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  • The Imitation Game 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Jan, 2015 2

    Is it calculated oscar bait? Oh hell yeah. But it's the Headhunters director here, so you can trust he keeps it interesting and brisk, and the story and performances are rock solid. A lot of ballyhoo about factual errors and shying away from Turing's personal life (and death). I don't know about the former. The latter... eh. The movie isn't shy thematically, but it doesn't go any deeper than emotional longing in its depiction. Not sure if that is all besides the point of the story or fear of how multiplex audiences might respond.

  • 21 Years: Richard Linklater 2014

    ★★★ Watched 30 Jan, 2015

    If you're a Richard Linklater fan and you find this on Netflix, totally worth your time. Just bear in mind this is basically an 80 minute puff piece EPK of all his collaborators singing his praises rather than a solid documentary worthy of theatrical release. You'll notice the RT score is pretty bad, which is more a reflection of this rather than whether or not it's enjoyable. Tough to rate with this in mind, but I liked it for what it was, so... a pass.

  • The Theory of Everything 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Jan, 2015

    I still have Imitation Game to get to, but thus far this is clearly the most well directed of the biopics in the Oscar hunt, with Marsh and co. elevating the material to the extent you forget that it is doing the same by-the-numbers biopic checklist. Eddie has a real shot at that statue, with lots of wow moments without being showy and Oscar baity. Felicity is more of an inherently magnetic screen presence rather than a superb performance.

    There…

  • A Most Violent Year 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 29 Jan, 2015

    The Most Longest 2 Hours

  • The Babadook 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 29 Jan, 2015

    Without question the best horror movie I've seen from this decade. Artful, well acted (well, the kid has his iffy moments), instantly iconic, and genuinely creepy.

  • Wild 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jan, 2015 1

    Not my favorite Jean-Marc Vallée film by any means, but frequently visually arresting, and Witherspoon has best role in 15 years.

  • Big Eyes 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jan, 2015

    I just saw that what I was about to write was said almost verbatim by user Eric Robinette.

    It looks less than a Burton movie than anything he's done in recent memory, and yet it feels more like him than anything he's done in recent memory.

    Bruno Delbonnel is a great cinematographer but he strips Burton of his signature style. In this case it allows a good story to take center stage, all of which is fully realized, however neither of its lead roles is rich enough that it should challenge for any 'best of' list.

  • Dear White People 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Jan, 2015

    A sharp, witty (but not quite laugh-out-loud funny) satire not merely about racial politics, but the age of identitarianism in general, served up with several (but pointedly not meant to be all-encompassing) points of view, including a controversy-hungry activist and a young gay student who hasn't really figured out his identity at all. If the director scoffs at any of these characters traits or opinions at all, its only subtly, and may even be projection from the viewer. Evokes Whit Stillman comparisons.

  • Pride 2014

    ★★★ Watched 28 Jan, 2015

    Only the Brits can get away with this kind of cheery bubblegum inspirational drama. Straight out of the RIchard Curtis playbook, Pride manages to amuse and charm while at the same time proving itself far too slight to make any impactful statement about either of its driving themes of gay rights and union work.

  • This Is Where I Leave You 2014

    ★★½ Watched 28 Jan, 2015 1

    Shawn Levy seems content to make watchable movies with strong casts that never make the most of the talent on screen. Aside from a lot of horny grandma one liners, very little in This Is Where I Leave You is particularly bad, and in fact some of the characters are quite engaging, and everyone is well suited to their role. Enjoyable enough as I watched it, but within 15 minutes of it having ended, completely forgotten.

  • Selma 2014

    ★★ Watched 27 Jan, 2015 4

    David Oyelowo, you don't need to be modest. Go throw a fit and say you've been and are being snubbed. The truth is the truth. You're dynamite, graceful and charismatic and I doubt anyone could have done or will ever do this role better. I'm not sure any actor or actress this year was more essential to their film.

    You deserved a better director.

    You deserved better than the bland cinematography, a supporting cast of bland idealistic good vs cartoonish…

  • Dumb and Dumber To 2014

    ★★½ Watched 27 Jan, 2015

    After the trailer, I expected better.
    After the reviews, I expected worse.