mcnuts34's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Wag the Dog
Wag the Dog(1997)

A great cast plays up a sharp and satiric script that couldn't possibly happen in real life, could it? With the Internet-age in full swing this kind of political spin wouldn't be able to work but definitely could if it were a bit subtler. Makes you think...and be afraid!

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)

A confusing, convoluted story does keep you guessing as it progresses but keeps trying to outsmart itself as it nears its conclusion. None of the characters are particularly likable and there were more than a few "wait...what just happened" moments. Maybe it will be better with a second viewing but the first didn't leave much of an impression.

This Is the End

To truly enjoy this you're going to have to accept the fact that the only thing based in reality in this movie are the actors who are playing themselves. If you're OK with that...then enjoy a hilarious, ridiculous, self-deprecating look at what would happen when the Apocalypse hits Los Angeles and its Hollywood inhabitants.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson is definitely trending in the right direction with the new "Hobbit" trilogy. There's more action and the introduction of Smaug has brought a new character to care about (or fear). Definitely better than the first installment but "The Desolation of Smaug" still suffers from the same problems as the original. It's tough to care about the main characters when you can't tell them apart (i.e. dwarves). Also, there's no real sense of danger. The protagonists seem to get themselves into the most dire of circumstances but always get out of it without a scratch. It all just seems a bit too easy.


Every 80's movie fan knows the three rules! "Gremlins" is a Christmas classic although one that isn't exactly meant for children (although tame by today's standards). It has the perfect combination of humor and horror that pokes fun at Americans' tendencies for greed and excess. Put together by Steven Spielberg and a young Chris Columbus it hasn't aged well but it's definitely still worth a watch.

Les MisÚrables

I've been known to enjoy a musical every now and then but I have never actually seen or heard one of the most famous of all-time, Les Miserables, until now. The ensemble cast is anchored by multi-talented Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, who earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role. The music sweeps and swells its way throughout the 2 1/2 hours and it's difficult to not let your heart follow along.


It's funny but I can't really point to one thing that really stands out in this film. There are good names in the cast but outside of Sharlto Copley they weren't terrific. The story was decent and the visuals were cool. That being said...I enjoyed the film but I really can't tell you why.

The Cider House Rules

As usual Michael Caine steals every scene he is in but other than that I just couldn't get into this movie. The acting is great but the story is a tough one to feel good about (rape, incest, abortion and drug overdose are just a few of the highlights). In the end it was just too much of a downer to enjoy.

Silver Linings Playbook

If you think this movie is a straight up romantic comedy, you'd be wrong. It's not a drama either. It's a romantic comedy with bits of drama and real life situations, warts and all, mixed in. The focus of the movie is the mixed-up but highly relatable relationship between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's characters. It's not syrupy or stuffed with cliches like most romantic comedies these days. It's funny, quirky, strange...but very real.

Identity Thief

With Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in the lead roles this had a lot of potential but it just ended up being a terrible movie. The laughs were few and far between. The situations that these two continually find themselves in become less and less believable and I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with how ridiculously stupid Bateman's character continued to react. Definitely avoid this...

This is 40
This is 40(2012)

Judd Apatow strikes again! I'm pretty sure you need to be in your 30s or 40s to truly appreciate what's going on between Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in this film. Both Rudd and Mann are brilliant comic actors and their timing and delivery are on full display. Guaranteed that you'll be able to see a little bit of your own friends (or possibly yourself) in each of the characters you'll see. A great comedy with a good portion of real-life mixed in.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

If you're looking for a quirky, animated film fun for both the kids and adults in your family take a look at Fantastic Mr. Fox. It was nice to see an animated film that is a little old school by putting the CGI aside and going completely stop motion.


For one reason or another I had resisted the desire to watch Shrek for the longest time but finally decided to give it a whirl. All I was missing was a brilliant, funny and pop culture filled animated ride. Funny for kids with enough eye winks and entendres for adults. Mike Myers makes the movie which is amazing especially considering that he took over for Chris Farley and the movie had to be completely re-done because of it.


Definitely deserving of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Argo is a simple caper film but fleshed out with great characters, sharp and witty dialogue and a suspenseful script that will keep you on the edge of your seat even though you know how the story ends. It gets a few minus points for distorting some of the facts but hopefully it stirs up interest in the subject so people can see how it really went down.

Pitch Perfect

Honestly there really isn't much to say on this one. I didn't really find it funny at all and thought that the characters were kind of annoying. Unfortunately I don't really remember much of anything else (which probably tells you something right there!). I wouldn't necessarily call it a bad movie but it didn't really leave much of an impression.

Marvel's The Avengers

This is it...the end all be all of superhero movies, or so I've been told. Usually throwing a bunch of superstars together in the same movie is a recipe for disaster but this one actually holds its own. Character and actor continuity is key with all sequels and it's fun seeing all of the characters/actors together after being showcased in their own individual stories. The script is fun and light and doesn't get bogged down in mythology. Pretty solid overall.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Definitely my favorite among Marvel's: Phase One movies. The storyline was fun and the cast is packed full of quality names even if they were in supporting roles. It was also refreshing to see the time period of the 1940s used and not have the story modernized. Finally, the CGI used was pretty impressive especially the before/after looks of Steve Rogers. A light and fluffy popcorn movie...


Definitely fun to watch but mostly because it's another piece of the Marvel Universe. It looks good and the cast is tremendous but there's just nothing spectacular about the movie itself. Tom Hiddleston is front and center as the first Marvel villain worthy enough to overshadow the hero, which is the true staple of a great action movie!

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)

Unlike most people I thought the sequel was even better than the original. Downey, Jr. is his sarcastic self and the action is a little lighter and more fun. Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko is a little weak on the villain side (I'm supposed to believe that this guy is Stark's intellectual and engineering equal?) but Sam Rockwell steals every scene he's in as Stark's sleazy business rival, Justin Hammer.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

I'm pretty sure Robert Downey, Jr. was born to play Tony Stark. I'm pretty sure this movie would've tanked without him. Definitely a solid movie with a good story and a really good cast. I would've liked to have seen a little more Jeff Bridges though...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Not nearly as good as any of the Lord of the Rings movies but it's still fun to go back and visit Middle-Earth. The biggest problem with this film is that there are just too many heroes to keep track of. Especially considering twelve of them look alike and you can't tell them apart.

Oz the Great and Powerful

The movie is visually stunning and it's fun to see all of the nods to the original but the acting of James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams is just brutal to watch. I wanted to like it much more than I did but there were just too many cringe-worthy moments in that script.


It certainly shouldn't be shown in high school history classes but the star-studded cast does everything it can to make you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. Don't count me among those conspiracy theorists but it is certainly fun to think "what if...".

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)

Definitely better than the second installment but not as good as the original. The characters (and voices) again make this worth watching and the last 30 minutes tug at your heartstrings just a bit. It really makes you wonder what you did with all of your childhood toys...and where they are now!

Escape From Planet Earth

This movie was so bad that even though I saw it only 24 hours ago I had to find the ticket stub in the trash to remember what the title was. Incredibly uninteresting, old and used up jokes and a handful of bizarre story lines make this a movie to seriously avoid.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore definitely does his homework and he continues his reputation as a fearless filmmaker but his one sided attacks made it difficult to take his work seriously. This movie is certainly no documentary but more of a propaganda film.

Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2(1999)

Not quite as good as the original (then again what ever is?) but definitely a worthy sequel. It gets a little emotional and sad at times but that can be a good thing. The characters are still great and a few extra bonus points for the many Star Wars references.

Toy Story
Toy Story(1995)

The Pixar movie that started it all certainly doesn't disappoint even 18 years later. The storyline is great and the gags are funny but what really holds the movie together are the voices. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the cast are what truly make this movie special.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

I imagine it's difficult to make a reboot knowing that it is supposed to be the start of a new franchise. The most important thing is making sure that the "new" characters are just as loved (or hated) as much as the "old" ones. "Star Trek" pulls this off rather well which is what mainly keeps you involved despite the weak storyline. With the characters in place here's hoping J.J. Abrams turns his attention to the script in the next one...


Talk about a tale of two halves. The first half of the movie gets you invested and the second half takes you in a direction you definitely don't see coming. Easily worth the watch...

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I'm not entirely shocked that this movie was pretty bad. I had no idea that the Civil War was fought not between slave states and free but more between the undead and the living! Pretty terrible...

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo(2003)

I know it's considered one of the best animated movies of all time. That being said...I'm shocked that I didn't like it. I thought it was slow and I wasn't really invested in any of the characters. Big time disappointed!

Friends With Benefits

It had some laugh out loud moments and Timberlake and Kunis have pretty good chemistry. Definitely worth a watch.


Check your brain at the door and get ready for a stupid, funny and braaaaaain-less good time. Zombieland makes no apologies for being unrealistic and unlike most apocalyptic films there's no dread or drama, just comedy. Sure it's graphic and borderline disgusting but the way in which it is portrayed makes you laugh it off. Woody Harrelson makes this movie but be on the lookout for a tremendous cameo appearance. And for those who are fans of that person make sure you stay past the credits!

Gone Baby Gone

Now this is a movie that forces you to talk about itself long after the credits roll. A good story, familiar surroundings and an all-star cast combine to create a crime drama where there is no black and white but only shades of grey. In the end, th...e movie asks you, what would you do if you were in Casey Affleck's character's shoes? Would you do what is morally right or would you do what you believe to be just?

Inglourious Basterds

Probably Tarantino's bloodiest and wordiest movie to date. The script is very witty but you'll have to pay close attention at all times. Tarantino creates deep characters but don't expect to see most of them last until the end of the... movie! Christoph Waltz is terrific as Colonel Hans Landa. Finally a note to all History teachers...I wouldn't be showing this in class anytime soon.

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye(2008)

A fun, entertaining but highly implausible techno thriller. If you're willing to suspend your belief and not totally buy into the "Government + Technology = Bad" theory then by all means enjoy these two hours. If you're looking ...for more realism then go rent Enemy of the State. They are pretty much the same movie.

Street Kings
Street Kings(2008)

Surprise! A Keanu Reeves movie with over-cooked acting, bad dialogue and a boring story. Add to this the fact that the storyline is extremely predictable and that you'll guess the "villain" as soon as the "crime" takes place. Do yourself a favor and skip this...

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

If there's one thing that Hollywood is a fan of it's the sequel. It doesn't even matter if it happens 23 years after the original film came out. "Wall Street" was one of the best movies of the late 1980s which starred Michael Douglas as one of the most iconic villains in movie history, Gordon Gekko. Gekko and Douglas are back in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps". After serving 8 years for insider trading and securities fraud Gekko (again brilliantly played) is released from prison to find his estranged daughter wanting nothing to do with him and his former Wall Street cohorts still raking in the cash. His daughter (Carey Mulligan), ironically enough, is dating a proprietary trader name Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) who finds himself without a job after the Federal Reserve refuses to bail out his investment firm. This can be directly attributed to the work of investment banker Bretton James (Josh Brolin in another outstanding role) who was an old rival of Gekko's. When Gekko runs into Moore at a lecture he asks for help in repairing his relationship with his daughter. In exchange for this he will assist Moore in planning revenge against James although as the plan evolves it becomes more and more unclear as to what side Gekko is on and what his intentions truly are.

It's pretty clear that "Wall Street" never really needed a sequel but I must admit that it was fun watching Douglas back on the screen in one of his most iconic roles. Charlie Sheen makes a cameo as "Wall Street's" main protagnist Bud Fox which is fun but entirely unnecessary. Douglas and Brolin carry the movie whereas LaBeouf seems to just follow in their footsteps. "Money Never Sleeps" is definitely worth checking out but it doesn't quite measure up to its predecessor. least it wasn't a remake!!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

Everyone knows that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is the very end of the Harry Potter story. Everyone also knows that there is so much to tell in "Deathly Hallows" that the story was divided into two parts with Part One being the setup for the final 2+ hour journey. The problem with this setup film is that it doesn't do a great job of standing on its own. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is on the run both from Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and the Ministry of Magic. With only a few select friends to trust, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger chief among them, Harry embarks on a quest to find the remaining Horcruxes, keys to destroying Voldemort himself. Along the way he also learns that Voldemort is after the Deathly Hallows, three magical items that when combined will give the owner the ability to cheat Death. Harry and friends are hunted at every turn and it becomes clear that not all of them will escape.

As the Harry Potter saga comes to a close it becomes obvious that this final chapter is unlike the others. There is no upbeat ending and there are no fun school lessons or classes. In fact, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry doesn't even appear in the film further underscoring the grown-up danger in which these teenagers now find themselves. This film puts Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson front and center and they carry the film as best as they can. The supporting cast (Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, etc) that makes the other movies so delightful or noticeably absent through much of the movie. Part One doesn't stand on its own as well as the other films but I'm sure that when both Parts One and Two are viewed together you will experience the very best that J.K. Rowling has to offer.

Love and Other Drugs

I'm really not sure what kind of category into which you would put "Love and Other Drugs". It could be comedy or drama or romance. Or it could be a mix of all three and it does it quite effectively. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jamie Randall, the younger son of a successful doctor who has an amazing (depends on how you look at it) gift of being able to sell women on pretty much anything (including himself). After a handful of failed ventures he sets his sights on pharmaceutical sales with the giant Pfizer. In one of the doctor's offices he visits he finds himself entranced with a Parkinson's patient (Anne Hathaway) who continuously denies his advances. On the surface the two are complete opposites but as their emotional layers are peeled away they find very basic similarities. The invention of Viagra propels Randall's sales numbers but as his success grows their relationhip starts to suffer. He must choose between the high octane life as a salesman or a life with his girlfriend as her disease takes hold.

Hathaway and Gyllenhaal have excellent chemistry together which sustains throughout the movie especially as their on-screen relationship rollercoasters. Oliver Platt and Hank Azaria lend great supporting characters along the way as well. Josh Gad supplys the comedy which is both a good and bad thing as sometimes it just gets in the way of the plot. Overall it's a great mix of adult comedy and romance that takes you on an up and down ride much like the lead characters' relationship itself.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

I've come to realize that it is much better to think of the Star Wars saga as two groups of three films instead of a six-part story. The differences between the "Prequel" trilogy and the "Classic" trilogy are just too many to reference and it is unfair to compare the two. That being said at least George Lucas has put together a worthy finish to complete the Star Wars story with "Episode III - Revenge of the Sith". Anakin Skywalker (a horribly miscast Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor continuing his spot-on Alec Guinness impression) have the end of the Clone Wars in their sights but they cannot stop the rise of Sith and a new Galactic Empire. Skywalker finishes his journey towards the Dark Side and a new villain is born. As with the two movies before it, "Revenge of the Sith" suffers from a terrible script and sometimes cringe-worthy performances. But the storyline masks those performances as does the anticipation of crucial events such as the extermination of the Jedi, the rise of the Emperor and the climactic lightsaber duel between Kenobi and Skywalker. Aside from McGregor the only acting job worth noting is the always underrated Ian McDiarmid whose Chancellor Palpatine absolutely steals every scene he's in. It's always more fun to play the villain and this movie is no different especially since Evil wins the day and hope seems to have disappeared...even though we all know how the story ends.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

In a movie world currently filled with endless reboots and sequels that can't live up to their predecessors it is very rare to find a movie that has the same "actors" in place 32 years after the first movie debuted but is both enjoyable and fresh. If that interests you then buy yourself a ticket to "The Muppets", put your gritty and real 21st century life on hold and pretend it's the 1980's all over again. The movie starts off with, of course, a musical number that introduces brothers Walter and Gary (Jason Segel) along with Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) as they head off to Los Angeles to tour the rundown Muppet Theatre before it is torn down by an evil oilman (played with classic over-the-topness by Chris Cooper). Walter, Gary and Mary team up with Kermit to help reunite the rest of the Muppets to stage a telethon and save the theatre before it is too late. The same winning formula is in place for this film as it was in the others. Start with the same great characters, add in witty and good-natured banter and mix in a handful of clever and fun celebrity cameos. Some of the jokes and storylines aren't quite as funny as they used to be but the sights and sounds of the Muppets back on the big screen is just too much to pass up. It's worth the price of admission to feel a few decades younger even if it's just for a couple of hours.


Continuing the Hollywood tradition of releasing movies about similar subject matter in the same year ("Deep Impact" vs. "Armageddon", "Tombstone" vs. "Wyatt Earp", etc.) DreamWorks gives you "Megamind" which has already drawn its share of comparisons with "Despicable Me". I guess this is the year where being bad is being good. "Megamind" tells the story of the titular character (Will Ferrell) who engages in a lifetime good vs. evil struggle against Metro Man (Brad Pitt). When one of his dastardly schemes finally works Megamind eventually learns, what fun is being evil when there is no good to stop it? "Megamind" brings out the A-list voice talent (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Brad Pitt) and comes up with a decent although predictable story line. The funniest parts of the movie were almost always located in the background. Look for lots of homages to classic movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) as well as current events (President Obama I'm looking in your direction). I was definitely not the target audience for this movie, which was obvious since I was the only one laughing at certain points, but overall a solid flick that keeps the interest of both children and adults.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Just because I'm a movie guy doesn't mean that I've seen all of the so-called classics. But that's the great thing about movies, they're always there to experience for the first time. Audrey Hepburn plays independent socialite wannabe Holly Golightly who has the taste for high-fashion and hip parties but not the wherewithal. She is intrigued when a new neighbor moves in ("The A-Team's" George Peppard) and her flirting quickly turns into romance. But this quirky, fragile young girl has deep rooted secrets that threaten any kind of true happiness that tries to find her. I made a mistake by not realizing that this was a comedy until a third of the way through (That Blake Edwards directed it should've tipped me off) and that seriously altered the way I looked at the film, in a positive way. Audrey Hepburn is truly one of the great actresses of her time and she makes this iconic roll her own. However the movie is incredibly dated and has a handful of cringe-worthy moments such as the story of Holly's past as well Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi. If you truly want to enjoy this movie you have to picture yourself in 1960s America and embrace your inner whimsy.

I Love You, Man

Paul Rudd has been making a career of being a comedic sidekick ("Anchorman", "40-Year Old Virgin", "Knocked Up", etc) so it's great to see him take on a leading role. He is awkward and uncomfortable to in other words, he nailed it! Rudd stars as Peter Klaven, a real estate agent who has just gotten engaged to Zooey Rice ("The Office's" Rashida Jones) and realized that he has no male friends to serve as groomsmen. With Zooey's urging he sets up a series of "man dates" which all end in embarrassing failures because of his lack of "guy knowledge". He finally meets Sydney Fife ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall's" Jason Segel) with whom he instantly bonds thanks in part to their mutual obsession with the band "Rush". As their friendship grows Peter's relationship with his fiance wanes and he soon has to make a decision with whom to side.

Paul Rudd does a great job of screwing things up in impossibly awkward ways. I can't tell you how many times I had to look away from the screen just because I was embarrassed for him. These are all good things of course. Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons and Jon Favreau round out a great supporting cast as the laughs pile up.

The Untouchables

Brian DePalma's "The Untouchables" is easily one of my favorite movies from the late 80's as you can probably tell from its 5-star rating. Kevin Costner stars as Treasury Department crime fighter Eliot Ness who has been sent to Chicago to take down notorious crime boss Al Capone (Robert DeNiro). Ness quickly learns that most of Chicago's police force and political might are in Capone's pocket so he elists the help of incorruptible officer Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) to form a squad of "untouchables" that are outside of Capone's influence. But to take down the most powerful man in Chicago Ness soon realizes that he must be prepared to lose everything and everyone he has sworn to protect.

An outstanding cast features Costner, DeNiro and Connery (who won an Academy Award for his performance) along with Andy Garcia and an underrated Charles Martin Smith. The cinematography and Oscar-nominated score add to an already terrific film. The only negatives are the handful of historical inaccuracies throughout the film. Outside of those, DePalma and writer David Mamet have created a terrific Prohibition-era narrative that mixes action, drama, tragedy and humor.

Shutter Island

How can you not see a Martin Scorsese directed movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and filmed mostly in Massachusetts? By default you have to give this movie a chance. DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo star as U.S. Marshals who arrive at Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient who apparently vanished from a locked room. Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) soon reveals to his partner his ulterior motive for taking the case, the man who was responsible for his wife's death is also an inmate at the facility and Daniels will do whatever it takes to find him and close down the entire island. However he soon learns that not everything is as it appears to be just as we learn that Daniels himself also has secrets to hide.

Scorsese brings together a tremendous cast with a story that takes more twists and turns than a roller coaster ride. It becomes clear from the very beginning that you just can't tell who is telling the truth, if anyone. The general nature of the plot twist is very easy to guess however the reasons why were quite chilling and almost difficult to watch. Definitely worth watching but remember, don't expect an upbeat ending.

Due Date
Due Date(2010)

The pairing of Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis should've been a match made in Heaven but "Due Date" suffered from the thing that kills all would-be great just wasn't that funny. Downey Jr. stars as Peter Highman who is rushing home from Atlanta before his wife goes into labor. Unfortunately for him his path crosses Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) as his journey begins at which point nothing goes according to plan. The two pair up and travel across the country and try not to kill each other before they reach Los Angeles. The movie isn't a total loss as there are a handful of funny lines and situations but as the film goes on those situations get more and more outlandish and, well, just not that funny. I am sure the studio was pitched something along these lines: Get two of the hottest actors in Hollywood; give them opposite personalities; stick them in a car for 2000 miles; hilarity ensues! Unfortunately what they got was a JV version of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" with unlikeable characters and dumbed down comedy. The opportunity was there but there just wasn't enough effort put behind it.


Normally I enjoy a good musical. Normally I enjoy Best Picture Oscar winners. But this particular Best Picture Oscar winning musical? Not so much. "Chicago" tells the story of naive Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) who so desperately wants to be a famous singer but ends up being sent to Murderess' Row after killing her lover. With help from the prison warden (Queen Latifah) she hires Chicago's best defense attorney (Richard Gere) to drum up public support to get her back in the limelight and eventually acquitted.

I was a big fan of "Moulin Rouge!" when it came out the year before but it's really tough to like a movie when you can't stand the leading performance. I know Renee Zellweger received an Oscar nomination for her roll but I just didn't see it. Her acting job wasn't anything special and her singing was even worse. Catherine Zeta-Jones, on the other hand, can seriously carry a tune but she was highly underused. Special shout out to John C. Reilly in a supporting roll who brings the only humor to the movie. Overall a disappointing experience especially considering the hardware it took home.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Is it possible to improve on one of the greatest movies of all time? Amazingly enough it is. "The Empire Strikes Back" continues the "Star Wars" saga as its heroes are continuosly pursued from one end of the galaxy to the other. New characters are introduced (Yoda, Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett), new locations are discovered (Hoth, Bespin and Dagobah) and new revelations are uncovered ("No, I am your ___"). "Empire" represents the peak of the "Star Wars" storyline. The plot, script, action sequences and music are all at their absolute best. Darth Vader entrenches himself as one of the silver screen's greatest villains and Harrison Ford's smart-ass scoundrel, Han Solo, has a handful of the best lines in the series in this film. "Empire" is unique in that it is one of the first movies I can think of that ends in a cliffhanger. It is also one of the only movies I can remember where the bad guys win...again and again. "A New Hope" may have been more groundbreaking and "Return of the Jedi" may be more fun but "Empire" is very easily the best.


Every so often you come across a movie that you totally love but have a difficult time comprehending exactly what you saw. But what you do know is that you can't wait to see it again. "Inception" absolutely falls into that category. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Dominic Cobb, a futuristic thief-for-hire whose specialty is inserting himself into a target's dreams and extracting information that would otherwise be inaccessible. However, his previous target (Ken Watanabe) offers him a job that may or may not be possible along with a payout that he cannot refuse. With a crack team in his corner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy) and a new target in his sights (Cillian Murphy) there is nothing that can stand in his way...except for the memory of his dead wife. For in a place where dreams are reality there is nothing more dangerous than losing yourself in your own mind.


You have to give him credit...James Cameron doesn't do anything on a small scale. "Avatar" is easily one of the most visually impressive movies ever made but since the entire movie is CGI it takes a little bit away from it...but not much. The premise of the movie is one that has been told since the beginning of time. One larger group wants what a smaller group has and they will do anything they can to take it. In fact, you could probably just call this movie "Dances with Wolves" in Space. The story was amazingly predictable and the script was pretty bland with the only notable acting job done by under-appreciated Stephen Lang. But you just can't keep your eyes off the screen and Cameron definitely brings the goods. It looks like he has succeeded in ushering in a new era of filmmaking. The 3D experience was definitely new and impressive but I'll stick with 2D for now.

The Time Traveler's Wife

I'm not usually one to get into romantic dramas but sometimes exceptions can be made. "The Time Traveler's Wife" is the story of a woman in love with a man who suffers from a genetic disorder that constantly hurtles him through time and the stress his time traveling has on their relationship. The cast is decent and the premise is a fascinating one but the movie plays out like a Cliff's Notes version of the novel. Their story is just too complicated to be completely told in 90 minutes. However, the film does strike a very emotional chord...what would you do if you knew your entire future? How would you react if you happened to meet those you loved who have already come and gone? How would you say goodbye to someone when you knew you would never see them again? Because if these three questions "The Time Traveler's Wife" is a decent watch...

The Other Guys

I really had my hopes up for 147 minutes of laugh riot but what did I get instead? The feel of Mark Wahlberg hosting a recent episode of Saturday Night Live. "The Other Guys" chronicles the journey of two cops (Will Ferrell and Wahlberg) as they climb from also-rans to the city's top police duo. They are trying to replace the former top cops (Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson in hilariously absurd cameos) while stumbling through a ponzi scheme investigation but their opposite personalities continuosly get in the way. Even though Wallberg and Ferrell are the headliners it's the supporting cast that gives up the best laughs including a cameo that Red Sox fans will surely love. I expected a lot more but out of these two but they get plenty of help to turn this movie around.

The Town
The Town(2010)

Ben Affleck is back and, wouldn't you know it, making a movie set in Boston, where he seems to do his best work. In The Town, Affleck plays Charlestown native Doug MacRay who along with three childhood friends form a bank robbing team now being targeted by a zealous and ambitious FBI agent (Jon Hamm). As his gang's robberies become more violent and the escapes get closer MacRay decides to get out while he can. But leaving is never easy and he is convinced to undertake one last theft at one of Boston's most famous locations. The Town tries very hard to be an East Coast version of Heat but can't quite get there. The acting has a little to be desired but the action keeps things moving along. The climax and the ending save the film from being just average.

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. doesn't exactly spring to mind when looking for actors to play legendary detective Sherlock Holmes...but I guess that was the idea. This ass-kicking, smart-talking, drunkard's drunkard of a Holmes is right up Downey's alley and he plays him to perfection. No Holmes is complete without his sidekick, Dr. Watson, and Jude Law looks like he was having a blast quipping back and forth with Downey. The pair of them carry the movie and have to what with the weak villain and love interest (the usually dependable Mark Strong and Rachel McAdams respectively). It's a start and I'm looking forward to seeing what the sequel will bring. If you pay attention you'll be able to figure out who the villain will be. It's elementary, my dear Professor...


Don't get me wrong, I love Will Ferrell. I had my hopes up as the movie introduces Buddy, a human orphan who is brought up with elves in Santa's Workshop at the North Pole. The laughs keep coming as Buddy tries to exist in a world made for those half as tall as he. Will Ferrell sure has the idiot man-child act down pat. If only the movie ended there. But as soon as Buddy leaves the North Pole (great cameo by the stop-motion Christmas animals of the 70s) for New York City in search of his real family the movie plunges downhill. The more sappy and wholesome the movie got the worse it became. At least the first 30 minutes were enjoyable. I don't feel bad about falling asleep trying to get through the rest...twice.

In Bruges
In Bruges(2008)

There are two ways to look at this movie. You can take it as a serious lesson in that if you do something bad you can expect for something bad to happen to you in return. Or you can take it as a dark comedy where the two main characters (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) bicker back and forth like the Irish version of "The Odd Couple". In my opinion, it's a great mix of both. Colin Farrell steals the show as a fast talking, slightly off-kilter hit man who can't get over a past mistake but has no problem making new ones. Make sure you pay attention to the dialogue, if you can. It's difficult to pick up but it seems everything in life is a whole lot funnier when spoken with an Irish accent.


Let's get down to it...Australia is one of the worst movies I have seen in some time. Expectations were high after Baz Luhrmann's last film, "Moulin Rouge!", but within 15 minutes you could tell this was going to be a total clunker. "Australia" really tries to be an epic but fails in every aspect. The acting is awful (I don't think I've ever seen Kidman this bad), the script is even worse and some of the plot points were down right laughable. Finally...what's the story with all of the CGI? Does the Land Down Under no longer exist? Is it impossible to shoot film in Australia? The cinematography is just like the drama in this movie...fake.


I have been ignoring the animated features for some time but with two kids in my life I figured I have to start catching up. Ratatouille is the story of a rat who REALLY loves food and finds himself in the perfect city...Paris. To fulfill his dream of being a chef he teams with the garbage boy at a prestigous restaurant and together they turn the city on its ear. It's a great lesson for everyone...Follow your dreams no matter what anyone says and always believe in yourself. Animation has come a long way since the last movie I saw in the theatres (The Rescuers Down Under?) and it looks like I've been missing out.

Despicable Me

Steve Carell playing the world's greatest supervillain? Only in the animated world can this be possible. "Despicable Me" is the story of the aforementioned Carrell voicing the character of Gru who is starting to lose his standing in the villain community. To best his competition he comes up with a plan to pull off the greatest heist in history but to do this he'll need the help of three little orphan girls. What happens? You guessed the end he'll need to decide between a life of crime or a life as a dad. Carell may be great but it's the girls and Gru's "minions" that steal every scene!

Me, Myself & Irene

I saw this in the theatres back in 2000 and wasn't thrilled about it. I was told recently to give this movie another try. Well I did...and nothing changed. The Farrelly Brothers plus Jim Carrey in his prime should've equalled comedy gold but the truly funny moments are few and far between. There is a great supporting cast with Chris Cooper, Robert Forster and Richard Jenkins and it was nice to see Renee Zellweger back when she looked, well, normal. But this is no Dumb and Dumber nor is it Kingpin, both pillars of comedy greatness. At least it was better than Fever Pitch...

Sex and the City

I have been told that this was a great movie for those who loved it on HBO so I will give the writers credit there. As for someone who has never seen an episode I thought the movie did a good job of introducing the characters and their personalities but was 135 minutes really needed? I was definitely looking at the clock about 2/3 of the way in just waiting for it to end. Not to say that Sex and the City was a bad movie just not one that could hold my attention for all that long. What can I say? I just don't have a lot in common with these women...thank God!

Step Brothers

Will Ferrell's career...Paging Will Ferrell's career. Talk about being MIA. He hasn't made a funny movie since 2006's Talladega Nights and Step Brothers continues the downward trend. It seems the only way Ferrell and John C. Reilly can drum up some laughs is by using the "F" word in new and exotic ways. Usually that's good enough for me...but not this time. Sure there were the occasionally laughs and chuckles but when the funniest part of your movie is 30 seconds long and happens during the end credits, well that's a problem.

Shakespeare in Love

An incredibly witty, funny and romantic take on how and why William Shakespeare came up with the story of Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes is perfect as Shakespeare but Geoffrey Rush and Tom Wilkinson steal the show as the theatre owner and money lenderer he is indebted to, respectively. Multiple viewings will be necessary to pick up on the several nods to Shakespeare's personal history as well as quotes and plots from his other works. However the more you watch it the more you will appreciate this Best Picture winner.


Make sure you check your believability at the door on this one. This story of a nobody office worker who learns he has superhuman killing abilities definitely grabs your attention with unbelievable stunts and slo-mo action sequences but takes itself a little too seriously. Think of it as a cross between The Matrix (without the interesting story) and Crank (without the humor). They could've done a lot more with what they had.

Monsters vs. Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens is a funny (at times) and amusing (at times) spoof on the 1950's Hollywood fascination with B-grade monsters and aliens movies. The plot slows down two-thirds through but the characters and their human voice counterparts have enough funny lines to keep you interested. Not one of the best animated films you'll see but definitely worth a 90 minute look.

The Happening

Interesting premise that is completely killed by horrific acting and a pretty boring storyline. Not a terrible movie but one you should watch once and then never again.

The Mist
The Mist(2007)

Pretty good film. Keeps your eyes glue to the screen at all times. The ending is truly heart wrenching and, let's be honest, was pretty brave to write.