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.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a nifty self-contained comic book story
hidden in a familiar summer superhero blockbuster.
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.
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is a stirring and beautiful history/documentary
of lemurs and their only remaining habitat.
22 Jump Street is an enjoyable, laugh-out-loud funny follow-up to the
genuinely hilarious t.v. show tribute original.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy, somewhat predictable sequel to
the original with some outstanding new visuals.
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 Fault in Our Stars is a fairly effective love story between teenagers
with cancer, a bit overwrought at times.
Cantinflas is a sumptuous production of stories from the life of the influential
Mexican comedian, starring Oscar Jaenada.
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.
What If (2014) is a rom-com which helpfully includes the word "banter-y"
in the banter. Charming despite trying a bit.
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.
Calvary (2014) is a slightly too flippant John Michael McDonagh comedy/drama
of a priest (Brendan Gleeson, great) and his flock.
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.
Get on Up is a James Brown biopic pastiche with a remarkable Chadwick Boseman
star performance but a sad dearth of songs.
Hercules (2014) is not even the best Hercules movie of the year, but not
very hatable, lazy cheese with high self-esteem.
The November Man is a clumsy, often incomprehensible spy movie, sample
exciting line: "Wait, let me get my dictaphone."
Into the Storm (2014) is a weirdly racist giant tornado movie with pretty good
effects and not-bad acting. Why the racism? NO STARS
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) is a lazy, boring TMNT movie and undoubtedly
the worst CGI Chipmunks squeakquel ever. NO STARS
Maleficent is a great idea for a Sleeping Beauty movie, maybe someone
will write one. Poorly stitched up, a real bad mess. NO STARS
Belle (2014) is based (not quite closely enough) on the true story of a
fascinating figure in British slavery's demise.
Only Lovers Left Alive is Jim Jarmusch's molasses-paced story of vampire love
and loathing and the molasses pace of time.
Fading Gigolo is John Turturro as a novice gentleman of the evening.
Quite, quite odd yet genuinely diverting throughout.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is a 3-D animated Oz with heart and imagination
(mostly Martin Short), forgettable songs and dialogue.
The Quiet Ones is a fairly silly paranormal demon-summoning cult jumper
with a few pretty creepy moments, not terrible.
The Double (2014) is a funny but overly precious Dostoevsky adaptation
set in a vintage absurdist totalitarian no-time.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is "a loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires
and baby" it's awful, a list, not a movie. NO STARS
Searchable index of movie reviews with links
Alex's Politics and Movies Blog