Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn is a classic, beautifully shot romance that is one of the season’s true crowd-pleasing features. It doesn’t contain a lot of surprises or stakes, but commands attention with well-drawn, likable characters, a convincing sense of time and place, and a fantastic lead performance from Saoirse Ronan. It’s also a moving … Continue reading

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon is a fast-paced, often hilarious look at the magazine the defined lewd, counter-culture humor. Most contemporary audiences likely know the name and its association with such timeless cinematic comedies as Animal House, Caddyshack, and Vacation. But in its heyday the … Continue reading

The Wolfpack (2015)

The Wolfpack (2015)

As the story goes, director Crystal Moselle met the “wolfpack,” otherwise known as the Angulo brothers, by chance in Manhattan in 2010. Struck by their Reservoir Dogs-esque black Ray-Ban sunglasses, leather coats, and waist-length hair, she became friends with the group and soon uncovered the kind of story documentary filmmakers dream about. … Continue reading

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

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

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

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, a prodigal mathematician who played an integral part in breaking Nazi Germany’s “unbreakable” Enigma code during World War II. He and his team’s work shortened the war by an estimated two years, saving upwards of fourteen million lives. Told in a focused, … Continue reading

The Interview (2014)

The Interview (2014)

It would seem nearly impossible to discuss The Interview without addressing the bizarre circumstances leading up to its release. On December 17, 2014, Sony announced that the film would not be released in the wake of the Sony hack and subsequent 9/11-esque threats for violence issued by the hackers (believed … Continue reading

Foxcatcher (2014)

Foxcatcher (2014)

Foxcatcher, director Bennett Miller’s latest blend of sport and human drama, is an actor’s movie. That’s not so much an insult as an observation. Understated and very casually-paced, the film features three pristine performances in service to a story that builds tension leading to inevitable tragedy. The ending will be a … Continue reading