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

Blackhat (2015)

Blackhat (2015)

The ongoing struggle to make cyber crime an exciting time at the movies continues with Michael Mann’s Blackhat, a ridiculous, stone-faced mish-mash of genre stereotypes and endless exposition. We’ve come to expect much more from Mann, an accomplished director whose Heat (1995) remains one of the première crime films ever … 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

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A Most Violent Year (2014)

You have to hand it to writer/director J.C. Chandor. He is immensely skilled at taking otherwise mundane topics (the stock market in Margin Call, a disastrous solo sailing adventure in All Is Lost, and the oh-so-glamorous heating oil industry here) and making tense dramas surrounding them. His films are all character-driven, … 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

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler (2014)

“I’d like to think if you’re seeing me you’re having the worst day of your life.” So says Louis Bloom, the anti-hero of writer/director Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. The film is a pitch-black, often satirically so, look at the bloodlust that engulfs local news. Its parallels with reality are only slightly blurred, … Continue reading

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook is a relentless psychological horror film. Made for a modest $2.5 million, this Australian export is about five times as scary and disturbing as its big-budget Hollywood counterparts. With most of the film taking place in the dark corners of a house, writer/director Jennifer Kent, in her feature film debut, … Continue reading

John Wick (2014)

John Wick (2014)

If ever you’ve thought that an action film didn’t have enough point blank head shots, look no further than John Wick. This is an absurdly violent, stylishly-executed revenge-action picture that delivers precisely what the genre promises. While at times repetitive, the film builds up plenty of goodwill with its lean, no-nonsense … Continue reading

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl is basically two movies in one; a serious, realistic missing persons boiler followed by a laughably over-the-top second half that comes dangerously close to unraveling the whole works. The film does not depend upon the audience buying wholesale into the numerous twists, but rather the shifting character motivations and completely … Continue reading

The Expendables 3 (2014)

The Expendables 3 (2014)

Expectations are usually set in concrete by the time the third entry of a franchise is reached, and The Expendables 3 is no exception. You know you’re in for a lot of action, cheesy one-liners, and the kind of plot that can be hung from a clothesline. On that level, … Continue reading