Ray Murphy's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
½

One thing you cannot deny about this movie is that it swung for the moon. They basically rolled three movies into one, and succeeded on many levels, but also stumbled in some aspects. The sound design and score were some of the best I've ever experienced. Ben Affleck is the best Batman we've seen and his Bruce Wayne is very good. Gal Gadot is great as Wonder Woman, both in and out of costume. The action is phenomenal, and there's some real heart to the movie. However, there are some problems as well. And they're not small. Most of my issues with this movie stem from the fact that they tried to do too much with it. The script was in dire need of a rework, but I know how impossible that can be with a movie this big, with so much riding on it. The pacing and theming suffered. There really was no singular theme or plot. Some story elements could have been cut entirely to make more room to polish the core story. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was inconsistent and had way too much screen time for my liking. The wanton destruction from the first movie is back with a vengeance, and this time they really can't blame it on this being Superman's first outing. Overall, there was a lot to enjoy, but I'm not sure I'll remember this movie as intimately or fondly as Man of Steel.

Deadpool
Deadpool(2016)
½

Giving Deadpool a rating is kind of difficult, because it's one of those rare movies that does so many new things and is so niche and relevant to the times that it can't be judged solely by the sum of its parts. "Cinematography 8/10, Humor 10/10, etc." This may work for the thousandth revenge film or the thousandth romantic comedy, but Deadpool is the first of its kind. The story of this film's conception is intensely unique. A beloved comic book character was disgraced as a side-note in a poorly made origin movie of another comic book character, in a climate of superhero movie oversaturation. The eminent spin-off is cancelled. Test footage from that eminent spin-off is leaked years later and is so perfect that fans raise enough of a ruckus to revive the stand-alone movie. The film is made on a meager budget in a very short period of time, and released during an even further saturated market of superhero films. What we see in this film is such an honest result of that history, tied with the initial heart of the comics and the fans of them, topped with ingenuity in storytelling and humor. It kind of makes it petty to say, "the action scenes were a little hit-or-miss and the pacing was a bit jarring."

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

A perfect revitalization of the franchise. It had everything. Wonderful creatures, robots, droids, effects. It had so much heart. This movie pulled me around in every direction it intended to. Every new character is wonderful and likable and interesting and complex. The old characters fit in perfectly. They were not cameos at all, but true older versions of their characters from the originals. Some of the darker, more interesting themes of the extended universe were brought to the table. It had everything a great Star Wars movie should have. Family, struggle, The Force, wonderful creatures and aliens, fantastic space battles, great ground battles, the best possible use of lightsabers. This was such an accomplishment. I could never have imagined this movie could pay homage to the originals so well while bringing so many great new things to the table. I will have to see it again with a more critical eye, but at this point I couldn't possibly have asked for a better Star Wars movie. Great, great job to every person involved.

The Hunt
The Hunt(2013)

A truly haunting film. It's as well made as it is sickening and infuriating.

The One I Love
½

A totally unique take on the typical film about a relationship in ruin. I was totally involved from beginning to end and, without spoiling the quirky premise, this movie doesn't dissappoint. Watch it. It's not what you expect.

Beasts of No Nation

After my first viewing of Beasts of No Nation, I have a hard time summarizing how I feel about the movie. This reflects how the script doesn't know how it wants us to feel about its subjects. I was shown the realistic journey of a boy becoming a child soldier, but what was the message? That it's terrible that children are enlisted in terrible guerrilla warfare? Well, yeah. It is. That many of these wars are pointless and driven by corrupt leaders? Yes, they are. But I didn't have to watch this movie to know that. The movie failed to make a compelling story feel compelling. The visuals are constructed as well as you would expect them to be. They are succinct, to the point, and well planned. I wish I could say the same for the script.

Chef
Chef(2014)
½

The best feel-good indie movie you'll find. It has everything. A great family story, a unique modern asthetic, superb pacing. The movie is filled with an appreciation of culture and great food. The directing and shot selection is top notch. It has a great soundtrack. I recommend it to everyone. I can't imagine the person who doesn't like this movie.

Crimson Peak
Crimson Peak(2015)

There is a recent trend of movies being improperly marketed and Crimson Peak suffered from this. It should have been marketed as an eerie period piece surrounded in mystery and deceit. Not as a high octane horror thrill ride. If you can, avoid all trailers for this movie as they will leave you with completely misleading expectations.

This is one of the most beautiful movies you can see today. The use of color, shot selection, digital effects, environments and costumes are fantastic. The casting was perfect as well. Each character was fully realised and had more depth than damn near any horror movie you'll come across. The story is nothing we haven't seen before, but the execution and inclusion of horror elements set Crimson Peak apart from films with a similar plot. The closest comparison I can draw would be to The Woman In Black, although this is a better film, with much higher aspirations. I recommend it as a period piece, a drama, and a horror movie. Just leave your expectations in the lobby.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man(2015)
½

This movie does many things well. It excels at being a fun heist movie. It's better than most summer blockbusters. Its characters are likeable and funny, more so than many comedies coming out today. Unlike most comedies, heist movies and blockbusters, though, it has a heartbeat. No emotional scenes felt forced, cheasy, or cliche. Overall, a very solid film by any standard. And it fits nicely within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing the smaller, sillier aspects of superheroes into the light. There are a few issues, though, that stood out to me. The pacing felt like it stuttered a bit, the tone felt a little uneven, and the action direction left a little to be desired. But overall, one of the better MCU movies, and one of the best this summer.

Interstellar
Interstellar(2014)

This movie has a lot to say about humanity and a lot to say about our universe, and it does it all in the form of a bigger-than-life science fiction drama, the likes of which I've never seen. The enormity of the story and its implications are handled beautifully with a grand score, and generous pacing. Like Carl Sagan's Cosmos, the movie tells an enormous story, moving outward from the center. The center being Earth. And in an amazing feat of writing prowess, it all comes back on itself in a concise and profound conclusion.

Ex Machina
Ex Machina(2015)

Calling this a near-perfect movie is missing the point. It is extremely original and new, on top of being very smart and expertly crafted. Every shot in this movie could be a poster. Also, it's a near-perfect movie.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A girls does nothing in a pretentious art film.

Mad Max: Fury Road

This movie might very well be the first of its kind. It is an Action movie with a run-time comprised of at least 75% action sequences. What makes it utterly unique is that the action sequences never burn you out. You never become numb to the spectacle of it all. The plot is told through action, the character development is told through action, the themes are defined by action, the story beats happen mid-action, and even the emotions this movie elicits are felt during the action. Because of what action movies have become today, I don't even feel right calling what Fury Road does "Action." It's more like... dynamic story-telling. Action Two-Point-O. You may leave the movie feeling, for the first few minutes, like Fury Road was thin on story or character development. This is because we are so used to action directors compartmentalizing the action. One action sequence can usually be summarized as, "struggle, bad guy escapes," or, "struggle, good guy gets hurt," then it gets back to the "real movie" to tell you the story. Fury Road is amazing in how it grabs you by the throat, straps you to the front of a Marauder's Nitro Truck and shows you an entire story without letting you go. And you're right there in the middle of it, witnessing every detail in perfection. No shot settles for too long. No shot cuts too quickly. All of this is in addition to the fact that every other aspect of the movie was pulled off flawlessly. Casting, directing, acting, pacing, writing, special effects, editing, and the score (oh, God, the score). Hopefully, the legacy of Fury Road will be as the movie that changed Action as a genre, not just the best action movie of all time.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

I only stopped staring in awe to laugh out loud, which happened exactly as often as you would want. They fleshed out Black Widow and Hawkeye, as they needed to be. They managed to make Ultron an interesting and even funny character. Seeing The Avengers together again put a big stupid grin on my face. I can't say for sure if it was better than the first movie, because the first was the first of its kind. We were all in awe. Well, this movie had me in awe and it wasn't even the first one. Take from that what you will.

It Follows
It Follows(2015)

Where Cabin in the Woods was a great movie that deconstructed horror without actually being a scary movie, It Follows is a very scary movie that reinvigorates the horror genre while also managing to be a great movie in general.

Whiplash
Whiplash(2014)

I knew Whiplash was going to be a good movie. I didn't know it was going to be an experience.

Guardians of the Galaxy
½

With a movie so irreverent, so hilarious, and so entertaining, it'd be easier to list its flaws than to list all the things it did right. Nearly every flaw is a result of the fact that the movie is just too short. Given a more epic runtime this movie would have been perfect.

Oldboy
Oldboy(2013)

Not sure why everyone is so down on this remake. There were a few scenes that were exceptionally weak compared to the original but, for the most part, this is a very enjoyable and loyal remake, with enough unique elements to be interesting to fans of the original. Plus, they got rid of the weird Japanese stuff that might not translate to the average viewer.

Oculus
Oculus(2014)
½

Almost as good as Insidious and The Conjuring. The premise is mostly familiar. A haunted object that grows influence over people with time. Where this movie sets itself apart from the rest is in its execution. Instead of calling a priest, they set up cameras, traps and timers in as perfect a setup as you could. Instead of telling the back story in newspaper clipping or flashbacks, they incorporate it into the plot and even the action with some great cinematography. Really a great horror movie. Who said they couldn't make horror movies after Cabin in the Woods?

The Croods
The Croods(2013)
½

It had a promising setting, promising characters and, at first, seemed relatively smart, but in no time at all it devolved into a lot of nothing. Ridiculous, aimless, contrived plot points build the greater part of this movie. The humor is of the worst kind. The worst is the problem with theming. There is none. The story seems to change its message every scene and none of it hits home or even makes sense. They should have thrown this script out and gave these characters something interesting to do. Surely, with the world they created, this mess wasn't the only story that could have happened there. It might give a few laughs, but it is certainly not up to par with the better Pixar and Dreamworks movies.

This Is the End
½

Hilarious, absurd, hilariously absurd. I can't really say too much without revealing some of the gags. Just find a way to see this movie. Quick.

Her
Her(2013)

I don't understand how this movie could have won Best Picture without Joaquin Phoenix also winning Best Actor. Certainly, there's a lot more to this movie than his performance, but he's on screen for practically the entire running time, talking to someone who isn't there. This movie has so much to say about human interaction and the nature of our relationships while, at the same time, showing us a brilliantly imagined world we've never seen on the screen before. A world I may very well see in my lifetime. A fantastic accomplishment for everyone involved, not least of all Joaquin Phoenix and Spike Jonze.

The Way Way Back

It's like this movie followed the formula for a feel-good kids movie that would have been great in the 90's. I didn't find that it translated all that well onto the screen today. The writing was hard to believe, and the characters are very outdated. The definition of "cool" has changed since The Sandlot, but the writers seemed to have missed that memo. I cringe for Sam Rockwell.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

Even as someone who didn't grow up with the Muppets, I found it easy to relate with the sentiments and morals of this story. I love the style of humor, breaking the fourth wall on a regular basis. The movie uses old cliche's, not only as plot devices, but as punch lines. I think it was a perfect movie for getting the right messages across to old fans and new ones like me. I may just have to go back and watch some old episodes to see what I missed out on.

You're Next
You're Next(2013)
½

It started off like a second-rate slasher flick filled with actors and actresses I've never seen, but once things kick off you realize this is a cut above the rest. The story is as good as it needs to be. The acting, once the bad actors have been killed off, is perfectly passable. But the tension and gripping energy keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. Once the violence starts, this movie keeps you going right until the end. One of the best slasher flicks I've seen. It brings new life into a genre that I really had no faith in.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

The critics have no idea what the hell they're talking about here. This movie is almost as good as Nolan's Batman films and The Avengers. It's definitely the best Superman film of all time. If you expect a man with underwear on the outside saving cats from trees, go watch the crappy Christopher Reeves films from the 70's and 80's. This is as much a Sci-Fi alien invasion movie as it is a comic book super hero movie. I can't say enough good things about this movie. Just see it for yourself.

Maniac
Maniac(2013)
½

As far as slasher films go, Maniac is a cut above the rest.

End of Watch
End of Watch(2012)
½

The best cop movie I can think of at the moment.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)
½

This movie is so bad ass. It's a dream come true for those of us who grew up on X-Men, Dragonball Z, and the like. It's extremely fun, and even without an IMAX screen, or 3D glasses, the fights were so gigantic in scale and tactile, I found myself literally nudging my wife with my elbow, slack-jawed, as if to say, "Are you seeing this?!" We both had an amazing time with this movie. There are many nudges to the old Japanese monster movies, but Pacific Rim stands on its own and is not merely an homage movie. The dialogue, acting, and character development left a lot to be desired, but who is really looking for that in a movie like this any way? The only sad thing is that a movie like this absolutely needs to be seen in the theatres and it's clear not a lot of people did that. I almost didn't see it myself, and that would have been a shame.

The Conjuring

A truly scary movie and, more importantly than that, a great movie. And I get it, ghosts have to exist for a ghost story to make sense. In the case of this movie, God, Satan, and demons come along with the ghosts. Once you get past that, this movie is phenomenal. It's terrifying in a way only Insidious (by the same director) was able to get close to. This movie takes the phrase "less is more" and makes it into an art form. The director expertly wields the ability to replicate the feeling of ultimate terror you get when waking from a nightmare. The characters couldn't have been better written or better cast. Just enough mystery is left to keep you wondering. The use of sound, editing, camera angles and lighting is flawless. But beyond all of that, which makes a great horror movie, I have my own pet reasons why this movie is one of the best horror movies of all time. Semi-spoilers are ahead. I almost feel as if this movie has introduced two fictional demon-hunters to us the same way Unbreakable introduced super-humans and super-villians. You have this totally realistic family, the mother and father of which hunt demons, in a world almost identical to our own, and you can somehow accept the supernatural aspect along with the entirely believable human element. I mean, they keep a room full of possibly hundreds of objects, all of which have a demon attached to them. At the end of the movie, I felt as if the advertising was fibbing in the way we are told that this case is the worst of the Warrens' careers. They even show us a case that was worse in the movie! But by the end, I felt as if we were just seeing one out of hundreds of these types of cases, as evidenced by the hundreds of items possessed by demons in their home. It is a truly commendable feat to introduce us to two "mediums" or "sensatives" or "demonologists," and then leave us feeling as if we just witnessed a day in the life of two modern day Van Helsings. Really cool.

ParaNorman
ParaNorman(2012)

Like many generally good movies, this one falls off a bit in the third act. Characters often repeat themselves to get a simple point across which is entirely unnecessary. You see, the point they're trying to get across is so simple that you'd never need it to be repeated. Some people are very stupid, but the writers assume the whole audience is. The point they try to get across is simple enough for the average viewer to get it without repeated rewording. One time would be enough. See how I just used 5 sentences to get a one sentence point across? It's kind of like that. But the overall moral and story is well thought out and highlights an important aspect of human nature in a surprising way. It's a bit tragic, very funny, and visually engrossing. I recommend it for anyone with kids or an interest in Pixar, Dreamworks, or stop-motion animation.

World War Z
World War Z(2013)
½

Much better than I expected. Easily one of the best first acts in a zombie movie. The end fell off a bit. It didn't follow the book in any meaningful way, but I set that aside during the truly commendable first act. If you like zombie movies, this is a pretty good one.

Evil Dead
Evil Dead(2013)
½

A solid remake by any standard. Those who say the film contains no humor may have been expecting the type of over-the-top camp from the originals which, I'm glad to say, is absent from this film. It would not have translated well and would not have been well received. The originals were a phenomenon frozen in time. The humor in this film is muted and self-referential. When other horror movie characters might dive into the experience as if they had read the script, the characters in Evil Dead know exactly how fucked up the situation is. The action and violence is fantastic and should be pleasing to anyone going to see this of their own free will. Nods to the original are tasteful and well-masked so the uninitiated aren't left going, "I don't get it." Most impressive, I think, is the way they handle the concept of being attacked by those closest to you. This movie makes you fear your loved ones the way Jaws made you fear the pool. Try getting ready for bed in the dark while your significant other lays sleeping beside you. A startling image of those yellow eyes might make you rethink the possibility of just sleeping on the couch tonight. My only complaint is that, I feel, more self-referential humor would have served this movie well. The violence and experiences they go through are so unique and horrible that any one today wouldn't be able to prevent themselves from screaming, "What the fuck?!" More of this type of humor could only have raised this movie above being, "just a good horror movie." Overall, great movie. It might not have the lasting impression I was hoping for going in, but to ask for much more would be asking too much.

Frankenweenie

For the first time in years, I'm actually proud of Tim Burton. With an endless stream of, "Kooky Wacky Tim Burton Adventures!" I had nearly lost hope that he could even make a good movie anymore. This may be the sign of a comeback. Instead of the usual narcissistic weirdness that Tim Burton beats you over the head with, this film seems self-satirical in its over-the-top characters. The style feels much more updated and far less gaudy. It's like for the first time, instead of the conversation between us and Tim Burton going like this: "Look! I'm wierd!" "Yes, you're weird." "I'm reeeaaally weird!" "Right, we get it." The conversation goes more like this: "Yes, you all know, I'm weird. But look at this great film I've made." Not since Nightmare Before Christmas has Tim Burton invited us into his world, rather than shine a giant stage-light on it. It pays homage to Big Monster movies and old Hammer Film horrors. But what caught be by surprise was the pointed, yet irreverent political and social commentary. I'm impressed by all of the subjects this movie covers without being in too many places at once. Metaphor laden, and insightful, this is a must see for Burton fans, or anyone who's lost faith in him.

Django Unchained

Tarantino's most solid movie to date. Not quite the originality of Pulp Fiction or the masterful dialogue of Inglourious Basterds, but still his most solid. The practical effects for blood and gore was perfect and possibly the best I've seen in a film. Think Kill Bill, but with shotguns and hand cannons. Every character (except the damsel in distress) was fleshed out, interesting, and either a perfect villain or a perfect hero. Even though it is an over the top spaghetti western, it reminds you just how terrible slavery was, and just how recent. Possibly the best action-revenge film of all time. Another Blu-ray on the shelf, for sure.

The Raid: Redemption

Holy shit. I was in a bit of a craze over this movie before seeing it, so my hopes were fairly high, which is normally a bad idea. But this movie doesn't disappoint. Without exaggeration, this movie is about 90% action sequence. Every gunshot, every punch, every kick was paid full attention to in how the camera moves, how the special effects were used, down to the most minute detail. I could barely glimpse any mistakes or missteps during the whole movie. Story was sparse, succinct, and never convoluted. Over an hour of solid action was punctuated with just the right amount of suspense, never feeling forced, and down to the moment the credits roll, my attention never waned. The soundtrack was on point. I can't think of a single thing I'd change about this movie. It could not have been done better. Definitely the next Blu-ray I'm putting on the shelf.

Wreck-it Ralph

The video-game theme and likeable characters saved this movie for me. The storyline was smart enough, but there was far too much catering to children that Pixar manages to avoid. At certain points it seems like the movie is trying to be too funny for kids, when regular dialogue would have sufficed.

The Brave One

There is nothing that rings more hollow and lazy than when a critic cries moral outrage. It seems to me that this movie, however cliche' it is, pales in comparison to the cliche' of a pretentious movie critic tucking his balls between his legs and whining that a movie doesn't fit within his moral compass. If you want to bitch whenever you are offended, please choose a profession where your opinion is less public.

Sinister
Sinister(2012)
½

Truly and thoroughly terrifying. If you asked, I'd have a hard time explaining what was so scary about this movie, but I developed a cold knot of fear in my stomach during the first few minutes and it hasn't gone away. Some of the plot elements are faulty, and the typical problem of the stupid protagonist is definitely present, but this is a smarter horror movie than most. It pays attention to its characters in a way that I wish more horror movies would. By the time the chainsaw revs or the axe starts swinging, I'm normally ready to kill the protagonists myself. With Sinister, I was rooting for the good guy until the credits rolled. The use of sound and editing was superb; probably the best of any horror movie. The acting was top notch. This movie might not go down as one of the great horror classics, but it deserves credit for being better than most.

Looper
Looper(2012)

A movie this cool has no right to be this good, is what I was thinking near the end of Looper. When a movie includes time travel, crime syndicates, telekinesis, and Bruce Willis, you don't expect an engaging drama. But the Writer/Director pays just enough attention to his characters, and just enough to the plot. I fear I have to admit that there are some serious holes involving the time travel, but they only became apparent to me after the movie was over, so Rian Johnson did his job. I'm sure some time-travel fan boy has come up with a legitimate explanation for these paradoxes. Sci-Fi movies always suffer from trying to show you just how cool their ideas are. This movie's coolness is a matter of fact. It gives Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers a run for their money this summer.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

This movie tries to do too many things and the result is that it does all of them poorly. But it sure looks pretty! --- SPOILER ALERT!!! --- The mystery of the trailers is destroyed in the first five minutes of the movie as life on Earth is explained in one of the laziest ways I know. Life on Earth comes from aliens, but who made the aliens? Well, God, of course. But don't ask who made God! This movie approaches philosophy like a creationist in the YouTube comments section of videos about evolution. There are so many half-baked, unnecessary sub-plots that I found myself struggling to care about any of them. World class scientists are used as horror movie cannon fodder. Unintentional laughs and plentiful ridiculousness are found in a movie that, at the same time, tries to answer humankind's greatest (already answered) questions. Not a single one of the characters is consistent or likeable. Actually, none of the characters are even important. I could go on for hours about the many glaring flaws in this movie, and I'd still miss half of them. How many of you women out there could have a Cesarian Section, leap off of the operating table, run, jump, and climb around? If you were on an alien planet, would you take off your helmet? If you found a threatening looking space-cobra would you try to pet it? Why does the emotionless android poison a main character? Why did the aliens create us just to destroy us? Why was it important for Charlize Theron to be Guy Pierce's daughter? What was with that shitty terraforming wager? Why did the first alien have to sacrifice himself? What ever happened to the solid, fact-based theory of evolution? If you know God ultimately created all life, why is it so important for you to find our immediate creators? Why would finding a common set of dots on cave drawings lead you to believe aliens created us? Why would a group of top scientists agree to a 2 year journey to another planet before being briefed on the mission? What do you think is going to happen when you get to the home planet, now that you've seen how hostile these aliens are? I thoroughly disliked nearly every scene of this movie, every character in this movie, and every pseudo-philosophical half-conclusion it came to. But damn it sure looked pretty!

Ponyo
Ponyo(2009)
½

Compared to Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Secret World of Arrietty, Ponyo is tedious, rambling, and not very rewarding. Compared to Dragon Ball Z, it's a good anime.

V/H/S
V/H/S(2012)

The Good: Solid acting, original stories, originality and risk, skill and finesse when it comes to empathy, emotion, foreshadowing and suspense, and choosing creepiness over jump-scares..

The Bad: Putting a totally unnecessary and gimmicky VHS filter over every shot, coupled with the traditional found-footage shaky-cam and VCR artifacting, devastated the film's watchability. None of the stories tie in together or make sense in the grander story. There was wasted potential in each of the films because each film used enough time to build up, but the payoff had to be very short. The pacing was very erratic. Some of the special effects were shoddy.

All in all, I think any horror fan should give it a shot, but the average movie goer isn't going to miss much.

The Innkeepers

Less happens in the movie than in the trailer. The movie is an exercise in trying to create the longest possible feeling that something scary is about to happen. And to the movie's own detriment, it succeeds.

The Dark Knight Rises
½

I loved the movie, and thoroughly enjoyed my time at the movie theatre. Anne Hathaway was actually a great Catwoman. Bane was very unique in that he seemed like he didn't really believe in the chaos he was bringing, unlike the Joker, but more like he had a job to do. Foreshadowing was done frequently and not too obviously. When there are twists, you barely see them coming. The action was amazing, and there are plenty of comic-fan moments for you and your friends to grin at each other like idiots in the theatre. I'm amazed at how much they were able to fit into this movie without it feeling like the pacing was too fast. My only complaint is that the movie dragged on through certain sequences.

Brave
Brave(2012)
½

I enjoyed it, but it's no Toy Story 3. I feel as if the writers could have taken the same characters and themes, but went in a much more effective direction with the story. I laughed a lot, teared up a couple times, and genuinely loved many of the characters, but that Pixar charm went missing somewhere along the way. The soundtrack was far too modern for the setting and left something to be desired. There are tedious, unsatisfying scenes that older Pixar movies never would have wasted screen time on. Pixar has been known for making family movies that are entertaining for adults, but Brave seems to pander to children and take liberties that Finding Nemo, Up, and Toy Story stayed away from. Merida is a great protagonist, and the CG work on her hair never got old. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I can't shake the feeling that these characters could have flourished in a better story. This is a small slip for Pixar, but not nearly as big a slip as Cars and Cars 2 were.

Snow White and the Huntsman
½

The Rotten Tomatoes consensus pretty much hit the nail on the head. "Snow White and the Huntsman is undone by uneven acting, problematic pacing, and a confused script." Although these problems were glaring to me, I also thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of this movie and I know it had the potential to be the best Snow White to date and a great summer movie. Charlize Theron's character was a bit one dimensional for me, considering her skills as an actress and the character's potential. Kirsten Stewart was surprisingly okay. The only typical Kirsten Stewart thing she kept doing was looking distraught and/or confused. Luckily she kept the sighing and lip-biting to a minimum, and her accent was convincing. My favorite characters by far were the Seven Dwarves. They were the perfect mix of comic relief and genuine backstory-laden ex-miners. The special effects were spot-on, and in this movie are some of the best set designs, characters designs, and costume designs. More disappointing than the movie itself is the almost unprecedented wasted potential.

Marvel's The Avengers

First of all, this is the best superhero movie of all time. Hands down. Dark Knight and Batman Begins are close runner ups but The Avengers takes the cake. They took on the challenge of 7 super heroes (Thor, Loki, Ironman, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow) and managed to pull it off flawlessly. Every character was given just the right amount of attention and screen time. They managed to make Hawkeye and Black Widow awesome, which is an amazing feat in itself. They even managed to make a genuinely funny movie. I burst into laughter quite a few times. Some of the most memorable super hero moments of all time happened during the fight in the second half of the movie. Iron man reflects his beams off of Captian America's shield! The Hulk slams Loki from side to side like a dozen times! Hawkeye made arrows awesome! Black Widow was unbelievable! I'm nerding out now, so I'll end this review the right way. Your move, Christopher Nolan.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

One of the best action flicks I've ever seen, and I'm not all that big a fan of pure action. It's great to see action heroes and spies using faulty tech and running and hiding. The acting is great and there are a lot of laughs to be had and, surprisingly, not only because of Simon Pegg. The action is over-the-top, but shot so well that you feel it, rather than feel confused or overwhelmed by it (Like in Terminator: Salvation.) I went to see this to get a glimpse of the first few minutes of Dark Knight Rises, but I ended up being more excited about this film, which was hard to admit. Proof that action can be done right.

Running Scared

This movie had some of the most interesting characters I've ever seen in an action thriller. Paul Walker plays a man torn between the situation in which he finds himself and his inner good nature. His wife is supportive of her husband and the role he has to play, but independent. She contains a respectable and complex strength that Vera Farmiga executes flawlessly. Several other memorable characters facilitate the situational drama of the film. I'm very surprised to see such a low rating for this movie. It is honestly one of my favorites just because of how surprisingly good it is for an action suspense flick.

The Cabin in the Woods

Certainly the funnest and most entertaining "horror" movie I've ever seen. I use the word "horror" very loosely. Anybody who judges this movie based on horror genre standards is misguided and will be disappointed. The story is genius and completely unique. The last 20-30 minute is an amazing, mind-blowing roller coaster that left my friends and I talking about it for an hour in the parking lot. After leaving the theatre, we immediately wanted to buy another set of tickets and see it again. I have a small collection of blu-rays that I keep almost to prove to future generations that, yes, at one point in time, people did risk it and create original, amazing movies. This movie is certainly going to be among that collection.