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October 2013
Controversy is Surprisingly Boring in The Fifth Estate

Who knew that such a gripping, ripped-from-the-pages plotline could be reduced to something hardly worthy of the big screen?

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 18, 2013 |
  • comments
 
12 Years a Slave the Definitive Slavery Film

We’ve seen slavery depicted on film before, but not like this, comparable to the depths Spielberg plunged us to in Schindler’s List.

 
Powerful Testimony Delivers Church Girl

Suffers from a few trademark flaws that mar faith-based films, but succeeds in telling a story that will resonate with most audiences.

 
Carrie Could Make You See Red

This remake lacks nuance, is spiritually arid and, for most of its running time, visually dull, no matter how much blood is spilled.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 18, 2013 |
  • comments
 
A Brainy Stallone Aids Escape Plan

Despite the grim setting and violence, it's a fun film for those who fondly recall the heyday of Stallone and Schwarzenegger.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • October 18, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Hanks & Greengrass Bring Captain Phillips' True Story to Life

Tom Hanks carries the weight of this observational piracy story with a control that is all at once intellectual, primal, and brittle.

 
Romantic Spark Missing from Otherwise Handsome Romeo and Juliet

Doesn't redefine Shakespeare's tragic love story for a new generation, but it should find a receptive audience among younger viewers.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 11, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Faith and Perseverance Frame Linsanity

What really sets Linsanity apart from other documentaries is the presence of faith basketball star Jeremy Lin gives to his interviews.

 
Grace Unplugged Hits a Few of the Right Notes

A heartwarming message and strong production values are bogged down by an unnecessary dichotomy between faith and using our talents.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 04, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Simple Story, Visual Mastery Mark Mesmerizing Gravity

Your response to this movie will depend on which element of filmmaking—originality, characters, or performances—means the most to you.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 04, 2013 |
  • comments
October 2013
Enough Said a Moving Showcase for Two of TV's Finest

The appeal goes well beyond a "will they or won't they" formula, showing how our instincts to prevent a wounded heart can hurt others.

 
Formulaic Runner Runner Isn’t Worth Betting On

A year out from Argo, a Ben Affleck film is coasting by with sloppy editing, poor cinematography and basic disregard for good dialogue.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 04, 2013 |
  • comments
September 2013
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a Feast for the Eyes

Probably won't be considered an animated classic, but it’s sure a lot of fun as it embraces the spirit of Judi Barrett’s original work.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 27, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Do Not See Don Jon (But if You Do, You May Never Look at Porn Again)

Just too much disturbing pornographic imagery to recommend this film. But if there's a silver lining, it's rescue from the hopelessness.

 
Rush the Exception to Most Formulaic Hollywood Storytelling

Such an accomplished piece of mainstream commercial filmmaking that it’s difficult to dislike, even if Formula 1 racing isn't your thing.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 27, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Carefree Baggage Claim Showcases Patton's Range

While its formula and tone are excessively simplistic, it carries its canned comedy rather lightly on the shoulders of Paula Patton.

  • Jeffrey Huston |
  • September 27, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Prisoners More Revenge-Minded Than Faith-Filled

Prisoners is a story of human pain and loss, and of how we respond to the temptation to carry out our own ideas of justice.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 20, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Snapshot of J.D. Salinger as Fascinating, Flawed as He Was

As much as we learn about J.D. Salinger from those who were part of his life, what's curiously glossed over is Salinger's writing itself.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 20, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Battle of the Year Triumphs with Inspirational Story, Physical Feats

Contains likeable characters pulling off jaw-dropping physical feats while teaching some valuable lessons about teamwork, too.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • September 20, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Cameron's Unstoppable Stops Short of Providing Promised Answers

May be lacking in many ways, but it does preach the Gospel and remind us that asking the tough questions is important to building faith.

  • Debbie Holloway |
  • September 12, 2013 |
  • comments
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