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September 2014
Dolphin Tale 2 Just Treads Water

The pacing is sluggish, the storytelling predictable. Compared to the original, it's pretty inferior in the inspiration department, too.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 11, 2014 |
  • comments
The Drop Bottoms Out Early, Never Recovers

Could more accurately be referred to as "The Letdown," and a big one at that. Only manages a small burst of energy before fizzling out.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 11, 2014 |
  • comments
No Good Deed is Laughably Bad, Needlessly Violent

The timing couldn’t be worse for a thriller full of violence against women. But it probably wouldn't have made much difference anyway.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 11, 2014 |
  • comments
As with the Rapture, so Too The Remaining: The Best Stuff's Gone from the Get-Go

Most of the movie feels un-scary, unsure of its theology, inconsistent in its methods, but there are a few nuggets of subtle quality.

The Identical Surprisingly Un-Identical to Blander Inspirationals

Rather than follow a predictable trajectory of rebellion during the dawn of rock, it takes a refreshing track of spiritual exploration.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 04, 2014 |
  • comments
August 2014
Robin Wright Does No Wrong in The Congress

After a promising start, the story lets Wright down in the end by losing the human-interest angle and growing less fascinating visually.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 29, 2014 |
  • comments
Brosnan More Geriatric Bourne Than Bond in Blasé November Man

Plenty of car chases, moral ambiguity and a serious body count, but this loose adaptation of There Are No Spies falls into no man’s land.

Football and Faith Lead When the Game Stands Tall

As well-made a faith-based movie as you're likely to see, with the professional polish you'd expect from a studio-backed film like this.

Teen Romance on Life Support in Weepy If I Stay

Nowhere near as intriguing as the novel it's based upon. In fact it feels more like "Touched by an Angel: Teen Edition."

Frank Might Leave You Wearing a Puzzled Expression

Plays like an inside joke, offering moments of diversion and offbeat humor but never amounting to anything more than a curiosity.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 22, 2014 |
  • comments
August 2014
Second Chapter of Sin City is Still All Style and Little Substance

Tries to cram four stories into just over 90 minutes. Star-studded and easy on the eyes, but lacks a method to its shock-jock madness.

The Giver a Fair if Basic Treatise on Societal Control

A parent-friendly thriller that allows a young audience to think about complex ideas and core human values for the first time.

What If This Film Had Snappier Dialogue?

On the rom-com scale, scores fair on chemistry between leads, poor on script. Too bad in a sex-free film where marriage is a noble goal.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 14, 2014 |
  • comments
Cowabunga! Turtles Shells Out Action + Attitude

With fun nods to pop culture and sci-fi classics, it’s a fast-paced, high-action story that takes no prisoners.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is Worth the Trip

Not as memorable as fellow 2014 foodie film Chef, but it’s hard to find any major flaws in it. Predictable, but well-played.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 08, 2014 |
  • comments
Into the Storm Looks Good, Sounds Good, Feels... Blah

Let’s get the inevitable comparison out of the way: Twister, this ain't.

Cooper's Vocal Work Saves the Day in Guardians of the Galaxy

Superhero movies are usually oh-so-serious, but what makes this one work so well is a funny, fast-and-loose style and clever soundtrack.

Get On Up Isn't Pretty, but Captures the Essence of James Brown

Not your typical birth-to-grave biography. It's a little spastic and occasionally confusing but certainly keeps the intensity set high.

July 2014
Beautiful Calvary about the Struggle to be Both Righteous, Human

When a religiously-themed film has no agenda towards evangelism or secularism, it’s amazing how legitimately thought-provoking it can be.

Mood Indigo Fails to Fully Flower

The opening bursts with a rare synthesis of music and unusual imagery that looks like the beginning of a memorable film. It doesn't last.

Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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