Ian Wolfley's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
½

One of the best movies I've ever seen. Alive and clever in a way few movies are.

Life Itself
Life Itself(2014)

An almost perfect documentary; an inspiring, honest portrait of a brilliant man and a love letter to movies, writing, and, as the title suggests, life itself.

Guardians of the Galaxy
½

I laughed my ass off and enjoyed just about every moment... EXCEPT for the grossly offensive and sexist jokes. Not OK, you guys. Minus a star for that.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
½

Another hour and forty minutes (that felt like 2+ hours) of visually stunning twee nonsense from Wes Anderson. With a stellar, underused cast doing their best with thin-as-paper characters.

Weekend
Weekend(2011)
½

A very well crafted, honest, unpretentious, and fascinating film. I was captivated every minute.

Silver Linings Playbook
½

I don't get what the big deal was; the movie is funny, no question. But every beat is predictable, it grossly over-simplifies mental illness, and in the end wraps up like Mental Health Week's episode of 'Step It Up.'

Children of Men

Peter Travers called this the second greatest film of the decade. Now that I've finally seen it, I get it, and agree.

Much Ado About Nothing

A surprisingly funny, featherweight comedy with sharp direction, a fantastic script, and excellent performances.

Jennifer's Body

Diablo Cody's script is actually a razor sharp critique of sexist horror film tropes and the actors give each role surprising depth; unfortunately, the film is clumsily directed and suffers from erratic tone and pacing. Who knows if studio or director are to blame for that. But none of its faults detracted from my enjoyment of its giddy, gory, and intelligent humor.

Magic Mike
Magic Mike(2012)

Magic Mike... meh. Too soft to really be hot and too simple a story to be interesting.

The Paperboy
The Paperboy(2012)

An outrageous, silly, lurid, scary, and thoroughly entertaining film. It takes bad taste in a whole new direction.

Side by Side
Side by Side(2012)

Really fascinating, inspiring, and expertly constructed. It encapsulates this moment in time in the development of an artform.

Amour
Amour(2012)

We're very lucky to have a filmmaker skilled and daring enough to make a film about the indignity and inevitability of death that is never maudlin, saccharine, or anything but truthful, devastating, and, in its own way, life affirming.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

That VFX firm definitely deserves to get paid.

Killer Joe
Killer Joe(2012)

A disturbing and hilarious tour de force of acting. This twisted morality tale of trailer trash is funny, but with a bite, because you can't shake the feeling that characters like this really exist. And in that way it becomes a horror movie.

Holy Motors
Holy Motors(2012)
½

Easily one of the best films of the year, with a transcendent and challenging narrative, disturbingly beautiful images, and a masterful performance from Denis Lavant.

Argo
Argo(2012)
½

I don't think I've ever been so tense throughout an entire movie before.

Samsara
Samsara(2012)

It's undeniable the message is a bit heavy-handed, but that does not detract from the power of its images. Fricke and Magidson show us things we might never have seen, and give us an incredible meditative experience.

Les Misérables

I was impressed and disappointed, almost in equal measure. Anne Hathaway's performance of 'I Dreamed a Dream' is worth an Oscar alone; as is the production design and costume. The hand-held camerawork was an eyesore and distracting; Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean is one for the ages; Russell Crowe's Javert is just... bland; Seyfried would probably be great if she had any screen time; Redmayne is amazing. So, it's worth seeing and quite impressive, but it still misses the mark.

Django Unchained
½

Brilliant, bloody, exhilarating, discomforting, and a truly inventive, entertaining, thoughtful film. Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, DiCaprio, and Foxx are a joy to watch; I was thoroughly impressed and can't wait to see it again. Tarantino created a remarkable revenge thriller with a bitter twist of history lesson.

Flirting With Disaster

A perfectly-timed, intelligent, discomforting, and hilarious movie.

Transsiberian
½

An almost-perfect thriller. Woody Harrelson is fascinating as a dumpy American Christian missionary, Emily Mortimer plays his wife with a past. It goes from zero to terrifying with one glance in a quiet scene.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Funny, original, and perfect adult Christmas fare.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

People who love and make movies do so in the hopes that a film like this will come along: a film that will astound you with its technique and construction, while evoking powerful emotions that remind you what a mysterious and beautiful universe this is.

Shock Corridor
½

It starts out like a typical 60's B-movie, but as the scenes unfold, you realize Fuller is up to something bigger than a murder mystery; while somewhat dated, a fascinating piece of cinema.

The Master
The Master(2012)
½

Beautiful, hilarious, mystifying, and just so damn good.

Hausu (House)
½

"Obayashi recalled that his producer told him that Toho was tired of losing money on comprehensible films and were ready to let Obayashi direct the House script, which they felt was incomprehensible." --Wikipedia... And indeed, this completely erratic, yet hilarious, shocking, and visually daring film is now considered a classic, even though the US didn't see it until 2009.

The Caller
The Caller(2011)

The movie shouldn't work, with its plot holes and erratic characters, but it delivers on creepy thrills and surprises. If you're in that kind of mood, go for it. The performances are also top notch, the material just doesn't give them much to do unfortunately.

Absentia
Absentia(2012)
½

Surprisingly effective, chilling, and well written ghost story. Shot on a Canon Rebel, a low-budget indie that makes you forget that fact with a thoroughly absorbing mystery and complex characters.

ParaNorman
ParaNorman(2012)
½

This is one of the best movies of the year. See it, you won't be sorry. It's entertaining, hilarious, and clever in ways so many kid movies never are; and it handily satisfies the hallmark of a quality horror flick: it makes an unexpected and bold statement about society that doesn't feel hammy or out of step.

Twixt
Twixt(2012)
½

A silly, heartfelt, imaginative, and perplexing little movie. I can't give it a resounding recommendation, I'm sure many would find it boring and trite. But I'd much prefer a film like this (idiosyncratic, ambiguous, funny, and occasionally frightening) to a Bourne, Expendable, or Step Up. It's visuals are breathtaking, acting pitch perfect, it's the script that... tends to wander around.

Near Dark
Near Dark(1987)
½

A funny, fascinating, and troubling story beautifully shot and directed (despite some minor first-feature technical flaws). Seems ripe for a remake, but heaven forbid anyone attempt for the soul and heart this film displays: a love for the genre, daring in its melding of Western and horror, and fascinating characters with a story to tell that stays with you long after its over.

Eyes Wide Shut

After countless viewings, I still find new details and themes that enrich the story and its haunting atmosphere.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
½

A crushing bore that takes itself far too seriously given its ludicrous, campy plot.

Jeff Who Lives at Home
½

1/3 of a good movie, the other 2/3 are uninteresting, ludicrous, badly written plot contrivances.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)

The best use of 3D I've seen so far, but overly-long.

The Adventures of Tintin
½

It's true the characters and plot are "paper-thin," but I don't remember being as giddily excited by an action-adventure movie in a long time; quite possibly since I first saw 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' as a kid. It's smarter than you think and incredibly entertaining with brilliant filmmaking flourishes.

The Tillman Story
½

Remember the good old days, when there seemed to be a documentary released every few months that would inflame your outrage and indignation at the Bush administration's brazen lawlessness and callous disregard for human beings? Sadly, those stories continue to be told, and it's a good thing this one has been rendered with such expertise, passion, and craft.

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)

'Young Adult' is unlike anything I've seen before from a mainstream movie; it's like a drama/social "horror" film. It's a fascinating study of a very broken individual who refuses to grow up and take responsibility, and lives in their own magic-talk world, and the dire consequences of such an existence.

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

I watched this again and will always crack up when that chainsaw-wielding headless corpse barrels through the door.

The Outsiders

A very effective and beautiful little movie. I found the score to be incredibly over-bearing and the secondthirdact whisks by without the detail and pace that made the first half so enjoyable. Overall a great portrait of youth.

There Will Be Blood

This is why people make movies, to create an experience like this.

Best Worst Movie

With the exception of one very exploitative and inappropriate moment in this documentary, it's a very smart, funny, and sympathetic look at the pursuit of fame and an hilarious portrait of people who think they can make movies.

Tiny Furniture

Now I understand why people have such a difficult time with this film. It is incredibly boring, self-absorbed, and devoted to 'first world problems.' Yet, it also seems slightly aware of this and is impossible to stop watching, because it feels so authentic, like you're seeing a verite documentary of a young woman's life play out. It's worth as a film, I think, will only be determined in light of her future work, which I'm very curious to see.

21 Jump Street

Screamingly funny. Go with low expectations and a disregard for logic and you'll love every minute.

The Snowtown Murders

An amazing, daring film. "Mesmerizing" is truly the word, and demanding. It offers no easy answers or exposition. The film depicts its events with the utmost realism, favoring an almost verite-quality depictions above all other concerns; so, despite its flaws in story and exposition, it is a disturbing portrait of a community on the fringes of society, the mental illness and poverty that can foster people who grow up to be ruthless killers. It relies on the tools of cinema, image, sound, and montage, to create its meaning. You as the viewer must fill in the gaps. Inspiring filmmaking.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A truly exhilarating film, not from car chases and gun shots, but in its intelligence and craft. This isn't a kick-back and zone out spy thriller; it's a demanding and entertaining guessing game. Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and the rest of the cast are pitch perfect.

Chop
Chop(2011)

A great script and quality performances are somewhat clumsily assembled by first-time director Trent Haaga. tI has promise and provided more than a few great laughs; gleefully gory and deranged.

The Anniversary

You've seen 'The Anniversary', right? This screamingly funny film from Hammer Films and Roy Ward Baker, based on a stage play, is full of campy costumes and set design but razor sharp dialogue and more than a few twists and turns.

The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)

This 34-minute film won the Palm d'Or and the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It's one of the most perfect, simple, and beautiful pieces of film. If you have kids in your life, buy it for them; it's about bullying, friendship, and determination.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Epic, beautiful, disturbing, and expertly crafted.

Some Guy Who Kills People
½

An exciting, hysterical, and easily the sweetest, most heart-warming slasher movie I've ever seen.

I Saw the Devil

Brutal and exquisite revenge flick.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

Hilarious, feather-weight fun.

Red State
Red State(2011)
½

Smart, freaky, bloody, suspenseful mess with stellar performances.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

A rare must-see that skillfully uses every cinematic technique available to tell a story from the outside in.

Contagion
Contagion(2011)

A forgetful and erratic script only slightly diluted the solid direction and acting. A terrifying and surreal "what if..."

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
½

Hilariousness (if you're into that kind if thing).

Pieces of April

Exceptional low-budget dramady with stellar performances and a script that surprises with its honesty. Oh and it's a Thanksgiving movie, my favorite.

Drive
Drive(2011)
½

While I felt the pace was monotonous, an undeniably beautiful and masterfully directed crime/revenge flick with more emotional complexity than one would expect.

Dogtooth (Kynodontas)
½

Disturbing, above all daring, and utterly watchable. It's just short of visionary, as the movie isn't quite sure what it's saying, but certainly commendable for its bravery and experimentation.

[Rec]
[Rec](2007)

While the acting and dialogue are par-for-the-course of the genre, the slick effects, camerawork, and locomotive story give you plenty of terrifying moments.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios)

So much fun to see this in a theater with a crowd laughing hysterically. Even after several viewings, "Gazpacho" cracks me up.

Cecil B. Demented

One star for the concept and one for Melanie Griffith. The rest of the movie is non-sense. Did John Waters get lazy or fall out of touch?

The Tree of Life

Mind-boggling, beautiful, and over-whelming.

The Nines
The Nines(2007)

Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy, Elle Fanning & Hope Davis kick ass in this uneven but valiant attempt at making an exciting, original film--at turns scary, hilarious, and heartbreaking.

I Love You Phillip Morris
½

Minor flaws aside, a great drama/suspense/comedy/romance that deserves more recognition.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)
½

Fun, light-hearted, loud summer popcorn.

The Mist
The Mist(2007)

Terrifying, bloody and perfect for end-of-days celebration, with a truly remarkable performance by Marcia Gay Harden.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)

Screamingly funny. Clever, disgusting, and entertaining for the entire two hours. Go see it right now. You'll love yourself for it.

Thor
Thor(2011)

Pure fun, smart with explosions & spectacle.

Celebrity
Celebrity(1998)

One of my all-time favorites.

A Dirty Shame

Not really funny. Not clever. 88 minutes of life. Gone.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Still don't know what to think. Incredibly entertaining, but if it is a hoax, then I feel the same way about Banksy as a filmmaker as he does about Thierry being an artist... it should take more.

The House Bunny

I've never seen a movie with comedic performances to die for, in the hands of a director so laughably incompetent, at the service of a plot so beyond dumb. It's sort of win-win, you laugh like crazy at Faris and Stone and then you laugh at the awful/ridiculous setting, scenery, costumes, pretty much anything else in each shot. Seriously, though, hilarious.

Scream 4
Scream 4(2011)

Surprisingly clever & grotesque.