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Rating History

The Purge: Anarchy
32 days ago via Flixster

When I saw the trailer for the first Purge movie, I thought it was a wildly innovative idea and I absolutely loved it! I was so excited to see the film, unfortunately it amounted to little more than a slasher movie. The story had all the potential in the world, but they really didn't go into it, they just wanted to show off the violence and hatred people had towards one another. I was hoping they would correct this in the sequel and boy did they ever! Anarchy isn't about some family hunkered down in their home, fighting off attackers. In the second installment of the Purge, we learn a lot more about it. The pro and anti-purge factions that exist, the professional companies that make a fortune off that one night, the way the rich purge, and the main story which centers around what happens on the streets when two families are trapped outside on purge night. Two families are easy pickings until they find Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), a man on a mission that he can only complete on Purge night. Barnes however is a man of conscience and won't complete his mission until he begrudgingly gets the families to safety, which means a wild trek through the city. The Purge: Anarchy is a wild ride through a city of ordinary people turned into killers, with home made weapons, booby-traps, and pure anarchy, just as the title promises. If you're looking for action and violence, there are a million places to turn, that's not what the appeal of this movie is. It's the idea, that crime virtually is nonexistent, except for this one night, where society turns on each other. Where almost everyone's craziest fantasy becomes reality and just how some people react. What will each character turn into when they are allowed to do whatever they want? How does society feel about this law and is the benefit worth the cost? This story has just so many directions it can go in, that why I'm not surprised to hear they're working on a fourth film. The Purge series may just be a series of action/slasher films, but this one idea puts a whole new spin on them and makes you see things through a whole different set of eyes and I for one think it's ingenious.

J. Edgar
J. Edgar (2011)
32 days ago via Flixster

Clint Eastwood's films are extremely historically accurate. The academy and critics love his work and especially the way he manages to get the best out of his leading roles. That being said, his films also tend to be extremely long and very dry, J. Edgar was no different. J. Edgar Hoover was the man who started the FBI. He is the man solely responsible for creating a fingerprint database, cataloging and investigating forensic evidence at crime scenes, and he was also completely paranoid and spied on just about everyone he could. It was sad to see just how lonely, narrow minded, and repressed this man was his whole life. He was so narrowly focused his entire life, that he didn't seem to ever enjoy anything besides his work. As for the film, Leonardo DiCaprio gives another stunning performance, one that rivals all his other work. People who worked with Hoover, in his later years, say that DiCaprio was so good that it was like seeing Hoover himself back in charge. When he was first starting out, people thought DiCaprio was just another pretty face, who would do films like the Beach his entire career, but they couldn't be more wrong. He has emerged as one of the best leading men in all of Hollywood and J. Edgar is a prime example of this. You can't have a DiCaprio greatest hits compilation without including this performance, it really was that good. I learned a lot from this film and the performances were truly fantastic in every sense of the word. How DiCaprio's performance didn't get nominated for an Academy Awards is beyond me and does lend some credence to the theory that the Academy is bias towards him. As for the rest of the film, it's long, very long and parts of it just don't move at all. You'll learn a lot and from a historic stand point, I think this is one of those film everyone should see, but at times it's not easy to sit through. Don't expect much in the way of action, comic relief, or deviation. It's just a lot of vintage Eastwood, DiCaprio, and criminal justice history.

Unaccompanied Minors
32 days ago via Flixster

For decades, A Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life have been the standard templates for holiday films, until a third choice came along in 1990. Ever since, there have been a whole slew of films that have tried to be the next Home Alone. None have come close to being as good, but perhaps the best attempt came from Unaccompanied Minors. The Davenport kids are flying to seeing their father for the holidays when they are stuck in Cleveland by a massive snow storm. When they get there, they discover they are just two of dozens of kids who are stuck at the same airport, trapped in a conference room under the watchful eye of the airports ruthless administrator, (Lewis Black) who's not all that fond of children. Together with some of the more unique personalities, the Davenports stage an escape and wreck havoc on the airport, determined to have fun during the holidays, even if it is in a snowed in airport. Yes, this is a kids movie with all the cheesy jokes and kid stuff that comes along with it, but what makes it unique is all the different personalities. The six kids are from all different parts of the country and are all from different family structures and different socioeconomic backgrounds, meaning they all had very different lives and very different ideas on what the definition of fun is. The culmination of the different personalities and how they all come together is what makes this film unique and quite frankly pretty special. The young cast is pretty talented as well, featuring Brett Kelly from Bad Santa as well as Tyler Williams from Everybody Hates Chris. The young cast also gets help from veteran comedians Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama, and Rob Corddry. The combination of young comedians and veteran comedians adds another dynamic similar to the one set up by the characters in the film. As well as the mixing of characters personalities, you're also getting a wide variety of comedic styles in the film. The bottom line, Unaccompanied Minors may be a kids Christmas movie, but there is a whole lot to like about it, from the writing, to the in depth character development, the mixing of different comedic styles, and even the unique settings. It's not quite Home Alone, but as close as anyone's come since 1990.

Terminus (2016)
32 days ago via Flixster

In the world of science fiction, a ridiculous plot is a bold and risky move. Audiences will generally see it in one of two ways, either as unique and innovative or ridiculous and stupid. While I general advise deciding for yourself, in the case of Terminus, I think the answer is pretty clear. David Chamberlain (Jai Koutrae) is a depressed alcoholic who lives with his daughter. One night he's driving home drunk and is involved in a wreck that should have killed him, except for the fact that he encounters a rock from outer space, that not only heals him, but starts giving him visions. Chamberlain starts seeing visions of the end of the world and sets out on a mission to build something remarkable, in the back of a stolen cement truck. The whole premise here is kind of stupid, however if the casting was better this actually could have worked. The main character here is a guy in his late forties, a factory worker with no skills, no education and general someone everyone already thinks is crazy. In my opinion he just doesn't fit what the story calls for. This would have been a much better film if the main character was a late teen or twenty something guy, who saw the incident as his life being spared for a higher purpose. Instead, Terminus is just really one big mess of sub-par acting, plot holes, and badly developed characters you really don't care about. If you don't care about the characters and what happens to them, and if you can't follow the story too well, then really, what's the point?

Logan (2017)
51 days ago via Flixster

Many people have asked why the name Wolverine isn't in the title of the latest X-Men movie. The reason is that this film is not for children. Logan is violent, vulgar, and disturbing, this film will give your kids nightmares. Logan is supposedly the last time Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine, it might also very well end the current X-Men film franchise, that has produced nine feature films and brought in billions of dollars. That being said, I expected an epic conclusion, the likes of which Marvel had never done before, and what I got was somewhat of a disappointment. It takes place in the future and yes, Logan is older, but he's still the Wolverine, so I was expecting a fair bit of fighting and chases, but it seems that was pretty much all this film has to offer. A deteriorating Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) claims that even though a new mutant hasn't been born in decades, he is speaking to one that needs help, and as it turns out he was right. Logan and Prof. X go to rescue the child and bring her to safety, while the government tries to stop that from happening. I get that this is the future and there isn't time to fill us in on everything, but there are some major plot holes with the story that are never explained. This may be a Wolverine movie, but it is also the conclusion of the X-Men, so what happened to everyone and everything else? The stories narrow focus is on these three and getting to their destination, with chase after chase and fight after fight. The film certainly has it's moments and more than it's fair share of F bombs, but where was the whole conclusion element to it? The epic end to one of the biggest franchises in the history of film just isn't there. The big draw seems to be that they finally went for the R rating and showed Logan's true personality and yes, they made the film much more realistic than any other X-Men film, but I didn't have that satisfied feeling when it was all said and done. As for Hugh Jackman, this was easily his best performance as Wolverine. You see his real personality and all that comes with it, and if this wasn't the type of film that it was, released when it was, I truly believe people would be talking about an Academy Award, he was really that good. The harsh reality is that X-Men as we know it, with the cast that we know is probably over, but the way they ended it leaves us with too many unanswered questions and a feeling of unfulfilled promise.