Free State of Jones (2016)

Free State of Jones (2016)

Free State of Jones features a handful of moderately powerful moments that don’t add up to a powerful overall experience. Writer/director Gary Ross’s screenplay bites off more than it can chew, resulting in a frustrating narrative structure that softens the most potent material and injects confusion at inopportune times. Newton Knight’s … 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

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

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

Dracula Untold (2014)

Dracula Untold (2014)

The allure of the prequel, from the studio’s standpoint, makes a whole lot of sense. After all, something can always occur before something else and you can pretty much make up your own rules. Dracula Untold, the latest in the Dracula saga that has served Universal well for decades, is a … 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

Red Tails (2012)

Red Tails (2012)

Red Tails has supposedly been in the Hollywood pipeline for over twenty years, never finding financing because of the African-American-driven cast. George Lucas has been behind the project from the beginning, and finally became so fed up with the studio system that he decided to finance the film himself. The … Continue reading