Eastwood at the helm as director.

John Carter
John Carter(2012)

John Carter was pretty good. Not amazing, but good. Worth seeing in the theatre and a good movie to bring your kids to (Star Wars level violence, no sexual content).

This movie is no Star Wars, but the whole time I was watching it I could not help but compare it in my mind to the prequels. I kept thinking, "why were the prequels not this good?" The story is imaginative, the characters are likable and have development, the pacing is good, the plot is strong, and the ending is really good. Overall, when it comes to big blockbuster films of this type, it stands above most of the crowd. I found last year's Clash of the Titans to be crap, and expect the sequel to be about the same.

John Carter is better than the Star Wars prequels, better than the Mummy movies, better than Clash of the Titans, better than Indy 4, much better than any Roland Emmerich film (ID4, Godzilla, 2012, Day after Tomorrow, 10,000 BC), better than Thor, better than Captain America, better than Cowboys vs Aliens.

Moneyball
Moneyball(2011)

Moneyball is an excellent drama based on the true story of Billy Beane and his attempt to change the world of professional baseball. Brad Pitt gives a strong leading performance, but it's Jonah Hill who you'll likely be remembering. Every aspect of this film, from the supporting performances to the directing to the cinematography, the editing, etc are all top notch. It was the ending I found to be disappointing. While it doesn't ruin the film, it's abrupt and feels anticlimactic.

Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch(2011)

It seems anytime you take a stylized action film and give if depth through the use of metaphor, symbolism, and a metaphysical and/or philosophical story, it just doesn't resonate with the audience. The much under rated Sucker Punch is no exception it appears.

Pathfinder
Pathfinder(2007)

In a list of the top 10 worst films I've ever seen, this one ranks highly. It truly is that awful.

Cars 2
Cars 2(2011)

Definitely not the best Pixar film. Instead probably the worst. However, when your worst film ever is still good enough to be among the best of the year, it say something about the bar you've set. Cars 2 doesn't try for the deep emotional resonance that has become the hallmark of most their films. Instead they try for a simple, light hearted, comedy. If it weren't for the fact that they overestimated how much Mater was too much Mater, I think they would have succeeded in spades (again).

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

What I look for in a summer blockbuster popcorn flick. While this film is in no way great cinema, it certainly is spectacular by the definition of the word. Seeing it in 3D on the big screen was highly entertaining. If you liked the first two films, this one is a no brainer. If you are one of the ones who hated the last film, I'm not sure why you'd want to waste your time on this one anyway.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Wraps up the series nicely. Not as epic or as emotional as the books, but I guess that's to be expected. I definitely recommend rewatching part I before seeing this as this truly is the second half of a movie rather than a complete film in and of itself. There is no standard beginning-middle-end structure and I found myself forgetting parts of the first half had me being confused in the second.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)

While its no E.T. Compared to the fluff released this summer it may as well be. Director J.J. Abrams does a great job delivering an entertaining mystery/thriller that definitely feels inspired by the aforementioned film along with other classics like Stand By Me and The Goonies. Super 8 is a rare find among today's modern summer blockbusters in that it has substance and meaning. Good stories don't just entertain us. They make us think about things in new ways; we learn from them. Do not take this to mean the film is preachy. It's not. However, if you want your kids (or yourself) to experience more than the usual mindless drivel, you may find this a refreshing change from what you've been getting in the summer.

Thor
Thor(2011)

Who knew Norse gods were a melting pot of all different races and ethnicities?

The Lincoln Lawyer

Brings back the feel of the classic legal thrillers based on John Grisham novels of the 1990s. This might not be a film you will want to own, but if you like the genre it's well worth catching an afternoon matinee.

Battle: Los Angeles

Surprisingly good. If Independence Day (story) and Black Hawk Down (acting, directing, cinematography) had a baby, it would be this film.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy(2010)

It's just downright entertaining.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

As child of the 80's who had an Atari game system and a fan of Anime well before it had it's own network, you'd think a film which geeks out in a fantasy world which builds off of both settings would be right my alley. Unfortunately, the retro 80's gaming is written for an audience who never actually experimented and so doesn't ring nostalgic for those of us who have.

I've never read any of the original manga (I've only flipped through a book), but Michael Cera is so wrong for this role that I don't need to to know it. Instead of Michael Cera showing us Scott Pilgrim, this movie turns Scott Pilgrim into just another Michael Cera character (which are pretty much all the same).

The movie isn't bad. It gets points for originality and cleverness. It's fun and has entertainment value. It just fails to execute well and therefor cannot rise above the mass of mediocrity out there.

Hereafter
Hereafter(2010)

Clint Eastwood might be the most consistently great director in Hollywood. One could make a solid argument that he was unjustly robbed from being the only filmmaker to have three Best Director and Best Picture oscars (although having two is impressive enough). If I were to make a list of the best 100 films I've ever seen, quite a few would be Eastwood directed films.

I think it's because of this that I find disappointment in Hereafter. Not because the film is bad. It's not. But because the bar is set so high on my expectations. The commentary on life themes the film explores is what Clint seems to be a master at. Hereafter had all the makings of being his best film since Million Dollar Baby. It wasn't.

Hereafter is a good film. Just not a great one. lf you are a fan of his previous work, you should definitely see this, just don't go in with such lofty expectations as I did.

Secretariat
Secretariat(2010)

Disney has the formula down for how to make "Triumph over adversity" flicks. Secretariat is a worthy sports drama in the vein of The Miracle and The Rookie.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street 2 has it's problems. It starts off slow and it's a bit preachy at times (but hey, this is an Oliver Stone film and you expected otherwise?). However, the meat of this film is USDA Prime, and if you are a fan of Stone it makes you remember that no one else in Hollywood makes films quite like this. Some may find the melodrama long and drawn out, but I'm a guy who likes the extended cut of JFK! While it is true that Gordon Gekko takes somewhat of a backseat here, I find that I much prefer a new "fat cat" villain, and Josh Brollin is excellent. Shia LaBouf is believable, and the whole thing just works...right up to the very end where for some unknown reason Stone decides to go for the "Hollywood ending." It makes no sense why he does it and it's so unfitting for the film.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Seeing it in IMAX 3D may have influenced my rating, but when it comes down to it, Legend of the Guardians is a good children's fantasy movie. My biggest complaint is that it felt a bit kid-ified (especially towards the end) much the same way the new Star Wars trilogy feels compared to the first. On the other hand, George Lucas could relearn a thing or two from the story of Owls of Ga'Hoole which reminded me of his legendary fantasy masterpiece on more than one occasion.

The Town
The Town(2010)

The best bank robbery movie since Heat. Ben Affleck, who I've never been a fan of, really shines both as a director and as an actor. It would honestly not surprise me to see him nominated for both best actor and best director. The film and his performance really are that good.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)

Toy Story has always been the least appealing franchise from Pixar so it's not surprising that it took me so long to see it. On the other hand, Pixar not only has never disappointed me, they've never failed to amaze me. In this third installment, Pixar finds a way to breath new life into the franchise that at the same time tells a familiar Toy Story tale and yet has something completely new to say. Many have claimed this is the best of the three. I'm not sure I can agree to that, but it certainly is the most grown up. It's absolutely a worthy addition to the series and a fitting send off to Pixar's flagship franchise.

Surrogates
Surrogates(2009)

This movie could have been so much more. It had outstanding ideas and interesting social commentaries. Then it went through the Hollywood sanitization machine and we got this.

The Dark Knight

The Godfather of superhero movies.

Inception
Inception(2010)

Inception is the best movie this year and likely will be still come December 31st. When it comes to psychological thrillers, there is no better director in the business than Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight). While Inception may not be as much of a thriller as his other works, it's arguably the most psychological. It's as imaginative and mindbending as The Matrix only with better acting and stronger emotion. The ending is one of the best I've seen in a long time. Simply put, this is what cinema is all about.

The Other Guys

Let me be clear. I hate Will Ferrell movies. They are almost always heaps of garbage. But it would be unfair to think Ferrell didn't have any talent or couldn't make a funny movie. Kevin Smith proved it. It was with this understanding and the realization that this isn't just another Will Ferrell vehicle that I opened my mind to The Other Guys, and I'm glad I did. This movie wasn't just funny in parts like your typical comedy. The laughs just kept coming. It reminded me of how comedies used to be. I dare say had this script gone through some more polish and Mark Wahlberg some comedic talent, this could have gone down as a classic the likes of Beverly Hills Cop. It really does have that much potential, and even though it doesn't quite live up to that potential, it's still likely the best live action comedy you'll see all year.

The Expendables

Remember when action films meant steroid induced, muscle bound meat heads blowing stuff up? The Expendables brings back that style of film. It isn't a bad film, and for audiences looking to revisit the macho action films of the 80's it's good nostalgia. One of the problems is the film doesn't push the envelope to deliver what its marketing department knows we want to see. It skirts around the edges of being the over-the-top, cliche ridden, chock full of one liners film it could've and should've been. No one is going to see this film for the acting or the brilliant screenwriting, so why hold back? The other problem is the complete lack of character development. It really is just all these action stars on screen. I honestly can't remember the characters they played. Some might think "who cares?" But without characters you care about, the action devolves into a pointless pyrotechnics display. Had all these legendary action stars portrayed memorable characters, this film would have been a lot better. As it stands it's still better than most of the action films of the 80's. It just could have been so much more.

The Bounty Hunter

In Hollywood, a triple threat is an actor who can not only act, but also sing and dance. Personally I don't find singing and dancing skills to important at all in Tinseltown. My view of a real triple threat is an actor who can do action, drama, and comedy all well. In that regard, Gerard Butler is one of the few true triple threats in Hollywood. The guy can seemingly do it all, and he's the reason this movie works at all.

If you've seen the trailer, you pretty much know the rundown for this movie. It doesn't stray from the typical romantic comedy formula Hollywood keeps regurgitating. What you get is exactly what the trailer promises; Gerard Butler as a bounty hunter getting to bring his despised ex-wife to jail. Along the way, witty banter and hi-jinks ensue.

The Bounty Hunter doesn't bring anything new to the genre, and it does suffer from some pacing problems. However, it's not terrible by any means, and for those guys who feel obligated to take their ladies out to chick flicks from time to time, you could do much worse.

Brooklyn's Finest

Even though this type of film is right up my alley, I just couldn't fully get into Brooklyn's Finest. The story is plodding. I am one who likes when a film spends extra time in the development of the characters, but this film instead uses that extra time to retread the same the same info about the characters over and over again never really developing them.

Brooklyn's Finest plays out like a modern day tragedy and for that I really appreciate it. Hollywood rarely has the stones to forgo the Hollywood ending. The problem is the film never lives up to it's potential. It tries too hard to be more than it is and the result is a bunch of meaningless filler. On a high note, Richard Gere gives one his most interesting performances in years, and it was refreshing to see Wesley Snipes make a return to the screen in a very non-Snipes type of role.

The film isn't bad. It just isn't good. If you are a die hard for these types of dramas, you might consider seeing it.

Independence Day

Proposterous! Everything about this film is ridiculous and ubelievable. From Will Smith's fearlessness-to-the-point-of stupidity, to Mac laptops being able to network with advanced alien technology, to the President of the United States personally flying a jet fighter to save the day. This film lives and dies on it's special effects which today aren't all that impressive.

The Crazies
The Crazies(2010)

While the film falls short of greatness, it sure skirts the edges pretty closely. It's been a long time since I've seen a mainstream Hollywood film make such a serious attempt at a horror movie of quality. The film has a few flaws typical of the genre (ie characters stupidly exploring off alone) in order to add more scary moments, but it's more than made up for with a good story, solid production values, and strong a acting performances (something rarely seen in this genre).

More than just a scary movie, The Crazies makes an attempt at telling a true horror story by telling the story of the bigger picture (rather than the experiences of the characters); what's going on and how the world at large? As a huge fan of The Thing, I especially appreciated the moments of suspicion where you didn't know who to trust. Where they infected?

The crazies in the film are not zombies in the traditional sense (ie undead) but that doesn't make this film any less a zombie movie. It's definitely not the best horror movie I've ever seen, but it just might be the best zombie movie.

The Book of Eli

Best post-apocalyptic film since The Road Warrior and the best film about faith since Signs. Atheists will likely hate it for it's themes of serving God. Those without bias should find this a unique and fascinating tale that feels ripped out of the Old Testament and crossed with a Sergio Leone western. The Book of Eli is about belief in a world without hope set in one of the most grim depictions of a post nuclear holocaust yet seen. Denzel Washington is pitch perfect as Eli. Gary Oldman reminds us that he's still the master of playing bad guys. And the Hughes Brothers show us they are a directing duo to keep an eye on. Eli is beautifully shot and the story is powerfully told. Were it not for the horrible casting of Mila Kunis and some pacing issues, I would have given this film 5-stars.

The Blind Side

I got more choked up listening to the NFL Network broadcasters telling this guys story during the NFL Draft than I did in this film. That in itself spells out a problem. The film itself is not bad, it just doesn't try to be good. It plays it safe in every way, and it only shows us a continual waterfall of good fortune that happens to this character without ever scratching beyond the surface of all the conflict and hard times that must have come along to join Michael Oher's on his wonderful ride.

Avatar
Avatar(2009)

Avatar is at it's core a very simple film. While some mistakenly criticize the film for it's lack of a complex plot-line or it's derivative ideas, they miss the greatness of this film which is the execution. James Cameron is a master film maker. Like Star Wars before it, Avatar is not original, but like that ground breaking film the execution was so strong that it didn't matter. Avatar may not be as groundbreaking, but it is a revolutionary film that will have lasting effects on the film industry. But the real reason you should see it is because it's an amazing film. And don't believe all the anti-hype about the overbearing green/political messages. It's a sci-fi film about one advanced race taking advantage over another primative race who happen to be biologically attuned to the ecosystem. It aint no Al Gore slideshow.

Invictus
Invictus(2009)

Clint Eastwood continues to knock em out of the park. Does this guy know how to make anything less than Academy Award worthy films? Morgan Freeman is at his best here, and consider that the last two times Eastwood directed Freeman, the films were Best Picture and Best Director winners.

Grindhouse
Grindhouse(2007)

Grindhouse is one of the "funnest" movie going "experiences" I've had in ages. Leave the stick-up-your-ass at home when going to see this double feature. This is a film for people who want nothing more than simple enjoyment and aren't too discerning about other cinematic qualities. However, that's not to say that Grindhouse is Hollywood crap either (far from it). It's just as likely to appeal to astute film buffs as well. If you're not a fan of the genre, come with an open mind. You might just be surprised at what you've been missing.

Jet Li's Fearless (Huo Yuan Jia) (Legend of a Fighter)

Jet Li's Fearless is one of the best martial arts films ever made and one of the few to deal with the true spirit of martial arts. While the fight scenes are expectedly dazzling, the film as a whole is unexpectedly marvelous soring way beyond the action.

300
300(2007)

'300' is an action epic unlike you have ever seen. It's wildly bold and creative with it's breathtaking visuals, and it's innovative and original with it's action. The story is over-the-top in a way a good tall-tale should be. It's tense, exciting, and inspiring. What's also great is that it's a macho story that women can and do love. No ridiculous testosterone buffoonery here. Bloody, gory, and violent, and also glorious, beautiful, and majestic! '300' is a visual masterpiece and a stunningly imaginative example of what films can be. It is utterly amazing.

World Trade Center

This film is no more about the World Trade Center than Titanic is about famous luxury liner. It's really the story of two New York City Port Authority Police Officers who get trapped in the rubble of the collapsed buildings and their families who deal with not knowing if they are alive or not. The film is very emotionally charged but seems to care less about anyone else who suffered in the tragedy, as if these two and there families were the only ones who mattered.

Reign Over Me

Reign Over Me feels like Good Will Hunting only without the superb writing and masterful directing. Don Cheadle is great as always and Adam Sandler does well enough, but the story doesn't seem to know what it wants to be about. It's your typical, "Character A helps Character B who in turn ends up really helping Character A" storyline except it never really delves into the problems Character A had to overcome. It's not a bad film, but it has a strong, "been there, done that" feel, and the film itself is not strong enough to overcome it's unoriginality.

Shooter
Shooter(2007)

Shooter is like a poor man's Bourne Identity, and that's probably being too harsh. Under most other directors this film would have probably been garbage, but Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) manages to shape the film into a rather solid action flick. Mark Wahlberg delivers a satisfying performance that carries the film. Many parts of the film are cliche and the villians are overly cartoony, but overall Shooter has more going for it than it does against it.

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Spike Lee takes his time and shows us everything we need to see, even though we may not have wanted to see it, about the devastation left behind by hurricane Katrina, the complete incompetence of the government to help, and the unbelievably shocking observation that the government continues to turn it's back on it's own citizens.

Hacking Democracy

A film that should have us rioting in the streets!

America: Freedom to Fascism

This just might be the most important documentary ever for Americans, but the ideas, lessons, and warnings that can be gleaned from this film make it worthwhile to any society. What's sad is how many people would rather live with their head in the sand than open their eyes and at least take a look at the possibilities this film puts forth. Most people don't understand truly what fascism really is (it's not simply evil Jew killing Nazis). This film does wonders to show the insidious yet subtle nature of how it takes hold. Don't think America could become like fascist Germany? Think agian. Don't just see this film. Share it.

Children of Men

The interesting premise gets you into the seats but it's the amazing directing and unbelievable camera work that keeps you gripped. Children of Men may be a sci-fi film at heart but it's one of the most realistic films I've ever seen. It never relies on Hollywood cliches. Every shot feels like you're watching something that's really happening. Add on fine performances by all around and you get a truly unforgettable film.

Smokin' Aces
Smokin' Aces(2007)

Stylistic eye candy that is fun to watch. Unfortunately the third act of this film takes a sudden, unexpected, and most problamatic, an unwarranted and nonsensical turn. It's worth seeing but you'll come away not able to help but thinking how it could have been so much more.

Nausicań of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika)

Hayao Miyazaki doesn't make anything less than great films. This one is no exception.

North Country

Charlize Theron gives another great performance but the film feels completely unoriginal. I know it's a true story but what's the point of telling it if it's like so many other true stories already told? Even still, I might have been tempted to give this film a better than average rating if it weren't for that completely unnecessary, tacked on, sappy Hollywood ending. Blech.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Gotta give it props for it's creative casting of Sean Williams Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Willy Nelson, and Burt Renolds. Unfortunately this film seems more related to Knoxville's Jackass and is devoid of any of the charm of the original TV series. Did I mention the story is stupid?

Robots
Robots(2005)

It's no Pixar film but Robots succeeds with solid animation and better than average storytelling. It's not great but it's certainly better than the norm.

Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa(2006)

Easily the best Rocky film since the best-picture-winning original. Like that film and unlike the lesser Rocky films, the best parts of the film take place outside the ring where Stallone gives one of the best performances of his career.

Invincible
Invincible(2006)

This film is remarkably similar to Rocky, but Invicible is a true story. This film also shares similarities with fellow true stories Seabiscuit and Cinderella Man. This film is better than all three.

Breach
Breach(2007)

Breach is an interesting drama about one of the worst traitors in American history and the undercover assistant that helped put him away. Ryan Philipe and Chris Cooper carry the film. Unfortunately the absence of motivation in the traitor as well as a failure to show how he was finally caught keeps this film from being anything above average.

The Good Shepherd

This film is being hailed as "the Godfather of spy films" and for good reason. The two films share similar themes as well as a similar quality of film making.

Pan's Labyrinth

A fantastic dark fantasy fairy tale for adults. In a world where movies are almost always retreads of what we've seen before, Pan's Labrynth is one of the most original movies in years. It's also a stunning masterpiece.

Clerks II
Clerks II(2006)

Starts off slow without any apparent direction but eventually gets rolling with all the fun and laughs you'd expect from a Kevin Smith flick as well as a bunch of heart that you wouldn't expect.

Casino Royale

This is James Bond at his very best. Where I once thought this franchise was doomed and dying a slow death, I now see it as better than ever. Daniel Craig brings a credibility to Bond never seen before. The writing and acting performances are better than any of the previous films. I liked previous James Bonds. I love this one.

DÚjÓ Vu
DÚjÓ Vu(2006)

Deja Vu is one of the best mysteries I've seen in a long time. It's nice to see a film of this sort tie everything together without leaving any glaring plot holes. In an era where crime scene investigation shows dominate the airwaves, this film more than deserves a look. It's like an CSI on steroids with a dash of sci-fi to spice things up.

The Guardian
The Guardian(2006)

The Guardian may follow the Top Gun formula, but it does it well. It's far from perfect, but the subject matter and the film overall is entertaining. And that's all we should expect from popcorn films such as this. It may be cliche and contrived, but it never blatantly tries to insult your intelligence. The Coast Guard like firefighters are true heroes, and like firefighters, they have far two few movies made about them. It may be inept in parts, but the film really does try to do justice to it's subject.

The Prestige
The Prestige(2006)

The Prestige is easily one of the best films of the year. I'll be shocked if it doesn't at least get a nomination for the Best Screenplay Oscar. Like Memento it is a complex and tightly woven story that can't be completely digested in one viewing, though it certainly can be enjoyed. I caution viewers not to go into this film constantly looking to figure out the big twist. That is not the point of this film. Instead focus on the tragic story of these two characters of how they come together and ultimately come apart. The twists and turns will come, but they are all just part of the act.

Constantine
Constantine(2005)

Constantine isn't deep and memorable, but it maintains a certain level of quality to keep it from being complete trash. It's what I like to call a "fast food movie." Like fast food, it offers no nutritional value, but it's tasty and satisfies your cravings for the moment even if only to be completely forgotten later on. It's the kind of monster movie I'd like to see more iterations of.

Gridiron Gang

Gridiron Gang may seem like a football film on the surface, but it really succeeds as a tough-love teacher film in the vein of other films like 'Lean on Me' and 'Stand and Deliver'. The film is as moving as it is inspirational, and The Rock's performance gives me profound respect for the real coach Sean Porter.

Flags of Our Fathers

Clint Eastwood shows again why he's one of the greatest filmmakers in cinema. Flags of our Fathers' less obvious themes are very similar his past work while the film itself is completely different. The lack of a plot driven story and it's unflinching look the ugly side of America should make you consider before seeing this film. Beyond the subjective entertainment level this film will bring to various people, Flags of our Fathers stands as a great American film that deserves to be applauded. Bravo, Clint! Bravo.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

The Departed is easily the best crime drama since Heat. It's everything Miami Vice should have been. Martin Scorsese was born to make films like this, and this film is easily his best film since Goodfellas which coincidentally or not so coincidentally share common themes. In this film he masterfully weaves a complicated web of intrigue and deception. It may not be perfect, but damn is this one hell of a good film!

Red Eye
Red Eye(2005)

A good cast cannot save this hopelessly flawed premise. The core of the plot is strong, but the execution ridiculous. If you don't mind the moronic, far fetched writing found in most network TV thrillers, you may find something to enjoy here.

Bad Boys
Bad Boys(1995)

Back when Michael Bay showed so much promise as a director.

Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs)

Infernal Affairs is very good as a suspense thriller and pretty good as a crime drama. The story is strong, original, and creative. Like most good foreign films, it avoids the cheap Hollywood cliche, which is a welcome relief to this filmgoer. If you like crime dramas, this film should be high on your list of what to see next.

Hawk the Slayer

This movie is so bad that it somehow winds up being entertaining. You won't believe they got Jack Palance to star in this film. If you ever sat down and played a game of Dungeons & Dragons, you simply must see this film.

The Ice Pirates

This is one of those films that you watch precisely because it's bad.

Fantastic Four

I avoided this film in theatres because I knew it was going to be awful. I saw it on cable for free out of curiosity and it's even worse than I imagined. I honestly can't think of anything redeeming about this film. The script was so bad it seems as if the filmmakers were trying to mock fans of the comic. The entire film is a joke, and it aint funny.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

While it may not be the masterpiece in filmmaking that the Empire Strikes Back was, I prefer this film because of it's ending. Empire was really nothing more than an interlude in the sage, while Jedi remains the culmination of one of the greatest fantasy sagas of all time.

Two for the Money

I wanted to like this movie so badly. Ufortunately it's just too rediculously contrived. Only the onscreen charisma of Pacino and McConaughey keep this film watchable.

War of the Worlds

Parts of this film show you why Spielberg is the master of his craft. But the unnecessary plotline that gives Tom Cruise a character to play, not to mention one of the worst endings I've seen in a long time, take away from any greatness this film could have acheived.

Superman Returns

While the first two original Superman films were not perfect representations of hte comic, Superman Returns manages to capture and bring back all the magic that they had and more.

Mission: Impossible III

A darker, grittier Mission: Impossible does not make a better Mission: Impossible.

Eight Below
Eight Below(2006)

Disney's winning formula overrides the damage by Paul Walker. A must for dog lovers.

The Last Samurai

A beautiful epic about the end of the era of samurai in Japan that uses the same successful technique Shogun did; to tell the story through the eyes of a westerner. Tom Cruise was the worst part of this film, and he was pretty good.

Warriors of Heaven and Earth (Tian di ying xiong)

Those looking for the high flying antics of films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon may be disapointed. Warriors of Heaven and Earth is an epic film about duty vs honor filmed in a very realistic style. While it contains action, it's more of a drama about the relationship of the characters involved. Hopefully this won't disuade you from seeing this film, as it's very good in it's own right.

Blackjack
Blackjack(1998)

Everyone who knows about John Woo knows his American films are not of the calibre of his Hong Kong work, but his made for TV work is just abysmal.

City Hall
City Hall(1996)

Snore. Fails to hold your attention.

Breakin'
Breakin'(1984)

Love the new poster that makes the film look like it would resonate with today's youth. I won't.

Impostor
Impostor(2002)

If you are into Philip K. Dick adaptations such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, you should probably see this. Just don't get your hopes up for a great movie.

Breakin' 2 - Electric Boogaloo

Love the new poster for this film making it look hip and up to date.

No Holds Barred

You won't believe your eyes that this movie actually got made.

Boa vs. Python

Makes other movies I've rated one-star seem like masterpieces in comparison.

The Hunted
The Hunted(1994)

This is by no means a good movie, but it's not horrible either. It's one of my guilty pleasures that I love for it's outstanding japanese swordfighting sequences that make The Highlander look dull and ameteur in comparison.

Kingdom of Heaven

In it's Director's Cut form, this film is a masterpiece. The theatrical release is chopped up (about an hour shorter) and features none of the backstory that makes the characters relevant. This rating is for the version Ridley Scott intended for you to see.

Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo sumaseba) (If You Listen Closely)

If this film feels like the work of master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro), it shouldn't surprise you that he wrote the screenplay, did the storboards for, and produced the film under Studio Ghibli (which does all his films). Director Yoshifumi Kondo is obviously a student of the master. While Whisper of the Heart is not quite the the level of a Miyazaki masterpiece, it is nonetheless an excellent film far better than most anything made in the U.S.

Revenge
Revenge(1990)

Tony Scott's direction makes this film as good as it is.

The Big One
The Big One(1998)

A straightforward and humorous commentary that challenges the corporate establishment and the B.S. that surrounds it. Unlike his later political agenda spewing deceptions under the guise of documentaries such as Bowling For Columbine and Farenheit 9/11, Moore doesn't use his talent behind a camera to paint a completely one sided picture.

The Hidden
The Hidden(1987)

This sci-fi thriller was decent for the time. It's most noted for having one of the best car chases ever put on film.

Showdown in Little Tokyo

Brandon Lee to Dolph Lundgren: "I just wanted to tell you. You've got the biggest dick I've ever seen on a man." That one line of dialogue from the film says more than I ever could about this piece of trash.

Blind Fury
Blind Fury(1990)

Cheap Hollywood immitation of Zatoichi.

The Seventh Sign

A pretty compelling film about the Book of Revelations from the Holy Bible, that unfortunately, like just about every Hollywood film of this type, is completely ignorant of the source material.

The Crying Game

This film has got to be one of the most overrated films of all time. This film was made back in the days before M. Night Shyamalan when adding a big shocking twist to an otherwise mediocre film (a la The Usual Suspects) granted a status of greatness. The Crying Game does nothing more than deceive the audience into thinking it's a film about one thing until near the end when it reveals it's shocking surprise that it's really about something else entirely. Instead of being a cool and daring film about the IRA and it's practices, instead it's a disturbing and distasteful film about a straight man questioning his sexuality. Pulling the rug out from under the audience is not masterful filmmaking. It's a cheap trick that no right minded filmmaker would do. It's for this reason that The Crying Game isn't original. It simply dared to be stupid.

Confidence
Confidence(2003)

This little independent film went almost unnoticed the year it came out. I'm glad I caught it because it's one of the best films that year. If you like con films like The Sting or Ocean's Eleven, you need to give this flim your attention.

Robin Hood
Robin Hood(1991)

With all the hoopla and star power surrounding Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (not to mention wildly out of place Bryan Adams song), this much more creative (and less Hollywood-ized) film went unnoticed which is a shame because this was the better film.

A Better Tomorrow

The most successful Hong Kong film ever at the time of it's release, A Better Tomorrow can be credited as the film that launched a new genre of film known as Hong Kong Action Cinema. It of course was written and directed by none other than John Woo.

The Killer
The Killer(1989)

John Woo's genre changing masterpiece that solidified him as one of the most influental filmmakers of all time.

Near Dark
Near Dark(1987)

While this film hasn't aged well, it'll still always be cooler and edgier than the much overrated, and very Hollywood-ized Lost Boys.

Iron Monkey
Iron Monkey(2001)

One of the best pure kung-fu movies you're likely to see.

The Corruptor

Of all the wannabe Hong Kong action films that came out in the 90's, this one is probably the best as well as most underrated. Perhaps it's because it's one of the only immitators that understands there was much more to Hong Kong cinema than stylistic gunplay that made it so provocative.

At First Sight

Formulaic and manipulative.

Navy Seals
Navy Seals(1990)

This movie is so ridiculous that it can actually be fun to watch.

They Live
They Live(1988)

Nobody does camp style, sci-fi/action, B-movies like John Carpenter. It's a shame so few appreciate them. This one is one of his best.

Freejack
Freejack(1992)

If this movie had better production values and a more skillful director, we'd likely be hailing this as a sci-fi classic.

In the Mouth of Madness

H.P. Lovecraft would be proud. Why can't they make more horror movies like this?

The Abyss

NOTE: RATING IS FOR UNCUT VERSION. When this film was released in theatres, it had about 35 minutes of essential footage cut from it. For some reason, studios think long movies can't be successful. Even with the footage restored it's still shorter than the highest grossing film of all time. More to the point, The Abyss is a mess in it's theatrical cut. The story is confusing and doesn't make sense in parts. However, with the footage restored the film is a masterpiece.

Disclosure
Disclosure(1994)

This by the numbers adaptation of one of Michael Crichton's best novels captures the events of the book, but none of the soul. Skip the movie. Read the book.

Manhunter
Manhunter(1986)

Based on the first book in the Hannibal Lector series, Red Dragon, some claim it's the best of all the films. It certainly has my vote.

Death Race 2000

This movie is entertaining, and not without some social commentary and political satire. That doesnt' change the fact that overall this is a bad film with a cult following.

Maximum Risk
Maximum Risk(1996)

Director Ringo Lam would be a bigger name if all the credit for Hong Kong action cinema wasn't heaped on John Woo. In Maximum Risk he uses his talents to elevate this film to be much better than it would have been, and arguably better than John Woo's attempt at a Van Damme movie.

After the Sunset

Cool idea. Cool actors. Bad director. All of this nets you a movie that's not very good.

Virus
Virus(1999)

If only this film had stuck to the comic book (which was only a 4-issue mini-series) it might have been the next 'The Thing.' Instead it ditches the intelligent writing of the comic book for your typical Hollywood idiocy. On top of that, it's a poorly made movie.

Red Sonja
Red Sonja(1985)

So bad, you just gotta see it.

Duel
Duel(1972)

Wow this film is creepy. A stunning example of how directing can affect a film. An amazing achievement for something made for TV. Very few Hollywood films which have the advantage of an 'R' rating and big budget effects have even come close to the nerve wracking terror of this film.

A Civil Action

You're run of the mill legal thriller. Not great, but not bad.

On Deadly Ground

Just when you thought Seagal films couldn't get worse, he takes the director's chair.

Weekend at Bernie's II

Bernie's corpse wasn't as rotten as this movie, and that's part of the problem.

American Ninja

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a cheap watered down beer that appeals to those with no taste or desire to spend money on something good. American Ninja is a movie that can only appeal to watchers of a similar mind set.

For Love of the Game

Sam Raimi successfully melds a compelling baseball story with a love story that isn't only appealing to women in this highly underrated film.

Over the Top
Over the Top(1987)

Apply the 'Rocky' formula to arm-wrestling and then make it into a piss poor film. Over the Top is what you get.

Wing Commander

Wing Commander III and IV (video games) pioneered the use of full motion video cut scenes using real Hollywood actors such as Mark Hammill, Malcom McDowell, and John Rhys Davies to give the player a truly authentic cinematic experience. It was only natural then that the game would translate perfectly onto the silver screen. Unfortunately, bad writing, horrible casting, and shoddy production values ruined any chance of that.

The Glimmer Man

This film is bad even by Steven Seagal standards.

The Replacement Killers

The Replacement Killers capitalizes on the popularity of Hong Kong action movies during the time. It in itself isn't a very good movie, but it definately has a lot of visual style. It also features Chow Yun Fat. Unfortunately, these are only surface elements to the biggest influence on filmmaking since George Lucas.

Species II
Species II(1998)

Species II opens with a menage a trois between two sisters and a celebrated American astronaut. It never gets any more intelligent or tasteful beyond that point. If you want tasteless sex scenes, go watch a porno. If you want a good sci-fi thriller, go watch Aliens. If you'd just rather watch crap, don't flush your toilet.

Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg

This is bad even by Jean-Claude Van Damme standards.

The Rainmaker

When compared to all the many other John Grisham legal thriller adaptations, you can easily see why Francis Ford Coppola is on another level than any of those other directors.

Mystery, Alaska

Formulaic but with an original spin. Mystery, Alaska has enough charm to keep you entertained the first time you see it.

The Devil's Own

Typical old-school Hollywood thinking: Take two of the biggest stars at the time and throw them into any movie you can; don't worry about the quality of the screenplay or the director as the star-power is sufficient enough.

Eddie Murphy Raw

Vintage Eddie Murphy stand-up.

Robin Williams: Live on Broadway

Robin Williams back to being his vintage self.

Virtuosity
Virtuosity(1995)

It's hard to believe that Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe would collaberate to make such a crapfest.

The Color of Money

This has got to be Martin Scorcese's most tragically overlooked film.

History of the World---Part I

I found this movie hilarious when I was a kid, but age reveals that really are more jeuvenile than clever.

Newsies
Newsies(1992)

If ever there was a movie you had to drag me to see, this was it. It just goes to show you can't always be certain about a film until you see it.

The Matrix Revisited

In today's world of 2-disc deluxe edition DVD's, one would expect to see this included with The Matrix DVD (both the sequels are 2-disc editions). Had it been, it would certainly be considered as one of the best behind the scenes special features. As a stand alone DVD, however, it's impossible to justify this to anyone but the most hardcore of Matrix fans.

Miracle
Miracle(2004)

Even though this film fails to relay the impact and the magnatude of the event it's about, it's still a well made film that features one of the best performances by Kurt Russel in his career. If you are at all interested in the history this film is based on, you must see the fantastic documentary 'Do You Believe In Miracles?'

Cobra
Cobra(1986)

This film is actually watchable because it's so outrageously bad.

Kalifornia
Kalifornia(1993)

This movie features one of the breakthrough performances that forced people to recognize he had some serious acting chops. This is the movie Natural Born Killers wishes it was.

Supergirl
Supergirl(1984)

It's hard to believe that Catwoman wasn't an original bad idea, but here we see that moronic minds think alike.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Absolutely fantastic! Luc Besson's masterpiece stunningly shows the titular character as both possibly divinely inspired and/or completely insane without taking sides and trying to convince the audience that she was either one.

Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon)

Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris. Unfortunately there really isn't much more to see.

Strictly Ballroom

Hollywood could take a lesson from this film as an example of how to do a romance film right.

Clerks
Clerks(2001)

It's too bad this show didn't get picked up by someone like HBO, where it could have been given the treatment it deserved. Unfortunately the Clerks series was castrated in the attempt to sanitize it for network TV.

Executive Decision

The best thing about this movie is getting to see Steven Seagal die. Otherwise, it's pretty much your average action/thriller of the time.

Fallen
Fallen(1997)

A good, original mystery that suffers from mediocre directing and it's inability to hold up under repeated viewings. This film works when you don't know what's going to happen next so it makes for a good rental.

Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 2

Entertaining for Star Wars fans.

Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection

I still find it odd that the real talent in this series, Alex Winter, pretty much disappeared while Keanu Reeves, despite one horrible performance after another became a superstar.

El Mariachi
El Mariachi(1993)

Not really a good movie, but it's astounding when you consider it was made for only $7,000.00.

Highlander III: The Sorcerer (Highlander: The Final Dimension)

Everytime they make a sequel to the cult classic original Highlander, it seems as if the new filmmakers either have no idea about or completely ignore what's gone on before. It's a horrible way to make a sequel, so it should be no surprise Highlander: The Final Dimension is a horrible movie.

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Bizarre, corny, and just plain silly, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course is an interesting experiment in mixing the popular Discovery Channel nature show with a fictionalized story. It's certainly not a great movie, but it can be enjoyable and worth a few laughs.

The Insider
The Insider(1999)

Simply put: one of the best pure dramas in ages. Al Pacino and Russel Crowe give brilliant performances. Why this film didn't get Best Picture over American Beauty, I'll never know.

Get Carter
Get Carter(2000)

This film shoulda been so much better, but it makes the mistake of relying soley on the star power of Stallone instead of putting talent behind the scenes.

Born on the Fourth of July

This powerful film shows without a doubt that Tom Cruise is a great actor. It's also another showcase of Oliver Stones talent as a filmmaker. It only suffers from being too depressing to be enjoyable.

My Neighbor Totoro

Hayao Miyazaki is best known for his Acadamy Award winning film Spirited Away, but it was this film that put him on the map (Totoro became the symbol of his studio). Unfortunately, this film was marketed as a children's film in the west where anything animated is dismissed, and the audience that should have seen this, didn't. On any given year, Hollywood churns out over 200 films. It would be lucky to get one that was as good as My Neighbor Totoro.

Unfaithful
Unfaithful(2002)

This would rate higher were it not for the cheap, ambiguous ending the director decided to go for.

M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H(1970)

An all time comedy classic!

The Lawnmower Man

A very interesting and creative film.

Out of Time
Out of Time(2003)

This film shoulda been called Out of Ideas. Denzel's performance makes this film seem better than it is.

Rules of Engagement

This movie is great entertainment right up to the completely uncreative, anti-climactic ending. Still, if you like films like A Few Good Men, this one's well worth checking out.

Existenz
Existenz(1999)

I can only wonder how cool this movie coulda been with good production values.

Gigli
Gigli(2003)

Not nearly as bad as it's popular to claim, but it's still not very good either.

Johnny Mnemonic

Highly underrated film. Sure it suffers from poor production values and weak directing. The real value here is in the screenplay which was based on the famous short story by William Gibson. Here, Gibson himself writes the screenplay and adds much needed detail to his story. It's one of the few movies you can say is actually better than the book (storywise at least).

The Legend of Drunken Master (Jui kuen II) (Drunken Fist II)

This film features hands down, one of the best fight scenes ever put on film.

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

You could remove the crew of the Enterprise from this movie and it'd still be the same film. This was really just a liberal "save the whales" film disguised in Star Trek clothing.

Licence To Kill

By far, the worst James Bond movie of them all.

Torque
Torque(2004)

Proposterous garbage!

So I Married an Axe Murderer

This film sadly doesn't get the attention it deserves because it wasn't about high profile characters like Wayne's World and Austin Powers, but it easily not only stands its ground with those films but surpasses them for the most part.

The Thing
The Thing(1982)

This is quite possibly the best horror film ever made.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

This isn't just the best Star Trek movie, it's one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. It's a shame that none of the other films in the series would even come close.

The Crow: City of Angels

Hollywood loves a successful idea because then they feel like they don't even have to try with the sequel.

Get Shorty
Get Shorty(1995)

Clever, off-humor comedy, with an all-star cast.

The Last Boy Scout

Director Tony Scott gives credibility to a film that probably would have been a mess in the hands of anyone else.

First Blood
First Blood(1982)

It's amazing how many rip offs this film has had. That's gotta say something for the original.

The Next Karate Kid

This was the last dying spasm of the series before the studios thankfully gave up milking it. It is interesting seeing Hilary Swank at the beginning of her career as she's become easily one of the best actresses in Hollywood.

Star Trek: Insurrection

Probably the best of the Next Gen movies as it doesn't try to win it's audience with gimmicks (ie Capt. Kirk, The Borg, Romulans). Instead it focuses on it's own original story, and while it still doesn't succeed in being cinematic genius, it is good entertainment for people who like the series.

Runaway Jury
Runaway Jury(2003)

Entertaining excuse to eat some popcorn!

Castle in the Sky

Magical! Brilliant! If you can, try to find the original dubbing (unless you prefer watching in Japanese) as the new Disney dubbing is just wrong.

The Quick and the Dead

One of the most stylish and unique westerns you'll ever see. A must see for Sam Raimi fans.

Rock Star
Rock Star(2001)

Surprisingly good. The really impressive thing about this film is the music which not only had to be created for the film, but it had to be believable to the audience that this would have been successful on the radio in the 1980's.

Clear and Present Danger

One of my most hated films of all time. I've never witnessed a worse adaptation of book to film in my life. Everything smart and intelligent about the book was instead completely changed for no apparent reason to be nonsensical and dumb. If only I had enough room here to list all the failures of this film. Fortunately for Hollywood, moronic, dumb thrillers work all the time or Steven Seagal wouldn't have had a career. I hate this film.

Shaolin Soccer

Bizarre, silly, and just plain fun!

Dune
Dune(1984)

This is one of the rare cases where if you haven't read the book, you probably won't like the movie as much. David Lynch brought to life the book Dune perfectly. He just didn't have time to properly tell the story. There is an extended cut of the film now available on DVD that really makes the movie more comprehendable.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

A picture perfect example of how the more studios get involved, the crappier films get made. This same studio did the same disastrous treatment of Batman. Stick with the first two Superman films, then watch Superman Returns. Forget this film ever existed.

RoboCop 3
RoboCop 3(1993)

What were they thinking taking a series like Robocop and going PG-13? It NEVER works. It ruined Mad Max. It ruined Conan. On top of that you replace the star with a new actor. Then you operate on a flimsy budget. All of this meant Robocop 3 was doomed from the start. But there is something good to be found here. If you can see through everything else that is horrible about this film, Frank Miller (Sin City) wrote what could have been (if executed properly) the best script of the series.

Ronin
Ronin(1998)

A sophisticated espionage film that is more appreciated upon multiple viewings.

Rumble in the Bronx

Not a good movie, but a terrific display of Jackie Chan will keep you entertained.

Bad Company
Bad Company(2002)

Joel Schumacher showed talent once. Now he just makes bad movies.

Star Trek - Nemesis

After all these years of Star Trek, finally a story with the Romulans, and they drop the ball completely. The cherry on top is that they kill of arguably the best character on the show for no apparent reason. And everyone involved is sitting around scratching their heads wondering why it didn't succeed. Don't ya just love Hollywood?

Under Siege
Under Siege(1992)

Robo-Seagal once again uses his very unexciting Aikido skills to dispense with the bad guys with extreme efficiency. Only this time, it happens on a Battleship. Yawn.

Sideways
Sideways(2004)

Good movie, but Best Picture material?

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

It's a shame this film didn't get more attention. Perhaps kung fu fans were disappointed that this was a dramatic biopic, and perhaps fans of this type of film shrugged it off as a silly kung fu flick. Dragon is easily the best biography of the late Bruce Lee ever put on film, and it shows that his life was just as interesting as he was skilled in the martial arts. This film if very well done and extremely underrated.

U.S. Marshals

A decent sequel to The Fugative.

John Q
John Q(2002)

Denzel Washington was way too good for this otherwise average drama.

The X-Files - Fight the Future

A perfect example of how to take a popular TV show and turn it into a movie (something Hollywood isn't very good at), and do it well. You'll get the most out of this film if you've followed the series up through season 5, however the creators were smart enough to make this film stand on it's own for people who didn't follow the series. A very solid government conspiracy/sci-fi thriller.

Rambo: First Blood Part II

Films have really evolved. At one time, this was the king of action movies. Now we look back and wonder, "what were we thinking?"

The Jackal
The Jackal(1997)

Looking for an action thriller? This is one you can have a one night stand with. Enjoy it for a short time and forget about it entirely in the morning.

Frequency
Frequency(2000)

Sappy and very manipulative of your emotions, it's still an interesting, even if far-fetched, thriller.

National Lampoon's Animal House

Remember when "National Lampoon's" used to mean something? This was the film that started it all.

The Thomas Crown Affair

This film was clever and fun, but coulda been better without the lame tacked on ending.

Cocktail
Cocktail(1988)

After Top Gun, every movie Tom Cruise made was compared to that film. Days of Thunder was Top Gun in a race car. This was Top Gun behind a bar.

Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm

If you like the animated series, you'll love this.

The Dark Crystal

A classic. They'll probably never make a film like this again.

Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes(1998)

Brian De Palma shows why he is the master director of this type of film (check out the opening shot of the film that's all done in ONE take! Amazing!) One glaring fault is a story like this needs a climactic ending. This one is more of an anti-climax and leaves the film feeling flat. Still very much worth seeing once.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Here's a great idea! Let's take the Mad Max series and make it PG-13! Then will throw in a group of cute kids, because that always makes a movie like this better!

Stigmata
Stigmata(1999)

Why do movies like this based on stories from the Holy Bible always seem to ignore the Bible and just go with stupid nonsense instead?

Half Baked
Half Baked(1998)

I really thought I was going to hate this movie based on it's premise. But this is easily one of the funniest movies to come out of Hollywood in a long time.

Spy Game
Spy Game(2001)

This film is probably Tony Scott's best work. Robert Redford and Brad Pitt both give excellent performances. The story is unique in that it plays as both an espionage film (played in flashbacks) and a con film in which Redford one-ups himself from The Sting by taking on the biggest mark of all; the CIA. Spy Game is an interesting look into the real world of espionage (as opposed to James Bond) and makes some strong statements about loyalty, friendship, and integrity by setting the characters in a world where they aren't supposed to have any of that.

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

This film is not really a sequel. The first Evil Dead was a serious attempt at horror that was so bad it became a cult classic for it's comedic value. Director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell knew they were on to something so they made Evil Dead 2 intentionally funny while forgetting the story of the first movie. The end result created a new genre of film; the horror/comedy.

Bloodsport
Bloodsport(1988)

Bad in just about every way except it's fight choreography. For some reason I can watch this film over and over.

Superman III
Superman III(1983)

Here's an example of what happens when studios start making creative decisions.

Star Trek: First Contact

None of the Next Gen movies would end up being bad. Unfortunately none would prove to be exceptionally good.

Insomnia
Insomnia(2002)

Christopher Nolan shows his talent for directing psychological thrillers was not a fluke with Memento.

Kiss of the Dragon

Watch this purely for the action.

Kicking & Screaming

I woulda paid to see Mike Ditka without Will Ferrell. This film so forces the idea about winning not being important that it feels like a public service announcement. I wanted to gag.

John Carpenter's Escape from L.A.

Ok this film is bad. I admit it. But it's got John Carpenter's charm and sense of humor that you find in his other "cheese" films like Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China.

Point Break
Point Break(1991)

An action drama that has stood the test of time while never really earning it's due.

Cellular
Cellular(2004)

This one was actually painful to watch.

Biker Boyz
Biker Boyz(2003)

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Outbreak
Outbreak(1995)

Before Wolfgang Petersen completely lost it as a director.

The Negotiator

Above average dramatic thriller with an interesting premise and has a decent pay-off.

Radio
Radio(2003)

Formulaic and manipulative.

Gattaca
Gattaca(1997)

One of those widely overlooked gems. This film succeeds as a powerful drama, an intellectual sci-fi, and a thoughtful social commentary. You needn't be a fan of all three to enjoy this filmas it works on many levels.

Robocop 2
Robocop 2(1990)

Not a bad sequel.

Universal Soldier

It's got it's moments. One does expect much from a Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren picture, but this one isn't as bad as it could have been.

The Replacements

One thing this film has going for it is an original premise. The rest is Hollywood formula you've seen before, but it's still ok.

The Sentinel
The Sentinel(2006)

Starts off as a very interesting thriller, but falls apart in the third act.

The Recruit
The Recruit(2003)

Al Pacino keeps this very average film looking a little better than it is.

Predator 2
Predator 2(1990)

The huge glaring problem with this film is that after seeing super commando Arnold Schwarzenegger barely come out alive against a Predator, it's hard for audiences to buy Danny "I'm getting to old for this shit" Glover as a worthy protagonist.

The Core
The Core(2003)

An example of Hollywood sci-fi at it's most idiotic. The Core is a remake of Deep Core which came out only four years prior and is nearly identical to that atrocity. The Core one ups it's predecessor by somehow managing to find a stellar cast and throwing heaps of money into special effects. But in the end, no matter how pretty you dress a skunk up, it still stinks.

Stargate
Stargate(1994)

Such an interesting premise (witness the long running spin-off TV show) that was never really given a chance in this film. The filmmakers once promised a trilogy, but then went and sold out with bigger films and bigger money and never looked back. However, when I look back, I see this as the only Roland Emmerich film that didn't totally suck.

Mad Max
Mad Max(1979)

While not the acheivement that it's sequel is, Mad Max is none the less a unique and entertaining ride.

Duplex
Duplex(2003)

Funny in parts. Annoying in others. Blah.

The One
The One(2001)

Take your average kung fu movie, add in some interesting sci-fi, and get an ok movie that is fun to watch.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

Police Squad was a great show. Naked Gun, less so.

A View to a Kill

The best of the Roger Moore Bond films.

First Knight
First Knight(1995)

I cannot say enough horrible things about this movie.