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.
Life Itself is a moving, informative and well-made documentary biography
of the great Roger Ebert, necessarily limiting.
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.
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.
Belle (2014) is based (not quite closely enough) on the true story of
a fascinating figure in British slavery's demise.
Chef (2014) is a script which could be written by anyone given the words
chef, viral and food truck. Performances sell it.
The Purge: Anarchy finally gets oomph from the premise, while remaining
stupid. A final twist could've helped.
Deliver Us from Evil is not a horror classic but with some hair-raising
instances along the way. Nobody's best anything.
Tammy (2014) is markedly less raucous and less funny than Melissa McCarthy's
recent movies, by the end mostly sedate.
Third Person, or, "An Author in Search of Six Characters," is compelling
as the stories build, dismaying as they intersect.
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
Neighbors (2014) is a funny nothing movie. There are funny stupid movies
and funny nothing movies. Neighbors is nothing. 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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