A Most Wanted Man is a taut John Le Carré terror/spy movie starring Hoffman,
Wright, McAdams, directed by Anton Corbijn.
Boyhood is Richard Linklater's real-time growing up of Ellar Coltrane's
character and family, subtle, remarkable and powerful.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a fine, faithful 3-D next chapter of
the quality prequel series begun with 2011's Rise.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a smart, hugely enjoyable comic book movie which
avoids a lot of common comic book movie b.s.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy, somewhat predictable sequel to
the original with some outstanding new visuals.
The Drop (2014) is a Brooklyn low-level gangster story with strong work
from Tom Hardy and the late, great Gandolfini.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a touch too easy and sentimental in places
but mostly beautiful, funny, romantic and moving.
The Giver is a fine version of the Lois Lowry young adult classic novel
with depth, complexity and fine acting from all.
The Skeleton Twins is an amazing acting tour-de-force starring Kristen Wiig
and Bill Hader as quite believable siblings.
Cantinflas is a sumptuous production of stories from the life of the influential
Mexican comedian, starring Oscar Jaenada.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them is an honest, well-acted story
of the love and losses of a young New York couple.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is in nifty (mostly) black-and-white 3-D,
a pretty entertaining continuation of the first.
Let's Be Cops is one of the funnier comedic attempts this summer, absurd and stupid,
starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr.
Lucy (2014) is an over-the-top, fun, silly Luc Besson ride through everything
in the universe and more. Johansson rules.
Chef (2014) is a script which could be written by anyone given the words
chef, viral and food truck. Performances sell it.
Magic in the Moonlight is a pleasant but not compelling romantic opposition
of faith versus reason, for whatever reason.
No Good Deed (2014) is Idris Elba and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson headlining
a suspenseful hostage drama with twists.
Tusk (2014) is a horror/parody/absurdity movie touching some deep chords
of each, with a great Michael Parks performance.
As Above/So Below is a funnish, unfocused horror/fantasy tour of Paris
catacombs in search of the Philosopher's Stone.
The Purge: Anarchy finally gets oomph from the premise, while remaining
stupid. A final twist could've helped.
If I Stay is a soggy teen love/music/coma weeper redeemed to watchability
by a couple of truthful Stacy Keach scenes.
The Maze Runner is one of the longest book trailers in history, suspenseful
yet ultimately unsatisfying even as prologue.
Get on Up is a James Brown biopic pastiche with a remarkable Chadwick Boseman
star performance but a sad dearth of songs.
A Walk Among the Tombstones is a rare Liam Neeson action dud with an
opaque plot and not much else of interest going on.
The November Man is a clumsy, often incomprehensible spy movie, sample
exciting line: "Wait, let me get my dictaphone."
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) is a lazy, boring TMNT movie and undoubtedly
the worst CGI Chipmunks squeakquel ever. NO STARS
The Fault in Our Stars is a fairly effective love story between teenagers
with cancer, a bit overwrought at times.
Palo Alto (2014) is a naturalistic movie about high friends in the titular city
and suburbs, with great acting, good writing.
Draft Day (2014) is a Kevin Costner NFL draft movie/personal drama with
hardly any football but lots of great anecdotes.
Words and Pictures is a seemingly heartfelt but naggingly didactic, simplistic
romantic story of simple didacts, not bad.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an okay Captain America story which
nevertheless falls somewhat short of rousing.
Godzilla (2014): Godzilla as a character is well designed and utilized,
but the rest of the picture doesn't hold up.
Brick Mansions (2014) is a total waste except for the action fighting work
of David Belle, which is electric. The RZA can't act.
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