Jonathan Lyonhart's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

God's Not Dead

Possibly the worst Christian movie I've ever seen. It had a few good moments, but it was surrounded by some of the most inept and offensive drivel ever. I counted 5 people who left the theater, and I almost did myself, even though I've actually enjoyed other movies in this genre.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)

You can see the masterpiece underneath the whole thing clawing (somewhat successfully) to get out. For all its flaws, its still a bold, challenging, revolutionary and mesmerizing journey well worth the ride. I wish more filmmakers would be this daring.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)
½

Good. Should have been better.

To Rome with Love

Starts weak but picks up on the journey. Overall a lazy effort, with some brilliant moments of vintage Woody still managing to occasionally shine through.

500 Days of Summer

Though already a critical darling, it is still underrated, doing things with the medium that other movies wouldn't dare, while maintaining an unpretentious charm and a wonderful balance of realism and optimism.

Love Actually

Irresistibly charming. Though it's philosophy of love is naive, it still wins you over with its strong cast, fantastic humor, and refreshing optimism.

The Master
The Master(2012)
½

The first half keeps you enticed with scene after scene of brilliance. The acting, of course, is superb, perhaps one of the best ensembles of the year, or even the last 10 years.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)
½

Manages to nicely weave horror, comedy and romance. It's not quite on par with shaun of the dead, but it's still charming.

Red Tails
Red Tails(2012)

Well, at least it blends excellence and mediocrity seamlessly.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

I wasn't shocked or super impressed, but it wasn't horrible, and was relatively engaging. However, I don't feel like I actually heard Bieber say much of anything, almost like they edited out most of his interviews. I wonder what he said haha

Team America: World Police
½

Ridiculous but hilarious, and with moments of brilliance.

Taken
Taken(2009)

Neeson's adrenaline makes up for the films shortcomings.

Django Unchained

Django may have been my favorite of 2012. It should have been more of a force in the Best Picture Category. Though I disagree with how Tarantino revels in revenge (killing hitler, blowing up candyland), I do agree that some form of historical catharsis is needed for the oppressed. He is tapping into something that modern humanism is unable to cope with; what will you do with evil, what cleansing rituals can exorcise the demons of our past and present?

Zero Dark Thirty

Intense and overwhelming, yet nihilistic and detached. At the end one can't help but stare into the desert skyline with the protagonist, and feel the hollow anti-climax involved in what is essentially two hours/ten years spent hunting down and killing another human being. I still don't know what I think, but it is definitely something to be experienced.

Silver Linings Playbook

Hits incredibly high notes when dealing with the illness and idiosyncrasies of it's two leads, but slides into common smaltz when handling the romance between them. Contrary to everything I expected coming in, I think Cooper actually stole the show. Lawrence was interesting and solid as always, but I'm still shocked by her awards sweep.

This is 40
This is 40(2012)

"Judd Apatow definitely delivers funny and perceptive scenes in This is 40, even if they are buried in aimless self-indulgence." Couldn't say it better.

Pitch Perfect
½

Hilarious and beat-bopping fun.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

Underrated. A solid blend of horror, action and philosophy, with some stunning moments.

Katy Perry: Part of Me
½

It takes risks, but they are all calculated ones; like someone intentionally being vulnerable to get in your pants. However, it was exciting and fun and even had a few thought provoking moments. Worth a watch.

Anna Karenina

A solid picture, made disappointing only due to it's fantastic pseudo-prequel (Pride and Prejudice; Directer Wright a long with many of the same actors).

Hulk
Hulk(2003)
½

Severely underrated. Lee pioneers in action as well as style, and actually beat Nolan to the punch chronologically in taking this genre to new dramatic depths.

Sleeping with the Enemy

A bit cheesy. Not too good, not too bad. At least it was engaging. I wasn't bored.

The Nativity Story
½

I struggled with whether or not to give it the extra half a star to make it 3 and a half. It is really a mixed bag; some shockingly amateurish parts are salted by the occasional flourish of brilliance. The cinematography, actor Oscar Isaac, and occasionally the script, shine. The whole thing works best when it's bringing some humanity, humor and anxiety to it's characters, resurrecting the realism of a gritty tale that's been watered down by too many christmas presents and eggnog lattes.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

Revolutionary effects. Great story and direction. Good script and acting.

Les MisÚrables

Powerful performances, haunting images, enchanting music, and with a little bit of Borat sprinkled on top. Hooper is quickly meriting my love and respect.

Inception
Inception(2010)

I know it was a critical and popular success, but it is still underrated. It could be considered one of the greatest feats of modern cinema, if there wasn't a snobbish bias against popular action/thrillers.

King Kong
King Kong(2005)
½

An underrated spectacle, Jackson charms and thrills in equal measure, while presenting some of the best action sequences in film history.

X-Men: First Class
½

Good, but a tad overrated.

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump(1994)
½

Sweet, magical and unforgettable. A real gem.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
½

Solid in it's own right, and with moments of brilliance, but unable to sustain or even make a real run at Jackson's past glory. I know in my mind that the hobbit was a different genre from LOTR, and that it is impossible to live up to the trilogy, but I still went in believing in my heart that Jackson could do no wrong. Disappointing.

Top Gun
Top Gun(1986)

For all its faults, there's something inexplicably magical about it.

The Dark Knight

A masterpiece on almost every level. Contrary to it's sequel (The Dark Knight Rises) it's somehow able to juggle it's many pieces with ease. Ledger is hauntingly unforgettable, Bale is thrillingly intense as usual, and Caine, Freeman, Oldman and Eckhart carry up the rear to make this one of the best acting ensembles of the year (except for Gyllenhaal, who seemed perfect in theory, but awkward in execution). It's a tragedy it wasn't nominated for Best Picture, and a testament to the limits of the academies scope.

The Green Mile
½

Wow. Yes, unnecessarily long, but wow.

Carnage
Carnage(2011)
½

Good. But considering the talent involved, it could and should have been great.

Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts(2012)

Wow. Why can't more movies be this challenging and insightful? Radnor has me very excited for what is to come in his future. Still has some sophmoric elements, but it is clearly the work of a rising talent.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
½

Some stunning shots sprinkled in, but these punctuate an otherwise repetitive string of action sequences, and a disappointing waste of Willis and Johnson. I did have fun watching it, and I suppose I'm only disappointed because it had all the ingredients to go beyond it's mediocre predecessor. It does beat the first one for sure, but only by limping past, when it could have royally lapped it.

Galaxy Quest
Galaxy Quest(1999)

A very enjoyable parody that also works as a self standing comedic drama (yes, there will be tears. Something about these aliens shrill high pitched voices in pain hits your tear duct).

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The turning point in the series, shedding the childlike aura around Harry Potter, much like Emma Watson is currently trying to shed her goody-two-shoes image.

Seven Pounds
Seven Pounds(2008)
½

Overlong and in desperate need of some re-editing. However, it has fantastic acting, some moments of near transcendence, and a story that could have been a masterpiece if it had been executed better. The grande mystery of the whole thing was enticingly brilliant, but was left unresolved longer than necessary, and an audience can only stay in limbo for so long before eventually losing interest. Ultimately, not as good as it could have been, yet far superior to it's mediocre 27% RT rating.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Thoroughly adequate, but disappointing considering the potential realized in the first one.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

These sequels would be so much more endurable if they weren't tarnishing the truly fantastic first entry.

Pride and Prejudice
½

The acting, writing and art direction are all top notch. An absolute jewel of a film.

Chronicle
Chronicle(2012)

A psychological breakdown wrapped in clever effects, youthful hyjinks, and a chilling performance by DeHaan. It's part blair witch, part American Pie, and part X-Men. I highly recommend it.

Red Dawn
Red Dawn(2012)
½

Not great, but not quite as horrible as most critics seem to think it is. Ok mindless fun.

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown(1997)

Well above the average movie, and definitely an addition to Tarantino's corpus, though slightly on the lower end of it.

Shooter
Shooter(2007)
½

Mindless fun. Nothing particular great, but Wahlberg's presence makes it engaging.

Twilight
Twilight(2008)
½

Adequately fun. Nothing fantastic, nothing horrific (except the occasional cheesy one liner). It's popularity with tweens has drawn it more criticism than deserved.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)
½

A brilliant film, in almost every respect. If it wasn't for it's overlooked genre, it would have been nominated for best picture in 2009.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Who would have thought back in 2001 that this Christopher Columbus helmed children's series would evolve through many talented directors, to become one of the greatest film epics of all time, or at the very least, one of the most consistently delivering ones (all the more true in light of the disappointing Hobbit). Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the cherry on top of a consistently wonderful franchise.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Good script, effects and set-pieces are elevated to greatness by the other-wordly talents of Johnny Depp. It is severely underrated due to it's overlooked genre and disappointing sequels.

Bruce Almighty
½

Perfect showcase for Carey. Yes, it's somewhat tainted by the traditional Shadyac schmaltz, but Carey's cynical humor works hard to earn the right for all that sweetness, and it goes down pretty easy.

Signs
Signs(2002)
½

Ah Shyamalan of old, how I miss thee. Signs is a combination of horror and spirituality vastly superior to many of the recent exorcism/demon type films.

No Country for Old Men

Great film. But, after 4 or 5 viewings, and trying really hard to see what others see, I just don't think it merit's all the acclaim it's received.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

Incredible. A marvel of acting, directing and writing. I struggle to find an imperfection.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

10 years later, the effects still stand up, the emotion is still raw, and the story is still as relevant as ever. Visually, I've yet to see anything beat Legolas downing an elephant. As for emotional profundity, few dramas or independent films can match the moment when Sam picks Frodo up, and says: "I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you." This one is going to age well.

Shaun of the Dead

Weaves humor, horror and humanity seamlessly. I laughed, I cried, I screamed.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)
½

Somehow improving on what was already destined to be a classic (Shaun of the Dead), Pegg and Frost have forged some inexplicable British channel to our heads, hearts, and funny bones.

Avatar
Avatar(2009)

With an intensely under-rated script (yes, you read that correctly) and transcendent visuals, I feel like only high-minded hollywood snobbery awarded Hurt Locker Best Picture over it.

Reservoir Dogs

This is like that brilliant kid who didn't try hard in high school. It's amazing to see what it can pull out of its butt, but it's still in it's infancy and hasn't been refined by years of experience and hard dedicated study.

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

Not without it's flaws, but too ground-breaking, powerful, brilliant and influential to call it anything other than a masterpiece.

Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver(1976)
½

The perfect contrast between disturbing and uplifting. Don't watch it at 2am like I did, you will feel like your going insane.

The Dark Knight Rises

It challenges, somewhat unsuccessfully, the limits of what a film, and especially a superhero film, can do. It's parts are better than its sum total, with stellar performances from Hardy and Hathaway, and another excellent, if overreaching, script from the Nolan's.

Marvel's The Avengers

Though it hit box-office gold, it's still underrated on a critical level. It's script and character development are somehow able to keep up with it's fantastic action sequences, making it that rare package that's shockingly complete.

The Tree of Life
½

An overwhelming experience of color, visuals, emotion and spirituality, this movie verges on the transcendent, stretching the bounds of what we think movies can do. However, it's overlong, unnecessarily complex, and at times self indulgent. It's still a masterpiece, just a flawed one.

The Road to El Dorado
½

Charming and magical in a few parts, but a bit thin and shallow inbetween. What you see is what you get, and the ride is a fun diversion.

Slumdog Millionaire

Innocent but not naive, powerful but not preachy. This movie is an emotionally, culturally, and spiritually challenging thing to behold. One of my all time favorites.

A Separation
A Separation(2011)

Incredible. One of the most morally complex movies I have ever seen.

Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher(2012)
½

Better than I expected. Through it all, Tom Cruise is somehow still the man.

Argo
Argo(2012)
½

Very enjoyable. Really glad to finally know that Damon wasn't the only reason for Good Will Hunting.

A Good Day To Die Hard
½

Wow. Really disappointed. Shocked Willis agreed to do this. It wasn't die hard. The effects were dull. The script felt like a daytime tv special from the 90's. If Willis wasn't so dang good at being awesome no matter what he's doing, then there would have been almost no redeeming qualities.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

I don't know what it was, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. When a certain someone got decapitated, I almost cried. In the final fight, I felt like cheering. And when the big twist happened, I felt like the series finally embraced its absurdity and just went ape. A surprisingly good last meal.