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2014

Reviews of some of the best movies of 2014 and some of the worst movies of 2014.

Edge of Tomorrow Review

Edge of Tomorrow Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) With the exception, maybe, of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, no film has ever so closely replicated what it’s like to actually play a video game than Doug Liman’s All You Need Is Kill Live/Die/Repeat Edge of Tomorrow. And with the exception of Scott Pilgrim, no film that’s either explicity based on […]

Inherent Vice Review

Inherent Vice Review

RATING: (4 STARS) A stoner private dick, his manipulative ex-old-lady, her millionaire land developer lover, his scheming wife, her ripped kept man. A recovering dope fiend single mother, her missing snitch boyfriend, a black panther, a gang of Nazis, an maniacal actor cop, a maritime lawyer, a pot-smoking assistant DA, nose-picking FBI agents, and a […]

A Most Wanted Man Review

A Most Wanted Man Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The name John le Carré is to the spy genre as Tolkien is to fantasy. For more than 50 years, the man has thrilled fans with labyrinthine tales of hardened espionage agents trying to navigate morally murky waters—and he’s still going. Published in 2008, A Most Wanted Man is one of his […]

Foxcatcher Review

Foxcatcher Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In the winter of 1996, John du Pont—a wealthy ornithologist, philatelist, and philanthropist—shot and killed Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz. Most familiar with the case and the two men found the affair entirely uncharacteristic of du Pont. Schultz and du Pont were friendly. The latter employed the former as an assistant coach […]

Unbroken Review

Unbroken Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) With Unbroken, Angelina Jolie mistakes heroic misery for rousing inspiration. What should be—and is, in book form—a fully formed and moving story about unparalleled hardship and the triumph of the human spirit falls oddly flat on the screen. It’s a decent enough movie with moments of emotional and plainly visual beauty, but […]

Two Days, One Night Review

Two Days, One Night Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Two Days, One Night might be the Dardenne brothers’ best film yet. That’s a big statement considering the filmography in quesiton: La Promesse, Rosetta, L’enfant, The Kid with a Bike—not a dud in the bunch. But it’s a complex, rich film that earns such a label. Anchored by a phenomenal turn by […]

Wild Review

Wild Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) One of the most successful prestige films of 2013 was Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club, a mostly artless attempt to prove that white guys have feelings too. It was well-acted, though, and ultimately won three Oscars, but my frustrations with the film, its screenplay, and its non-descript direction all led to major […]

The Theory of Everything Review

The Theory of Everything Review

RATING: (2 STARS) The Theory of Everything wants to be a serious, important film full of ACTING and EMOTION. It wants to weave together science, faith, and love in a way that’s accessible and touching. And it wants to prove that the human spirit can overcome anything. All it really accomplishes is demonstrating that Benoît […]

Interstellar Review

Interstellar Review

RATING: (4 STARS) I want to talk about how well-made Interstellar is. I want to talk about Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography in director Christopher Nolan’s ambitious, awe-inspiring film; it’s remarkable. Stepping in for regular Nolan contributor Wally Pfister, Van Hoytema establishes an old-fashioned aesthetic full of shots of a decaying Earth and a quietly wonderous […]

Gone Girl Review

Gone Girl Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There’s an interesting correlation that exists within David Fincher’s filmography: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button aside, the more shocking and memorable a film’s chief psychopath is, the better the film is as a whole. Kevin Spacey’s John Doe made Se7en one of the most horrifying films of all time, and characters […]

Obvious Child Review

Obvious Child Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Obvious Child will always bear the distinction of being an “aborition movie” before a “romantic comedy” in the eyes of many because, well, movies about the termination of a woman’s pregnancy simply don’t get made in today’s risk-averse marketplace. It’s much easier to trot out Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler and make […]

The Drop Review

The Drop Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Anyone going into The Drop should know not to expect much in the way of plot surprises. It’s a thriller, yes, but it’s very straightforward, and it treads territory covered in films all too regularly. That said, there’s something very surprising about how fresh the material seems. Lowlife criminals find themselves in […]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) It’s been a long time since a Marvel movie totally worked. When Iron Man premiered in 2008, it was so tonally unique and such a breath of fresh air. But The Incredible Hulk was dull and overly moody. Iron Man 2 proverbially shot first and asked questions later. Thor, Thor: The Dark […]

Only Lovers Left Alive Review

Only Lovers Left Alive Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Only Lovers Left Alive might not amount to a hill of beans, but damn if it isn’t one sexy, crazy, wildly enjoyable movie. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are two vampires trying to get by. That’s the film. But what it’s lacking in plot and, I guess, purpose, it more […]

The Battered Bastards of Baseball Review

The Battered Bastards of Baseball Review

RATING: (3 STARS) It’s a shame “For the Love of the Game” is already spoken for as far as baseball movie titles go. I think Chicago Cubs fans could be a little peeved at the implication that the short-lived Portland Mavericks minor league franchise are baseball’s true battered bastards… The love of the game, though, […]

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me Review

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There are a lot of obvious and superficial similarities between Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and, from a few years ago, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Both follow older women with years of experience in show business as they struggle to keep up with what the demands of their careers. They both […]

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