soapsan's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Alien: Covenant

Well. I went for Michael Fassbender, and in that it did not fail me.

American Honey

Star is watching life from the sidelines when we first meet her, the audience forced to be helpless as we watch her try to salvage a thawed-but still wrapped!-chicken from a dumpster; but she is not alone. Star has two children in tow, but she is not their parent, she is merely the only one willing to give them the attention she (and all humans) crave. She isn't happy in her life, that much was clear immediately, but she's making it work. There's strength that not many possess within the nearly silent Star. I actually felt myself wanting to yell "don't do it!" When she found her interest piqued by the rambunctious group of people all close to or around her age. The first time she lays eyes on the group dancing, we know she is doing something she hasn't done before but she musters that courage and she finds herself boarding a van and experiencing more in the short time following than she has ever experienced in her 18 years.

Swiss Army Man

Having been a moviegoer since I was very young (thanks, dad!) I have found it increasingly rare to watch a movie that makes me feel inspired and hopeful. Yet, I still try to watch everything that comes out each year in hopes of finding a gem that reminds me why I love movies. Swiss Army Man did just that, and more. I'm blown away by the soul you can feel within this film from its director, and that enthusiasm is matched by the investment both Radcliffe and Dano put into their characters.

Sinister
Sinister(2012)

While it easily could fall into the trap of the expected and the cliche Sinister balances on the fine line and manages to keep itself afloat. Occasionally the scares fall flat and I was oddly uninspired by a lot of the "scare" make-up but the plot holds up enough to keep the viewer interested despite it's mistakes. The ending was a let-down and easily predicted, but well executed enough to dismiss it as what they "had to do" as opposed to what they may have wanted to do. I feel as if horror always has these films that hold promise to flip the genre on it's axis but ultimately falls flat. Sinister was scary enough, and I gave it as many stars as I did because it deserved them in it's attempt to try.

Goon
Goon(2012)

This movie is 100% perfect. I have absolutely no interest in hockey, and I still don't, but this movie is perfect.

The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino teaches his audience that the only way black men and white men can finally get along is at the expense of women.

Bone Tomahawk

The reinvention of the Western is alive and well, while also craft fully honouring the tradition of the genre. The premise of Bone Tomahawk isn't something you haven't seen before and yet the cast supports the script well enough to make it feel fresh.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs(2015)

Fassbender thrives with the support of Sorkin's powerful script and his supporting cast matches his energy easily. Steve Jobs is the biopic that the late Jobs would have hoped the world would see and it presents itself knowing that. However, the film suffered at the expense of poorly executed cinematography. How could someone make a film about such a profound designer lack any sense of composition? There were a few scenes where the strength of the script was matched by the art direction but they were few and far between.

Creep
Creep(2015)
½

Although Creep isn't going to change the horror genre in any way, it does have the balls to be something different than what's automatically expected within the found-footage genre.

These Final Hours

These Final Hours is a superb look into the reality of the end of the world. The film is well shot, well acted and well written. My only complaint would be concerning the short run time. The quickened pacing makes the audience feel the urgency of the plot but the film could have greatly benefited from slowing down once or twice just so the audience could truly immerse into the world.

The Maze Runner
½

I would write my usual professional-style review but I'm still really upset that I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

Mad Max: Fury Road

In 2011 a leaked image of Tom Hardy as Mad Max took the Internet by storm and garnered the attention of myself, someone who has dearly loved the Mad Max franchise since I was a small child.

This film has been a long time coming and I am happy to report that it does not disappoint. My expectations were high going in, but I hoped only to see a return to the Road Warrior aesthetic of intense chases and senseless action. Instead, George Miller delivered a masterpiece that not only puts all other action films to shame but also weaves a plausible plot that surely made a film that is friendly to anyone who is willing to give it a chance.

I could go on, needing to discuss the success of Miller's female characters as well but that is for another time.

Pitch Perfect 2
½

The original only became something I enjoyed because it felt different despite having an exhausted premise. The second film is much of the same, relying on the same gags that made the first one feel special. This film wasn't hysterical but it had its moments, however the physical comedy was too much, relying on Rebel Wilson entirely since she is overweight and I guess it's still a thing to make fun of fat people.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

I felt like a superhero having been trusted to sit through this pile of drivel without losing my cool. I'm all for a blockbuster that's made to entertain instead of make a statement, but The Age of Ultron had many opportunities to be both and yet the Whedon-penned script always decided to choose the "easy" way out ie he wanted nothing more than to inspire cheap laughs while also hoping the audience was too dazzled by the special effects to actually pay attention.

Lost River
Lost River(2015)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of this films script back when it was more cleverly titled as "How to Catch a Monster" and although that was about two years ago I still remember it well. I was impressed by the imagery Gosling put into his writing and was pleasantly surprised to see that same vision being translated into the film with stylish cinematography and an aptitude for colour. However, Gosling tries to fit too many narratives into such a short time-span, so instead of getting one fully fleshed out tale of recession-woes the audience instead receives a watered down version of what could easily be four separate stories that intertwined.

It Follows
It Follows(2015)
½

It Follows is not a run-of-the-mill horror film while simultaneously feeling familiar. Decent cinematography and a few clever camera tricks help keep the tension built throughout. However, no amount of artistry can distract from the trite use of sexuality as horror that this film constantly banks upon. The film was clearly trying to push against the usual sexuality in horror films by making it the core of the premise but it fell short. It Follows wanted to send a message but eventually just became the very thing it was pushing back against.

Chappie
Chappie(2015)
½

Blomkamp seems desperate to hold onto the ideas that were behind the success of district 9, however, Chappie has enough heart to engross the audience into falling in love with an endearing main character that shines despite the films flaws.

The Imitation Game

Although the imitation game does house some decent performances the film still struggles to be entirely captivating. The "teamwork" dynamic of the films main characters felt trite and I'm confused by the Oscar buzz surrounding this decent but overall not "great" film.

Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler(2014)

Nightcrawler is one of those rare films that has a lot of good ideas and the inspiration is practically oozing into the characters. Yet, somehow, the film felt as if it knew its potential and decided against pursuing it fully. Gyllenhaal gives another strong performance as a high functioning sociopath that finds a career doing something that revels in his lack of morality.

Birdman
Birdman(2014)

Genius is so rarely as inventive and wonderful as it was making Birdman.

Fury
Fury(2014)
½

Fury knew what it was doing in the first half with a deep commitment toward illustrating the grit and grime of war but as the second half came about the film lost its grip and abandoned the claustrophobia of what a tank set piece can offer. Fury is a solid war film, but brought nothing new to the genre.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

Perfect in every way.

The Rover
The Rover(2014)
½

The Rover may not be perfect, but with strong performances from both Pearce and Pattinson this film is ultimately effective in delivering what it wanted. The pacing was perfect albeit for a single scene that I'm sure everyone will see as superfluous (it was a mistake to include it.) but other than that The Rover has a haunting score and with a beautiful backdrop this film is only rewarded for it's bold choice of remaining simplistic while still being engaging. The wait for this film was well worth it.

Oculus
Oculus(2014)

The premise was clever and had a more adept group of people been allowed to create this film it could have been something very special; but Oculus disappoints with poor acting and a lack of solid scare tactics.

Godzilla
Godzilla(2014)

Although I have no real nostalgic ties to the original Godzilla films I have seen them, and this newest installment felt like it was honouring and building upon it's history as opposed to trying too hard to create something new.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Surprisingly decent although I was convinced this movie was garbage since I saw the first trailer in theatres. However, this decently entertaining movie was ruined by an ending that refuted it's own lore and left the viewer with the same boring happy ending that every blockbuster seems to think they need.

Neighbors
Neighbors(2014)
½

I went into watching Neighbors (Or as everywhere else calls it, Bad Neighbours) without high expectations. I always enjoy Seth Rogen but the casting of Zac Efron and the seemingly flimsy premise kept me from feeling excited and although I didn't LOVE the film there were a surprising number of solid jokes that made me laugh aloud. This movie won't change your life and you'll forget it exists at all after a while, but it can definitely brighten your day if you're bored and appreciate a raunchier brand of comedy.

The Revisionaries
½

The Texas Board of Education is a joke and I can not possibly fathom how many of the people shown in this documentary can actually go about their daily lives thinking they have done anything other than slowly chip away at any possible good future for Texas students.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Although a lot of the filmmaking and storytelling techniques felt familiar Guardians still shined amongst a slowly diluting sea of repetitive Marvel films. The soundtrack was seemingly the strongest point but the characters also held enough depth and intrigue to make new fans appreciate a small step away from the bold choice to make a Blockbuster about heroes that most people did not grow up with.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

How much did this movie make at the box office? I am willing to raise that amount and pay Michael Bay not to make another one. Actually, fuck it, I'll double it.

Tusk
Tusk(2014)
½

Although Tusk did have decent performances and the film did inspire a chuckle or two, the second half's cameo brings the entire film down. The allure of the ridiculous is what got patrons into the seats but the films second act throws curiosity back in your face and offers no reward or memorable ending to make up for what it lost.

22 Jump Street

While the writers did have some clever fun mocking the fact that a sequel never lives up to an originals potential they couldn't bring the same chemistry that the original surprised everyone with.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

One of the turtles was wearing Oakleys...

Locke
Locke(2014)

Although Locke is powered by a truly outstanding performance via Tom Hardy, this one man show would have been better as a short.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Although far more vulgar than any of Wes Anderson's other projects, it still somehow feels right. Anderson has added another gem to his repertoire and I highly recommend this to any Anderson fan knowing that it will be loved and cherished like all the rest.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Time delayed Quaaludes. Not even once.

Open Grave
Open Grave(2014)

Although the idea of Amnesia as a plot point is trite Open Grave breathes purpose into its themes and allows the viewer to unravel the mystery at a tense pace that keeps you always guessing.

Out of the Furnace
½

While the pacing struggles amongst a mix of themes that could all hold a film of their own, Out of the Furnace benefits from a superb performance from Christian Bale as the blue collar steel mill worker being tied down by fate.

Straw Dogs
Straw Dogs(2011)
½

This movie tales itself a bit serious at times, but keeps a steady pace. It's interesting take on the "real villain" was intriguing and fresh. This film uses familiar plot twists and gimmicks but does it with a wink. It's a self-aware thriller/horror film that definitely has a little something for everybody.

Choke
Choke(2008)

Although the pacing is disastrous and the amateur fade-to-white flashback is overused Sam Rockwell plays his part as best he can an keeps interest going. Comedic timing isn't perfect throughout some of the jokes are truly memorable.

Disconnect
Disconnect(2013)
½

While some of the themes are tried and true staples of cinema, Disconnect gives us a modern take on what it means to indulge in something harmless and common, something people often fail to realize can hold very dire consequences. While the script is not perfect the cast has hoisted what could have easily been a mediocre film into something very haunting.

Mud
Mud(2013)

It isn't often that a story told through film can be both heart-warming and exciting. The youthful point-of-view in which this story is delightfully told is not held back by tropes or underestimation of a 14-year-old's mind. McConaughey shows his stripes in a perfectly casted role of a man living in squalor as he waits for his beloved and I see so many reviews for this film praising him, but I think it is Tye Sheridan that truly formed this film into a contender. Mud is an all-around beautiful film with a beautiful message told through a mixture of tragedy and hope.

Only God Forgives

A slow boil-style film that never reaches it's apex. The style alone is enough to understand the allure, and the sets are lit to a perfection that matches the cast's performances but the script lacks the pulp that would make this film memorable.

Stoker
Stoker(2013)

While the plot tiptoes across the line of absurd the imagery and somber colours of the production kept me in a flurry of awe and admiration.

Star Trek Into Darkness

There was a tribble, I was pleased. Overall this film packed a decently well-stated punch while also developing the characters beyond their appearances. While I don't entirely agree with the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan due to racial concerns, his performance was nothing short of brilliant. He was the right amount of villainous and charismatic that the viewer was drawn to trust him and in turn made the films final act a surprise for the audience members that were not familiar with the lore of Khan.

Lincoln
Lincoln(2012)
½

Ever since Gangs of New York I always thought Day-Lewis was born to play Abraham Lincoln, with Steven Spielberg behind him I don't doubt this film will help further solidify his career as one of the best actors to ever enter Hollywood.

Sleepwalk With Me

Birbiglia has always been known by the sheer fact that he is endearingly relatable, and with this newest installment to his repertoire he only furthers that idea. Sleepwalk With Me follows a man unsure of his own future, but also unable to make the decisions that are dire for his own happiness. The audience is consistently brought into his world with a warm and welcoming script. There isn't a moment in this movie that feels too forced or too far-fetched to be unable to root from some truth in Birbiglia's life. This is the ultimate comedian meets film mash-up for those of us that prefer the hilarity of discomfort and the bright side of each dark doubt.

Killing Them Softly

Inspired, intelligent and eerily calm. This feature from Andrew Dominik is a beautiful follow up from his former masterpiece (The Assassination if Jesse James). The film is less violent than the most recent ones that fall in the same genre, but each time violence is about to occur you are reminded of it's power, and of it's inherent indignity. This is not your usual gangster caper, this is a multilevel statement on the economy and what just about anyone could be willing to do when finances are tight.

Red Lights
Red Lights(2012)
½

Red Lights is effective enough to watch and remain a tad above boredom but it lacks the depth or intuition to make your mind wander to different planes. The film asks questions the entire time and gives the viewer to decide what side of belief they fall upon but in the end it erases every question it asked and hands you a predictable and boring answer. Sigourney Weaver was under-used and Cillian Murphy seemed to fall short when he was surrounded by big talent.

Kaboom
Kaboom(2011)

I feel as if Andy Warhol lived amongst the current generation he might have been one to make a film like this. However, Araki seems to stumble near the end and when everything finally makes sense I was left wishing it would just end on a worse cliffhanger than it did. Juno Temple was charming and beautiful but even she could really keep this film afloat for too long. It has style, and there's a consistent idea to it's pop vision, but it feels more like Araki has been drinking whiskey and watching too many John Waters' movies.

The Impossible

This "true story" is nothing short of a compelling drama set in amidst one of the worst disasters in recent history. Naomi Watts leads the way with her usual charm but the real connection from actor to view came from Tom Holland who plays the family's eldest son Lucas. Every moment that he is on screen is both heartbreaking and inspirational. 2012 seems to be the year that child actors are showing that they can sometimes perform better than their adult counterparts.

Friends With Benefits
½

As all reviewers have said, this film did not show us anything new or challenge the definition of a romantic comedy but the charisma of it's leads and the youthful vibrance of it's script kept this movie afloat.

Les Misérables
½

Les Miserables was not all it had the potential for, but it was still a mesmerizing ride. The beginning started out in a slump, with poor CGI ships that even most video games could top, but it is washed away by the sounds of the workmen singing. It took almost a half an hour for this film to no longer feel slightly awkward or overdone but it did accomplish this note. As far as the actors go I was impressed by the voices each well-known face had but at times I felt as if someone else could do so much better. Limited ranges lead to awkward vibratos and in the end I felt as if some of the more epic songs from this classic play became muddied and forgotten by the wayside. I sat in my seat constantly waiting for that "wow" moment to come up from the music, but I was left waiting until the very last scene where majesty and music were finally intertwined as they should have been all along.

Efter brylluppet (After the Wedding)

A beautiful look into a precarious coincidence that becomes a heartbreaking reality for everyone involved.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Although The Hobbit lacks to grace us with the same depth and conviction of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy it still brings something to the table. The Hobbit is a classic children's book and Jackson did not bother to make it anything more than just that. This light adventure in cinema magic is geared more towards the eye of children and tweens, but in turn it gives you a better sense of the naivety that Bilbo has before his adventure begins. Martin Freeman is in his element as the awkward and bookish Bilbo Baggins, and does nothing but bring charm to what could have easily been a failing script. The CGI is to die for and I am happy to see that the visual effects world has finally begun to believe in the power of overwhelming texture to bring that last ounce of life to their creations. Many reviewers have been asking how the film could have been if Guillermo Del Toro had been kept in the director's chair, but the moment I saw each character I knew that somehow he almost had. Each piece of each costume and make-up looks meticulously chosen to fit perfectly. Each Dwarf, goblin, troll, wizard, and hobbit alike have their own personalities through the style in which they were designed, and many scenes reminded me of what had been stunning about Pan's Labyrinth, the attention to detail. The slow and often clumsy pace was the true downfall of this film, and it will forever grieve me that Jackson had made the executive decision to turn one book into a trilogy. It remains to be seen if that is a terrible decision or a brave one, but the first installment did not leave my hopes high.

Killer Joe
Killer Joe(2012)

The beginning of this film feel forced and uninformed about it's own intentions, but as the plot goes on you start to see the dark mind of it's writer. Sadistic, violent, gory, and inherently sexual this film was deserving of it's NC-17 rating but don't let that deter you. Killer Joe is the perfect example of guilty pleasure cinema, the "Don't want to see but can't look away" mentality is present during most of the films arcs. McConaughey does surprisingly well as the evil behind Killer Joe in a performance that I'm sure no one expected to see in his career.

Lawless
Lawless(2012)

Each and every actor selected for this film took the initiative and held up their end to give the audience convincing and genuine performances. The cinematography is nothing short but endearing but there is something else drawing you away from it all. The true failure for this film came once it was complete. The lazy editing tends to soften what could have been very powerful scenes and I rarely say this, but this film could have benefited greatly from some post-processing. The natural sunlight tends to drown out the colours to make the palette seem too natural and unappealing to the eye.

End of Watch
End of Watch(2012)
½

End of Watch cleverly turns the now-cliche handheld style into something personable and charming. Gyllenhaal is comfortable in one of his best roles but the true surprise comes from Michael Pena. Although the general premise of "badass" cops seems trite from the outside there is an incredible amount of realism written into the script and makes you feel more like you're watching an HD episode of cops instead of two actors. You grow to love both of the main characters and by the end I felt as if I had been given an eye into a true partnership.

Pitch Perfect

While the pace can seem slightly broken the talent is phenomenal and the comedy is a one-two punch. Anna Kendrick plays her part to a T and the small details that go into each and every character really gives this film the pulse that a lot of musical-comedies tend to lack.

Into The Abyss
½

Although Herzog often comments on his feelings toward the death sentence this documentary still keeps a non-biased undertone throughout. This documentary is skillfully made, beautifully shot, and very compelling. you are drawn to every word from the first moment and it does not cease to tug at your heart strings. It was a surprise to see that the biggest voice of reason from the interviews actually came from an incarcerated father of one of the criminals considered responsible for the crime. This documentary does not shove an idea down your throat to sway you in any way and allows you to speculate toward your own views. If you go in with a strong view, however, it is very possible that after hearing these people's words that you may feel differently. This is one of those rare films that could easily touch different people in a variety of ways.

Grace
Grace(2009)

At first glance this movie holds a lot of strong and poignant themes in maternal instinct and the union between mother and child, but by the middle of the film you begin to realize that this is not deep symbolism for a mentally-ill mother trying to make something happen that is not, but rather it is just a shallow film about a monster and it's mother.

The Reef
The Reef(2010)

Maybe it isn't as riveting as Open Water but it's still got plenty of bite. The low-budget doesn't distract from the premise and the overall storyline is good despite the fact that you generally know what is going to happen.

The Imposter
The Imposter(2012)

The entire time you're made aware of some semblance of the end result but you're never concrete on exactly what is going to happen until it does. I wanted to believe that this documentary was not true, that it was too wild of a tale to be anywhere near reality but it just proves that reality is stranger than fiction. This documentary was as heart-breaking as it was fascinating.

Wish You Were Here
½

Although slightly predictable to anyone that pays attention to human behaviour, this drama packs more punch that you would expect from the synopsis. Beautifully shot and anchored down by near-perfect performances this mystery is one you wish didn't go the way you are expecting.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
½

You have to live under a rock to go into these movies expecting anything more than they have to offer. While this film can only be truly enjoyed by die-hard fans of the franchise, it was easily the best chapter of the bunch. This was the first film that didn't try harder to achieve more than the terrible story could give and it settled for nothing more than being enough. The soundtrack is once again fabulous and the performances are the same as usual (though I felt like Kristen Stewart actually did better). I don't recommend this movie if you're not a Twilight fan, but if you have seen the rest then go ahead and finish off the lot.

The Tall Man
The Tall Man(2012)
½

A decent film with a decent performance by Jessica Biel that destroys itself with a terrible twist and an even worse ending.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)
½

While this film attempted to hit the ground running it suffered only when it tried to become something more of your typical James Bond film. Even saying that, however, I truly enjoyed this installment and only now was I truly sold on why Daniel Craig was chosen at all. This is easily one of the more gritty Bond films but it is also one with slightly more emotional appeal than all the others. Javier Bardem is electric with every moment he occupies any of your screen space and has solidified himself as one of my favourite villains of all time. He balances with ease on the tightrope between comical and evil but does it with a grace that I believe no other actor could.

Savages
Savages(2012)

The strong cast and the hope that this was going to be one of Oliver Stones better movies made me want to go see this movie, but after watching it I was happy that I didn't bother to go to the theatre. The idea was good, it had concrete classic elements that drug movies usually need to do well, but the direction and the pacing was all exceptionally flat. Benicio Del Toro was under under utilized, and John Travolta was given too much screen time; and don't even get me started on the garbage ending. This movie isn't worth your time.

The Watch
The Watch(2012)

Maybe it was my bias toward Richard Ayoade, or maybe it was that this film entertained me just enough to give it three stars. The laughs aren't as plenty as I hoped, but they were still ever-present alongside a few well-placed sci-fi references. The CGI was top notch and although the story was predictable it did take some decently good twists along the way. Ben Stiller seems to be losing his touch but Jonah Hill is still fresh and Vince Vaughn just plays himself (and let's admit, that will never get old). The Watch is good enough to sit through and inspire a few chuckles, but it will definitely not go down in cinematic history as one of the comedies that people remember through the ages.

Chernobyl Diaries
½

The cool locations and overall eerie setting made up for the cheap scares. The acting wasn't terrible but the script lacked in true emotional depth forcing me to be unable to connect with the multitude of characters.

The Loneliest Planet
½

I was waiting for so long just for something to happen, but very little does. It left me wanting to turn my nose up and dismiss the film but there are obvious undertones and hidden themes creeping out behind every long scene that I could not help but fall in love with these characters, and feel a sadness when the screen went dark and the credits rolled.

The Invisible War

Made with a tone that never overshoots or condescends it's narrators, this documentary gives a powerful vision into the lives of a handful of people that have survived sexual assault while on active duty. I applaud every single one for sharing their story, and I applaud Kirby Dick for making this information viable and accessible to the general public.

Cockneys vs Zombies
½

Cockneys vs Zombies was about as good as I expected it to be. There's lots of laughs, good amount of unnecessary gore and enough heart to keep you watching; but the script wavered to slow lulls every now and again and it became tedious to sit through unneeded fighting sequences. It was great to see 'Brick Top' from "Snatch" being his usual persona, and the movie is worth a watch strictly for the character "Mickey." Trust me, he's a classic.

Neo Ned
Neo Ned(2005)

Neo Ned was a surprisingly good indie romance film. After reading the synopsis I was confused toward what I might be in for but in the end I was definitely pleasantly surprised. While it struggled to find it's footing when it came to the overall theme, constantly balancing delicately between comedy and drama it still made the impact I feel it set out to. The performances were what set it apart from most other films that try to tread the same ground. Jeremy Renner encompasses his character so entirely that I wouldn't be surprised if he was a bit spastic in his regular life as well.

That's My Boy

I had low hopes for this film before I was made to watch it. against my own will I was sat down and made to endure this piece of garbage. Adam Sandler has gone far past his prime and shamed his role in "Punch Drunk Love" with this newest entry to his filmography. Andy Samberg's dry humour is clouded over by bad writing and Sandler's over-the-top mix of Robin Williams, seth MacFarlane, and a drunk uncle that made you feel uncomfortable at a family reunion. they didn't break any limits with raunchy comedy, and it was surprisingly tame until the very end. The desperate disgusting detail that they threw in did not seem edgy, but more desperate. It's a theme often seen in film, and was portrayed poorly. I only laughed once during the entire movie, and it was thanks to the undying genius of Will Forte. He can be in garbage heaps and still take a terrible joke to a level where all can laugh, but not even he could save this film. Avoid it.

The Devil's Double
½

I read the reviews and avoided this movie for a long time. I am a big fan of Dominic Cooper and seeing him fail was a personal issue I didn't want to witness. However, even with all the scalding negative reviews and knowledge of it' flaws I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this film. It was as I expected, slightly cartoonish and overly violent, but in the end it was an entertaining ride that I wanted to watch (however painful because of the true atrocity that Uday is portrayed as being). I recommend this film strictly on the basis that it is a story with heart behind all of it's violence and it makes you root for the oppressed. I loved it.

Safety Not Guaranteed
½

During all of it I was expecting that let down that comes with great hope, but this movie delivered on all of it's heartfelt promises and fulfilled much more. Every performance was strong, and it's a great new addition to Aubrey Plaza's already glittering resume.

Cosmopolis
Cosmopolis(2012)
½

this movie is a cold dish served to most; to the general moviegoer it might seem disconnected or emotionless, while in the end if you listen you feel the emotions through the words. You find the connection through your relation to the empty proverbs and seemingly deep soliloquy's each character spouts off. Although the writing was sharp and very reminiscent of the source material, the film fell just a little flat. I can try to forgive the worst ending yet this year, but Pattinson's performance was a little short. I couldn't quite believe him as an economic powerhouse or a genius to numbers. A lesser known face with a better skill in delivering dry lines would have put this movie beyond it's slightly-above mediocre pedestal and placed it amongst the big leagues.

Grave Encounters 2

For those that liked the first one, stay away from this film. While it does offer more chances for scares it overall falls flat and hurriedly tries to bank on a premise that was predictable and entirely uninteresting. The effects seemed to go up a notch, but the terrible acting and bad "twist" ending left a sour taste in my mouth.

Men in Black III

I had very low expectations for this film after Men in Black II left that sour taste in my mouth, but this film somehow got past it's flaws and became a delightful addition to the franchise. Like everyone else I think Josh Brolin took the film to the plane above "entertaining enough to not make me hate it." Will Smith is keeping up with his character well, and Bill Hader's cameo was what finally sold me.

The Master
The Master(2012)
½

By the first moment that Phoenix speaks this movie forces you along for a ride that seems rare to come from movies these days. There is no adrenaline rush, there is no fear, just an animalistic curiosity to watch a man on his own self destructing path and to see his newfound master try to steer him away. Paul Thomas Anderson has created another masterpiece and I personally felt it superior to his previous work "There Will Be Blood" but the two are hard to compare. This journey is the cerebral master (Hoffman) versus his instinctual pet (Phoenix).

V/H/S
V/H/S(2012)

not the scare-fest it markets itself to be, but definitely an entertaining and often surprising film. It's a multitude of films in one so the story stays fresh. However, if you're looking for answers and a full plot line from beginning to end, then stay away. Otherwise, it's a solid "found-footage" film amongst a million carbon copies. I recommend it.

Detachment
Detachment(2012)
½

I think the reviews for this movie missed the point. The story had an open conclusion, it had it's heart where it needed to be and the ending fit the hopelessness of it's lead. I loved this movie, I felt a deep-rooted sadness for Brody's character and for teachers in general, and it gave a truthful perception of ow teacher's are cornered and unappreciated in today's economy. Beautiful movie, beautiful performances.

Bachelorette
Bachelorette(2012)

Much darker than anticipated but still definitely a great comedy for women and men alike to get a comedic glimpse at the true inner-workings of friendship that most people care to ignore or never realize.

The Five-Year Engagement

Not the comedy I was expecting but it struck a perfect balance between romantic-drama and adorable comedy. The pace was well put and the finale was as heart-warming as it was clever. I went in expecting to not like this movie very much, but came out loving every tender moment. And for those of you who have seen it, as a Michigan resident I felt Jason Segel's pain. If I could grow a mutton-chop beard I would.

Ted
Ted(2012)

While it was a somewhat interesting premise it all fell flat before it even started. Mark Wahlberg was at his worst, and the writing was a bit too contrived. Mile Kunis was her gorgeous self, and Giovanni Ribisi did great as the evil father, but in the end it just didn't entertain.

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel
½

I thought this movie may have fallen short in it's execution, but it had a lot of potential and it had a lot of heart. A clever idea was watered down slightly without enough time (a constant reminder that a television writer made this movie) but still engaging enough to keep you entertained. Chris O'Dowd did fantastic as he always does, and I definitely recommend this film.

Warrior
Warrior(2011)
½

I waited so long to watch this movie simple because I am not a fan of UFC, but after watching this film I regret missing out on such a beautiful piece of cinema.

The Sitter
The Sitter(2011)

I would have given it zero stars but the drug dealer (played by Sam Rockwell) and his posse were more than hysterical. If the movie had been just about them it might have had some serious merit, but the desperate plot development and random misguided happenings weren't good at all, even with Jonah Hall's constantly funny dry humour.

Lockout
Lockout(2012)

Guy Pearce does as good as he could, but the real performance was in the hysterically mental Joe Gilgun. This movie was terrible, but not from lack of effort. They just wanted too much plot in too little time making everything feel rushed and forward. Beautiful costumes and a beautiful set. Just try to make it past the worst CGI you'll ever see in your life during the first "chase scene". Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The action scenes deserve serious praise, but the script had too much material for the 1hr 97min running time, making it feel oddly paced.

Bronson
Bronson(2009)

If A Clockwork Orange & Snatch had a lovechild and somehow it got it's hands on some psychotropic drugs then you would get Bronson.

Brothers
Brothers(2009)

Gyllenhaal's performance falls just slightly short but it's picked up by the confidence of the Director and absolutely breathtaking performance by Maguire. It doesn't go too over the top, but it still cuts down to the emotional cord I feel it was going for. Brilliant movie.

Thor
Thor(2011)

The acting wasn't entirely terrible but the writing was something I'd expect to come from someone that has never seen a successful super hero film. I can't believe Stan Lee approves of this movies existence. This movie should be grounds for removing Thor from the upcoming, and greatly anticipated, Avengers movie.

Splice
Splice(2010)
½

Well....you won't forget that ending....

Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor(2001)
½

Ben Affleck's face is literally the only reason this got any amount of stars.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
½

The trailer and Del Toro promised scares, but just gave us the remnants of his dwindling imagination. I expected more, but got less. I know Del Toro can do better.

Contagion
Contagion(2011)

They set their aim high when these filmmakers decided to make a "realistic" film about the spread of a new virus, but they completely shied away from the possible shock value, and true turbulence of such events. It just didn't connect.

Killer Elite
Killer Elite(2011)

Exactly what I'd expect from a Statham/Clive Owen vehicle, but it fails to deliver in depth what it delivers in fight sequences.

Paranormal Activity 3

I think this series' sleeve is all out of tricks. Changing from still cameras to "panning cameras" is about as different as it got. Predictable, boring, and my skin has thickened, so the scares no longer work.

50/50
50/50(2011)
½

There isn't many films that can boast about successfully bridging the gap between cancer and comedy. This one does so with finesse and never disappointed.

In Time
In Time(2011)
½

A good idea with a bad team behind it. Even Justin Timberlake couldn't bring any edginess to this film.

Shame
Shame(2011)

While I feel they didn't take the facet of 'addiction' far enough, this film was emotionally draining and really brought you into this poor man's rough world.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
½

While Shia Labeouf usually fails incredibly, he seemed to hold his ground in this smart sequel to an even greater original. While some of the storyline is incredibly flawed, and the character's are too shallow to sympathise with, it's still a fun and smart ride.

Drive
Drive(2011)

Ryan Gosling's usually lackluster performance seems to find it's spark in this high-stylized ode to films of 80s past.

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

It's almost formulaic, but for some reason it seems to work. The laughs are still here. It's raunchier, more profane, and more idiotic. It was a good contrast to your usual holiday film. This film exists to remind us all that stoners celebrate Christmas too.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
½

Andy Serkis wow again with his portrayal of Casesar. It isn't easy to breath life into a mostly computer animated ape, but he does so with grace! This film has it's flaws, but looking past that, it's good compliment to the ever-dropping Planet of the Apes franchise.

District 9
District 9(2009)

My favourite science fiction film to date. Deep, original, and emotional. This film has something for everyone. I firmly believe District 9 will go down in history as one of those rare films people just shouldn't forget.

Cowboys & Aliens
½

Albeit this is not a great film, and barely decent enough to be considered a good one, but it's fun. Leave your deep emotion at the door and appreciate the gimmick of it at all, and you might just enjoy yourself.

The Box
The Box(2009)

A flimsy narrative and a not-so-tight "idea" make for a poorly written piece of cinema. You'll know the end, and will only feel relief once it's over.

Shutter Island
½

I somehow predicted the ending, but the ride up to it was worth it nonetheless. Another Scorsese masterpiece.

The Informant!

Unbelievably funny. The story carries you nicely, all you have to do is listen.

The Grey
The Grey(2012)
½

Deeply philosophical, while still keeping you excited. Come for the thrill of suspense, or come for the speculation on existentialist values. Either way, you'll be glad you came.

The Woman in Black

The idea-man behind this film forgot the most important quality of a ghost film, "The less you see, the more you fear".

Insidious
Insidious(2011)
½

Made like a campy classic horror movie, yet still scares like a well-made creepy indie that they won't show in theatres. I appreciated this film. It somehow still frightened me even after allowing a few funny moments.

The Tree of Life
½

The acting was miraculous and inspiring, as was the cinematography. My low rating is due to the fact that the narration seemed a little contrived and the pace just wasn't quite right. This film moved way too slow, and not in the artistic way that makes you still love it.

Horrible Bosses

Funny enough to keep me laughing, and to this day I still get to say "special little SECRET chair." It's a little too obviously inspired by "Office Space" without the charm to make it a cult classic, but it is definitely good enough for a decent night of entertainment. I'd watch it again.