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.
Snowpiercer is Bong Joon-ho's amazing, masterful apocalyptic action epic with
great Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Ed Harris.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson's handmade tribute to peculiar
people and peculiar times, starring Ralph Fiennes.
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.
[NOTE: It has come to my attention that the press screening I attended did not
include a showing of the complete Guardians of the Galaxy, with no
notification, so this review is provisional until I can see the entire movie.
We wuz lied to.]
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.
Edge of Tomorrow is a nearly perfect, awesome action sci-fi movie but
there's one dumb thing that costs it half a star.
The Fault in Our Stars is a fairly effective love story between teenagers
with cancer, a bit overwrought at times.
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.
The Purge: Anarchy finally gets oomph from the premise, while remaining
stupid. A final twist could've helped.
Tammy (2014) is markedly less raucous and less funny than Melissa McCarthy's
recent movies, by the end mostly sedate.
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.
Jersey Boys is an awfully lifeless rock-and-roll biopic of Frankie Valli
and the Four Seasons. Shot right from the stage book? 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
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a boring, stupid, pathetic, vile excuse for a
Transformers movie, the worst of 2014 so far. NO STARS
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 (2014) is José Saramago's doppelgänger novel translated into a gorgeous dread
of domesticity by Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal.
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-4-stars The Raid: Redemption.
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