Adam Cabourne-Jones's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Boy
Boy(2012)
½

What a charming little gem of a film! Funny and cute, with the drama of a child's viewpoint, beautifully and nostalgically delivered. The habitually picked-on little brother, apologetically convinced he has 'powers', has to be one of the funniest and cutest little fellas I've seen on film! Subtitles were helpful, though, with the Kiwi actors using such clipped and casual accents you can hardly see their lips moving at times! :D

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beautiful and poetic story of poverty, pride, defiance, pain and a necessarily stoic and gritty philosophy of human existence, as seen through the eyes of a tough little girl during the New Orleans floods. Seamless acting is complemented by unassuming and modestly artful direction and cinematography. "No cryin' now!" - as if.

The Paperboy
The Paperboy(2012)
½

Good film! A subversion of the period film noir, wih a very dark and seedy take on a 60s 'deep down south' political/legal drama. Starts off looking like a John Grisham or something, but quickly kicks off the conventional turns of the smooth-building Hollywood variety, and begins scratching obsessively at the seeping sores on the under side of the characters involved. Sort of Chinatown vs The Graduate, with a dollop of Cape Fear, but seedier and in certain ways, surprisingly, more disquieting.

The Art of Getting By
½

Kind of one of the stories of my life, so I think it's pretty authentic. But I think many who don't know why the main character acts like he does will find him frustrating/annoying. Like a less schmaltzy and more [purposefully] ambiguous Good Will Hunting. No excuses about 'a tough home life' etc. because that's not why. Almost a shame the ending didn't stay as authentic as it could've been though.

Ajami
Ajami(2010)

A fantastically well written, well acted, well directed and well shot film. You barely notice its 2 hr length, as every minute is rich in drama and character. It's not an epic film by any stretch, but it's a significant one - bringing forth an engaging, touching, and at times poetic, story of a part of the World where life has complexities we understand little of. It may not quite match fellow notable Foreign Language Oscar nominees, City Of God, A Separation, or A Prophet; but it comes very close and has much in common with all three.

The House of the Devil

By far, the SLOWEST and most BORING horror film I've ever watched! Really don't waste the 95 mins it'll take to watch and be stupidly disappointed (stupidly, because you'll feel like an idiot for getting to the end of the film and realising you were being taken for one the whole time!). This film's writer/Director/producer(s) were clearly so besotted with false nostalgia for horror films of the 80s, that they misguidedly picked the worst flaws of the worst films of that era and replicated them here, believing themselves to be making something 'authentic' and true to that time. The majority of the critics giving this any kind of "good" rating are clearly also under some stupid 80s nostalgia spell as well! I bet over half of them weren't even born! Go back and actually watch some of the good ones, like "Don't Look Now", "The Shining", even "The Omen" 1 & 2! See the difference?! What they actually made would've been called crap then as much as it should be now! 90 mins of creeping around with no plausible characters, situations or even anything resembling actual suspense; then 5 mins of "whooaaah, look: blood and satanic ritual! Isn't that scary?!" Answer: NO, IT BLOODY WELL ISN'T! Now give me back the last 95 mins, you fools!!

The Devil Inside
½

Makes great use of what's clearly a limited budget, and delivers on its promises for pretty much all the film... except, for the very last minute. But, the disappointment felt at the end is actually proof that you've been entertained (and quite likely pretty well scared) up to that point, and is largely driven by the desire to see more of what had come before. With a more fulfilling ending this'd be a top-notch horror - beating the 'Paranormal' and 'Emily Rose' films at their own game, to a large extent - but the ending, sadly drops it a couple of notches. But only back down to their level, really. Still worth watching, for sure, but a Director's Cut with an extra bit added on to tie it up, would have helped this film's reputation quite a bit.

Cool World
Cool World(1992)

Sloppy, nonsensical *and* boring. It was fairly dated in attitude even then, but these days it seems downright archaic. And Mr. Pitt offers no more acting entertainment than the proverbial wooden-post. 1 star, just for the subversive slant it at least attempted. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

10,000 B.C.
10,000 B.C.(2008)

Much better than the critics' rating suggests! I mean, come on, 8%? What the hell were they watching?! The audience rating of 3 out of 5 (or 6 out of 10) is much more reflective of this film's overall quality. Personally, I thought this was at least on par with Mel Gibson's similarly themed and also decent (if overwrought), Apocalypto. How on earth that film gets 65% while this one gets 8%, is beyond me. It's well-made and decently acted, and not some amateur B-movie, by any stretch of the imagination!

Triangle
Triangle(2009)

Quite surprised that this wasn't just another predictable, low budget, schlock horror; nor another "horror at sea" clone of Dead Calm, or Ghost Ship. While there's some nods to each of the aforementioned (along with more than a couple to Kubrick's The Shining), once you get past the first 10 slightly awkward minutes, you're in the rare terrain of an original horror! And this is one that ably succeeds in fulfilling the regularly touted but much belied promise of being truly a "nightmare on film".

Star Trek Into Darkness
½

Not at all as good as the previous one. Meanders quite a bit and lacks the dry humour and clearly-focused drama/action of the one before. The acting doesn't suck, but no-one really shines. Cumberbatch is decently 'restrained' as a villain, but is never once truly menacing imho. Ok quality overall, but a bit of a forgettable one for me.

After Earth
After Earth(2013)

Nowhere near as bad as the critic's reviews suggest! Sure, it's no Star Wars or Blade Runner, or even Avatar, but it doesn't go anywhere as stupid, or dull, or amateur as many other higher-rated films I've seen. It's a fairly simple story and Jaden Smith's nowhere near as engaging as his dad, but it made for 90+ minutes of pretty entertaining and plausible sc-fi fx and action in the cinema. not great but definitely not "bad"! I strongly suspect a hidden agenda behind the widespread slating by media critics - either the Smiths, or Shamalya-ding-dong have fallen out with the press, big time!

Lawless
Lawless(2012)

Liked it much more than I'd anticipated, and actually think it bears comparison to Goodfellas, with some brutally violent scenes but also some highly engaging acting performances. Only the relatively limited scope and localised influence of Lawless let's it down from the top shelf IMHO.

The Deer Hunter

Christopher Walken's best. Meryl Streep's earliest impactful role. Robert De Niro's affirmation film that set him on the next (untouchable) level. Michael Cimino never equalled unfortunately. John Williams' score resounded for decades afterwards without many even realising it was from this film. One of the first kind of frank cinematic approaches to the psychological damage of war. So many other highly commended films possibly wouldn't have been made the way they were if this hadn't been made first. Arresting performances, haunting images, heart-rending story, ultimately unmissable.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Unmissable!! An absolute 100% must-see!

A Room for Romeo Brass
½

Great film! One of Shane Meadows' best in my opinion, and that's saying something! All the cast are solid performers, including the 2 child leads; but it's Paddy Considine's peculiar and unhinged characterisation of the 'strange but (seemingly) harmless' Morrell, that really steals it and keeps you on tenterhooks throughout! Meadows' writing and direction is accomplished and authentic throughout (watch out for his subtly funny cameo in a blond wig as the chip shop man at the beginning - in homage to his chip-shop-working mum apparently)!

The Hunger Games

Utter tripe! 3 acts, like 3 different films and steals unashamedly from 1984, Fifth Element, Gladiator, Running Man, Lord Of The Flies, Truman Show and worst of all... Twilight! And the ending? After 2 and a half hours, that's the ending?!?! Pah! Set up for a bit of a sequel or 2 much?! I WENT TO THE CINEMA TO WATCH A FEATURE FILM NOT PART 1 OF A TV SERIES!!! But I suppose it's got enough production quality that it'll do for some action eye-candy when you're not looking for anything at all original or taxing on the mind!

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)

Amazing look and feel to it, but surely this isn't complete? So want to give it more, but ultimately the version in the cinemas is either lacking another 30-50 mins to fill in all the gaps and flesh out the characters, or is terminally riddled with *stupid* plot/character flaws and hamstrung by clumsy, confusing editing. Did Ridley Scott get given a Hobson's choice by the studio to get it down to 2 hrs, or did he really want it to be like this?!? I'd happily 'watch' it again with the sound off perhaps(?) - but if you're following the plot/action?, it's rather frustrating to say the least. Real shame! :( - I'll still look forward to the sequel though! ;)

The Cabin in the Woods
½

Ha! Waste of a good opportunity if you ask me! Trying too hard to be clever, it starts off with promise and has all the good trappings of a classic horror, but then it just goes off on a ridiculously contrived attempt to be all 'original' and 'clever' when in fact, it's just stealing the big twists of several other 'concept' movies in recent memory and rolling them all in to this one to make a mash-up! The result is frankly a bit of a mess. By the end, you're just thinking "What?! Is this the same film I started watching? Or have I fallen asleep during the dull bits and woken up during the next film?"

Iceman
Iceman(1984)

Much better watch than I could have anticipated! Despite the basic 80s make-up effects, John Lone pulls off a really good performance and given the obviously low budget this film worked with, I found myself pretty gripped from start to finish. Plus, I can't recall an idea like this being done seriously in another dramatic film (no caveman in Jurassic Park)!

Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish(1983)

The visual set-pieces, the burgeoning performances of teenage stars-to-be like Nicolas Cage, (gorgeous) Diane Lane and Matt Dillon; and the distinctively brilliant score (by ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland) lingered in the mind long after initial viewing. Makes a lot of not much, which is to it's credit to my mind, but it;'s definitely more potent to those in the impressionable throws of youth than in the jaded season of latter adulthood.

Beowulf
Beowulf(2007)
½

Not bad, but probably would have been better as live action. A foolproof story choice really - a legendary tale has already stood the test and all that - but I preferred the version done previously (called 'Beowulf & grendel'). There's some striking moments sure enough and the climactic action is gripping enough in the cinema, but not likely to last much longer in people's minds after the initial hype based on the celebrity-cloning animation CG.

Blue Velvet
Blue Velvet(1986)
½

Peculiar, strange and chilling. With apple-pie kitsch and bee-bop torch songs thrown into the middle, that you gotta love or hate... Classic Lynch!

Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys)
½

I'd rate this film so much more highly if it weren't for the infuriatingly hammy performance of that egotistical pillock, Brad Pitt!

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast(2000)
½

Ben Kingsley is gripping and utterly convincing as a psychotic and narcissistic criminal. Buyt the story is weaker than his character deserves and the film's short length only serves to highlight that the writers and director lost their way and fumbled what could've been a truly classic British crime thriller, a la "Long Good Friday".

Blade Runner
Blade Runner(1982)

Absolutely peerless classic sci-fi film! When it came out (1982) it was soooo far ahead of its time and 25+ years later, it's not dated at all! Sooo many sci-fi films that followed owed a massive debt to the seminal vision of Ridley Scott in this gem!

Get Him to the Greek
½

Haven't laughed so hard watching a comedy film in years! Much more intelligent than it may first appear.

Agora
Agora(2010)
½

For a 'true' story you've never heard of before, this one is really quite compelling and well played out. Rachel Weisz is amply convincing as the prototype feminist in ancient Roman society (set in the Egyptian outpost, Alexandria). The only flaw in my opinion is that compared to the story set down as the true account of the same events (see wikipedia at least), the film tones things down considerably and makes it much less brutal and sensational in comparison (especially the climactic event).

PU-239
PU-239(2006)
½

Definitely better than the 50% critics' rating! It's got decent direction (esp. for a debut) and the acting is actually pretty good by all, with Considine the stand-out even though it's an understated role for him. Only thing that lets it down is the pacing and probably the plot wanders a bit more than you want from a 'thriller'. The sort of film that's really great if you just happen upon it without expectation, but not probably quite up to par for an evening-in's main feature.

Apocalypse Now

took my breath away first time and many times since. a true tour de force with everything going full tilt - imagery, acting performances, music... everything. The only criticisms this film can really take on the chin is that it rambles, but to me this is an intrinsic part of the chaotic and ambivalent nature of both the story it tells, and the way it was made. Several geniuses lost themselves in this film and some never made it out again... "never get out of the boat!"