G Richard Barton's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad sucks. That's probably not news. I waited until Tuesday to say it, for all who wanted to be surprised by its suckiness. Suicide Squad is a DC Comics movie, but if its competitor Marvel Comics did not exist, Suicide Squad would have never been made.
Marvel Comics makes good super hero movies. Investors in DC Comics see the massive money Marvel makes on its good movies. They get together all the same ingredient or better, all the same equipment or better, and all the same talent or better. Then, with an even bigger vault of 'intellectual property' from which to draw, they instruct the talent to make a movie producing a profit. And, that's where everything goes bad.
When you start with a highest priority of making a profit, the best way to achieve your goal is via sensationalism over substance. Marvel movies with Stan Lee as executive producer, on the other hand, make their highest priority a great and integrated, intelligent film. If profit were not also a factor, the movie would probably not be made. Sometimes both cannot be had, which is why many awesome Marvel stories are never adapted..
DC is like the best restaurant in town minus a master chef, someone who actually cares enough about the food to throw it away if it is bad before serving it to his patrons.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Worst superhero movie ever. The whole idea of making beings so powerful that they can do anything with impunity is to also make them so good that nobody WANTS to hold them accountable. Take away their absolute goodness, and they are villains, not just criminals, but truly evil beings. Lex Luthor should have been the hero of this story for trying to destroy them both, but apparently the film's marketers couldn't have that, so they tack on to the Lex character attention deficit so debilitating he can't even finish most sentences. Combined with his pension for random, self-defeating violence, Lex is dumbed down to another hypocritically dull 2D clown fighting for completely self-serving ends in a movie with nothing more... ...until the end, when the entire production becomes an advertisement for a future Justice League sequel that I pray never gets made.

The Stunt Man

Illusion, morality and paranoia -- Richard Rush writes and directs not only a great story about such dangerous subjects, but continuously plays the audience in the same way he shows the protagonist being played, prompting us to question what should be real, proper and/or suspicious. The depth of metaphor and polemics in this film may only be fully answered by watching Rush's brilliant "The Sinister Saga of Making 'The Stunt Man.'" O'Toole is riveting as both the character in the movie, and in his recounting of the making of the movie in 'Sinister Saga.'

The Big Short

Very entertaining, and a vital part of the big picture, but "The Big Short" seems to purposefully leave out Washington DC's role in creating this tragedy. Without understanding how DC's backing of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae caused these subprime bundles to sell, it would appear that the free market is too stupid to regulate itself, when in fact just the opposite is true. DC's guarantees made bad loans seem good by putting the "full faith and credit" of the United States behind them, but when cascading failure of hundreds of levels of loans-collateralized-by-loans came to bear on the Fed at the same time, the central banking cartel would have been physically unable to honor its guarantees without making its entire economic system fail. Instead it let competitors of member bank Goldman Sachs go under while quadrupling its monetary base (http://bit.ly/FedNotes), essentially making anyone stupid enough to continue using FRN (aka USD) pay for the results of the fraud.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Abrams boils down another franchise to its emotional essence, creating a great work of entertainment with no social relevance. The Abramization of Star Wars is a success by measures of popularity, monetization and critical acceptance. We are excited to explore all the new questions Abrams poses, but we know from experience, his formula is better at asking than answering, since an integral answer would require consistent character arcs.

The Shipping News

Spacey perfects another "American Beauty" type character arc of a protagonist who, in desperation, radically alters his circumstance, eventually succeeding in finding a place and people with whom to thrive.


Better than "All the President's Men," and against a bigger target. Ultimate proof that goodness can exist only where faith is NOT blind, and nobody should be above accountability to the people they affect.


Want to know what's really going on in Mexico? Want to know how the DHS is complicit? WATCH THIS SHOW. The "drug war" will finally make sense.


In Idiocracy, a man with relatively superior intellect was able to save humanity, but only after he learned that everybody possesses an innate need to contribute intellectually, and that if we do not let them contribute to creation, they will turn to the easier job of destruction.

The Young And Prodigious T.S. Spivet

Like Amelie, but younger, male and living in a land of corruption and usury rather than love and wonder, T.S. and his family find hatred, paranoia and tragedy natural to their world, but still manage to ultimately transcend its nature.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Everything James Bond tries to be.

Paul Williams Still Alive

A hostile documentary fails in a most spectacular way. Despite the film's obvious initial motivation to force a trite tale of a fall from grace, it ends up showing the truth, that Williams is happier now than he has ever been. Paul Williams succeeded in transcending superficiality and achieving something he could never in Hollywood: gaining acceptance and friendship as his authentic self.


Most people love this movie the second time, because the first time they did not see it as purely an allegory. Jake Gyllenhaal's doppelganger is the life he could have lived, and the wife he could have had, if he had chosen a glitzy and less discerning career path. Jake makes an irrevocable switch to the glitzy path, but still measures it by the depth and discernment of his original life, ultimately finding it abhorrently incompatible. Yet, his reaction is resignation rather than terror. In choosing a different path, he has willed not only a glitzier environment, but also a change in himself that will eventually mitigate discernment of its abhorrence.


An insanely ambitious and unprecedented attempt to shoot an entire movie, including uncontrolled New York underwear scenes, as though it were one shot, which requires all scene selection and camera angle editing to be done before shooting. Not only was this technical marvel achieved, but with some of the best acting and intense scripting I have ever enjoyed. Birdman raises the bar of movie making.


Domhnall Gleeson knows how to "fix" the band he has joined. His connections, tech expertise and popular song-writing skills can turn the fringe group into a mainstream success. Unfortunately, he lives in some weird kind of world where the economy people use not only PROMOTES crap, but has an unflinching way of CHANGING anything good that starts to rise into crap. Most of his band-mates, including Maggie Gyllenhaal, knew this all along, and would rather be dead than produce crap. Michael Fassbender knew it at one time, but forgot, and had to relearn the hard way.

Jupiter Ascending

Brilliant premise, awesome visuals, good music (when in Atmos) and poor execution. So sad. Hyper-action movies need to be in HFR. This is 12 frames per second per eye in 3D, a mess. See this in 2D Atmos (to benefit from the visuals and sound) or not at all.

A Most Violent Year

This is the first believable mob movie I have seen, and that includes stories purported to be "true." MVY is about an honest man living in a mob-run world -- complete with stifling regulations often forcing people to break the law to stay in business -- who is not naive, but still decides to evolve his business as legally and ethically as possible. Everyone in this film is a "good guy" doing the best he can by his own measures, and trying to get along with others in an environment of seemingly insurmountable corruption. The flavor of greater NYC is captured beautifully in each person's temptation to act by pure self-interest, but ultimately acquiescing to a general spirit of mutual cooperation keeping the organism of New York City alive.

American Sniper

Chris Kyle did not actually punch the former governor of Minnesota (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/07/29/jesse-ventura-wins-1-8-million-in-damages-against-chris-kyle-slain-navy-seal-sniper/). He did not actually kill two carjackers in Cleburne, Texas (http://blogs.star-telegram.com/crime_time/2013/02/did-slain-american-sniper-fatally-shoot-two-armed-robbers-in-2009.html), and he did not shoot a concealed Olympic marksman from a mile away in a sand-storm. In "American Sniper," Eastwood illustrates some of Kyle's whoppers, and makes up a few of his own. An honest depiction of a sniper would show at least one hit where motives of the target are at least partially ambiguous, where guns and bombs did not immediately manifest themselves upon the kill confirming righteousness of the call. Is Eastwood afraid we cannot handle the truth about war? If so, that would be the best reason to tell the truth about war.

On the plus side, Eastwood did pay homage to much greater films, including "Full Metal Jacket" with the line "Get Some!" referencing a shared mindset of Iraq and Vietnam wars to get some kills, irrespective of whether those kills would do anything to make America safer. As a viewer, it is entirely possible to both save money and see a more realistic depiction of war with "Fury" currently at the dollar theater, "Full Metal Jacket" on Netflix (http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Full-Metal-Jacket/528677) or "Band of Brothers" on HBO-GO (http://www.hbo.com/band-of-brothers#/), any of which I highly recommend over the blatantly propagandized fantasy "American Sniper."


I agree with Rotten Tomatoes 99% of the time, but this one it got wrong. In Switch, Ellen Barkin creates the most believable man-inside-a-woman's-body character ever, and Blake Edwards has me laughing and enjoying myself every step of the journey. Twists, turns and surprises complement the unique perspective and heart-warming message. I loved this movie when it first came out, and I still love watching it today.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

Brilliant amateur filmmaker Kurt Kuenne has to change focus and target of his documentary tribute to a murdered best friend twice while filming, as events go from heart-wrenching to devastatingly horrific before our eyes. Kuenne's journey becomes increasingly sickening until he has trouble speaking, and almost ends production. Luckily for us, he did not, because the crushing evil we witness in the lonely selfishness of one women is eventually trumped by fortitude, love and endurance of the fellowship of friends and family she affected.

The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch's best performance yet, with a storyarc and production to match. The historically accurate tale of what happens when the world needs a man to donate all his mental resources to a mathematical game-theory solution, and then undermines his efforts as punishment for failing to save any of his wetware for social graces.

The Babadook
The Babadook(2014)

The isolated world of a widow and her son combine with hallucinations of self-propagating sleep deprivation, a child's desire to know his father and impressionable need to live the reality of his parents, unresolved issues surrounding an accidental death, and possibly a spirit wanting to reenter their world for its own needs, to form the Babadook, a horror movie impossible to discount by logic, because even if it is all in their heads, it is still bloodcurdling, feasible, and maybe the best explanation for what we witness too often in the news. If you attend only one horror film showing in your life, see this one.

The Immortalists

I polled a few people who left the library theater. Their impression, and mine, was that the movie claimed Andrews and de Grey to represent the field, and then did everything in its power to show the pair to be kooky losers. The film did not deal with the viability of the science at all, or with recent growth of its underlying movement.

The Interview

After years of honeypotting viewers and guests, Rogen and Franco finally meet two worthy adversaries, North Korea and the CIA, and take the lesser threat out. Obama says he is disappointed in Japanese companies for not standing up to North Korea and releasing this movie more broadly, due apparently to the oligarchy's dislike of competition. For best results, see this movie with a group of rowdy and boisterous friends (and strangers, like I did, at Brewvies).

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I can only rate the version of this movie that is in both HFR (not standard 3D) and D-Box movement seats. This story was made for that combined experience. In HFR and D-Box, this was perhaps the greatest theater experience of my life, a feeling of being in Middle Earth living the adventure with them. While Atmos sound, VIP loungers and an IMAX screen would have made the environment even better, in Utah at least, we are forced to choose no more than two luxury items at a time. HFR and D-Box top the priority list, followed closely by Atmos (which is how I plan to enjoy this movie next).

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

Illustrates a fact nobody wants to believe, but is nevertheless true: it takes only one abusive person to make everyone who chooses to stay in that relationship abusive. The human condition, and perhaps intelligence itself, cannot sustain continuous coerced submission.

The Interrupters

Makes its case convincingly: a violent culture needs a strong religion.


Good, low-budget indie fun. Jon Favreau's best excuse yet for surrounding himself with beautiful women, amazing actors and hilarious improv discussion.

America: Imagine the World Without Her

I used to think Chomsky might be onto something, until I saw America The Movie. In America, D'Souza not only promises to debunk Chomsky, he delivers. The usurers and money whores infesting America are not America. We the people of this land are America. We may have an infestation of Bar and Fed, but these corruptions do not define us. Increasingly, we are aware of evils committed in our name, and we are actively routing them out. The United States is legally defined by its Constitution as a union of Republics, requiring "consent of the governed." To the extent we are true to the highest law of the land, we remain the greatest country in the history of mankind.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

This time round, the apes have Heston's passion, and the humans are the straight men. True facial emotion in CGI has been achieved.


'March of the Penguins' gets some competition for best nature film ever.

Million Dollar Arm

'You win when you see people as creators' may be a formula for Disney, but it is a good formula, and this true story is one of its best examples. As far as I'm concerned, Disney can keep repeating the formula until people get it.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Perhaps the best sci-fi movie ever -- a perfectly integrated time-looping old-school intellectual plot where the storyarc comes first, and its amazing CGI illustrates rather than calls attention to itself -- Edge of Tomorrow enjoys all the wonderful second-chance epiphanies and personal growth of 'Groundhog Day,' but with clarity of purpose and much more riding on its causatum.

Groundhog Day

The answer to the question of realistic time travel is construction of a second layer of causation, which is the model used by Groundhog Day. Viewers appreciate internal consistency, which accounts for the reason this movie about time looping gets consistently higher reviews than any other in its genre. Movie makers and other creators, pay attention and learn: the laws of the reality you construct must have integrity to be enjoined.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Excellent reboot for the Jack Ryan series. Yes, Branagh played it safe for this first outing, not giving us too much moral controversy, but the action, passion and visuals are all there, and Branagh is known for first constructing a firm moral foundation before later blowing it to smithereens.

No se aceptan devoluciones (Instructions Not Included)

First full theater I have seen in years. The secret is apparently to make most of the dialog Spanish, and not tell the gringos. The lady in front of us stopped trying to read the subtitles to her kids half way through. My eight year old said she didn't even try to read the subtitles, but she enjoyed the movie anyway, and now she apparently knows a few Spanish phrases.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game(2013)

Joins "Remo Williams, The Adventure Begins" in being more concerned about starting a franchise than taking risks necessary to create a great film.

The Fifth Estate

Julian and Daniel both hated the beast. Julian wanted to destroy it, while Daniel wanted to tame it. Daniel was stupid. The beast cannot be tamed.

Fruitvale Station

Remember in 2009 that YouTube video of cops assassinating an unarmed man in a subway? The murdered man was Oscar Grant III. The officer who murdered him is Johannes Mehserle. I wanted to know more. I wanted to crawl inside Grant's head, experience his life, discover who he was and what could have possibly led to this crime for the purpose of finding ways to avoid it. Unfortunately, the only viable conclusion one can reach after seeing the facts illustrated in this film is that police officers have generally become a liability to society, instead of an asset.

Upstream Color

Illustrated by down-to-earth metaphors, Upstream Color tells the classic story of a small segment of humanity personally overcoming pervasive evil with the help of their God, then discovering the source of their suffering and powers to transcend it, only to find transcendence thwarted by their maker, and ultimately murdering their God in order to take his place in the next, improved cycle of creation.


Elysium shows that by forcing the elite to give us their overabundance, we can have free and unlimited healthcare for all, because healthcare does not necessitate art practiced by living people. In this goofy National Socialist hype, the case-by-case intelligent care of doctors and nurses can be replaced by universal settings on an automated machine. My question is, with all the great Science Fiction books over the past century waiting for modern CGI to be made into movies, shouldn't Sony consider storyline before greenlighting $115 million FRN?

The Great Gatsby

How do these people, who are beyond the influence of money, track, prioritize and promote what is most important to them, amongst themselves? What are the mechanics of their post-money economy?

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

Photorealistic CGI does what what was previously impossible: makes the fight scenes of a monster movie not cheesy. (Now, if we could do something about the dialogue).

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks

You shouldn't have to be perfect to do something good.


A perfect allegory of your relationship to the Fed. "Are you an effective team?" Yes. 'What are you effective at doing?' Helping to destroy the human race.

The Panama Deception

The most uplifting scenes in this story of mass murder are those of the loving care Panamanians gave to reburying their loved ones in proper caskets after discovering fifteen civilian mass graves created by US military bulldozers.

Zero Dark Thirty

Surpasses 'End of Watch' as the most effective indirect-propaganda film ever made. Now that nobody exists who can say otherwise, this narrative is effectively indisputable and will become the one recorded in history books.

Napoleon Bonaparte: "History is a set of lies agreed upon."

Wreck-it Ralph

WIR is an allegory: Sure, it sucks being a Fed slave, seeing your passions die and your hard work used for torture, death and destruction -- knowing each year you sign the IRS pledge to support its despotism, the rest of the world will rightly despise you for it -- but it is worth being part of the sick, murderous Fed system to enable your kid to live in sugar-candy go-kart land (until she grows up and becomes a slave herself).

The Guard
The Guard(2011)

A modern-day Viktor Frankl, demonstrating man's unalienable freedom to find meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable and inhospitable.

Men in Black III

A completion of the story arc that makes the first two worth seeing.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

Guaranteed to make you believe in God.

End of Watch
End of Watch(2012)

Best propaganda film I have seen in recent memory. Movie convincingly establishes:
1) events depicted are realistic, Mexican drug cartels are ruthless,
2) if events in movie are realistic, LAPD is not enough,
3) if LAPD is not enough, an alternative is to continue letting the Fed army depicted in the film operate on American soil against citizens of the several states without their expressed consent or any accountability to us.

Yet, it is also true that the "War on Drugs" created power enjoyed by the Mexican drug cartels in the first place, thereby producing blowback necessary to keep the cycle of violence growing. If drugs were legalized and regulated like alcohol, there would be no need for any of the three propaganda points depicted in the movie.

Les MisÚrables

Seven different people on seven different paths. Where their paths remain disparate, their purposes fail. Where they combine their passions, they ultimately succeed. Universal measures of good and evil remain irrelevant.


Hedge fund billionaire strikes a combination of matching deals to capitalize on an imbalance between the world he creates for his daughter, who will inherit the company, and that of his Godson, who he hopes to enable to remain uncorrupted.

Seven Psychopaths

Like Adaptation, but with Christopher Walken. Anyone who thinks a gun is a magic wand, compelling others to do your bidding, should see "Seven Psychopaths."


Most low tech, low romance entry into the series, a complete opposite of Moonraker, my favorite. One thing, however, did not change, Skyfall continued 007's tradition of upping the ante of unbelievability.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Flashbacks, Flashforwards, Comparison of Conclusions of Multiple Timelines, and More Cross-Species Breeding; Best Twilight Yet


Starts with Denzel saving a commercial airliner full of people by inverting the plane, and goes uphill from there. Perhaps DW's best.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)

Answers the question, what is sacred and what are we allowed to change? Our compass of space and singular causation is necessary until we conceive something beyond. What is sacred? All of it. What are we allowed to change? All of it.

The Invisible Boy

The perfect B-Side companion to "Forbidden Planet." Both movies tell poignant allegories with very little attempt at technical correctness even by 1950s standards. Pop this gem in your Blu-Ray for an immaculate Science Fiction Double Feature evening. Both come on the "Forbidden Planet" Blu-Ray.

2016: Obama's America

Your grandparents let the country slip into National Socialism. Now, are you going to let the world slip into Global Socialism? It will if Obama has his way.


Tries to be a more expensive 'The Secret of Kells' within a Disney "Universe," but cannot because Kells does not exist in Disney corporation's reality.

The Matrix
The Matrix(1999)

An "Alice in Wonderland" remake.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Budget: $750,000 FRN! Yet, this has a better script, direction and acting than most big budget Hollywood films. I would expect the CGI alone to have cost over a million bills. If you have an art house theater in your area, see this movie on the big screen. The apparent lack of a continuity manager for the film augments the story's premise of multiple semi-parallel realities splitting and merging at will.

The Gruffalo's Child

While still a cute story for children, this sequel did not have the tight allegorical content of the original for adults. Also, a parent may need to explain to a child trying the physics proposed in this video that it is not technically possible to project larger shadows from moonlight the way one can from a flashlight.

The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo(2009)

An adaptation comes together where script writers build necessary new constructs from the same allegory as the author. In this movie, everyone is on the same page, except perhaps its goy audience.

Atlas Shrugged: Part I

I'm no Objectivist, and I wasn't expecting much given the reviews and budget, but I was pleasantly surprised. Part two, due later in 2012, has a different cast, which is going to be weird.

Practical Magic

A curse is placed on a witch and all of her female posterity that anyone they truly love will die. Therefore, they hook up only with people they do not truly love. To avoid a possibility of someone coming into her life and sweeping her off her feet, Sandra Bullock makes a magical pact for her affection to only be fulfilled by someone who meets a laundry list of unlikely characteristics. She is sure that no man could ever meet all of them, so she is safe from falling in love with him and getting him killed.

Margin Call
Margin Call(2011)

Goldman Sachs dumps its toxic debt "assets" on an unsuspecting Wall Street, starting the 2008 panic and market correction. You did not actually lose your retirement investments in 2008; they never existed in the first place. Junk debt and their derivatives are fantasy.

Green Lantern

Through extreme sacrifice, Hal Jordan proves to Sinestro that Will is an inherently stronger force than Fear. Yet, in a completely nonsequential move, Sinestro spurns the Green ring of Will anyway, demonstrating Warner Bros' power to monetize a sequel as being stronger than its will to make a good movie.

Project Nim
Project Nim(2011)

Failure of the will to WANT to perform as dictated in no way indicates an INCAPACITY for such acts. "Project NiM" illustrates what happens where products of intellect are sought while an evolving environment is forsaken. Original NIM photos and video documented testing of whether chimps could communicate, but testimonies of participants, illustrated through reenactments, told a different story: that of a living entity wanting desperately to evolve, but instead vainly punished, coerced and abused to produce hypothesized results.

Taxi to the Dark Side

Think the Fed can no longer shock you after Abu Ghraib? Think again. Includes video testimonies of soldiers who committed these crimes against humanity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxU0-v3mN-4


As good as a Christian motivational movie can get.

Downfall (Der Untergang)

Want to see the future? Take a look at the past. National Socialists never seem to learn their lesson.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Why did Harry Potter break the Elder Wand?

My five year old was dumbfounded that Potter broke the Elder Wand. He loves playing Lego Harry Potter as the Voldemort character because Voldemort has individually more powerful spells than anyone else, including the unforgivable excruciating torture version of Wingardium Leviosa and a Crucio Curse that reduces complex life forms to their basic Lego constituents.

Before we watched the final battle, I asked Luc who he thought would win. He was sure Voldemort would be victorious because Potter was no match. I explained that it would not be only Potter against the dark lord, but the combined mind, good faith, love and power of his friends. Luc tried to tell me that Voldemort had loving friends too, but then corrected himself to say that their fear and desire for power would make them more loyal than the light side's friendship.

That's where Luc's argument fell apart. The dark side can certainly destroy, maim, kill and steal better than Potter and his friends, but that puts dark power at an inherent disadvantage. Voldemort and his team need others to rape and pillage in order to enjoy their dark power. They are parasites. They cannot turn the entire world to the dark side without destroying their host.

When Potter broke the Elder Wand, he dissented to that type of power. His strength and fortitude would be earned, not stolen. He would be accountable to his friends because only through love is real and sustainable innovation possible.


Interesting premise and locations, but in Hanna's world, nobody seems to have an IQ over 70.

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect offers compelling evidence that whoever said hindsight is 20/20 is an idiot. Hindsight offers a hypothesis of what might have been a better course of action, but if one could put that hypothesis to the test and actually change the past, the test would not always come out positive.

Triumph des Willens (Triumph Of The Will)

Knowing the end result of this successful propaganda film is what makes it so important to watch. Imagine being there, not knowing where National Socialism inevitably leads, getting swept up in the glorious nonsensical, feel good promises and blatant lies stirring feelings of spiritual euphoria in your soul, making you want to be part of the powerful wave of human stupidity. It's almost like watching an Obama speech.

Barney's Version

Watch these character actors spin a great web of subtle human strands only if you can see the movie in a darkened home theater with no distractions.

Be sure to watch the special features after the movie. Mordecai Richler reads key passages from the book that may have had no good way of being portrayed in the film, but add a whole new dimension to the character. Specifically, as long as he was not arrested, Barney did not care that everyone believed he had murdered his best friend; he had a clear conscience because he was telling the truth, and the benefits of being thought of as a murderer for him outweighed the drawbacks.

Source Code
Source Code(2011)

"Groundhog Day" on a train!

Hobo With a Shotgun

Typical single star vengeance slasher with one redeeming moment: Rutger Hauer in a pawn shop having scrimped and saved to buy a lawn mower, but realizes society is so sick he will never be able to make a living doing honest work, so buys a shotgun instead.

The Lincoln Lawyer

If Matlock lived in the real world -- where the Bar association commits more crimes than all of its clients combined -- he would be the Lincoln Lawyer.

The Adjustment Bureau

Philip K. Dick wrote some awesome stories. Many of them have been turned into awesome movies. This is one of them.

Dick starts his stories with an item of popular modern speculation, like robots with emotions or colonization of Mars. He then imagines what other things would be needed to make the popular premise real: cops would have to hunt down robots with dangerous emotions, air would become a controlled substance on Mars, and people who want to visit the red planet might opt for cheaper memory implants of a vacation instead of the actual trip.

With one of Philip's fully fleshed out premise and twist combinations, the plot almost writes itself. Even though Dick wrote mostly short stories with only two acts, it is easy to extrapolate a third act for a movie by simply asking what the hero would do next. In order for things to turn out good in a Dick world, a hero must transcend himself to create his own options. No story better illustrates this idea than "The Adjustment Bureau."

Imagine, as an item of popular modern speculation, that the New World Order (NWO) is an actual entity so powerful that it can create the illusion of free will without free will actually existing in big areas where humans could destroy ourselves. The NWO, or "Adjustment Bureau" in the film, has the ability to predict likely futures of our willful decisions and create circumstances in which our will is redirected toward more beneficial outcomes.

We never find out whether the "Chairman" who decides what is beneficial is God, the devil, or a bunch of greedy bankers. It doesn't matter, because the effect is the same: humans would not be humans without free will. Our intellect requires it. The grunts in the Bureau do not understand this, but the Chairman apparently does.

When our heroes overcome unworldly attempts to keep them apart because their union was at odds with the plan, and they kiss at the end, there was not a dry eye in the house. My friends tell me that achieving a love like that is more important than anything in this universe, that they would follow any plan leading to such a union, but does such a plan exist?

"The Adjustment Bureau" illustrates that blindly following a plan is at odds with the creativity and responsibility found at the heights of willful intimacy. We can try to write plans for others, or we can let ourselves become part of a plan, but the kind of love reached in this movie only exists where all parties to that love choose to write their plan together.

Battle: Los Angeles

Shameless propaganda for increased militarization, the same as we saw in WWII, except that this time the enemy actually is subhuman. Despite Borg-like military implants, we can kill these space soldiers with standard bullets, they are dumb as tube socks, and apparently designed their automated flying drones to crash when they lose contact with their command center.

The Tillman Story

Pat Tillman was a famous guy killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in April of 2004. To spin this embarrassment into a promotion of the invasion, Bush and everyone down the chain of command covered up and/or lied about what really happened. That's the end of the story, right? Army command is guilty of nothing more than trying to cover up an embarrassing accidental friendly fire incident.

If that's all you think this movie is trying to convey, you missed its real message. The Tillmans unpeeled four layers of the onion, but they are very aware that the onion has more layers. Every time an official story was proven false, another story was fabricated to explain only that proof. At no point did anyone in any of the "investigations," including Congress, show the slightest interest in discovering what actually happened.

Key questions you would ask in a real investigation were never asked; questions like, "When he yelled, over and over, 'I'm Pat Tillman,' why did you keep shooting at him?" or, "If this was only an attempt to cover up a friendly fire incident, why did you order his personal diary burned?"

By the end of the movie, the viewer understands why it says, "To this day, [Pat's father] has not received a satisfactory explanation as to how Pat was killed."


66 year old Danny Trejo plays hard to get with ICE agent Jessica Alba to turn her to his cause of helping undocumented Mexicans enter the United States.

And this is the most plausible part.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Leaving Las Vegas meets Law and Order with a little Big Easy thrown in for spice


If you've got a lot of fear, and you need to get beyond it in order to progress, you can break through your apprehension by getting angry, but you run the risk that others will fear your anger, which would itself affect your ability to progress. In the movie "Network," we explore what happens when we can get others to express their anger with us. Nobody was scared because they saw that the anger was impotent; it did not lead to action. It was easy for the corporate usurer Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) to convince the latter day prophet Howard Beale (Peter Finch) that he was impotent because he was. Sure he could make people angry, but that anger had no values or principles. It went off in all directions. It wasn't even the cheapest kind of anger wielded by politicians against each other, the power to destroy. Beale and his followers ended up exactly where they started, so full of fear that they thought the only way to take control of their own actions was to force their will on other people.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

The story of a symbiosis between three people that works only because each is willing to promote the good in each other without failing to take a stand against the bad. Money Never Sleeps has no Randian heroes or Hollywood ending, but then neither does life.

Far and Away
Far and Away(1992)

If there's any movie that should be released in Blu-ray, it's this one. Shot with wide angles on 65 mm film, the theater or a 1080p screen are the only places this epic can be truly appreciated.

The Beach
The Beach(2000)

The best illustration I've seen in a long time of why and how it is easier to destroy than build.

Battle in Seattle

Why would you take a gun to a peaceful protest? In case you're attacked. Duh! It is entirely possible to be peaceful and prepared to protect yourself at the same time. The two concepts are not at odds with each other. What would happen if sixty thousand well armed people came together to peacefully protect their city from WTO economic manipulation, and they arrested anyone who was violent?

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Absolutely Perfect. This documentary about Street Art vs. Monetization had more twists than would be possible in a work of fiction. Don't ruin any of it by watching the trailers or reading the reviews. Just take my word for it and watch it. If your jaw doesn't hit the floor at least four times, I will pay for your video. Who got the last laugh? Shepard Fairey? Mr. Brainwash? Banksy? "Paranoid" Pictures? Or is it possible that Madonna knew exactly what she was doing, and the joke's on you?

Meet Joe Black

Brad Pitt as Death and Anthony Hopkins as his target. There's more, but isn't that enough?

Peter Pan
Peter Pan(2003)

Finally a Peter Pan based on the book -- with metaphors intact -- where the environment of the world changes according to the Pan's mood.

Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don't Look Back)

Seemed brilliant and perfectly executed to friends who have genius level intelligence quotas, chaotic to others.