The Frozen Ground (2013)

Based on a true story — and actually feeling real, which is often not the case — The Frozen Ground is a film detailing a trio of interconnecting stories which give us a character on each side of the story. The film is about Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who kidnapped, raped, killed, […]

The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

A three-act tale about family and legacy, The Place Beyond the Pines is a fascinating, emotionally compelling and ambitious movie. To call it a “must-watch” might be overselling it, but it is one of the better films of the year and manages to justify every second of its 140-minute running time. How many films can […]

If I Stay

Cliché opening: They say life can change in an instant, and for Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz), life does just that. While off on a road trip on a snowy day, she and her family wind up in a car accident. She awakens seemingly unscathed, but only seemingly. She’s having an out-of-body experience. She’s actually […]

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

In case you’ve somehow forgotten, Sin City was a really excellent movie. It looked unlike almost anything before filmed, it had very entertaining stories, its cast was amazing, and it dove into the subject matter like nothing else. It felt like a walking, breathing, comic book. And completely forgetting that The Spirit exists — because […]

When the Game Stands Tall (2014)

When the Game Stands Tall looks like it’s going to be another inspirational sports movie. Go watch the trailer. I’ll wait. It’s cut from the same cloth as basically any other inspirational sports movie you’ll have either seen or heard of in your life. When you watch the film — and you shouldn’t — you’ll […]

Life After Beth (2014)

Give Life After Beth credit for at least trying to do something more with the overused, worn-out, and otherwise tiresome zombie movie. Here, the zombie apocalypse is used as an analogy for breaking up with someone and moving on from that person. And if you think about the film in that context, that aspect of […]

The Giver (2014)

Written in 1993 by Lois Lowry and read across classrooms all across North America, The Giver is a book that has become a mainstay in the school and something that almost all middle schoolers wind up reading at some point in their school career. And it makes sense that they do. Its themes resonate best […]

The Expendables 3 (2014)

We’ve done this dance how many times now? You’ve (presumably) seen two Expendables movies already, so shouldn’t you know exactly how they work? Aging action stars team up to take down another aging action star. Sometimes there’s blood and profanity, sometimes there’s no blood and less profanity, but it all basically works the same. You’re […]

The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

Purportedly based on a true story — yes, really — The Men Who Stare at Goats contains some of what the title promises. Men do, in fact, stare at goats, although they only do so in one scene. Mostly, the film is split into two sections. The first involves a journalist and a former psi-soldier […]

Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Let’s Be Cops is a film whose premise is not something that can sustain it for over 90 minutes. That premise — where regular guys pretend to be police officers — is funny for about 20 minutes. After that, it gets stale. In order to keep it fresh, they’re put into a real life police […]

Passion (2013)

Isn’t it funny when the title of a film is exactly what it’s lacking? Passion, from director Brian De Palma, is a remake of a 2010 French film called Crime d’amour. It centers on two women at an advertising firm and their desire to move up in the world. It features deception, and lust. It […]

What If (2014)

What If (released as The F Word in all countries but America, because America apparently can’t handle a title that even hints at profanity) is a funny movie about the friend zone. What is the friend zone? It’s when a guy has romantic feelings for a girl, but she just wants to be friends. It’s […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

I suppose Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could have been a whole heck of a lot worse than it wound up being. I say this while acknowledging that it isn’t a good movie. It feels long at 100 minutes. It has some incredibly dumb moments — points so dumb that you have to laugh at how […]

Bullet to the Head (2013)

Assuming you’re completely okay with a straight-faced, no-nonsense, action movie starring a past-retirement-age Sylvester Stallone, you’re probably going to have a good time with Bullet to the Head, which works on more than one level. It’s a competent buddy-cop movie, a decent revenge-thriller, contains elements of film noir, and also functions as a throwback to […]

The Signal (2014)

You have no idea how much I hoped that The Signal would work. From its mysterious trailer to its first … two acts, really, this is a film that seemed like it would be one of those sci-fi thrillers that anyone who saw it would be unable to stop talking about it. But it eventually […]

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

So a girl, Hazel (Shailene Woodley), has had cancer for a while now. Thanks to an experimental drug, she’s managed to survive much longer than doctors initially gave her, although she has to constantly wear breathing tubes and can’t do anything even remotely strenuous. Walking up and down stairs requires taking a break. She’s aware […]

Behaving Badly (2014)

Question: How did a movie like Behaving Badly get a cast like the one that it did? This is a low-budget teen comedy that features the likes of Mary-Louise Parker, Elisabeth Shue, Heather Graham, Cary Elwes, Jason Lee, Selena Gomez, and Dylan McDermott. Those aren’t no-name actors. And it’s not like they just have cameos, […]

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

I made a prediction before Guardians of the Galaxy was released. I thought that it would be the best of the Marvel movies, but would also make the least amount of money. Its heroes are, after all, largely unknown quantities. While someone like Iron Man is a household name — or at least, was closer […]