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February 2014
Everything Stacks Up Superbly in The Lego Movie

This rapid-fire laugh machine is a wildly inventive, highly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining family film when we least expect it.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 07, 2014 |
  • comments
 
The Monuments Men is an Entertaining, Skilled Throwback

The patriotic schmaltz feels right. If we can't be sentimental about preserving culture, we've lost touch with what these characters did.

January 2014
Labor Day is a Big, Gooey Mess of a Movie

Director Reitman finally has a real stinker on his resumé with this sappy, schlocky film. Even Nicholas Sparks would scratch his head.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 31, 2014 |
  • comments
 
That Awkward Moment Takes Casual Approach to Rough Content

Hard to care much about any of the lazy, libidinous characters, especially when so much time is spent on the least interesting of them.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 31, 2014 |
  • comments
 
I, Frankenstein is Anything but Alive

Not even amusing in a "so-bad-it's-good" way. Should be the nail in the coffin of non-superhero comic book adaptations, but it won't be.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 25, 2014 |
  • comments
 
Unearned Ending Aside, Pro-Life Gimme Shelter Works

Not quite a documentary, but has an unflinching, realistic feel right til the end when it turns into a Lifetime movie with a bow on top.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • January 24, 2014 |
  • comments
 
Not Much to Crunch on in Forgettable Nut Job

Pretty much what Saturday morning cartoons would have been back in the day if they had been 90 minutes long and available in 3D.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • January 17, 2014 |
  • comments
 
Jack Ryan Reboots with Mixed Results

Has enough potential that it need not take another decade to develop the next chapter in Jack Ryan's cinematic story.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 17, 2014 |
  • comments
 
Strong Acting Can't Save Soap Opera Hysterics of August: Osage County

Watching these familiar faces shout, scream and degrade each other at dinner for hours probably isn't most people’s idea of a good time.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 10, 2014 |
  • comments
 
Lone Survivor Contains More Surprises Than Title Suggests

Berg's thematic explorations of courage, fear, integrity and sacrifice feel like introspective meditations rather than formulaic beats.

January 2014
The Legend of Hercules is Epic... Epically Bad

If only it had been clever. Or well-acted. Or better conceived. As is, it's even worse than you might expect.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • January 10, 2014 |
  • comments
December 2013
Exciting Finale not Enough to Save Lumbering 47 Ronin

More often dull, listless, and unengaging than outright bad or painful to watch, though its Eastern witchcraft may be bothersome to some.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 26, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Blatant Commercialism Can’t Sink Sweet Walter Mitty

A comedy that deals with serious themes but manages to stay light enough on its feet that any moments of heavy-handedness are forgivable.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 25, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Imperfect Mandela Boasts Worthy Performances and Ideals

Takes a lionizing and fairly standard look at the life of the South African revolutionary, contextualizing debated aspects of his life.

 
Grudge Match Boxes Ears without Warming Hearts

The winner is...? Certainly not the audience. Could have been fun were it not for the thick layer of smut coating virtually every scene.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • December 25, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Man's Depravity Knows No Bounds in The Wolf of Wall Street

In true Martin Scorsese fashion, The Wolf of Wall Street is yet another demented tale about Man at his most dark and depraved.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 25, 2013 |
  • comments
 
There's Something About Her, but There's Also Something Missing

Stimulates our mind more than it stirs our spirits or pulls our heartstrings; more of a discussion than a heartfelt experience.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 24, 2013 |
  • comments
 
A Spoonful of Sharpness Helps the Sugar Go Down in Saving Mr. Banks

Seems to serve as a family-friendly version of the art vs. commerce debate, but also packs an emotional and thematic wallop.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 20, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Walking with Dinosaurs is 'Awesome' in 3D

Feels like something you'd see at a good science museum. Dino-crazy youngsters will love it, and their parents won’t mind it either.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • December 20, 2013 |
  • comments
 
News Flash: Anchorman 2 Full of Laughs

A goofy, unserious film that generates laugh after laugh, stopping well short of the raunch-fests that pass for movie comedies today.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 18, 2013 |
  • comments
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