Review: PROJECT ALMANAC, A Cautionary Time-Travel Thriller For Teens

Something funny happened on the way to delivering a found-footage time-travel movie for teenagers: it grew a heart and developed a conscience. Project Almanac (formerly titled Welcome to Yesterday) features science nerds, unrequited crushes, and an extended concert sequence. All... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Is Flocking Marvelous

Aardman Studios return to the big screen in cracking form with another rip-roaring roller coaster of action, smart humour and lovable characters. Shaun The Sheep Movie promises to delight fans of all ages, and long-time aficionados of the studio's signature... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: BLACKHAT, Michael Mann's Moronic Cyber Scavenger Hunt

Humanity's fascination with the microchip started long before they became everyday necessities for the first world population. You see, we humans have always taken strides for some semblance of consistency and structure through networks and grids. Design and architecture in the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: KINGSMAN - THE SECRET SERVICE Delivers An Entertaining Ride

The world of espionage has become a bit dour of late. Our postmodern proclivities have caught up with us, and thanks to our impossible missions, our Bourne fascinations and a Daniel Craig-ified Bond, we've lost a little bit of... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: TAKEN 3, Action Cinema For Teenage Softies

Liam Neeson's third outing as over-protective family man Bryan Mills sees him on the run for murder after his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) turns up dead in his apartment. Forest Whitaker heads the investigation, which soon enough uncovers the involvement of... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Slow-Burns With Quality

Lurking modestly in the fringes of film awards season, we have this: an accomplished, dignified, slow-burn of a film. A Most Violent Year is a crime film, a crumbling family drama, an unexpected character study, and an art house pot-boiler.... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: THE GAMBLER, Addiction? What Addiction?

Mark Wahlberg cries in the very first moment of The Gambler, immediately distinguishing his character from the one played by James Caan in the 1974 original. (His name is different too. ) Jim Bennett says goodbye to his dying grandfather... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: AMERICAN SNIPER Aims At The Bullseye, Misses Entirely

Director Clint Eastwood aims for stoic, heroic grandeur in American Sniper, an adaptation of a bestselling book about Chris Kyle, subtitled "The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History." Eastwood's film, however, misses the target entirely for... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: UNBROKEN Takes The Human Spirit To War, Prison

With Unbroken, Angelina Jolie has once again thwarted many expectations of her own career. She's stepped behind the camera to direct what is not just the most un-ironic "triumph of the human spirit" God/country/apple pie film in a long time,... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: INTO THE WOODS Ventures Into A Musically Dark Thicket

"Beware the tale you tell Children will listen"  Just what is Disney up to with Into the Woods? Widely cited as "nobody's favorite Sondheim", this Tim Burton-esque adaptation of the 1987 Broadway stage musical is sing-songy, yes, but it's also intensely... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: SELMA Is Far More Than Just A Martin Luther King Movie

Ava DuVernay's Selma packs a powerful punch, yet its impact is delivered with such finesse and grace that it might seem at first less impressive than it really is, its affects felt much later after you walk away from... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: SEVENTH SON, Generic And Self-Serious Fantasy Fare

A bad spell seems to have been cast on Seventh Son. Sergei Bodrov's first American feature - to whom we owe the impressive 2007's Mongol - saw its release indefinitely delayed. Originally slated to hit US theaters on February 2013,... More »
  

Review: THE INTERVIEW Deserves To Be More Than A Footnote

In 1940, just months after Wermacht tanks rolled over their borders in lightning strikes, a film came out that made the elected leader of Germany look like the fatuous lunatic that he was. Playing both the Jewish Barber and... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: TOP FIVE, Chris Rock's Very Funny And Most Personal Film Yet

Rude, crude, and lewd as it is, Top Five is still a big step forward for Chris Rock as a filmmaker. In essence, that's because it more closely resembles his brilliant stand-up shows, where he gets on a roll and... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Blu-Ray Review: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN Ultimate Edition - A Primer for EXODUS

A decade before Ridley Scott brought Exodus: Gods and Kings to the big screen, he tackled another epic about religion, faith and pragmatism. Kingdom of Heaven was Scott's film about the Crusades, a rousing, rambunctious film that tried to... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, An Epic Poem

Rarely in cinema history has the notion of a journey there and back again been more aptly applied. Yes, the culmination of Peter Jackson & co.'s vast epic comes in an episode titled The Battle of the Five Armies,... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS Is Lost In The Wilderness

Meeting, but rarely exceeding, expectations, Ridley Scott's grand retelling of Moses and the Hebrews' flight from Egypt is strong on visuals and A-list presence, but slight on narrative and characterisation. Christian Bale and Joel Egerton both put in fine performances... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: THE HOMESMAN Takes Tommy Lee Jones Out To Pasture

Hollywood's most high-falutin' varmint must be Tommy Lee Jones. As difficult and humorless as he's perceived to be (and sometimes said to actually be), he's gone and built a career on imbuing a certain curmudgeonly ease into whatever films he... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Rules The Animated Comedy Roost

I don't know whether to call this a TV spin-off or a bigger franchise's "side project." Whatever it is, The Penguins of Madagascar is something fresh to me. I went in, kids in tow, knowing nothing. I haven't laughed this hard... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1 Slows Series To A Crawl

With two global smashes that have banked $1.5 billion between them, the Hunger Games series has captured the imagination of spectators around the world with a well-balanced combination of spectacle and emotional depth. Mockingjay - Part 1, the first part... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
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