San Andreas (2015)

San Andreas (2015)

Save the dog-in-peril, there is nary a disaster movie cliché that goes unturned in San Andreas. It promises large-scale destruction, and that’s exactly what it delivers. Sandwiched among the visual effects showcases are sketchy dialogue and laughably generic character types, but director Brad Peyton and screenwriter Carlton Cuse are much more … Continue reading

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

The charming and pleasant Pitch Perfect was one of 2012’s biggest surprise hits. You know what “surprise hit” means in Hollywood speak? Sequel! And here we are with Pitch Perfect 2, a bigger and flashier film than its predecessor – and in many ways better. Whereas the original took a … Continue reading

Hot Pursuit (2015)

Hot Pursuit (2015)

Like most bad comedies, Hot Pursuit has a blooper reel attached to the end credits. Also like most bad comedies, the blooper reel contains more than the sum number of laughs preceding it. This is an alarmingly misguided effort, pairing two very different actresses – one of them good – in a … Continue reading

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

The law of diminishing returns strikes big-time in Avengers: Age of Ultron, an overstuffed mess of one-note characters, gaudy, incomprehensible CGI, and really, really bad one-liners. It’s so unexpected that you almost forget how fresh The Avengers was three short years ago, and what a welcome reprieve it was from the … Continue reading

The Age of Adaline (2015)

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Talk about having time on your hands. The Age of Adaline tells the story of woman eternally stuck at age twenty-nine. This is the kind of “forever young” scenario we all dream about, but Lee Toland Krieger’s film is much more interested in soapy melodrama and period piece costuming than … Continue reading

Unfriended (2015)

Unfriended (2015)

As universal fears go, public humiliation is near the top of the list. In the quaint old days, when something embarrassing happened to you, it was usually only witnessed by a few people and forgotten relatively quickly. Not anymore in our age of social media, instant camera access, and countless outlets … Continue reading

McFarland USA (2015)

McFarland, USA (2015)

McFarland USA is that steady, dependable inspirational sports film that Disney churns out and releases at will. The formula is practically as old as the medium itself, but director Niki Caro and her team have crafted a touching human story that supersedes the visually uninteresting sport at the heart of the … Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Fifty Shades of Grey may be the first film in history made specifically for the purposes of hate-watching. Adapted from E.L. James’s unbelievably popular novel (at its height it sold two copies every second), it can be said in absolute terms that whatever lusting and fantasizing readers of the book … Continue reading

Still Alice (2014)

Still Alice (2015)

Still Alice is an honest and refreshingly level-headed (read: non-manipulative) look at a horrible disease and the toll it takes not only on the diagnosed, but also friends and relatives. Nothing particularly new or revelatory happens, but its matter-of-fact approach coupled with a stellar cast saves it from the Lifetime Disease … Continue reading