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

Selma (2014)

Selma (2014)

Selma is one of the great emotional experiences of recent years; a fiercely powerful look at one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most triumphant victories. Perhaps even more interestingly, it peels back the layers of an icon and portrays Martin Luther King Jr. in a very human and, at times, fragile … Continue reading

Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood, which started filming in 2002 and continued off and on for twelve years, is the greatest coming-of-age story ever put to film. Had the film not succeeded, it still would have gone down as a worthy experiment. Since it does work so well, it will go down as a … Continue reading

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods is eighty minutes of energy and joy followed by forty more of tiresome, by-the-numbers visual effects. The drop-off in quality is notable. It’s a shame, as the first two-thirds are filled with crowd-pleasing tunes, beautiful set designs, and a playfulness that jumps off the screen. All of … Continue reading

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Two Days, One Night is a refreshingly compassionate look at a moral dilemma that no one wants to be at the center of. As written and directed by the Dardenne brothers, the film is a focused, frankly heartbreaking take on personal morals, selfishness, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for … Continue reading

Unbroken (2014)

Unbroken (2014)

“If you can take it, you can make it.” Those were the words spoken by Louis Zamperini’s brother as he prepared to train as an Olympic runner in Unbroken. Little did he know that over the next few years those words would take on more meaning than ever. The film … 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

Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash (2014)

There is a moment during Whiplash‘s final fifteen minutes that not only propels the film to unmitigated greatness, but also one of the most accomplished, intense character-driven dramas in years. Writer/director Damien Chazelle, who first made this story into an acclaimed short before getting funding for this feature-length production, has crafted … Continue reading