Brad Sweet's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Finding Dory
Finding Dory(2016)

Classic Disney/Pixar at it again. Such a great movie! Nobody cares if you have little kids. Just go see it. Dare you not to get all emotional!

Captain America: Civil War

I could watch this all day! The Russo brothers Delivered the best Marvel to date with The Winter Soldier, and now they've done it again. Captain America: Civil War is yet another fantastic political thriller/superhero action movie! Somehow, they managed to give each member of such a great, large ensemble cast their time to shine while weaving together a strong, thought-provoking plot that is likely to have you shifting back and forth from one side to the other. Spider-Man and Black Panther steal every scene they are in. They are amazing! But the heart and soul of this film is still Cap, and his relationship to Bucky, as it should be. The villain is a bit forgettable/unnecessary, but that doesn't really matter at all. The epic action scene the movie builds to is unforgettable and probably the greatest ever put on screen! I loved this movie to death and can not wait to see it again! ~ A-

It Follows
It Follows(2015)

Best horror film of 2015, hands down. Recognizing that it took place in and around Detroit was a cool thing that added a bit to my enjoyment of this film. But really, that didn't matter. It Follows is an original, scary, and seriously thought-provoking film that I couldn't recommend more highly. ~ A-


Super-refreshing, self-aware, hilarious, and gratuitous in all the right ways, Deadpool exceeded all of my high expectations! Ryan Reynolds is the best he's ever been on screen. The 2016 comic book movie bar has been set very very high! See this movie! ~ A

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

Fantastic documentary well worthy of the Oscar! Do yourself a favor and find it on Netflix. ~ A-

The Hateful Eight

This is pure Tarintino in his most distilled form, for better or worse. While it doesn't necessarily reach the heights of most of his filmography, it is still very good. Attention to detail is high, as usual, and the actors enthrall you. Gripping, wild fun, and always cool, The Hateful Eight is definitely recommended. ~ B+

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

This movie freakin' rocks! Not surprising that I would feel this way immediately after watching it. After all, I loved all three prequels right after walking out of the theater and later grew to hate them for every obvious reason. But this is different. This movie is legitimately great! It fuses everything you love about the original trilogy with the prefect tone of freshness. The story is interesting; the characters are compelling and well-developed; the action is exhilarating, and it's as sharp, funny, and fun as ever! I could talk for days about everything I love about this movie (and have been for hours). The Force Awakens really got it right. And for that, I think I will treasure this film forever. Well done, J.J. Well done. ~ A-

Ex Machina
Ex Machina(2015)

A perfect example of science-fiction done right! Ex Machina is a very cerebral film, unafraid of making its audience contemplate some complex ideas. It looks gorgeous and is chillingly suspenseful. The dichotomy of pondering big, fascinating ideas while always feeling uneasy and suspicious makes this a must see. ~ A-

Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks. The Coen Brothers. Any of these people alone would be enough to get me in the theater; but combined are a recipe for greatness. Greatness, however wouldn't be the word I'd use to describe Bridge of Spies. This film is good, mind you. Very good. Tom Hanks is very Tom Hanksy. And it feels very much like a Speilberg film. Both great things. It serves as a very interesting look at the Cold War: espionage, paranoia, and a witch-hunting culture of America at the time. The scenes in Berlin were quite compelling, and the score helped a very sentimental ending to tear up most in attendance. ~ B+


Spectre, with all the usual 007 traits, is a very entertaining action movie, but falls short of the highs that Skyfall and Casino Royale achieved. I still recommend it to any Bond fan as there are several thrilling action sequences and it is still beautifully shot and scored. ~ B

The Walk
The Walk(2015)

The Walk is a fairly simple movie about a complex undertaking to achieve an impossible dream. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is very charismatic as Philippe Petit and really pulls you into his dream. Normally a critic of 3D in movies, I must also admit that this film employs it to perfection. By the end of the film, you will be completely caught up in the sentimentality of these two buildings in a subtle, unique way. ~ B

The Martian
The Martian(2015)

What a great time at the movies! Drew Goddard penned a fantastic screenplay and Ridley Scott turned it into a heck of a movie! All of the characters were brilliantly cast. I loved the balance of prestigious award-nominated actors and comedic ones, with Matt Damon perfect in a role that required both. While there was not nearly as much tension as you'd expect for a story like this, especially when compared to Gravity or Interstellar, which it undoubtedly will be, the witty and well timed humor more than make up for it. I was enthralled in this story for every second and while some parts might occasionally seem unbelievable, I bought just about every decision, performance, and beat throughout. Easily one of my top 5 theater experiences this year, and excellent in IMAX3D! ~ A-


Let me just get this out of the way. Sicario is fantastic and quite possibly the best film I've seen in 2015! The cast is incredible. Benicio Del Toro is unforgettable. The story is fascinating. The cinematography is spectacular. The pace is perfect. I basically feel like this film is just about flawless. It's thrilling, suspenseful, thought-provoking, and an absolute lock to make my Top Ten list come January! Can not wait to see it again! ~ A

The Visit
The Visit(2015)

Like most people, I have long since given up on M. Night Shyamalan. But luckily BIFF gave me the opportunity to give him another chance. And boy did he deliver! It's best not to know too many details, but know that The Visit is a totally creepy, and very entertaining, well paced horror thriller. I went in with every expectation that I would leave disappointed, but this is easily his best work in over a decade. ~ B+

Green Room
Green Room(2016)

Green Room is a frantic, adrenaline pumping, action/horror/thriller that will keep you on edge for basically the entirety of its run-time. It doesn't always hit on all cylinders, but it will succeed it keeping you horrified; of skinheads, attack dogs, and maybe even Patrick Stewart. ~ B


Remarkably well made for a first time filmmaker, Twinsters is easily my favorite documentary of 2015 thus far! We follow Samantha, a Korean born girl adopted by American parents, as she discovers that she might have a twin sister that nobody ever knew existed. Well paced, funny, and emotional to the perfect degree, Twinsters feels unlike most documentaries and is guaranteed to entertain. But beyond that, it will also fascinate and force you to explore nature, nurture, and what family really means. I could not possibly recommend this film more! ~ A


Interesting, suspenseful, and inspiring, Everest thrills and amazes! Recommended! ~ B


Just when I was about to lower my Marvel expectations, they hit me with this. Ant-Man is a great time in the theater and as entertaining as you could ask it to be. Part heist movie, part comic book movie, it's much funnier that expected, well acted, and full of great, innovative action scenes. A lighter film, no doubt, than Age of Ultron, MCU's Phase 2 has still gone out on a high note. ~ B+

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation falls a little short of the heights Ghost Protocol reached, but still manages to deliver plenty of thrills and keep you on the edge of your seat. The action set-pieces are elaborate, as always, and the characters are interesting enough. Exposition was a little heavy at times, but overall, the latest Cruise-fest is a fun, worthy, summer action movie. ~ B+

Inside Out
Inside Out(2015)

I think it's safe to call the Oscar race in the Best Animated Film category over. Inside Out is fun, sweet, sad, moving, inventive, beautiful, funny, and utterly spectacular! My eyes were glued to the screen and my heart was in it from the very first moment. Pixar is back to it's old tricks of shooting out modern classics that will stand the test of time. Half way into 2015, this is easily the standout film that will stick with me. And P.S. The short film 'Lava' that precedes the film is just as beautiful and moving. ~ A

Terminator Genisys

Not even close to being a worthy successor to T2, but I don't think that will surprise anyone. Rather than measuring it in that light, if we just look at it as a fun summer action flick, it does provide an entertaining couple hours. The plot is not very compelling and the stakes don't seem as great as in T2. The thrills and suspense are there, but lacking in comparison. That said, Terminator Genesis is a fun way to spend a 4th of July morning, even if only to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger and see Khalissi without a blonde wig playing the 'Mother of John Connor'. ~ B-

Jurassic World

While not nearly as thrilling, original, clever, or innovative as 'Jurassic Park', this latest installment is pretty good popcorn fun. Aside from the awesome CG dinosaurs, Chris Pratt is the stand out here. His charisma and magnetism keep you entertained; while the exciting, unbelievable (in every way) set pieces keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot, however, is ridden with holes and the characters are poorly written, and often cartoonish or cliché. As long as you keep your expectations in check and just go in looking for a fun ride, you shouldn't be too disappointed. ~ B

Mad Max: Fury Road

The absolute definition of a Non-Stop Thrill-Ride! Tom Hardy is great and Charlize Theron is fantastic! Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most exhilarating, intense, and impressive action films in recent memory. Instant Classic! ~ A-

Furious 7
Furious 7(2015)

Furious 7 is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be, in a very good way. Action-packed, mindless, fantastic to look at, eye-roll inducing to listen to, but still charming in it's own way, this film expertly accomplishes precisely what it sets out to. The action set-pieces are incredible. Like, seriously amazing to witness, as usual. The exotic locations make what is already a feast for the eyes even more beautiful. And the ending will leave you in tears, just as you would hope, given Paul Walkers tragic fate. Of course Furious 7 has it's flaws like most in the series have, but it is definitely worth seeing on a big screen. ~ B+


The latest Cinderella is a nice, naturally heartwarming, live-action version of the classic story we all know. It didn't blow me away, but it's hard to find many flaws either. Plus, it is refreshing to see an adaption of an older film not really try to change much up. But that point-by-point approach does lend to the thought of this film not being entirely necessary. The short film "Frozen Fever" that runs before the film gives it a nice bump. ~ B+

Under the Skin

Dark, cold, calculating, and fascinating, Under the Skin is one of 2014's best films! With it's loose plot, and lack of dialogue, it's not for everyone, but the visuals are fantastic and the story is tragic. ~ A-

Still Alice
Still Alice(2015)

Julianne Moore should and will win this Oscar. Her character in Still Alice is suffering from Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease and we watch her mind fade away over the course of the film. It is as compelling as it is tragic, and that is mostly a testament to the acting. The rest of the cast is fine, but Moore elevates this film greatly. ~ B+


Dark, brooding, and ever-unsettling, Foxcatcher is a film that will shake you. The tone and atmosphere it creates are not what you might deem pleasant, but the acting is top-notch. ~ B+

Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6(2014)

Disney's done it again. Big Hero 6 is sweet, heartwarming, action-packed, and beautiful to look at. The world-building is impressive and the characters are solid. Go see this movie! Just do it. Seriously. ~ B+


Led by a remarkable performance by David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., the all star cast of Selma moves it's audience in every way you would expect it to. Perhaps not the most accurate or entertaining film, Selma does have it's flaws, but all-in-all, it is a very well made film that delivers the emotional punches it intends to. ~ B+

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is an intriguing film that reveals the largely unknown story of a man that had a critical impact on the Allies winning the War. Benedict Cumberbatch give a performance well worthy of it's acclaim. If you're interested in seeing a new take on WWII films, or even fascinating untold stories, you will not be disappointed. ~ B+

The Babadook
The Babadook(2014)

Absolutely one of the best horror films I've seen in years! The Babadook is not only incredibly unsettling; it's original. A pair of excellent performances by it's leads, and some thought-provoking themes, elevate this film to rare heights for the genre. ~ A-

The Theory of Everything

4 out of 5 stars. Full of heart and powered by two great performances, The Theory of Everything will no doubt move you. It's sweet, romantic, and interesting. But it kind of misses the mark in a couple areas. You witness Eddie Redmayne's Hawking deteriorate over time, but you don't often feel the real day-to-day challenges of living life with his disease. It's well shot with a good score, but just doesn't really leave a lasting impression on you. ~ B+


Fascinating Documentary that every American should see and absolutely deserves to win the Oscar.


I love this film so much! It's absolutely impressive in every way. It's laugh-out-loud hilarious at times. The drama is compelling. The performances are fantastic. And the style is awe-inspiring. Made to seem as if it's shot in one long, feature-length take, Iñárritu's latest captures you from the outset with it's frantic perspective and pace to the point where you are caught in it's trance throughout. Full of interesting themes and thought-provoking imagery, Birdman is without a doubt one of my favorite films of the year. ~ A-


Beautiful in it's simplicity, and full of great performances, Boyhood is an intimate and very unique kind of coming of age story. Richard Linklater's bold experiment came to fruition as a personally resonating take on the human condition. ~ A-


Wow! This film is freakin' nuts! Nightcrawler is a remarkably unique thriller that has you feeling unsettled, anxious, and spellbound from start to finish. But it also serves as a commentary about the current state of our sensationalist-media driven society. The real reason to see this though is Jake Gyllenhaal, who is absolutely incredible as a terrifying, fascinating character of the likes rarely seen. ~ A-

American Sniper

At times great, and at others, laughably sloppy, American Sniper is a mixed bag. Scenes in Iraq are thrilling and worthy of praise, but most scenes on the home-front really miss the mark. Overall, it's a film I'd recommend and quite enjoyed, and Bradley Cooper is impressive, but I really feel that a little more time put into it by the director would have made a big difference. ~ B


Super intense, excellent film about the aspiration for greatness, whether it's Miles Teller's dangerous ambition, or J.K. Simmons abusively pushing the limits of his students to achieve it. Must see! ~ A-

The Interview

It was pretty much bound to disappoint after all of the attention surrounding it recently. If you love Seth Rogan & James Franco movies, you'll like this. If not, you'll likely feel like it's beneath you. The Interview is full of laughs, but not exactly sharp or clever. It is a fun, silly film that can certainly be enjoyed if you don't take it seriously at all whatsoever. Glad I saw it and it will be memorable, but it's par for the course for thee guys. ~ B-


He has done it again. The man just can not make a bad movie! Not even a mediocre one. Interstellar is pure science-fiction greatness. Christopher Nolan taps into his inner Kubrick as he takes a bold, epic, and at times, chilling story of a dystopian Earth's last days and a mission to find a new home, and infuses it with an emotional core that is very new for him. For the first time ever, a Nolan film really has heart, and it will get to you; guaranteed. Interstellar meets and exceeds very high expectations and is a must see on as big of a screen as possible! ~ A-

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

David Fincher has done it again. Just when I was craving an excellent film after a summer of, albeit fun, popcorn fluff, comes this modern murder-mystery masterpiece. Gone Girl is everything you want in a film like this. It keeps you guessing at every turn and just when you think you have it figured out, it turns your expectations on their head. Ben Affleck is at his best and Fincher does what he does best, deliver masterclass film-making. Gone Girl is easily the best film I've seen of 2014 and is well deserving of any and all praise it is bound to receive. ~ A

Begin Again
Begin Again(2014)

John Carney's follow up to 'Once', while slightly similar, feels like a very different film, yet is equally beautiful. This is primarily due again to it's beautiful and expert use of music. Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightly are great, but the soundtrack is fantastic. An otherwise 2.5 to 3 star film is amped up to 4 entirely thanks to it. Loved this movie! ~ B+

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

The first film was very good, but this one is really great! Easily one of the best films of the summer! Some of the Finest CGI you've ever seen and Andy Serkis... wow! That guy is just never not amazing! The humans were pretty stale, but everything with the apes was fantastic! Strong themes; simple, but interesting story; and how can you not still love Caesar?! Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is absolutely a must see if you liked the first one! ~ A-

Nymphomaniac: Volume I

Nymphomaniac. A title like that is sure to repel many a film-goer, especially those with any impression of Lars von Trier's reputation. Many will blindly condemn it as filth; as pornography. But such glib naivety grossly misrepresents the content of this film. Volume one of this fascinating story takes something just about every human being reveres in one way or another, and strips it of all love, warmth, intimacy, romance or beauty. It recounts the cold, destructive life of a self-described nymphomaniac; all the lives she's touched, and ruined, including her own. Surprisingly full of dark comedy, raw emotion, thought-provoking themes, and showcasing an impressive cast, Nymphomaniac Vol. I is a fine film that leaves you hungry for Vol. II. ~ B+

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

I must admit I did not see this coming. My expectations were low and I was just hoping for some summer, popcorn fun. I got that and plenty more! Edge of Tomorrow takes a traditional action/sci-fi film and combines it with a 'Groundhog Day' concept that results in a fun, exciting, and really funny movie. Tom Cruise hits every comic beat perfectly as well as all the action and emotion. The real surprise here is the standout character of Rita played by Emily Blunt. She is a rare strong female character that is important, developed, and the biggest bad-ass in the world. She's aspirational as well as inspirational, and together with Cruise, makes a thoroughly enjoyable film! B+

X-Men: Days of Future Past

This was my most anticipated film of the year, and it did not disappoint! With the latest X-Men film, Bryan Singer returns to the franchise he started and delivers one of its finest entries. Uniting the old cast with the new class is a delicate balance, and that line is walked very effectively. Hugh Jackman and the First Class stars: Fassbender, McAvoy, and Lawrence are all great, the story is compelling, and the action set pieces are fantastic. And the addition of Quicksilver and Blink were memorable highlights. Funny, interesting, and action-packed, Days of Future Past is a must-see! ~ B+

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Mostly entertaining, but quite forgettable. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does go bigger in every way, but isn't necessarily much better than a mediocre first film in this re-booted series. Jamie fox is a ridiculous cartoon for most of the first act, before finally becoming mildly interesting. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are fine again, but this time, Garfield's Peter Parker spends much of his screen time looking like a whiny kid pining for a girl he Can have. The CGI is mostly impressive and every scene with Electro is an absolute pleasure to watch. But the Osborn's were poorly utilized for such an important part of the Spider-Man universe. At the end of the day, it's mostly an enjoyable popcorn flick, but not much more than that. ~ B-

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Just, Wow! As much as I love these Marvel movies, the latest Captain America film is without doubt among the very best! The Winter Soldier is a shockingly suspenseful, adrenaline-filled, super-thriller that at moments had me feeling emotions I haven't felt since first watching The Dark Knight (and one of the money shots is almost exactly the same as one from that film). This first Cap movie set in modern times is as politically thought-provoking as it is pure fun, and the first of the Marvel films to actually surpass it's original in just about every way. After this, I could not possibly be more excited for Age of Ultron! ~ A-

The Grand Budapest Hotel

From the first second, it is clear that this is very much a Wes Anderson film, but no ordinary one. The Grand Budapest Hotel is among his very best ones. It's incredible style and sharp wit are ever present, in his usual quirky way, but the suspense, mystery, and chase elements add further excitement to another warm, emotional tale by a modern legend. ~ A-


Controversial as it may have become, Noah is actually quite a good movie. The CG is impressive; Russell Crowe is perfect; Noah's struggle is fascinating; and Aronofsky's style is ever present in this worthy addition to the director's cannon. ~ B


Spike Jonze's latest is a fresh, smart, sweet, and incredibly unique love story that is certain to make you laugh, cry, and really examine what a relationship is. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson (with just her voice) are absolutely captivating! Her is one of the most original films in years and absolutely must be seen! ~ A-

Dallas Buyers Club

Led by powerhouse performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and tackling a very heavy premise, Dallas Buyers Club has Oscar bait written all over it. Jean-Marc Vallée's story of a cowboy diagnosed with HIV, his journey for survival, and ultimately, his redemption. While Dallas is not a bad film by any means, it does seem to be receiving more praise than is deserved. ~ B

The Wolf of Wall Street

I freaking Love this Film! Scorsese at his best! Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a tour de force as real-life stockbroker Jordan Belfort. I feel this character has been best described as modern cinema's Walter White. He is our protagonist, and a very charismatic one at that, so we root for him. But he is absolutely the villain of the film as well. He commits despicable acts and indulges in debauchery, yet we are still on his side. And I find that fascinating. I also haven't laughed this hard at a single film all year and it's not even totally a comedy in the classical sense. The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the very best films I have had the pleasure of enjoying all year and a must see for all! ~ A

12 Years a Slave

Absolutely incredible! 12 Years a Slave tells the heartbreaking true story of Solomon Northup, a free man, who was tricked, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in the 1800s. Steve McQueen's relentless direction really captures the worst of humanity and the darkest chapter in American history, while simultaneously telling a fascinating character story that displays the strength of the human spirit. This film shook me to the core and moved me to tears. And I defy anyone to walk out of the theater with a dry eye. This may possibly be the very best film of 2013 and is an absolute must-see! ~ A


Just a thin shell of what the original classic was. It's sad really, but not at all surprising. The original was fresh, stylish, and uniquely South Korean. Park Chan-Wook is a brilliant visionary director that brought so much to the table that Spike Lee just couldn't. There is some style here, and some scenes are memorable still. Josh Brolin is fine, but nothing special, the plot changes made the story worse, and the villain is terrible. I really can't recommend this to anyone. See the original! That is a classic. This is trash. ~ C-

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

This film was mostly entertaining, but very predictable and just didn't feel special in any way. Very forgettable, but a pleasant enough way to spend an hour and 45 minutes. ~ B-

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

It was okay, but not great. The trailers make it out to be something it isn't. There is still heart here, and comedy, which redeem it to an extent. But in the end, the sentimentality is predictable and nothing seems entirely earned. ~ B-

American Hustle

David O. Russell has been making some incredible films in recent years, and his latest offering continues that trend. Every member of this star-studded cast is fantastic in their most dramatic moments as well as the comedic. Clearly reminiscent of classic crime dramas like 'Goodfellas', American Hustle is just as good, but much more fun! This is undoubtedly one of the most surprisingly enjoyable films of the year. ~ B+

Spring Breakers

One would do well not to be swayed by mixed reviews, expectations of the generic, or even that poster. What Harmony Korine delivers is one of the most unique films of the year. Energetic, highly stylized, and fitted with a bold soundtrack, Spring Breakers constantly burdens its audience with discomfort; torn between reacting with disgust or laughter at its fascinating characters and sensational situations. You are meant to reflect inward and make your own judgments. All of this and a fascinating performance from James Franco are just part of why I really enjoyed this film more than most and definitely recommend it. ~ B+


Not that I ever would have gone to a SeaWorld again anyway, but I absolutely never will now. BLACKFISH finally shines a bright light on a very dark side of the sea-park industry. It's heartbreaking to see the conditions these brilliant, highly sentient mammals are forced to endure. And equally disgusting to watch SeaWorld try to cover-up and spin attacks to maintain profitability. This may be the best documentary of the year and is absolutely a must-see! ~ A-

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)

This genre bending film offers a brilliant new take on the zombie flick. Part horror comedy, more so a love story, Warm Bodies is a smart, supremely original film full of heart, and one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. ~ B+

Captain Phillips

Simply extraordinary! Paul Greengrass is at his finest in this intense, pulse-pounding thriller about Somali pirates taking over an American cargo ship and taking its captain hostage. Tom Hanks' multi-layered, powerhouse performance as the title character is among the most outstanding of his illustrious career. Everything from it's distinct portrayal of a clash of cultures to its commentary of modern politics and globalization makes Captain Phillips one of the very best films of 2013. ~ A

This Is the End

Some parts very funny, more parts really stupid, This Is the End is more so just really inconsistent. The All-Star cast could not overcome a weak script and unlikable characters. The first act of this film alone, however easily makes it a recommend, but it falls apart after that. Maybe I am getting too old, or perhaps I am just not the intended audience, but too much of this movie just felt too forced and not even watchable. See it for the first act, but don't expect that level of fun to continue. ~ C+

The Bling Ring

Sofia Coppola's latest film has an intriguing premise. LA teens, molded by today's TMZ culture and luxury brand obsession, break into the homes of the Paris Hiltons and Lindsey Lohans of the world, to try on their clothes, dance in their 'night-club rooms', or lay in their beds, and of course... steal whatever they desire. It's even based on true events. But Coppola's usual cool, distant feel seems to be her own undoing here. Sure, the film does make some interesting commentaries on modern society, but when your missing heart, or even character development, it's difficult for your audience to care about anything that is happening. The Bling Ring is not a terrible movie, but also not one I would recommend. ~ C+

Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station is a film I had been looking forward to ever since it won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance all those months ago. After finally watching it, I can say it is absolutely among the year's best. Powerfully acted, perfectly paced, and filled with erie suspense. The audience is made to know what is to come, but not how or when. So the entire final act of the film has you on the edge of your seat. In the end, it is a heart-breaking true story that is sure to stick with you. ~ A-

Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2(1990)

Not nearly as good as the first, but still a fun movie. Die Hard 2 hits all the beats you'd expect of it, and mostly does so successfully. The dialogue is as bad as usual, but that's not what you're here for anyway. It's a popcorn movie, and an enjoyable one at that. ~ C+

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Soooo much better than the first! I didn't hate last year's 'Hobbit'. I loved every second Gollum was on screen. But the rest of that film dragged on so much it was hard to stay awake. And though The Desolation Of Smaug does have its LOTR-esque get-on-with-it moments, this adventure is much more fun and exciting than the last. And the stakes have been raised. The strongest aspect of this film, much like Sméagol in the last, is undoubtedly Smaug. You simply can not look away for a moment while he before your eyes. As these types of middle films usually do, 'Desolation' leaves you begging for more. ~ B+

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Holy crap, this was a good movie! Distopia is back, but the stakes have been raised. And Donald Sutherland's brought in Phillip Seymour Hoffman to be a game-changer! At the end of those two and a half hours, I was begging for more! But I suppose that's what the second part of a trilogy should be doing. Can't wait till next year to see how it all ends! ~ B+


Wow! Just wow. Not really much to say besides that this film is incredible. In its simplicity as well as fantastic performances, Gravity is just brilliant; and probably the best movie I've seen all year. Visually stunning and still mostly true to science, it is a marvel in film-making and an experience we all deserve to have in a theater. ~ A


It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a Ron Howard film as much as I did this one. Rush is a high-octane sports drama telling the true stories of F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It takes a lot for sports movies to impress me, and I have never been remotely interested in Formula 1, but this film captivated me from the very first second, mostly due to it's fascinating characters and strong performances by Hemsworth and Brühl. And not only is it an exhilarating thrill-ride at times, but also a satisfying tale of redemption, and among the year's best. Absolutely see this film. ~ A-

Now You See Me

I love heist movies. And I like magic. It's fun. So with a cast like this, Now You See Me should have bee right up my ally. But a pretty weak script and cliche characters that I didn't care much about leave me unimpressed. It is sometimes a fun enough way to kill a couple hours, but I can't honestly recommend this film to most. ~ C+

Only God Forgives

Ryan Gosling reunites with Nicolas Winding Refn in his latest piece of beautiful film-making. Set in Bangkok's criminal underworld, Only God Forgives is not surprisingly very dark; visually, tonally, and thematically. Just as Drive was in 2011, this film is stylish and gorgeously shot, even in the most gruesome of scenes. And also like his last film, Refn doesn't skimp on the gore. This film is violent; very very violent. But unlike his past masterwork, Only God Forgives doesn't really bring much else to the table beyond the surface. Its plot is dull and uninteresting. Its characters completely unlikable. And many scenes that are obviously going for artsy-ness end up dreadfully boring. Based on the style alone, and the admittedly gripping-at-times tensity, I give it a slight recommend. ~ B-

Like Someone in Love

This being my first Abbas Kiarostami film, I was unsure what to expect, and completely unprepared for what I got. With his latest, Like Someone in Love, Kiarostami manages to fill an artful, carefully paced, intimate drama with a tensity and unease typically reserved for Hitchcockian thrillers. This is a non-traditional narrative full of style, strong performances, and intriguing themes. If you're willing to find your 'in', I highly recommend this film. ~ B+

Room 237
Room 237(2013)

The Shining is absolutely one of my All-time favorite films; so a documentary about Kubrick's intended hidden meanings seemed like a fascinating thing to see. But what you get from Room 237 is not exactly that. Rather, what you are left with is an entirely different film about obsessive cinephilles taking their love of this masterpiece way too far. They come off as crackpot conspiracy theorists with talk of staged moon landings, Nazis, Native Americans, and more. It is interesting to hear how convinced these people seem to be of their 'revelations' that came from years of careful study, but all in all, this isn't a very good movie. ~ B-

It's a Disaster

It's A Disaster is a very dark comedy that stands out from most these days. It's razor sharp dialogue and perfect comedic timing by the actors and filmmakers make it a thoroughly enjoyable watch. For some reason however, I just don't feel like it's going to be remembered by many, myself included. It's unjustifiable, because it is quite funny, but it seem like a film that will stand the test of time. In spite of that, see this movie! ~ B

The Place Beyond The Pines

This cast alone should make it a must see. But it's also a great film on top of that. Broken up into three distinct acts, The Place Beyond the Pines will destroy you. Ryan Gosling is fantastic, and the strongest piece here, which should come as no surprise. You will be glued to the screen from start to finish and left broken by the end. This hearty crime thriller maybe be the best film of 2013 thus far. ~ A-

The Call
The Call(2013)

Enjoyable watch, but seems like more of a made-for-cable TV movie starring Halle Berry. ~ B-

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

In an era of summer's filled with sequels, remakes, reboots, and the like, Pacific Rim stands apart as a feat in originality. I believed and cared about most of the characters, and the effects are of the highest caliber. While some of the dialogue might be deliberately corny, and cliches plentiful, there is still plenty here you haven't seen before. The stakes truly feel high and real. Sure it could have used more humor and been trimmed down a bit, but all-in-all, Guillermo del Toro delivers a good movie worth seeing. ~ B

White House Down

I feel like I just saw this movie a few weeks ago. Probably because I basically have. White House Down is almost an exact carbon copy of Olympus Has Fallen, which just barely left theaters. Albeit, the effects are better here, and the characters a little more interesting/entertaining. But don't be fooled, these are both bad movies. Now that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself. I actually had a relatively good experience watching it. It is an action packed, fun movie. But ridiculously implausible and often quite cheesy and unoriginal. The characters are cliches and never really surprise you. The plot is bland and predictable. But you can still have some mindless fun. All-in-all there are worse ways to spend a 4th of July weekend. ~ C+

World War Z
World War Z(2013)

Now This is a zombie movie! I was not hotly anticipating this film like some. Nor was I expecting to love it. And that is probably for the best because I was shocked at how much I thoroughly enjoyed my two hours in the theater. World War Z is a story about a zombie apocalypse that takes the world by storm, and how certain countries go about handling it. Isreal builds a wall (shocker). North Korea yanks the teeth out of its people so they can't bite. What does America do? We send Brad Pitt out to take care of business. Admittedly, most of the characters here are not awfully flushed out, and the plot is not particularly complex, but Pitt is very good, as usual. This movie had more thrills and suspense that you would ever expect from a summer action flick, keeping me riveted the whole time. I can definitely recommend this film to anybody who could possibly be interested. ~ B

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

I tried tempering my expectations going in, but just can't help getting excited about a Superman movie. Not surprisingly though, Zack Snyder disappoints yet again. Man of Steel is not a terrible movie; but there is just nothing here to make it great. It will be easily forgettable. Most characters are not particularly interesting and sorely lack weight or substance. Even Superman himself sees no problem indirectly killing hundreds of people for no reason. The physics of superhero movies don't need to be believable; but the motivations of their characters should be. And that just isn't always true here. If you love movies like this, then you will not have a bad time, but I can not really recommend it anyone. ~ C+

Star Trek Into Darkness

I Love This Movie! J.J. did it again. Star Trek Into Darkness is a non-stop thrill ride. I was glued to every frame and hanging on every word. I felt like a kid again. While the story may not be quite as strong as could be, the visuals were incredible and the action never ceased to amaze me. It would be very hard to say a bad thing about this film, so I won't even bother trying. Just see this movie. I guarantee you will leave satisfied and smiling ;) ~ B+

Olympus Has Fallen

America, F&$% Yeah! Olympus Has Fallen is a bad movie; plain and simple. Redeeming qualities are mostly absent. It often feels more like Pro-American propaganda than an actual movie. The general concept is unoriginal, the effects are seriously Horrible, the plot is generic, and the way over the top patriotism is laughable. But that may unintentionally be its silver lining. This just may be one of those movies that is so bad, it's good, in a "I love laughing at this movie" kind of way. Being in Korea myself, I enjoyed the fact that the plot centers around Korea and touches on some interesting ideas. If you like laughing at bad movies that take themselves too seriously, of are just really into screaming 'Merica', you may enjoy this. Otherwise, don't waste your time. ~ C-

Fast & Furious 6

While it does not quite stand up to Fist Five in most respects, this newest entry in the franchise is still a non-stop thrill-ride! Sorely lacking in originality, with generic themes, cliche plot-lines, and eye-rolling dialogue, Fast & Furious 6 is all about the action; and it seriously delivers in that department. The chase scenes and action sequences are actually really inventive and exciting, which should come as no surprise. If you enjoyed any of the previous installments, then I can definitely recommend this one. And make sure you stay for the mid-credits teaser scene, it's amazing! ~ B-

Fast Five
Fast Five(2011)

With the sixth installment on the docket for tonight, a re-watch of Fast Five seemed like a good idea. And was it ever. While not really having a lick of originality in its plot, this is still an exhilarating, wild ride that totally holds up to repeat viewings. I may be a bit biased because I love heist movies, but this film is absolutely worth watching, so long as you can enjoy a couple hours of adrenaline-filled, mindless fun. ~ B+

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

Still Amazing! Revisiting J.J. Abrams' take on the franchise again felt like a breath of fresh air. The story is strong, visuals breathtaking, acting solid, with great action and just enough humor to boot. I had never been a fan of Star Trek prior to 2009, but this film has everything you could want in a blockbuster. And who doesn't love that Kirk/Spock dynamic? - A-

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)

With his latest psychological thriller, Steven Soderbergh shows yet again that he is one of the most skilled and versatile directors working today. Side Effects is wonderfully acted, beautifully directed, and has a brilliant screenplay full of plot twists you will never see coming. Rooney Mara and Jude Law chime in stellar performances as very grey characters of which you are never quite sure about your opinions. What starts out as a fascinating film about depression, and everything that goes with treating it, gradually evolves into classic Hitchcock. Soderbergh's genre-shifting here is impressive and wildly entertaining. This is definitely a must see. ~ B+

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)

Marvel's highly anticipated follow up to last year's mega-hit was worth the wait. Iron Man 3 gives us a very different Tony Stark than films past. The events of The Avengers have left him broken, obsessed, and suffering the effects of PTSD. And what remains is a much more human character than we have seen from him before; and this is to the films benefit. Having said that, the humor and action are still very much present, possibly being the funniest of all the Marvel films. There is also plenty of drama here and some bold twists that you will never see coming, but admittedly may rub die-hard comic fans the wrong way. Ultimately, you will go see this movie for Robert Downey Jr. and all the blockbuster eye-candy spectacle. So rest assured that Downey Jr. is fantastic, as always, and the spectacle is spectacular. ~ B+

Natural Born Killers

A hardcore satire on a sensationalist media, Oliver Stone's classic will shock and unsettle, leaving you in a state of awe at what we have become. Natural Born Killers addresses the moral decay of the media and society as a whole in a way rarely seen on the silver screen. The sheer brutality of this film may be off-putting to most, as it is among the most violent films I have ever seen in my life. It is also highly stylized, but not in a way as to glorify the violence. Conversely, the style makes it even more uncomfortable to watch, and that's to Stone's credit. Any film that can get such a visceral reaction out of its audience is doing something right. ~ B+


Tom Cruise shines, as a man struggling with memories of a world he has never known, and fighting to save humanity as he's forced to question everything he thought he knew. Stunningly gorgeous, and featuring a score to die for, Oblivion pulls you in from the very start and keeps you thoroughly engrossed till the very end, as layers are peeled back and plot twists unveiled. This film is everything we love about science-fiction, and though not always the most original, it never loses it's heart. At it's core, Oblivion is a tale of love and redemption that should be experienced by all. ~ B+

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)

I just can't seem to get this film out of my head. It's narratives, its themes, its words, its world, are all so memorable; so thought-provoking. I'll need to watch it a dozen times to fully understand it; but I don't say that in a negative way. Rather, in awe of it. In appreciation of it. A movie that forces it's audience to reflect on their world, on their philosophy, on their self, is to be respected. I walk a fine line between loving this film and, well... not loving it at all. It comes so close to achieving true greatness, but each of its six story lines fall short. Yet I can stop thinking about it. Reflecting on it. Cloud Atlas is bound to become a classic, beloved by generations ahead. ~ B+

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

Without a doubt the most beautiful film you will see all year. Period. But Ang Lee's masterpiece is so much more than that. If you have never believed in anything, see this film. And if you have, you will be balling like a little girl uncontrollably and unapologetically. Life of Pi will grab hold of your soul and not let go; which is why, much like 'Tree of Life' did last year, it very well may turn out to be my #1 film of 2012. Please do not miss this experience. ~ A


I kind of expected to hate this movie. A Seth MacFarlane film about a grown man and his sentient Teddy bear? It was bound to be even more self-indulgent than his other work, full of outdated cultural references, and just too utterly ridiculous to be very funny. And mostly that holds true, except that it often is actually funny, ...very funny. Mark Whalberg is solid as the lead, and Mila Kunis seems real as you do feel for her character. But in the end, Ted is just all over the place. There's no focus. It just jumps from lewd joke to mildly offensive joke to reference that nobody gets, all while being held together by a relatively weak story. If you love Family Guy, then you'll probably like this, as there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but not enough to make this movie special. ~ B

The Cabin in the Woods

Instant Classic. Cabin In the Woods might be the most stylish, game changing film to hit the genre since 'Scream'. This refreshingly funny, Ã 1/4ber-meta work of brilliance, co-written by Joss Whedon, is the adrenaline shot we have been waiting for to get horror back on track. Sometimes you have to completely dismantle all the tropes of films past and rip them to shreds to start anew; and this film does it with sharp wit and smarts to book. Prepare your mind to be blown. ~ A-

This is 40
This is 40(2012)

Judd Apatow worries me these days. A film career that began so strongly is fading fast. This Is 40, like most of his recent work, is not bad, but not great either. It is funny, even very funny at times, but never feels all that memorable or special in any way. The cast is fine, as usual, but there just isn't an interesting enough story to be told here. Like most Apatow comedies, it drags on far too long. It's 130 minute run-time could easily have half an hour cut from it. That said, the characters do feel real and genuine enough to care about them, but their problems often seem like those of a spoiled rotten teenager. If you already want to see this movie, you'll probably enjoy it, but temper your expectations. ~ B

Moonrise Kingdom

Although I've admittedly never been the biggest Wes Anderson fan, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed his latest effort. 'Moonrise Kingdom' is a refreshing story of childhood love, escapism, and family. As usual, Anderson has assembled a star-studded cast, but it's breakout young stars Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward outshine them all as runaways Sam and Suzy, 12 year-olds behaving like adults a midst grown-ups acting like children. What truly separates this movie from the rest of the acclaimed writer/director's filmography is it's heart, which has been noticeably lacking from his previous works, but ever so beautify present here. It's like poetry; and as Sam says "Poems don't always have to rhyme, you know. They're just supposed to be creative.", and Wes always has been. ~ B+

Les Misérables

Even amidst the highest of expectations, Tom Hooper's follow-up to 'The King's Speech', while flawed, still just about meets them. Anchored by unforgettable turns by stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, 'Les Misà (C)rables' delivers on just about every level. The scale is grand and the performances are grander, if not at times a little over the top. A musical played out almost entirely in song, it rarely allows the audience to lose interest; be it in the story of Jackman's Jean Valjean and his pursuer, the relentless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe), the boiling French Revolution, or the love between young Cosette and Marius. Even though this film comes off as very by-the-numbers adaptation of a stage musical at times, with all the tropes the go with that, it never loses it's heart, mostly due to it's incredible actors. While many likely expected more of the Oscar winning director taking on such an iconic story, Hooper and his cast still deliver one of the great musical adaptations in recent memory. This tale of love, friendship, honor, and redemption is certainly not to be missed. ~ B+

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an earnest coming of age tale of love and friendship, and the value thereof. This indie darling has somehow flown under some radars, but is not to be missed. Seldom do we see a film that truly encapsulates adolescence in such a genuine way; and with such strong, complex characters. This film is a beautiful story of hope, and absolutely a must see. - A-

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Stunning visuals and breathtaking set pieces were never in doubt prior to experiencing The Hobbit, but what was unexpected was how little else it would have to offer. Peter Jackson latest offering is far from being a bad film, but he is obviously trying too hard to make this into another Lord of the Rings movie, while never even coming close to approaching those heights. The first half of this three hour film, at least, is quite slow and mostly all setup. The real saving grace however, is the third act, notably the Golum sequence. This one scene alone, adds more than a full star to this film and makes it worth seeing by it's own merit. As a whole, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, unfortunately lives up to its name. - B


Finally! A 007 worth a trip to the theater to see! At last, Skyfall delivers the action-packed espionage thriller with substance that we've been waiting for from this series. Daniel Craig has never been better as Bond, nor has anyone else in my lifetime. I'm admittedly not the biggest fan of these films, but happy to see that they've finally gotten it right. Javier Bardem is menacing, even if a bit of a caricature, and very memorable as a villain who always seems to have the upper hand. Those of you like me, who have felt underwhelmed by recent Bond entries, do not skip this one. For if you do, you'll be missing one of the best action films of the decade. A-

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man is far from being so, but it is still a thoroughly enjoyable, great time at the movies. Andrew Garfield is great as Parker and Spider-Man, and Emma Stone brought a lot to her role as well. The action is good and a couple scenes in particular are really interesting. What it may lack in some areas, originality in particular, it makes up for in emotion, intrigue, and even a little darkness. It really is a bit of a Spider-Man/Batman Begins/500 Days of Summer mash-up, but without ever really reaching the heights of any of those films. While this isn't a great movie, it is really fun, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't seriously interested in what the next chapter holds. - B

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

I'm not sure that I could possibly love this movie any more! I was never even a Muppet fan as a kid, but this just blew me away. It's so funny and sweet and clever and everything you could want in a movie like this. I could watch this all day. I don't even have kids yet and I already want to watch this with them. The songs are catchy and the themes are strong. 'The Muppets' is so full of heart that I defy anyone not to get all warm and tingly watching it. Do not miss this! ~ A-

John Carter
John Carter(2012)

Just about everything you want in a summer blockbuster,... in March. John Carter is good fun and a thoroughly enjoyable popcorn movie. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but just enough, almost. This is undoubtedly a flawed movie, And Taylor Kitsch, while a strong presence, was missing something, and that was probably a personality. He does seem to take his role too seriously. That said, visually, this movie is stunning, and often reminiscent of works like Star Wars and Avatar, but it's storytelling just can't live up to such films. Like Avatar though, storytelling isn't exactly the priority here. All-in-all, while not a great movie, and lacking in heart, John Carter is a great Martian adventure that will keep you captivated for virtually all of its 2 hour and 15 minute run time. ~ B

The Descendants

Easily one of the Best films of 2011, 'The Descendants' displays a perfect balance of drama and comedy, and features outstanding performances, lead by George Clooney in possibly his best work ever. A fascinating story portrayed brilliantly, and full of complex, interesting characters, Alexander Payne's latest shows us a rarely seen side of Hawaii; and the intricacies of the human condition. ~ A

The Artist
The Artist(2011)

Never had I ever thought I could possibly enjoy a silent film, ...until now. Having never seen one before, I was unsure what to expect. The experience of watching 'The Artist' in a big, dark, silent theater was simply unforgettable. From that first exhilarating moment of seeing a movie within a movie, to the end credits, I was completely captivated. The necessarily simple story aside, the performances were fantastic, the score was outstanding, and the directing of Michel Hazanavicius was truly inspired. ~ A-

Win Win
Win Win(2011)

A very human story filled with rich, complex, and very likable characters portrayed by great actors who really brought their 'A' game. Chock full of terrific, subtle performances, 'Win Win' is really an excellent little dramedy that you won't soon forget. ~ B+


On it's surface, this film may seem like every other in the genre. Be it boxing, wrestling, or anything else, most 'sports' movies have their clichà (C)s, and admittedly, 'Warrior' does too, But it also rises above them and comes much closer to the caliber of genre cornerstones like 'The Fighter' and 'The Wrestler', while still retaining the fun of lighter fare. 'Warrior' is legitimately a very good film, but also an extremely enjoyable one. ~ B+

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

This wildly interesting and hilarious film follows Conan O'Brien as he tours the country, putting on shows after getting the boot from NBC. 'Conan O'Brien Can't Stop' shows an intimate, revealing side of the icon, relentless in his desire to keep doing what he loves, rarely seen before. ~ B

A Dangerous Method

Well directed by David Cronenberg and very well acted by its stars, especially Michael Fassbender, 'A Dangerous Method' somehow just didn't click for me. With subject matter that any psychology major might be drawn to, a relatively interesting story, and top-tier talent involved, I expected to quite enjoy this film, but it really missed the mark. There isn't much heart to it at all, which would be okay if the story or characters were compelling, but they aren't really. Everything is just pretty good, and nothing ever pops out and wows you, or captivates you, or even keeps your interest in any way. ~ C+

Like Crazy
Like Crazy(2011)

As tempting as it is to refer to this as an after-school special about not over-staying your visa, or a cautionary tale of long-distance relationships, the fact of the matter is, it is so much more than that. 'Like Crazy' is a real love story unlike most you'll see that has a natural authenticity to it that really strikes a chord. Thanks to an interesting story, honest performances, and a great score, this film packs such an emotional punch time after time that you're likely to find yourself tearing up more than once. Every high and every low seem totally earned and feel truly personal. Now it very well may be that I was affected so much because I felt I could almost relate to the characters personally, but nevertheless, I was swept away. ~ A-

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Get your Kleenex ready because the waterworks will come... in buckets. I wasn't expecting to like this movie. I figured it would be an overly-dramatic, contrived film that cheaply played for tears and artificial, generic inspiration; and to an extent, it was. But it was also much more. 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is full of so much heart and genuine humanity that you can probably overlook all of its glaring flaws, at least while you are in the moment. This film is all about its characters, and its protagonist's journey; and that journey, improbable as it may be, still works very well, at least in terms of developing its main character and delivering on its themes. Well-acted and full of heart, 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is definitely a worthwhile watch, despite what many critics will say. ~ B

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I'm not sure what I think of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I liked it, but the plot was so complex and convoluted that it became hard to follow at times. The pace is often slow, and considering it was my third movie of the day, that may be why it was so hard for me to keep up. There is so much going on all the time, but the performances are very subdued, especially Gary Oldman who is great in this Oscar nominated role. Even when you get to the big reveal, it seems so low key and anti-climactic. I remember thinking, "Wait, okay, so he's the mole? Why does this just seem like no big deal?" I am awarding 3.5 stars and a B for now, but I have a feeling that upon a second viewing, that will bump up considerably. ~ B


Maybe the coolest movie I've seen all year outside of 'Drive'; and one of the most raw and authentic feeling since 'Blue Valentine', this dark, exciting, emotional, super-stylish, and completely original film is so filled with tension that I almost felt like I was watching 'The Hurt Locker' again. 'Bellflower' is a breath of fresh air pulsating with energy, and you'll never see a single beat coming from a mile away. Far from a perfect movie, heavy on the melodrama at times, and lacking quality acting, Writer/Director/Star Evan Glodell's first film will nevertheless have you totally gripped from start to finish and you won't be able to pry your eyes from the screen. ~ B+

One Day
One Day(2011)

Not a bad movie, but I was expecting more, and it just missed the mark. The idea of following two people throughout their lives by focusing on a single day as it comes around each year seemed like an interesting one, but it doesn't flow organically and just comes off as a gimmick. There's nothing really all that new or original about this film and you can see most beats coming pretty far in advance. 'One Day' has way too many lows and very few highs. Often times in films, this can lead to real payoffs and make the highs feel truly magical, but not here. You feel good at times, but bad most times. ~ B-


What do you get when you mix The Bourne Identity, Kill Bill, Kick Ass, and Cinderella? You get "Hanna", a super cool, fast paced, adrenaline-pumping revenge/spy thriller with fairy tale themes bursting with originality. Saoirse Ronan is fantastic as girl thrust into an equally fascinating and terrifying new world she's been shielded from all her life. ~ B+

Attack the Block

Fresh, cool, hip, and hilarious, this clever sci-fi/horor/comedy can have you laughing out loud one minute and screaming the next. 'Attack the Block' moves along with ferocious pace that feels exciting and perfect, yet still finds time to develop character and establish themes. At times, this film finds ways to be witty, hilarious, scary, and thought-provoking, but most of all, it is just a Ton of fun! ~ B+

War Horse
War Horse(2011)

Steven Spielberg's latest is yet another sweeping war epic with a warm, personal touch. Though there are of course heart-warming moments, most of them felt contrived and generic. It does nothing new and is as unbelievable as it is predictable Hollywood fare. War Horse is not much more than overly sentimental, far-fetched, period Oscar bait. Though there is plenty quality here (and with Spielberg behind the camera, how could there not be?), it's hard not to call it overrated. ~ B

Margin Call
Margin Call(2011)

Probably the best film revolving around the financial crisis to date. A smart, taut, well-acted thriller that blurs the lines of morality, 'Margin Call' will really make you think. ~ B+

The Skin I Live In

Pedro Almodovar's latest will Wow you in every way! A dark, twisted, engrossing film that will captivate you from start to finish, 'The Skin I Live In' can claim some of the best story-telling techniques since 'Memento'. Equal parts romance and psychological horror, this bizarre, chilling tale will have you coming back for seconds, and probably thirds. See this film!

Project Nim
Project Nim(2011)

Wonderful, powerful film exploring the potential humanity of a remarkable animal as well as the ignorance and arrogance of man. 'Project Nim' is a thought-provoking story that can lift your spirits and fascinate the mind as much as it can break your heart. One of the most unbelievable Oscar snubs, it is truly not to be missed. What was the Academy thinking?

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Haunting psychological thriller about a deeply damaged young woman's attempt to re-adjust to life after fleeing from a cult. Overwhelmed by paranoia and seemingly incapable of telling reality from nightmarish memory, she continues on a downward spiral struggling to climb her way up. This chilling, unsettling film will permeate through your mind long after the credits roll.


How can you not be romantic about baseball? Moneyball is without a doubt one of my Top 5 films of 2011, and just as great on a second viewing.
For a film about taking on the system and fundamentally changing the game, and whose themes have been described as 'the triumph of mathematics over humanity', it is still a very emotional, human story at times, and strikes a nice balance. Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is first rate, Mychael Danna's score is very effective, and Brad Pitt is outstanding.
Don't get me wrong, Moneyball is not a perfect film, but while watching it, you won't care for a single second.

The Fugitive
The Fugitive(1993)

Still a heart-pounding thriller after 18 years. An impressive feat indeed, there are some instances where it doesn't hold up to the test of time as well as other films. But that said, I was still thoroughly engrossed for the vast majority of the 130 minute run-time. For the handful who haven't seen it, The Fugitive is highly recommended!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Excellent thriller! Incredibly faithful to the book. The score was a bit stale and a few beats were missed, but all-in-all, the movie was very very good. Very much looking forward to what Fincher does with this engrossing story.

The Snowtown Murders

Tense, numbing, and deeply affecting story of skewed morality and innocence corrupted by a psychopath. Unrelenting in it's brutality, it will haunt you, and fascinate you for days. Powerful stuff, but not for the faint of heart... or stomach.

Midnight in Paris

Freshly sweet and clever romantic comedy about longing for a golden age, a different life, and the magic of Paris, that reminds us of the beauty of the present. Thoroughly enjoyable!

The Ides of March

Great, suspenseful political drama! Seems very current and relevant with Top-notch performances all around! Highly recommended!