Brandon Kennedy's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death

It deserves top marks for its production design, cinematography, and casting but everywhere else is a mess. The movie's number one fault is its decidedly low set of scares and the ones that do exist are wasted with poor timing and a blatant lack of atmospheric tension. Primarily, the movie is boring and unfocused. We are given too many overly long scenes of exposition that we don't need and Jeremy Irvine's tragic backstory/romantic subplot is forced upon us over and over again. His total removal would hugely benefit the film altogether. If you are expecting a scary movie on-par (or even sub-par) with the original, you will be disappointed.

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Liam Neeson feels a little tired in this recent drama-thriller film but manages to work up enough tension and angst to maintain interest throughout the entirety of the film. There are a few good surprises and twists in store for thriller fans but beware. The ending wanders a little too far into generic territory.

The Maze Runner
½

In a world of too many weak young adult film adaptations one has finally emerged that can please a wide audience. 'The Maze Runner' has a talented young cast, a simple yet interesting-enough premise, and a satisfying cliff-hanger ending to ensure committed sequel-goers. For those who fear this is just another Twilight, Divergent, Mortal Instruments, or Percy Jackson, worry not. This one proves it worth.

Let's Be Cops
½

There's not much to say that isn't already obvious. The pair of Johnson and Wayans Jr. have decent chemistry but are plagued by a tired script and weak comedic writing, Rob Riggle's usually hilarious presence is replaced by a very forgettable one, and the idiotic concept of two idiots fooling everyone, including real cops, into thinking they are actually police officers is insulting to everyone's intelligence. Throw in long gaps between the few actual funny jokes and you have yourself one lost excuse for a comedy.

The Expendables 3
½

It has as impressive a cast as the series has ever had, the special effects are as kitschy as one could ever expect, and the self-referential jokes are as noticeable as taking a brick to the face, but something necessary is missing in the third installment of 'The Expendables'. It doesn't have it's R rating. Let's wait and see if Sly and the gang get it right for #4.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It features impressive visuals and manages to produce a number of enjoyable action sequences but things get shaky after that. The performances are hit and miss, the writing is barely existent, and the humour is misguided at best. For those looking for a mindless romp, like any other recent Michael Bay film, look no further.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Despite being thrown into a completely new world filled with a large band of characters all at once, Guardians of the Galaxy feels comfortably familiar and resonates the epic (and often wacky) tone of Marvel's more recent installments in the cinematic universe. While you should already know this, stay for the post-credits scene for yet another fun surprise.

Presumed Innocent

The film starts off feeling a little typical and glazed over, but as soon as the main focus of the story kicks in it's suspenseful, mysterious, exciting, and intense. If the rest of the movie doesn't do it for you, the ending surely will.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Noticeably superior to its 2011 predecessor, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes brings the action, the drama, the majesty, and the intelligence that gave the original film its lasting legacy. The genuine performances from Serkis and Clarke are, possibly, the biggest highlights of the film.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

It's equally as intense and entertaining, and twice as crafty and filled with interesting characters as the original, with a sharply-written cliff-hanger to boot. The series is shaping up to be a memorable one for many years to come, it seems.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Okay, it's mostly explosions, running, shooting, and scenes of giant spaceships destroying a city but the human characters are far less annoying (with Wahlberg and Tucci bringing to the series some of the best acting so far), the Transformers fresh and (for the most part) inoffensive, the story and action scenes sharper, and the jokes more cleverly written written. It is unfortunate to see that the former two installments have likely tarnished the series in the eyes of many critics. I can truthfully say that this one is a much better film than it's getting credit for.

22 Jump Street

It's faster, fuller, and (most importantly) funnier than its predecessor. It's also much more self aware which is, perhaps, its best feature. Hill and Tatum continue to have arguably the best buddy cop chemistry in the business, and Lord and Miller are already writing themselves into the history books as classic comedy filmmakers.

A Million Ways to Die in the West
½

There are few priceless moments, a number of chuckle-inducing moments, and a lot of flat attempts at equalling the quality level of Seth MacFarlane's first try at movie making. Highlights include Seth's montage of learning how to shoot and a number of memorable cameo moments, while many of the films' worst moments involve either scatological or bawdy jokes that often occur at the worst of times (which is basically anytime). This is definitely not the type of comedic filmmaking that made 'Ted' a success.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Blending action, science fiction, and comedy seamlessly into one blast of a movie, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt take us into what feels like Groundhog Day, Platoon, The Terminator, and Mission: Impossible (due to both the fast pacing and Tom Cruise, of course) all rolled into one. An unexpected spectacle to say the least.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
½

With six previous installments of varying success and quality on its back, 'Days of Future Past' lifts the franchise to new heights and rids the series of some of its more inferior moments along the way. If 'Apocalypse' is half as entertaining as DOFP was, we'll still be in for an excellent entry in the X-Men film saga.

Godzilla
Godzilla(2014)
½

Every striking second of Godzilla's presence on-screen is an absolute feast for the eyes thanks to marvellous special effects and respectably written action scenes. Though there may be some dry spells and a few moments where the ambition exceeds the gravity of the moment, Gareth Edwards' faithful vision proves to entertain both seasoned fans and newcomers to the franchise.

Neighbors
Neighbors(2014)
½

Rogen, Efron, Byrne, and Franco all play their parts superbly, and the quality jokes we expect from a highly anticipated summer comedy are there. In total, 'Neighbors' has everything it needs to earn a place in our hearts...or rather our funny bones.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

It does have impressive special effects, well choreographed action scenes, and an inspired cast of characters, but Marc Webb's Spider-Man series has taken a dive straight into redundancy after only two installments thanks to another unoriginal story, an overabundance of poorly-handled villains, a vain sense of ambition, and to top it all off, a missing post-credits scene to irritate devoted Marvel fans.

Transcendence

Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall's typically charming performances fall flat in a film that is more outlandish, unimaginative, and uninteresting than a spring-less Justin Bieber-branded pogo stick.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
½

It is difficult to not have a good time watching Wes Anderson's latest comedic work of art. Filled with charming characters played by some of cinema's greatest faces and oodles of cinematographically hilarious moments, every waking second of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is colorful, expertly written, well filmed, and an absolute pleasure to watch.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
½

Smart, stylish, and positively lethal, Captain America's second solo outing outdoes its predecessor by a considerable measure and keeps the excitement coming from start to finish. This is easily the strongest Phase 2 MCU installment yet.

Noah
Noah(2014)

Prepare for an epic of biblical proportions with Darren Aronofsky's Noah. Special effects of highest quality and stellar performances from the film's many talented stars combine tremendously to craft a powerful and touching film. Believers and non-believers are both likely to enjoy this enrapturing story of heart, struggle, and strength.

Muppets Most Wanted

Not unlike it's predecessor, the undivided focus on the plot and the lack of memorable funny moments and sight gags has hurt a film that had bucket loads of potential. Highlights include the use of the song "Together Again...Again", and the opening number "We're Doing a Sequel", while the overuse of Kermit's annoyingly-voiced double Constantine and the tired plot round out the lowlights of the film. Better luck next time, guys.

300: Rise of an Empire

Beyond a number of macho battle scenes and a wacked out performance from Eva Green, there isn't much to remember about the much-anticipated 300 sequel/prequel/midquel. Perhaps a lack of Zack Snyder's direction is to blame for this scattered splash of solar flares and blood.

Need For Speed

It isn't horrible, but there isn't a lot of food for thought in this simple-minded video game adaptation. Highlighted by a familiar cast and gorgeous cars, there's plenty of road-raged eye-candy to fulfil your cravings by the time the credits roll, but not much beyond that.

Non-Stop
Non-Stop(2014)
½

It's not perfect, but Non-Stop is just interesting enough with its talented cast and intelligent writing to make for a fun (and decidedly clever) popcorn feature.

Pompeii
Pompeii(2014)

Stale, emotionless, and completely forgettable. The final chapter, full of big-budget special effects and a grandiose score, isn't enough to save this uninspired epic from its many faults.

RoboCop
RoboCop(2014)

This restrained reboot features more violence than the original but concentrates less on the impact it leaves. Also, the satirical elements that made the original a classic are toned down to the point of near indistinctiveness. However, the talented cast, impressive special effects, and numerous nods to the original do their part to, hopefully, satisfy both seasoned fans and newcomers.

I, Frankenstein

While featuring impressive special effects and a couple of familiar names, from beginning to end this tedious, lethargic mess will show you less excitement than the half-awake cleaning crew on your way out of the theatre.

The LEGO Movie
½

An unexpected laugh riot with clever jokes and an engaging story to boot. Showcasing a stellar voice cast and enough visual excitement to satisfy every long-time Lego fan, Phil Lord and Chris Miller's latest directorial effort proves to be their best.

The Monuments Men
½

Against all the not-so-positive attention being paid to George Clooney's 'The Monuments Men', it packs enough of a punch with its narrative and plays its brilliant cast to their strengths. It may not be the most daring or original in its efforts, but it makes up for its flaws with an effortless sense of reality and plenty of charisma.

Her
Her(2013)

Despite any skeptical perceptions you may have on the concept, it cannot be denied that Spike Jonze has crafted a touching, delicate, and passionate masterpiece by capturing the very essence of love, no less.

Lone Survivor
½

Fuelled by its persistence and integrity, Lone Survivor proves to be an earnest, albeit excessively nationalistic, story of courage, love, and honor.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

The plot's ever-expanding premise is handicapped by the limiting duration time, and there is very little along the lines of originality. Pine, Knightley, Costner, and Branagh, however, all play to their strengths and the gritty, action-driven story will do well enough to keep you invested.

Saving Mr. Banks

Tom Hanks' familiar presence as the likable Walt Disney and Emma Thompson's role as the ambiguous P. L. Travers combines harmoniously along with memorable supporting performances from Paul Giamatti and Colin Farrell to create a delightfully cordial recounting of one of the most enduring chapters in Disney's filmmaking history. Fans of the classic 1964 film will likely accept this film as an excellent tribute.

The Wolf of Wall Street

DiCaprio's incredibly ranged performance is most welcome in what may be Scorsese's most uniquely unorthodox and engagingly explicit film. Having said that it would be difficult to deny the similarities it shares with Scorsese's earlier triumph, 'Goodfellas'. If you're expecting a film along the lines of the Michael Douglas 'Wall Street' films, you'd be profoundly mistaken.

The Purge
The Purge(2013)
½

There isn't a whole lot going on that isn't overly familiar and clichéd. Thankfully, with its good casting and edgy cinematography, 'The Purge' is still worthy late-night movie material.

About Time
About Time(2013)
½

It is difficult at times to accept the continuity of a film where plot holes are obviously disregarded, but About Time makes up for its faults for giving us a genuinely heartwarming story and engaging performances by Gleeson, McAdams, and Nighy.

Thor: The Dark World
½

Thor: The Dark World, in contrast to expectations, is a comfortably smaller film that focuses its attention on the relationship between Thor and his troubled adoptive brother Loki. The result is a visually impressive, surprisingly humour-filled action film where the only major fault is the expectedly uninteresting villain that pales in comparison to the charismatically complex Loki.

A Christmas Carol

An unsurpassable adaptation of the Christmas classic that fuels its fire of a heart with touching characters, powerful imagery, and an enduring performance by Alastair Sim as the insufferable Ebenezer Scrooge. A timeless jewel of a film awaits whoever longs for a truly heartwarming holiday tradition.

Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2(2004)
½

A deeply rooted story and well-developed characters combine harmoniously in what is arguably Marvel's most fulfilling cinematic effort to date.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)

Familiar, likable characters are the glue that holds this series together in what many consider to be the weakest, most cluttered entry in the once-lauded series.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

Riddled with clichés and reused plot elements from the original film, Marc Webb's attempt at giving us an "untold" origin story takes a big step in the wrong direction and feels overwhelmingly unnecessary. It will take an impressive sequel to breathe life back into the series.

Ice Age
Ice Age(2002)

Ice Age has its fair share of likable characters and memorable moments but suffers from weak animation, and an unoriginal, small-scale premise.

Insidious: Chapter 2

The film, although remarkably successful at connecting itself to the first film's events, fails at recapturing the same level of suspense and shock that made the original the standard for modern horror movies.

Carrie
Carrie(2013)

Kimberly Pierce's contemporary remake of Brian De Palma's Carrie is a decent film in its own right but lacks the originality and boldness that made the original a classic.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)

Undoubtedly a cinematic triumph, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity will not only amaze you with its unbelievably breathtaking visuals, it will also suck you into the deepest, darkest pockets of space and try its hardest to not let you escape. Thankfully, you won't be alone. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are also along for the ride and give us two of the greatest performances you are likely to see this year. Do yourself a favour and don't wait for the home video release to see this one. IMAX 3D is a requirement for those who wish to fully experience this near-perfect science-fiction thriller.

Captain Phillips
½

With Paul Greengrass' brilliant direction and a stellar performance by Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips is a captivating thriller that is unlikely to be overshadowed as one of the year's best films. My only bone to pick with it is the irritatingly loud musical score that is responsible for making a few of the scenes difficult to follow.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
½

An imaginative feast for the eyes and ears awaits those who are ready to take a bite of this colorful and tastefully charming family adventure tale.

The World's End

Ending The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy on a satisfying note, The World's End packs plenty of hilarity-filled punches and equally quenches our thirst of action and suspense.

You're Next
You're Next(2013)
½

Pleasantly creepy and gloriously gory, You're Next combines a satisfyingly familiar premise, strong visuals, and calculated timing to craft an excellent modern horror feature.

RoboCop 3
RoboCop 3(1993)

There are but a few isolated scraps of enthusiasm and intrigue left in this dried-up, third entry of a series that has turned from laudable to laughable.

Robocop 2
Robocop 2(1990)
½

With an on-par performance from star Peter Weller, Robocop 2 succeeds, in part, at equalling its predecessor's level of excitement but otherwise fails to be anywhere near as moving or complex.

RoboCop
RoboCop(1987)

Riveting, tenacious, compelling, and satirical, Robocop is a non-stop sci-fi action thrill-ride of a movie that blends its action and humour at a superior level.

Closed Circuit

Even with the excellent casting of Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall 'Closed Circuit' spends all its time painfully shifting its way through scattered plot elements and unimpressive twists. While not completely colorless the film is lost in the direction of pacing and emphasis.

Kick-Ass 2
Kick-Ass 2(2013)

Even with the considerably larger cast of characters 'Kick-Ass 2' feels like and succeeds at being a comfortably smaller movie filled with passionately violent action sequences and well-timed profanity that, although less satisfyingly shocking as its predecessor, stills manages to pack a big enough punch.

Silver Linings Playbook
½

The shining performances from Lawrence and Cooper carry most of the film's greatness on their shoulders but everyone in this brilliantly crafted romantic comedy-drama film proves their worthiness thoroughly and with a great deal of passion. Many thanks to David O. Russell for his excellent direction.

Elysium
Elysium(2013)

Even with the expectedly terrific visuals and good casting choices 'Elysium' doesn't deliver enough originality and excitement to help it uncover itself from the shadow of recent releases 'Prometheus', 'Oblivion' or even director Blompkamp's own 'District 9'.

R.I.P.D.
R.I.P.D.(2013)

Originality, or likability for that matter, is nowhere to be found in this comic book adaptation. With Reynolds and Bridges showing little-to-no chemistry and many laughably bad moments, R.I.P.D., as its title may suggest, is dead tiring to watch.

The Conjuring

It's old, it's creepy, and it's coming for you! No, I am not talking about your mother-in-law. With little in the way of truly terrifying horror movies so far this year The Conjuring stirs up a plentiful harvest of scares that is sure to unnerve and undermine even the mightiest moviegoers.

Monsters University

Funny, heartfelt, and overall thoroughly enjoyable, Monsters University brings Pixar, and it's fans, back to the good ol' days (in more ways than one).

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

The master of cinematic wonder, Guillermo Del Toro, delivers another spectacle of a movie, this time tackling the monster movie genre and throwing in giant fighting robots! Whether you watch it for the special effects, the action sequences, or the drama (all of which would be good reasons), Pacific Rim 'elbow-rockets' itself in the right direction for becoming, literally, this Summer's 'biggest' movie event.

Despicable Me 2

With the improvements outweighing the regressions, this colorful sequel demonstrates heart, innocence, and class in a world where cheap shots, bawdy humour, and toilet gags dominate 'family' entertainment.

World War Z
World War Z(2013)
½

Brad Pitt hasn't exactly been a big name in action for a while. When was his last truly memorable action film? Inglorious Basterds? Anyways, Pitt takes many a hit in a film Roland Emmerich would have been proud to make and finally puts his now-signature scruffy look to use. It can be a little on the silly side here and there and occasionally loses itself to its excessive CGI but WWZ has a solid story, terrific cinematography, and rapid-fire action that should satisfy rather than disappoint.

This Is the End
½

A day in the life of your average comedic actor? Probably not, although with the likes of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, and Craig Robinson joining forces would you envision anything less than the end of the world? Expect laughs, gasps, and maybe even a few shed tears to turn up during this surprisingly successful comical calamity.

Fast & Furious 6

With a round housing set of action-packed car chases and a gleefully fitting cast, 'Furious 6' succeeds in reminding us, yet again, that the series is still fast-tracking its way to cinematic victory.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)
½

With an appropriate selection of cast, stellar special effects, memorable dialogue, and epic action sequences, you'll leave the theatre remembering "Man of Steel". What you'll try to forget is its dicey pacing and overly strong attempt at being ambitious.

Star Trek Into Darkness
½

Just when you though the franchise had been wrung dry of its relevance in modern media, Star Trek into Darkness ones up its predecessor with venerable character buildup, stellar special effects, a villain for the ages, and a world of references that even casual viewers will recognize and appreciate. It's no joke to say that J.J. Abram's powerful sci-fi sequel "flares" into life.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)
½

Expect a spectacle of bravura action, smart humour, stellar special effects, surprising twists and energetic performances from a gifted cast of greats. While the second installment seemed to play everything safe, number three goes all in and wins big.

Oblivion
Oblivion(2013)
½

Not an overly complicated story (or movie for that matter) yet there's enough going on to keep the interest level pretty high in the sky. Cruise's performance further proves his relevance in today's action movies and he, opposing what some have said, is not boring to watch. What makes this movie work the most are its visuals. The special effects are phenomenal - Oscar worthy at least.

The Place Beyond The Pines

It has heart, it has brains, and it has a great cast. Simple enough.

Space Cowboys
½

Seeing classic stars Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner together is an absolute delight and the great chemistry they have together helps us to forget that the film orbits around a relatively familiar and predictable plot.

Evil Dead
Evil Dead(2013)
½

With lots of blood and gore at it's core 'Evil Dead' makes good use of it's source material thanks, in part, to producers Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Robert G. Tapert who directed, starred in, and produced the original series respectively. Jane Levy's leading performance as the off-and-on-possessed Mia corresponds well with Ash from the original series and is key to the movie's most memorable moments. The lack of humour is the films' one snag.

Movie 43
Movie 43(2013)

This movie makes 'Gigli' look like 'Casablanca'.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

I find it surprising that this movie, being superior to the original as the page suggests, has a lower rating. If you're looking for a round housing action movie you've found a decent one. The introductory performances by Johnson and Willis are enjoyable and fitting, Cobra himself has drastically improved, we are given guns and nukes instead of super suits and nano-mites, and there are some actual dramatic moments for us to care about...slightly. On the downside, however, there is a lot of over-flashy camerawork, weak story moments, and unnecessary dialogue to turn a more sophisticated viewer off. Since that's what action movies do I won't get too upset about the imperfections. Not a masterpiece but definitely underrated.

Olympus Has Fallen
½

An enjoyable action film from start to finish. There are a few moments of cheesiness that are easily forgettable and a handful of American symbolism that the film could do without but what leaves a lasting impression is the raw action that derives itself mostly from star Gerard Butler. Many. no doubt, will compare this film to 'Die Hard' and 'Air Force One', both films that this one shares many components with, but the bulk of the similarities are what made the former two films the successes they are. I'd call 'Olympus Has Fallen' an underrated and overlooked movie.

Daylight
Daylight(1996)

Unlike most previous disaster films, including the then-recent hit 'Independence Day', the typical wide-spread disaster theme takes a break with 'Daylight'. Despite the inconsistent pace and hit and miss cast, 'Daylight' effectively takes the viewer right into one hell of a scary situation that one could imagine happening in real-life. Even Sylvester Stallone looks conceivable at this point since he has not yet taken the form of a bag full of broken gravel.

An American Werewolf in London
½

It is very difficult for me to give this movie a genre since it fits so well in to two. 'An American Werewolf in London' excels at bringing plenty of humour and charm to a movie that would hold its own as just a horror movie. It shall not be forgotten that this movie is also a landmark in special effects. The main transformation scene is worthy of being a short film in itself.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)

This movie has everything a 21st Century James Bond movie needs. It has a riveting plot that succeeds at surprising and captivating the audience, the villain is brilliant without ripping-off any other previous villains, the "Bond Girls" manage to remain important to the plot throughout the movie, the locations used are very visually interesting and memorable, and it is serious and realistic while still retaining some of the classic Bond humor and fantasy. This movie is easily my favorite of the year.

Demolition Man
½

It may seem a bit cheesy and over-the-top but the concept for and execution of 'Demolition Man' is interesting and original enough to be considered a compliment to both Stallone's and Snipes' careers. The special effects, and visuals in general, are impressive, the cast and characters are enjoyable, and the numerous references and jokes made at the futuristic district 'San Angeles' are reason alone to encourage a viewing. Fans of the original 'Total Recall' and 'RoboCop' movies are likely to enjoy this sci-fi action flick.

Texas Chainsaw

With little in the line of originality and creativity, Texas Chainsaw 3D is likely to intrigue the typical slasher movie fan with its reminiscent sense of suspense and choice of setting. The typical band of unsuspecting college-age kids also adds to the charming predictability. The anti-hero-villain choice may or may not be viewed someday as a good one, but it is interesting to say the least.

Dark Skies
Dark Skies(2013)

'Dark Skies' is plagued by weak acting, an unoriginal plot, and feeble scares that are few and far between. It can be very difficult, at times, to differentiate this inferior horror film from many other recent nonchalant additions to the genre.

The Watch
The Watch(2012)

It's difficult to review movies like these honestly since there is little to say for the movie other than it's refreshing to see a combination of colourful comedic actors like Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill working together in one movie. There were way fewer jokes (that worked) per minute than your average comedy, and most of the ones that did were centered around around what you'd expect. Ah well, seeing comedies like this make the well-made comedies seem even better in comparison.

Men in Black III
½

After ten years, it was refreshing to see Will Smith in a role that he'd already established himself in, while most of his recent roles have been in stand-alone movies. Thankfully he showed that he is still the hip, cool Agent J he was a decade ago and can still bring on the laughs. Tommy Lee Jones, an actor whose mainstreem roles within the last ten years can be summarized by the movie "No Country for Old Men", hasn't changed a bit either in the crotchity, unpredictable, and lovable role of Agent K. For the first time in series history (yeah, I know it's only 3 movies) a new headlining actor steps forward as Josh Brolin, also previously seen in "No Country for Old Men", plays the younger 1969 version of Agent K. His performance was very fitting and provided the movie with plenty of entertaining plot elements and gags. My overall view of the movie is that the story was better than the last installment, the characters are still wonderfully relavent, and the modern and wacky special effects are as good as they've ever been. Oh, and the character of Griffin is one to remember. Excellent movie!

Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher(2012)

Unoriginal, in many aspects, Jack Reacher has its hits and misses. Tom Cruise's hard-edged performance and the intense action scenes help to distract from the below-average acting and tired plot throughout the film.

Gangster Squad

The excellent cast gives the film a chance to capture the attention of many moviegoers, and the visuals are, lo and behold, impressively detailed and stylistic, although there are a few select issues that keep this movie from being great. The lack of character development is a bit of a let down and may leave the viewer feeling a bit out of the loop. Also, there are a few too many scenes centered on Gosling's character, and for Brolin, too few. When looking for entertaining, powerful, and colorful performances, look in the direction of Penn, Ribisi, and Brolin.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The first of the three movies that make up J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit starts the story on a relatively positive note. The visuals are to be commended but the pacing and overall flow of The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is not quite present here. With many slower-moving scenes of dialogue, it is possible that some viewers might become a little bored. The almost 3 hour running time may also contribute to this. Otherwise, the characters, chemistry, and sense of majesty that the Rings brought us is still alive in this unexpected journey of a lifetime.

21 Jump Street

Usually when you think "remake" or "reboot" you cringe or shake your head with frustration. It is only natural to be against something that may potentially ruin a past show or movie's legacy. Well worry not 80's 21 Jump Street fans, this one is worth the time. Filled with modern yet classic rowdy comedy, this movie is likely to tickle the funny-bone of any current comedy film fan ready to laugh 'til they drop. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum lead a perfectly chosen cast. Rob Riggle and Ice Cube deserve a lot of credit for their hilarious performances.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)
½

First of all, I have to say that I haven't seen 3-D as impressively used as this since Avatar! But more importantly, this movie a beautiful and touching ride throughout. The story is a mixture of cinematic familiarity laced with vibrant touches of originality during its best moments. Besides from the 3-D, the special effects were dazzling. I had a difficult time recognizing when the tiger was real as opposed to computer generated (if it ever alternated at all), and the scenery was more beautiful than anything I've seen in a movie made within the last two years or so. Overall a very well-made adaption.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
½

If you're a fan of first movie, this one will likely be very pleasing. After an experimental run in Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade reverts back to most of the original formula. You have Indy, a less whiny female lead, the return of Sallah, and in the place of a small Chinese boy you have Indy's Grail-Lore-obsessed book-worm dad played by Sean Connery. Boy do these two work well together. Every scene with the two of them is filled with enjoyable witty dialogue. Overall this film is adventurous, funny, has lots of character, and (should have) ended the series on the best possible note.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

It's no Raiders, but Temple of Doom still manages to satisfy. There is a big shift in focus from the original, especially in the territory of spectacles. There are plenty of gross-out gags and dark rituals that seem almost out of place in an Indiana Jones movie. If you walked out of the first movie feeling like you were covered in sand, wine, and gold, this movie would likely leave you covered in bugs, blood, and monkey brains. Still, the sense of adventure is ever-present, the characters (if you can get past Willie) are enjoyable and fitting, and the story is memorable. Again, it is not quite Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it's still a worthy addition to the series.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford's casting as the title character seems like enough of a reason to get exited but throw in filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (before he lost his touch) and you have an explosive combination. Mixed with mystifying visuals, heart pounding drama, and a non-stop craving for excitement, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a timeless, captivating, and breathtaking action-adventure spectacular that deserves the title of being the greatest film of it's genre - maybe the best of any genre.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)
½

With riveting visuals that leave lasting impressions on the viewer, Cloud Atlas is a difficult movie to forget. At first I recall having a difficult time following the various stories that occur throughout the movie. This changed as each became more interesting, with connections beginning to appear between the many different characters. I must admit that half of the fun I had watching this movie came from looking for every star's next new character appearance (each of the main actors has 5 or more roles, with heavy make-up used to differentiate each role). I believe that this movie deserves a better rating than what it has (64% is a little low). I'd give the movie a rating between 70-75%.

Rain Man
Rain Man(1988)
½

I could not believe that the same man who played Captain Hook in "Hook" (1991), that I loved so much as a child, was the same man in this movie. Dustin Hoffman put on the performance of a lifetime as Raymond Babbit in this one. Throw in the lovably hateable brother Charlie, played by Tom Cruise, and you have great chemistry. The only issues I can see are the slight innacuracies revolving around Raymond's autism. It is not a common trait of autistic people to have an eidetic memory (there are only a handful of people on the planet who likely have it). That you'd have to imagine is just another brilliant thing about the character Raymond. Anyways, excusing that, this movie shines brighter than most of the movies released in the 1980's and deserves to be on a lot of "best of" lists for sure.

The Bourne Legacy

It may not be quite as endearing as the first three, there are plenty of action scenes to keep you interested, and Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz both put on great performances. It seems that there are still stories worth telling in the Bourne series, and I hope more sequels follow.

The Dark Knight

Back in 2004, when we thought Spider-Man 2 and X2: X-Men United were the best that there was, we had no idea as to what was coming. This movie did more than just perfect the Superhero movie genre, it changed it. It was dark, edgy, and gritty on a whole different scale. The already iconic Joker recieved a brilliant twist with Heath Ledger, The sub-plots involved didn't create clutter, and the story got your heart pumping in a similar fashion to Die Hard. Overall, there is virtualy nothing to complain about with this movie other than the fact that we know we wont get another chance to see the Joker again.

Christine
Christine(1983)

It's relatively simple. Boy buys old car, car turns out to be evil, car changes boy into a jerk, boy's friends try to put a stop to it. The premise isn't all that original, but it works out okay. The car's ability to heal from it's injuries adds an interesting touch, and John Carpenter's chilling musical score adds to the overall eeriness of the movie.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
½

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was released a good decade after the original series' cancellation, directs the majority of its focus on being a special effects spectacle and ignores many of the important aspects of good filmmaking. A good example would be that there are dozens of characters to work off of only they are not given the time and effort they deserve. Likely the largest problem is that there are too many scenes with little or no dialogue. Having to spend what feels like an eternity watching the many continuous shots of space-scenery is almost painful (looking back, I wish I hadn't made the mistake of owning the "Special Longer Edition" of the already long and draggy motion picture). All is not lost, however, since the chemistry between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is just as good as it's always been, and the familiar faces of Uhura, Scotty, Chekov, and Sulu are enjoyable as well. Basically, the visuals are impressive for the time, the characters and their relationships are enjoyable yet underappreciated, and the long periods of silence will likely induce drowsiness. It would be best not to watch this at too late an hour unless you are having trouble sleeping.

The Thing
The Thing(1982)
½

The thing about "The Thing" is that it's entertaining. It leaves the viewers always wondering, is that guy the thing?, is the thing dead?, is what i think going to happen?, it keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. I think it's fantastic.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)

Going into the theatre I thought to myself "this is going to be just another one of those Spielburg Alien pics", thankfully, it wasn't. The film was captivating and charming. I felt I could relate with the characters and their dilemmas, and the effects were pleasantly realistic. To best summerize the feel of it, I'd say it's a combination of Cloverfield, Transformers, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (which oddly enough were all made by the same people who made this film). The conclude, it was a fun, enertaining and thrilling film that packs a punch over and over.

Witness
Witness(1985)
½

Witness is a brilliantly crafted, well made thriller that spends all of its time either keeping the audience on the edge of their seat, or captivating its viewers with realistic, from-the-heart romance. It deserves the high rating it has and remains to this day as a positive role model for young, new directors looking to make a great thriller film.