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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 21 May, 2015

    A "holy crap", "wow" piece of entertainment that is at once brilliant, entertaining, all-encompassing, and filled with sharp ideas and characters, and a feminist manifesto that is almost as strong as anything in mainstream entertainment. It won't get much better than this in 2015.

  • Pitch Perfect 2

    Pitch Perfect 2 2015

    ★★★ Watched 15 May, 2015

    Same song, different day.

    And that's no bad thing. There are things to like here, a lot of fun actually (shout out to Keegan Michael-Key), but where the first felt refreshing, different, this sequel strains to be bigger and better. And it didn't need to be. The first relied on sharp humor and sly character development. Here, those seem to be sacrificed in favor of more jokes and gags. Granted, there's not much more they can do with these characters,…

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 02 May, 2015

    "Heavy is the head that wears the crown."

    Joss Whedon has been wearing this crown for three years now ever since the explosion of the first Avengers and the Phase Two set-up for this sequel. And it shows not just in his sounds bites in the press, but in the film itself. Age of Ultron is a labor in a very good way. It's two-and-half hours of darker, meatier, nerdier moments - he finds time for Bansky and Eugene O'Neil…

  • Cinderella

    Cinderella 2015

    ★★★ Watched 06 Apr, 2015

    A beautifully mounted production, especially the costumes and production design. Cate Blanchett has given up maybe the definitive version of the evil stepmother.

  • A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Apr, 2015

    With only three films under his belt, J.C. Chandor has become quite accomplished. In a way, all three, Margin Call; All is Lost; and this, A Most Violent Year, are all character chamber pieces, but each in their own way. Here is a movie about marriage and business, about a man determined to do things the right way, and a wife who would have it done any way that worked best for them because that's the way it was for…

  • Selma

    Selma 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 11 May, 2015

    First, the performance by David Oyelowo is towering. He is magnificent, showing the magnanimous nature of King, while also showing his vulnerabilities and the small moments that actually made up this man we read about in history books.
    But as much as it's his show, it's really the coming out party for director Ava DuVernay. She wields her vision with tenacity; the film is such a dramatic force of nature. Every scene bristles with the electricity of someone who knows…

  • Unbroken

    Unbroken 2014

    ★★★ Watched 24 Apr, 2015

    As inspiring as Louis Zamperini's story is, Jolie's film feels somewhat flat, even calculated. Its beats, the "important scenes" are measured perfectly to its sweeping score to fit some sort of old school Oscar requirement. It's actually in the smaller scenes the film succeeds most. Though admirable (Jack O'Connell is great) and beautiful (Deakins again doing good work) to look at, Unbroken is not very memorable, even though the man's life story is.

  • Big Eyes

    Big Eyes 2014

    ★★★ Watched 27 Apr, 2015

    Tonally it feels nothing like Tim Burton, which could've been a great thing, but it's just ends up being very very ordinary. Nothing stands out, despite the fun Adams and Waltz provide and Elfman's score.

  • Annie

    Annie 2014

    ★★½ Watched 17 Mar, 2015

    Nowhere near the drivel I was expecting, but nothing to really like all that much either.

  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 20 May, 2015

    PTA always makes a stunner. A stoner noir of the utmost in that it means absolutely everything and absolutely nothing at the same time. Some day it will be seen as more than just a minor entrance in the PTA cannon.

  • Top Five

    Top Five 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 02 May, 2015

    Chris Rock is at once examining his own career in comedy and also poking some fun at the celebrity world we live in. "Write what you know" they say, and here, this serves him well. It's his funniest and most honest piece of work in some time.

  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 2014

    ★★½ Watched 23 Apr, 2015

    It's all over right? Finally... Thank God.