Alex A's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Modern Times
Modern Times(1936)

Subjectively didn't find this as engaging, funny or clever as City Lights. Chaplin retains the charm, funny facial expressions and charisma however, and there are some chuckles to be had throughout the film.

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place excels at one very important thing for its genre(s): atmosphere.

Yes, the performances were exceptionally realistic, the soundtrack is lowkey and avoids being obnoxious and over-the-top, and the cinematography is neither overly grim nor too bright, giving the film a sense of reality that makes you feel like you're actually there. But the atmosphere is key here.

As countless reviews have already stated, the concept and execution of the story has a contagious effect on you, making you stare at the screen and keep silent just like the characters are forced to do. Talk about engrossing.

As for the monsters? Well, the idea behind how they operate via sound makes them unique, but their look is nothing special. They look like modified Xenomorphs with long limbs.

Admittedly, given the genre, there are times in the second half of the film where it almost falls into jump-scare-overuse territory. Thankfully it doesn't completely rely on this cheap tactic. There are also moments sprinkled throughout that leave you wondering how the monsters didn't hear certain things the characters are doing in the moment.

The cliffhanger finale isn't for everyone, but personally, I didn't mind it. It doesn't end with the cliched happy ending where the protagonist predictably overcomes the daunting antagonist. There's a good chance the remainder of the family will survive since they discovered the creatures weakness, but is it a complete chance? I love that.

I will definitely revisit this to see if there's any details I missed, but as of right now, this is one of the most unique experiences I've ever had at the cinema. It was engaging, kept me at the edge of my seat, and left me frozen in suspense at times. Call that hyperbole, but this movie was that good.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash

This has a really dumb script, and some of the talent involved visibly look like they don't want to be there at times. This was just bizarre, corny, lame, uninspired, and for the most part phoned in. Not much to elaborate on, it just sucked.

Death Wish V: The Face of Death

The weakest of the Death Wish series in my opinion, yet still entertaining in its own right. Unlike the previous 4 installments, Kersey doesn't shoot the baddies to kill them here as often. He burns them alive with explosive soccer balls, poisons their cannoli's with cyanide, puts them through meat grinders, and shoves them into baths of acid.

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

This one is honestly my favorite in the series next to part 1. It has more plot than the 2 installments that preceded it and Kersey going after bigger criminal organizations(drug cartels) instead of street-level hoodlums is a ridiculous yet highly entertaining change of pace for the series.

Death Wish 3
Death Wish 3(1985)

The first Death Wish to really go over-the-top, specifically in the third act. It's so cheesy and implausible that you can't help but sit back relax and be entertained by it's 80's cheesy goodness.

Death Wish II

Very similar to the original in terms of plot, but not as captivating. In it's own right it's entertaining and the final act is a glimpse of the over-the-top territory this series would delve into in the future.

Death Wish
Death Wish(1974)

The Death Wish movies really don't require long in depth reviews. This first installment is probably the strongest, with Bronson successfully creating a sympathetic protagonist.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

After the utterly disappointing Man of Steel, my low expectations may have led me to somewhat enjoy Batman vs Superman more than I should've. It has problems however, like an over abundant amount of almost boring chaotic destruction in the final act, a once again unremarkable Lois Lane, an occasionally bloated story and overlong run time. Ben Affleck is a solid Batman and the highlight of this film, while Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman was pretty bland. As a film of emotional substance it lacks, but as popcorn fun it delivers for the most part.


Visual effects are terribly dated, some plot points feel rushed and Blade's character backstory is lacking. Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff and the relentlessly bloody action are what hold Blade together and make it entertaining despite its flaws.

Speed 2 - Cruise Control

Keanu is a genius for turning this crap down.

Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2(2004)

The best of the Sam Raimi trilogy.

The Visitor
The Visitor(2008)

The performances are grounded in reality mirroring how people in real life would react to the series of events here, which draws you closer to the characters. The pacing isn't brisk which may be a turn off for some, but subjectively it doesn't need to be. It takes its time, engrossing you and leaving you hoping for the best, while simultaneously knowing the reality of the situation doesn't always come with a happy conclusion. The soundtrack, like most things in this film, isn't jarring, and helps set the mood.

Seeing Walter's character develop from a detached widower going through the motions in life to regaining the spice of life through Tarek, is warming and resonating to watch unfold. The drum playing is also a nice touch and adds a nice kick to the films atmosphere.

This could've easily been annoyingly preachy, but instead the film finds a certain middle ground. It's illegal immigrant characters acknowledge that they have broken the law, and we acknowledge that fact as well. But, regardless of that fact, seeing their predicament through their perspective garners sympathy nonetheless.

The Visitor is a poignant, sometimes humorous, relatable but overall rich film grounded in reality, avoiding the histrionics, with a strong script and central message that raises a difficult question and gives a realistic answer no matter how hard that answer is.

My Friend Dahmer

Decent performances, simplistic dialogue, nice cinematography, leisure pace but overall not very exciting or interesting. Boring at times as well.


This was very good. If this is Jackman's swan song as Wolverine, it is definitely on a high note.

The performances here are excellent, which is no surprise really. Not much else needs to be said about that aspect. The characters feel more human and 3-dimensional here compared to other X-Men movies.

Thanks to said performances, the viewer vicariously feels the 3 main characters pain and tension, making you eagerly want them to survive. The villains aren't the best in terms of the intimidation factor compared to the franchises previous antagonists, but they sure are despicable here. That farm family murder was sad and shocking to watch.

The action is what you'd expect in an R rated Wolverine flick: chock full of bloody slicing and dicing galore. The choreography does get repetitive however.

I really don't have many negative things to say about this one. The soundtrack is calm, grounded and not over-the-top like most blockbusters, the cinematography helps set the gritty mood, and the action delivers despite it's repetitiveness.

This is the best X-Men film to date.

John Wick: Chapter 2

I enjoyed the first one a little more, but this is a solid sequel. After the opening action sequence involving Wick's car, the first act drags somewhat until the exceptionally choreographed shootouts begin. It retains the relentless bloodbath shootouts, unique world building and absorbing underworld atmosphere that made part 1 so much fun.

The Painting
The Painting(2013)

Unique, mature and a treat for the eyes.

When I get my hands on the English version I'll definitely give it a rewatch.


Witness has this peaceful, exhilarating yet simultaneously intense and thrilling vibe about it which sets it apart from other thrillers, even though it's 'murder-witness' story isn't anything new. The execution of said story is what really counts here though, as director Peter Weir has protagonist John Book face culture shock by hiding out in Amish country. Ford gives one of the best performances of his career and the soundtrack is nothing short of majestic.

(Bumped the rating up from a 4 to a 4.5.)

The Karate Kid, Part III

Eesh. Alright, Karate Kid we go.

There's things I like here, but simultaneously there's many things I don't like and find bizarre. First, there's Macchio's performance. It's so bipolar it's not even funny. One scene he's as hyper and upbeat as a coke addict, next scene he's highly irritated and arguing with Mr. Miyagi. There's few scenes here where he's the level headed Daniel who shares that warm best friend dynamic with Miyagi that we as the audience loved in the first 2 movies. Also, his character is a bigger crybaby wuss here than he was in the first installment. Where's the character development? Why isn't he at least halfway decent at karate here after winning a no-rules death match at the end of part 2? He's struggling against Mike Barnes, who isn't as deadly as Chozen...

Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver? Gotta say, as over-the-top and cartoonishly maniacal his performance and character is, that's part of what makes him one of the best antagonists in this trilogy, that just so happens to be in the weakest installment. Yet, his motivations are completely ludicrous. I understand this is just a movie, but storyline wise, you wonder why in blue hell would a filthy rich, toxic-dump wasting, grown man waste his time cooking up an elaborate plan to ruin the life of a TEENAGER just because he won a measly karate tournament? Oh, his best friend lost his dojo and dignity because of it. So we're also to believe that John Kreese, another grown man, has had his life shattered to pieces because an adolescent beat his adolescents in said tournament? Ugh.

Why is so much of the film fixated on the well-being of the Bonsai trees? Those were a nice touch when their purpose was to simply be objects that Miyagi used to compare their strength to human strength and spirit, not objects that have long winded scenes where Daniel and Jessica almost die climbing down a mountain to retrieve them.

Then there's the final tournament duel between Larusso and Barnes. Considering the movie could've been over in 5 minutes had Silver just purchased and built numerous Cobra Kai dojos with his money, instead he goes through the whole story finally to the end, and has Barnes dick around with Larusso by scoring a point, then deliberately losing a point via cheap shot until it's sudden death, so that Mike can get a 1-0 victory. If Barnes is so great, and Daniel is no match for him, why not just have him beat Daniel 3-0 like nothing, call it a day, then there you go. Cobra Kai is back.

There's no love interest for Larusso here either. Kumiko from KK2 is written off just like Ally was, and in this film, Jessica, who initially is a potential love interest, ends up friend zoning Daniel because she's gonna give her ex boyfriend a second chance. Her final scene in the film comes 20+ minutes before it ends.

I like the Silver character, and Barnes too. The mountain climbing sequences, though tonally out of place in this trilogy, are shot nicely. For all the scenes of Daniel being an angsty baby, there's still moments sprinkled around where he and Miyagi bring their chemistry to the screen again.

Overall, this is just another 3rd installment that poops the bed. It could've been mildly better with some tweaks to the script, characters and character motivations, dialogue and plot, but what you have here is what you get. A would-be promising, but ultimately disappointing and messy conclusion.


Guilty pleasure. But why should I be guilty? The set and clothing design scream 1930's and the soundtrack does as well. It is overdramatic in areas and some of the performances are cheesy, but overall this is a fine slice of Friday night beer drinking, popcorn chomping fun.

Harsh Times
Harsh Times(2006)

The plot isn't the most captivating thing in the world but Bale and Rodriguez's chemistry and performances are what hold the film together.


This doesn't contain Jet Li's best fight choreography but it's my favorite film of his regardless. Mainly due to the involvement of Freeman and Condon who add a charm and warmth to the film's mostly gritty and dark atmosphere.

The Commuter
The Commuter(2018)

Neeson plays a family man who loses his job at an insurance company, and while en route back home on the train he takes on a daily basis, a mysterious, "friendly" woman tells him there's $25K in the bathroom. He's to obtain it, locate a passenger who isn't supposed to be on there, then receive another $75K after locating said passenger. Problem is, this mysterious woman is apparently in league with some "powerful people" who want said passenger dead, because said passenger witnessed a murder committed by people hired by those powerful people, attempting to cover up something shady that could cause many of these powerful people to go to jail. So now Neeson's wife and son are in danger from these powerful people if he doesn't locate this mystery passenger.

Phew. Okay, first thing's first. Neeson is always fun to see, the performances are good, the dialogue, minus some hiccups and forced one liners, is solid. Intense action is here, etc etc yada yada yada.

Now, having just seen it, I'll try my best to articulate how I feel overall about the film. Is it good? Yeah, I'd say overall it's nothing more than just good. Why's that? I mean, the first half of the film which introduces the protagonist and his daily life/family while then setting up the basic premise is actually pretty engaging. The plot in the first half is well executed and leaves you wondering what will happen next.

The second half unfortunately is where the script takes somewhat of a nose dive into over-done, "okay tone it down a bit" territory. When the real physical combat action element kicks in, that's when the film becomes somewhat cliche. It's the same kind of action we've seen in most of Neeson's films in the last decade or so. The train crashing sequence is waaaay over the top and lasts ridiculously long. The movie doesn't make it too hard for viewers to mentally connect the dots, which leaves it feeling slightly predictable in parts as well.

Maybe I'm forgetting elements of the film having just seen it, but what exactly was on that device that got that guy thrown off a building? Who was Vera Farmiga's character working with/for? And if she and whoever she's working with is so well organized, powerful and dangerous, why would they send someone to shove a potential snitch into public transit where everyone can see? Isn't that a bit risky considering it's in PUBLIC? The individual who shoved him must've gotten arrested....right? Wouldn't that individual be interrogated, eventually tracing the incident back to Farmiga? Oh hell, it's a movie, I'm thinking too hard.

Verdict: this was solid. It had a strong first half but turns into a cliche bare-knuckle action packed second half which overwelcomes its stay in terms of length, and the initially intriguing premise is stretched thin by the end. The plot twists are mildly surprising on a surface level, but predictable if you follow along well since the beginning. This is 'Non-Stop' on a train. Popcorn fun, nothing more or less, and ultimately forgettable.

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)

Side Effects has great performances, especially from Rooney Mara who convincingly plays the manipulative Emily Hawkins, and Jude Law in the lead role. There are some slow moments in the film and in my honest opinion, Emily and Dr. Sieber could've easily been simple crime partners, without the lesbian aspect that felt shoe horned to please perverts in the audience. Channing Tatum's role was pretty filler and could have been played by anyone, really. Overall, Side Effects is still an intelligent, thought provoking mystery thriller with good performances, great twists and a clever story.

City Lights
City Lights(1931)

Charming is the best word to describe this. Impressive how a silent film can keep you engaged to its characters and plot from beginning to end. The choreography for the slap stick humor was done exceptionally well resulting in many genuinely funny moments throughout. I enjoyed this a lot.

Office Space
Office Space(1999)

Do you hate your job or your boss? Watch this. Office Space is hilarious, deadpan, relatable, all within a concise runtime. It's hella quotable too.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
½, that was underwhelming as heck.

Okay, here's what I liked: Yoda's cameo. That was legitimately the only moment in the film that had me somewhat euphoric. Snoke was very formidable, albeit simultaneously ridiculous looking with that gold bath robe that made him look like the Alien equivalent of Austin Power's Goldmember. The visuals were...okay. Luke has the single most badass moment in the entire film out of all the characters in his "duel" against Kylo Ren in the final act.

Now, let's get into what I disliked: Leia was unremarkable in this film. This is entirely subjective, but the sequence where she uses the force to float back towards the ship was ridiculous. That entire section in the Casino planet felt soooo out of place within this universe and added NOTHING to the main storyline. Luke's death was predictabe, and anticlimactic, barely matching the genuine shock I felt when Han Solo died. Also, this movie is way too long. It didn't need to be 2 and a half hours. I could really feel the length by the final act. Regarding Snoke, if he's so powerful and menacing, why couldn't he sense Kylo's incoming attack via the force-possessed lightsaber? That too felt anticlimactic especially after his character was built up to be uber-deadly. Rose Tico? Uninteresting character that added nothing to the story. Character development here was very thin or just not there. Finn is Finn when he appears to when the film ends, Rey is a little less of a Mary Sue, but still a Mary Sue, and Kylo Ren has glimpses of an arc but still ends up remaining a crybaby with teen angst issues. Too many characters here are shallow and lack depth.

Then the film ends, and like most things in this film, it ends in a disappointing fashion that left me feeling confused, dumbfounded and indifferent.

This is solely my opinion based on first viewing, but to be honest, I have no urge to revisit this anytime soon. I enjoyed TFA more than this, and even that one I thought was just good, not great. Rogue One has been my favorite film so far out of these modern SW flicks.


Crossroads is well acted, sure. The story however, subjectively, isn't very riveting. Some kid who's a blues fanatic wants to learn from a blues legend from Mississippi, even though from my observation a very limited amount of characters within the story had heard of him. It's partially a road trip flick as well, and stuff happens. That's right, stuff. They play on stage in an all black bar, they run into a dancer girl on her way to LA, Macchio and Seneca argue a lot, and there's a seemingly spiritual aspect in the atmosphere/tone of this movie. None of this however is all that interesting. The final guitar duel is without a doubt the highlight of this entire film.

Justice League

Okay, this was better than BvS, I'll give it that.  It was far more entertaining, paced, and unlike MoS and BvS, the action was a little easier to take in and not overwhelmingly full of 'splosions and collateral damage.  The villain here was formidable with a badass voice, but simultaneously he lacked an intriguing backstory and his look was pretty bland.  The interplay amongst the cast is solid, the visuals are for the most part decent despite some shots being unsubtle with its CG I.  Batman was good, Flash was good but sometimes repetitive, Superman was okay, Wonder Woman was okay, Cyborg wasn't that impressive and neither was Aquaman(although he looked cool).  The pacing wasn't great as much of the film, aside from feeling rushed at times, also felt like a disjointed flow of expository scene after scene and corny recruitment parts.  Overall, this is popcorn fun(like most superhero blockbusters this year).  It's worth a look.

Thor: Ragnarok

First off, no I haven't seen the first 2 Thor installments. Regardless, having seen this with some friends, it wasn't that hard to follow anyway. Now why a 3 star? Was it bad? Not necessarily. I mean it's funny here and there, the awkward humor is used well albeit stretched thin at times, the performances were all just good, the visuals were OKAY, and the action was, if I'm to be brutally honest, nothing we haven't seen in a million other superhero blockbusters prior. Thor: Ragnarok is simply a good popcorn fun time at the movies. It's colorful in terms of its worldbuilding and characters like the Grandmaster played predictably humorously by Jeff Goldblum, and Cate Blanchett plays a hella formidable antagonist.  Corny pun intended, sorry.  This wasn't great, nor was it bad.  It's really just another funny, but ultimately cliche blockbuster that comes with quirky characters and the usual bombardment of "wow what a ginormous CGI explosion" fight sequences.  Aaaaand it's just a hair overlong.  Is it worth the price of admission?  At matinee price sure.  Let's cut the nonsense though, I'm burned out and tired of all these annual superhero films.

The Founder
The Founder(2017)

A biopic about a 'persistent' salesman who had a vision about a small time fast food joint becoming a worldwide franchise?  McDonalds?  A movie about McDonalds and the soon-to-be tycoon who invested in it essentially...are you kidding me?  Who cares.  Wait, what?  Michael Keaton singlehandedly glues you to the screen?  The dialogue is slick and sharp?  Protagonists increasingly greedy and no-mercy-approach character development is fun to witness unfold?  Damn, you got me, count me in.  But but, the middle act runs out of that steam of intrigue here and there, and a minority of the dramatic moments don't land.  BJ Novak is pretty hammy and all I see is Ryan Howard when he's on screen.  Don't mind me though, watch the movie, it's worth it overall.  Unlike the franchise it's about and the majority of other fast food joints, this movie is good for you!

Matchstick Men

Well acted, snappy and witty dialogue, great performances and it's nicely shot.  The plot becomes thin and directionless in the middle act and in other areas, and the plot twist works well but simultaneously is a little too intricate for its own good, nearly tiptoeing into far-fetched territory.  Still a very enjoyable and funny flick.

War for the Planet of the Apes

That was incredible.  Just a hair above Dawn, subjectively.  Yes, the blockbuster spectacle of beautifully filmed action and visuals is doubled here, but so is the storytelling, characters and motivations, and world building.  Out of all 3 recent 'Of the Apes' films, this is without a doubt the darkest one in terms of cinematography, tone, atmosphere and plot.  This movie wastes no time, as in the first ten minutes alone is an explosive, gritty and in-your-face battle sequence in the dirty, muddy and rainy jungle just outside of Caesar's colony.  The film does slow down a little bit when the 'primitive' little girl and circus monkey(who provides the comic relief) characters are introduced, but not in the boring sense.  The Colonel, portrayed excellently by Harrelson, is without a doubt the most vicious human antagonist of the three films, yet simultaneously his motives are justifiable, though his approach to the war teeters between heroism and cold-blooded ruthlessness.  His character reminded me of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now oddly enough.  Caesar is at his most vulnerable here, becoming an even more 3-dimensional character.  He also talks throughout the entire film, something I as a viewer loved to hear.  Enough rambling though.  This might be the best blockbuster of the year.


Chinese water torture or watching Bio-Dome.  Which is a more effective form of torture, hmm?  As ridiculous as that sounds, it's plausible if you've seen...this..."film".  This "film" consists of two brain dead morons sticking their tongues out and whaling them around constantly, jumping and swinging off things like retarded baboons on cocaine, air-humping, a fart-smelling-challenge flashback, and did I mention pointless, arbitrary, brain-cell-deducting gags?  Keyword there was pointless.  This is an emotionally exhausting dung heap of a "film".  I've seen bits and pieces of Pauly Shore films over the years and this one I caught on TV when I was younger, but after seeing it now in its entirety(don't know what possessed me to do such a horrible thing), I can safely advise the entire cinephile population with this: if Pauly Shore is in the starring role, look away.  Turn around.  Run.  Don't look back.  Avoid it like it was the Black Plague.  That's it, I'm done talking about this abomination.

Little Caesar

Very basic by todays standards.  I Noticed some elements that were obvious inspirations for future gangster flicks, and it wasn't boring to say the least.  The performances were okay, albeit over-dramatic at times.  A lot of the movie consists of tough talk between the organized criminals, with a surprisingly small amount of violence.  The titular "Caeser" is a caricature with almost no character development, if I'm to be honest.  In the end it's not bad, and it's an admirable pioneer for its genre, but ultimately it's nothing special.

The Fate of the Furious

Positives: The pace is decent, it fully serves its purpose in terms of no-brainer-popcorn fun, and it's visually good. Negatives: it's quite predictable and repetitive in terms of comic relief, ludicrous action, soundtrack, and family themes. Also, it's way too long, exhaustingly so to be honest. This did not under any circumstances need to be 2+ hours. I felt indifferent throughout most of this, and when you feel that way during Dom's ordeal involving his recently-born baby son, that's a problem. This was an average, ultimately forgettable entry.

One Hour Photo

Subjectively, I found this incredibly engrossing. Robin Williams was fantastic here, and his performance alone is worthy of a high recommendation to see this. The movie kind of messes with your head, in that, Sy, the protagonist, is kind of a big creep, yet you simultaneously feel bad for his chronic loneliness. I loved the cinematography, the foreboding bits in the soundtrack, the natural performances all around, and the sharp script with its twists and turns in the final act. Much of the film has bright white colors in scenes, yet the atmosphere is of an eerie calmness. The hotel sequence in the final act was a bit far-fetched and disgusting, but that's really the only gripe I have for this. It's expertly acted, paced, shot and written. One Hour Photo is one of few examples in the late Williams' filmography that allows his true acting range, outside of comedy, to shine.

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Oh boy, Plan 9 from Outer Space: Ed Woods guilty-pleasure "masterpiece".  Honestly I couldn't finish it.  The story and plot is so retarded, for lack of a better term.  I guess it's about aliens raising up zombies, flying saucers that look like aluminum plates and...yeah.  For a measly 78 minute long film, this was a boring, obvious, dry, unintentionally funny slog among other things.  The set designs were cheap, the dialogue was amateur, the performances were unremarkable, and I could go on, but long story short, this is awful.  And no, it's not so bad it's good, it's just bad.  Really bad.  Ed Wood was the Uwe Boll of his time.

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman(2017)

+ Gal Gadot's performance.
+ Humor that doesn't rely on the usual blockbuster one-liners.
+ Not overly preachy concerning gender relations.
+ Paced well for the most part unlike its fellow DC predecessors (*cough* MoS).
+ Aries character translated very well to screen and posed a formidable threat.
+ The first act in Themyscira is visually gorgeous.
+ Fish-out-of-water aspect was handled well and quite the hoot at times.

- Run time could've been trimmed down.
- Like many DC films, there's a lot of scenes with bleak, gloomy blue cinematography.
- Climactic battle, once again, suffered from explosive, CG-I obsessed Snyder-ism.
- Some of the special effects aren't that impressive (e.g. Wonder Woman's whip)
- No Man's land scene is overhyped. It's bullet deflecting, slow-mo ass-kicking and a sniper-inhabited clock tower gets demolished. Nothing really innovative here.
- Some of its themes about peace and the darker side of mankind seem to conflict with each other and cause the film to feel contradictory at times.

Big Trouble in Little China

That was ridiculous, ultra cheesy, bonkers and way too over-the-top...which is why I liked it. Kurt Russell is awesome.

Chicken Little

Meh. Uneven script, dated animation, stale humor. But at least it's tolerable and self-embraced. Not the worst, but not good either.

The Borrowers

Special effects hold up surprisingly well. Very entertaining and creative family film, nothing more or less.


+Nice visuals and cinematography.
+Decent performances.
+Good enough pacing.
+Ridiculous premise that's strangely intriguing.

-Lots of Samsung phones for a film about super powers generated from Apple device fragments.
-Grandma never appears again after being knocked out cold.
-Main antagonist appears a little too late in the film.
-Main antagonists death is bizarre.
-The cause of the protagonists superpowers could've been elaborated on more for credibility and sake of selling the story.
-This unique concept is executed as a generic superhero tale of fighting organized crime with a cliched "win the girl" end game.

Super Mario Bros.

- Very few resemblances to the video game phenomenon it's based on.
- "You're not gonna believe this" scene at the end hints at a new threat yet the film ends there, leaving you hanging with no answer as to what "this" is.
- Ugly world-building.
- Messy, overdrawn final act
- Unremarkable, dry villainous motivation.
- Laughably dated special effects.
- "Moron" partners up and disappear in the film near the final act and are never seen again for whatever unexplained reason.
- Not funny, although it almost garners a chuckle once in a blue moon.
- Head-scratchingly random moments spread throughout.
- Coopa is a human being instead of a dragon.

+ Actors at least try their best with what they're given.
+ It has that 90's era charm.
+ It's less than 2 hours.
+ Still not as bad as Street Fighter or MK Annihilation.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Good? Yes for the most part. Funny? Mostly yes, but not quite as much as its predecessor. There's a few awkward comedic misfires here, and minor character/story development issues. Nebula and Gamora's subplot has a disappointing sibling-rivalry resolve, the "epic" showdown vs Ego suffers from the redundant CG-I overkill that plagues many blockbusters these days, and overall this is a lesser sequel. It's entertaining enough, but Guardians 2 lacks the fresh, exuberant charm that made Guardians 1 so unique. It still manages to be worthy the price of admission though.

Ocean's Eleven

Smooth, slick as hell, simple, straight forward and direct. I've always loved this film unconditionally. Sure, objectively it may not be a perfect movie, but damn do I find it entertaining. From the soundtrack, cast, dialogue, cinematography and execution, this is a simple heist story executed with pizazz.

Star Trek Beyond

No need for a lengthy review. Star Trek Beyond, though lacking the distinction, depth and charm of its predecessors, is still action packed from beginning to end, and simply fun: A factor many blockbusters these days lack.

Side note: Simon Pegg manages to not be obnoxious here.

The Namesake
The Namesake(2006)

Well acted, yes; Kal Penn shows his acting range here outside of comedy. The pacing was rather slow in parts though, particularly the first act. Being a film about something commendable and relatable (learning to appreciate what's handed down to us from our parents), the 2 hour runtime stretches the message pretty thin. Somewhere in the beginning of the third act The Namesake feels slightly lost and directionless, seemingly deviating from the "generational inheritance" story at times. Regardless, it was definitely interesting, at one point shocking and heartbreaking, and overall solid.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

Well written, paced and voice acted. Nothing really mind blowing here, albeit the plot twist that works exceedingly well. This undoubtedly reminded me, however, why Batman Beyond is my favorite Batman cartoon next to TAS.

The Lego Batman Movie

Visually, and world building-wise, The Lego Batman Movie is a triumph. Semi-obvious praise goes to the voice acting, self-satire and references to previous incarnations of Batman. The humor garners its hilarious moments, but there's misfires and occasional repetitiveness too. The inclusion of iconic villains outside of DC is both a pro and a con, as it's fun to guess who they are, while simultaneously causing the third act to feel bloated. Not to mention the runtime could've been trimmed a little. In many ways the little things accumulated give the film its charm, and The Lego Batman Movie is a creative, literal block-buster.

I'm Not Ashamed

A highly inaccurate excuse to use a notorious tragedy as the backdrop to promote Christianity.


Hmm...That was different. In a mostly good way of course. Can't say I was entirely blown away to be honest. The SLO-MO effect sequences are gorgeous, that's for sure, Urban gives a badass portrayal as Dredd, it's to-the-point and relentless, and absorbingly gritty. Ultimately it feels like a simple gory shoot-em-up dressed up in its visuals and aesthetics. I liked it, didn't love it, basically. Don't look for deep character development here, or a deep story, that's not the purpose of this film. Just have fun watching Dredd kick ass. I repeat, I didn't love it, but I'll say this: the skyscraper setting(Mama's compound), futuristic time frame, and Dredd, is like a combination of Robocop, Die Hard and The Raid. If that's not enough of a recommendation I don't know what is.

What's Cooking?

Fairly entertaining, and underrated. It has a certain charm to it, decent social commentary, and the way it executes a variety of struggles varying from each family depending on their ethnic and socioeconomic factors is pretty realistic and well done. The performances are solid, and it's paced well too. Sometimes it's a bit melodramatic, soap opera-esque and ultimately it's nothing blow away or entirely memorable, but What's Cooking? Is warm and seasoned enough to be enjoyed adequately.

The Neon Demon

It's difficult for me to even give a rating. I didn't hate this, or love it, and I was pretty entranced by it. It's empty, superficial, hypnotic, but strangely engaging. It's commentary on the human psychological obsession of physical attractiveness, and how it can cause someone to take drastic measures to achieve it, isn't told merely with dialogue, but with dreamlike visuals and an achingly surreal world within the purposefully shallow story.

I found every performance behind every character to be pretty one-dimensional, but I'm pretty sure that was the point: these are people consumed by narcissism who prioritize external beauty, so they lack almost any kind of depth. And it works perfectly for this film's universe. Their lives are all about the perfect shot, symmetry, lighting, camera angle, etc etc. They're pretty much devoid of any inner nuance. Jessy, who starts out as a nervous newcomer, eventually succumbs to this mindset, even if this character arc comes out of nowhere.

The last 20-30 minutes or so is no doubt one of the most disturbing, cold and bizarre final acts I've ever seen, executed in such a calm fashion. This is an art house horror show.



I gotta be completely honest, this wasn't all that great. It was a cliched okay. It's energetic, sure, and unapologetically has fun with itself. The self awareness and 4th wall breaking gag only works so much until the film sort of overuses it.

No, I'm not a comic book fiend so I'm not that familiar with Deadpool's universe, so I'm critiquing the film based on my subjective observation and experience.

The action? Its violent. It's gory. Is it blow-away? Hell no. Does it entertain? Simply yeah, not hell yeah. It's slicing, dicing, shoot-em-up galore with lots of punching thrown into the mix. Nothing groundbreaking.

How about the comedy? I mean I chuckled here and there. But was I ever dying of laughter? Nope. I mean what can you expect? It's contemporary comedy relying on pop culture references and millennial humor. Toilet and sexual jokes for the easily impressionable masses. Yawn.

Visual effects and CG I are, like most things in this film, decent. Although some of it is rather unremarkable.

Good performances. Although looking back now, the villain is forgettable. The big steel X-Men guy who looked like Jack from Tekken? He was alright. And the rebellious flaming teenage girl? Lame, and half dimensional. Then again, most of the characters in Deadpool have basically no character development, aside from Deadpool himself.

Bottom line? This is extremely decent, but ultimately disposable entertainment. It's dumb fun, but not always fun.

Can't say I'm eager for Deadpool 2.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Just gonna jot down my thoughts on this:

Somber. Unfortunate. Funny. Deadpan. These words went through my mind watching Inside Llewyn Davis.

There's my review.

Oh, can I elaborate? Sure. Was I into the movie as a whole? Eh, kinda. Did I love it? No. Did I like it? Moderately.

What aspect(s) did I love? None really. I really liked Oscar Isaac's performance. The music was definitely relaxing. It was well shot with the bleak cinematography helping set the mood/tone of the film. That's about it. On a subjective level I wasn't too thrilled about it, but I guess I'm not supposed to be. It's a road trip and fictitious biopic(if that makes sense) about a small time folk singers struggle to earn a decent living performing in front of small audiences, executed in a depressing manner. Characters come and go throughout Llewyn's journey, some feel utterly pointless. Objectively, it's well made on nearly all fronts.

It's okay. Nothing fantastic in my opinion. I guess my reaction towards the film mirrors the protagonist and this story: indifferent and apathetic with very rare moments of vigor.

I am however quite curious as to what the meaning is behind the opening and closing scenes of the film being nearly identical with only a couple of very slight modifications between the two. There's gotta be a deeper meaning behind that.

Boyz n the Hood

Boyz n the Hood's depiction of the dog-eat-dog nature of inner city ghettos is pretty much spot on. Not to mention, Ice Cube who was famous primarily for being in NWA, gives an impressively believable performance, showing that he can be a great musician and a fine actor as well. Almost everyone performs good to great here though.

One sequence in particular that is truly hard hitting, is the death of Ricky. The composition of this sequence is nothing short of impressive, with how the sound fades out, aside from the children playing in the background, reflecting the audiences realization of the sudden truth: Ricky has met his demise. There's also the performances in this part, they're strong throughout the film, but here in particular it's as if they weren't acting; their conviction of shock, grief and sadness at Ricky's death comes across as nothing short of genuine and natural. Oh yeah, the somber soundtrack adds another layer to this scene. Not to mention the last thing Doughboy did with Ricky before this scene was beat him up. All these combined should develop at least a lump in your throat.

It's easy to see why Boyz N the Hood is as influential as it is, and why it spawned a plethora of blaxploitation hood dramas in the 90's onward post its release. John Singleton, like Quentin Tarantino with Reservoir Dogs, did an impressive job and showed much promising cinematic skill with this debut.

Ex Machina
Ex Machina(2015)

One of the words that comes to mind with Ex Machina is atmosphere. This film is dripping and oozing with atmosphere that, in my opinion, has a Kubrickian feel to it, and resembles M. Night Shyamalan's earlier, better works. The sound, ambient soundtrack along with the lighting and cinematography filter creates a sense of isolation and eerie calmness that is simultaneously relaxing and serene. I admired the world building.

Oscar Isaac probably gives my favorite performance here. You can't help but sence that there's definitely something off, weird even, about his character, which pretty much helps the twist in the end floor you even more when the last character you'd think is the villain, is ultimately the villain, outsmarting the protagonist AND the originally presumed antagonist. That probably made more sense in my head. Domhnall Gleeson is simply fine as Caleb, nothing blow away in his performance or character. Alicia Vikander is a convincing A.I., and the design and execution of her character in the plot is what counts the most.

The story takes place in the not too distant yet not too soon future, but it presents themes about human nature that are relevant for today, and quite contemporary. Can Artificial Intelligence use everything programmed into it against the species that programmed it? That question crossed my mind. Can A.I. be corrupted or even become too self aware to the point of using its power as a tool of manipulation? These are questions that have been asked for a long time regarding the concern of the invention of A.I., so they're really nothing new, but they're executed here in detail and with a touch of behavioral psychology behind them.

The dance sequence with Kyoko was goofy but weirdly strange in its own right, yet ultimately unnecessary in my opinion and wouldn't have effected the flow of the film had it been cut out, and the reveal that Kyoko is an A.I. could be seen a mile away. These are fairly minor nitpicks though.

Overall, Ex Machina is engaging, intriguing, and almost fascinating in its depiction of Artificial Intelligence, playing on our fear of being outsmarted by our own inventions. If the final act leaves you feeling fooled and outsmarted, then the film has done its job.

The Nice Guys

This was simply good. There's no doubt in my mind that without Gosling and Crowe's excellent chemistry, this would've been pretty bland and uninteresting. The story isn't that impressive, considering it's your basic murder/conspiracy mystery only with a porn backdrop to make it a little edgier and sometimes humorous. Kim Basinger plays the antagonist who really isn't fleshed out that much; she appears, gets exposed as the baddie, then presumably gets arrested. That's the extent to which her character is used. The chosen decade of the story at least adds to the entertainment value; there's something about the 70's period in cop movies that makes them snappy and vibrant. The soundtrack is okay, and the cinematography is sharp. There's not a whole lot of action in this film, but when there is it's adequate and suitably bloody.

Somewhere in here lies a great buddy cop picture. I'm sure a slightly more intricate and layered story could've achieved that, as well as a better utilized and far more formidable antagonist. The Nice Guys isn't deep, rich or dense, it's solid entertainment, nothing more. Although it could've been.

Paid in Full
Paid in Full(2002)

Decent crime drama with good performances, nothing more to really say. It's all too familiar story is decently engaging, but the transition of the protagonist from dry cleaner to top tier drug dealer felt rushed, and could've benefited from a more slow burn approach.

Menace II Society

If Boyz N the Hood was about hope being obtainable by youths born and raised in the ghetto, then Menace to Society is the far more violent equivalent, about the grim reality of ghetto youths who don't have that hope. There's no sugarcoating here.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I'll say it upfront, Rogue One was good, not great. I love how a lightsaber isn't present until the near end, that alone distinguishes it from its Episode counterparts. The visuals were nice but not great, the action delivers, the comic relief was decent, and the Star Wars soundtrack had some noticeable, but welcome tweaks. Jyn was a solid protagonist, and the characters here are great, but their development is shallow. I wasn't a fan of the CG-I rendering of certain classic characters, and there were some sporadic pacing issues. Ultimately, Rogue One isn't perfect, but it's a welcome addition to the world renowned franchise.

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

Where do I begin...firstly? I definitely lost some brain cells watching this, and would it be a stretch to say that watching The Cat in the Hat on loop would be a perfect torture device? This was bad. Really, really, really bad. Sure, the colorful world building is nice to look at, but my credit ends there. Not a single, genuinely funny moment is in this heap, instead its random, in-your-face, dead obvious humor, the acting is annoying, the dialogue is horrendous, and I'm convinced whoever wrote the screenplay was on acid while doing so. What a waste of its talented cast.

The Whole Truth

Adequate performances here, and I love Keanu Reeves, but this was overall pretty boring. Felt like a typical by-the-numbers courtroom drama with a decent plot twist.

This Is England

An all around very well made film, in terms of cinematography, gritty realism mixed with humor, and especially in terms of conviction-filled performances.

Ip Man 3
Ip Man 3(2016)

Well this was pretty disappointing, and definitely the weakest of the trilogy.  Ip Man is one of the greatest martial arts films of all time in my opinion, part 2 was okay but weak in comparison, and now I have to say this 3rd installment was the most disappointing.  The acting is of course good, and the action is kind of entertaining, albeit repetitive and predictable this time.  Mike Tyson's subplot ended anticlimactically, and I felt no emotional investment for the "big" duel between the 2 masters at the end.  Ip Man 3 wasn't terrible, but it wasn't THAT good either.

The Big Sleep

Humphrey Bogart oozes with confidence and wit, so that's a plus, and his chemistry with Lauren Bacall helps a lot.  The dialogue in general is snappy, and the performances are all around good.  Seriously though, I've yet to see a classic noir film that blows me away.  I'm not a fan of the typically convoluted plots these types of flicks contain, which usually adds to me feeling bored most of the time.  I didn't hate The Big Sleep, it just didn't engross me, so I'll keep waiting for that noir classic that fires on all cylinders for me, subjectively.

The Magnificent Seven

Go into Magnificent 7 expecting a groundbreaker for the Western genre, and you'll be disappointed.  Go in expecting a simple, popcorn fun shoot-em-up, you'll more than likely be satisfied.  None of the characters have extensive development, the humor only sometimes misfires, and the runtime could've been trimmed down a little.  In return, Magnificent 7 works very well as a love letter to Cowboy cinema, has solid performances, good cinematography, an authentic Wild West feel, likable characters and smooth interplay among its cast.

Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm

Rarely have I seen a comic-book-animated film with such a sharp, flowing script like Mask of the Phantasm. It's packed with expertly timed comic relief, detailed dialogue, emotional depth, and 3-dimensional characters. Even with its intricate, deep story containing multiple subplots, it never feels disjointed, convoluted or bloated, remaining intriguing, involving and smartly paced from start to finish. Based on my favorite Batman cartoon The Animated Series, Mask of the Phantasm is honestly the best animated Dark Knight film I've seen yet.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Saying Winter Soldier surpasses it's predecessor is an understatement, it nearly blows many recent Marvel outings out of the water, even the Avengers barely. This is a vastly improved sequel in nearly all aspects including action, emotional depth, characters, a more fleshed out plot and pacing. The gripes are occasional one-liner overuse, and unlike the title suggests, The Winter Soldier despite suitably menacing, is not the main antagonist. Either way, The Winter Soldier more than entertains, it exhilarates.


One thing I can definitely say about Sully is that, in my opinion, it's subject matter felt too limited to be stretched into a feature length film, which in return left me bored and uninterested for many sections of it.  Yes the cinematography, special effects, performances and dialogue are solid, but this event doesn't intrigue me.  A Netflix documentary would have been more suitable for this, but at least it has Tom Hanks who carries the movie, a natural, warm supporting performance from Aaron Eckhart, and Clint Eastwood's confident direction.


Sloppy cinematography, simplistic dialogue, boring characters and repetitive action, Getaway is what you want to do halfway into it. Selena Gomez contributes nothing to the film aside from being the generic tech savvy teen who annoyingly nags for most of her screen time, Ethan Hawke phones it in and the head scratching camera angle choice of staring at Jon Voight's crusty old mouth all the time was nauseating. Not much else needs to be said, Getaway is unremarkable and feels like a forgettable straight to DVD flick. A real car crash is more entertaining.

Suicide Squad

Highly entertaining, yet flawed. Funny, but not without its misfires. This pretty much sums up Suicide Squad; it's not perfect, but I'd be lying if I said most of it wasn't energetic fun. Sure, some character development is awkwardly placed throughout the story, the Enchantress CG I isn't impressive, the final battle reeks of Snyder, and some characters have little to no depth. That being said, the credit I gave and the exuberant performances from most of the likable characters along with a brisk pace make for a sometimes bumpy, but overall fun, wild ride.

Napoleon Dynamite

Even funnier than I remembered. There's so many aspects that add to the comedy and humor here: be it the soundtrack, characters, performances or highly quotable dialogue, Napoleon Dynamite is exceptional at low-key, deadpan humor.

Jason Bourne
Jason Bourne(2016)

After 9 years, Matt Damon reprises his role as Jason Bourne.  However, though entertaining and frenetic, Jason Bourne leaves a lot to be desired.  The story this time around is flat compared to its predecessors, and ultimately I was left feeling Ultimatum should've remained the nail in the coffin.  Thankfully it retains the series oozing espionage, solid performances and intense action despite shaky cam overuse. In a way this is the "worst of the best" in the Matt Damon Bourne films; it didn't need to be made, but it was enjoyable regardless.

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets isn't entirely original and yes, it strongly resembles Toy Story 2. That said, I had a good time despite its shortcomings. The animation is beautiful, it's paced well, the voice acting is good and it's genuinely funny many times, despite some misfires. The hot dog heaven sequence felt overextended and out of place however, and unlike Toy Story, the owner in this film isn't as involved in the central story. Nonetheless, The Secret Life of Pets is a genuinely good time, not to be taken or analyzed too seriously.


Few things in film are as exhausting as an unfunny "comedy", and that's one of the many issues here. Bling blatantly rips off many other animated films, and doesn't contain a single creative bone in its body. The use of toilet humor is pathetic, as is the bland world building, ridiculous premise and irritating gynocentrism. I guess credit can be given to the voice actors and the decent-at-best animation, but these are microscopic endorsements for an overall useless film that needlessly puts its protagonist through many perils, just to achieve a lousy marriage proposal.

Little Fockers

First and foremost, Meet the Parents is one of my favorite comedies of all time. I remember being disappointed with its sequel, and knowing that the third installment would be worse, I held it off for years. Boy, was I right. Little Fockers isn't horrendously bad, but it's not good. Whereas the original was slightly more realistic, low key and relatable, this was merely a juvenile, slapstick mess with immature sex jokes and tired gags. The mixture of children and senior citizens within a frequently perverted "comedy" made this not only stupid, but uncomfortably weird too.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Throughout cinematic history, it's common knowledge that, generally speaking, the third installment in a film trilogy is usually the low-point. It's safe to say that The Bourne Ultimatum is a strong exception to that rule. This chapter wastes no time in terms of pacing, as it throws viewers directly into the central plot and story from the very beginning. Paul Greengrass's sharp direction, Matt Damon's confident lead, quick-cut editing and a lean script combine to make The Bourne Ultimatum almost on par with the 2002 original.

The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Supremacy is a slight step down compared to its excellent predecessor, but on its own it's a strong installment. It retains the fast pace, brisk action and interesting spy-babble I've come to love from this series and sharp direction from Paul Greengrass, but I didn't find its story as engaging as The Bourne Identity, and the shaky cam seemed more prevalent here as well. Either way, The Bourne Supremacy is a worthy enough follow-up to the excellent 2002 thriller, with another strong and confident lead from Matt Damon.

X-Men: Apocalypse

I've never been a fan of the X-Men movies, so judging by the polarizing reception of X-Men: Apocalypse, I expected to hate it. Surprisingly, I came away entertained despite its issues. Visually its good as is the action, performances and characters. However I expected more from Apocalypse, the run time could've been trimmed down a bit, and Magneto had the most story time for his character at the expense of the the newcomers who had very little to none. Nonetheless, X-Men: Apocalypse has its shortcomings, but it delivers the spectacle.


Since they're only supporting characters in the Despicable Me movies, the Minions slapstick humor works well in those because it's used in moderation. Stretch that shtick into a full length movie however, and it gets tiresome quickly. There is some humorous moments throughout, but nothing truly hilarious. To give it credit, the visuals are gorgeous, and it's occasionally creative. When all is said and done however, Minions is a disposable affair that was modestly entertaining, but left me feeling apathetic for most of its run-time.

The Angry Birds Movie

Based on the smash hit mobile app game, Angry Birds the movie is the epitome of "dumb fun". Visually, the animation is pretty, as is the world building. The voice acting is solid and the pacing wastes no time either. Aside from these endorsements, it's a very simplistic and by the numbers animated film story and plot wise. The humor generally garners chuckles and a few laughs, but has its fair share of misfires as well. Ultimately, The Angry Birds Movie serves its purpose by providing nothing more or less than adequate entertainment for the family.


To give Spectre credit where it's due, the lengthy tracking shot in the beginning Mexico scene was impressive, the cinematography in general was solid as were the performances despite Christoph Waltz ordinary antagonist, and the action was serviceable, but not exciting or frenetic. And that's my main issue with Spectre, it has the suave, charm and wit we've come to expect, but the story unfolds in a very straight forward, ordinary manner, lacking any real tension, mystery or intrigue that culminates in a forgettable third act.

Captain America: Civil War

Another strong Marvel outing, Captain America: Civil War fires on most cylinders as a blockbuster. The performances are good, as is the action, characters and faithful handling of the Spiderman character. The villain on his own is solid, although he is easily forgotten once the superheroes take over the screen to do battle. I prefer Winter Soldier slightly, but Civil War still becomes another fine addition to Marvels successful streak of entertaining films in recent years, while simultaneously boasting several heroic characters without feeling bloated.


I could say I was bored by Vertigo, but simultaneously, not knowing what Hitchcock was trying to convey may have led to that boredom, which wore off in the third act where the big plot twist was revealed and the love story deepened. Hitchcock undoubtedly did a great job in giving Vertigo a surreal feel through its cinematography. Some research may help me appreciate it more, but as of right now, Vertigo is a beautifully shot, well acted, at times charming and hypnotic noir thriller that somewhat left me feeling indifferent for two thirds of its run-time.


Did Creed leave me with a "good not great" impression due to the gushing critical praise? Perhaps. One thing is certain however: Michael B. Jordan is a promising actor, playing off effortlessly with Stallone who turned in an equally great performance. While I found the finale underwhelming, it's underdog story effective but cliched, and the final opponent forgettable, the cinematography made up for it as did the pacing and confident direction. Creed may not be the best of the Rocky franchise, but it certainly ranks high within it.

The Snowman
The Snowman(1982)

In my opinion, Christmas serves as a mere backdrop to the actual meaning and message of The Snowman. First let me say the animation is literally warm, fuzzy and soothing to the eyes, the "Walking in the Air" sequence is magical and the fact that it's engaging without any dialogue is nothing short of impressive. The Snowman at it's core however is a celebration of cherishing and not taking for granted what we currently have, be it family or friends, because like the heartbreaking finale shows, we never know when we could lose them.


Pocahontas is a rare childhood favorite of mine that stands up well to the test of time. While it takes several historical liberties to form a more heartwarming fictional alternative to the real life colonization, the themes it portrays about love over hate and messages regarding the beauty of nature are refreshing. The voice acting is good, as are the characters, and though it's reception is average and a lengthier run time would've helped, Pocahontas still boasts the colorful and serene aesthetic of its scenery, majestic soundtrack and immersive world building.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

The biggest merit I can give to the Force Awakens is its nostalgic factor. Star Wars 7 is basically what you'd expect: a grandiose, adequately entertaining space opera. The characters are for the most part likable, it's visually pleasing, and its action entertains. However it's flawed, with certain characters being wasted, Rey's unrealistic multi-abilities and lack of struggle to gain force powers that are rushed into the story, and Kylo Rens level of menace decreasing towards the final act. Nonetheless, The Force Awakens is undoubtedly fun but could've been much better.

Speed Racer
Speed Racer(2008)

Speed Racer's world building is like the taste of skittles translated to visuals, but the rest is too hammy for its own good. The overlong run-time, certain obnoxious characters, general corniness, occasional muddled storytelling, predictable plot twist and forgettable lead performance by Hirsch culminated in a rather annoying experience with few commendable aspects throughout. Speed Racer certainly has its energy and aesthetic, but simultaneously it's a hyper-maniacal bore, doing little to no justice for the classic cartoon.

Fruitvale Station

Ryan Coogler sheds light on a real life tragic event not commonly known. The precipitous opening title sequence with the eerie fading of the crowd reaction made progression towards the end more gut-wrenching. My only gripe is the finale which contains the all-too-conventional footage of the real life characters. Nonetheless, Fruitvale Station is a hard-hitting, concise, greatly acted "film" that's more than a film, but an emotional experience vivid enough to make viewers feel like they're next to Oscar Grant in his final hours.


Steven Spielberg impeccably makes a simple killer shark thriller have layers, with a good cast, acting and characters. Using the sharks first-person perspective for the first half to build suspense worked very well. Unfortunately, there are a lot of slow moments and boring, irrelavent dialogue scenes that have nothing to do with the story, and could easily have been cut out to avoid gaps in the script. Jaws is still a groundbreaking classic and a benchmark for both blockbusters and horrors, boasting one of the best, influential film scores of all time by John Williams.

Furious 7
Furious 7(2015)

For a franchise that embraces its over-the-top nature, Furious 7's ridiculous action sequences are too implausible for its own good. Not only that, the tired and sappy "bonding" moments between Dom & Letty is overused, The Rock has minimal screen time, Tyrese complaining then Ludacris clowning him is a tired gimmick, and characters like the forgettable hacker chick bring nothing to the table. For all the nice visuals, set pieces and relentless pace, the self-indulgent and painfully superficial Furious 7 is equally lacking in the script department.

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded falls into the expected category of underwhelming sequels. To give it credit, the action sequences are entertaining and The Matrix world's set design is still unique. The dialogue however consists mostly of uninteresting exposition, the CG I is glaringly dated, certain characters are thrown in with minimal to no backstory, and not to mention the bland looking Zion, complete with dry characters who dress like they're in the bible, and the overlong, unnecessary dance/sex sequence that could've been cut and replaced with storytelling time.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is overly pretentious and self-important at times, and beats its themes over your head too often. Aaron Eckhart did well as Harvey Dent, but overacts as two-face, Batman's raspy voice was unnecessary and laughable, and the "love triangle" between Bruce, Rachel & Harvey felt uninteresting and hammy. The Dark Knight benefits from sharp cinematography, an iconic antagonist in Heath Ledger's posthumous performance, solid action and an epic score, but as a whole it isn't flawless like it's popularity makes it out to be.


Growing up watching the Goosebumps TV series and occasionally reading the books, I was optimistic when this was announced. Jack Black definitely outshines everyone here in the lead role, genuinely funny moments are sprinkled around despite occasional misfires, and the pace rarely bogs down. Sure, it's imperfect with some illogical occurrences that leave you scratching your head, and certain characters being left out was a slight letdown, but Goosebumps overall does the children's acclaimed scary novel franchise the right dose of justice.

Run All Night

Run All Night may be fairly predictable and not entirely original, but credit is due where credit is due, and subjectively, this was a highly entertaining, albeit imperfect film. The premise isn't as convoluted as the Tomatometer consensus states, and it's solidly executed with just the right amount of tension. The performances are simply good, and the cinematography gives the film it's gritty and white-knuckle feel. As it stands, Run All Night has many familiar elements seen in other Liam Neeson actioners, but on its own its hella fun.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Like its predecessor, The Scorch Trials is visually solid with some entertaining action sequences and pacing. However, unlike The Maze Runner, Scorch Trials story and world isn't as mysterious or interesting. The emotional moments in the script that attempt to make us pity the characters fail since we don't know much about them outside of their predicament and how they got there. Performances range from dry to good, and the runtime is noticeably overlong. As it stands, The Scorch Trials is better than most of its Y.A. genre counterparts, but simultaneously plagued by the same issues.

John Wick
John Wick(2014)

Sharp, fast paced action sequences and a visually stylistic universe. Not much else to be said, John Wick is a highly entertaining action picture.


Criminally underrated, Run is an early 90's action thriller starring Patrick Dempsey, and one I've been fond of ever since I first caught it on T.V. as a kid. It indeed bombed at the box office and the title is uber-simplistic, so perhaps that adds to the unpopularity of the film. Nonetheless, Run is solidly performed, concise, witty, briskly paced, at times funny and suspenseful throughout with well choreographed and sharp action sequences. It's early 90's release dates it a bit here and there, but as a thriller Run more than works, and it's most definitely a hidden gem.

The Matrix
The Matrix(1999)

The Wachowski Brother's created an exhilarating cyber-punk universe with The Matrix, packed with revolutionary visual effects, epic characters, beautifully choreographed action sequences, a memorable soundtrack and an ingenious story-line inspired by the likes of "Ghost in the shell". The Matrix raised the bar for special effects in cinema and is still up to this day one of the most influential Sci-Fi, and action films of all time. Everyone gives a good performance here, even Keanu Reeves surprisingly. Over a decade after its release, The Matrix is still mind-blowingly cool.

Hot Pursuit
Hot Pursuit(2015)

If a branded "comedy" isn't funny throughout the majority of its runtime, then what genre is it really? Hot Pursuit thankfully is a minimal 87 minutes long and is paced decently, but it never garnered a laugh and most of the humor was either forced, unoriginal or plain middle school-level. Reese Witherspoon can do much better, Sofia Vergada is so annoying here, moments of attempted emotional depth fail to garner any engagement and overall this is a pretty pointless flick. Hot Pursuit is at the very bottom of the buddy cop genre totem pole.

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster

Ip Man 2 is a decent but somewhat underwhelming sequel boasting good performances and overall exciting fight sequences despite some of them being very unrealistic. Ip Man 2 doesn't reach the emotional pull and overall heights of its predecessor, and I was annoyed at how the British antagonists were portrayed as stereotypical racists. Nonetheless, as a general film Ip Man 2 falls short of being great, but as a martial arts flick it's solid entertainment with functional enough drama, just don't expect the quality of the original.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Perhaps not quite as entertaining as The Road Warrior in my opinion, Fury Road is nonetheless a strong installment in George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise. Despite pacing issues in certain areas and an average story, Mad Max Fury Road has gorgeous cinematography that never ceases to amaze throughout it's run time, insane action sequences coupled by gleefully bizarre characters, vehicles, weapons and clothing design. The performances are adequate as are the characters, and Fury Road is the epitome of a popcorn thrill ride.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Moore's best Bond film, undoubtedly, and one of the best outings in the franchise in general. Boasting an unapologetically comic-book-like villain, Moore's charm, the highly memorable 007 henchman Jaws, campy trademark gadgets and entertaining action, The Spy Who Loved Me is a fun action flick, spy flick, and even comedy occasionally without overdoing it, avoiding the usual cheesiness of Moore's previous outings. Let's not forget the submarine car, who wouldn't want one?

Vantage Point

Decently acted, paced and shot thriller with a unique enough premise, Vantage Point is a mildly entertaining but largely forgettable affair. The rewinding nature of the plot manages to grow repetitive and tiresome eventually instead of clever, and Forest Whitaker's performance comes off as too obvious and even corny as well as an expectedly dull William Hurt. Vantage Point could've been so much more with a better script and perhaps a lengthier running time, but as it stands, it's disposable entertainment.


Empire's story about a drug dealer rising to the next level and how money equals power and respect is not new, and all too familiar within the gangster genre, but executed with enough confidence to make it enjoyable. The surprisingly good performances are what hold Empire together in my opinion, especially John Leguizamo's confident lead and absorbing narration/storytelling skills. Look away if you're expecting something on the level of Scarface, but watch if your in the mood for a solid albeit by-the-numbers crime drama.

Battlefield Earth

There was no need for me to finish this in its entirety without realizing how god-awful it was within the first thirty minutes. Battlefield Earth is a joke of a movie, and calling it a movie is insulting in and of itself. The cinematography is ugly, the plot is flat, uninteresting and unengaging, the visuals are dated even when it was released, the performances are comedic, the production/clothing design is bland and the obnoxious soundtrack repetitively jumps from loud to soft tone. Battlefield Earth is truly one of the worst movies ever made.

Eight Legged Freaks

An unapologetically cheesy B-movie affair, Eight Legged Freaks is ridiculous, stupid fun. The ludacris premise, brisk pace, caricatures and arachnid monsters are what drive this film, and it's a fun Friday night type of flick with decent performances. Unless you're a severe arachnophobe, the dated CG I renders the spiders goofy instead of scary, comedic misfires are present and the final act is slightly overlong. Either way, Eight Legged Freaks is overall an admittedly imperfect but fine slice of no-brainer entertainment.

The Martian
The Martian(2015)

The Martian is a welcome return to form for director Riddley Scott. The cast is all-around solid, especially with Matt Damon who plays Watney with the right amount of ease and charm to emotionally attach his character and predicament to the audience. It's a survival story no doubt, but more story-driven instead of nail-bitingly intense like Gravity, which may be a turn off to those expecting it to be that way. The run-time is slightly overlong in my opinion and the pace bogged down in areas, but The Martian is worth experiencing for the visuals, characters and performances alone.

American History X

Grim, realistic and unabashed, American History X is without a doubt my favorite film tackling racism. It's an inspiring, often disturbing, gritty and brutally honest drama that has the courage to expose racism 100%, all for a good cause. It's shocking reap-what-you-sow finale strikes an inner chord and makes the consequences of racism even more sad, but simultaneously eye-opening. Great performances from the entire cast, especially Edward Norton, realistic characters and a simple yet greatly executed story line make American History X a favorite.


Gushing amounts of praise can cause expectations to be unreasonably high resulting in an underwhelming experience, and constant negativity can make a movie not as bad as expected. Pixels is surprisingly the latter. That being said, chuckles are mostly garnered here instead of laughs due to the at times corny and dated humor. A premise like this could have churned out a far superior movie, and the leading cast either phone it in or go too over-the-top. Visually it's good and as time-killing, disposable entertainment, Pixels is harmless in that respect.

About a Boy
About a Boy(2002)

About a Boy is a fine example of a simple story that can be stretched into something special. Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult's chemistry carry the picture as well as the bonding and development of their characters, and there's a nice blend of well-timed wit and humor. About a boy isn't entirely a comedy however, as there are moments of drama and conflict sprinkled around which give the film layers. A character study in my eyes, About a Boy is a slightly overlooked gem with good performances and a true-to-life tone that makes it relatable, sweet and engaging.

Groundhog Day

The most endearing quality of Groundhog Day is it's successful attempt at cohesively mixing comedy, drama, fantasy and romance into a bundle of cinematic joy. Performances are strong, especially from Bill Murray, who finds a perfect balance between humor and dramatic substance. It's hilarious, but also relatable, at times sad and heartwarming with it's message of getting to know people before judging. Groundhog Day manages to never feel repetitive with it's looped-holiday-misery storyline, and is in my opinion the late Harold Ramis's crowning achievement.

Domestic Disturbance

Domestic Disturbance isn't that original, but it's nonetheless a solid thriller with fairly brisk pacing. The main highlights are Vince Vaughn and John Travolta who are both excellent, raising the tension with their convincing performances while simultaneously overshadowing the rest of the cast who are just fine. The plot seemingly wraps up a little too quickly in the third act, the final confrontation is slightly cheesy and a lengthier runtime would have benefited Domestic Disturbance a lot, but as it stands it's serviceable, concise entertainment

Wayne's World

Wayne's World, the SNL skit stretched into a popular motion picture, was a subjectively underwhelming affair. It has a handful of clever moments spread around it like satirical product placement and a T-1000 cameo, but "comedy" wise the humor almost never landed, only garnering a smirk most of the time and coming off as goofy instead of funny. The charm and exuberance of the two lead actors and quirky characters made Wayne's World an at least tolerable affair, but not one I intend to revisit.

The Fifth Element

Gleefully over-the-top and a personal favorite, The Fifth Element is a special and unique Sci-Fi space opera that embraces its hyper and goofy nature and the result is a thoroughly exhilarating adventure. The performances, characters and dialogue all suit this films atmosphere by being funny, some histrionic and overall oozing with the appearance that the cast had fun making this film, as I always have plenty of it when revisiting this gem. The Fifth Element is hyper, exuberant and sometimes ridiculous, and I love it for that.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is a classic I hadn't viewed since childhood, and was definitely worth revisiting. Boasting elegant animation and visuals, memorable characters, an enchanting soundtrack and a heartwarming story, this is a Disney classic to be savored. Not only is what meets the eyes and ears beautiful though, it's also the central message of the film about treasuring the internal beauty more than the external. I'm not big on the musical sequences, but the unusual relationship between the two protagonists made Beauty and the Beast all the more unique and charming.

Masters of the Universe

80's cheese galore, dated and laughable special effects, goofy and over-the-top characters, cheap costume designs, obvious to histrionic performances and one-liners are surprisingly what make Masters of the Universe tread a very thin line between being time-killing-entertainment or downright lame. These aspects give the film a cheesy charm that let me find some entertainment value instead of downright hating it. Masters of the Universe requires full suspension of disbelief and a turned off brain, with these, it's a serviceable time.

The Weather Man

The Weather Man is an unfortunately underrated and hidden gem in Nicolas Cage's usually less-than-stellar filmography, and one with a good life-message of learning how to move on and accept our past while being optimistic about the future. The meteorology aspect of unpredictable weather serves as a backdrop analogy for how life sometimes goes opposite to how we planned. Sprinkled with hilarious deadpan humor and convincing performances, The Weather Man is a subjectively absorbing dark dramedy.

Hey Arnold! The Movie

Hey Arnold, like many other 90's Nickelodeon cartoons(as well as Cartoon Network), was a considerable part of my childhood. Finally deciding to check the motion picture out, I can safely say that there is enjoyment to be found. The plot structure isn't entirely original, very straight-forward and by-the-numbers, and the film doesn't entirely do the series justice, but Hey Arnold! The Movie is a harmless, albeit disposable, time passer for younger audiences and nostalgic fans.

Jacked Up
Jacked Up(2000)

Jacked Up is a very underrated, low-budget, no-where-near-perfect but suitably entertaining hood drama. The performances ranged from serviceable to corny, with the lead giving the best performance, and the story was engaging for the most part with the tension of the protagonist revealing the truth of a past event related to his lover, due to a tormented conscience. Subjectively, A higher production value, casting and script would skyrocket Jacked Up from entertaining to very good.

The Terminator

The original, low-budget classic which bloomed into a successful franchise still retains the tension and unique feel today as in 1984. The Terminator's dated bits are few and far between, but the iconic one-liners, brilliant story, interesting characters, brisk pacing, soundtrack and relentlessly menacing antagonist make it a Sci-Fi pioneer. Certainly boasting a more horror-esque atmosphere than it's sequels and the most tension-filled, The Terminator is one-of-a-kind.

Rebel Without a Cause

Rebel Without a Cause is effortlessly cool thanks to James Dean's excellent lead, smooth dialogue, pacing and relatable characters/story. The cinematography here seemed very ahead of its time, the first ten or so minutes in the police station was instantly absorbing and the climax was bittersweet, and fitting. Rebel Without a Cause is deliciously confident with itself and no doubt a film of its era with switchblades and greaser-like characters, but it's themes are timeless, it's style is unforgettable and it's structure is suave.

The Pianist
The Pianist(2002)

Roman Polanski steadily directs The Pianist about a Polish piano player who successfully eluded the Nazis for five years in Warsaw, Poland. Naturally acted, beautifully shot, leisurely paced and convincingly realistic, The Pianist is one of the most mature holocaust-related films ever. The soundtrack is soothing, the clothing/set design is authentic for the time period and the story is immersive as we follow the protagonist in his struggle to survive and fear of getting captured.

Night at the Museum

Enjoyable and slightly underrated.

Earth to Echo

Earth to Echo easily could have been a solid family flick but fell short unfortunately thanks to an underwhelming script. The found-footage gimmick was unnecessary, the performances were too obvious, the dialogue was too corny even for my suspension of disbelief, and Echos background story wasn't delved into enough for me to feel attached and impacted when he departed. Little kids may enjoy it, but adult viewers who've seen E.T. will see the obvious inspiration Earth to Echo garners from it, and fails to match.

Nothing to Lose

Entertaining. Nothing more or less.

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton is straight outta the ranks of cinemas best biopics where it belongs. Like most Hollywood biographies, Straight Outta Compton isn't one hundred percent accurate for cinematic purposes, a few pivotal moments that occurred in real life amongst the actual members were noticeably left out and the ending felt slightly abrupt. Nonetheless, Straight Outta Compton greatly compensates with it's great performances, smooth pace, emotional grit and engaging story.


The mother of Spoof comedies, Airplane is a hilarious and exceedingly witty classic. Occasionally the humor doesn't land, but the amount of hilarity tremendously overshadows any misfires. Airplane does a brilliant job of teasing, and taking common phrases of everyday language literally, and requires a keen eye for viewers to spot the ridiculousness in the background of many scenes. Being the only spoof comedy I thoroughly enjoyed and actually found funny, Airplane is a comedy favorite that surprisingly surpasses many of today's recycled humor.


Toys is an exuberant and movie? Action movie? Spy movie? All three? At times it's like a kids movie with its atmosphere and wacky characters, the final act is action packed, and the middle act finds the characters trying to infiltrate the antagonists toy-corporation-turned-war-compound like something out of the spy genre. For that it feels tonally inconsistent. Toys could've been more straight-forward with its plotting, but the world-building, Robin Williams charm and soundtrack make it very watchable.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man's visuals, needless to say, are visibly dated by today's standards, but one can tell that for it's time they were innovatively mind-blowing. Packed with a tight 80 minute run time, this has a creative, involving story with natural performances, a likable lead, brisk pacing, a fitting and goosebump-inducing arachnophobic antagonist and bittersweet finale. The Incredible Shrinking Man is genuinely fun, and highly recommendable to anyone craving a throwback to the classic days of genuine, clean cinema.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

After a slightly too modest opening sequence, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation remains serviceably entertaining throughout but never manages to truly wow. Action sequences here are well filmed/choreographed, performances are solid despite Simon Pegg growing obnoxious at times, and Jeremy Renner is sadly reduced to arguing with other characters while given minimal action time compared to the last outing. The villain's plot grows slightly convoluted in areas, but as a whole Rogue Nation is a worthy yet average entry.

Mission: Impossible 2

Ethan Hunt's mountain climbing sequence is well shot and suitably intense, as well as being the only moment worthy of those two pros in this film by the end. The plot is hardly interesting or engaging, the action sequences are repetitive and dully choreographed, Tom Cruise and Thandie Newton's chemistry is too sappy and shallow resulting in an implausible love interest, and the villain is your cliched enemy-from-the-past topped with the generic bio-terrorism scheme. Mission: Impossible II is definitely the low-point in the franchise.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Fast paced, witty, funny, well acted and bursting with suave confidence, Kingsman: The Secret Service was a kick-ass thrill ride for the most part from start to finish. Certain aspects of the final act were a little too over-the-top and occasionally the villainous plot was convoluted, but these are compensated with the above mentioned pros. A successful homage to spy thrillers like James Bond with a great cast, Kingsman: The Secret Service does the sub-genre "bloody" good justice.

Romeo + Juliet

The idea of a modernized "revision" of Shakespeare's immortal love story may seem intriguing on paper, but on screen it's god-awful. A great cast is utterly wasted here, and the Old English dialogue, mannerisms, slang and characterizations of this classic tale belong in the Elizabethan period and should stay there. Placing them in a present day setting makes them feel annoyingly anachronistic, and in return makes Romeo + Juliet genuinely impossible to take seriously, and dumbfoundingly corny.


Run-of-the-mill heist thriller that isn't at all thrilling, but is decently acted with sharp cinematography. Takers isn't bad, but it's not really good either. The casting ensemble is awkward, the action sequences are well directed but not impressive, it's overlong and it's riddled with cliched elements we've seen before in better heist flicks like Heat or The Town. All in all, Takers keeps your attention on a low-pulse due to all the action and the pace never really bogging down, but the atmosphere is too stale to be engaged.


Teeny tiny mechanical cloth beings living in a post-apocalyptic earth try to survive and prevail against a giant energy draining machine in 9, a decent enough but never outstanding animated chase/survival animation film. The voice acting is good as is the pacing, and the visual look of the world and animation give it an intriguing feel. Unfortunately the story isn't explored or detailed enough for us to feel totally engaged. As it stands though, 9 is passably entertaining but could have been much more.

The Indian in the Cupboard

An admittedly nostalgic, childhood favorite of mine, I've always enjoyed watching Indian in the Cupboard even now as an adult. The special effects are amazing for it's time of release and hold up adequately today, the story is unique(albeit controversial to many), the soundtrack is beautiful, the pacing is solid and overall this is a charming, innocent little family film. The tone and atmosphere of the movie feel very mysterious and playful simultaneously, and I can never get over the bittersweet ending.

Hot Rod
Hot Rod(2007)

Hot Rod is a terribly underrated comedy. Yes, call me crazy, this film genuinely had me laughing a lot. It's a ridiculous movie with stupid characters doing stupid things, and guess what? That's not a complaint. Why? Because that is what makes the film funny. Hot Rod has very SNL-like humor thanks to Andy Samberg of The Island and the supporting cast. Cool beans!

Fast Five
Fast Five(2011)

I never thought I'd say this about a Fast movie, but I love Fast Five. The action sequences are chaotic, popcorn fun, everyone in the heist crew shares great chemistry, and watching Vin Diesel duke it out against The Rock was bad ass. So basically, a four star rating goes to the action, characters, and heist storyline that worked surprisingly well for this franchise. I never thought that a franchise that went from street racing to all out action adventure would work so well.

48 HRS
48 HRS(1982)

48 HRS is a solid buddy-cop-thriller starring Eddie Murphy in his debut role as a streetwise parolee and Nick Nolte as a seasoned, bitter cop. The premise is very simple and easy to follow, intense moments are spread around the film and the pacing is indeed brisk thanks to top-notch chemistry between it's lead duo who play off each other so well. Even though I felt the ending was kind of weak and the racist dialogue seemed out of place at times and unnecessary, 48 HRS entertained nonetheless and never bored me once within it's running time.

The Mummy
The Mummy(1999)

The Mummy is a childhood favorite of mine. The visuals are quite impressive, the performances are solid, I love the characters, and the time period feels genuine here. If Indiana Jones had a kid named Rick O'Connell, I wouldn't be surprised. Though Imhotep and the mummies aren't as scary anymore, they most certainly were when I saw the film for the first time. I see The Mummy as an Indiana Jones-inspired flick, though not as critically accepted. It's action is fun, soundtrack is solid, visuals are great, has a good dose of comic relief, and is overall an entertaining film.


Elysium has a good plot, in-your-face action despite the occasionally annoying shaky cam, solid performances with Sharlto Copley stealing the show, beautiful visuals, smooth pacing and adequate though one-dimensional characters. It's a satisfying entry into the Sci-Fi genre in my opinion, though not the best. Elysium pleasantly entertained me despite my low expectations.

The Fast and the Furious

It may be Point Break with cars, but the entertainment value is undeniably present in The Fast and the Furious. You can disagree with me all you want, but I did like the characters in this film, and even if the performances aren't all that, the actors definitely get the job done. For a film as polarizing as this, it does have a solid soundtrack and brisk pacing. The action scenes are fun to watch and well directed. The Fast and The Furious may not be the best crime film ever, but it's respectable due to the legacy it placed on the street racing sub-genre.


When I was a little kid I loved this movie to death, but unfortunately now that I've grown up, I can't find myself thoroughly enjoying it. Batman isn't one of those movies that resembles whine, where age makes it better, because it's dated pretty poorly in my opinion. While Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and the rest of the cast give excellent performances, alongside a beautiful Gothic atmosphere for Gotham and some cool action, Batman has still dated poorly. If you saw Batman Returns, which is miles better, but haven't seen Batman, you're not missing much.

Marathon Man
Marathon Man(1976)

Marathon Man is a decent conspiracy thriller starring the great Dustin Hoffman. The Performances and cast are solid, the story is engaging and the film is intense at times. That being said, the film seems split down the middle. The first half struggles to coherently explain the premise, feels distanced from the second half, the love interest felt rushed, and more focus was on Roy Scheider rather than Dustin Hoffman. Marathon Man overall is very enjoyable, though slightly convoluted with a few disposable plot threads and two unequally engaging halves that render the film slightly disjointed.

Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco boasts strong performances from its lead duo Johnny Depp and Al Pacino. The story is your basic run-of-the-mill undercover cop tale about getting too deep into an infiltrated world, causing one to slowly forget they're undercover, which has been done before. Though Johnny Depp delivers a great performance, the movie sadly didn't give me any reason to care for his character. Overall, Donnie Brasco is a gritty gangster flick with strong, convincing performances, smooth pacing and good characters, but an unoriginal story, an unrelatable main character and seemingly no climax.

Indie Game: The Movie

Centered around the trials, tribulations, failures and successes of video game projects that independent developers face, Indie Game: The Movie is an overall involving, interesting and insightful documentary. Like most films seem to struggle with, Indie Game drags a little at times but I was overall satisfied when it was over. I found the Fez segment to be the most interesting and artistic, but all three were engaging in their own right, and provided a glimpse of the stressful and at times agonizing process of developing video games. I definitely recommend Indie Game for anyone looking for an informative documentary.

Lords of Dogtown

Lords of Dogtown recounts the coming-of-age story of some of competitive Skateboarding's pioneers. While it's colorfully lit by it's cinematography, well acted (especially Heath Ledger) and boasting entertaining skate sequences, I ultimately felt underwhelmed by how the story was executed since at times I felt like I was only watching people skate while gaining little from their characters, and some story arcs felt rushed and underdeveloped. Nonetheless, even if you can't directly relate to the characters, they have depth nonetheless and the smooth pacing in Lords of Dogtown makes for an entertaining watch.


Non-Stop is cliched in the sense of being another thriller where the antagonist uses the all-too-familiar "pay me or people will die" extortion formula. But even acknowledging this unoriginal aspect throughout the film, I was still left satisfied when it was over thanks to Liam Neeson's confident and believable lead along with the likable supporting cast. Non-Stop isn't a must-see and it's twist is slightly far-fetched and overdrawn, but it's definitely intense often and overall it's escapist entertainment cake with Liam Neeson as the icing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

The original live action TMNT from 1990 is definitely the best Ninja Turtles film made yet. I know that's not saying much considering it is very cheesy, but after all it is a Ninja Turtles movie, so the cheesiness is expected. TMNT has always been a childhood favorite of mine. It's one of those rare nostalgic films that still hold up when viewing again at an older age, unlike a lot of other nostalgic films that we love when young, then hate when older.

The Apartment

Right off the bat, I didn't love this as expected from the hype, but The Apartment was fairly engaging and entertaining overall. The middle act was a little slow for my taste and perhaps I found the length longer than necessary, but The Apartment nonetheless was charming, well acted and heart warming at times with sharp dialogue, beautiful oldies black & white cinematography and an elegant soundtrack. While I wasn't amazed, I'm nonetheless grateful for having experienced this cinematic gem.


Duel is a well paced, at times intense thriller and an impressive directorial debut from Steven Spielberg. The symbolic method of never revealing the malevolent truckers identity gives this gem a mysterious and eerie edge, along with the psychologically anxiety-filled narration from the protagonist trying to make sense of it all which in turn immerses the audience. Sometimes the leads performance feels exaggerated and the abrupt ending may put some off, but Duel is nonetheless a fine thriller that's unique and well executed.

National Security

National Security is an entertaining mixed bag. Martin Lawrence is either chuckle-worthy or obnoxious, and the comedy overall either lands or misfires. Luckily it's paced well, Zahn and Lawrence have good chemistry, it has a funny soundtrack and the performances are overall adequate. The story is nothing special, the racial humor occasionally falls flat and National Security doesn't leave a big impression on the buddy-cop genre, but it's disposable fun nonetheless and serviceable if there's nothing else to watch. There are far worse movies to kill time with.

The Shining
The Shining(1980)

The Shining is a landmark psychological horror film that never loses its aura no matter how many times revisited. Boasting an unconventionally complex story for its genre, this is a rare transcending horror epic brimming with cryptic meanings still being deciphered decades later. Nicholson's haunting lead, Kubrick's meticulous direction, the gorgeous cinematography, spooky soundtrack and set design of The Overlook Hotel combined give The Shining an irrefutable sense of isolation, dread and immersiveness.

Flushed Away
Flushed Away(2006)

A decent family affair but nothing memorable or special, Flushed Away is ultimately disposable but fun for the family. The voice acting is good as is the pacing and world building, but the animation is glaringly dated and the humor never really lands until the third act. Flushed Away is good enough to pass the time but won't leave an impact afterwards and doesn't reach the heights of better Dreamworks flicks like Megamind. It's memory has ultimately "Flushed Away" into the category of average, forgotten animation motion pictures.

Inside Out
Inside Out(2015)

Easily the best animated film I've seen in years, Inside Out is living proof of what Pixar is capable of. Boasting the crisp visuals we've come to love, great voice acting, smooth pacing, an ingenious concept that transcends its genre and a brilliant script, Inside Out is an emotionally packed, exhilarating and relatable tale suitable for all ages. Pete Docter has crafted a powerful contender for movie of the year, ranking confidently strong amongst other greats like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo and many more.

8 Mile
8 Mile(2002)

8 Mile is simplistic as an underdog story, but the conviction in Eminem's lead performance and the supporting cast is satisfyingly engaging. The pacing is solid and never really drags, the cold-colored cinematography fits the mood of the film as does the award-winning soundtrack, and the climactic rap battle is motivating in how it shows an underdog with a negative upbringing under his belt, doubted by most and stepped on, can use that heartache and pain as fuel to prove detractors wrong and endure the odds to become a legend.

Super Size Me

Super Size me is a popular documentary basically showcasing the long term negative effects of consuming fast food on a regular basis, in this case McDonald's. Statistics, interviews and more make this a fairly run of the mill documentary, but Morgans narration, smooth pace and the good intention of Super Size me make for an enjoyable and educational watch. If your into documentaries in general, especially ones dealing with and detailing modern world problems, this one's definitely worth a look.


Paranoia has sporadic moments of a film that's story could have been solid and intriguing, but any glimpses of something remotely intelligent or entertaining are drowned out by an overall dull and dry screenplay. Pathetically enough, For a movie with this name, there's almost zero suspense to be found. Character development is attempted but unsuccessful, the cinematography has laughable aspect ratio hiccups, performances range from decent to extremely boring, and Paranoia is an overall lifeless, forgettable affair.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Whereas it's predecessor is mindless popcorn fun, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation hits rock bottom. The dialogue is even cornier this time around, the story is unengaging and annoyingly self-important, the clothing design quality is at Walgreens Halloween-costume level, the characters are lame and not to mention those horrendous special effects straight out of a SyFy network movie. With that said, plus its soundtrack consisting of bland, jarring techno music, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a spit in the face to both fans of the games and cinema in general.


Only a special film can pull off through-the-roof intensity from such a modest premise. The performances in Whiplash are unbelievably natural from Miles Teller and especially from J.K. Simmons who channels R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket. Damien Chazelle's script is deliciously dense, witty, and briskly paced, the cinematography embodies the unreal amount of tension, and it even adds emotional layers that everyone can relate too. The climax is spectacular and for a film about jazz, Whiplash is rockin', and then some.

Detroit Rock City

An occasionally funny but sometimes unfunny comedy about a group of teenage fans and their obstacle-filled road trip to a KISS concert, Detroit Rock City is a fairly underrated and adequate comedy. The performances are solid as is the pacing, the dialogue ranges from slick and witty to average and sometimes annoying, and the satirical take on hardcore Christianity was a nice comedic touch. As a whole, Detroit Rock City isn't a must see, but if one expects a serviceable teen comedy, it works.

Secondhand Lions

Secondhand Lions boasts just enough charm to make it an enjoyable, innocent and sometimes exhilarating family film. The chemistry between the lead trio is convincing and looks natural, the story is fairly unique and enjoyable albeit a little cliche when it comes to the two uncles adventures being shown via Michael Caine's anecdotes. In the end, Secondhand Lions is a very entertaining film that delivers on laughs, entertainment, good performances, likable characters and solid pacing.

Premium Rush
Premium Rush(2012)

At times cheesy and corny, but overall briskly paced, witty, snappy, occasionally funny and solidly acted, Premium Rush is an adequate serving of B-movie time-killing fun. While I found the subplot regarding the Asian child to be slightly uninteresting and far-fetched for the films premise, it didn't bog down the film too much. Michael Shannon successfully plays a one-note, comic-book-like antagonist here with JGL giving a confident lead as the protagonist and anchor of Premium Rush, a fun flick, nothing more or less.

Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)

Ace in the Hole is a well acted and directed media drama all across the board, and the dialogue is natural, flowing and detailed. Unfortunately and entirely subjectively, I found the story about Kirk's Tatum dealing with a man stuck inside an Indian Burial cave uninteresting most of the time which in return caused the movie to drag and feel boring often. I didn't hate this film and found it entertaining on a not-too-high-level, but Ace in the Hole is ultimately a film I have no interest in revisiting any time soon.

My Dinner with André

My Dinner with Andre is a thought provoking, perceptive and psychological film centered around a simple dinner conversation. Like a well written book, it puts vivid images in your mind of the stories and accounts these two characters intricately discuss. It raises important questions on how we perceive humanity as a whole and challenges us to step outside ourselves and examine our life to see what conclusions we draw from it. My Dinner with Andre is a deep, intellectually beautiful film.

Need For Speed

Need For Speed has exotic sports car eye-candy and an adequate lead from Aaron Paul going for it, but not much else thanks to an insipid script. Riddled with boring moments, an overused and annoying Michael Keaton, corny humor from Kid Cudi, methodical plot points, a few pointless camera shots, some unconvincing performances from the supporting cast, generic dialogue and unremarkable race sequences, I was longing for it to end an hour in. A chore to sit through, Need For Speed and its two-dimensional characters left me relieved when it was over, not satisfied.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

Man of Steel is a jumbled and poorly constructed mess. To love this movie, all I asked for was an amazing origin story with the same quality of Batman Begins, but what did I get? Sloppy character development, heavy-handed drama, pretentiousness, a useless Lois Lane, overabundant product placement, an overlong, mind-numbing, collateral damage and excess loving final act, and two and a half hours of my life I will never get back. Sure, the super suit looks cool, it's well casted and visually solid, but overall Man of Steel is a colossal disappointment.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Judging from trailers I expected Guardians of the Galaxy to be a cornball fest. Surprisingly the only shortcoming in my opinion was the antagonist Ronan's vague, slim back story. Thankfully, he was suitably menacing nonetheless, and Guardians of the Galaxy provided brisk Sci-Fi action, plenty of comic relief without overkill, lovable and gleefully over-the-top characters and stunning visuals. Brimming with similarities to The Fifth Element and Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy is the most exhilarating Sci-Fi experience I've had in recent years since Star Trek 2009.


Not gonna lie, I enjoy this movie a lot whenever I see it. The performances are good, the genre-diverse soundtrack was well put together and fun to listen too, and the suspense works adequately. Its storyline isn't entirely original as it's basically a revision of "Rear Window", but it's executed well in my eyes. In terms of humor, the comic relief works well thanks mainly to Shia LaBeouf and Aaron Yoo. You may think a four and a half is far too generous and high, but it's based off of how much I was entertained, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Batman: Under the Red Hood is a decent animated Batman affair at most. As expected, the action was entertaining, the story was serviceably engaging and it was paced well. However nothing within its run time really blew me away or surprised me aside from the plot twist regarding Jason Todd. I wasn't a fan of the voice actor choice for Joker either. Either way, Under the Red Hood may not reach the heights of its other excellent animated counterparts like Mask of the Phantasm or The Dark Knight Returns, but it's satisfying enough for die hard fans.


A screen adaption of the beloved children's cartoon and novels, Paddington is clean, harmless fun and a breath of fresh air for family-friendly cinema. The cinematography is beautiful as are the visuals, the pacing is smooth, the acting is solid and the story is serviceable albeit simplistic with the familiar message of adapting to a new environment and being accepted despite being different. Occasionally the humor does feel cheesy and over-the-top, but there are far more genuinely funny moments, as well as emotional, touching and charming ones.


It's become universally apparent that Johnny Depp has played a parody of himself in the majority of his films in recent years, and painfully enough, Mortdecai is no different. Labeled under the comedy genre, I never laughed once throughout this stinkers running time. Mortdecai consists of toilet humor, immature sex themes, a dull and generic plot, childish gags, lame characters, and of course Depps corny shtick. With its solid cast, I expected an at least half decent affair. Sadly, Mortdecai is without doubt a strong contender for one of the worst films of 2015.


The immense amount of hate and disdain towards Skyline probably lead me to not dislike it as much as I could have. That isn't to say the film is good, it's lightyears from being so with it's stale characters, lack of suspense given its genre, unengaging story and overall boring execution. In fact, the last two statements are what truly made Skyline a bad movie in my opinion: boring and uninteresting. Its visuals aren't bad but are very much typical CG I aliens with generic bright blue lights. In the end Skyline is nothing more than a generic and forgettable alien invasion flick.

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris is the third Woody Allen picture I've watched, and the first I've liked. Owen Wilson plays a struggling novelist vacationing in Paris who inexplicably goes back in time and meets famous artists. It's a unique premise and may seem ridiculous to some, but I was engaged and felt refreshingly absorbed and along for the protagonists midnight journey to the past. Midnight in Paris is charmingly simple and relatable with its contemporary themes about nostalgia, relaxing soundtrack, charming characters, great performances and elegant atmosphere.

The Godfather, Part II

Like its predecessor, The Godfather: Part II has beautiful cinematography, the same elegant soundtrack, great performances and a realistic depiction of organized crime. However, I like its predecessor more mainly because it was paced better in my opinion and contained more characters that I found memorable and likable for that matter. It's three hour length was slightly exhausting at times, but this is still a worthy sequel that successfully tells the origin story of Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone's reign as godfather simultaneously.


Goldeneye is honestly my favorite Bond film thus far. The action scenes are kick-ass, Pierce Brosnan is an excellent James Bond who's portrayal seems to mix traits of his predecessors, it has a distinctively cool soundtrack from Eric Serra, and my personal favorite 007 villain Alec Trevelyan portrayed suitably by Sean Bean. Isabella Scorupco and Famke Janssen play some of the best Bond girls of the franchise as well. Last but not least, the action packed, intense and beautifully choreographed final act in the Cuban jungle satellite is the icing on the Goldeneye cake.

The Cold Light of Day

The Cold Light of Day isn't one of the worst films I've seen, but it's bland, boring, forgettable and far from good. The films setup immediately drops you into the lives of dull characters and fails at making them attachable, Henry Cavill spends a lot of screen time yelling like a teenager, Bruce Willis is wasted, the cinematography is bland, the action is stale, characters are uninteresting, dialogue is dry and the plot is your cliched pursuit-of-a-briefcase spy story. Seriously, all that chaos over an object in which we're never told whatsoever what's inside of it?

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow's time repetition plot is straight forward and executed just right. When hearing about this film pre release, many expected another big budget flop from Tom Cruise, but to the contrary, this was occasionally funny, well paced and acted, engaging, intriguing and most importantly entertaining. While the ending was underwhelming and the action was nothing spectacular, Edge of Tomorrow was nonetheless like Groundhog Day meets Mass Effect, exhilarating and visceral. Definitely recommendable.

Mortal Kombat

Being a huge fan of the video game franchise since childhood, I'm pretty predisposed to enjoy this onscreen adaption to some degree. While it certainly has corny dialogue, characters and performances, it's unapologetic, cheesy fun with a memorable soundtrack and serviceable action sequences. If you're expecting high caliber Kung Fu cinema look elsewhere, but as it is, Mortal Kombat is one of the better outings of its genre, which isn't hard to achieve. It isn't great, but compared to other live-action game adaptions, you could do much, much worse.


Boyhood is impressive in how it took twelve years to film, cleverly showing the protagonist and his family naturally grow onscreen, and it's well acted. Yet even with moments that I could relate too, nothing truly stood out or viscerally/psychologically engaged me. Character development is here, but older mason was dull and pretentious, and by the time Boyhood's credits rolled I was pleased to have experienced it, not blown away, making it a fantastic film making idea that won't leave a post-viewing impact.


If only I could jump back in time to stop myself from sitting through this lazily written, unremarkable bore. Jumper admittedly has nice visuals and a concept that could have churned out a solid Sci-Fi actioner, but instead we get Hayden Christensens dull lead, no explanation for why these characters have these powers, unanswered plot points, stale dialogue and little to no character development. It's No surprise to be honest, considering this was written by David S. Goyer, who wrote the travesty known as Man of Steel.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X(1992)

Malcolm X is an excellent biopic about the turbulent uprising of one of the greatest and most controversial civil rights leaders. One can feel its three hour running time, but I was never truly bored, instead I was engaged about this mans life story, always interested in what would happen next. Boasting a great lead from Denzel Washington, conviction-filled performances, beautifully composed cinematography and a smooth pace that nicely develops the story, Malcolm X is a biopic I recommend most people see at least once.


Robocop '14 hasn't a patch on the original, first and foremost, but it wasn't as terrible as I was expecting. Visually it's adequate and the acting is serviceable, but the action sequences were unremarkable, generic fast-cut shootouts, Keaton's antagonistic twist was rushed and his demise was cheap and anti-climactic, Pat Novak was shoehorned and cheesy, and the ending sequence with said character was corny. On it's own Robocop '14 is a decent popcorn flick, but certainly not a must see and pretty forgettable.

The Equalizer

Denzel Washington hardly ever disappoints, and The Equalizer is a serviceable, at times highly entertaining but overall run-of-the-mill action flick with the invincible hero we've all seen before. The buildup in the first act was enjoyable but took too long to kick-start the plot, and the second act onwards began over-exceeding the films modest premise. All in all this isn't bad nor great, and most certainly enjoyable, but a slimmer running time would certainly have made The Equalizer's script tighter, concise and less bloated.

Assault on Precinct 13

Assault on Precinct 13 is a well-acted, smoothly paced cult classic with a unique and solidly executed premise. While it never truly blew me away, this was fairly enjoyable with tense, and at times shocking moments(murder of the little girl). My complaibts are that the screenplay wasn't entirely engaging, the soundtrack was rather corny and the buildup in the first act was kind of slow. Nonetheless, Assault on Precinct 13 doesn't rank among Carpenter's best work nor is it a must see, but it's recommendable for the action crowd.


Manhattan may be accessible to anyone who can relate to it's themes about love, the complexity of relationships, and bizarrely to forty year old's dating minors. The glacier pacing however was off putting, the characters weren't engaging and their development seemed thin, and Woody's annoyingly relentless neurotic personality exacerbated the experience further. The natural dynamics between characters and performances couldn't save Manhattan for me in the end. Yet another underwhelming Woody Allen experience.

Brick Mansions

My condolences to Walkers family, but this sucked bad, and was as interesting and impressive as an actual brick. What does Brick Mansions get right? Excellent choreography and stunt work, that's it. The script is pummeled with corny, cheap dialogue, dull characters, a premise that could've worked but was executed poorly, and a cartoonish antagonist that turns out to be good through the ludicrous, exacerbating twist. Kudos to Paul Walker for at least trying in this posthumous performance.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort is the Tony Montana of stock broking, he starts out modest, greedily makes his way to the top, then face plants. The performances are excellent all around with Leonardo Dicaprio intelligently walking a thin line between making Belfort a caricature, and someone we can sympathize with by the end. I did feel the run-time was a tad overlong and exhausting, as was the at times repetitive drug/sex humor. Nonetheless, Scorsese has crafted a good, hyper-stylized, contemporary and relentless film in Wolf of Wall Street.


Scarface has been a polarizing affair ever since it's release, but it's one of my all time favorites nonetheless. More than just three hours of violence, profanity and drug use like many believe, Scarface places commentary on American capitalism, the advantages/disadvantages of greed, and a socially disadvantaged immigrant's perspective of capturing The American Dream. Scarface has memorable characters, a fantastic musical score, bravura performances, a strong story and lead from Al Pacino, and an undeniably ambitious, colorful style.

The Birds
The Birds(1963)

I found The Birds to be a mixed bag, and remarkably dated even for it's age. The performances are solid like most Hitchcock films, the concept is unique and the final act carried hair-trigger intensity. Unfortunately, the first act and it's build-up was not only slow, but also unfocused plot-wise, the developing love story blooming off screen was underwhelming, and the abrupt ending which left the reason behind the bird attack unanswered was disappointing. Overall The Birds was a decent affair but I'm in no urge to revisit it.


Robots is a disposable affair that's somewhat entertaining to a degree, but ultimately lands in the category of forgettable animated films overshadowed by other immensely superior entries. The voice acting is adequate and the visuals are decent, but the story was uninteresting and while the humor sometimes worked, it more often fell flat. Robots never stands out whatsoever and I found the Fender character obnoxious, but if nothing else is on TV but this, it's serviceable in that respect. Otherwise, it's a decent affair but not a must-see.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is excellent visually and the performances are so-so, but the action is underwhelming, April O'Neill has close to no character development, the humor is lame and dated, and the antagonist(s) defeat in the final act was anticlimactic. The Alps sequence was decent, but I was left bored throughout the majority of Ninja Turtles run time. We have yet to receive a truly good Turtles flick, and this suppresses any hopes of ever getting that. For what it's worth, little kids will eat this up, but most seasoned movie buffs will find it mediocre.


Anthony Hopkins perfectly embodies the lead character Corky, a troubled ventriloquist who's doll "Fats" has become somewhat of his second personality. While some of the first act isn't entirely engaging, the film really takes a turn for the best all the way to the end once the central story kicks in. Is Corky mentally unsound, using Fats to commit horrendous acts? Or is Fats somehow conscious and manipulating Corky? Magic is a well acted, intense, at times charming and surprisingly sympathetic underrated gem with a heartbreaking finale.

The Maze Runner

Surprisingly the first hour and a half was entertaining and fairly engaging, the plot was interesting and the build up was decent. It's the far fetched, ridiculous plot twist in the final act that nearly killed The Maze Runner. The story had me invested for the most part despite certain characters with zero development and a handful of melodramatic moments. Visually The Maze Runner was nice to look at, performances were decent and the action was fun, but had the problems in the final act been modified it would've benefited the film a ton.

Into The Storm

I wouldn't be surprised if the screenwriter lost the script in a storm, went around collecting the pages, didn't bother putting them in order, then carelessly tossed them on the directors desk. Into the Storm is messy, dull, achingly paced and forgettable. The acting from it's C-list cast is decent and the visuals are solid, but the characters are dry and uninteresting, the found-footage-shooting-style never felt realistic or involving, and overall this was a waste of time. What was the point of those obnoxious redneck buffoons?

The Godfather

A transcending classic, The Godfather is violent when necessary, but simultaneously elegant. It's beautifully shot, powerfully acted, the score is flamboyant, you sympathize, relate with and see where its admittedly criminal characters are coming from, and its depiction of the mafia is nearly spot-on. It's a milestone of film making quality that to this day has made the test of time "sleep with the fishes". The Godfather is an organized crime epic touching on loyalty, family, trust, and deceit with genuine character/story arcs and a superb script.


Commando didn't hold up entirely in my rewatch, but it's still cheesily entertaining. Some aspects were laughably dated, but the action scenes were surprisingly well shot, the one-liners were well timed and Arnie does what he does best by providing pure escapist B movie gold. Yes, the Bennett antagonist is very cartoonish and annoying, and the kidnapping-revenge formula has been done one too many times, but go into Commando expecting popcorn fun, and that it will deliver.

25th Hour
25th Hour(2003)

Underneath 25th Hour's simple premise is an incredibly human, at times disturbing yet relatable character study. Bolstered by its great performances, rich dialogue, beautiful cinematography melded with a vibrant color palette and a mostly strong script, this is very recommendable. I wasn't a big fan of 25th Hour's ending however as it felt overdrawn and prolonged. A more emotionally satisfying conclusion in my opinion would have been Monty actually going to prison, with his fate being left for the audience to decide.

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle impressively puts the audience deep into the roots of Indian culture in Slumdog Millionaire. As rich as its title suggests, this gem boasts great characters, an inventive story, beautiful cinematography, an exhilarating sense of adventure, a fantastic, diverse soundtrack, emotional layers and an emotionally moving, yet equally exuberant script. Definitely a modern favorite, Slumdog Millionaire is a colorful one-of-a-kind epic truly deserving of its Oscar award.

Phone Booth
Phone Booth(2003)

Definitely my favorite film from Joel "Bat credit card" Schumaker, Phone Booth is a great thriller. The performances and casting is top notch with Colin Farrell delivering one of the best performances of his career, and Kiefer Sutherland's convincing portrayal of a psychotic sniper. Phone Booth is a fairly underrated, mono-location thriller that is paced well enough to never drag, it's genuinely intense, carries great performances, and in my opinion is very Hitchcock-influenced.


Gladiator is an underrated urban boxing drama starring James Marshall who is not the best actor so his performance is just above average, but he gets the job done. Everyone else though, Cuba Gooding Jr, Brian Dennehy, and Robert Loggia are solid. As a whole it isn't fantastic, and the racial slurs spread around it felt highly shoehorned, but Gladiator is quite entertaining with well choreographed fight sequences and a slightly implausible, but well-executed story. It's not the best boxing film ever, but it holds its own.

Meet the Spartans

Seriously, Hollywood's went from the hilarious spoof-classic "Airplane", to this? Rarely do I come across a "comedy" that leaves me face-palming, and staring at the screen blankly throughout it's running time. The humor consists of juvenile, disgusting, bizarre, pointless and annoyingly arbitrary gags just for the sake of happening. Even some of the Scary Movies had funny, guilty pleasure moments; this was just boring, random and stupid. Meet the Spartans serves as a stamp of approval that the spoof genre has long since run out of gas.

The Thing
The Thing(1982)

The Thing is an intelligent, at times startling and gruesome Sci-Fi horror that I'm very appreciative of finally experiencing. Unlike today's horror films, The Thing needs zero CGI and utilizes jump scares unpredictably at unsuspecting moments. Most of the tension came from the claustrophobic paranoia of the characters not knowing who was or wasn't an infected imitation. Solidified by it's deliciously open ended finale, The Thing is a genuine must-see for the Sci-fi & horror crowd, and cinephiles in general.

Up in the Air

What makes a perfect film to me? One with genuine character development, great performances, smooth pacing, pretty cinematography, catchy soundtrack, snappy dialogue and great characters. Up in the Air boasts these, and I loved nearly every minute of it. It's a funny comedy, a moving drama, a heartwarming and breaking romance and meticulous character study on the importance of sharing your life with someone. With an intelligent script and confident direction from Jason Reitman, Up in the Air soars.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)

Spider-Man '02? Somewhat campy, yet overall refreshing and fun. Spider-Man 2? Major step up from it's also solid predecessor with higher stakes, a deeper character study and better villain. Spider-Man 3? A full-grown kitten molded from it's two predecessors, loaded into a cannon, and shot at a brick wall at close range. Like most threequels, this is the absolute worst of Raimi's trilogy with an overabundance of characters(what a wasted Venom), pathetically executed "symbiote-spidey" subplot, Emo Peter Parker and lazy writing.


Stargate is a fairly underrated Sci-Fi picture from Rolland Emmerich, and much better than his style-over-substance mess I recently watched, known as 10,000 B.C. While I did find the story to be a little thin and the main antagonist unremarkable, I was genuinely entertained nonetheless. The production design and soundtrack were very well done here. It's not perfect, but with good performances from Russell and Spader, likable characters and a satisfying amount of action, Stargate is a thoroughly serviceable B movie.

Secret Window

Secret Window had some incredibly slow pacing that was a little painful at times. The performances were good as well as the characters, especially Johnny Depp's "Mort Rainey" and John Turturro's "John Shooter". Unfortunately the movie felt incredibly modest and the twist at the end would've been clever and arousing had it not resembled "Fight Club"'s twist. All in all the best element of this film is Johnny Depp's performance and occasional generated suspense, other than that, you're not missing much.


Brick successfully places a noir tale within a high school setting. While it's characters are interesting and fairly three-dimensional, I didn't find them emotionally attachable. The dialogue is cleverly written, given a snappy, witty and poem-esque sound. Performance-wise Brick is no disappointment, and Rian Johnson impressively churned out a gritty little detective story with a low budget. Brick isn't groundbreaking, and the ending felt dry, but as a noir thriller it holds its own and deserves a watch from mystery buffs.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)

Whether the hype ruined this or not, The Hangover was an incredibly disappointing affair. Hearing raves about how pee-in-your-pants funny it was for quite some time, perhaps my expectations were raised too high and spoiled the experience for me. Either way, I found this comedy majorly unwitty, annoying and relying too much on slap-stick humor. Not to mention, it was an awful lot like a missing friend-equivalent of Dude Where's My Car? Though much better, which still isn't saying much for this over-hyped affair.

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

10,000 BC boasts beautiful but occasionally dated visuals and...that's all. This could actually have been a decent blockbuster had it had a better screenwriter, director, and not been so historically inaccurate. The script is a squalor with cheap dialogue, boring and a few annoying characters, laughably self-important narration and a stale story. The frustratingly choppy editing, and phoned-in performances bogged it down very much too. 10,000 BC is a beautifully shot, but awfully written/executed affair.

Mean Girls
Mean Girls(2004)

Even with all the praise, I still skeptically awaited an annoying, mindless chick flick. I was mistaken. Mean Girls is relentlessly witty, relatable, briskly paced, bitingly satirical, occasionally hilarious and impressively acted throughout. I'vent seen many films tackling this subject matter, so as of right now Mean Girls reigns supreme in that department. The chick flick look is a masquerade, and underneath if watched with an open mind, Mean Girls successfully tackles the psyche of high school clique culture and the underestimated bane of gossip, betrayal and slandering.


I may be a little biased and "blinded by nostalgia" with this one, but Tarzan has been a Disney favorite of mine since childhood. The voice actors are well cast, the jungle is beautifully green, animated and sunlit and the soundtrack is nothing short of spectacular due in part to Phil Collins talent. It's themes about accepting different people is nothing new, but the movie makes it relatable and executes it well nonetheless. Tarzan is a highly recommendable family picture that's full of heart and memorable characters.

Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Perhaps like most of Kubrick's work, a second viewing will be beneficial. As of right now, being the first time I watched this critically acclaimed black comedy classic, I was pretty underwhelmed by Dr. Strangelove. It certainly has its funny moments spread around it, wacky characters and great, humorous performances, but subjectively the story wasn't intriguing at all for me which caused the film to drag in places. Kudos to Stanley nonetheless, for successfully managing to make a comedy out of a terrifying subject matter like a nuclear holocaust.

La Bamba
La Bamba(1987)

Although I felt the dialogue was occasionally cheesy and some of the voices sounded annoyingly dubbed, La Bamba was nonetheless a satisfying biopic. It boasts a lot of humanity & depth about family conflicts in its center as well as a great soundtrack, with Lou Diamond Phillips giving a promising lead and Esai Morales stealing the show here in my opinion. I believe a lengthier running time would have benefited this film a lot though to further flesh not only the characters but especially the life story of Ritchie Valens. La Bamba isn't perfect, but it was definitely a charming and fairly captivating watch.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

The Assassination of Jesse James is a well acted and beautifully shot biopic of one of America's most notorious outlaws. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck give the best performances, the cinematography is beautiful, the clothing/set design all look authentic to its 1800's time period and the "Money Train" soundtrack was absorbing. In my opinion however the first and third act were the most engaging, since the middle section dragged an awful lot. Ultimately, The Assassination of Jesse James was an entertaining watch nonetheless.


I'm pretty sure being as late as I am to finally see this movie is the reason I didn't love it. Like The Godfather, hearing all the critical acclaim for Alien many years before finally experiencing it left me expecting and wanting more. However, for it's time the visuals are ahead of it, the soundtrack is perfect, the chest-burst scene is still shocking, Sigourney Weaver is an attractive lead and the iconic antagonist needs no introduction. The first half was very slow in my opinion, but afterwards until the end Alien proved to be a successfully atmospheric Sci-Fi horror.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

My condolences to Kate & David, but this was a bore resembling the format of a 48 Hours episode. The subject matter is shocking and depressing, but I just couldn't get into this documentary because it felt like an hour and a half news report about someone I never met personally. Call me cold hearted, indifferent, what have you, but Dear Zachary didn't tear me up or get me emotionally involved like I expected from the critical praise. In my opinion it felt like a standard homicide documentary, and the hype led me to believe otherwise.

Children of Men

Children of Men has a terrific concept for Sci-Fi about a dystopian future where humanity is infertile for eighteen years. The cinematography here is beautiful, and the performances are good. I didn't find the characters all that memorable or interesting though, and felt that it's intriguing story was executed as a standard violent chase thriller dressed up in impressive camera-work and deep themes about the importance of children. Had there been slightly more plot exposition and a more relatable protagonist with deeper character development, I would have loved Children of Men.


Her is an exhilarating, perceptive and thoughtful modern-age tale. The premise is executed perfectly making you forget how bizarre it really is. The cast gives excellent performances to deep and relatable characters, the cinematography is beautiful, the dialogue is sincere and at times thought-provoking, the pacing is smooth and the soundtrack is amazing. Her is a bittersweet, deep, involving, and thorough examination of love that is viscerally enthralling in its emotion and style, giving it an immersive quality that is rare in today's age of cinema.

The Maltese Falcon

I've never been a big fan of noir cinema, and The Maltese Falcon was another underwhelming affair from that genre for me. While I enjoyed the performances for the most part and the interchanges between the characters, the story was just flat out uninteresting and dull for me. I felt that while the story progressed, the characters remained the same with thin development. Needless to say, The Maltese Falcon is recommendable to fans of noir films like Chinatown, Blade Runner etc, but for anyone expecting an intense, engaging story with deep characters, look further.


I've always been a sucker for films that entirely take place in a single location and remain engaging from start to finish. While I found some of the first act of Rope to drag a little, as soon as the suspense of "finding David" kicked in the film remained a solidly acted nail-biter until the very end. James Stewart as usual is a great onscreen presence, and even though every ten minutes required Hitchcock to reload his film, his attempt to make Rope appear filmed entirely within one shot was unprecedented and genius.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin had me glued to the screen with unease. The blend of the natural performances, soundtrack, cinematography, lighting and symbolic foreshadowings make this feel like a two hour trance. The flashbacks teasing the revealing of 'the event' then pulling you back into the present truly paid off in the end, making the actual reveal shocking. By the end, despite very slow pacing in many areas, nearly everything in the narrative tied in together nicely. We Need to Talk About Kevin is an arthouse nightmare about the upbringing of a sociopath.

Knockaround Guys

In Knockaround Guys the son of a mobster tries to gain respect by transporting $500k, which goes awry, ends up in the hands of corrupt cops and must now be retrieved somehow. The performances were solid, but the characters felt superficially developed which rendered me from caring whenever they faced any conflict. The film tries to be a comedy, a crime thriller and a drama rolled into one causing the narrative to feel unfocused and uneven at times. To its credit it's paced adequately and John Malkovich was excellent, but as a whole Knockaround Guys is nothing more than a time filler.

Paths of Glory

During the making of Paths of Glory, Kubrick used his notorious trait as a director of numerously retaking scenes until he got the absolute best out of his cast; which even with their extreme frustration is still why the performances here are so realistic and believable. I grew truly disgusted by General Mireau and sympathized with the soldiers who fell victim to his abuse of power and extreme selfishness. In the end Paths of Glory is indeed an anti-war film, but also a character study on how far people in a position of power will go to achieve what they desire, even at the expense of others.

All the President's Men

It wasn't hard to see how meticulous All the President's Men's story was regarding governmental corruption and political conspiracies. Centered around two reporters who exposed the Watergate scandal, this is a well acted and interesting thriller. However, I felt its running time was overlong and being someone completely uninterested in politics, I found myself bored in many parts and distracted easily. It's not a bad movie whatsoever and Redford/Hoffman work well off each other, but its subject matter simply isn't my cup of tea.

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind is an emotionally insightful biopic on mathematician John Nash and his battle with the crippling psychiatric illness schizophrenia. The first twenty minutes or so were slightly boring and dragged in my opinion, but as soon as the plot kicked in the movie remained intriguing throughout. The performances are great with Russell Crowe giving a riveting lead, the score was absorbing and the look of the movie resembled the story's time period quite well. Some of the hallucination sequences felt a little far-fetched and overly elaborate for Hollywood purposes, but A Beautiful Mind is nonetheless a film worth seeing.

Rush Hour
Rush Hour(1998)

One of the best buddy cop films ever, Rush Hour is extremely entertaining. Chis Tucker and Jackie Chan share some great chemistry and the film is expertly paced. As always Jackie Chan delivers with great action sequences and humorous fight sequences with good choreography, as expected from him. Chris Tucker is funny as always as well. Rush Hour is definitely one of the best buddy-cop films out there with the perfectly casted lead duo, fun action scenes, comedy that works and fast pacing.


Compared to most other outings of the all-too-often corny Martial Arts genre, Bloodsport is popcorn fun and watchable. The idea of a no holds barred, illegal MMA-esque tournament where fighters from all over the world with different styles duel to the death is a fun concept. Now that being said, the acting is mediocre, the fight choreography, though entertaining, is mundane in terms of quality, and the film oozes with 80's action cheesiness. To it's credit, Bloodsport is one of Van Damme's better films, and it's perfectly adequate to kill an hour and a half with.

Die Hard
Die Hard(1988)

One of the best action films of all time, Die Hard is one of a kind. It raised the bar for the action genre and brought audiences the iconic action hero John "Yippy Kaye" McClane. Bruce Willis vibrantly plays the wise cracking NY cop John McClane and Alan Rickman is terrific as one of the greatest villains of cinema history, Hanz Gruber. Terrific action sequences, great characters, good performances, a good soundtrack, one of the best villain demises ever and unflinchingly over-the-top at times = Die Hard, an action genre epitome and gem.

Fast & Furious 6

Fast & Furious 6 is nothing more than mindless fun, with the longest runway ever. There are gripes however: Even though Luke Evans acting was adequate, he was a filler and forgettable villain, Dom and Letty's chat under the bridge after their race was extremely overextended with amateur drama, there was some annoying feminist dialogue and an occasionally bloated plot. Fast 6 had exciting action sequences despite unrealistic as hell at times, likable characters, and humor that worked nonetheless. Go into Fast 6 with your brain turned off, and it shouldn't disappoint.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Days of Future Past was certainly entertaining, visually solid and the performances were okay, but boy was I tremendously underwhelmed and slightly disappointed nonetheless. While I enjoyed it more than its predecessor, Days of Future Past never amazed me or blew me away within its entire running time. It's a shame the spectacular Quicksilver, arguably the best aspect of the movie, is given such minimal screen time since literally all else in the film aside from him felt dry to me. In the end Days of Future Past was decent, but severely lacking in rewatch value.


Serpico is a solid detective story based on a true story about corruption within a New York police department, and the only moral officer that had the courage to expose it. There's no doubt that Al Pacino carried this entire movie with his believable and convincing lead, but in my opinion that made everything around him, characters and even story, pale in comparison. A few scenes felt irrelevant to the story and the pace slowed down a little too much for my taste at times, but Serpico is nonetheless worth seeing for Pacino's performance alone.


Fear isn't entirely original and has some blatant conveniences spread around it to move it's story along. Bill Petersen is sometimes unintentionally funny but overall solid, Reese Witherspoon is convincing in her debut role and Mark Wahlberg is excellent as her deceitfully charming yet psychopathic new boyfriend. I wasn't a fan of the abrupt ending and although the climax was slightly far-fetched at times, it was intense and satisfying overall. Fear was enjoyable delivering a smooth pace with good performances and as a thriller it works on most levels.

Batman: Assault on Arkham

Based on the hit video game franchise, Batman: Assault on Arkham is a solid animated flick. Surprisingly, the suicide squad is the main focus of the story here, not the caped crusader who really only served to interrupt their mission when the plot called for it. While I found certain plot aspects to be pretty run-of-the-mill/cliche, Assault on Arkham was nonetheless an entertaining watch packed with action, humor, awesome characters, great voice acting and pacing. It isn't groundbreaking or a must see by any means, but as a graphic comic book animated film it delivers.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance

Like its predecessors, Die Hard: With a Vengeance satisfyingly blends humor and high octane action. The twist to this Die Hard story is that instead of being confined to one location, John-wisecracking-McClane is forced by the antagonist to go all over New York City. Does it work? Yes. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson play off each other perfectly, the action is well choreographed and exciting, and Jeremy Irons is competent as Simon Gruber. It doesn't reach the heights of the 1988 classic, but it's a definite step up from part 2 and a strong action picture.

The Legend of Hercules

The Legend of Hercules feels like a Syfy network movie that somehow made its way into theaters. The Performances range from over-the-top to dry or plain awful, the generic slow-mo-riddled action scenes are entirely laughable, the dialogue is amateur, character development is either non-existent or paper thin, the clothing design is cheap and to top it all off none of these "actors" look remotely familiar. I might have actually enjoyed Legend of Hercules as a "so bad it's good" affair, but unfortunately, it took itself seriously. It's dull, cheap, uninspired, repetitive and forgettable.

Halloween II
Halloween II(1981)

Halloween II like most sequels is inferior to its predecessor. It's not entirely disappointing though as to it's credit there were several moments of genuine suspense, and the idea of Michael Myers loose in a hospital picking off medical staff is a good concept for a horror film in my opinion. Unfortunately there are several moments in the film that are illogical and laughable, namely some of the killings, as well as formulaic horror cliches. Nonetheless the entertainment value was adequate and the gripes didn't bog the movie down too much for me considering the type of film it is. Yes Halloween II isn't perfect, but it's passable, neither good or terrible.


Hearing nothing but bad rep for Sharknado led me to believe my expectations would be so low, that I'd end up enjoying it as a guilty pleasure. To cut to the chase, Sharknado is so awful it's funny, and the critical panning is, for the most part, deserved. Cheesy acting, terrible cinematography, uninteresting characters, abysmal visual effects, obvious green screen and laughable dialogue, I can't believe this "film" exists. The only redeemable quality is that I didn't hate it as much as I should have, which isn't a good thing either way.


While Psycho practically invented and solidified the slasher genre in my opinion, eighteen years later Halloween proved the genre didn't have to be "dumb". Sure I felt the pace slowed down considerably in the middle act, most of the supporting characters were a little too disposable for my taste, and like El Mariachi the low budget both benefited and hurt the film. In return for these subjective shortcomings, John Carpenter still crafted an original slasher flick with an unconventionally smart female lead, a memorable character out of Dr. Loomis, an iconic slasher figure out of "The Boogey Man" Michael Myers and a distinctive musical score.

The Lady Vanishes

The Lady Vanishes is the last British film from the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one, being one of Hitchcock's earlier works I didn't expect much. The first fifteen minutes or so is a little slow, but when the plot kicks in, The Lady Vanishes remains engaging throughout boasting romance, comedy, action, suspense and mystery underneath a simple premise that forces viewers to think and solve it's puzzle. Part psychological and part political thriller, The Lady Vanishes is a twisty, wonderfully acted and intriguing little gem.

Annie Hall
Annie Hall(1977)

It isn't rare for me to land in the minority opinion regarding critically acclaimed films/classics, and it appears I've found myself in that category again regarding Annie Hall. While the dialogue was witty and detailed and the performances were good, I found the movie to be pretty repetitive at times and couldn't find myself feeling attached to its characters. The opening monologue and films first act was engaging but it lost steam quickly, dragged and Woody Allen's character was frequently obnoxious. Perhaps I missed something(s), but as of right now, I gained nothing from Annie Hall and it was a major disappointment.


Zoolander is purposely dumb, quirky, exaggerated, random and campy. While those aspects gave the film comedic misfires at times, to my surprise they also simultaneously made the film quite funny and enjoyable overall in my opinion. A part of me hated the soaring level of campiness, yet bizarrely this aspect was also why I was entertained while watching it. It most certainly isn't perfect and occasionally had me rolling my eyes, but I did genuinely laugh several times and was satisfied by Zoolander, a rare film that induced a love-hate feeling from me that I actually quite enjoyed.

Room 237
Room 237(2013)

For a while I was interested in checking out Room 237, the documentary behind The Shining's enigmatic and cryptic nature. Unfortunately I felt disappointed, underwhelmed and annoyed throughout most of it. The idea behind this documentary is intriguing, but the execution is lacking thanks to poor editing and a few theories presented in a pretentious manner. Yes interesting and thought provoking theories are present, but are nonetheless outnumbered by ones that range from feeling irrelevant, too drawn out, or simply uninteresting.

Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver(1976)

With an electrifying lead from De Niro, beautiful cinematography, a leisurely developed final act with a powerful climax and a nearly flawless character study, Taxi Driver is incredibly immersive. Travis Bickley is developed perfectly with gritty diary-narration that vivifies and unravels his corroded mind, and everyone turns in splendid performances. The score is a little overused, but that's merely a non-existent nitpick for Taxi Driver, an involving, occasionally witty but horrific tale of a disturbed individuals perceived duty to be the "real rain" that wipes and washes scum off the street.

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

Ever since I began obsessing with A Clockwork Orange, not long after I started obsessing with its director Stanley Kubrick. Providing fifteen minute chapters/sections based on each of his finished and unfinished films, as well as his private and public life, A Life in Pictures is an interesting documentary detailing the life of one of cinemas most controversial, yet groundbreaking directors of all time. Definitely recommended for Kubrickians, A Life in Pictures is an enlightening watch for anyone interested in one of Hollywood's most innovative directors.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Dawn of the Apes is a marginal improvement over its also excellent predecessor. Like Rise of the Apes, Andy Serkis is once again aces as Caesar. Delivering emotional depth, consistently smooth pacing, beautiful cinematography and an intense, chaotic final act, this was worth the admission and viewing experience. My only gripe is the human characters who despite given good performances, were tremendously overshadowed by their ape counterparts, paling in comparison. Nonetheless, Dawn of the Apes packed a powerful apelike punch.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 brings many improvements and flaws to the table. Despite depth given to Harry Osborn by Dane Dehaan, somehow the film never gave me a genuine reason to care about his problems. Max Dillon's transition to the criminally underused Electro was rushed and underdeveloped, the story is needlessly bloated, Paul Giamatti's utterly wasted given two cameos and the ending was cheesy and stupid. Garfield & Stone share convincing chemistry, and the action was entertaining and visually pleasing, but lacking in excitement. TASM2 was a so-so affair, to say the least.

Free Birds
Free Birds(2013)

Free Birds has a stupid premise, too much hit-or-miss humor, uninteresting characters and is an overall pointless movie. The voice actors at least do their best with what's given to them, and it's animation is pretty, but that doesn't help how overall pointless and full of cliches Free Birds is. Who authorized this script anyway? Picture a CGI turkey equivalent of Chicken Run mixed with Back to the Future, and that's essentially this film. To sum this movie up in one colloquial word, Free Birds is simply dumb.

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips is an intense, powerfully directed and engaging bio-pic. Admittedly the film is mostly dialogue driven so it gets very slow in certain parts, but in return viewers are treated with compelling performances and a leisurely developed story with an intense climax. Tom Hanks and the Somali pirates, especially Barkhad Abdi, were equally captivating to watch. Anchored by its performances and realistic dialogue, Paul Greengrass has crafted a well made film that, despite feeling underwhelmed by its ending, was worth the viewing experience nonetheless.

James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach is an enjoyable, whimsical family film that I decided to revisit recently. Did it hold up? Surprisingly yes. Like a colorful fairy-tale novel sprung onto the screen, James and the Giant Peach has charming characters, brisk pacing and solid performances. I've never been too fond of musical moments in kids films and it was no different here, and the newspaper highlight ending was kind of corny in my opinion. Don't take these gripes into account though as they are entirely subjective. Adults will either like or not care for it, but most children will love James and The Giant Peach.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Surprisingly I did enjoy this one a little more than 2 Fast, but that's not saying much. The absence of PW and VD(last 5 minutes don't count) make this feel like a different street racing movie that happens to carry the F & F title. To its credit though, the street racing sequences were actually really entertaining to watch, and Lucas Black gives a solid performance in the lead role. That being said, Tokyo Drift is so-so, but it is definitely the most forgettable of the franchise.


Friday is one of the funniest comedies ever made. Ice Cube and Chris Tucker are great together and this is arguably Chris Tuckers most famous role. The characters are hilarious as well and fit into the films setting perfectly like Deebo. This is one of the best comedies ever and I would recommend it. Not to mention that fist fight at the end of the movie was choreographed excellently. Friday is hilarious and has a terrific old school gangster rap soundtrack that lets you know it's a classic.


Fifty+ years later the chills and suspense of Psycho are still effective, thanks to Alfred Hitchcock's masterful direction. The performances are wonderful, especially Anthony Perkin's hypnotizing portrayal of Norman Bates. The first thirty minutes may be uninteresting to some, but it welcomely explains the chain of events that lead Marion Crane to the Bates Motel. Who can forget the classic score? This is an influential cinematic landmark far ahead of its time with sharp, detailed dialogue, good cinematography and an amazing character study. Psycho is the mother of slasher cinema, a true masterwork.

The Silence of the Lambs

A potent thriller boasting a mesmerizing performance from Anthony Hopkins and great performances from its talented cast, Silence of the Lambs is a well known classic. Avoiding superfluous screentime with Hannibal, giving modest doses of his haunting, cold demeanor throughout the film, in effect makes him steal every scene he's in. The middle however grows considerably slow and drags at times with some uninteresting moments, rendering a four star rating from me. Nonetheless, the great characters and fleshed out psychological detective story make for an overall powerful, memorable film.

12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men)

Brimming with wonderful performances and mesmerizing interplay amongst it's terrifically constructed cast, 12 Angry Men is a cinematic landmark, and I don't say that lightly. The highly intricate script truly pours on to the screen perfectly managing to make every line of dialogue relevant and often witty, relatable and perfectly timed. The characters on paper become real, 3-dimensional people when transferred to life thanks to it's impeccable ensemble of gifted actors. A galore of character arcs both pragmatic and emotional, 12 Angry Men is a bravura watch.

Trading Places

Eddie Murphy and director John Landis collaborated to create one of my favorite comedies of all time "Coming to America", so when I ran across Trading Places on Netflix, I was immediately interested. Performance-wise this flick is solid, with Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis sharing charming chemistry. The story is intricate and packed tight, definitely being the films strongsuit in my opinion. The humor doesn't always land, but when it does it generates good laughs. Trading Places is extremely stylish and witty throughout most of its running time.


Stephen King's Cujo is an average thriller with solid performances, but a plodding first half, adequate but forgettable characters and an annoyingly abrupt ending. It's certainly intense at times and I'll admit it generated at least one or two moments where I was at the edge of my seat, but overall it's no more than a film to pass time with. Cujo is definitely reccommendable to diehard horror fanatics, but if you're looking for an all-around great film, Cujo's mediocre script makes it a film that can easily be skipped.

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth looks and sounds amazing in all sense of that word, with good characters and acting, and a dark yet simultaneously mesmerizing atmosphere. That being said I didn't love the movie like I expected too judging from the praise, but I'm glad I experienced it nonetheless. Pan's Labyrinth is positively peculiar and smoothly paced, although I wish the film would have spent even more time in the spellbinding fantasy portion rather than reality, although the latter was still engaging and genuinely interesting nonetheless.

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump(1994)

Forrest Gump is, in my book, one of the most sincere films one will ever come across. Some may find the films story a bit far-fetched at times, but isn't that the point? Forrest Gump is a fairy-tale set in the real world, and that's what makes the film so unique and memorable. Tom Hanks gives one of the finest performances of his career and the cast is perfect. Sympathetic, heartfelt and memorable, Forrest Gump is a spiritually uplifting powerhouse, with one of the most beautiful and bittersweet closing sequences I've ever seen.

The Good Son
The Good Son(1993)

One would think The Good Son is a guilty pleasure of mine judging by the films poor critic score compared to mine, but it's not; I genuinely like this film. Sure, it can be considered corny to many because it's Culkin playing a sociopath, but I found him and Elijah Wood convincing here. The Good Son is a well-acted suspense thriller with solid performances and some genuinely intense moments. It's not a hundred percent original or groundbreaking, but it's worth checking out for Culkin's performance alone.

Reign Over Me

Anyone who says Adam Sandler has no acting range outside of comedies needs to watch this, and possibly be proven otherwise. Reign Over Me has good to great performances, especially from Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler as the lead duo. The only gripe that really brought the movie down, for me, was the pacing which I found to be pretty slow at several sections of the film. Either way, if you're looking for a solid, heart-felt drama with good performances and occasional comic relief, I would reccommend Reign Over Me.

El Mariachi
El Mariachi(1993)

El Mariachi deserves praise for generating entertainment value with a very low budget. Unfortunately in my opinion, that achievment both strengthens and weakens the film. As expected from a cast mostly consisting of random non-actors, Carlos Gallardo at least gives a decent performance compared to everyone else. Most of the film was impossible to take seriously and unintentionally funny at times, but thankfully it was briskly paced with a few clever aspects sprinkled around in it. El Mariachi is undoubtedly watchable, but I wouldn't be so generous if it wasn't for its $7k budget.

Alex Cross
Alex Cross(2012)

Alex Cross is a dry, forgettable yet passable cop thriller. Tyler Perry gives a solid performance, but Matthew Fox outshines the entire cast; which isn't very hard considering those two are the only ones who seem to be trying, while everyone else looks either bored or just acting-acting for a paycheck. The action is average at best thanks to some annoying and confusing camera angles/shots, but the characters are entirely forgettable. Overall, Alex Cross is cliched and predictable being solely anchored by its two leads who do the most they can with an uninspired script.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

Aside from the fantastic performances from it's stellar ensemble cast, The Departed deserves additional praise for it's unique ability to generate an intense, edge-of-your-seat thriller out of a story as simple as a mob rat and a police rat searching for each other. The characters, humor, wit, performances and Martin Scorsese's seasoned direction make The Departed a must-see for fans of both cop and gangster dramas/thrillers. It's paced smoothly for a two and a half hour flick, sharply scripted and engrossing with an intense final act and a deliciously raw, full-circle climax.

Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda(2004)

Essentially the Rwandan-genocide equivalent of Schindler's List, Hotel Rwanda is a hard-hitting, heartfelt and powerfully acted film. The cinematography was colorful, and the subject-matter was expertly handled so that viewers could genuinely feel the onscreen characters suffering. The only gripe I can really scrape out is Nick Nolte's seemingly dry character and occasionally incomprehensible dialogue. Other than that, Hotel Rwanda is an important film that serves as an eye-opener towards the depressing truth of horror's that are ignored around the world.


Well this was pointless. Is there supposed to be some kind of deep hidden meaning behind the vulgar sketches? If not, I can see why those companies rejected all of these nonsensical animated shorts. If it's simple shock value that Don Hertzfeldt was aiming for, he succeeded. Rejected is a fitting title as rejection is what this non-artistic, random, juvenile and most of all pointless short deserved from those companies. Seriously, why was this trash even made? Is the target audience brain-dead people?

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket is a haunting, realistic and involving war thriller directed by Stanley Kubrick. While I found the second half entertaining, it wasn't as engaging, interesting or smoothly paced as the first half in my opinion. Nonetheless, Full Metal Jacket strongly succeeds as a deep meditation on the military's inhumane process of transforming human being's into living, breathing killing machines with excellent performances, dialogue and characters under its belt. Kubrick's meticulousness definitely shined on screen here.

The Living Daylights

The Living Daylights is a sadly underrated gem. Sporting exciting action sequences, a beautiful Bond girl, a catchy soundtrack and solid performances, it's a shame this film doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Timothy Dalton who's arguably the Daniel Craig of his time, follows the novels closely giving the British superspy a gritty, realistic, intense and more human interpretation in his underappreciated portrayal. The Living Daylights' story is slightly convoluted in areas and it may not be the best Bond film, but it definitely ranks high among its fellow outings in the franchise.

Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry(1971)

I had been looking forward to this cop classic for quite some time, and sadly I was disappointed and underwhelmed after finally experiencing it. To be brutally honest, the best aspects of this film, in my opinion of course, are the immortal line "Do ya feel lucky punk?" And the titular character Harry Callahan. Aside from that, I found the film awfully boring, and one that I couldn't finish in one sitting. It's story of the police departments pursuit of the Scorpio killer was uninteresting as well. Perhaps the hype spoiled Dirty Harry for me, who knows.

Edward Scissorhands

From childhood until now, Edward Scissorhands has never failed to impress me on every watch and leave a lasting impression. With good performances, likable characters and a hypnotic musical score, this in my opinion is Tim Burton's masterpiece. Edward Scissorhands successfully blends fantasy, romance, comedy and drama within an enthralling, surreal world that successfully meshes Gothic and exuberant fairy-tale elements together like peanut butter & jelly. Definitely one of my all-time favorites.

The Host
The Host(2013)

The Host is essentially Twilight with aliens; needless to say that's not a good thing. The only redeemable quality is the cinematography, everything else is poor. Filled with cardboard characters, amateur dialogue, unremarkable performances, and unintentionally hilarious moments, this movie has more make-out scenes than entertainment value. William Hurt, who I expected to be the shining light, as usual has zero emotion. The Host takes a decent storyline and derails it thanks to a poor script.


While Epic does have several humorous moments and is a well made animated film, it ultimately feels like something you would watch when there is nothing else around. It most certainly isn't epic as its title suggests, and it slightly lacks rewatch value being nowhere near as good as other animated films of its genre. Nonetheless Epic has some truly colorful and vibrant animation, good voice acting and the action sequences are entertaining so it's a good watch even though it's not groundbreaking.


Coneheads is yet another nostalgic childhood film of mine which for the most part still holds up. Brimming with an all-star cast of comedic celebrities, Coneheads is a purposely ridiculous, often hilarious but occasionally flawed comedy. At times the humor is a little too ridiculous and fails to land, but thankfully in return this gripe is compensated with genuinely hilarious moments as well. Boasting memorable parts like the Subway sandwich scene and more, Coneheads is a unique and thoroughly entertaining watch.

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick masterfully directed A Clockwork Orange using the novel as the script instead of a written screenplay, making this one of the most faithful adaptions ever. The casting is perfect, with Malcolm McDowell's poetic narration and bravura performance as Alex DeLarge. This may be a bizarre film that fiddles with your brain circuitry, but it's graceful and aesthetic at the same time. With memorable characters, political satire, a great soundtrack, beautiful cinematography, nearly timeless social commentary and brilliant performances, A Clockwork Orange is a favorite, complex cult classic.

Death Proof
Death Proof(2007)

I remember seeing Death Proof like two years ago and finding it entertaining, yet walking away from it with nothing but passed time. Kurt Russell does great in the lead role and the rest of the cast is solid as well, but Death Proof is by far the only Quentin Tarantino film I've found to be forgettable. It's your basic "Psycho stalking hot young girls" horror cliche with a Tarantino twist, that twist being what makes it watchable. Death Proof does contain fun action scenes especially the final act, it's also funny at times, but ultimately it's the weak spot in Quentin's filmography.

Stand by Me
Stand by Me(1986)

Stand By Me is an enjoyable coming-of-age flick based on the Stephen King novel. The quadruple lead all give excellent performances, Richard Dreyfuss provides solid narration and the film adequately blends comedy, drama and adventure. One gripe that weighed the movie down considerably for me was its occasionally melodramatic moments and some overacting. Stand By Me isn't perfect, but it's still an involving film that, thanks to its direction, succeasfully manages to make the viewer share the characters sence of adventure on their long journey, and feel along for the ride.

El Infierno
El Infierno(2010)

Skimming through Netflix, I decided to check out the Mexican film "El Infierno", a crime/drama/dark comedy about a recently deported man who joins a drug cartel when money problems arise not too long after his return to Mexico. Performances here are solid, the drama works surprisingly well, and the depiction of the world of drug cartels is realistic and grim. I only wish that Benny, the protagonist, had been given a deeper back story along with a more developed character arc. El Infierno isn't perfect and it has several boring sections, but it was worth a watch.

Food, Inc.
Food, Inc.(2009)

Food, Inc. is an interesting documentary on the modern food industry, the economics behind it, and how many injustices from it have gone overlooked in recent years and have slipped under the cracks. Providing eye-opening and shocking accounts on how the food industry oppresses farmers, Food, Inc. is a must watch for anyone who loves a good, slightly controversial documentary. While I felt the narrative was unfocused at times, it dragged in certain parts and the call-to-action pre-credits message felt preachy and overextended, Food, Inc. was an informative watch nonetheless.

The Kid with a Bike

The Kid with a Bike is a critically acclaimed bore, in my opinion of course. I couldn't finish this one due to the highly unlikable protagonist, who's backstory of orphanage isn't explored enough in my opinion, dull atmosphere, sloppy pace with certain scenes that dragged and overextended themselves, and at times the conflicts resembled a Lifetime movie. Giving credit where it's due, the performances are just fine and the drama works well, but as a whole The Kid with a Bike failed to connect with me.

Before Sunset

Before Sunset is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Before Sunrise, and this time around the two protagonists meet up again in Paris, France. I surprisingly enjoyed this one a little more than its predecessor, maybe because I found the conversations to be a little more interesting and relatable. My only real gripe was the incredibly abrupt ending, but aside from that, if one has the patience, Before Sunset is a good sequel and on its own a charming, heartfelt little film that takes the power of dialogue to another level, reprising the genuinely real chemistry between Hawke and Delpy.

House at the End of the Street

Obviously drawing deep from the "Psycho" playbook, I surprisingly found House at the End of the Street enjoyable. Jennifer Lawrence is natural and aside from a some genre-methodical moments and characters, the rest of the cast turn in solid performances. Spotting cliches isn't difficult here, and despite a convincing performance from Max Thieriot as masqueradedly normal Ryan, I found him slightly unconvincing in maniac mode. Sure, it's ultimately disposable fun, not scary, occasionally rushed and considerably formulaic, but House at the End of the Street managed to deliver decent thrills.

My Girl
My Girl(1991)

My Girl is a nostalgic film that I decided to revisit recently. Centered around a hypochondriac girl named Vada, this is a charming little coming-of-age film with good performances from the entire cast, especially from Anna Chlumsky who carries the film with ease. My girl is equal parts funny and relatable, yet also sad and heartbreaking thanks to it's themes about life and death. It's not groundbreaking nor a must see, but if anything I'd say My Girl is worth a watch, and Jamie Lee Curtis is really attractive here.

Dead Presidents

Dead Presidents is a drama/crime thriller with a great cast, solid performances and characters, a decent main character arc and a respectably disparate story. It's part coming-of-age, part war and part crime thriller. These are all interesting sections of the film in their own right, but they inevitably cause the film to feel cramped at times, and some of the violence is exaggeratedly bloody and unrealistic. All in all, Dead Presidents is a decent film with a weak ending, it's neither terrible or great.

Kill Switch
Kill Switch(2008)

I'll be honest, there are a few 90's Seagal flicks that I enjoy as guilty pleasures. Kill Switch however despite maybe one or two entertaining fight scenes, is overall brimming with horrible acting, painfully repetitive fight choreography, abysmal editing and some of the most dizzying camera work one will ever see. Apparently according to this films logic, pistols have unlimmited ammo...Seagal does anything for money nowadays though, it's obvious considering 99.9% of what he stars in is straight-to-DVD junk.

Rear Window
Rear Window(1954)

Rear Window has sharp dialogue, good performances, great cinematography and for its time a unique storyline. But, the thirty minutes it took for the plot to start was painful to sit through. Maybe I'm used to modern fast paced cinema, and if that's the case so be it. But as of right now, the best part of this film is the last twenty minutes. I can see why it's a classic and I've always found the coloring of old films to be exceptionally beautiful and full of life, but for me Rear Window is like a pizza with 1/4th of cheese and pepperoni, and the other 3/4th just plain boring dough.

No Country for Old Men

The best way I could describe No Country for Old Men is that it's terrifyingly calm. All performances here are great, but Javier Bardem is the top dog as Anton Chigurh, one of cinemas most menacing psychopaths. The beautiful cinematography, lack of soundtrack and leisurely pacing sets the distinctive mood for this film. Superbly acted with great characters, sharp writing and occasional wit, No Country for Old Men is a cold, bleak and unsettling cat-and-mouse chase, and a boast-worthy achievment for the Coen's.

Planet of the Apes

Planet Of the Ape's storyline is absurd, yet simultaneously intriguing, inventive and even groundbreaking. Performances here are solid, the cinematography is gorgeous and the "Statue of Liberty" twist is excellent giving the film an unconventionally bad ending for its protagonist. However I fear I've become a modernized amazing-SFX junkie, and since the ones here are supremely dated, it took me out of the experience considerably, as did the slow first half which took a little too long to get to the plot and arrival of the apes.


In all honesty, Clockstopper's has a good enough plot for a more mature Sci-Fi thriller, but it's wasted here with annoying characters, unintentionally hilarious moments and corny acting. It was almost impossible to not face-palm myself every five minutes watching this one. I love some Nickelodeon cartoons, but most of the time, aside from my guilty favorites Good Burger and Harriet the Spy, their movies suck. Why Michael Biehn, did you go from The Terminator and Aliens, to this? For kids it may be a good time, but most older people, if not all, will almost positively hate it.

The Lion King

A cinematic, animated, and Disney movie landmark of epic proportions, The Lion King is a grandiosely-hearted epic that needs no introduction. Boasting beautiful, colorful and vibrant animation, an unforgettable soundtrack, terrific voice acting, emotional layers and depth as well as some of the most memorable characters to ever grace the silver screen, this classic has been a favorite ever since childhood. The Lion King is tied with Toy Story as my favorite animated movie, and to call it a feel-good film is an understatement.

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slaves gives audiences a realistic glimpse of the inhumanity, horrors, suffering and sadism of the 1800's slavery era with no sugarcoating. Performances here are terrific, the cinematography is beautiful, the pacing is smooth, the score is elegant and as a period piece it's authentic with it's clothing and set/production design. My only gripe is that it seemingly lacks emotional range; pity is literally the only emotion I felt while watching it since too much emphasis is placed on the brutality and physical as well as verbal degradation.


Serene, crisp cinematography, excellent lead performance from Nicholson, period piece authenticity and highly intricate screenplay, Chinatown is essentially the epitome of a non-action-driven film noir. Unfortunately the movie dragged an awful lot, I didn't feel attached to any of the characters, it lacked intensity for me and the story wasn't interesting enough to keep me engaged. Sure it's a classic, but aside from the cinematography, acting and visual beauty, Chinatown failed to impress me as a whole.

Barry Lyndon
Barry Lyndon(1975)

Barry Lyndon is an incredibly authentic period piece directed by Stanley Kubrick. Anyone fascinated with the early 1800's will more then likely be pleased with how impeccably vivid and true-to-era Barry Lyndon is. Like an oil painting in motion, Barry Lyndon has beautiful and authentic production/clothing design true to the story's setting. The beautiful soundtrack suits the film thoroughly, the narration is both poetic and whimsical and the performances are natural. However it's far too long, and even though it miraculously never bores, it's overlong running time becomes painfully evident by the end.

Before Sunrise

I'm dumbfounded at how an entire film centered around two strangers conversing the entire time can manage to keep the viewer engaged. That isn't to say Before Sunrise is immune to slow moments, because it has a lot of them, being a film strictly dialogue driven with only two main characters. The film didn't move me that much, but the sincere, thought-provoking dialogue, beautiful, sound atmosphere and amazing chemistry between Hawke and Delpy were enough to leave me admiring Before Sunrise very much.


Thanks to T.D.K. trilogy, Memento, like The Prestige, is one of Christopher Nolan's overlooked gems. The performances are solid, the plot is deeply enigmatic requiring occasional rewinds to clarify it at times and it's decently paced. Subjectively though, I found all the secondary characters uninteresting, and when really thought about, the twist makes the movie ultimately pointless for me, here's why: Leonard will once again forget that he's already killed the man he's looking for, resulting in an endlessly looped manhunt for no one.


Zodiac is a well crafted thriller based on the 70's manhunt for the notorious killer of the same name, with meticulous direction from David Fincher. Boasting strong performances, layered characters, great cinematography and genuinely intense moments bound to leave viewers frozen with fear, this is a nearly perfect film. Nearly, because it's lengthy run-time can definitely be felt at times, making slow sections inevitable. Nonetheless, despite its slightly surplussed length, Zodiac is a chilling noir with a strong script that manages to generate genuine angst without the need of excess gore.

Tommy Boy
Tommy Boy(1995)

Tommy Boy is a harmless little slapstick comedy starring the late Chris Farley and David Spade. I surprisingly laughed quite a few times watching this, and Spade & Farley share great chemistry. Tommy Boy isn't perfect as it can be slightly corny at times and occasionally too slapstick for its own good, but the genuinely hilarious moments spread throughout the film considerably overshadow the misfires. The cast looked like they had a good time filming this one, and I had a good time watching it. It's not achingly hilarious, but Tommy Boy adequately manages to generate decent laughs.


Like Psycho or Halloween, Scream is one of slasher cinemas best outings. A major influence for Cabin in the Woods, Scream has an iconic antagonist(s), genuine suspense, memorable death scenes, a few surreal characters, a perfect opening sequence and a deliciously unraveling final act. Scream isn't entirely perfect as it has a few overly-campy moments, but it's nonetheless a slightly complex and uncommonly brainy slasher full of horror movie references, a successful combination of suspense, dark humor and wit, and social commentary on the influence of cinematic obsession.

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man was fun, but not amazing. Some of the rehashed plot points from Raimi's '02 film were painfully easy to spot out, the villain despite physically menacing with solid CG I wasn't that interesting, the search for Ben's killer plot point vanished into thin air, and overall TASM never thoroughly excited me, or engaged me on an emotional level. However the acting was good as were the visuals and action, and being more faithful to the comics was a major plus. As a whole though I found most of the film to be forgettable, making TASM amazingly average.

World's Greatest Dad

World's Greatest Dad finds Robin Williams in one of the best performances of his career. Hilarious at times, deadpan and occasionally dark and sad, World's Greatest Dad is a thoughtful dark comedy that riskily, yet successfully finds humor in subjects that would normally be deemed morbid, and messed up. Definitely underrated, World's Greatest Dad is a unique film that gives insight on troubled teenagers, the unconditional love of parents as well as the impact of posthumous fame, with an ending both hilarious, and satisfying.

Spring Breakers

Performance-wise Spring Breakers is solid with James Franco stealing the show as the hypnotic "Alien". At times the movie suffers from genre confusion though, not knowing if it's a crime thriller or a generic party flick, thanks to a few over-extended party montages. Another annoyance was the repetitive dialogue, repeatedly hearing "scaredy pants" grew obnoxious and tiresome. Overall, Spring Breakers provides social commentary on the increasingly rabid nature of modern youth, as well as an insight on pop cultures dark side, with gorgeous cinematography and fast pacing on its side.

There Will Be Blood

Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor and undoubtedly outshines everyone in this film. The cinematography is impeccable and some of the best I've ever seen, and the soundtrack is beautiful, albeit a little overused in the film. The first twenty minutes is my favorite section of the film, which shows ambitious protagonist Daniel Plainview and friends prospecting for oil with zero dialogue, so that the atmosphere and music sink in the viewer instead. There Will Be Blood is without doubt directed beautifully, even if it has a slight over abundance of slow moments.

Django Unchained

Django Unchained is another work of art from the brilliant mind of Quentin Tarantino, and in my opinion his most exhilarating film to date. The Tarantino dialogue is sharp as always, the performances were all great especially from Waltz, the pacing was smooth and never dragged, it had a strong script and its 1800's slavery time period felt very authentic. My only gripe was that the shootout sequence in Candy Land was too over-the-top, hindering me from giving this film a full five star. Overall, Quentin Tarantino has crafted a stellar period piece filled to the brim with vibrantly entertaining aspects.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2

Sadly, TDKR Part 2 was a major step down from Part 1. My main problem was the inclusion of the over-the-top Man of Steel. His presence in the film detracted from the dark, gritty atmosphere that made Part 1 so compelling. Had they completely removed Superman and made the movie strictly between Batman and Joker in their final war, not only would it have made the film more dramatic, but it might have made Part 2 surpass its predecessor. To its credit, TDKR part 2 has the good voice acting, pacing and fun characters like its predecessor, but not its flare.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

The Dark Knight Returns is an excellent animated Batman film and by far the darkest one I've seen yet. An adaption of the graphic novel, TDKR is frenetically paced with sharp dialogue, interesting characters, solid voice acting and excellent animated fight choreography. The style and atmosphere of this film was incredibly dark and grim, resembling the Max Payne video game franchise's atmosphere at times. Batman has always been my favorite comic book hero, and The Dark Knight Returns, with an excellent climax, didn't disappoint.

Léon: The Professional

Leon: The Professional is a unique action film with emotional layers, great performances, smooth pacing, gritty action, and a charming storyline. Natalie Portman steals the show here with one of the best breakout roles of all time. Leon: The Professional is a rare film that successfully meshes humanity, charm, and sympathy despite with a violent atmosphere. It has some moments that are borderline campy, and at times Jean Reno's dialogue was hard to understand, but overall Leon: The Professional is a graceful, unique and thoroughly entertaining action drama.

Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks is a charming, semi-fictional bio-pic. Tom Hanks gives a charming performance as Walt, Colin Farrell is amazing as stress-ridden family man Mr. Travers, and Emma Thompson is a tour de force as the the incredibly uptight, cynical, yet emotionally scarred P.L. Travers. Aside from the performances, the film also benefits from beautiful cinematography and joyous characters. Saving Mr. Banks is a great semi-fictional bio-pic with fantastic performances, smooth pacing, sharp and witty dialogue, emotional layers and depth, a great storyline and a brimming Disney-like charm.


Blackfish is as controversial as it is informative. Whether one agrees with its message or not, it's still a fantastic idea for a documentary. Is Sea World really inhumane at its core, stripping wild animals from their natural habitat? Or are these accusers full of it, only seeking attention fame and fortune? That alone makes this a controversial, yet very well made documentary. Blackfish will certainly surprise you and it is a film that will spark debates for years to come.


Written and Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity is visually dazzling and powerfully acted. Sandra Bullock gives one of her best performances in her career and George Clooney is great as always. Now that being said I thought Gravity was really good, but not fantastic. It has a considerably slow start that picks up twenty minutes in, and one major annoyance in its script, which is the debris: why after the catastrophe did the debris always seem to only show up whenever Ryan reached a station? Either way Gravity is a fun thrill ride that uses the dark, mysterious and eerie space setting to its advantage.


The horror genre has outed many pointless gore fests, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb. A bunch of slimy disgusting looking creatures going around eating and literally raping people, and even sodomizing cats.....yeah, I said it, in one of the sequels that literally happens....stupid pointless trilogy. I did unfortunately see the sequels because I was dragged to see it by one of my friends, and both sequels were equally terrible so there's no point in reviewing them.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner(1982)

Blade Runner has eye-popping visuals for its time, a soothing musical score, a good blend of Sci-Fi neo-noir and Cyberpunk, and good characters. It's storyline is pretty simple, but its philosophies about what it's like to be human are what really stand out. Sadly from my perspective, Blade Runner's pacing is far too slow, and for a film with many messages about life, many sections in the film where not much is happening make it feel lifeless at times. The performances are good, Rutger Hauer being the best with his incredible improvised "tears in rain" monologue, but ultimately Blade Runner didn't leave a big impression.

Marvel's The Avengers

The Avengers was genuinely entertaining and rewarding when I saw it in theaters. Joss Whedon did an impeccable job with making each superhero feel relevant to the story, giving almost each superhero their own shining moment as well as entertaining sequences of super-personalities clashing. Now strangely I did enjoy this movie, but I'm not interested in seeing it again. The Avengers is an action packed blockbuster with good dialogue, a colorful cast, solid pacing and a good one time watch.


As a comedy Election is great, but as a dark comedy Election is nearly perfect. The characters are hilarious, and everyone plays their roles convincingly here, especially Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. Each individual main character in the film has good moments, and bad moments. Now what makes the bad moments in particular special is that you can either feel horrible for their situation, or find it downright hilarious! Election is an underrated dark comedy with good performances, solid pacing, and funny characters.

Jurassic Park

No need for an in-depth review here, as I'm sure everyone knows this film. To this very day, Jurassic Park's animatronic special effects still amaze. It boasts a clever storyline, fun characters, fast pacing, one of the best soundtracks ever, great action and comic relief, and nearly timeless visuals. Jurassic Park is not only one of the greatest Sci-Fi films ever made, but one of the greatest and most influential films ever made period and a definite favorite.

2 Fast 2 Furious

Immense step down from it's cult classic predecessor, 2 Fast 2 Furious is nothing more than a 2 hour long episode of CSI: Miami. The film also seems to act too self-important in areas, like the rat torture scene. To its credit, Paul Walker and Tyrese share great chemistry, the performances were adequate and it sports some fun racing sequences, but that doesn't help the fact that the movie feels incomplete thanks to the absence of Vin Diesel, and too poppish.

The Expendables 2

A bunch of old action stars shooting guns longer than their arms and saying their famous one liners. I'd rather stick to watching their prime films instead of in kick-ass grandpa mode. Jean Claude Van Damme felt underused here playing a fancy yet generic terrorist bent on blowing shit up. The Expendables 2 serves as a mindless action packed popcorn flick, but the action in this movie wasn't that exciting as it mainly consisted of over-the-top shootouts. It's better than its predecessor and the idea of bringing a butt load of genre-defining action stars together is cool, but The Expendables 2 is overall mediocre

American Beauty

American Beauty has good performances all around especially from Kevin Spacey, drama that works really well, and bursts of wit. Unfortunately the movie is very slow at times, and the idea of a forty-two year old falling in love with a teenager was very unsettling for me. I did enjoy watching American Beauty for its performances, humor, and somewhat relatable characters, but never did I feel amazed or emotionally moved as I thought I'd be from the critical praise. American Beauty is a smart drama either way with good characters, but I wasn't blown away by it; What a pretentious floating bag sequence...

Back to the Future

"1.21 gigawatts!!!" Back to the future is one of the greatest Sci-Fi films ever. It features one of cinemas most memorable characters Doc Brown played by the great Christopher Lloyd as well as Marty McFly portrayed excellently and convincingly by Michael J. Fox. It has a catchy and distinctive soundtrack as well as great characters like Biff Tannen, one of the greatest Bullies ever put on screen. Back to the Future also sports a good storyline and in my opinion has one of the most intense last half hours in film history. Robert Zemeckis impeccably directed Back to the Future, one of my all time favorites.

Out of Sight
Out of Sight(1998)

Out of Sight is a well crafted crime thriller from director Steven Soderbergh. J-Lo and George Clooney share great chemistry onscreen, Don Cheadle delovers a convincing and notable performance as Maurice, and Ving Rhames along with Steve Zahn give good performances as well. Boasting witty dialogue and humor that works very well, and a good soundtrack, Out of Sight is an underrated crime thriller with great performances, fun characters, a solid storyline, and smooth pacing, making it undeservingly overlooked.


Kick-Ass screamed one word for me: Pointless. With a premise as great for a comedy as this one, I expected more. Hit-Girl is definitely the best character of this film, and the other 3 lead characters were funny and humorously written as well. Being over-the-top was expected with a premise like Kick-Ass's, but overall the movie was far more graphic and vulgar than it really needed to be. I wanted to like this movie, but sadly Kick-Ass disappointed thanks to many unnecessarily violent moments and shoe-horned shock value.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

In 1981 Steven Spielberg collaborated with George Lucas and brought the world one of the most memorable and iconic heroes of all time: Indiana Jones. Raiders of the Lost Ark is an excellent first entry telling the audience the story of Indiana Jones and his race against the Nazi trying to find the Lost Ark. This is definitely one of the greatest action adventure films of all time. Who can forget that sequence in the last act where the three lead villains melt and explode when the Ark opens? Truly memorable cinema.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

J.J. Abrams reboots the immortal franchise for everyone in general, not exclusively for Trekkies. Maybe I wouldn't love Star Trek '09 if I was a trekkie, but as a Trek noob I thought the movie bursted with exhilaration. I loved the characters, the pacing is smooth, the score is epic, it's visually beautiful, the comic relief works and never feels forced, and overall it's an action-packed adventure. Star Trek is a refreshing blockbuster that is as technically impressive as it is character driven, even with a solid yet barely menacing villain.

Midnight Express

Midnight Express vividly tells the horrors and moral injustices of a Turkish prison. The late Brad Davis along with the supporting cast give terrific performances as well. The ending escape was handled excellently, thoroughly making the audience share Billy's sense of relief. With a beautiful musical score, hard-hitting story, wonderful performances, great characters and an extremely satisfying ending, Midnight Express is one of the best movies I've ever seen, a true "punishment doesn't fit the crime" film and a personal favorite.

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

Fight Club is one of the best movies I've ever seen and is one of the many epitomes of a cult classic. The twist works so well and Edward Norton and Brad Pitt give terrific performances. Fight Club mixes elements of dark comedy, suspense, action as well as non-sugarcoated commentary on consumerism with an excellent result. One of my all-time favorites with great characters, a brilliant twist, a catchy soundtrack and an immersing dark atmosphere, Fight Club is a classic that places the audience deep into the mind of its mentally unstable protagonist.


Thanks to the "Amazing" reboots, it seems as if bashing the Raimi films is the new norm. While Spider-Man '02 isn't entirely faithful to the comics, and occasionally it's cheesy, there's no denying it's tons of fun. Toby McGuire is an excellent Peter Parker and I found the film suitably cast. Boasting a fantastic musical score, likable characters, a colorful comic-book atmosphere, emotional layers and solid visual effects, Spider-Man '02 is a fun, rewarding and progressively underrated adventure.

Reservoir Dogs

Like A Clockwork Orange, Reservoir Dogs is proof that a truly great film can be made with a low budget. Brimming with style, Reservoir Dogs is one of my favorite crime thrillers. In terms of storytelling Tarantino aces here through the use of exceptionally clever, sharp and witty dialogue that puts a picture in your head to tell the heist-gone-wrong story. Reservoir Dogs is by far my favorite Tarantino film with smooth characters, sadistic humor, raw violence, an immense, catchy soundtrack and a fitting climax.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2 is a both a cinematic and Sci-Fi landmark. Boasting visuals insanely ahead of its time (e.g. T-1000), emotional depth, a strong script, awesome characters, briskly paced even for its length and bravura action, T2 is a rare sequel that in my opinion surpasses its predecessor in nearly all aspects. Perfectly cast, terrifying in certain aspects, quotable and even at times informative, Terminator 2 is one of my favorite films of all time, and my favorite from James Cameron.

Dark Skies
Dark Skies(2013)

Almost entirely forgettable, Dark Skies relies too much on cliched jump scares which initially work, but become painfully overused. The element of the characters blacking out was a nice touch at first, but quickly grows formulaic and cheesy. Essentially, Dark Skies is Signs and Paranormal Activity thrown into a blender. The best thing about Dark Skies is its performances and the ending, but ultimately it's a predictable, cliched and sub-par Sci-Fi thriller.


Honestly the premise is okay but the movie fails miserably in the final act. Next had potential to be a really good thought-provoking Sci-Fi thriller but unfortunately the ending ruined it. For twenty minutes the audience is led to believe that Nick Cages character was rescuing Jessica Biel when it all turns out it was just him seeing into the future. Yeah I know that doesn't sound like an entirely bad thing, but it sure was for me because it made the entire sequence feel pointless. Next isn't awful, but it isn't great for sure.


The idea of worldwide pandemonium due to a virus epidemic was executed well in Contagion. While it's script is slow in places, and I wish Elliot Gould had been used more, Contagion is still a medically informative thriller boasting good performances, sharp dialogue, an eerie soundtrack, an all-star cast and a solidly executed plot. Soderbergh expertly scrambles Contagion's chronological storyline leaving "Day 1"'s virus origin for last, and in return giving the audience the call-to-action of avoiding the simplest hygienic mistake.

Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2(1999)

Toy Story 2 is a reassuring reminder that sequels can be fantastic. Pixar expands the Toy Story universe from 1995 with a lengthier running time, brand new characters, a more adventurous storyline, and a deeper exploration of the beloved character Woody. This is without doubt a rare sequel that more than just works and deservedly ranks alongside other sequel greats. Toy Story 2 takes the beautiful universe of its 1995 predecessor and expands it with a compelling result, though I still like the original marginally more.

Rain Man
Rain Man(1988)

Rain Man is compassionate, funny, sad, and emotionally hard-hitting all at once. Dustin Hoffman needs no introduction here, everyone knows his convincing portrayal of an autistic was deservedly Oscar worthy. Despite some overacting in certain areas, Tom Cruise still delivers one of the best performances of his career as the greedy-turned-sympathetic brother. Hans Zimmer's score embodies the film and its message perfectly. It's a leisurely road trip film, so expect a few slow moments, but when it's over, you can't help but acknowledge that Rain Man pulled a few heart strings.


Kids does a DECENT job of placing social commentary on the activities of American youth with no sugarcoating. But, some sequences feel exaggerated, and others over-the-top or downright unsettling, making the film's commentary on adolescents feel occasionally blurred in favor of shock value, rather than informativeness. It moderately serves as a wake-up call for parents, the actors do a fine job and it's atmosphere suits the story, but viewers will more than likely walk away with disgust, rather then awareness towards the issue.

Meet the Parents

Many people are frightened of their potential in-laws disapproval. Meet the Parents takes this uncomfortable aspect of life and exaggerates it for the sake of humor, and boy does it work. De Niro and Stiller have quality chemistry on screen together, and the movie does a splendid job of making the embarassment and humiliation of Greg Focker feel vivid. Meet the Parents is a personal favorite packing tons of hilarious moments as well as awkward ones. It's a rare rom-com that I love and the best of a trilogy which didn't need to become one.

Death Sentence

I find Death Sentence to be one of those films you initially find okay, then hate the more you think about it. The script is a mess and full of idiocy. Why, instead of arresting Kevin Bacon, did the police nonchalantly inform him on the demise of his family's killers, fully knowing that he did it? Either way, Death Sentence comes off as nothing more than a gory equivalent of Death Wish. If you're into blood & gore and could care less about solid screenplay and anything logical, than this film is for you. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

Kung Fu Panda

With more and more sub-par animated films in recent years, Kung Fu Panda is a diamond in the rough. The animation is colorfully lively, and the voice acting is great. Kung Fu Panda expertly blends Martial Arts with animation, two genres I adore. Kung Fu Panda is one of the best animated films I've seen in recent years boasting some really fun action sequences, great voice acting, a fun storyline, undeniable charm, terrific humor that brings out the child in everyone, and beautiful animation as well as music.

RoboCop 3
RoboCop 3(1993)

PG-13? Anne Lewis dies? Peter Weller isn't Alex Murphy/Robocop? Robot Ninjas? Ed-209 treated like a puppet? Robocop driving a PINK CADILLAC? Yeah, this was trash. To its credit the premise could've worked if they didn't make the mistakes I mentioned, but it is what it is. My only fond memory of this film was the action figures I owned of it when I was younger, that's about it. Needless to say, Robocop 3 is the weakest of the trilogy in nearly all aspects.

Robocop 2
Robocop 2(1990)

Robocop 2 doesn't match its predecessor, but it's nowhere near as bad as Robocop 3. Cain is rather forgettable in human form and although him becoming a machine is a slightly campy concept, the final duel with Robocop is still a fun watch. Child villain Hob was an awesome character in my opinion and this film actually had a better end-credits theme than the original. It's not a terrible film, it has good action and Peter weller is terrific as Alex Murphy, but it suffers from sequel syndrome and doesn't hold a candle to the original either way.


The best of the trilogy, Robocop is one of my favorite Sci-Fi figures and the movie is a classic. Robocop has a really good storyline as well as characters and it has some dark humor thrown into the mix, and emotional depth regarding the character Alex Murphy. It's dated badly in some parts and is occasionally over-the-top, but Robocop is still a bloody, action packed adventure with good characters, social satire, memorable one-liners and a good soundtrack.


I am a huge Bond fan, so I was really looking forward to Skyfall, and unfortunately I came out disappointed. Skyfall sports several moments that are nostalgic blasts from the past for Bond fans, but the action scenes were unremarkable, relying mostly on generic fist fighting, and the villains demise is horribly, annoyingly anti-climactic. Not to mention James Bond's incredibly unoriginal, Bruce Wayne-esque back story. I wanted to feel sad about M's death, but she was a jerk throughout a lot of the film, rendering me from caring. It is better than Quantum of Solace, but Skyfall is not the greatest Bond film to date.

Quantum of Solace

One word: disappointing. Me being a Bond buff, I went into this movie with high expectations. I expected all the ingredients that make a good bond film: The funny one liners, the action, Bond's charm with women, you know, all that a 007 movie should have. This film had about half of that. It just didn't feel like a bond movie, at all. It was more like a grade B Jason Bourne movie with a little bit of Bond formula thrown into the mix. On top of that, the villain Dominic Greene was entirely forgettable. That being said, the film itself is at least watchable and indeed well made. But is it any good? No.

Casino Royale

Martin Campbell, who also directed Goldeneye, directs Casino Royale, one of the best James Bond movies ever made. This movie revived the franchise with a boom. Daniel Craig shut up naysayers giving a fantastic portrayal and one that resembles Timothy Dalton's in my opinion. In terms of action Casino Royale genuinely doesn't disappoint; experiencing the Madagascar parkour chase in theaters was honestly breathtaking. Adding to the quality cannon is the slick, smooth and catchy intro score, the colorful cinematography, fluid pacing, fun characters and the adequate, albeit forgettable villain Le Chiffre.

Licence To Kill

While Licence To Kill was overall a solid James Bond flick, the script felt sloppy at times, and the final act comes abruptly. Even though I didn't enjoy it as much as The Living Daylights, Licence To Kill still managed to serve me with what I expected: a much darker and more mature James Bond movie, with a climactic showdown on a gas truck. Timothy Dalton is once again an underrated James Bond and Robert Davi is excellent as the cold blooded drug lord Sanchez. The Bond girl I found to be forgettable unfortunately. If only Dalton had appeared in at least one more Bond film!

For Your Eyes Only

Roger Moore was okay as Bond, but every other character was entirely forgettable. The film also has one of the most forgettable Bond villains ever. To the films credit it does have one of the best Bond themes, but that one pro doesn't do anything to save this crap movie. I expected so much more but came out disappointed. Every other action sequence aside from the skiing battle is unremarkable and dull. The characters and villain are entirely forgettable, the storyline is lame, and For Your Eyes Only is a weak Bond entry.


Two and a half stars goes to Roger Moore's effort to elevate the film. Either way Moonraker is for me one of the worst entries in the franchise. I didn't care one bit for the villain Hugo Drax. The only redeemable characters in this flick are Bond and Jaws in my opinion. Seriously, who thought a James Bond film in space was a good idea? The special effects, even for its time, are not impressive and completely unremarkable. When all is said and done, Moonraker is watchable and mildly entertaining, but is still one of the poorest outings of the franchise.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I really don't get the score this movie has on here. Lazenby is the worst Bond to date, no wonder he only appeared in one installment. The action scenes suck first of all, and not to mention that horrendous line Lazenby says at the beginning of the film: "This never happened to the other guys".....whatever. And seriously, the outfit Lazenby wears in the middle of the film, the black outfit with the skirt, what a joke. Telly Savalas was the best thing out of this movie and even he couldn't save it. Definitely the worst Bond film of all time.


Goldfinger I found to be slightly overrated. I'll give it credit for its impact on the franchise, and despite the fact that it's dated which is needless to say, the action provides swell entertainment. My favorite aspect of Goldfinger would have to be the character Oddjob, and the infamous villainy line "I expect you to die" by antagonist Goldfinger. Overall though, I simply didn't find myself "wowed" at this bond entry, more like moderately entertained.

From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love is my favorite Bond film from Sean Connery. As expected Connery is terrific as James Bond and the characters are great especially Red Grant, the muscular Russian assassin played by Robert Shaw. The action is entertaining, especially the well choreographed train fight between 007 and Red Grant which easily ranks as one of the best fight scenes in the 007 franchise. Overall From Russia With Love is one of the best Bond films with a definitive performance from Sean Connery, one of the most memorable Bond theme songs, brisk pacing and entertaining action sequences.


While it was a good idea to make a biopic about one of the greatest hip hop artists ever, Notorious was lacking many elements about Notorious B.I.G.'s life, making it feel unfinished. To it's credit, Jamal Woolard is great as B.I.G. and the performances from the cast are solid. Unfortunately it feels more like a generic crime drama rather than a biopic. The movie seems to focus more on the negative side of B.I.G.'s life and personality rather than the positive. Notorious had great potential but ultimately felt too modest.

Game of Death

Definitely Bruce Lee's worst film, yet definitely not his fault. Having passed away in the middle of filming, the true gold in this film lies in the sequence Bruce Lee was able to finish, which is the "tower of death". Game of Death had a more gritty storyline for a Bruce Lee film, one that would have been even more interesting to see had he finished it entirely. Had Bruce Lee finished Game of Death, my rating would've been much higher no doubt.

Enter the Dragon

My favorite martial arts film after Ip Man, Enter the Dragon is pure bad ass, with the slow-burn staring Bruce Lee executing some unreal fight choreography. Fantastic action, solid story, cool characters, adequate performances as well as some of the highest quality choreography you will ever see, Enter The Dragon is an ass-kicking, quotable classic. Like Die Hard did for the action genre, Enter The Dragon rose the bar tremendously in martial arts cinema for years to come, making it an undeniable favorite of mine.

Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon)

Bruce Lee is solid as the writer, director, and lead star of this Martial Arts classic. Return of the Dragon was definitely Bruce Lee's most comedic film as well, carrying more comic relief than any of his other outings. As always, the fight choreography is beautiful thanks to the late Bruce Lee's natural talent in this department. If there's any gripes it would be that some of the characters seemed like they were straight out of a comic book, even for this more comedic action film. Either way: Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris in the Roman Colosseum, enough said.

Fist of Fury (Jing wu men)

The Chinese Connection was definitely Bruce Lee's most dramatic film. Out of all his movies, this one had the most realistic, and society-relevant plot in my opinion as it focused on racial tension between the Chinese and Japanese. Bruce Lee as always was terrific here playing Chen Chen, the student looking for revenge against the Japanese for the death of his master. The film does have many slow parts, but it makes up for it thanks to fun action sequences like Chen single handedly owning a Japanese Dojo, who can forget that sequence?

The Big Boss (Tang shan da xiong)

The Big Boss is my second favorite Bruce Lee flick after the spectacular Enter The Dragon. It has a pretty good storyline, fun action sequences, and at times it's surprisingly effective dramatically, particularly the main characters "losses" in the final act, which I won't spoil. The Big Boss is Bruce Lee's most violent film carrying a lot of stabbing action, and one of the best martial arts films ever.

Coming to America

Definitely Eddie Murphy's funniest film, Coming to America is a true comedy classic. Unlike many of Murphy's latter films, his unique trait of playing several different characters works perfectly, e.g. the barber shop group. Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy are hilarious onscreen together, and the idea of the Mickey D's knockoff McDowell's is a trait of comedy gold. The ending grows considerably predictable causing the film to lose a bit of flair in the final act, but as a whole any gripes are tremendously overshadowed. Coming to America is simply hilarious.


It has solid performances and pacing, and an easy to follow storyline, even though it's basically Gone In 60 Seconds with counterfeit money instead of cars. The biggest problem is how convoluted the middle of the film is. Had Contraband remained a straight forward heist thriller, instead of having the main character need to go to several different locations to retrieve the money, my rating would be higher. The convolution makes the film forgettable as well, and the choice of music for the films ending is terrible.


Looper was promising thanks to its intriguing, clever, fast paced first half, engaging storyline and good performances. Unfortunately, Looper grows ridiculously over-the-top and stupid in its second half. When it turns out the future Rainmaker is a child who can make things float and explode, that immediately dragged Looper down tremendously for me. The entire aspect of JGL protecting the Rainmaker(or the spawn of Carrie White) from Bruce Willis felt like a Terminator 2 ripoff. Looper was initially promising, then took a turn for the worst when JGL made it to the farmhouse and onwards.

The Prestige
The Prestige(2006)

This is my favorite Christopher Nolan film without question. It's full of twists and turns, great performances, beautiful cinematography, good characters and an engaging story. The Prestige's story makes you put the pieces together regarding it's plot, hence "are you watching closely?", and when you do that until the very end, the twists become even more enthralling. That's what The Prestige is, an enthralling experience. The Prestige is a clever, spiraling film full of surprises that will leave you wanting to experience it again the second it's over.

American Me
American Me(1992)

American Me is uncomprimising, realistic, violent and powerfully written. This is definitely one of the best gangster films I've ever seen and would highly recommend it to any fans of the genre. It's Mexican-American aspect brims brightly and puts the viewer into the lives of the characters and their culture with such ease. The character development of Santana is flawless and to make things even better the movie also develops his parents. With great pacing, well written and developed characters, terrific performances, a great soundtrack and an ending wrapped up well, American Me is a true underrated gem.

The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity is an incredibly entertaining and memorable espionage thriller. Matt Damon thoroughly embodies Jason Bourne, one of cinemas most beloved action heroes, with a terrific performance. The storyline is unique and clever for a spy film, and the action is very entertaining. The Bourne Identity is a favorite with great performances, hyper action sequences, distinctive style, smooth pacing, a hypnotizing score by Moby, believable chemistry between Damon and Potente, and a strong script.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

Pacific Rim is without a doubt a visual spectacle with solid pacing, adequate performances with Idris Elba standing out the most, popcorn fun action sequences and interesting yet ultimately forgettable characters. Most of the action scenes being shot in the dark with rain hindered the audience from fully savoring the visuals in my opinion. To its credit, Pacific Rim has characters with emotional layers unlike the average blockbuster, and it's perfectly adequate popcorn fun, but when all is said and done it's really a simple blockbuster perfect for killing time, nothing more or less.

New Jersey Drive

New Jersey Drive is an enjoyable and underrated urban drama. The performances here are all solid in my opinion and actor Sharron Corley is great in the lead role, with diary-like narration. New Jersey Drive places the audience into the lives of project teens living the high life of carjacking in what they perceive as an "unforgiving world", a world plagued with injustice, corrupt cops and racial prejudice in their case. While it may not match the raw power of Menace II Society or Boyz N The Hood, New Jersey Drive is still a worthy urban drama.


I never planned on seeing this one, but ended up doing so because I was staying at my cousins house and his kids wanted to see it. Honestly, there's no need for a lengthy review. I fell asleep twenty minutes in not due to boredom, but to a sheer lack of interest. A Cars knockoff with Planes sounded like a bad idea so I knew I wouldn't care for this film anyways. To its credit, the animation is good and the voice acting was adequate, but I cared not one bit for the characters nor the cliched "underdog rises to the top" story. Planes is a pointless cash grabber.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Sean Connery's performance as well as the chemistry between him and Harrison alone already make this a hugely successful entry in the beloved franchise. Not to mention the idea of Indy going against the Nazi's in pursuit of the holy grail is a fantastic concept.


Definitely one of the best novel adaptions ever, Holes is a great Disney family film. Shia LaBeouf is perfect as Stanley Yelnats and pitching into the performance quality is Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson and many more who were perfectly cast for their roles. If only if only the woodpecker sighs, that more novel adaptions were as faithful as Holes!...If only if only.

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

"Talk to the hand", *face palm*. Terminator 3 serves in action, but fails in almost everything else. Nick Stahl is a terrible choice for John Connor in my opinion, Claire Danes was annoying, the villain was okay, but nowhere near as menacing or memorable as T-1000, and overall T-3 was unremarkable. The first two Terminator's are genuine classics, so why release an unnecessary sequel TWELVE YEARS LATER? Bottom line, the action is entertaining and Arnie is the saving grace, but Terminator 3 doesn't exist when compared to the first two.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Undoubtedly my favorite Star Wars entry, The Empire Strikes Back is a landmark. Boasting memorable and iconic characters, exhilarating production design, fun action sequences, highly improved visuals, a deeper story, and a timeless twist given by the immortal "I am your Father" line, Episode V is a masterstroke. Vastly improving upon its predecessor in nearly all aspects, The Empire Strikes Back is not only one of the best Sci-Fi's, it's one of the best films ever, and the epitome of a truly great sequel.

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises is an epic, yet flawed finale. Why would Gordon send 3/4th's of the G.C.P.D into the sewers? Talk about power over brains. Why did Bane, after being shamefully lowered to henchman status, have to go out in such an anti-climactic manner? Why did the fist fights have to be so poorly choreographed? And why did Alfred disappear halfway through? Either way The Dark Knight Rises never ceased to entertain. The acting was good, the cinematography was sharp, and the soundtrack was epic. The Dark Knight Rises certainly managed to end the trilogy with a boom.

Batman Begins

What an excellent origins story Batman Begins is. Christian Bale is a great Bruce Wayne/Batman and Michael Caine was perfectly cast as Alfred plus not to mention Liam Neeson was a good choice for Ras. Christopher Nolan really pulled out the big guns somehow managing to make Batman in a hyper-realistic world work very well. The casting was great as well as the soundtrack and it's definitely my favorite Batman movie of all time, and personally my favorite of the trilogy. If only more origins stories were this good!

Madea's Big Happy Family

Congrats to Tyler Perry's success, but this was a crappy movie. I genuinely laughed like maybe one or two times during this pointless flick. The pot smoking grandma gimmick was kind of funny at first, but became highly overused and repetitive. The drama felt shoehorned, some of the characters were flat out annoying, and overall the movie felt like it tried too hard to be funny, but in my opinion the humor was amateur. The performances were pretty good, but overall the movie is lame and I wish Tyler Perry would stop milking this Madea franchise.

School Ties
School Ties(1992)

Underrated drama about anti-semitism in a religious university, School Ties is a solid film. Brendon Fraser is great here as David Green and in my opinion it's his best performance ever. Matt Damon is also noteworthy with one of his earliest roles. It's not the greatest antisemitism film around, but it has a solid storyline alongside some good characters, a great cast and great performances. What School Ties mainly succeeds in though is vividly portraying the discrimination a Jewish person has to confront.


Breakdown is a highly underrated suspense thriller. The performances are fantastic, especially from Kurt Russell and the late J.T. Walsh. The execution is a bit unbelievable, like why would anyone allow their spouse to get a ride from a total stranger? Some may also find Russell's character transition from average Joe to knight in shining armour abrupt, but his great performance allowed me to let it slide. The movie is still very edge-of-your seat, and the last half hour's intensity is unreal. Breakdown utilizes a traumatic situation that can happen to anyone as a means to generate suspense, and it aces.


Ransom may be a simple kidnapping thriller when you remove the "turn-the-tables" aspect, but it's still a personal favorite. The aspect that I love the most though is the performances, especially from Mel Gibson who gives an impressively natural performance as distraught Tom Mullen. Gary Sinise is a great bad guy, Delroy Lindo is a convincing FBI agent and Rene Russo delivers a good performance as Tom's wife. Ransom is a superbly acted, well paced and occasionally bloody thriller with an intense climax that closes the movie perfectly in my opinion.

Fast & Furious

I couldn't finish this in one viewing. When I first put it on I stopped halfway through due to near death of boredom. The characters are forgettable and the movie takes itself way too seriously. Not to mention the pacing sucks as well. That sequence where Dom is imagining Letty's car crash....seriously? Do I have to elaborate why that scene alone brought the movie down a lot? With a weak plot and sloppy pacing, Fast 4 is the worst of the series in my opinion and that's not saying much.

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds sports some insane action sequences, and CHRISTOPH WALTZ. My only gripe is that even for a Tarantino film, the dialogue is sweet, but a few dialogue scenes did feel overextended. Nonetheless, Inglourious Basterds is still a fine piece of work from Quentin Tarantino, who boldly tells an inaccurate fairy-tale version of WW2 on purpose for entertainment, acing at it. It has great characters, excellent action sequences, a unique, humorous storyline and terrific performances. Inglourious Basterds is definitely glorious.

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Not as action packed as Volume 1, Volume 2 is a little more slow paced and dialogue driven, focusing more on The Brides past. But are those bad things? They most certainly aren't. More dialogue would seem like a bore to some, but it's Tarantino dialogue, and you can never go wrong there. Considering I was loved The Brides character in Volume 1, I was interested in delving into her past. One thing Volume 2 brimmingly exceeds at is the brilliant fight choreography for the battle between The Bride and Elle Driver. Volume 2 may not be as action packed as Volume 1, but it is still a satisfying sequel.

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Quentin Tarantino phenomenally blends spaghetti western and martial arts together in Kill Bill. Terrific dialogue as expected from QT, grizzly over-the-top violence, memorable characters and a terrific and influential soundtrack, Kill Bill is another dazzling piece of filmmaking from Quentin Tarantino. It takes a simple revenge storyline, and executes it in a brutal fashion. Kill Bill is also tweaked with tiny little references to Bruce Lee which if you are a fan of his, you will be able to spot them out. Kill Bill Volume 1 is another "bloody" work of art under QT's impressive filmography.

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

How could I define Pulp Fiction? I would give a lengthy definition that goes something like this: Quotable as helk, long yet smoothly paced running time, colorful characters, over-the-top violence, extremely intriguing and slick dialogue, immensely diverse and catchy soundtrack, and a scrambled, yet somehow perfectly coherent storyline = Pulp Fiction. I do however like Reservoir Dogs a tad bit more, but Pulp Fiction is my second favorite Tarantino film, and is undoubtedly an iconic classic that oozes with style, deserving of its classic status and pop culture phenomenon. SAY "WHAT" AGAIN!


Drive is stylistically cool, with a dark, simultaneously hip soundtrack, vibrant cinematography, unfortunately slow pacing and an almost lifeless protagonist who hardly changes his mumbling tone of voice or his poker face. Several scenes consisted of characters staring at each other for twenty seconds, then grinning, which felt incredibly awkward to watch. I can see why Drive is praised, but it simply didn't connect with me like everyone else. Drive is brimming with style and the violence is shocking, but it's too leisurely. I'd be lying if I said this film was for everyone.

Deep Cover
Deep Cover(1992)

Deep Cover is a cop thriller with the moral-blur twist, starring Laurence Fishburne and Jeff Goldblum who give good performances and share believable chemistry. It has a straightforward storyline, good performances, solid pacing, smooth narration from Laurence Fishburne and a very dark atmosphere. Unfortunately, half of the movie is fairly forgettable as a whole thanks to the occasionally convoluted plot, and Jeff Goldblum's character transition from corrupt to plain evil was fairly abrupt. As a whole though, Deep Cover is a solid cop thriller and worth a watch.


Limitless offers an interesting concept, the cast is decent and the cinematography is pretty, but the movie seems to rapidly switch it's plots initial atmosphere too often. It starts out as a potentially great Sci-Fi, then suddenly turns into a generic crime thriller when the protagonist has to dodge criminals in pursuit of the pill. The performances are okay, and the idea of the film is good, but somewhere in the middle its initial idea seems to switch genres making Limitless feel uneven, taking me out of the experience and hindering me from giving it a fresh score.

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is an adequate bio-pic of the legendary Bruce Lee. It does have a few intentional Hollywood inaccuracies for the sake of entertainment, but overall this is an entertaining film and it does the legendary martial artist justice. Jason Scott Lee portrays Bruce Lee with absolute intensity, and Lauren Holly is convincing as Lee's wife Linda. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a solid biopic on its own terms with good performances, a great soundtrack, and a film that makes Bruce Lee more than just a martial artist, but an exceptional human being.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

The Road Warrior is an action packed classic that vastly improves upon its predecessor with faster pacing, more action, better characters, bad-ass costume design and a far more energetic atmosphere. At times it can get too ridiculous even for its own good, but it still stands out as one of the best sequels out there. Frenetic, no holds barred, over-the-top and chaotic fun, The Road Warrior is a post-apocalyptic, adrenaline fueled action thrill ride and a must see for action junkies.

End of Watch
End of Watch(2012)

While it does have great performances from its cast, especially from Gyllenhaal and Peña, End of Watch is ultimately forgettable. It's story felt paper-thin and it's ultimately a generic found footage film with a cop twist. Certain sequences like where the lead duo somehow escape close range gunfire from several AK-47'S left me baffled at how unrealistic it was, and a found-footage film with unrealistic moments is not a good thing. To it's credit, the performances are good, so is the cinematography, and it is one of David Ayers better films, but I wouldn't highly recommend it or anything.

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class left me somewhat entertained, but disappointed ultimately. I guess the hype skyrocketed my expectations a tad bit too high leaving me expecting more. A lot of the actors here felt highly miscast in their roles in my opinion, though the performances were very good, yet that didn't help me feel attached to the characters who I found rather forgettable excluding Magneto, Professor X and Shaw. Either way, X-Men: First Class felt underwhelming, none of the action blew me away even if it did succeed in entertaining me, and as a whole nothing in the film left me wowed.

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is this generations Scream in terms of teasing horror movie cliches, and boy does it excel. The dialogue is terrific, the dark humor works very well, the final act with the prop monsters obliterating the lab was sweet, and the casting is perfect. Sporting great performances, genuinely creepy moments as well as hilarious ones, a clever storyline and good pacing, Cabin in The Woods is a breath of fresh air for the increasingly cliched genre.

The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin is a flawed, yet enjoyable 3D Motion Capture film with great voice acting, insanely detailed animation, a solid, albeit occasionally convoluted storyline, an Indiana Jones-esque atmosphere and fun characters. The pickpocketer subplot felt like a filler obstacle for Tintin though, since it only marginally affected his main quest, and Tintin seemed to lack character development in my opinion. The Adventures of Tintin has a few script hiccups, and some moments felt woefully unnecessary, but it's a good one time watch nonetheless.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Apes is more than your typical summer blockbuster riddled with explosions. It has beautiful cinematography, a great soundtrack and a fantastic performance from Andy Serkis as Caeser, the courageous C GI ape who rises above human opression. It isn't too heavy on the C GI thankfully. I thought Rise of the Planet of the Apes would be a mindless popcorn flick, but it turned out to be much, much more. If there's one gripe I have it's that in the middle it gets a bit slow, but that's a minor issue for an overall great movie. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a thrilling, absorbing and crowd-pleasing favorite.

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph is a colorful, nostalgic, funny, clever and occasionally witty animated film. Having grown up playing Super Nintendo and occasionally Sega Genesis, I was able to catch many of the references in this film. The voice acting is great as well as the soundtrack, and the idea is excellent for an animated film. Though I don't find it as great as other animated classics like Finding Nemo or Toy Story, Wreck-It Ralph is still a notable, genuinely entertaining nostalgic blast and a welcome entry to Disney animated films.

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is one of the best 80's movies I have ever seen. I love the screenplay, soundtrack, and characters in this film. Instead of being another teenage flick about sex and substance abuse, it actually delved the audience into the turbulent lives of teenagers. The characters are fantastic in this film and for a movie that takes place in one location the entire time, it has very brisk pacing, terrific dialogue, and lovable characters to keep the audience entertained. Definitely one of the best classics to come out of the 80's.

Source Code
Source Code(2011)

Definitely a favorite, Source Code feels like a mesh between Groundhog Day and 24. The storyline may seem a little confusing, but with strong focus on the dialogue that explains it, it will certainly make more sense. Jake Gyllenhaal is top notch in the lead role and the supporting cast is no different. Source Code is a thought provoking Sci-Fi thriller boasting a subjectively genius plot, likable characters, solid action, smooth pacing and an adequate ending, even though the freeze frame would have had a more emotional impact as a finale in my opinion.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of the more unique films that I have seen and it was a fun experience. The time period setting is very believable and authentuc. It has a good story, good acting, fun characters and terrific humor. There are times where the film feels aimless, as if it completely forgets what its initial storyline is. It's fun to watch no doubt, but I didn't find it fantastic or anything. Nonetheless O Brother, Where Art Thou? has a great blend of comedy, adventure and music, an authentic time period setting and top notch performances.

The Forgotten

The Forgotten carries a great premise and a great first half, but grows too ridiculous to be taken seriously when the villain is revealed. If this movie was strictly a Twilight Zone-esque psychological thriller void of the ridiculous and over-the-top extra terrestrial aspect, no doubt The Forgotten would have skyrocketed in quality. The Forgotten had solid performances, and a promising premise, but unfortunately a ludicrous second half with some annoyingly unanswered plot strands.

Ip Man
Ip Man(2010)

A bio-pic about Bruce Lee's master automatically will gain my attention, and thankfully I ran across this Kung Fu Masterpiece. Ip Man has some amazingly choreographed fight sequences, a good story, great characters, an epic musical score, surprising emotional layers with drama that finally works perfectly for a Martial Arts movie. Donnie Yen is aces as Ip Man, and alongside Enter The Dragon, Ip Man is my other favorite Martial Arts movie of all time.


I've never been a fan of the found footage genre, in fact I never cared for it, but if anything, Chronicle is the best found footage film I've seen yet. The idea of making a found-footage film about teens who develop super powers was an interesting concept, and the performances and pacing were solid. Overall this movie is popcorn fun, nothing more or less. It isn't groundbreaking, and the sequences where the characters learn how to fly looked so obviously wired, but despite these gripes I had a good time watching Chronicle.

Toy Story
Toy Story(1995)

Toy Story is definitely the granddaddy of animated Pixar films and in my opinion the best. It broke ground when it came out and to this very day it is still my favorite Pixar film. With excellent pacing, lovable and memorable characters, nearly timeless visuals and a memorable soundtrack, Toy Story is a genuine classic. Toy Story will always be a favorite of mine no matter what. It's truly a film that is infinite and beyond!

The Truman Show

The Truman Show has a brilliant storyline, solid pacing, serene production design and great performances. Jim Carrey proves that he can be an actor with variety, giving a serious performance that's not comedic like his usual roles. The fact that I highly disliked Ed Harris's character shows how good of an actor he is as well. The only gripe I have is how the ending feels rather abrupt in my opinion. The Truman Show is still a terrific film and one of Jim Carrey's best, and a must see for any cinephile out there.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Definitely the most underrated of the original trilogy. I loved Temple of Doom. It has some truly memorable scenes like the heart rip, the train cart sequence as well as the monkey brain scene. Many people dislike it because its the darkest of the trilogy as well as it having some inaccurate portrayals of Indian culture, but I couldn't help but enjoy it thanks to Harrison Ford's once again amazing performance as Indy as well as the supporting cast.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

M:I Ghost Protocol is definitely my favorite out of the franchise. Going into this I expected a simple popcorn action thriller, but what I got was a fast paced, well acted, action packed thrill ride. My only real gripe is the villain, a cliched Russian terrorist who is entirely forgettable. Other than that, Ghost Protocol has fun characters, badass gadgets, exhilarating action sequences (especially the Dubai tower sequence), fast pacing, good performances and as always the catchy M:I theme song. Not only did it surprise me a lot, but Ghost Protocol was and still is my favorite action film of 2011.

Dumb and Dumber

A comedy classic, Dumb and Dumber is hilarious. It's one of the only slapstick comedies that actually work without treading into too-over-the-top territory. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels have amazing chemistry and were perfectly cast here. Dumb & Dumber is a comedy classic that I've loved since my childhood. "Wanna here the most annoying sound in the world?"

Starsky & Hutch

This sure does have a divided audience, but thankfully I landed on the positive side of it. What can I say? The film did make me genuinely laugh many times. Stiller and Owen have great chemistry as the lead duo Starsky & Hutch and the storyline, though very simple, was very good actually thanks to the interesting concept of the sugar-coated cocaine. The movie however has some moments that are questionable for its PG-13 rating. But to add to the films credit its pacing is very brisk. Nonetheless, Starsky & Hutch is simply an entertaining buddy cop film.

Predator 2
Predator 2(1990)

I'll be brutally honest when I say that I wasn't a big fan of the original Predator. I found it to be unremarkable having the Predator and Arnie as its only redeeming quality. Predator 2 was even worse. Why did Danny Glover, a great actor, agree to be in this trash? The acting in this was too over-the-top and comic-book like and the dialogue was mediocre. Predator 2, which has an overabundance of unintentionally hilarious moments, adds to the chain of terrible sequels, even though that's not saying much considering I didn't care for its predecessor.

Rush Hour 2
Rush Hour 2(2001)

As funny as the first but surpassing its predecessor in terms of action and pacing, Rush Hour 2 is another rare sequel that works well. It has a solid storyline, Tucker and Chan are once again great together, and the final act in Las Vegas is great. It's a tad bit better than its predecessor in my opinion as well. Rush Hour 2 is a fun action comedy and one of the best sequels out there.

The Fighter
The Fighter(2010)

The Fighter is overrated, boring, offers nothing new out of the Boxing genre, and has uninteresting characters, Bale being the only exception. I guess the hype ruined this film for me. Everyone was saying how great this film was so I went in expecting just that, a great film. Halfway through I was incredibly bored and I'm not ashamed to admit that I didn't like this one. The performances are good though to the films credit, but The Fighter is nothing compared to other Boxing classics like Rocky or Raging Bull because outside of the Boxing scenes and the dramatic scenes, there's very little substance.

The Terminal
The Terminal(2004)

Not one of Spielberg's best, but The Terminal is still a great film to watch. As always Tom Hanks is amazing actually becoming the character he portrays, Victor Navorski. The storyline is excellent and the characters are great as well. The idea of a foreign man not being able to enter the U.S., nor go back home, therefore having to live in an airport terminal is an excellent idea. It's soundtrack is solid and all around the performances are good. I would recommend checking it out.

Despicable Me

I really didn't care for Despicable Me. It did have great voice acting especially from Steve Carell, one of my favorite comedians, as well as funny characters like Agnes. But ultimately the movie was forgettable and those minions were an annoyance. It was like they were all born with a part of Jar-Jar Bink's brain. The humor surrounding the minions was too much like the Three Stooges which isn't an insult to The Three Stooges considering its a classic show, but for Despicable Me's Minion's it was simply obnoxious. It isn't terrible by any means, but it isn't great either.