American Sniper (2014)

American Sniper (2014)

American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American military history. With 160 confirmed kills out of a probable 255, Kyle did four tours of duty in Iraq as part of SEAL Team 3. The film is a largely straight-forward look at his life. The… Continue reading

The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything is, above all, a marvelous love story. Based upon Jane Hawking’s account of her 30-year marriage to famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, director James Marsh has crafted an emotional, affectionate tribute to the man, love, and life itself. It does get stuck in the biopic genre gears here… Continue reading

Moneyball (2011) – “It’s A Process” By Mychael Danna

Moneyball (2011)

To be good at something is one thing. To be good at something consistently for years is another. In a sport where getting a hit three times out of ten over a career makes you a borderline Hall-of-Famer, baseball requires an immense amount of discipline, repeatable mechanics, and the ability… Continue reading

The Monuments Men (2014)

The Monuments Men (2014)

“Damon, Murray, Blanchett, and Goodman are in? Well, then, our work here is done.” It seems more than likely that sentence or a variation thereof was uttered during the early stages of The Monuments Men, a dreary and largely uninteresting film about events that shouldn’t be dreary and uninteresting. A… Continue reading

Lone Survivor (2013)

Lone Survivor (2013)

The opening sequence of Lone Survivor, utilizing real and raw footage of the agony and determination it takes to become a Navy SEAL, is great stuff. Had the rest of the film been built with this focus and care, Lone Survivor could have been really special. Instead it’s a pretty… Continue reading

Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Richard Phillips: There’s got to be something other than being a fisherman or kidnapping people. Muse: Maybe in America, Irish, maybe in America. Captain Phillips is an astonishingly well-made thriller, and that’s saying something considering the majority of the audience already knows the ending. Perhaps the most suspenseful and… Continue reading

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese’s best movie since 1995’s Casino, and that’s saying something as Marty’s output is consistently very good. The film, based upon the life of stock broker Jordan Belfort, is a completely out-of-control three-hour spectacle of sex, drugs, greed, and comeuppance. The cuts from… Continue reading

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Many will recall the January 1, 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant III, as it was not only tragic but also one of the first “real-time” shootings caught on video by dozens of spectators with flip-phones. The incident would spark nationwide protests, riots, and heated discussion about race relations. Fruitvale Station… Continue reading

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Spoiler alert: Mary Poppins gets made. But it’s the long and frustrating journey to reach the final product that is the subject of Saving Mr. Banks, a refreshingly insightful look into the mind of the troubled author who wrote the book. This could have easily been two hours of Disney… Continue reading