The Wind Rises [Kaze tachinu] is an incredibly beautiful Hayao Miyazaki
masterpiece of love, dreams, engineering and war.
Joe (2014) is a mostly faithful movie of Larry Brown's novel with strong
work from Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan and Gary Poulter.
Under the Skin (2014) is a trippy, suspenseful symbolic action essay with
a great, monster Scarlett Johansson performance.
Jodorowsky's Dune is a crazy, inspiring, fascinating what-if movie about
surrealism and a quite influential unmade film.
Enemy is José Saramago's doppelgänger novel translated into a gorgeous dread
of domesticity by Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Gravity is an impressive and suspenseful space disaster adventure with
lacking character development but good acting.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson's handmade tribute to peculiar
people and peculiar times, starring Ralph Fiennes.
Frozen is a lovely, musical, magical 3-D Disney digital fairy tale based on
Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen."
Draft Day (2014) is a Kevin Costner NFL draft movie/personal drama with
hardly any football but lots of great anecdotes.
Cesar Chavez is an earnest and realistic portrait of the man, missing some
form and shape and some spirit of greatness.
Muppets Most Wanted is a funny and entertaining musical sequel to the
latest reboot of Kermit and all the Muppets gang.
Bad Words is Jason Bateman's directorial debut, an absurd spelling/revenge/bonding
movie which is f---ing stupid and funny.
The Raid 2 is Gareth Evans's ponderous but still not too terrible action
sequel to his all-four-stars The Raid: Redemption.
Non-Stop is another non-stop Liam Neeson action thriller, this one a
suspenseful, entertaining plane hijacking mystery.
The LEGO Movie is a fun and funny kids LEGO adventure parents won't
hate, full of pop culture references and sly details.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an okay Captain America story
which nevertheless falls somewhat short of rousing.
The Monuments Men is a worthwhile though underplayed story of rescuing art
in World War II, with strange Alexandre Desplat score.
Noah (2014) is a tense action movie of the famous Bible story, inventive
with some good effects and some not as good.
Oculus is a jumper with a weak set-up, a super-talky middle and a
super-confusing ending, few scares and weak characters.
Need for Speed is a great-looking but long, horrible, nonsensical
road-racing movie with okay acting from the lead actors.
Divergent is yet another highly arbitrarily stylized and regulated future
world of fascism which makes very little sense.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman: Imagine "I'm Just a Bill" from "Schoolhouse Rock"
stretched to 90 minutes. A game try but failed.
Sabotage (2014) is Schwarzenegger in one of those thrillers one
might be able to stay awake for, but it won't help.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is a mad Scorsese vision of stock crime
and epic excess, starring a spot-on Leonardo DiCaprio.
Philomena is the story of a mother's hope and search for her long-lost child
across time, with unexpected turns and humor.
The Nut Job is a fairly clever animated animals movie for kids, with
simple visual style, classic cartoon humor, farting.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) is an inoffensive corporate-sponsored
romantic comedy with a bad-repetitive soundtrack.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a mid-story show with boring flash-cut
The Lone Ranger-style Rube Goldberg-machine scenes.
Grudge Match is a gentle boxing comedy with laughs, not highly
recommended but what do you want. It's not too bad.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is an engaging installment of
the video horror series with its first recycled ending.
Black Nativity is not a bad way to spend 90 minutes, with okay music,
strong cast, complex moments but weak story overall.
Is August: Osage County bad acting camp for movie stars or the
feel-bad movie of the year? You could find out yourself.
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