Reviews

There are a few hard-nosed, pointed remarks from Hawking—one of the most brilliant minds of the century—and very few truly selfish moments, despite the fact that even as a purely inspirational figure, he’s earned them. The same goes for Jones’ Jane, whose sacrifices just keep piling up. This renders the portrayals, however remarkable the performances are, too saintly and mawkish.

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Dreamworks Animation has always looked out for the adults who take their children to movies. From Shrek and The Bee Movie, to How to Train Your Dragon and the movie which spawned the spin-off, Madagascar, the studio makes smart and funny animated movies, all the while possessing enough heart and emotion to not just tug at the heart strings of children, but their adult counterparts as well.

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Written and directed by Ruben Östlund, Force Majeure has been selected as the Swedish entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards in February 2015. Unfortunately in my humble opinion, the film fails to really engage the viewer in any meaningful discussion or portrait of a family in the midst of crisis, and leaves you not with a feeling of conclusion, but with confusion.

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It’s no news to fans of the young-adult book series by Suzanne Collins that this third movie only covers a portion of her third novel, which is par for the course, I suppose, for a film that contains a both a colon and a hyphen in its title. But even in the Star Wars series, which now retroactively features the word “Episode” in each title, the films themselves had a form of resolution. Sometimes there were cliffhangers, sure, but the emotional journey and theme of each film were wrapped up by film’s end.

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L’avventura is the film that gave Antonioni a name. The film was booed at its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival, but at the second viewing of the film, it was greeted quite enthusiastically, and then finally awarded a Special Jury Prize for “the beauty of its images, and for seeking to create a new film language.”

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[Rock Fist Way Down] It’s hard to say a lot about a kids’ movie as straightforward as Under Wraps (Available now on DVD), so I’m not even going to sugarcoat it for you today. Danny is always getting into trouble and breaking things, despite his good intentions, so when his parents tell him not to [...]

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Fury walks the line between romanticizing arguably the most important war of the past century and making you appalled that anyone ever went through such an experience voluntarily in what we’ve come to call the last great American crusade against the forces of tyranny.

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In Interstellar, Christopher Nolan is getting pretty pictures and great actors to shine up his turd of a premise until you are forced to proclaim him a master of the cinematic arts.

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Christopher Nolan’s Sci-Fi epic spans the stars, but at its heart is a family drama that errs on the side of sentiment.

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In films like 21 Grams, Biutiful, and Babel, he revels in the misery of his characters and then contrives to make them even more miserable. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of misery and pretentiousness in Birdman (which is subtitled The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) but its mostly psychosomatic—and often played for laughs, which is a new thing for Iñárritu.

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The ABCs of Death 2 moves quickly and most of it is ultimately very forgettable, but I still find myself drawn toward its desire to be different and truly artistic in its approach.

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Rating: Minor Rock Fist Up Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an intense, magnetic performance that is the highlight of Nightcrawler, the directoral debut from writer Dan Gilroy. The film follows Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom, a disconnected loaner who stumbles into the world of on-the-scene video journalism. Bloom is a quick study, as we witness him learn the seedy business [...]

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The Two Faces of January brings three solid performances together to help a decent script turn into an hour and a half of quite entertaining film.

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The effortless chemistry of Murray and Lieberher are the main reason that, even at its most clichéd, St. Vincent mostly works.

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What is remarkable about The Vanishing is how, like Gone Girl, it reveals much about its central mystery fairly early on in the film. Unlike Gone Girl, it continues to deepen its characters and maintain a believable sense of dread that plays into its central conceit.

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