The Age of Adaline (2015)

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Talk about having time on your hands. The Age of Adaline tells the story of woman eternally stuck at age twenty-nine. This is the kind of “forever young” scenario we all dream about, but Lee Toland Krieger’s film is much more interested in soapy melodrama and period piece costuming than… 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

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Fifty Shades of Grey may be the first film in history made specifically for the purposes of hate-watching. Adapted from E.L. James’s unbelievably popular novel (at its height it sold two copies every second), it can be said in absolute terms that whatever lusting and fantasizing readers of the book… 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

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

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

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

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