72

Everest (2015)

Better than expected. The special effects are particularly impressive -- it really does feel like you're on Everest. Though as slick as the film is, it does little more than reenact the events of the disaster. Good history lesson, just don't expect anything more.
January 24, 2016
78

The Martian (2015)

Loved the story, hated the characters. Okay, maybe not Matt Damon and the guy in charge of the rocket team, but everyone else! Seriously though, despite problems with characterization and plot development, The Martian is still a fun ride. The good outweighs the bad.
January 10, 2016
80

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

It looks great, sounds great, and everyone in the cast is top notch. Biggest complaint is with the pacing and length. It's a tad long and rushes through or lingers on the wrong things. It's still very good, but with some editing, it would have been an A+.
January 10, 2016
75

Trainwreck (2015)

Maybe 2015 was a weak year for comedies, but I laughed more during this than any other movie I saw this year. It's far from perfect, but it's a good Apatow-style mix of raunchy and sweet, and features great turns from LeBron and John Cena. Hats off to Ms. Schumer.
January 7, 2016
80

The End of the Tour (2015)

I was afraid this would be two hours of awkward impersonation, but that was not the case. Segel and Eisenberg are excellent as author and reporter, irrespective of their real life counterparts. It's simply an engaging road movie about fame, fulfilment and what it is to be human.
August 30, 2015
70

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Terribly advertised. Surprisingly good. I didn't care for the action sequences, but the Groundhog Day's day premise is great fun and makes up for the weaker points. Nothing groundbreaking, but definitely worth a look.
August 23, 2015
68

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitchier than the first, and following a predictable plot for a sequel (think D2: The Mighty Ducks with singing), but still very enjoyable.
August 9, 2015
65

2010 (1984)

An inferior, but otherwise adequate sequel. It picks up where the original left off, but it feels like a very different film. This works to its favour at first, but the eventual attempt to link the two stories together leads to a disappointing ending.
August 9, 2015
70

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Though filled with many famous faces, Albert Finney as the eccentric Belgian detective is the only performance that stands out. It's looking rather dated now, but it's entertaining enough to maintain your interest. Not bad overall, but I wouldn't go out of your way.
August 1, 2015
78

Fury (2014)

Surprisingly good. It could be faulted for being overly conventional and at times predicable, but the film's tight focus and strong performances - particularly from young Logan Lerman - more than make up for its weaknesses. A solid addition to the genre.
March 21, 2015
65

High Noon (1952)

With its great premise and unique real time storytelling, it's remarkable how flat this film is. There's so little tension and character development that when the final showdown finally arrives, it feels frivolous and silly. Interesting for historical reasons, but disappointing.
March 21, 2015
84

First Blood (1982)

Terribly underrated. More restrained than the sequels, First Blood fittingly doesn't include "Rambo" in its title. It spawned an iconic character, but its story comes first. That doesn't mean it's entirely plausible, but it sticks to its guns with sincerity, and it works.
March 17, 2015
84

Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)

Fascinating. For almost three hours, a narrator talks about LA over scenes exclusively from other films. Though a little dry at times -- it's more educational than entertaining -- the content is rock solid. Watch it over a few days like I did, and you won't be disappointed.
February 17, 2015
70

The Abyss (1989)

For 120 minutes, The Abyss is virtually flawless. It's an exciting underwater sci-fi adventure brought to life by a great cast. But on the homestretch, right when it counts, the wheels start to come off, leading to a painfully bad conclusion. Impressive, but disappointing.
February 17, 2015
94

Casablanca (1942)

I have nothing new to say about this iconic movie that hasn't been said before. It embodies classic Hollywood in every way and has a magical quality that few films can match. It's not just a great story, it's a world to get lost in. And one to revisit again and again.
February 17, 2015
88

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Supposedly the original film noir, The Maltese Falcon sets a strong precedent. It has style and swagger, razor sharp dialogue, and great performances from the entire cast. And once it gets going, it doesn't slow down. Lots of fun.
February 17, 2015
74

American Sniper (2014)

The problem with American Sniper is not its jingoism or embellishment of Chris Kyle's story. It's that it's uneven and unoriginal. Cooper does a excellent job, but the film rehashes everything we saw in The Hurt Locker seven years ago. Worth seeing, but nothing remarkable.
February 7, 2015
81

Wild (2014)

Despite the name, Wild is not about The Wild at all. It's a film about forgiveness and acceptance, and it tells a story with heavy themes in a refreshingly honest way. The flashbacks are disorienting at times, but I'm not sure a more linear approach would have been as effective.
February 5, 2015
88

The Great Dictator (1940)

On top of Chaplin's signature brand of physical comedy, The Great Dictator provides us with the first glimpse at his talent for imitation and oratory. 75 years later, the film is still very funny, and its final message is just as relevant, and just as moving.
February 3, 2015
86

Force Majeure (2014)

An acute and often uncomfortable examination of modern gender roles. Though I wouldn't call it a comedy, there's a sadistic sense of humour present in every scene -- even at its heaviest, I found myself laughing. All round very good.
February 3, 2015
69

The Imitation Game (2014)

Cumberbatch is excellent as Turing, but the film simplifies his character to a point that borders on offensive. But even if you ignore the historical inaccuracies, it simply emphasizes the wrong parts of his fascinating, yet tragic life. It's slick, but hollow where it counts.
January 17, 2015
79

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler is the creepy cousin of 2011's Drive. Though both are set in the seedy underworld of LA after dark, Nightcrawler is anything but sexy. The film may be a little rough around the edges, but Gyllenhaal's electrifying performance makes this one absolutely worth seeing.
January 17, 2015
90

Birdman (2014)

Birdman captures the explosive energy of the stage in a completely cinematic way, turning an ordinary story into a unique and richly layered experience. It's a technical feat, an acting showcase, and one of the best films of the year. In short, Birdman fuckin' rocks.
January 17, 2015
64

Inherent Vice (2014)

The problem with with PTA's latest is not that it's hard to follow (which it is), but that it's ultimately rather dull. It's often funny, and Joaquin is a likeable host, but too many scenes either go nowhere or come off as smarmy instead of clever. Not a dud, but far from a hit.
January 17, 2015
75

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

A welcome addition to the otherwise tiresome superhero genre. It's filled such weird yet charming characters (who are also perfectly cast), that even when you don't know what's going on, you're having a good time. Glad to hear they're making a sequel.
December 15, 2014
80

Life Itself (2014)

America's most popular film critic lead a fascinating life and it's documented here with affection and candor. But more than a simple tribute to Ebert's career, Life Itself explores the good, and bad, and the ugly of who he was as a person. Two thumbs up.
December 7, 2014
48

Interstellar (2014)

A bold attempt at the sci-fi epic ruined by plot holes and sentimentality. Nolan wanted to make the next 2001, but he has neither the patience nor the discipline to develop his ideas into anything coherent, let alone philosophical. Interstellar is a visual treat, but little more.
November 11, 2014
65

D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)

My favourite in the series. It's showing its age, but the charm is still there. Helps that the kids are little older. I still don't understand how all the Ducks made the team though. And since when is Iceland any good? And Trinidad? Really? Probably best not to think about it...
October 20, 2014
87

Gone Girl (2014)

Like Fincher's Fight Club, Gone Girl should not be taken at face value. Though it looks and feels like a gritty murder mystery, it's much closer to a comedy than a thriller. It's gloomy and grim, but very funny. It's one deliciously twisted genre-bendre.
October 11, 2014
42

The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Oh boy. Though often entertaining, there's no way this movie gets a passing grade. It's all over the place. It's Rosemary's Baby without any semblance of nuance. See it if you're in the mood for a laugh, but don't expect much more.
October 7, 2014
70

Chef (2014)

Light, tasty, and easy to digest, but will leave you wanting more. Chef feels like a minor work - almost a pet project - for the man behind blockbusters like Iron Man. But that's really the worst thing you can say about this otherwise very enjoyable comedy. Bon appétit.
October 5, 2014
85

Cape Fear (1962)

Chilling. For a sixties film, Cape Fear is surprisingly progressive. How many movie from this time period can you name that address a taboo topic like rape so directly? Overall very solid, but specifically worth seeing for Robert Mitchum, who steals every scene he's in.
September 28, 2014
79

The Killers (1946)

The Killers has one of the most electrifying opening scenes I've ever seen. Unfortunately this is the best part. It starts on such a high note that everything that follows is inevitably a let down. It's still a fine film noir, but not tight enough to be a classic.
September 1, 2014
76

June 17th, 1994 (2010)

What a day! It's an unconventional doc, comprised entirely of media clips, but the format is strangely mesmerizing. Fascinating to see how much the OJ Simpson story overshadowed everything. Definitely one of the best entries in the 30 for 30 series. Not just for sports fans.
August 13, 2014
69

We're the Millers (2013)

Much better than expected. It's definitely predictable, but the fake family gag works well enough to move the story along even when the jokes don't land. Not exactly a must-see, but certainly worth throwing on if you're in the mood for something light.
July 25, 2014
80

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

I can't compare this it to any other adaptations, but this one sure is fun. It keeps things light and playful, preferring sword fights to character study, and it's better off because of it. Guy Pearce is excellent as the villain, and how can you not love Luis Guzman?
July 24, 2014
71

What About Bob? (1991)

Surprisingly enjoyable. Only Bill Murray could make such an annoying character so likeable. Not quite a comedy classic, but worth seeing for the great Bob lines.
July 4, 2014
65

Somewhere (2010)

I wanted to like Somewhere, but so much is recycled from Lost in Translation, it felt like I'd seen it before. Despite a number of wonderful scenes - especially between Dorff and Fanning - the film's overall lack of fresh ideas make for a tiresome watch.
May 18, 2014
72

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Entertaining, but unfulfilling. Wall Street proves to be great material for Scorsese, but unlike his other films of this kind, this one glamorizes its subjects too much. There's no redemption or retribution for Jordan Belfort, just a whole lotta 'ludes and orgies.
May 6, 2014
75

Old Joy (2006)

Two old friends take a last minute weekend camping trip and try to rekindle a friendship that has clearly faded over the years. It's uncomfortable to watch at times, yet the honest dialogue and slow moving pace give it a strangely hypnotic quality. It's odd, but worth a look.
May 4, 2014
74

The Tenant (1976)

As unsettling as Rosemary's Baby, but goofier and more ambiguous. I recommend it, but with hesitation, because as thrilling as it is, I'm not convinced everything adds up. Some scenes are brilliant, some are a little ridiculous. Will need a second viewing.
April 27, 2014
76

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Solid entry in the Jack Ryan series. While not as tight as Red October, the story here about a Columbian drug cartel is more exciting than the personal one in Patriot Games. Goofy and predictable at times, but very entertaining.
April 19, 2014
88

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

A fast-paced, wickedly funny, often dizzying ride through one of Anderson's most ambitious and realized worlds yet. It's a collection of stories within stories filled with outrageous plots and characters all anchored by a charming performance from Ralph Fiennes. Great fun.
April 6, 2014
68

Room 237 (2012)

Wacky as shit, but surprisingly entertaining. Some of the theories are really out there (the moon landings... really?), but there are enough insightful observations to pique any fan's interest. Will definitely make you want to watch The Shining again.
March 31, 2014
68

Drinking Buddies (2013)

Flawed, but better than expected. Definitely more of a drama than a rom-com. It might have worked better if Olivia Wilde's character was a little more likeable (I was rooting against her at times), but there are enough scenes that work that it's still worth seeing, probably.
March 24, 2014
85

The Game (1997)

One of Douglas's best and one of Fincher's most underrated. The Game is full of twists, turns and surprises, but it's surprisingly rewatchable as well. See it if you haven't already; see it again if you have. It never disappoints. I won't give anything away here.
March 24, 2014
81

End of Watch (2012)

Big surprise! It's a cop story you know, but it's told using mostly first-person camera angles in a way that works better than you'd expect. And with solid turns from Gyllenhaal and Pena, this is a definite winner.
March 20, 2014
79

Enemy (2014)

Went in knowing nothing about this film; came out knowing even less. The premise is both seductive and absurd, and there's a constant fear it will fall apart at any moment. Yet, somehow it keeps it together and delivers either the best or worst ending I've ever seen.
March 16, 2014
75

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Despite the crazy, stupid title, this isn't a bad movie at all. It's the same rom-com formula you've seen a thousand times, only it's done particularly well here. Gosling and Carell are great together and everyone else is solid. A surprisingly safe bet.
March 2, 2014
37

Enter the Void (2009)

Ambitious! It's a shame it's basically unwatchable. From what I'd read, I thought the film's "ghostly" POV would be what was off-putting, but it actually kind of works. The problem is everything else. It's a giant mess of flat characters, terrible acting and shitty storytelling.
February 16, 2014
83

Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

This gets better every time I watch it. It's wacky and silly and the jokes are undeniably lame, but it's all part of its intoxicating charm. Hanks is as likeable as he can be and Ryan is equally delightful. Never a bad idea to throw this one on.
February 3, 2014
86

Walk the Line (2005)

I should have watched this ages ago! While it's a fairly conventional biopic, the film smartly focuses on Cash's relationship with June instead of trying to capture his entire life. And when Joaquin and Reece are this good together, why would you want anything else?
February 1, 2014
77

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

So stupid, yet so good. The chemistry between the the four leads is strong enough you could probably remove the time travel part and still end up with funny movie. Actually happy they're making a sequel.
January 27, 2014
69

All Is Lost (2013)

I like these kinds of films, but this one didn't work for me. It's impressive technically and I respect the minimalistic approach, but there's something missing. It's too clinical. Redford is solid, but we don't learn enough about his character to really care what happens.
January 27, 2014
75

Blackfish (2013)

Convincing. These fish (mammals?) really are too smart to be kept in cages. The film isn't exactly that eye opening (what animal would want to live in those conditions?), but I'm glad the film has been so successful at raising awareness.
January 21, 2014
82

The Warriors (1979)

I want to live in this world. I can already picture the outfits my gang would wear. Something with leopard print probably... It's no surprise this has become such a cult film. It's cheesy and camp, but never feels like a guilty pleasure. The stakes are always real. It's awesome.
January 19, 2014
64

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

What does it say about a film when you cheer for the bad guy? There's no doubt Into Darkness is exciting and looks great, but as a whole, it's pretty darn messy. After two films, they have yet to create a fully realized world that I wish to return to. Next mission? Count me out.
January 19, 2014
78

Philomena (2013)

Delightful. This (true) story is remarkable, but the best part of the film is watching Coogan and Dench get to know each other. Some parts are a little predictable, and they focus a little too much on the evil nuns, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
January 19, 2014
47

Gerry (2002)

This probably could have been something had it not been so boring. I don't mind slow, but this was painful. The desert landscape setting is genuinely spectacular and is beautifully shot. Unfortunately I couldn't keep my focus on the story enough to appreciate it.
January 12, 2014
78

The Sound of Music (1965)

Too twee for my liking, but I can see why it holds such an iconic place in film history. It's very grand (the opening scene alone is pretty incredible). Also nice to see the source of so many famous songs. I doubt I'll return to it anytime soon, but I'm glad to have seen it.
January 12, 2014
92

Paper Moon (1973)

A delightful road movie that is both touching and funny. Just about every aspect of the movie is great, but Tatum O'Neill's performance as Addie really steals the show. She's so natural and her comic timing is perfect. I can't wait to watch it again.
January 11, 2014
73

Stoker (2013)

Kind of absurd, but never boring. The creepy, gothic atmosphere is the film's best feature, making it an enjoyable watch even if you're left a little puzzled at the end. It's a letdown, but far from a waste of time. Matthew Goode is particularly... good.
January 4, 2014
70

Runaway Train (1985)

Odd movie! It's jarringly uneven, constantly shifts tone, and a few scenes make little to no sense at all. But despite its flaws, I really quite enjoyed it. Voight is solid, the camera work is impressive, and overall, it's pretty darn exciting.
January 1, 2014
74

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. There's a fair amount of over acting and questionable dialogue, but all is redeemed by Andy Serkis's inspired performance as Caesar, the ape leader. The man knows how to rock a motion capture suit.
January 1, 2014
65

The Hunter (2011)

Great atmosphere and solid acting (especially from Dafoe), but all the good stuff is spoiled by a rushed and unsatisfying ending. They also should have given Sam Neill a bigger part. He looks good in that fedora.
December 31, 2013
78

American Hustle (2013)

Entertaining and well acted, but given the talent involved, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. After an excellent first half, the story begins to lose focus leading to an ending that isn't entirely satisfying. Still very good, but not one of O'Russell's best.
December 31, 2013
69

Rush (2013)

Flawed, but better than expected. The film suffers from clunky dialogue and trying to tell too many stories at once, but Brühl and Hemsworth manage to do a solid job. It's an enjoyable snapshot of racing history, but nothing to write home about.
December 31, 2013
73

Upside Down: The Creation Records Story (2010)

Far from perfect, but very enjoyable. Definitely worth seeing if you're into this kind of music (or music history in general). Two complaints: 1) It felt rushed, especially the second half. 2) Too much Joe Foster. He's was entertaining, but I wanted to see more of the bands.
December 10, 2013
80

Spring Breakers (2013)

A bizarre, sonic experience that's closer to a music video than a film. It's 90 minutes of sex, drugs, guns, neon bathing suits and pink balaclavas. But beneath the eye candy is a wickedly self-aware sense of humour that we laugh with, not at. This is a magic movie, y'all.
December 8, 2013
49

The Bling Ring (2013)

Bleh. As other have said, the main problem with The Bring Ring is its lack of substance. It's a glossy, but emotionally flat retelling of the real story. Save yourself some time and skim the Wikipedia article.
December 8, 2013
71

WarGames (1983)

"Shall we a play game?" Pretty goofy by today's standards, but still enjoyable. It wouldn't have worked without a lead as charming as Broderick -- this must be what got him Ferris Bueller. All-round pretty fun.
November 30, 2013
82

The African Queen (1951)

A prudish missionary and a grizzly old drunk sail down a treacherous African river to blow up a German steam boat. The African Queen is as fun as it sounds. With Bogey and Hepburn playing off each other beautifully, and you can't help but root for these most unlikely of heroes.
November 16, 2013
66

This Is the End (2013)

You can tell they had a great time making this one. It's unrestrained and pretty damn silly, but it's the in-jokes and metaness of it all that makes it work. Not quite as sharp or hilarious as I'd hoped, but definitely worth seeing if you're in the right mood.
November 10, 2013
83

Captain Phillips (2013)

As expected from Greengrass, Captain Phillips is a fast-paced, well-told, thrill ride. Despite some apparently unfounded heroizing of the Captain character, it's nevertheless a remarkable story with an unsettling conclusion. I suspect this one will stick with me for a while.
October 20, 2013
94

Gravity (2013)

Thrilling, beautiful, and truly deserving of the term "movie magic". Go see it on the biggest screen you can find.
October 6, 2013
59

The Parallax View (1974)

There are many memorable scenes in TPV, but as a whole, the film is lacking. Too many unanswered questions; major plot points are glossed over; about 25 minutes too short. Still worth seeing for the cinematography and mood, just don't go in expecting All The President's Men.
August 18, 2013
80

Blow Out (1981)

In Blow Out's best scenes, we see and hear exactly how sound and image work together to make movies what they are. This is a great film about filmmaking. Parts of the story bothered me, but they were made up for by solid performances and stylish cinematography. Very good.
August 14, 2013
45

Elysium (2013)

Disappointing in the same way Prometheus was disappointing. Everything looked great -- the robots, the gadgets, the rich people space station -- but a logical, half-way meaningful story? Forget about it. Too much exoskeleton, not enough character development.
August 12, 2013
75

Argo (2012)

Thrilling and well made. I was never bored. Still a Hollywood version of history, but overall much better than expected. Thank you Canada.
July 30, 2013
87

Before Midnight (2013)

As enjoyable and insightful as the first two, and a welcome addition to the series. I only wish it were longer so that we could have spent more time with Jesse and Celine. Hope we get to do it again in another 10 years.
June 23, 2013
59

Ride the Divide (2010)

Unremarkable doc about an actually very impressive race. There are some interesting moments, but I was hoping to see more of the terrain the cyclists covered and to learn about the history of the race. Good kind of thing to throw on in the background, but not much more.
June 18, 2013
85

Knuckleball! (2012)

Surprisingly good. Not only footage of knuckleballs bewildering batters. There's actually a compelling story here about the fraternity of dudes that throw the pitch and what they've dealt with throughout their careers.
June 16, 2013
83

Mud (2013)

Filled with stunning cinematography and masterful acting, Mud is a damn good film. My only gripe is with the overly complex plot which forced too quick an ending. Still, there are enough charming and memorable scenes throughout that I recommend it to everyone.
May 20, 2013
74

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Emotionally flat, not entirely satisfying and not nearly enough Emilio Estevez, but hey, it's lots of fun. Cruise does what he does best, the supporting cast is hard to beat and the action sequences are enjoyable and memorable. Overall, still pretty solid.
May 14, 2013
84

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)

Delightful. Using mostly interviews with those he worked with, this doc succeeds in simultaneously unpacking who Kubrick was and exploring how each of his films impacted film history. Well worth a watch if you're a fan.
May 13, 2013
41

Friends with Kids (2011)

I wasn't expecting much, but it was still disappointing. It was like all her other movies, only less interesting and more depressing. Don't waste your time.
April 26, 2013
82

Blade Runner (1982)

I understand why people love this film, but I've always had more of an academic appreciation of Blade Runner than a personal connection. It's powerful, thought-provoking and visually stunning, but (and maybe it's just the Director's Cut), it's never felt entirely complete.
April 21, 2013
83

Rain Man (1988)

Greatly exceeded my expectations. Hoffman is obviously excellent, but Cruise really has the more challenging role and I thought he nailed it. It's a little uneven in places, but the scenes that work really work well.
April 12, 2013
67

Executive Decision (1996)

Cheesier than I remember, but not without its charm. It's pretty standard fare as far as action thrillers go, but it gets bonus points for featuring Kurt Russell and for being set on a plane. Throw it on and enjoy yourself.
March 20, 2013
74

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

There are few things that stand out about The Lincoln Lawyer, but one thing that does is McConaughey. He may be known best for fluffy rom-coms, but here he delivers a surprisingly committed performance that elevates an otherwise ordinary drama into something entirely watchable.
March 5, 2013
67

Sleepwalk With Me (2012)

It was cute. They could have fleshed out the story a little more, but at least it didn't overstay its welcome. I wasn't laughing out loud, but Mike Birbiglia was likeable enough to keep things moving along nicely.
February 26, 2013
86

The Master (2012)

PTA explores themes he's touched on in his other films, but it still feels fresh here. Cinematically an A+ and Hoffman/Phoenix are as good as you'd expect. Felt like two stories fighting for the spotlight at times, but still enough food for thought once the credits roll.
February 17, 2013
79

Deep Water (2006)

A fascinating yet tragic story handled with craft and care. It reminded me of Touching the Void both in terms of style and subject matter. All round very good.
February 8, 2013
87

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Compressing the hunt for UBL into 2.5 hours could not have been easy. Bigelow and Boal clearly took some factual liberties, but their blend of fiction and history was entirely appropriate and it ultimately produced one of the more thought-provoking films of the year.
February 3, 2013
74

The Art of Flight (2011)

It's been a while since I've watched a snowboarding movie, but the footage here really stood out. It's not just tricks and big air: these guys tackle some incredible terrain all over the world. If you don't mind the occasional pontificating snowboarder, it's worth a watch.
February 2, 2013
75

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

I'm glad this film has received so much attention because it really was unlike anything else that came out this year. It's more of an experience than a narrative. I didn't fall in love with it, but I can certainly see why others did. See it, if only for the stunning visuals.
February 1, 2013
92

La Haine (1995)

Not a frame is wasted in this powerful and unforgettable film. In crisp black and white, it's almost uncanny how La Haine captures such dark and ugly subject matter so beautifully. The characters are real, the story is skillfully told, and I'm still thinking about the ending.
January 25, 2013
21

Vertical Limit (2000)

And I thought K2 was bad! This is simply embarrassing. Is the climbing footage realistic? No. Is this a good movie? Not even close.
January 12, 2013
81

Django Unchained (2012)

With such beautiful cinematography, mellifluous dialogue, and entertaining characters, Django is pretty darn great by most standards. But! Given how high QT has set his own bar, I will say this: it felt like a rehash of Inglorious Basterds. Still very good, but a little less wow.
January 11, 2013
42

K2 (1991)

Is the climbing footage realistic? Yes. Is this a good movie? No. It delivered what I was looking for, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
January 8, 2013
86

Winter's Bone (2010)

Bleak as hell, but damn is it gripping. Life here is ugly and hostile, but it's a place I didn't want to leave. It's easy to see why J Law generated so much buzz: she has the toughest role in the movie, but she delivers it with exceptional confidence and control. A modern gem.
January 6, 2013
83

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

SLP's greatest strength is the way it blends David O. Russell's neurotic humour with the Hollywood rom-com formula. You might know the story, but with such exceptional writing and acting, it feels fresh and genuine, and you can't help root for a happy ending.
December 31, 2012
59

2 Days in New York (2012)

Beyond disappointing. The first one was surprisingly great -- it was funny, sweet, and they really made something of their two days in Paris. But the two days they spend in NY in this one feel more like two weeks, and a whole lot less happens.
December 20, 2012
77

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

Goofy, full of charm, and featuring Chevy Chase doing what he does best, Christmas Vacation is hard not to like. The jokes are crude and far from subtle, but that's exactly what makes it great. If you're looking to get in the holiday spirit, this won't let you down.
December 18, 2012
75

Into the Abyss (2011)

Herzog sinks his teeth into the meaty subject of capital punishment and delivers a moving and thought-provoking film that (wisely) avoids getting too political. The interviews that comprise the bulk of the film are revealing, touching, bewildering and never boring.
December 11, 2012
88

Sexy Beast (2000)

What a gem! The acting, the dialogue, the visual style... every bit of this film comes together beautifully. Kingsley's manic performance is the obvious highlight, but really everyone here is excellent. I can't wait to watch it again.
December 8, 2012
84

Lincoln (2012)

Not nearly as biographical as one would expect; Lincoln is less about the man and more about the politics of the Civil War. Its only flaw is that it tries to do too much at times, but with such talent both behind and in front of the camera, it proves to be a smashing success.
December 6, 2012
87

Blood Simple (1984)

If there's one word to describe Blood Simple, it's "tight". Not a single frame is wasted in this impressive thriller. Its simple story is told with craft and precision, brings out excellent performances from the cast and delivers some highly memorable scenes. Top notch.
November 29, 2012
49

The Rum Diary (2011)

For a movie based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel, The Rum Diary sure is dull. I wasn't expecting the over-the-top antics of Fear and Loathing, but I was expecting, you know, a story? You can confidently give this watered-down snooze-fest a miss.
November 29, 2012
47

The Omega Man (1971)

I don't know if this seemed novel in 1971, but it certainly hasn't aged well. This goofy, anticlimactic adaptation not only ignores the interesting parts of its source material, but it's not even entertaining. I like Mr. Heston, but even he can't breathe life into this dead film.
November 25, 2012
40

Catching Hell (2011)

EDIT: Listen to Jordan and avoid this stretched out, half-baked attempt at a documentary. You can watch the Steve Bartman clip on Youtube and save yourself 90 minutes of looped replays.
November 24, 2012
62

Deconstructing Harry (1997)

There's an excellent and very funny screenplay here, but Woody's casting of himself in the lead role is its biggest flaw. He simply doesn't do vulgar very well. Worth a watch if you're a fan, but it's not one of his strongest.
November 21, 2012
63

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

I wanted to like it, but I didn't. Instead I found it tedious, not particularly funny and a little too... cute? Seems like I'll need to revisit this again someday, but until then, I'll stick with PTA's more dramatic work.
November 17, 2012
86

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

As good as I remember it: smart, creative, genuinely romantic, and one you can return to again and again. Kaufman and Gondry compliment each other perfectly and deliver just the right about of quirk, originality and charm.
November 17, 2012
82

Skyfall (2012)

Bond is back, baby. After the uninspired Quantum of Solace, Skyfall performs some much needed course correction and ultimately creates one of the more memorable films in the series. Craig is solid, Bardem dazzles, and Dame Judi and the supporting cast round it out perfectly.
November 13, 2012
85

Shotgun Stories (2007)

This Jeff Nichols has a real knack for storytelling. His pacing is slow and methodical, but there's never a dull moment - almost like a good Western. He seems to gives his actors plenty of space and every one of them shines. You don't see many movies like this these days.
November 12, 2012
64

Another Earth (2011)

The ideas were definitely better than the execution, but it's not a bad little film. Be warned though: the science fiction and romance labels are very misleading -- this is a drama and it's rather depressing.
November 11, 2012
68

Day of the Fight (1951)

Nothing special, but a solid short doc nonetheless. Impressive part is that the 20 year old Kubrick both directed and financed the film himself. Pretty damn good for a first time out.
November 4, 2012
87

Take Shelter (2011)

As soon as it was over I wanted to watch it again. Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain were mesmerizing to watch and the simple, straightforward direction was hauntingly effective. Truly the dark horse of 2011.
November 2, 2012
59

Sinister (2012)

The found footage angle was really well done and genuinely creepy, but the rest of the movie was a mess. I was (mentally) yelling at Ethan Hawke's stupid character the entire way through. Given the interesting premise, I was more than a little disappointed.
November 2, 2012
61

Easy A (2010)

Definitely not an A, but I'd give it a passing grade. It's filled with the usual high school comedy tropes, yet I'd place it a notch above average thanks to the delightful Emma Stone. Let's go with a C.
October 31, 2012
77

Young Adult (2011)

Like an episode of Curb on crack, Young Adult will test your tolerance for uncomfortable comedy. Charlize Theron plays the bat shit crazy lead absolutely perfectly and deserves all the acclaim she's received. See it if you think you can stomach it.
October 30, 2012
61

Beautiful Girls (1996)

Some parts were great, many parts were frustratingly formulaic. The good probably outweighed the bad, but I could have used a lot less melodrama. They should have focused more on the Lolita part of the story -- at least that angle was unique.
October 20, 2012
78

Go (1999)

For better or worse, Go is a "classic" 90s slacker flick. It's flawed in many ways and it blatantly tries to "do" Pulp Fiction, but after rewatching it recently I forgot how funny it is. See it for Timothy Olyphant and William Fichtner who nail it in a few excellent scenes.
October 20, 2012
74

Looper (2012)

A little uneven and a little strange, but a good time none the less. JGL and Bruce make a good team even if they're not exactly on the same team. There's a good premise and story here, but despite its strengths I still walked out a little disappointed. Go figure.
October 20, 2012
83

Battle Royale (2000)

Ultra-violent, ultra-good, and surprisingly moving. If the comparison to The Hunger Games has to be made, this comes out on top every time.
October 18, 2012
86

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Poor ol' Tom, dude just wants to get laid. I can't quite put my finger on what I like about Eyes Wide Shut, but it seems to get better with every watch. Taken literally, it's pretty damn silly, but on a conceptual level, it explores some interesting themes in a very unique way.
October 18, 2012
75

The Killing (1956)

Well scripted, beautifully shot and possessing that film-noir sexiness, The Killing is full of technical merit, but there seemed to be little attempt to impart feeling for any of the characters. Deliberate or not, it left me cold and ultimately a little disappointed.
October 14, 2012
87

Paths of Glory (1957)

One of the most frustrating, depressing, anger-inducing films I've ever seen. There's no glamour or glory to be found here, just a bleak reminder of the absurdities of war. The anti-war message is far from subtle, but it's damn effective and never preachy. All round excellent.
October 14, 2012
78

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

I jumped on this after reading the positive reviews on here and I sure wasn't disappointed. Trick 'r Treat's cleverly woven together stories aren't all that scary, but they're full of charm, humour and surprise. Why the hell this never made it to theatres is beyond me.
October 14, 2012
91

The Right Stuff (1983)

Outstanding. Over three hours long and not a single dull moment. With its incredible story, great acting and impressive filmmaking, I could see this becoming a personal favourite.
October 8, 2012
67

Tiny Furniture (2010)

So nothing really happens, but it was interesting none the less. Not quite a success, but still worth seeing. It's clear from this why Lena Dunham was offered the chance to do "Girls".
October 7, 2012
73

Samsara (2011)

Beautifully shot and filled with some incredible imagery, Samsara is a worthy follow-up to Baraka, but it's considerably darker in mood than its predecessor. Inspiring at times, but surprisingly uncomfortable at others. See it, but make sure to see it on the big screen.
September 23, 2012
58

Scream 4 (2011)

While funnier than expected and filled with some genuinely good scares, Scream 4 still falls short due to its bland characters and formulaic ending. Nice to see Ghostface back in action, but you can safely give this one a miss.
September 14, 2012
82

The Trip (2010)

I can't decide if The Trip works best serialized or as a film, but regardless the format, Rob and Steve are a highly entertaining duo I was happy to spend a couple hours with. It's a bit slow at times, but it's worth it.
August 17, 2012
77

Breach (2007)

Very solid spy drama. Ryan Phillippe is, well, Ryan Phillippe... but Chris Cooper! Wow! Chris Cooper! Amazing! This is an actors movie and Chris Cooper absolutely nails it. See it for his performance alone. Chris Cooper!
August 13, 2012
80

Suspiria (1977)

Both creepy and stylish, Suspiria is a disorienting assault on the senses. It's hard to follow at times, making it play out like one long nightmare, but that only makes it all the more unnerving. A must see for horror fans.
August 11, 2012
77

Bronson (2008)

Not at all what I expected, but in a good way. Much like in Drive, Nic Refn shoots for style over substance. Thankfully the true story at its core is compelling enough to carry it through. The real highlight, however, is Hardy's outrageous, yet mesmerizing lead performance.
August 10, 2012