Benjamin Blade's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Interstellar
Interstellar(2014)
½

A truly epic science-fiction film that even physicists can watch without suspending much disbelief. The scope of the movie alone is so huge, it might just be too heavy for the average moviegoer. There's no camp, no laser guns and no green aliens. Just a ton of fantastic acting and a whole lot of heart. There won't be another one like this for decades.

25th Hour
25th Hour(2003)
½

A moving drama with a whole hell of a lot to say (perhaps too much). But there's sufficient emotional depth and dramatic intensity to keep you engaged. The cast very skillfully brings the three-dimensional characters to life. And the main story is punctuated throughout with subtle (and sometimes not-so subtle) deeply patriotic overtones.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

This movie is a blast. It's action-packed, well-acted, and full of surprisingly well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's my favorite Superman film to date.

Fans of the Reeves-era films may have a hard time digesting the drastic shift in tone and focus. But let's face it, Superman is, and always has been, an alien. It's about time we have a movie that treats him like one. This isn't a "superhero" film. It's a science-fiction film about an alien, who eventually becomes superhero.

As for those complaining about excessive violence or the uncharacteristic "darkness" of the film, grow up. Superman can't save everybody, and if there really were superpeople fighting it out in a modern city, there would be tons of collateral damage, people would die, and fight scenes in this movie are exactly what it would look like.

I hope more filmmakers adopt this technique of adding layers of sci-fi "realism" to superhero lore. It makes for darker movies, yes. But I think it's a necessary step to bring superheroes into the 21st century.

Star Trek V - The Final Frontier
½

The Final Frontier isn't all bad, just mostly (say 90%) bad. The acting is as good as any other installment and there are even a couple cohesive cinematic themes. But the plot makes absolutely no sense (like absolutely none) and the "climax" is utterly confusing. Star Trek V is a strange experience, because at first glance, it feels and looks like a decent film. But the storyline needed months more development and there are plot holes big enough to pilot the Enterprise herself though. If you choose to suffer through this one, watch it as you're falling asleep or while you're mostly busy doing other things (it's an enjoyable movie if you apply no scrutiny to any of it).

Flight
Flight(2012)
½

It's a compelling film with extraordinary acting and plenty of emotionally gripping moments. But it should have been a tragedy. The Hollywood happy ending was forced, and didn't feel suitable for a fairly dark film dealing with addiction. It felt like Zemeckis was holding our hands a little too tightly. Sometimes it's OK to let the audience draw their own conclusions.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)
½

I guess I liked it. This particular story-arc may have been a bit too comic-book for the masses. The action sequences are fun. But even a nerd like me found some of the plot points silly and far-fetched (even for the Marvel Universe, where aliens and superheroes are real). I enjoyed much of it, but felt uninspired.

Star Trek Into Darkness

It suffers from some of the same opportunistic plot holes as its predecessor, but there's a lot to like about this movie. The characters have depth, the action is abundant without being excessive, and Benedict Cumberbatch is a terrifying (and sometimes sympathetic) villain. J.J. Abrams crafts a movie that anybody can enjoy, without forgetting to appease the Trekkies.

The Rainmaker
½

A thoroughly enjoyable "David & Goliath" legal drama that benefits from its talented cast. It was also fun to watch the young Matt Damon and Claire Danes before their respective launches into super-stardom. They were both relatively unknown at the time of the film's release.

Red Dragon
Red Dragon(2002)

Although the producers claimed this wasn't a "remake" of Michael Mann's 1986 film "Manhunter", it certainly felt like one. And with some notable improvements. Edward Norton isn't quite able to convey Agent Graham's tortured psyche the way William Petersen did. But his performance is formidable nonetheless, and Hopkins, Keitel and Fiennes comprise a much stronger supporting cast. Along with the improved cast, better pacing and a much more satisfying climax make this my favorite of the two.

Moon
Moon(2009)
½

Rockwell stands way out in an exceptional performance. The effects are good, but the story, albeit interesting and very original, suffers from a pedestrian and somewhat sloppy presentation.

All the components for a great film were there, but they fell prey to Jones' inexperienced execution.

Appaloosa
Appaloosa(2008)

There are lot of good things to say about this movie. Amazing actors, interesting story, satisfying action scenes, etc. But it's almost completely undone by terrible editing and awkward pacing.

The Rock
The Rock(1996)
½

With a cast this talented and a story that gives them plenty to work with, even Michael Bay couldn't botch this one. The actors, from the main cast to the extras, are what carry this movie.

Bay's trademark action sequences are surprisingly tame based on what we've come to expect from him, and they actually serve the story pretty well. Not that there aren't a few "yeah right" moments, but you're having enough fun watching to forgive them.

As far as action movies go, it's fast, loud, and lots of fun. It also doesn't draw straight lines between "good guys" and "bad guys", there's plenty of gray that allows the audience to make up their own minds.

The Matrix Reloaded
½

As a whole, it's mostly mediocre. But some impressive action sequences, philosophical dialogue and Hugo Weaving's cryptic performance as Agent Smith make it worth watching.

The Sandlot
The Sandlot(1993)
½

I was ten years old when this movie came out. So yeah, I love it. Some of my fondest childhood memories are watching this movie at my grandmother's house.

Oz the Great and Powerful
½

This movie offers its fair share of good laughs, tender moments and stunning visuals. It lags badly in the second act, but finishes strong with a conclusive and satisfying ending.

Unfortunately, the whole affair never really builds to anything more than a mediocre outing. It's ultimately undone by sloppy plotting, some rather silly new character back-stories, and one extraordinarily glaring miscast (Sorry Mr. Franco).

It's hardly a wasted effort. Oz is still entertaining and is a great movie for the kids. But the adults in the theater who grew up cherishing the 1939 classic, may leave the cineplex with a sour taste in their mouth.

Devil
Devil(2010)
½

It's adequately suspenseful and has some purely terrifying moments. The actors are more than sufficiently convincing. But the plotting is executed in a way that doesn't come close to taking full advantage of its creepily fascinating premise.

The Green Mile

The Green Mile is an emotionally captivating movie about good, evil, mortality and injustice.

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan.

Source Code
Source Code(2011)

This movie should be required viewing for film students because it demonstrates that modern movies don't have to be 180 minutes in order to be exciting.

Source Code is technologically intriguing and surprisingly heartfelt. And in regard to the more perplexing implications of its plot, it actually asks more questions than it answers. A remarkable feat which seems to elude many science fiction writers and directors.

It gives you more than enough action, drama and plot to keep you entertained. But it leaves some questions lingering and allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

The Dark Knight Rises
½

A staggering movie in its scope alone. The first act is painfully slow, boring and confusing. But the movie builds to a riveting and satisfying finale.

I had my doubts that any actor portraying any villain would be able to follow Heath Ledger's "Joker". But Tom Hardy as "Bane" does about as well as anyone could. He's extraordinary, menacing and terrifying. Michael Caine gives his best (and briefest) performance of the series. Christian Bale brings back some of the emotional depth that made the first film so enjoyable. Gary Oldman is solid, but very underutilized. There are also a number of very effective cameos that help tie the three movies together.

As much as I enjoyed watching Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Anne Hathaway (especially in spandex) act in this movie, it became more and more apparent their presence was completely unnecessary. I would argue the story and final product would have been more cohesive without them.

Despite some shortcomings. It's a thoughtful, dark and very modernized conclusion to Nolan's Batman series.

Michael Clayton
½

A brilliant thriller. It takes the "ordinary man in an extraordinary situation" premise and crafts palpable suspense instead of devolving into cheesy Michael Bay-esque action cliches. Clooney is perfect and Tilda Swinton plays a remarkably human "villain". One who visibly struggles with the moral implications of what she's done and hates herself for it.

Lockout
Lockout(2012)
½

It's a clever idea. It even has some decently thrilling and funny moments. But the plot really doesn't make sense and just about every character's motives are unclear and/or confusing (especially the villainous prisoners). Guy Pearce is so much better than this movie and he's the only reason to bother watching it.

Les MisÚrables
½

I definitely enjoyed myself. Anne Hathaway as "Fantine" demonstrates her remarkable range as an actress and Hugh Jackman as "Jean Valjean" is a solid leading man. The music is perfectly executed and feels like it's coming from an orchestra pit. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen as the mischievous "Thernardiers" provide some hilarious comic relief. Amanda Seyfried and the relatively unknown Eddie Redmayne are perfectly cast as the lovestruck "Cosette" and "Marius".

My only major qualm is the extraordinary miscast of Russell Crowe as "Javert", the primary antagonist. He's completely unconvincing as a 19th century Frechman (A goatee? Seriously?). He spotlights his own mediocrity with his lackluster performance of "Stars", a song which demands a much bolder, stronger voice.

It feels the pressure on Director Tom Hooper not to take any artistic liberty from the Broadway script may have worked against him in this case. There are scenes that could have been cut or shortened because they didn't translate as well on screen as they did on a live stage and it I think would have made for a faster, more dynamic pace.

But all in all, it's a remarkably worthwhile and enjoyable affair and is bound to generate some "Ocsar buzz."

American History X

Superbly acted and directed. It takes a rare, and at times sympathetic, look into the neo-nazi movement. Very few movies take this much time to explore how racism and prejudice manifests in working class America.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The fundamentals of the story are strong and the movie has its moments of dramatic brilliance. But in the end, it just collapses under its numerous failures. The special effects are excessive, the costumes are silly and the dialogue is mostly laughable.

It feels like they were shooting for a "space opera" reminiscent of Kubrick's "2001" (similar pacing and an ambiguous, "transformative" ending), and if that was the case, big swing and a miss.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)
½

The plot is clever and original. It's funny, sure. It's even hilarious at times (usually thanks to Zach Galifinakis). But they go all-in with every gag or joke and not all of them work. In the end, it's disjointed and when it's not making you laugh, it's ridiculous and stupid. Very little replay value.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

It has entertaining moments. But overall, it's clunky in its plotting and character development. The story is darker and more "realistic", I guess, than the previous franchise, but the villain's motives are confusing and the mystery and conspiracy elements the previews tried to highlight are superficial in the film. I must also echo the sentiment from every other reviewer by agreeing the reboot feels premature and unnecessary.

GoldenEye
GoldenEye(1995)
½

Full of the girls, typical innuendo and non-stop sexual overtones. But this movie presents Bond in a much more human light. The action is exhilarating, but only serves to punctuate a plot rooted in real history and relevant to the times.

Definitely one of the best Bond films and also has the distinction of spawning one of the most legendary video games ever made.

Die Another Day

Such a frustrating mess. The fundamentals of the plot are solid and even interesting. But Brosnan's last outing as Bond is plagued by ridiculous twists, CGI overload and a defiance of physics/reality so blatant, it makes the whole affair feel like a cartoon.

Lord of War
Lord of War(2005)
½

I will never understand how this film didn't make any top ten lists of 2005. It's relevant, impeccably acted and full of raw, painful observations about good, evil and indifference. Why critics insist on focusing on alleged plotting "issues" and idiosychratic imperfections is beyond me.

District 9
District 9(2009)

I didn't enjoy it. I'm not saying it isn't a good movie. It just didn't connect with me. The prevalent themes of segregation, humanity, and xenophobia seem unremarkable and obvious.

The Day the Earth Stood Still
½

I haven't seen the original, but even if I had I think I still would have liked this movie. It's dark, interesting and Keanu Reeves finally found a role he's believable in!

Rear Window
Rear Window(1954)
½

Damn. Nobody could build suspense like Hitchcock. I bit all my fingernails off.

City of Angels

It's a bit heavy on the melodrama, but it ultimately succeeds as an original and memorable love story. The atmospheric soundtrack by Gabriel Yared is extraordinary.

Moneyball
Moneyball(2011)
½

Slow, but superbly acted and effective drama.

The Cooler
The Cooler(2003)
½

When you break it down, this is a pretty typical love-story with a ludicrous premise. But it's so well acted that you hardly notice.

Vanilla Sky
Vanilla Sky(2001)

Vanilla Sky is the kind of movie that polarizes critics. But it's also a rare type of film. It's not about characters, it's not about technology, it's kind of about love (but not really). It may not even be a good movie by conventional standards. But I can tell you, if this film reaches you, it's absolute magic and absolutely unforgettable.

Vertigo
Vertigo(1958)

A movie so brilliant and so far ahead of its time that an itemized review of its successes would be an arbitrary exercise. Just go see it.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
½

It wasn't considered a reboot at the time, but it sure felt like one and thank god for that. After the epic failure of its predecessor, I think trekkies everywhere (myself included) owe Nicholas Meyer a huge debt of gratitude for essentially rescuing the Star Trek franchise from Sci-Fi obscurity.

Ricardo Montalban is extraordinary and Meyer is able to stretch the shoestring budget he was given by discarding special-effect gimmicks and making this movie about strong characters and simple, thought-provoking stories; very reminiscent of the original series.

The Hunger Games

I'm always skeptical of movies with this much hoopla. But I was damn impressed. The pacing is perfect and the actors are all terrific.

I don't buy into the "cautionary tale" interpretation of the film at all. To take the backstory at face value shows a very dark and pessimistic view of the nature of humanity. And the romantic chemistry between our heroes is a bit confusing and feels unnatural. But even with a few missed opportunities and minor faults, the movie is a refreshingly original and edge-of-your-seat thriller with a lot of replay value.

Star Trek - Nemesis
½

SPOILER ALERT:

I feel like the critics were a bit too hard on this movie. There are some plot points that were dealt with carelessly. EG: Tom Hardy's villainous alien English accent and the fact that the bad guy's ship can fire deadly radiation from its reactor, but if you blow up the bad guy's ship as it's firing, the deadly radiation just....fades away harmlessly (That would have been helpful information at Chernobyl: "Hey guys, I've got it! Let's just blow up the reactor and all the radiation goes away!")

BUT, the acting is as solid as it always is and the action sequences are some of the best the Star Trek franchise has ever seen. They're like a Kung-Fu fight between spaceships. I've watched this movie more than once and I've enjoyed it every time.

The Social Network
½

Led by brilliant performances and regardless of how accurate the script is, the film is still a compelling and relevant experience.

Caddyshack
Caddyshack(1980)
½

Easily one of the funniest movies ever made and definitely Murray's career-best comedic performance.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
½

It's a little heavy on fart humor and Heather Graham is just god-awful. But Fat Bastard and Mini-Me make for plenty of laughs.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Why don't they comedies like this anymore? The entire cast is hilarious and the gags are actually funny.

Van Helsing
Van Helsing(2004)
½

Ugh. This movie was such a bummer. How can Sommers take source material with so much promise and turn it into this? Van Helsing could have been a great movie. The underlying framework for the story is actually good, but the execution is a mess.

The dialogue is an obnoxious mix of lame humor and unnecessary exposition, Not to mention it's loaded with quips and sayings that weren't in use for at least another 100 years. My favorites: "Don't get me wrong" spoken by a 19th century priest. "Don't give me that look" uttered by Anna, and "Too bad, so sad" said by Dracula (apparently the Count is a 13 year-old boy from the 1990s).

Ironically, the only character with any depth is the Frankenstein Monster and for this, I give kudos to Shuler Hensley. His performance is by far my favorite thing about this film and the decision (presumably by Sommers) to make this character more human and sympathetic was sheer genius. Too bad it was the only thing that worked.

Austin Powers in Goldmember
½

None of it made any sense at all. But it cracked me up from start to finish.

Manhunter
Manhunter(1986)

The first act is painfully slow and suffers from set-up overload. There are a lot of scenes that could have been shortened or cut. But if you can get through them, the movie is worth the watch.

Who knew the now TV cop-drama veteran William Petersen could own a role like this? He's completely convincing as the emotionally-tormented Will Graham. Brian Cox on the other hand, didn't really do it for me. As much as I was looking forward to watching him don the role of Hannibal Lecktor, he somehow came off as goofy and very nonthreatening.

The climax is a bit sloppy, but satisfying nonetheless. It's good, but it's hardly Mann's best work.

Three Amigos!
½

It's far-fetched and cheesy, but also completely hilarious.

In the Line of Fire

A masterfully crafted thriller featuring a particularly sinister performance by John Malkovich.

The Crow
The Crow(1994)

This movie is ALMOST "campy", but it never quite crosses that line. While in most cases, this would be a negative aspect to a film. In "The Crow", it's an essential atmospheric component. This story and these characters only work against a backdrop where reality is slightly bent and cartoonish (like Tim Burton's Gotham City, for example).

The characters are two-dimensional (including the leads), good guy or bad guy, friend or foe, hero or villain, and you know instantly as soon as they come on screen. Again, usually shallow characters aren't good for a movie, but they work here because their only purpose is to move the story forward.

There aren't multiple layers of subtext to unravel here. This is a simple story, stylishly told, about love, friendship, and good's triumph over evil.

Superman Returns
½

The movie is well-acted, with the surprising exception of Spacey as a completely nonthreatening Lex Luthor. But that's about the only good thing I can say about it. With endless comic books to draw inspiration from, I'm surprised this plot was all they could come up with (and somehow it clocks in at 2.5 hours?). Come on, this is Superman! Yet, the movie "soared" to slightly above average heights.

Collateral
Collateral(2004)

I could go on and on about the action sequences, the stellar performances by Cruise and especially Foxx and the persistent, edge-of-your-seat thrills this movie provides; But what really sold me on this film is the writing. Especially the dialogue between Max and Vincent in the cab.

MIchael Mann constructs a thematic masterpiece that uses vivid, lifelike characters (good and bad) to address philosophical aspects of death, morality, civilization, determinism and the human condition.

The Invention of Lying
½

It's a shame that Ricky Gervais wasted an extremely clever and original premise on yet another one of his efforts to convert the world to atheism. The movie was so good until it descended into a bunch of religion-skewering cliches.

For a movie blatantly promoting atheism, it certainly does a lot of preaching.

Shoot 'Em Up
Shoot 'Em Up(2007)
½

This movie requires the audience completely suspend disbelief, and it takes full advantage of that. It's beyond ridiculous. But truthfully, I really enjoyed it.

It's an intense movie that's just as funny as it is silly. Half the time you're laughing with it, the other half you're laughing at it. The cast all seem in on the joke. But the performances are pretty solid. Especially Giamatti, who makes a surprisingly sinister villain.

Don't go looking for realism or meaningful subtext, you won't find it. Shoot 'Em Up may not be a "good" movie, but it's certainly a fun movie.

The Sixth Sense

It's Shayamalan's best work, without question. It rides the line between horror and thriller so perfectly with plot twists that only serve to move the story forward. It cemented Bruce Willis as a powerful dramatic actor and introduced the remarkable talent of Haley Joel Osment.

V for Vendetta

Even with a mask on, Hugo Weaving is able to express the depth and complexity of the character "V". It's possibly my favorite movie based on a graphic novel. This movie also served as a platform for Natalie Portman to display her range as an actress, and Stephen Rea is a pleasure to watch, as usual.

We could discuss the multiple layers of thematic genius embedded in this movie for nearly an eternity. But my favorite is the recurring concept of synchronicity, a prevalent theme that most critics seem to have missed.

It borrows from other works. But in a way that comes off more as a tribute than a act of plagiarism.

The ending is a bit anticlimactic, and at first, I found it unfulfilling. But after a second and third watch, I came to accept it as a very suitable finish that punctuates the underlying message of the film very well.

Inside Man
Inside Man(2006)
½

It's just a damn good movie. Well acted, lots of twists, with a perfect tempo.

Napoleon Dynamite
½

I recommend watching this one twice. If you're like me, the first time will confuse you, the second time will leave you in stitches.

It has a dry charm and a completely original direction.

American Beauty

Half drama, half black comedy, American Beauty is a clever movie with the unconventional characters needed to tell its bizarre story. This film has so many "hell yeah!" moments and some very insightful philosophical overtones.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

What's even funnier than this movie, is the fact that it didn't need to exist. But even still, it's so delightfully over the line. In my mind, this movie stands as somewhat of a tribute to the earlier, simpler days of South Park.

The real brilliance is the music. Uncut, unfiltered, profane political incorrectness set to melodies that you actually find yourself humming hours after the movie ends.

Office Space
Office Space(1999)
½

The last great comedy of the 90s. It's satires the drudgery of the 9-5 job in a way that's so painfully relatable.

Eyes Wide Shut

As a fan of Kubrick's work, it's difficult for me to say, that this movie would have probably flopped had it not been directed by him.

At the end of Kubrick's films, I have always had at least a vague idea of what he was trying to say or what he was trying to make me think about. Not here. I was puzzled, with no idea what I was supposed to take away from it.

The whole affair just seemed scattered, slow, and lacking anything resembling cohesiveness.

The Matrix
The Matrix(1999)

Despite overly melodramatic overtones and some downright cheesy costumes, this movie succeeded as a high-action thriller with mind-blowing effects that had a lasting effect on the industry.

The story is interesting and offers many layers of philosophical, biblical, and mythological references.

Keanu Reeves is believable in his role, but Hugo Weaving steals the show as the enigmatic and malicious Agent Smith.

Being John Malkovich

This movie is bizarre, like something written during an acid trip. But it's also beyond original and quite entertaining.

I feel like there are elements of satire and social/philosophical commentary intended by the director, but I think they're overshadowed by the sheer absurdity of the story. In my opinion, it succeeds best as a dark comedy.

The Hunt for Red October

Suspenseful and perfectly paced. The effects make you feel like you're there and aren't overused or over-the-top.

Baldwin and Connery give two of their best performances. But the supporting actors really bring the story together. James Earl Jones, Sam Neil, Scott Glenn, Tim Curry and especially Stellan Skargard as the sinister and reckless Captain Tupelov. They're all just so believable, you forget you're watching a movie.

Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story

I generally don't like 21st century comedies. Largely because most of them aren't funny. But this is the kind of comedy I wish there were more of. It's the perfect blend of raunch, profanity, silliness and slapstick. The characters are real enough that you root for them like you would for Rudy or Rocky and Stiller is hysterical as the ego-maniacal villain.

Daredevil
Daredevil(2003)
½

It just doesn't feel like a superhero movie of the 21st century. It reminds of the 1977 "Spider-Man" TV series in that it's poorly acted and very campy (the bad guy named "Bullseye" literally has a bullseye carved into his forehead. WTF?) This movie came very close to ending Affleck's career completely (his costume had little purple horns. lol.)

There are a few creative fight scenes and I will give the late Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) kudos on his particularly menacing performance as Kingpin (who is white in the comic books). But other than that, there's nothing daring or entertaining here.

Mallrats
Mallrats(1995)
½

The dialogue is laughably articulate for characters which are presented to be unaspiring and uneducated. It's sophomoric and times, but Jason Lee's character is strangely likable and Jay and Silent Bob provide enough comic relief to keep me watching.

Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked)

Confusing, disorganized, and pointless. Hoffman is great as always, but it's not enough save this sinking ship of a film (HAHAHAHAHAHA. I USED A PUN!)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman and Colin Firth continue to amaze with the way they effortlessly embody their respective characters. Benedict Cumberbatch also holds his own with a strong supporting performance (not sure why they made him a blonde for this role though).

The story is interesting. But also slow, heavy, and very complex. This is not a character-driven film. It's driven by events, and I feel I would have been more interested in these events if the movie had given us a few more human moments from the leads. It's difficult to be invested in the characters when almost no time is spent developing them.

However, the story is laid out brilliantly and the climax is essentially worth the wait.

Insomnia
Insomnia(2002)

This is Christopher Nolan at his best. Pacino is great as always, but Williams really displays his extraordinary versatility in this role.

L.A. Confidential
½

This movie works so well because it's of perfect cast. I'm tempted to say that Guy Pearce stands out, but that's not entirely fair because Spacey, Basinger, Crowe, Devito, Cromwell and Strathairn all deliver such superb performances. Everything and everyone in this film just works.

Good Will Hunting
½

Possibly the best movie of the 90s. Damon and Affleck are superb, but Robin Williams' powerful performance elevates this movie from great to really great.

Face/Off
Face/Off(1997)
½

There are parts that are ridiculous, even for John Woo. But this is a fun movie that blends high action with surprisingly believable drama and even situational comedy. I recommend it.

The Boondock Saints

I've never quite understood why critics hate this movie so much. It's a great film. Duffy may be an ego-driven blowhard and a crappy director, but he did write an original story that seems to resonate with the American public. I'm not sure how much "directing" he actually did, but the cast and story are what really make this movie work.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
½

As a avid fan of the original, I was mildly insulted by this piece of crap. Director and certifiable douchebag Troy Duffy manages to butcher Tarantino style story-telling and rip off Coppola in the same movie. I could go on and on itemizing the specific failures, but I have better things to do with my time. Suffice it to say, this "film" is 87 minutes of utter nonsense.

2010
2010(1984)

It's not a bad movie. But it's not that great. It's entertaining and suspenseful at times. But I don't find myself comparing it to Kubrick's "2001." Mainly because it doesn't feel like a sequel, it feels more like a spin-off. There are some familiar characters and places, but this film is much more formulaic than it's predecessor.

The special effects are great, especially considering the year it was made. The acting is convincing. Although I did find Schneider's lead performance outshined by Mirren and Lithgow. The ending may upset some, but I found it fitting. The ending was marginally above adequate, just like the movie.

"2001" was a space epic. "2010" is just a space movie.

The Legend of 1900 (La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano)

This is not a movie for the masses. But if it reaches you, as it did me, it's absolute magic. It's in my top 3.

Tropic Thunder

It's delightfully ridiculous...

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

It's genuinely fun and well worth the watch.

A History of Violence
½

Dark, somber and story-driven. This movie manages to avoid every cheesy pitfall that plagues other movies that involve mob violence/drama. It's gruesome at times, but never pointlessly. The leads are extraordinary and perfectly cast.

Road to Perdition
½

Gripping, dark, but a bit sluggish. Performances by Hanks and Law alone make it worth the watch.

Ocean's Thirteen

Probably one of the most shallow and suspense-less 114 minutes of my life. Pacino is a fantastic villain. But there's never any doubt that Ocean's gang is going to succeed. Clooney's ultra-smooth demeanor and Pitt delivering witty dialogue through a mouthful of potato chips isn't enough to keep me interested.

Ocean's Twelve
½

It's less charming than its predecessor and some may not care for the more character-centric story. But it kept me interested and entertained.

Ocean's Eleven

Just as smooth as the original.

The Italian Job

I wasn't crazy about the original. But I found this remake slightly more satisfying. Except that no one broke into anyone's toilet!

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Its attempt to be a multidimensional examination of the ups and downs of romance and relationships comes off as idealistic and almost preachy. With a laughably weak story and painfully shallow characters, Crazy, Stupid Love is little more than a series of amusing Carrellian one-liners.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

A mesmerizing film. The depth of the characters is palpable thanks to exceptional performances from Blanchett and Pitt.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy(2010)

Stunning visual effects, but they don't compensate for an overly simple and bland story. But Olivia Wilde in spandex scored extra special bonus points from this critic.

The One
The One(2001)
½

It's not a great action flick. But marginally interesting and good fun to watch, especially for Jet Li fans.

Jurassic Park
½

An impressive spectacle of special effects with an adequately gripping story that entertains the audience and raises an interesting philosophical narrative about the friction between nature and and technology.

Unstoppable
Unstoppable(2010)
½

Wow. That was intense. It wastes no time bringing you to the edge of your seat and keeping you there for 90 minutes.

Jumper
Jumper(2008)

It deserves applause for it's concise use of special effects and it's original premise. But gaping plot holes and a static narrative easily makes this Liman's most forgettable film.

The Dark Knight
½

It's not the breath of fresh air "Batman Begins" was and the story loses it's cohesion about halfway through. In the end it's Heath Ledger's haunting performance as The Joker that keeps this movie together.

2001: A Space Odyssey
½

You have to watch this movie in the context of 1968 and keep in mind that it's not intended as a beginning, middle, happy ending, plot-driven story. If you don't, you'll miss the point.

It comes off as abysmally slow, but Kubrick only had a few things to say about the nature of humanity, and he makes these points delicately and subtlel...y. This film set the standard against which all Sci-Fi movies are judged.

Red
Red(2010)
½

Loud, fast, sometimes silly, but still fun and very entertaining. But you can't help but feel this film wouldn't have worked this well without the all star cast.

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)
½

The first time you watch this film, it's a gripping thriller. The second time, it's an extremely dark, satirical comedy. Either way, Fight Club stands out as one of the most original and unique movies of the past 25 years, and also as a launching pad for Norton's stardom. Pitt becomes Tyler Durden with stunning ease and effectiveness.

"You're not your fucking kackeys."

The Incredible Hulk
½

An immense improvement over previous attempts at this franchise. Norton and Roth create an exceptional hero/villain dynamic. The story lags at times, but impressive performances by all lead characters make it hardly noticeable.

The Other Guys

The plot is sloppy and outlandish. But this movie is effing hysterical. It might be the best series of one-liners I've ever seen. Will Farrell is at his best and kudos to Wahlberg for dropping some surprisingly funny and uncharacteristic punchlines.

Anyone who tells you this movie is stupid is missing the point. Anyone who tells you this movie isn't funny just doesn't get it.

"I was so drunk, I thought a tube of toothpaste was astronaut food."

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye(2008)

It has moments of excitement, but as a whole it's unoriginal, predictable and laughably unrealistic. Despite this, LeBouf's performance is convincing and stands out from the muddled plot.

The Aviator
The Aviator(2004)
½

Given how fascinating Howard Hughes' life really was, I can't help feeling this film should have been somehow, better. The story derails about 2/3 of the way through. Add to that DiCaprio is totally upstaged by Cate Blanchett's performance as Kate Hepburn and although he dons the costume and delivers the lines with his typical skillfulness, I was just never convinced that the man on screen was Hughes.

Ray
Ray(2004)
½

Foxx proves he's not just another pop culture A-Lister in this performance as the legendary pianist. It's a raw and honest portrayal of the highest and lowest points in Charles' industry-changing career.

Million Dollar Baby

Emotionally wrenching and unbelievably original, Million Dollar Baby darkly examines the concepts of courage, family and the human spirit.

The Shawshank Redemption
½

Possibly the best movie of the 90s and although Robbins was a strange pick for the lead, his performance brought Andy Dusfresne vividly to life. Freeman also shines as usual as this film dissects friendship, loyalty and justice in a way that few had before or have since.

Raging Bull
Raging Bull(1980)
½

It's exactly what one should expect from Scorsese and easily DeNiro's best work. As unlikeable as the protagonist is, his primitive, violent and impulsive nature reminds us that we are all irrevocably human, and that consequences are inevitable.

Mystic River
Mystic River(2003)

A visceral story with sharp performances from Penn, Bacon, and Robbins. Eastwood's direction is impeccable as usual. But I was left wondering at the end, "Was I supposed to learn something here?"

Titanic
Titanic(1997)

This movie sparked the beginning of James Cameron's "Pretentious Douchebag" period. Over-hyped, marginally scripted and unrealistic. It was DiCaprio's least convincing performance, in my opinion.

Think for a moment, take the Titanic disaster out of this movie, what you have left is a dull romantic tragedy. You can't transfer the importance of that historic event to this crappy movie, despite Cameron's best efforts.

The Town
The Town(2010)

Finally, after more than a decade of crap, redemption for Ben Affleck. He proves in The Town that his career isn't dead, even if he only succeeds in roles as street-wise Bostonians. Apparently he can direct too!

A Single Man
A Single Man(2009)

Wow, this movie astonished me. It's commentary is especially relevant for a movie set 50 years ago. The script, direction, and cinematography are fantastic. But Firth stands out by bringing this character to life in a way few actors can; he makes you feel every bit of this role.

Inception
Inception(2010)

It's a good movie. But I didn't find it as groundbreaking as others did. The story was predictable and seemed overly convoluted for no discernible reason. I liked it, but truthfully, I expect more from Nolan.