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  • Begin Again 2013

    ★★ Rewatched 19 Jan, 2015

    Okay, okay, I went back and finished watching this with Anne while we ate pizza and folded laundry.

    The second half does have some enjoyable moments, mostly involving the producer and his family (Keener is such a welcome presence). I can't turn away when Knightley's onscreen — she was born for the camera. But she works her Twelve Adorable Grins so much in this movie that my face was suffering sympathy pains by the end.

    It gets an extra star…

  • The Imitation Game 2014

    ★★½ Watched 16 Jan, 2015 1

    An incredible story about a beautiful mind becomes a movie made by an Oscar-voter code-cracking machine.

    This film hopes that Alan Turing's greatness will be enough for cinematic greatness. But where Turing was one of a kind, the film is entirely familiar. It feels more like a solid BBC television event. All it knows to do with Turing is put him through the paces of familiar biopic beats and Hollywood cliches, including the "Ditto!" (the catchy quip or maxim that…

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  • Selma 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 07 Jan, 2015 4

    Thank God Almighty.

    Director Ava Duvernay had a monumental task before her, making a high-profile motion picture focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, with a cast of famous names. What’s more, the closer the film has come to release, the more the headlines have shown us just how much we need a Great Film about Dr. King’s vision.

    Even great directors would probably have disappointed us. Think of Spielberg’s Lincoln: Hey, I loved it, but I acknowledge that it…

  • The World's End 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 29 Aug, 2013 1

    I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…