thenewalphabet's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Lullaby for Pi

A nonsensical attempt of an off-beat romance between two talented and tortured souls, LULLABY FOR PI is more baffling than beguiling; and an outlandish composition of unflattering music, arts, romanticism (and even mathematics) with convulsing incredulity.

Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6(2014)

Boasting a cultural mash-up set in the futuristic fusion of San Francisco and Tokyo, BIG HERO 6 is an enjoyable diversion by Disney's deployment of the little-known Marvel property. Making up for its perceptible plotline are the delightful visuals, engaging robotic slapstick, friendlier character treatment from the comics, and affecting battery at the heart of young genius Hiro and marshmallow-like but multifunctional machine named Baymax that builds to a 'satisfying' animated adventure for the young and old alike.

John Wick
John Wick(2014)

With a wicked atmosphere, sleek action sequences, and an intriguing character to elevate itself from bland assassin innuendo, JOHN WICK is a stylish, welcome return to kinetic form by Keanu Reeves, resulting to an agreeable consensus that his retired hit man days are far from over.

Begin Again
Begin Again(2014)
½

Seven years since captivating indie lovers and Oscar voters of the modern classic 'Once', writer-director John Carney returns with bigger stars jamming to more mainstream records in BEGIN AGAIN. His second musical have the more star power (attracting musically-inclined Oscar nominees and The Voice coaches) and more accessible music (with a shinier New York guitar case than the dilapidated one in Dublin) yet its appealing spark doesn't quite match the soulful glow of its predecessor. Begin Again may have undergone a mainstream treatment on its music, atmosphere and characters, but it still plays consistently on Carney's coursework of endearing platonic musicals.

About a Boy
About a Boy(2002)
½

Based on Nick Hornby's novel, 'About a Boy' is a charming and candid coming-of-age British comedy that ambles on the privy issues of isolation and intimacy to an endearing effect, thanks to the more humane side of Hugh Grant. The Oscar-nominated screenplay deftly blends laughter and heartbreak that lightens the mood of an otherwise messy situation between two strangers, Will (Grant) and young Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), who become each other's backup in an unlikely turn of events. Built on heartfelt comedy with an engaging dialogue made more natural by Grant's wry humor, 'About a Boy' is a fresh, modern take on the 'no man is an island'; but it's also a self-conscious reminder of the immaturity in growing old, and the respectability of growing up.

Non-Stop
Non-Stop(2014)
½

Hot on the heels of Liam Neeson's late resurgence as an action star, NON-STOP takes off in a tense premise that takes claustrophobia to the highest, inescapable altitude. A (surprising) ensemble cast had a promise of a sophisticated thriller but were surprisingly miserably written and confined as plot devices. The narrative turbulence happens at the end of the film and NON-STOP lands preposterously because of its final reveal. At least the cast looked like they enjoyed the ride and the movie was entertaining despite its misgivings. But the viewing seat belt is still fastened on what the hijacking film could have been for the better.

Starred Up
Starred Up(2014)
½

Violent and unforgiving as it maybe, it's hard to look away from director David Mackenzie's unflinching story of a juvenile's descent to the gratuitous cage of older convicts. Brilliantly filmed and one of the finest in its genre, STARRED UP is a no holds barred prison drama anchored heavily on the revelatory Jack O'Connell as Eric Love who unleashes his inner animal, more savage and scarred, yet most importantly, raw of the potential to redeem himself from the society who doesn't believe it possible. Eric's erstwhile guardians are also haunted of their own personal demons; Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend fills complicated layers of humanity in their troubled characters. STARRED UP does not take pleasure in its brutality, nor preaches of the consequences of serving in prison. Rather, it powerfully delivers a sore reality not often seen onscreen.

The Maze Runner

In a populated, alternate dystopian world where teenage boys are unknowingly trapped in the maze, THE MAZE RUNNER escapes the clichéd territory by banking on its more intuitive characters against the suspicious society they strive in. It lays ground of a 'Lord of the Flies'-like setting that raises the oblivion to pseudo-'The Hunger Games' level, but still knows its destination. While the revelatory ending further leads to a labyrinth of 'lies', THE MAZE RUNNER is an intriguing and heightening run that has yet to release viewers from its enigmatic maze. Non-book readers would still be reeling on the puzzling turn of events but the next leg of answers is something to look forward to in its next installment.

Groundhog Day

In its lightness, there is depth. GROUNDHOG DAY is the most though-provoking comedy-fantasy I'd seen (before the darker 'Being John Malkovich'), starring a bemused Bill Murray who in full circle captures the confusion, frustration, and acceptance of his existence in a time loop. An inventive blend of humor in the briskest setting possible, GROUNDHOG DAY also grows of sweetness as the day revolves (along with Andie MacDowell). But more than the genre crisscross, it's a candid re-examination of life and the many possibilities one can strike when trapped in the time capsule. The whole Groundhog Day may turn out as a rehab stint for Phil, but for viewers, the individual realization of stepping into Phil's shoes is the residue of the chuckles cracked. Finally seeing GROUNDHOG DAY is really (pun intended) a day well spent.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
½

Hope is the recurring theme in the Marc Webb-directed franchise but the latest spidey sequel seemed to be dangling from commercial hopes than creative optimism. THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN 2 is a web of excesses, stretching from unfocused story lines, pickled romanticism, and unripe villain physiology. What it made up for the 'amazing', perceptive visual style, TASM2 lacked the narrative coherence that doesn't require comprehension, making the sequel a brainless comic exercise. It's a time-consuming and overstuffed installment of Spider Man's past, present, and future. The tangled outcome doesn't bode well for the succeeding Spider Man films but at least the performances (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's doomed relationship and Dane DeHaan's menacing turn as the Green Goblin) should keep viewers in-thread-sted (pun intended).

Grease
Grease(1978)
½

Before jocks, cheerleaders, and geeks, there were T-birds and Pink Ladies. The defining onscreen musicals of my generation were 'Glee' and 'High School Musical' but what else would be the seed of this sub-genre other than GREASE? Starring a honeyed Olivia Newton-John serenading "Hopelessly Devoted To You" (before 'getting physical') and a steely-eyed John Travolta swinging his hips (before learning to take down targets), GREASE is a gleeful rendition of young love along with infectious songs and amusing production numbers. It defines the vogue of its decade: chic, fun, and rebellious; and for first time viewers like me, shows how it's like to be melodiously in love in the 70s.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)
½

An engrossing 'fan boy' experience to the fault, PACIFIC RIM is an epic machination of a monster movie done right: a visual combustion of enormous kaiju proportions coherently matched with an emphatic back story of the pilots behind the jaeger. Auteur Guillermo Del Toro's passion project is a screaming vindication of a fan boy-and-girl spectacle, although the lengthy exposure to colossal collisions and cranky scientists could spoil the fun.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

What could be a more fitting platform for Marvel to dive into the spy and political thriller territories? CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is Marvel?s most sophisticated stand-alone superhero film yet as it infuses the old-school spy work and conspiracy of the 70?s to create a premium comic book adaptation of serious S.H.I.E.L.D. intrigue. Still coping with his new life post-The Avengers, Captain America once again caught himself in tricky trust issues with edgy S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), a slier Black Window (Scarlett Johansson), and the mysterious Winter Soldier (SPOILER! Sebastian Stan). Underneath the red, white, and blue costume, Chris Evans brings the delicate humanity in Captain America/Steve Rogers that resonates throughout the film (and that?s why he?s my favorite Avenger). Action sequences were exhilarating and ?cleaner? with fewer CGI effects that stick to the old-hat spy book. Aside from the genre-within-a-genre setting device (comic-book hero in a political thriller), CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 is more than just a follow-up to the endearing backstory of Steve Rogers. Story-wise, the sequel is (so far) the meatiest and most cohesive inclusion to Marvel?s cinematic universe.

The To Do List

While it isn't an adventurous and hilarious 90s teen comedy that it appears to be, THE TO DO LIST leans on Aubrey Plaza's plain comedic timing to bring out the pallor of her awkward character into something laughable and passable. The film boasts of a solid comedic ensemble (enter Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Clark Gregg, and Rachel Bilson who's a mirthful surprise as the lead's all-out sister) but the story comes short of hormones to fuel a guffaw-inducing throwback edition of a meticulously planned yet gauche sexual awakening.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Brilliantly directed and emotionally gripping, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is a rare package of an action/sci-fi blockbuster and a social commentary that succeeds in creating a more powerful and more satisfying entry to the franchise. The point-of-view camera framing is both elegant and haunting, with an underlying message of a new, dark world that humans and apes lived in.

The Fault In Our Stars
½

Earlier films had teenagers fighting for survival and ousting authorities in dystopian worlds while tangling themselves in love triangles. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS falls in a different constellation but unlike the young warriors of the fantasy genre, Hazel and Augustus are braver in their more realistic and more painful battle for life. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort embrace their characters' imperfections to live a new meaning of infinity in their numbered days together. Genuinely affecting and unpretentious, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS may leave viewers to tears, but the promises of acceptance and hope makes this tragic love story extraordinary.

The Wolf of Wall Street
½

Riotous and wacky, 'The Wolf of Wall Street' sees Leonardo DiCaprio in his wildest form as the anti-hero of this darkly comedic, cautionary tale of excesses and director Martin Scorsese is ageless and seamless on what he does best.

Under the Skin
½

Strangely fascinating and eerily beautiful, UNDER THE SKIN sees Scarlett Johansson in her most bizarre femme fatale role onscreen. Director Jonathan Glazer's exotic mix of science fiction and art house is a one-of-a-kind experience that leaves you speechless out of terror and trance, with a disturbing 'prey' music that preludes one of the most shocking sequences in the genre.

How to Train Your Dragon 2
½

Sustaining its predecessor's impressive elements, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 hatches an audacious story line that crosses unchartered terrains and soars to new emotional heights.

It's a gustier flight for Hiccup, Toothless, and co. as they tumble into the alpha of all dragons, a short-lived family reunion, and an endangering outsider to the peaceful co-existence between humans and dragons. Matching the maturity of its characters that further thickens the emotional core of the animated series; the sequel unravels confidently and promises that there is no shortage of adventure for the next installment.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The X-Men movie series is a spectrum of laudable and lame mutations but 'Days of Future Past' prides itself as the best film to date; engrossing viewers in a dynamic face-off between the mutants and their throwback counterparts against the sentinels and their moral decisions. While the Wolverine bridges the plot, it's refreshing to see his more humane side as a persuader to a broken Charles Xavier and not the arduous fighter he had always been. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender felt more empowered with elevated performances as the younger Professor X and Magneto. Charles' interaction with his older self is the most emotionally resonating scene to date in the series, if not the Marvel universe. The abundance of mutants did not overburden the story and has at least given them sufficient airtime to showcase their powers. Jennifer Lawrence may have been limited in her blue-skinned villainy but it just shows her widening versatility (and it was fun to hear her speak in Vietnamese). Best surprise and certainly a crowd-pleaser was Evan Peters' turn as Quicksilver as his charismatic and flashy persona eclipses his true origin. Overall, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" may have disrupted the time continuity of the series but the results were done for the better, as perfected by a more dedicated Director Bryan Singer, which makes viewers more hopeful on next films to come.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
½

Thrilling, savvy, and ingenious, EDGE OF TOMORROW treks on the familiar DNAs of science fiction but veers from mimicking the genre's key plots through a solid narrative of its own. By relieving (and winning) the battle against aliens between 'game overs' and 'checkpoints', the Tom Cruise starrer turns out to become an entertaining and well-rounded action thriller in an effective video game format.

Godzilla
Godzilla(2014)

Director Gareth Edwards implants a family drama that doesn't resonate against the growl of the god of monsters. But the characters' blandness was saved by arresting action sequences and Godzilla's elusiveness just adds to the sheer fascination of a monster trick well done.

Frozen
Frozen(2013)

An updated adaptation of 'The Snow Queen', 'Frozen' comes alive with a layered storytelling, engaging songs, and pleasant surprises that will thaw your heart and carve laughter for all ages.

Philomena
Philomena(2013)
½

The tongue-and-cheek dialogue and the unlikely buddy chemistry of the two leads balance the heart-warming scenes in search of the painful truth. Pillared by the subtlety of Steve Coogan and Judi Dench on her most grounded titular role, PHILOMENA is an earnest and pleasing cinematic portrayal of what could have been one of the most heart-breaking Catholic conspiracies of the recent times.

Nebraska
Nebraska(2013)
½

Director Alexander Payne paints NEBRASKA in black and white: a two-tone, picturesque portrait of unconditional love in the family, headed by Bruce Dern and June Squibb, that makes the sentimental road trip more homey, nostalgic, and tender.

Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine(2013)
½

Beautifully broken in her branded couture, Cate Blanchett is Woody Allen's perfect muse in Blue Jasmine, a tragic story of loss and depression, and on how deep a socialite can fall into her own triggered sinkhole.

Captain Phillips
½

Tom Hanks gives one of his strongest performances to date in this taut hostage drama rendered expertly by director Paul Greengrass. 'Captain Phillips' is a tension-filled voyage with a claustrophobic feel and Hanks showcased the much needed endurance in his titular role to stay true to the real-life story.

Her
Her(2013)
½

Luscious, quirky, and thought-provoking, 'Her' examines the possible future of human and technological relationships, and despite the complexity (and oddity) of romance with a computer, makes it more humanly as possible.

12 Years a Slave

There is beauty in the tragic ordeal of Solomon Northup chronicled in '12 Years A Slave', which director Steven McQueen captured so well. The brutality and honesty of the film is not just an eye-opener, but like the wounds carved on the victims of slavery, it makes you feel the toil they had endured, and the freedom that was evasive in a severe servitude that seemed a lifetime.

Shopgirl
Shopgirl(2005)
½

'Shopgirl' could have been a modern, if not dark, fairy tale with a depressed damsel and her two polarizing prince charmings but despite the emptiness these characters have brought in the dreary story, I still bought the film mainly because of the mystifying charm of Claire Danes.

Frances Ha
Frances Ha(2013)
½

Graceful and free-spirited, Greta Gerwig shines in the titular role of 'Frances Ha', an unpretentious look on grappling adulthood that is made more elegant by the monochromatic musings in New York and the spontaneity of living in it.

Dallas Buyers Club

What makes 'Dallas Buyers Club' an amalgam of toughness and softness are the amazing turns of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto who completely dissolve into their doomed characters. It is a compassionate character story, a dramatic powerhouse, and journey of acceptance and survival until the last breath.

American Hustle

'American Hustle' scored one of the tastiest ensembles this year through its flashy performances and crazy, colorful characters, but despite the assured direction of David O. Russell, the kinetic energy of the cast doesn't make up for the middling story which doesn't make his latest offering that fantastic at all.

The Heat
The Heat(2013)
½

'The Heat' is a friendly reminder that buddy cop comedies still work with the right partners-in-crime and the duo of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy proves that the female territory is as able with armory and deathly with laughs.

Prisoners
Prisoners(2013)
½

The wintry and rainy scenic backdrops perfectly capture the moodiness in the film's moral complexity. 'Prisoners' is gritty and absorbing with excellent performances by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Sessions
The Sessions(2012)
½

Earnest and heartwarming, 'The Sessions' touches the delicate subject of sex and attachments with utmost maturity which it almost seemed relatable for the inexperienced, pro, and even the disabled.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)
½

When zombies got shot right through the head, the un-dead Nicholas Hoult gets ladies shot right through the heart in his affecting voice-over and genuine affections. 'Warm Bodies' is a fun and refreshing twist of zombie rom-com with Shakespearean references and witty interpersonal connections.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)
½

'Man of Steel' is no doubt visually exhilarating and impeccably cast but what was super in Zack Snyder's cinematic depiction was the amount of casualties that left me cold-hearted and desensitized by the necessity of fictional destruction in film.

This Is the End

You place six actors playing pretentious parodies of themselves in an apocalyptic arena of California, you get the craziest and most chaotic comedic event of the year. 'This Is The End' is filled with lethal doses of laughter where hilarity is an understatement to Rogen and Goldberg's second comedic partnership.

Drinking Buddies
½

Swinging from platonic to alcoholic moments, 'Drinking Buddies' is an undemanding relationship comedy which could be a hit-or-miss depending on your tolerance to its tangled quarter of leads and beer.

The Young Victoria

Depicting the early years of the titular monarch, 'The Young Victoria' is a palatable and pleasing showcase for Emily Blunt supported by an able cast and impeccable design for a decent royal piece.

The Bling Ring

Despite decent turns of its pretentious leads and the tingling atmosphere heralded by writer-director Sofia Coppola, 'The Bling Ring' is a shallow, unflattering, and uninspired retelling of the material girls (and boy) robbing celebrity homes.

Before Sunrise
½

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's unforgettable one-day affair in Vienna marks 'Before Sunrise's entry to the most romantic films ever made.

Before Midnight

Nine years after missing that plane, 'Before Midnight' reminds us why we fell in love with Jesse and Celine. The genuine wordsmiths return with more conflict than the first two films, but Director Richard Linklater's recent offering is more raw, affecting, and passionate. Indeed, Before Midnight is a celebration of love and the different stages of it through time.

Thor: The Dark World

Teetering from the formulaic and derivative territory, 'Thor: The Dark World' managed to sneak surprising twists and pull off amazing scenes (particularly on Frigga's funeral and the realm-hopping battle) to keep viewers interested from underwhelming moments from its supporting casts.

Red Eye
Red Eye(2005)
½

Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy's thrilling chemistry is a dark treat in Wes Craven's tense tale of thwarting terrorism while up in the air. 'Red Eye' is exciting as it is chilling and provides a type of a terse entertainment that will still overwhelm viewers at the edge of their seats.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Igniting better than its predecessor, 'Catching Fire' is an upgrade in all aspects of the original 'The Hunger Games' --- stronger, more powerful, more stylish, and more grounded to the conflicts of its characters which are all in favor to the satisfaction of its avid viewers. Jennifer Lawrence's deep range of emotions as pure heroine Katniss Everdeen is unanimously incredible.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)
½

What wizardry (reference to the Prisoner of Azkaban) did Alfonso Cuaron conjured in what could be as the cinematic experience of the year. Viewers would be speechless on the beauty and dangers of space captured by Cuaron's single shot. In 'Gravity', Director Alfonso Cuaron did not create a fantasy but the scary reality of survival in space. 'Gravity' is a one-woman space show and while half of the film will keep you astonished by those stellar (and most likely Oscar-winning effects), it was Sandra Bullock that carried the emotional and physical toil to make 'Gravity' a gripping, literally out-of-this-world, surreal space tale. 'Gravity' truly vindicated the essence of film, which is to transport the viewers to new heights, and Cuaron's selection of space is limitless.

Spring Breakers
½

It is probably one of 2013's most argumentative films because of its shocking, scantily clad, and abusive visualization of the 'new' American dream, but 'Spring Breakers' surprises with a handful of powerful moments (particularly James Franco's eccentric yet best acting vehicle so far) and enough OST to dog-ear it as one of today's generation-defining films.

Starter for 10

You might think this movie is for nerds-in-love but 'Starter for 10' recruited up-and-coming British actors to star in an above-average romantic comedy. Humorous yet angsty, 'Starter' is a smart and endearing film whose unique backdrop of a quiz show provides the excitement, twist, and morale to the story.

Ruby Sparks
Ruby Sparks(2012)

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'Ruby Sparks' is an offbeat love story whose interesting premise gradually becomes intriguing as imagination begins to play with romantic feelings. Paul Dano as an obsessive writer-lover and scriptwriter Zoe Kazan's amazing turn as the subject character attest to the film's central theme of love is definitely more than words (pun intended)

Take This Waltz

Director Sarah Polley's subtle eye for detail and Michelle Williams showcasing her vulnerability as a lonely wife anew, including her 'extreme' partners (Seth Rogen in his un-funny role and Luke Kirby as tempting rickshaw driver) make 'Take This Waltz' a reflective and wry tale of an unsatisfying and un-fulfilling relationships.

On The Job
On The Job(2013)

'On The Job' kept my faith in the mainstream PH film industry that it is very much capable of creating movies that will truly satiate a Pinoy film-goer's hunger for an intelligent, daring, and socially/culturally relevant cinematic experience.

The Breakfast Club

After watching 'The Breakfast Club', you just want to be part of Berner, Claire, Brian, Andrew, and Allison's newly-formed circle of misfits that found themselves sharing their lives and falling for strangers-turned-friends. John Hughes' high school drama enrolled the best relatable characters, recited those laughable and quotable lines, and made 'Don't You Forget about me' the perfect anthem of one of America's classic and endearing high school films of all time.

Premium Rush
Premium Rush(2012)

Not just your average bike ride, 'Premium Rush' pedals a thrilling play of cat-and-mouse and an energetic showcase of performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon as the greatly dislikable corrupt law enforcer.

Anna Karenina
½

Joe Wright's penchant for classic literature has created engaging (Pride and Prejudice) and powerful (Atonement) period dramas, but in his third collaboration with muse Keira Knightley, the elegance of 'Anna Karenina' was damned by his over-stylized approach. Although the artistic aspects of the film were impeccable, Wright's direction and preference over style overshadowed on what was supposed to be the understudy of a woman who had been thirsty and drunk of love.

The Smurfs
The Smurfs(2011)
½

Smurf-tastic? Nope. There's nothing much to see on these blue mythical creatures' silver screen debut. A few chuckles could be leafed out from the underlying slapstick but 'The Smurfs' is a below-average live animated flick whose humor may not be enough for the young ones.

Good Will Hunting

You don't have to be a troubled genius to relate to 'Good Will Hunting'. More than the heartfelt performances were the values it speaks. It's a self-discovery of knowing what you want and making the decisions that you wouldn't regret. It's a journey that will make you realize that your life right now could have been better, in as much as you undervalue yourself. 'Good Will Hunting' is a feel-good film and can be your source of motivation in pursuing your dreams.

Contagion
Contagion(2011)
½

'Contagion' cages its viewers on the grim possibility of a pandemic/epidemic and through Steven Soderbergh's swift direction and his reliable team of actors, bring a modern take of a smart, medical thriller-turned-disaster flick.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
½

Tim Burton's re-imagined concoction of Roald Dahl's classic is darker yet visually appealing and provides both family-friendly and cautionary tale for kids. However, the only ingredient which induced the tooth decay was Johnny Depp's outlandish and freaky dress-up as Willy Wonka.

Bridge to Terabithia
½

A coming-of-age fantasy, 'Bridge to Terabithia' brings to life the wonder of imagination and remains grounded on the sad realities of life. It's one of the rare Disney films that doesn't end happily ever after but still matches the moral and emotional uplift.

Bakit hindi ka crush ng crush mo?

It could have been more playful, upbeat, and earnest. 'Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo' has an interesting premise but succumbs to Star Cinema's romantic comedy template.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs(2012)

Finally, a romantic comedy that will please grown-ups, 'Hope Springs' lives on the tenderness between its leads and an honest depiction of growing old with the one you truly love.

The Wolverine

Definitely a sharper character story that its predecessor, 'The Wolverine' comes back with more pumped up action scenes and a surprising headstrong female supporting cast (except for the disturbing lingerie-dressed Jean Grey) to accompany Hugh Jackman's worth-while episode of the adamantium-made mutant's adventure in the populated Marvel universe.

Driving Miss Daisy

Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman give their heartwarming performances in this touching film that truly epitomizes the beauty of friendship.

Ted
Ted(2012)

'Ted' tickles with just the right amount of guffaws and 'aww' moments to make Seth MacFarlane's decent entry to raunchy comedy in the big screen.

Couples Retreat

'Couples Retreat' is an aimless watch about solving marital woes that can't be even salvaged by its ensemble comedic cast whose left plodding on a mirthless script.

Despicable Me 2

Full of silliness and slapstick, the minions definitely steal the show from Gru and the rest of the cast but they're an effective scapegoat to a sequel that was less wacky and more derivative than the original 'Despicable Me'.

Edward Scissorhands
½

A fairy tale concept missed out by Disney, Tim Burton begins his streak of fantastical films with 'Edward Scissorhands' which made him one of the sharpest and most original directors in modern cinema. Among his eccentric roles, Johnny Depp will always be memorable as the young boy who prick everyone's emotions through his scissor-hands.

The House Bunny
½

'The House Bunny' housed a strong supporting cast of Zetas (Stone, Dennings, and Willis) but it wasn't hilarious and titillating as it should be despite Anne Faris donning her Playboy bunny alter ego.

World War Z
World War Z(2013)

Though its large-scale production mishaps made me think of what could have been more or better to make the undead alive in the silver screen, 'World War Z' is entertaining and thrilling zombie flick that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Drive
Drive(2011)

Director Nicolas Winding Refn delivers a stylized action film that will completely contain viewers to the passenger seat. He picks the right soundtrack to accompany the violent ride ahead and hired the best actor to steer this thriller to completion.

21 Jump Street

Satisfyingly and surprisingly, '21 Jump Street' creates a rare chemistry between Hill and Tatum that can jump from action, comedy, and drama. Audience will definitely want to see more of their two-some in the coming sequel.

The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann's luxurious depiction of the grandeur in 'The Great Gatsby' falls into a visual spectacle of excesses that lacks the humanity of which sprang the so-called 'American dream'. This latest adaptation is still not an agreeable silver screen adaptation of the much-adored novel.

The Bourne Legacy
½

While the familiar tempo will still grip viewers, 'The Bourne Legacy' is more talk and less action to be part of the spy series. However, an ardent fan could not simply shut the possibility of a thrilling spin-off from Jason Bourne's shadow.

The Hangover Part II

A throw-up sequel, 'The Hangover Part II' is a recycled, made-in-Thailand version where boozing in Bangkok with a monk, a monkey, and perennial manhunt made it less laughable and sensible than the original film.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)

Martin Scorsese scores another cinematic feat in this sophisticated fantasy matching its teeming visuals and rich story line. 'Hugo' is an enriching tale of adventure and search for one's family and purpose, intertwined with one's ardent passion for movies.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)
½

A flawless sequel to the classic animated film which is definitely the closest to the heart of its audience, 'Toy Story 3' playfully and perfectly captures the nostalgia that young and old viewers will definitely laugh and cry for.

The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson may have suffered a hangover from the LOTR trilogy by overdoing 'The Lovely Bones's visual presentation, thus tangling transitions from fantasy to reality and sacrificing the deployment of its ensemble cast.

The Wedding Curse (Sukob)

Director Chito Roño and actress Kris Aquino's second team-up, 'Sukob' is a scary wedding thriller but arguably, their first partnership in 'Feng Shui' is more terrifying and much better.

The Hottie and the Nottie

A completely waste of time, 'The Hottie and the Nottie' is definitely a must-not see film even if Paris Hilton's presence will hitch movie-goers and paparazzi.

The Tourist
The Tourist(2010)
½

What could go wrong with Depp and Jolie in this mysterious European escapade? The answer? All of it. 'The Tourist' is boring, bland, and a benign pairing of Hollywood's blockbuster actors.

Suddenly It's Magic

The problem with 'Suddenly It's Magic' is not the story and acting (Rory Quintos handled well her Thai actors), but the lead actor himself. Mario Maurer's effect on women is so magical that it becomes destructive to the point that his on-screen partner, Erich Gonzales, suffers the wrath of women wooing too much in him. Thus, viewers unappreciate their pairing which is supposed to be the heart of this chick flick.

Moonrise Kingdom

Filmmaker Wes Anderson had all the right elements 'married' which reinvented the storytelling of a quirky yet beautiful story of young love.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)
½

Don't get me wrong; Ang Lee has been exceptional in crafting a visually stunning fable but I felt that I was spoon-fed by too much technical grandeur that the inspirational message somehow drifted away and can be only traced back to its source material.

Notting Hill
Notting Hill(1999)
½

An American superstar and a British bookseller turns their 'surreal' affair into a 'fine' ever after in this charming British romance. A dashing Hugh Grant and reserved Julia Roberts successfully woo viewers by more than their contagious smiles.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

It passes the requirements of a typical action flick but the explosive onscreen chemistry of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith's greatest weapon.

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)

It may not be liked by viewers because of its unlikable lead character but 'Young Adult' is a tricky testament of Charlize Theron's solid portrayal as un-glamorous and childlike dweller of her glorious teenage years.

The Hunger Games

Even those who were not able to peer into the source material will conclude that 'The Hunger Games' satisfactorily qualifies as the next anticipated YA adaptation. Powerful, raw, and violent, the silver screen reenactment of survival has won over viewers especially to Jennifer Lawrence whose superb emergence as Katniss Everdeen caught the audience on fire.

The Blind Side

It follows a safe premise but 'The Blind Side' is an inspiring piece of success coming from a well-delivered source material. Sandra Bullock has always been likable but her turn as a headstrong matriarch is both convincing and commanding.

Cowboys & Aliens

Dry, shallow, and unexciting, 'Cowboys & Aliens' suffers from a mismatched genre and misguided direction. Action stars Craig and Ford were treated as Western mascots in an uninspired desert backdrop where life (and the interest of the viewers) only depended on annihilating aliens.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)
½

Much better than its predecessor, 'Iron Man 3' superbly kick-starts Marvel's Phase 2 of 'The Avengers' saga. With a dependable supporting cast, fantastic action sequences, a number of surprising twists, and a more vulnerable yet iron-clad performance of Robert Downey Jr., 'Iron Man 3' raises the bar of pure entertainment in the superhero genre.

Lars and the Real Girl
½

Ryan Gosling is most sincere and sympathetic in a bizarre yet affecting story of love in 'Lars and the Real Girl'. Who would have thought that viewers would feel for a leading lady made of plastic?

Spanglish
Spanglish(2004)
½

Its convincing ensemble cast delivers momentary laughter and heartfelt scenes in this domestic dramedy about cultural and familial differences but 'Spanglish' is a forgettable visit in their dysfunctional home.

Ratatouille
Ratatouille(2007)

Flavored with humor and garnished with surprising humanity from an unlikely animal character in the food chain and film history, Pixar's 'Ratatouille' is a fantastic culinary escapade whose rich story line will satisfy viewers both visually and emotionally.

Get Him to the Greek

Russell Brand owned this comedy... and he blew me away (metaphorically). 'Get Him To The Greek' is a seasoned addition to the modern comical powerhouse of Judd Apatow, Jason Segel, and Jonah Hill. In one of her unlikeliest roles, Rose Byrne was promiscuously well and her British accent was swell.

Rango
Rango(2011)
½

Johnny Depp suavely lends his voice to the titular role of 'Rango', a rare animated feature set in the Western world which is slowly seeping to drought but teeming with playful visuals and comical dialogues.

Remember Me
Remember Me(2010)

There's a heavy air lingering in 'Remember Me' that viewers are forced to breathe in. Sure, we begin to understand and sympathize the predicament of its leads but its plot was vague and directionless, leading towards a dead-end of an out-of-the-blue 9/11 attack. Although the film was brutal and did not redeem his character, Robert Pattinson's performance was worth noting and remembering.

Hereafter
Hereafter(2010)

What was supposed to be an out-of-the-box view on death and the life after, 'Hereafter' digresses from its core premise as multiple story lines intertwine into a simplistic ending. Director Clint Eastwood somehow stumbles on aspiring what his film should be.

The Vow
The Vow(2012)

Less Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, 'The Vow' is an uninspiring and predictable cinematic retelling of a story about a love lost and regained.

Horrible Bosses

'Horrible Bosses' is a hilarious and raunchy 'supposedly-vengeance-turned-bad' comedy that brought out the uncanny yet impressive devilish personas of Jennifer Aniston and an unrecognizable midget-sized Colin Farell.

Green Lantern
½

Beginners will benefit from its lengthy (and informational) intergalactic screenplay, but in terms of superhero film-making, 'Green Lantern' is substandard (with a weak script and shallow acting) as compared to the brevity and substance that its Marvel and DC contemporaries showcase.

Looper
Looper(2012)
½

A superbly done futuristic sci-fi / action, it amazes me how 'Looper' outwitted viewers as its time travelling concept side-stepped to the existence of morality. In a parallel universe, it should have been nominated (even won) in the Oscars.

Our Idiot Brother
½

An average screwball comedy about sibling ties, 'Our Idiot Brother' could have tickled more funny bones that its winsome cast promises.

Chocolat
Chocolat(2000)

'Chocolat' is a palatable and pleasant fable about humanly temptations and scrumptious chocolates, both served magically by Juliet Binoche.

Lost In Translation
½

Viewers can connect with Sofia Coppola's melancholic tale of two strangers finding each other in a modern society clouded with loneliness and alienation. No one can give a fine performance as funny and poignant like Bill Murray.

I Love You Phillip Morris

It may not be the ideal gay romantic flick since 'Brokeback Mountain' but the only way 'I Love You Phillip Morris' works is the convincing homosexual partnership between Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, with the latter whom I am much at awe.

Pitch Perfect
½

'Pitch Perfect' is reminiscent of the 'glee'-ful days but it does not overwhelm with teenage drama. Instead, it will play over-the-top, ingenious performances by its talented cast. Finally, an Anna Kendrick film that brings out the youth and musicality in her. The girl can sing, and she is really good!

The Deep Blue Sea
½

One of the best films for a character study, 'The Deep Blue Sea' is a refreshing dip to a period romance anchored by the raw and ravishing performance from Rachel Weisz.

Requiem for a Dream

'Requiem For A Dream' is a cerebral experience that overwhelms the senses with an intense musical score, the quartet of actors' gripping performances, and Darren Aronofsky's critical and intricate direction.

Tower Heist
Tower Heist(2011)

It may not be a perfect caper (with a comparably below-average Ocean's Eleven heist style), but 'Tower Heist' is still a fine find with the right amount of laughs and excitement that its comical cast conjures.

The Artist
The Artist(2011)

In a technicolor world of modern cinema, the black-and-white 'The Artist' makes a refreshing comeback. It is a celebration of real entertainment and pure talent where silent films speak and delight the most.

Captain America: The First Avenger
½

Chris Evans becomes a revelation as the first Avenger in 'Captain America' which is backed by a handy supporting cast, a muscle-full of action scenes, and a touch of emotion that can even make a superhero cry.

Zero Dark Thirty

While 'Zero Dark Thirty' is a tensed account of the greatest manhunt in history, it also puts into the spotlight the women behind this controversial film. Kathryn Bigelow once again trespassed the boundaries of paternal film-making and proved that she is among the most formidable directors to date. Meanwhile, Jessica Chastain shows her darker side as a CIA agent whose devotion and frustration kept the fire for the manhunt burning until the end.

Definitely, Maybe

Children are eager to know the love story of their parents but in 'Definitely, Maybe', Will Hayes' puzzling narrative to his daughter Maya keeps the viewers entertained, and guessing as well in this sweet and honest realization of true love.

I Am Number Four
½

How can science fiction, an inventive genre, become sappy and sloppy? Watch 'I am Number Four' to know how. I also began doubting Alex Pettyfer's acting prowess.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

She may have been given the Herculean task for Director Behn Zeitlin's debut, but the tiny Quvenzhane Wallis gives the heart and soul that makes 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' more than just a fantastical story in the fictional Bathub.

Beastly
Beastly(2011)

'Beastly' is a forgettable, trashy, and ugly live action adaptation of a timeless Disney classic.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

You know the sappy scores when the two leads gaze at each other and then kiss? Make 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' an exception. From beginning to end, music plays a key role that connects emotional threads to create a feel-good, sweet, and charming romantic comedy.

Les Misérables
½

We can argue about the flaws but in the end, the fine-tuned performances gave justice to the well-acclaimed Broadway musical and delivered the heart of 'Les Miserables'.

Unstoppable
Unstoppable(2010)
½

One of the most entertaining and thrilling rides in the silver screen, 'Unstoppable' is as fast and relentless as the catastrophic train that its leads are trying to catch on.

Silver Linings Playbook

'Silver Linings Playbook' is an all-around film. It doesn't settle in one genre (it has comedy, family drama, sports, and romance) just like its versatile cast. Commendable not just in his thorough direction and fluid script, David O. Russell really know how to pick the right actors for the job.

Argo
Argo(2012)
½

'Argo' is a greatly satisfying account of a mission full of tension and suspense (with a pinch of comedy) that will literally made you grip on your seat... and the mission was surprisingly accomplished by the well-celebrated Ben Affleck.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)
½

In a stereotyped world of James Bond where guns, girls, and bad guys coexist, Director Sam Mendes leveled up the 007 series to make 'Skyfall' sleek, stylish, and so worthy of the watch.

Reality Bites

Ben Stiller shifts to a surprising directorial turn to star a fresh Winona Ryder in a relatable film about post-graduation where love, career, friends, family, and money problems got all tangled up.

The Pianist
The Pianist(2002)

'The Pianist' is a devastating and tormenting account of survival during the World War II and Adrien Brody's commitment for his titular role truly deserves an Oscar.

Amour
Amour(2012)
½

Michael Haneke's latest directorial effort is a deeply affecting and excruciating testament of love and devotion that only death can part.

Django Unchained
½

Wildly entertaining and bloodily stylish, Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' begins and ends with unlimited panache.

Puss in Boots

'Puss In Boots' is a worthy spin-off that never runs out of action and humor; Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek still sizzle in their feline alter-egos.

How to Train Your Dragon

The film's title is just a preview of the unique bond between a boy and his pet dragon. 'How To Train Your Dragon' is an entertaining and touching animated treat for all ages.

Adventureland
½

'Adventureland' promises an enjoying theme park ride with its likable cast but the roller coaster of love problems suddenly got me off the railing. Overall, it was not as fun as I thought it would be.

Being John Malkovich
½

'Being John Malkovich' is bizarre yet a surreal experience from the inventive mind of writer Charlie Kaufman. Strange but sensible, it is one of the rare fantasy films that depends on imagination and ingenuity rather than grossly special effects.

Magic Mike
Magic Mike(2012)
½

'Magic Mike' is a sure crowd-pleaser for girls and gays alike but no one did not see the depth and drama coming underneath all the undressing.

Match Point
Match Point(2005)
½

Woody Allen's 'Match Point' rallies between infidelity, wealth, and luck with the British upper class as its playing field... and wins.

Superbad
Superbad(2007)
½

'Superbad' is two bestfriends' day-long test of friendship and battle for alcohol that is definitely raunchy, vulgar, hilarious, yet honest... but still makes sense.

Something Borrowed

After the final credits, I was still thinking what was borrowed in 'Something Borrowed'. Was it the unoriginal, sitcom-like story line or half-baked conflicts between the characters? Two hours was very tedious for a shallow romantic comedy that failed to live up to its title and the talent of its actors.

Annie Hall
Annie Hall(1977)
½

Diane Keaton is simply adorable and charming as her titular role has gotten writer, director, and actor Woody Allen bemused as the one who got away. 'Annie Hall' is a portrait of Allen's exceptional taste for words (and women) that is both funny, witty, and sympathetic at the same time.

Date Night
Date Night(2010)
½

Despite the bizarre crisscross of action and comedy (and romance) in this date-gone-wrong movie, it is hard not to like 'Date Night' because of the comedic coupling of Carell and Fey.

The Other Guys

One of the craziest action-comedies I have watched, 'The Other Guys' do not settle for less but has a bullet-filled of laughs courtesy of Ferrell and Wahlberg.

Dinner for Schmucks

Laughing over idiocy is a repelling comedy. Don't expect 'Dinner For Schmucks' to be an exception despite its likable leads.

Greenberg
Greenberg(2010)

It was hard to figure out and grasp 'Greenberg' though Stiller and Gerwig's performances are note-worthy. Well-played, but not that kind of film to be appreciated by many.

The Lincoln Lawyer
½

It's hard to watch a court room drama (for me). Matthew McConaughey did not make it easier but 'The Lincoln Lawyer' is a testament to his acting prowess, and overall, the film has gotten my verdict of an effective court room thriller.

The Wedding Singer

The film is no exception to the familiar humor in Sandler's films that is sometimes distracting but 'The Wedding Singer' is genuinely sweet and moving. It's the kind of film you'll remember 'when you grow old' (with someone).

Enchanted
Enchanted(2007)
½

Happily-ever-after is definitely guaranteed as fairy tale and reality collide in Walt Disney's 'Enchanted'. Amy Adams must have been a Disney princess in her afterlife as she successfully graces one.

In Time
In Time(2011)

'In Time' misspent its running time by under-spending an intriguing premise and promising cast to focus more on heists than redeeming the real value of time in their hands.

A Separation
A Separation(2011)

Shot in a country where chaos was naturally perceived, 'A Separation' perfectly captures a disastrous meltdown of morals and marriage. The characters and the consequences of their actions are deeply upsetting that leaves the viewers with the question: 'What could be more terrifying to a separation?'

Up in the Air
½

'Up in the Air' is sleek and smart with the right touch of emotion to pilot the film with flying colors.

Pretty Woman
Pretty Woman(1990)

Hooking up (and getting a hooker) in Beverly Hills has become a modern fairy tale with Gere as the altophobic knight and a promiscuous Roberts in their memorable romantic pairing.

Blue Valentine
½

Gosling and Williams pillared an emotional powerhouse depiction of marriage breakdown, and their efforts are more than enough to propel this drama.

One Day
One Day(2011)
½

'One Day' is fine collection of yearly rendezvous of friends turned lovers but its leads did not live up to the romantic expectation. I appreciate Sturgess' effort but he should have been paired to a better actress than Hathaway.

9
9(2009)

Visually impressive and suspenseful but '9' needs dire resuscitation in its story line to become a better apocalyptic animated film.

The Town
The Town(2010)
½

Through this thrilling Boston crime drama, Ben Affleck crafted himself to become a bankable director in the film industry.

Never Let Me Go
½

Difficult to grasp at first, 'Never Let Me Go' is sad and haunting but beautifully acted and a contemplative view of finding one's reason and purpose to live.

I Could Never Be Your Woman
½

You need to be patient throughout this romantic comedy. Why? Because its title seemed promising but 'I Could Never Be Your Woman' has the tendency of letting you down due to its half-baked plots and scrupulous intervention of Mother Nature. Somehow, Pfeiffer and Rudd's May-December affair made up for the film.

Love Actually

May not be loved by critics for being too 'overstuffed' but 'Love Actually' is lovable and in season, and so far, its American successors 'New Year's Eve' and 'Valentine's Day' don't match the charisma brought by its British ensemble cast.

UnOfficially Yours

The most daring account (so far) of Generation Y's love story, 'Unofficially Yours' is still a better catch among the sea of overly-formatted Filipino rom-coms thanks to the fine pairing of Cruz and Locsin.

Bad Teacher
Bad Teacher(2011)
½

'Bad Teacher' must had an unlimited supply of rotten apples in its set to keep the laughter away for this unfunny comedy.

The Reader
The Reader(2008)

Though Kate Winslet has literally given her all in her Oscar-winning role, perhaps it is better reading than watching 'The Reader' as the adaptation lacks the emotional connection that the actual book could better deliver.

Just Friends
Just Friends(2005)
½

A shallow romantic comedy, 'Just Friends' is an annoying display of insecurity (a jolly fat Ryan Reynolds shaped down to his narcissistic six-pack), obsession (Anna Faris' irritable role and why is her character even there in the first place), and revenge (Chris Klein as hippie guitarist-turned vengeful womanizer). My own 'friend-zoned' exploits are better than this film.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)

Kristen Wiig's witty script and a hilarious cast head up to the altar in this wacky wedding comedy but somehow, there is still something missing in the entourage.

The Healing
The Healing(2012)
½

'The Healing' is gory and violent but Chito Rono's new horror flick fails to sustain the horrific adrenaline from start to finish. Bringing nothing new to the table, Vilma Santos' role should have been played by a more convincing actress.

A Very Special Love
½

'A Very Special Love' is not a very special romance-comedy that overused the charms of its leads to induce a cavity-inflicting, typical Filipino kilig flick.

Hot Tub Time Machine

A blast from the past in a malfunctioned hot tub, 'The Hot Tub Time Machine' is a ridiculously funny rendition of 'everyone deserves a second chance'.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)
½

A smart script recalling the aftermath of head-banging booze that led to sober misadventures with a baby, a tiger, a missing tooth, and a lost groom to name a few, 'The Hangover' is a bizarre yet laughable episode of Las Vegas fun.

It's Kind of a Funny Story
½

Set in the sidelines of denial and depression, 'It's Kind of A Funny Story' is a surprisingly feel-good film, though it could have offered more prescriptions of laughter and drama.

Face/Off
Face/Off(1997)
½

An exhilarating face/off by blockbuster action stars, John Travolta and Nicolas Cage dance a deathly tango in this action-packed double treat.

Nasaan Ka Man

Controversially beautiful, 'Nasaan Ka Man' is an excellent melodramatic thriller pillared from outstanding performances and consistent dark undertones.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)
½

Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams expertly crafted 'Super 8' that satisfactorily stages family drama, nostalgia, and science fiction.

The Adjustment Bureau

Though ironically in need of professional tweaking and adjusting, 'The Adjustment Bureau' is an interesting love story against all odds.

Easy A
Easy A(2010)
½

Emma Stone scores a perfect A in single-handedly tickling funny bones and charming viewers in this witty teen comedy.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
½

Steven Chbosky enjoys the success of 'Perks' brought by the remarkable performances of Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, and Emma Watson who delivered the novel's heart and soul to the silver screen.

Brokeback Mountain

'Brokeback Mountain' is a heart-breaking epic romance that broke the often masculinity in the Western-set films. The chemistry and singular performances of its leads are undoubtedly Oscar-worthy.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

A smart and ultimately lovable film that will make you want to join the wheel of an unlikely family affair.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
½

Kevin James brought this a step away from mediocre Adam Sandler comedies.

The King's Speech

An uplifting and triumphant film for many reasons: a king thriving to connect to his people despite his speech deficiency, his 'therapist' persistent of his unorthodox ways that eventually won him to be the king's ally, and to everyone behind the period drama, especially to Colin Firth for his Oscar-winning performance.

Say Anything...

What sets 'Say Anything' apart from its genre is the adorable John Cusack and his persistent, romantic ways that viewers will fall in love with. It would have been better though if Director Cameron Crowe has a knack for surprises.

Little Manhattan

Who even knew that New York can be a cradle of young, innocent love? 'Little Manhattan' is sweet for the young and old alike.

Tangled
Tangled(2010)
½

A damsel in distress, a rugged charmer-thief, and lots of troubles ahead their quest to make a dream come true, 'Tangled' is a fun and lovable addition to Disney's royal line-up.

Black Swan
Black Swan(2010)

A naive ballerina twists not just her body but also her persona in this psychological thriller that pirouetted Natalie Portman to her bravado, Oscar-winning role. Definitely not her swan song performance yet.

The Kids Are All Right

Despite all its right moves, there's nothing spectacular for me to watch for in this extended forty-minute family dramedy.

The Art of Getting By

Despite its promising two leads, slow phasing and so-so execution drag 'The Art of Getting By' to teenage drama mediocrity.

City of Angels
½

It is definitely not a match-made in heaven for Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage who failed to meet expectations of a supposedly romantic-turned-lousy film.

The Princess Diaries

Anne Hathaway is lovable as the geeky and innocent teenager-turned-princess in this actualization of young girls' fantasy of royalty and chivalry.

The Shawshank Redemption

Excellent performances by Morgan Freeman and Tim Burton, 'The Shawshank Redemption' is still not redeemed as one of the underrated movies of its kind.

Taken
Taken(2009)
½

An under-appreciated dad, Liam Neeson brandishes his killer moves to save his daughter in this brawny, thrilling but predictable film that will still not bore viewers.

13 Going on 30

Jennifer Garner is sweet and funny as a teenager-turned-adult that began with 'be careful what you wish for' and ended 'happily ever after'.

Just Like Heaven
½

It is superficial but 'Just Like Heaven' is still an entertaining treat because of the lovable Reese Witherspoon.

Serendipity
Serendipity(2001)
½

A romantic flick for those who believe in destiny but cheesy one for disbelievers.

The Descendants

Hawaii gives a homey feel in this heartwarming drama of how a father and his daughters rebuild their family as they face the pains of the past. George Clooney makes tears fall in one of his touching performances.

Shutter Island

Scary but sometimes draggy, 'Shutter Island' is a welcome addition to its genre.

The Silence of the Lambs
½

A perfect thriller, 'The Silence of the Lambs' is simply horrifying and Jodie Foster's and Anthony Hopkins' winning performances are surely worth watching for.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)
½

Before Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander is prominently known as 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' in this second installment that still provides the chills and terrific performances but viewers can't help compare it to its better predecessor.

10 Things I Hate About You

I have 10 reasons why I love this teenage film. But as a shortened why, '10 Things' may have recurring plots from the same teen comedies but its smart script and swell casts are an eye candy. I have to single out the last minutes of the film where Julia Stiles delivers the best romantic dialogues.

The Proposal
The Proposal(2009)

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock win viewers with their instant onscreen chemistry that makes 'The Proposal' a 'yes' to being a worthwhile rom-com.

Get Smart
Get Smart(2008)

Though greatly benefiting from the natural Steve Carell (and slightly from Anne Hathaway), 'Get Smart' only fares as an average action comedy.

50 First Dates
½

Wooing Drew Barrymore everyday anew as she suffers from memory loss, '50 First Dates' is sweet despite the same-same humor offered by Adam Sandler.

Alice in Wonderland

Your eyes will be pleased by Tim Burton's artistic adaptation of Wonderland but in the end, the film is lacking what the beloved fairy tale has -- the heart.

Won't Last A Day Without You

Another addition to the randomly entitled rom-coms, 'Won't Last A Day Without You' is funny, relatable, and sweet; plus the second pairing of Sarah Geronimo and Gerald Anderson has been given justice unlike their first film.

You Changed My Life

Fans will surely tune in to the continuation of Laida and Miggy's romance and sun dance but 'You Changed My Life' has nothing new to offer even if their love is put to the test by working demands and the addition of Rayver Cruz.

Friends With Benefits

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are an entertaining watch... but do not get me wrong.

In The Name Of Love
½

The story's unpredictability accentuated by Olivia Lamasan's delicate direction boasts 'In The Name Of Love' as a rare gem in the modern Philippine cinema. I have to single out the sultry Angel Locsin in her best performance yet.

Once
Once(2007)

Rarely have I watched films that speak (and sing) to the heart. 'Once' celebrates true colors of music and real intentions of love even in the crude Irish streets.

Thor
Thor(2011)

Kenneth Branagh is no stranger in playing British royalties on the silver screen but directing the Norwegian God of Thunder is a successful take, so is Chris Hemsworth as Thor. But aside from under-utilizing its cast, it is hard to tell what is mediocre in the mighty superhero genre.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
½

Rooney Mara is commendable as the new Lisbeth Salander but admittedly, the original Swedish film is better and Noomi Rapace is irreplaceable. Still, David Fincher is faithful in adapting Stieg Larsson's masterpiece.

Vanilla Sky
Vanilla Sky(2001)

Attempting to recreate the better Spanish version, 'Vanilla Sky' is a miss for Cameron Crowe because of the futile mix of romance, sci-fi, and thriller; and the unconvincing acting of Tom Cruise.

Inception
Inception(2010)

Conceived by master filmmaker Christopher Nolan, 'Inception' is an exhilarating, mind-bending, and thrilling opus that made the impossible possible. The 'dream-within-a-dream' concept is original and execution is at its finest, thanks to its winning cinematography and ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio.

No Other Woman
½

Though it offered nothing new to the rusted tales about mistresses, 'No Other Woman' shows acting depth from Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes plus memorable exchanges of rephrased trashy dialogues on third parties.

500 Days of Summer
½

A refreshing romantic film seen on a man's perspective, '500 Days of Summer' is a movie date for all seasons.

John Tucker Must Die
½

Revenging on your past flame is a familiar centerpiece for teen flicks but 'John Tucker Must Die' is a passable movie.

Feng shui
Feng shui(2004)
½

Horror conceived from a Chinese superstition, 'Feng Shui' is a rare and original Filipino film with depth material and permanent scares from beginning until the end. It is this film that Kris Aquino rightfully claims the 'Scream Queen' title.

Mean Girls
Mean Girls(2004)
½

'Mean Girls' is a teen comedy that you can watch all over again and never get tired of laughing out loud at the jungle-like high school life.

Back to the Future

Time-travelling has never been this fun and exciting when you're with Michael J. Fox in this Robert Zemeckis' 1980s sci-fi classic.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hollywood failed to replay the detective story that has engrossed readers and viewers in this faithful Swedish version of Stieg Larsson's successful trilogy.

Memento
Memento(2000)

Christopher Nolan scores an achievement in story-telling in this mind-bending tale of revenge and deceit. 'Memento' is a movie that will literally rape your mind.

In the Land of Women

A half-baked drama and unconvincing acting make 'In the Land of Women' one of the few independent films to be dismissed.

Salt
Salt(2010)

Doing what she does best, Angelina Jolie is the flavor much needed to deviate 'Salt' from a bland thriller.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
½

A 21st century love story with video game and rock band influences, 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' is a certified hit for geeks, gamers, rockers, and lovers.

Zombieland
Zombieland(2009)
½

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg's character) should add another survival tip in 'Zombieland': There is hilarity in horror.

The Help
The Help(2011)

Strong performances of its female leads helped 'The Help' in distinguishing itself from the racial-themed films.

Jerry Maguire

Personally, I'm not into watching sports-themed movies but 'Jerry Maguire' is a winning shot courtesy of remarkable performances by Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, and Cuba Gooding Jr.; refreshing take by director/writer Cameron Crowe; and memorable lines about 'kwans' and 'hellos'.

For the First Time
½

Not even the refreshing and romantic getaway to Greece can save the 'forced chemistry' and very poor acting of KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez. It's a film worthy of a mighty 'face palm' by the Greek gods.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Love moves in occasions aplenty in this British romantic comedy starring the charming Hugh Grant. It just makes me wonder why marriage is not part of the movie's happy endings.

Limitless
Limitless(2011)
½

Prepare for a fast, thrilling, and action-packed ride from writer's block to Wall Street in the drugged mind of Bradley Cooper's role that did not limit his potential on becoming a lead star.

Midnight in Paris
½

A wandering writer checks in the lovely Paris where he crosses among the flavorful feast of literary heroes and nostalgia in another Woody Allen favorite.

Marvel's The Avengers

The super flick of the year, it amazes me on how Joss Whedon managed to strike balance among the likes of Loki, Nick Fury, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Hulk. The best ensemble superhero movie yet.

Love and Other Drugs
½

'Love and Other Drugs' backfires to provide something new to its much cheesy and sometimes recycled genre. Its leads somehow made up for the film but they were not enough to remedy the romantic comedy.

The Social Network

'The Social Network' is not smart. It is undeniably intelligent in every manner.

Slumdog Millionaire
½

Phenomenal. Inspirational. Exceptional. Danny Boyle pleasures the balance of cinematic experience from original score, cinematography, editing, and direction that crowned 'Slumdog Millionaire' the best movie of 2008.

The Mistress
The Mistress(2012)
½

Sensual, moving, and heartbreaking, it's an understatement to compare 'The Mistress' to the preceding adultery-themed Filipino films. Olivia Lamasan, through the four-sided love story of its excellent cast, successfully redeemed the titular role. John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo continue to bring out the best of each other and this film is their best yet.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

As he dons the suit, Andrew Garfield transforms into a more emphatic superhero in this 'amazing' reboot by Mark Waters. It may have more narratives but it's still a fresh addition to the superhero genre.

When Harry Met Sally

One of the best romantic comedies ever made, the film is a celebration of companionship with unresolved sexual tensions that will woe audiences, thanks to the rapport of its premier leads.

Knight & Day
Knight & Day(2010)

It's a formulaic action film but 'Knight & Day' is still an entertaining ride, credits to the charming pair of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Shame
Shame(2011)
½

'Shame' should lift Michael Fassbender to the proud, superstar status.

Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme
½

Funny, yes. But I don't think it's a worthy sequel for its funnier predecessor.

Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass(2010)
½

It's painful to watch but 'Kick Ass' exceeded expectations of comics-adapted movies. I surrender, particularly, to the Hit Girl.

Sleepless in Seattle

Nora Ephron has again proven how she best plays with the twists and turns (and signs) of love even from the extreme states of America in 'Sleepless in Seattle'.

Juno
Juno(2007)

No doubt that it's funny and well-acted (kudos to Ellen Page for her taciturn performance as the unlikely Juno) but it's a bit unconventional for me and I kept on looking for something uplifting aside from the laughs offered by the film.