Reviews

Birdman (Fox Searchlight, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 24 October 2014 18:49

birdman 75It’s so good it’s distracting, and in this case, that isn’t a bad thing.

 

The Blue Room (Sundance Selects, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 24 October 2014 18:35

blueroom 75The Blue Room is not afraid to cut the ordinary experience of life into fragments, leaving the viewer to put them back together.

   

Dear White People (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 24 October 2014 18:27

dwp sqEven if Simien never makes another good movie, he’s got at least the one under his belt, which is more than most filmmakers can say, both aspiring and veteran.

 

The Green Prince (Music Box Films, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Thursday, 16 October 2014 22:33

The-Green-Prince 75If you don’t arrive already interested in the topic, The Green Prince can be a long slog.

   

Men, Women & Children (Paramount Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 16 October 2014 19:42

Men-Women--Children 75If anyone tries to argue with me on the grounds that this movie is actually terrible, I wouldn’t try to argue with them. But really, I kind of liked it.

 

The Book of Life (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, PG)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Thursday, 16 October 2014 19:18

The-Book-of-Life 75Praising Halloween just like Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Book of Life focuses mainly on impressive visuals.

   

St. Vincent (The Weinstein Company, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 16 October 2014 18:50

St.-Vincent 75If you’re a Murray fan and need your new fix, St. Vincent will do just fine, but it feels like it’s just biding the time until the next one comes along.

 

Kill the Messenger (Focus Features, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 09 October 2014 21:15

killthemess 75It’s too bad that this story was broken to me by an unsubtle, overly dramatized, slightly-above-average film; something tells me that’s not how Webb would have wanted the world to learn about the work he did.

   

Dracula Untold (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Thursday, 09 October 2014 21:06

drac 75What makes this Dracula story stand out from the other vampire fables is that Vlad is actually a pretty noble fellow who makes decent, moral choices based on the good.

 

The Judge (Warner Bros., R)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Thursday, 09 October 2014 20:41

judge 75Even though most of the characters reveal some sort of twisted past or other, they’re all astonishingly easy to connect with, and most scenes luckily end up more humorous than awkward.

   

Pride (CBS Films, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 09 October 2014 20:15

pride sqPride has a big cast, but relative newcomer Schnetzer really stands out as the main character, and we witness most of the action through the eyes of 20-year old political convert (and still closeted gay) Joe.

 

Gone Girl (20th Century Fox, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 02 October 2014 23:09

film gone-girl_75Gone Girl seems to subscribe to the common mystery genre logic that the more twists a story has, the better that story becomes.

   

The Equalizer (Columbia Pictures, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:05

film equalizer_75The main character has no identity of his own, and so we as the audience never connect with him or care about what happens.

 

A Walk among the Tombstones (Universal Pictures, R)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Wednesday, 17 September 2014 19:08

film Walk-among-the-tombstones_smAnd yes, if you are wondering, the film does contain a couple “I will find you and I will kill you” lines.

   

This is Where I Leave You (Warner Bros., R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 17 September 2014 19:03

film This-is-where-I-leave-you_smIt’s something of a new formula, or at least a new spin on an old formula, but it works. 

 

My Old Lady (Cohen Media Group, PG-13)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 17 September 2014 18:50

myoldlady 75If My Old Lady does not always succeed dramatically, it’s still a superb vehicle for its actors.

   

The Zero Theorem (Amplify, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Wednesday, 17 September 2014 18:39

zerotheorem 75The film is bursting with hyper-realistic color schemes that make every scene look as if it is taking place in the fever dream of a bedridden circus clown.

 

The Drop (Fox Searchlight Pictures, R)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Thursday, 11 September 2014 22:36

The-Drop 75I would definitely recommend seeing The Drop, to enjoy Gandolfini on the big screen at least, if for nothing else.

   

God Help the Girl (Amplify, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 September 2014 13:13

God Help the Girl 75It’s twee, improbable, affected, and quirky, all in a different and less accessible strain from what you can expect from someone like Wes Anderson.

 

Code Black (Long Shot Factory, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 03 September 2014 22:49

film Code-Black_smViews of how care is delivered in a busy public ER are among the most engaging in the film.

   

The Last of Robin Hood (Samuel Goldwyn Films, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Wednesday, 03 September 2014 22:37

film Robin-Hood_smThe film attempts to capture the dichotomous nature of Errol Flynn’s very public personal life, but it fails miserably on all fronts.

 

The Trip to Italy (IFC Films, NR)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 28 August 2014 18:50

film the-trip_smThe most joyous scenes are when Rob Brydon is able to break the “Steve Coogan” character and reduce him to fits of laughter.

   

Frank (Magnolia Pictures, R)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:57

film Frank_75If you’re willing to suspend your critical faculties and allow yourself to enter the world of this film, it can prove to be quite a rewarding experience.

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (The Weinstein Company, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Friday, 22 August 2014 13:07

film dame_75The film takes the vibrancy of the illustrated page and dulls it like a stone, the rough edges of which have been eroded away by thousands of years of ocean waves.

   

The Giver (The Weinstein Company, PG-13)

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Written by Megan Washausen Friday, 15 August 2014 01:13

The-Giver 75This film doesn’t have a leg to stand on compared to its genre competitors.

 

Land Ho! (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 15 August 2014 01:06

Land-Ho 75Land Ho! is not the film you want it to be.

   

Calvary (Fox Searchlight Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 15 August 2014 00:54

Calvary 75It’s hard to find fault in and feels fresh, and makes a name for itself in what has already been a good year for movies.

 

The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Friday, 15 August 2014 00:43

Expendables-3 75The Expendables 3 is probably the closest the series has gotten to being a real movie.

   

Rich Hill (Picture Motion, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 07 August 2014 22:33

film rich-hill_sm2It brings you into these three boys’ lives, both as a mirror into your own, as well as performing as what Roger Ebert called an “empathy machine.”

 

Boyhood (IFC Films, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 31 July 2014 22:41

boyhood 75This is one film that needs to feel dated as a means to feeling timeless, and it succeeds.

   

Guardians of the Galaxy (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 31 July 2014 22:27

guardians sqNot all superhero movies have to be dour and self-serious, after all, so the comedic tone here made me like it all the more.

 

Winter in the Blood (self-released, NR)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:12

film winter-in-the-blood_75Rene Haynes’s great cast gives the film much-needed charisma; the beautiful panoramas of northern Montana give it even more depth.

   

A Most Wanted Man (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:58

film most-wanted-man_75Like the other le Carré adaptations, the film can be somewhat convoluted, but for once it is also engaging enough to make going back to it not seem like a chore.

 

And So It Goes (PG-13, Clarius Entertainment)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:50

film and-so-it-goes_75And So It Goes is possibly the most trite and insipid movie in recent years with the singular mission of capturing box office dollars from AARP members.

   

Evergreen: The Road to Legalization (First Run Features, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:43

film evergreen_75It is well done and well worth seeing if you have any interest in either pot or the political process.

 

Wish I Was Here (Focus Features, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 18 July 2014 10:03

film wish-i-was-here_smThere are still glimmers of talent as a writer-director here, but they’re much fewer and further between than they were in Garden State.

   

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