Oliver D.'s Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler(2014)

Fantastic film featuring very cool direction and an awesome performance from Gyllenhaal, who plays a very creepy opportunist with low moral standards and gaudy ambition. Rarely do we see such a solid film from a first-time director. I'm already looking forward to Gilroy's next project.

Saw
Saw(2004)

This is a must-see for fans of the horror genre. Not because it's the best. Not because it has very strong acting performances. You just need to see it. It's entertaining, twisted, and gory as Hell.

21 Jump Street

Very funny movie despite its absurd plot. If you're going to throw realism out of the window, it might as well be for a funny comedy. The #1 reason this movie works: GREAT chemistry between Hill and Tatum. Chemistry is often the most important factor in comedic duos and romantic couples. The plot is so insane that it's totally unbelievable-- cops in their 30s are given clearance to infiltrate a high school and conduct a litany of crimes in order to find a drug mule-- but it's still an enjoyable movie.

The Great Gatsby
½

Too much style, too little substance. This movie adaptation doesn't properly represent the agony and despair realized by many of the characters in the novel. It's a decent effort, but it's far from great.

Dead Poets Society
½

This is a great movie. I'm surprised so many critics got it wrong. Even the ones who voted it "fresh" seem to diminish Williams' fine performance, and most of them ignore the brilliance of Leonard's performance. I found this movie to be intellectually delightful and sad at the same time.

Ed Wood
Ed Wood(1994)
½

This movie is hilarious. It's also is Johnny Depp's best work. Many people remember this movie as the reason why Sam Jackson and Gary Sinise didn't win an Oscar for Pulp Fiction or Forrest Gump. Well, don't let that Oscar upset preclude you from watching this wonderful movie from Tim Burton.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

This movie is hilarious and features a tour de force comedic performance from Ralph Fiennes. Nazi war criminal, gangster, constant gardner, war pilot.... Fiennes can do it all. This movie is delightfully crafted- the set designs are incredible and the direction is impeccable. Best comedy of the year so far- this one is the one to beat.

A Streetcar Named Desire

Hahaha. No consensus yet on Streetcar? Let's go ahead and agree on one. It's one of the best movies of all-time. Brilliantly written. Brilliantly directed. Brilliantly acted. It is the beginning of Brando's takeover of Hollywood as the best film actor of all-time.

Her
Her(2013)

I was absolutely blown away by this movie. It's a contemporary masterpiece about how modern technology affects emotional attachment and detachment. The screenplay is brilliant. Joaquin Phoenix again reaffirms that he is the best American film actor of his generation. This movie might not work without Phoenix's dynamic performance. The voice role of Scarlett Johansson is so good that though you never see her face or body, it is like she is right there next to Phoenix. Moreover, they are so intimately connected that it is some of the best "on-screen" romantic chemistry I have ever seen. I expect the Academy to nominate Her for Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. I don't think Phoenix will get nominated, but not only should he be nominated, he should win Best Actor. The only performance I've seen this year that rivals Phoenix's is McConaughey's work in Dallas Buyers Club. In my opinion, Her is the Best Picture of the year and an all-time great commentary on the evolution of human relationships going into the technological age where people can meet, interact, and even fall in love without ever meeting each other in person.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
½

Of course, I'm going to see this movie.

The Wolf of Wall Street

This is a pretty solid movie. It's very funny and very entertaining even though it's about 3 hours long. Jonah Hill is exceptional in his (large) supporting role. Leo is excellent as usual. Margot Robbie might be the most gorgeous actress on the planet. I highly recommend this movie, especially if you like Scorsese. One last thing, though: do not make the mistake I did and see this movie with your mother hahaha. Graphic sex scenes and nudity throughout the entire movie and enough f-bombs to make a sailor blush.

Home Alone
Home Alone(1990)
½

How do so many critics dislike this movie? It's a holiday classic. I was a little kid when I saw it in the theater, and I'll love this movie forever. Do you know how many people have searched for the name of the gangster flick that Kevin watches in this movie? Millions. And I'm one of them. Die Hard, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone: best Xmas movies of the past 23 years in my book.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

If you don't like this movie, then you are the Grinch. Classic Christmas movie.

Prisoners
Prisoners(2013)

Don't listen to David Thompson of the New Republic. Mr. Thompson: maybe you shouldn't be a film critic if you get weary of a movie after 10 minutes. Prisoners is gripping from beginning to end. Also, to the critics saying that this movie is almost three hours long: since when is 2 hr. 26 minutes "almost three hours?" Furthermore, the last 5-6 minutes of the movie are the ending credits. Critics who blatantly lie about a movie's length should be fired. Anyway, Prisoners is a great movie that features terrific performances by an impressive cast. Jackman is outstanding. Gyllenhaal gives one of his best performances of his career. Paul Dano is fantastic, as usual. Throw in Howard, Davis, and Leo: wow, what a cast. This movie keeps you guessing and has your attention the entire way. I highly recommend this excellent crime drama.

Charlie Countryman

Any professional movie critic who is giving Charlie Countryman a positive review must have been paid off by someone. This movie appears to have been written by a 13-year old boy who just took his first hit of ecstasy after learning about Romania in social studies class that day at school. The movie contains one inexplicable move after another.

Shia LaBeouf plays the title character, Charlie. Charlie's mother dies in the beginning of the movie and magical fairy dust leaves her body and floats in the air. What? Then, Charlie exits the hospital room and, of course, his mother is waiting for him there and randomly tells him to go to Bucharest. What?! Why Bucharest? Nobody knows.... other than it's a cheap place to shoot a movie and it sounds like Budapest. Since Charlie has no commitments that week other than his mother's funeral, he promptly boards a plane to Bucharest. Charlie is sitting on the plane next to a stranger who keeps annoyingly falling asleep on Charlie's shoulder. Wait. Okay, I can relate to that. I've been on a plane before and that sometimes happens. Next, the stranger starts a conversation with Charlie and talks about how he is going to visit his daughter. Okay, it's getting more realistic. I can buy that. It's a long flight and they're making smalltalk.

Then, the stranger dies right there on the plane and before the plane lands, his dead body wakes up and tells Charlie to give his daughter a gift that he bought for her. Oh come on, man! Really? Are we back to inexplicable nonsense already? I guess so. The paramedics at the airport in Bucharest allow Charlie to take the dead man's belongings because if someone dies next to you on a plane, you are entitled to all of his possessions as per Romanian law. Enter Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood), who is disguised as a gothic raccoon. She is crying in the airport lounge and Charlie quickly makes her as the dead man's daughter. He gives her the gift and BAM! He knows that she is his soulmate and he loves her, despite her outrageously fake Romanian accent. If only there were people with authentic Romanian accents living in Romania- then perhaps the director would've noticed that Gabi sounds more like a Russian bond villain than a Romanian twenty something.

I feel like now is as good of a time as any to mention that Shia LaBeouf said that he dropped acid in order to prepare for this movie and director Fredrik Bond said that "it really wasn't necessary."

Moving on, Charlie and Gabi begin a cat-and-mouse type of romance despite the fact that she is dating a murderous Romanian gangster named Nigel, played by Mads Mikkelsen. If you're thinking, "Nigel is not a Romanian name" right now, you are correct. Nigel meets Charlie at the opera house where Gabi performs and is instantly suspicious of Charlie. Next, Charlie seeks boarding at a hostel where he meets two young Brits, one of whom is played by Rupert Grint. Fate strikes Charlie once again as the three are instantaneously transformed into best friends forever. The Brits share a variety of drugs and drug-fueled experiences with Charlie that usually end with Charlie wandering aimlessly around Bucharest while loud techno music is being played.

Later, Nigel catches wind that Charlie is having sex with Gabi, and this displeases him. Nigel has one of his henchmen send a message to Charlie in an office at a nightclub, where important meetings like this occur.

I'm going to skip to the end here because: (a) I think you get the point, and (b) I'm bordering on the suicidal just typing out this insane nonsense and I just have too much to live for.

Nigel catches Charlie. Nigel arranges Charlie's murder, but love conquers all, so the murder plans go awry. Cops shoot Nigel in the head because Gabi was meant to be with Charlie since Charlie's dead mother rose from the dead to randomly tell him to go to Bucharest and he accepted the challenge. Also, the dead guy on the plane.

I'd give this movie an "F" but I've read failing papers better than this. Charlie Countryman gives the word "fail" a bad name.

Written by Oliver D. November 15, 2013.

Chinatown
Chinatown(1974)

A masterpiece on every level. A must-see classic.

Mud
Mud(2013)

I watched this last night on blu ray. Excellent drama that keeps you in the dark for most of the movie but keeps the viewer involved and curious as to the truth surrounding the title character. McConaughey continues his amazing run of great performances that started with Tropic Thunder and includes The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, The Paperboy (not a great film but he is tremendous in it), Bernie, and Killer Joe. The days of making fun of him for being a shirtless stoner are over. He is a serious actor who has improved his acting tremendously and he is choosing the best roles to fit his talent. I highly recommend Mud, which is probably the best drama I've seen in 2013 up to this point.

Only God Forgives

Oh, my word. What could've been. This movie is so hot and cold. I'll start with the pros: the music is really cool (Cliff Martinez, who also did the original music for Drive). Pansringarm is awesome as the villainous Chang- he resembles a Lynchian-type villain as it's difficult to say what he enjoys more: chopping people's limbs off or singing karaoke. Unfortunately, the cons are many: there wasn't a cohesion of plot. I never fully identified and rooted for Gosling as he doesn't have much screen time and in the time he has, he doesn't speak much. KS Thomas probably should've had more role. Some of the scenes are "left incomplete" as to let the viewer decide how the scene ended. Overall, a nice Lynchian film, but it is no masterpiece.

Red 2
Red 2(2013)
½

This movie is just stupid. The plot is vague and never seems to really matter. It's a bunch of old actors having fun on an action movie set. The only good action sequences are the ones where Lee is fighting people. ML Parker suddenly goes from a harmless bystander with no fighting skills to a Bond-like secret agent just because she's sleeping with a retired agent in Willis, which is nonsensical. Predictable movie with silly action sequences and a bad plot. Skip this movie.

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

A film-noir crime drama masterpiece that is either perfection or damn near close. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times: go fuck yourself. You shouldn't be a movie critic.

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

Quite possibly the worst movie of all time.

Swingers
Swingers(1996)

"You're so money and you don't even know it!" Great movie about struggling actors in 1990s Los Angeles. The script is fresh and cool. Vince Vaughn is absolute dynamite from start to finish. The tributes to Scorsese and Tarantino are hokey, but that's almost not even worth mentioning as this film works and entertains. Great performances from Favreau and Heather Graham, too. A classic comedy.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)

I saw an advance screening of this film a few nights ago. It was not very good, though I like the premise. It takes the age-old zombie comedy and makes it a romance between a zombie and a human rather than between two humans who fall in love killing zombies (Zombieland, et al.). The lead actress looks and talks like Kristen Stewart, which was problematic for me. Nicholas Hoult performs well in the movie, but he's made up to look just like Robert Pattinson (look at pictures of him in real life- like a different guy). I'm in my early thirties, and the Twilight movies do not appeal to me whatsoever. This movie was crafted for the Twlight crowd, and this can be felt in the music choices, casting, and plot. I suspect that this movie will play well with females ages 11 to 25. Update: I wrote this review before the movie was reviewed by the critics. I sincerely believe they overrated this movie. This movie is just way too predictable for me, and it panders to a young audience with the soundtrack.

The Cabin in the Woods

Awesome movie. When it starts out, it makes no sense, but you wait it out to see the fantastic twist they put on the generic horror film. Like the consensus states, it's very weird, funny, and gory at the same time.... and it works. Easily one of the best horror films of the past five years. Delightfully bloody and comical.

American Psycho II: All American Girl

Forget about the original. Forget that you even saw the first American Psycho film. American Psycho II is one of the worst films I've ever seen. Comparing it to the original film is unnecessary because the only thing these 2 films have in common is the title. It's so boring and predictable. Mila Kunis' acting is so bad in this film that I gave up on her for years. Is Kunis a young Meryl? Hell no, but she's no Ashton Kutcher, either. She does a decent job in Sarah Marshall and Black Swan. Lastly, the actor Morgan Freeman almost changed his name after this movie came out. How even one movie critic liked this movie is a mystery to me.

Traffic
Traffic(2000)
½

Excellent movie about the different dynamics created by the illegal drugs trade that uses different characters on different sides of the issue to create a sweeping portrait of the "war on drugs" and how it affects all those involved. Terrific acting by all of the actors, which is a rare feat these days. Very poignant performances delivered by Del Toro, Christensen, and Collins Jr all merit Oscar consideration. I highly recommend this film, which doesn't bother to provide the generic happy ending that plagues most Hollywood films these days.

Gigli
Gigli(2003)

This is one of those movies that is so bad that it's almost worth watching the first 30 minutes just to redefine what a truly horrible movies looks like. Almost.

Spring Breakers

Good movie. Well-shot. Franco is excellent in it. There are huge problems with the plot and ending, but it was entertaining. Definitely not for kids.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

This movie does not create emotional attachment between the audience and the title character. Cavill is too understated and meek in the role. What makes Superman a timeless story is the connection that develops between Superman and the humans he choses to protect. He's a representation of what's best about mankind, and this vital message is lost in this film. The script isn't great, and I don't even think the 3D visual effects were anything spectacular by today's standards. The Great Gatsby, for example, has better 3D effects. Furthermore, I do not like the changes they made to the Clark Kent-Louis Lane relationship. Also, though she looks young for her age, Amy Adams is a little bit too old for her part. The guy who plays Zod is pretty annoying, which I suppose is okay since he's the villain but it's still annoying. Overall, this film is a big letdown considering that the story is so good and time-tested. Perhaps they would've been better off focusing on casting an actor who can capture our hearts with his acting rather than catch our eyes with his huge muscles and good looks. Clearly, this was the case when they cast Tobey Maguire as Spiderman over a decade ago.

Gangster Squad

This movie is terrible. It feels fake and looks fake. The script sucks. All it has is a cool title and a talented cast; a cast that is squandered by fake dialogue and bad directing. Skip this movie.

This Is the End

I saw this movie last night. It's very funny. The ridiculous premise works very well because this movie is about cast and chemistry. You can tell that these guys like each other because they play off of each other perfectly. I highly recommend this raunchy comedy. Definitely not for kids under 12. I said that last part because someone brought their 7 year old girl to the movie. I glanced over at her once because she was in my row. The look on her face was one of total bewilderment and fear: like the look one would get if you were forced to watch murderous scat porn.

On the Waterfront

The best actor of all-time in one of the best films of all-time. I don't need to say anything more than that.

The Hangover Part III

As we predicted, this movie sucks. I saw it last night (for free), and I wasn't expecting anything that good, so it's not like I set the bar too high for it. The bar was already on the floor. The premise isn't funny, and the jokes aren't funny. In fact, the premise is downright stupid: a drug dealer kidnaps Doug and forces the other three guys to find Chow because Chow stole gold bars from him sometime in the past? Gold bars? What is it, 1846? Ugh. Chow and Alan have co-leads in this movie, which gets really annoying because those characters are annoying. If you recall the first Hangover, Chow didn't have much role. Also, Phil and Stu drove most of the dialogue. Chow is only good in small doses. There's not much more to say than thank God that this is the final installment. This movie isn't funny at all, and frankly, I don't think they care that much about it. Part 1 had to be funny for people to see it. Skip this movie.

Dreamcatcher
Dreamcatcher(2003)

Rarely in cinema do we see a movie slowly fall apart in every respect as we do in Dreamcatcher. Though it starts out as slightly promising, it becomes so outlandish and convoluted that it's almost worth finishing the movie to see the ending, which is so comically bad that it's hard to believe that any sane person would actually end a movie in this manner. For Kasdan's sake, I hope that he was high on drugs during the entire process of making this movie. This is one of those movies that is so bad that it just might be worth seeing if only to have a ceiling (or should I say floor) for what constitutes a ridiculously horrible film.

Bachelorette
Bachelorette(2012)

This movie is terrible. It is a comedy, and I didn't laugh once. The script was obviously intended to "shock" people, but it comes off as childish and desperate. Purported as her "three best friends," the bridesmaids (Fisher, Dunst, and Caplan) are so incredulously selfish and destructive that at no point did I buy into the premise that they are actually dear friends of the bride (Wilson). They call her pigface (or something to that effect). They ridicule and embarrass her throughout the whole movie. This is how your best friends treat you on the weekend of your wedding!!?? No dice. The trio starts doing cocaine at the rehearsal dinner and make complete asses out of themselves. It's just too unbelievable. What women would abuse cocaine in front of the bride and groom's family the night before the wedding? And it's not like they are "drug addicts." They're supposed to come across as normal people. It gets worse. Isla Fisher's character drinks constantly throughout the film, and then at one point she takes half a bottle of Xanax- yes, half a bottle- and she doesn't die. She would've died for sure in that state, but that would be realistic and nothing in this film is realistic except MAYBE the relationship between Caplan and Adam Scott. Do yourself a big favor and never watch this movie. Don't be fooled by its decent cast like I was.

The Hurt Locker
½

The best movie about the war in Iraq, this movie is very suspenseful and realistic. Great acting and phenomenal direction.

Memento
Memento(2000)

Thought Inception was hard to follow? Try this movie on for size. It's a roller-coaster ride for your cranium. Featuring a great performance by the lead, Guy Pearce, this film is masterfully paced and directed. Added bonus: if you play the trivia game where you name three actors and the other person has to guess what movie you're talking about, you can earn props (and win money) by naming Joey Pants, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Stephen Tobolowsky. They're going to answer with The Matrix. You'll win almost every time.

Blue Velvet
Blue Velvet(1986)

Incredible film. Sick. Twisted. Not for the faint of heart. Dennis Hopper creates a character who is so insanely perverted and disturbed that you wonder how much of this is the script and how much of this is the actor. Classic Lynch.

The Master
The Master(2012)
½

This movie is another masterpiece from Paul Thomas Anderson. PTA definitely should've been nominated for Best Director (along with Affleck and Bigelow over Zeitlin, Haneke, and O. Russell). Phoenix's performance is nothing short of mastery. I thought he was better than Day-Lewis in Lincoln. As the consensus states, this film is for "serious audiences" and lovers of biting drama only. The dialogue can get quite caustic, and the acting is so good that you may find some of the main characters rather unpleasant. That being said, I loved this film. The cinematography and directing is superb. Consider it part of the lifelong coronation of a great director and three wonderfully gifted actors (Phoenix, Hoffman, and Adams).

Zero Dark Thirty
½

A near-perfect film. This is my pick for Best Picture. Bigelow strikes again.... in her best work to date.

Pan's Labyrinth

This is the closest you'll ever get to perfection in the fantasy genre. Not for kids or squeamish adults. An absolute masterpiece.

Argo
Argo(2012)

Very good movie. Not a 5/5 or 4/4 star movie, but very enjoyable from start to finish. Arkin and Goodman provide small doses of comic relief throughout the film. It's nice to see a well-made drama about a real historical event made with great attention to detail. Solidifies Affleck as a major player in the director's game.

Looper
Looper(2012)

This is the movie that silences people who claim that time-travel films can't be provocative and original. One of the best sci-fi movies of the past 10 years.

Seven Psychopaths

The first hour of this movie is extremely dark and funny. The rest of it is a mess. It's worth watching because Rockwell and Walken are very good in it, and the premise is strong and original. Nice to see Tom Waits acting, too.

Playing for Keeps

Normally, I'd skip a movie like this, especially one starring Gerry Butler. However, I have two passes for a special advance screening for tonight and no other plans, so I'm going to go see it. I will post a brief review of the film after the screening.Update: brief review. This movie isn't very good. It's horribly predictable and just not funny. I can't imagine anyone liking this movie or recommending it to anyone. What a waste of a nice cast outside of Butler: Zeta-Jones, Thurman, Biel, Quaid, and Judy Greer. Skip this movie and see Silver Linings Playbook instead, which is a rom-com done right.

Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

One of the funniest movies of all-time, this comedy never gets old. Ramis, Akroyd, Murray, and Moranis are all hilarious. This is the movie that made Bill Murray a star. A must-see.

Savages
Savages(2012)
½

A very entertaining movie despite it's awkward "double-ending." Very sexy and very violent. Travolta is excellent in his return to playing a negative role as a crooked cop. Del Toro shines, as well.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)

Excellent action movie. Bardem and Craig deliver. Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies ever, but falls short of the perfection achieved in Casino Royale due to a weaker love story that doesn't live up to sexual chemistry between Daniel Craig and Eva Green. I definitely recommend this film, a must-see for fans of the franchise.

Silver Linings Playbook

I saw a special advance screening of this film last night. It is extremely entertaining and an effective romantic comedy. It marks Brad Cooper's best film to date. Lawrence is excellent in the film, as well. It is also DeNiro's best work since Meet the Parents. I highly recommend this film.

Apocalypse Now

One of the best films of all time, Apocalypse Now is a mesmerizing adaptation of Conrad's masterpiece. It succeeds on every level.

Fargo
Fargo(1996)

Murder, betrayal, and dark humor at its finest.

Schindler's List

This is probably the best film ever made, but it will likely never be viewed as such due to the subject matter. This movie is about as close as one can get to cinematic perfection. The tone, acting, dialogue, art direction, score and cinematography are all top-notch. Spielberg gets amazing performances from all major and minor actors.

Serpico
Serpico(1973)

Simply put, this is one of the most badass cop movies ever made. This is Pacino at his finest. An American classic that blends societal change and police corruption as if they were pancakes and maple syrup. A must-see.

Doubt
Doubt(2008)
½

This movie is worth seeing for the acting performances alone, especially Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who is clearly the best American film actor of his generation (in my opinion). His performance is mesmerizing, and he probably would have won his second Oscar for this film if not for one thing: Heath Ledger's Joker.