• mostviolentyear01

    REVIEW: A Most Violent Year [2014]

    “You’ll never do anything harder than staring someone in the eye and telling them the truth” I remember being surprised when Margin Call—the little movie that could—came out. Writer/director J.C. Chandor earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay before heading to virtual silence with his harrowing sophomore effort, the Robert Redford-starring All is Lost, a […]

  • selma01

    REVIEW: Selma [2014]

    “God was the first to cry” A civil war waged on Alabaman soil in 1965 whether President Lyndon B. Johnson felt holding off on a bill negating the South’s tactics to bar African American citizens from voting would prevent one or not. It was fought under his and the country’s eyes in the streets, on […]

  • wild01

    REVIEW: Wild [2014]

    “Cold mush dreams” The cinematic adaptation of Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail seems to be getting pigeonholed hard as being solely a tale of female empowerment. It most definitely is, but I’m not sure critics should necessarily call it a day with such a generic categorization. There’s […]

  • 2014topsongs

    Top 100 Songs of 2014

    #100: Coming Home by Kaiser Chiefs #98: Gust of Wind by Pharrell Williams #96: Friday Fish Fry by Kelis #94: It’s a Longer Road to California Than I Thought by The Wind and the Wave #92: Now by Joywave #90: Take My Place by Lily Allen #88: Are You Okay? by Dum Dum Girls #86: […]

  • imitationgame01

    REVIEW: The Imitation Game [2014]

    “Shall we leave the children alone with their new toy?” It’s highly unusual for me to get invested in a biography, so when one comes along that enthralls me as fully as The Imitation Game it’s difficult to know whether I’m simply overreacting. Director Morten Tyldum and screenwriter Graham Moore have done what so few […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [2004]

“So what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?” I’m usually the guy who watches the trailer for a stupid raunchy comedy and instantaneously declares it unworthy of my time. For some reason, however, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story hit every mark necessary to have me believing it could […]

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REVIEW: Thou Wast Mild & Lovely [2014]

“My lover knows how to love me” She is not kidding when she says: “To those who feel that their cruelty is too cruel, their sadness too sad, I dedicate this film: an embrace.” Writer/director Josephine Decker means every single word because she herself has laid bare her own cruelty and sadness with Thou Wast […]

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REVIEW: Butter on the Latch [2014]

“Because she sat on Pinocchio’s head” I’m going to run with this quote from director Josephine Decker: “I think an ending is much more exciting if even I don’t know what it ‘means’.” For all intents and purposes she’s giving permission for me to make of her fiction narrative feature debut Butter on the Latch […]

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REVIEW: Dumb and Dumber To [2014]

“I don’t even know cursive” Nope. Not even the movie that started it all can save the fledgling career of the Farrelly Brothers. Despite reading an interview of them speaking about how great the sequel’s script was due to its being almost identical to the first, I entered their last film with an open mind. […]

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REVIEW: Interstellar [2014]

“Who’s they?” Say what you will about Christopher Nolan, the man knows how to make resonate blockbusters. He knows movies—plain and simple. There has always been a power in cinema that hits us at an emotionally deep level, a window into our souls through the characters onscreen we have learned to cherish as though extensions […]

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REVIEW: RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi [2014]

“Oh Radha, you are voluptuous, pure and always forgiving, the source of life itself, our beloved, delightful as a blossoming lotus.” An art piece bridging Vijay Iyer‘s newest energetic composition as played by the International Contemporary Ensemble and stunning footage of Holi celebrations in the Braj region of India, RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi proves […]

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REVIEW: Dumb and Dumber [1994]

“You sold my dead bird to a blind kid?” It’s the film that brought us the high concept, gross-out comedy sensibilities of Peter and Bobby Farrelly and it has some of the most memorable laughs of the 90s. The filmmaking brothers would go on to create a mixed bag of obnoxious, offensive, and hit or […]

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REVIEW: Always Woodstock [2014]

“Don’t love anyone that makes you hate your art” The feature debut of writer/director Rita Merson is mired in convention. Think to yourself about five cinematic tropes that could be found in a romantic dramedy and I’ll bet you at least four are present in Always Woodstock. But that’s not telling you anything you wouldn’t […]

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REVIEW: A Clockwork Orange [1971]

“No time for the old in-out, love, I’ve just come to read the meter.” It didn’t take long for the theatrical experience to prove essential when watching A Clockwork Orange on the big screen. As Henry Purcell‘s March from “Funeral Music for Queen Mary” plays, the frame is filled with a solid bright orange so […]

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REVIEW: Turist [Force Majeure] [2014]

“You can’t run in snow boots?” Very rarely does an international name change occur for the better, but few titles are more perfect for their respective film than Force Majeure. The original Swedish moniker was Turist, a succinct and appropriate label considering the entire piece portrays a family’s five-day ski vacation in French Alps. Force […]

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REVIEW: Maps to the Stars [2014]

“… Liberty” There are many versions of Hollywood I would never wish to live within—including the real one—but it appears those crafted by Bruce Wagner might be the most nightmarishly hedonistic, vile, and depressingly pathetic. A man who grew up in Los Angeles via Wisconsin and probably experienced many of the selfish acts of depravity […]

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REVIEW: Fury [2014]

“Are you saved?” I can relate when people look at David Ayer‘s Fury and shake their heads saying, “We get it. War is brutal.” I can because I remember sitting down to watch The Reader in 2008 only to think how completely over Holocaust movies I was that year. I believe I saw four or […]

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REVIEW: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [2014]

“The truth is always interesting” It’s true what the film’s Times‘ theater critic (Lindsay Duncan) says: an artist should bleed for his craft. Physically, spiritually, metaphorically—blood must be spilt so the world knows he was here, selflessly (selfishly?) making us laugh, cry, and reflect on lives well lived and squandered. This is why those who […]

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REVIEW: The Book of Life [2014]

“Always play from the heart” I’ve held fascination for Día de Muertos ever since seventh grade Spanish class. There’s just something about its love for the dead and ability to turn something scary to so many into this beautiful cultural tradition that makes its juxtaposition of old bones and ornate artistry a uniquely special aesthetic. […]

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REVIEW: Big Hero 6 [2014]

“One a scale of 1 to 10: how would you rate your pain?” Many parents aren’t going to allow their young children to watch Marvel Cinematic Universe films—they skew older with dark underlying themes and comic book violence that leaves beloved characters dead. So while Disney’s purchase of Marvel gave them boundless raw material to […]