Reviews

Annie (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Releasing, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 18 December 2014 22:36

annie2014 sqGluck and his team deserve credit for making a good mainstream musical, and also a solid family film for the holidays.

 

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (20th Century Fox, PG)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Thursday, 18 December 2014 22:26

nightatthemuseum3 sqWe have seen it all before in the previous two movies; of course, that does not make it any less entertaining.

   

Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 18 December 2014 22:17

foxcatcher sqIn addition to Carell’s performance, Tatum’s and Ruffalo’s are Oscar-caliber, as well.

 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner Bros., PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:21

film hobbit3-smIf this new one is the best, what does that say about the other Hobbit movies?

   

Exodus: Gods and Kings (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:10

film exodus_75The end result is less like Gladiator or 300 and somewhat closer to Oliver Stone’s Alexander: bloated, campy, often unintentionally funny.

 

Wild (Fox Searchlight, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:08

film wild_75Wild is a film that seems promising on paper, but in practice is uninvolving and a slight misfire.

   

Top Five (Paramount Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:05

film top-five_75After its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, there have been some murmurings that this is a for-real awards contender.

 

The Babadook (IFC Midnight/Sundance Selects, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 08 December 2014 16:46

film Babadook_75The Babadook is impressive: Imagine if Neil Gaiman wrote the screenplay to a horror movie, and you’d be pretty close.

   

Force Majeure (Magnolia Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 08 December 2014 16:42

film Force-Majeure_75Force Majeure is something of a chamber piece, and is as engrossing as one to have come along recently.

 

Point and Shoot (The Orchard, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:31

film point-and-shoot_smI kept telling myself things like “surely this is a satire” and “no one could possibly be this self-centered,” but I was wrong on both counts.

   

Penguins of Madagascar (Twentieth Century Fox, PG)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:28

film penguins-madagascar_smThis will not be the CG comedy of the year, but it did manage to keep me entertained for its 92-minute running length.

 

Horrible Bosses 2 (Warner Bros., R)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:21

film horrible-bosses-2_smThe movie is so much fun, I would even dare to nominate it for the comedy of the year.

   

The Theory of Everything (Focus Features, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 21 November 2014 10:17

film theory_smIt’s a showy role, by turns requiring Redmayne to be convincingly brilliant, convincingly cute and charismatic, and convincingly very sick.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 21 November 2014 10:13

film mockingjay_smCalling the film “uneven” is being generous; it doesn’t seem a stretch to call it outright bad.

   

Dumb & Dumber To (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 14 November 2014 01:07

film dumb-dumber_smIt’s with mild amazement that I report Dumb & Dumber To isn’t a total bust; I laughed out loud a good half a dozen times over the course of the movie.

 

Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 14 November 2014 01:02

film beyond-the-lights_smYou might be pleasantly surprised that it isn’t quite as painful to watch as you feared.

   

Rosewater (Open Road Films, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 14 November 2014 00:58

film Rosewater_smRosewater is effective, if dry and forgettable.

 

Interstellar (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 05 November 2014 11:51

film interstellar_smTo help add to its throwback quality, it makes astronauts look cool again, too.

   

Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Studios, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 04 November 2014 22:25

Big6 75The film feels focus-grouped and producer-noted within an inch of its life.

 

Laggies (A24, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:54

laggies 75Megan falls into hanging out with the 16-year-old Annika and her friends, if only because Megan seems to fit in better with them than she does with adults.

   

Before I Go to Sleep (Clarius Entertainment, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Thursday, 30 October 2014 21:59

film before-I-go-to-sleep_smAside from a strong screenplay and very impressive directorial flourishes, the film boasts a terrific cast.

 

Nightcrawler (Open Road Films, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 30 October 2014 21:54

film nightcrawler_smThe character of Bloom (and the strong performance by Gyllenhaal) is memorable and odd as far as film characters go.

   

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.

   

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