This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Nov. 21-23, 2014)

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Published on: November 22, 2014

Because of embargoes (those happy little restrictions on when critics can post reviews, good or bad), a lot of our critics aren’t able to share links with you until release day. Here are some last-minute reviews for this weekend’s upcoming films. We’ve kept in all the reviews posted yesterday as well so you can have more help in deciding what to see (if you haven’t already).

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: Nov. 21-23, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

V/H/S: Viral

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Nov. 21-23)

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Published on: November 21, 2014

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: Nov. 21-23, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

V/H/S: Viral

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Reviews: The Babadook (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

babadookReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 11/20/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Using the imagery of German Expressionism and the creepy techniques of David Lynch, Kent has created a psychological horror which gradually shifts the ground beneath our feet.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog
    • Excerpt: While the haunted house elements of The Babadook call to mind Poltergeist or The Orphanage, the most unnerving aspects have the same nameless dread of Roman Polanski’s best work. The second half of the film, which takes place almost entirely within the confines of the house, is reminiscent of the claustrophobia and paranoia Polanski conjured up in Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, as is the way that the film focuses on the mental deterioration of one woman when faced with terrifying and inexplicable external forces.
  • [New – 10/23/14] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Genuinely horrific and deeply scary in a way that draws on the most primal of emotions. A horror flick with rare emotional and psychological resonance.
  • [New – 10/30/14] | Dan Kelly @ eFilmCritic
    • Excerpt: Kent’s fixations are incredibly mature, and her focus is stellar. “The Babadook” never sells out, safeguarding its human interests, even when the shit hits the fan.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • [New – 10/23/14] | David William Upton @ So So Gay
    • Excerpt: Elegantly focusing on the extended chills the genre can provide, rather than short sharp shocks, Kent’s film will not be for those who favour their horror with buckets of blood, but it may prove impossible not to be drawn into the increasingly insular world.

Reviews: Happy Christmas (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

happy_christmasReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: The Homesman (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

homesmanReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 11/13/14] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Marching decidedly to the beat of his own drummer, cowriter/star/director Tommy Lee Jones has made an endearing, feminist Western that defies expectations at every turn.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: In its subdued way, The Homesman is a melancholy tale of lost souls who find temporary unity only to end up where they began…
  • [New – 11/13/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Sturdy, bleak and understated – or, as one wag said, it’s No Country for Crazy Women.
  • [New – 11/13/14] | Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Much has been made about “The Homesman” being a feminist film. Inasmuch as it features dilemmas endured by women in the Old West, the movie is really about differences between the way men and women deal with expectation and loss.

Reviews: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

hunger_gamesReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 11/20/14] | José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Es evidente que se trata de una película puente para alargar el final de la franquicia, pero este dramón bélico es tan entretenido y está tan bien presentado como la entrega anterior. Así que todo bien, a la espera de que el Capitolio sea pasto de las llamas. El amor, ya se verá.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: The Hunger Games has turned into a cliff hanger serial with long waits for the next installment, but the overall quality of the cast and production still earn it a grudging respect.
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: We may be among rebels fighting an evil empire here, but this revolution seems to have been stage-managed by Josef Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl. (Ironically, critics in 1977 wondered whether the triumphant denouement in “Star Wars” was deliberately modeled on Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will.”) When Coin addresses her uniformly-jumpsuited followers from an elevated balcony, their enthusiastic cries of “Hoo-rah!” might as well be “Sieg Heil!”
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
    • Excerpt: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 comes and goes, and by the end, I don’t really feel as if I’ve moved that much further ahead in the story from where we started to justify this movie existing on its own.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: We can almost hear this revolution’s resounding rallying cry: “Hurry up and wait!”
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ is the calm before the storm as the rebels take steps towards the ultimate goal of overthrowing the Capitol and Katniss contemplates the role she’ll play in the campaign’s future.
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Dour, dreary, and disappointing, milking every last dime out of the franchise’s devoted following.
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Steven Greydanus @ Crux
    • Excerpt: Beginning in medias res and trailing off without a real cliffhanger climax, “Mockingjay: Part 1″ may be essential to series fans, but it feels more like a TV series arc episode than a feature film.
  • [New – 11/13/14] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: One of the best SF series ever deepens its critique of the power of propaganda in ways complicated, intriguingly contradictory, and a little bit horrifying.
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: This unnecessary placeholder is a five minute prologue crammed into two hours of mostly nothing.
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: It’s a solid entry in the series, and lays an intriguing foundation for Part 2, but on its own Mockingjay – Part 1 is rarely as entertaining or rewarding as its predecessors.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Oktay Kozak @ Oregon Herald
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New – 11/21/14] | Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: more streamlined Mockingjay might best offer an epic conclusion versus a one-two punch delivered months apart. Still, Mockingjay – Part 1 inevitably has audiences hooked for Part 2 and leaves one hungry for Katniss’s grand finale. She’s just amassing an army with her soulful tune for a bigger, better fight.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Its only sin is that it’s incomplete: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is only the first half of the final chapter of Suzanne Collins’ immensely popular young adult franchise, and boy, does it feel it. All setup and no payoff, the film replaces a climax with a mere story twist and ends on a cliffhanger that leaves viewers waiting until next year for a resolution.

Reviews: The Imitation Game (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

imitation_gameReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Jessabelle (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

jessabelleReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 11/7/14] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • [New – 11/14/14] | James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: Jessabelle’ Shows Potential, But Quickly Becomes The Ghost Movie That Everyone Expects
  • [New – 11/13/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Before going to the proverbial swamp for abrupt, jittery attacks by a screaming dead girl and shots of drippy faucets, “Jessabelle” is a tepid gumbo gaining some mileage out of its lived-in location.
  • [New – 11/14/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Here’s one I thought I’d never see: a supernatural horror movie where the ghost behaves as a Talking Killer. As our heroine cowers in fear during the climax of Jessabelle, the evil spirit appears to her and explains the plot of the movie to us, telling poor Jessie why she is being haunted and what the ghosts plan to do with her now. Just like a Bond movie.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: Ghosts, nightmares and Voodoo — that’s horrortainment for me, and “Jessabelle” passes the test.

Reviews: Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

lets_be_copsReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 8/21/14] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: ‘Let’s Be Cops’ is a pretty disposable movie, the kind of picture that seems destined for Sunday afternoons on TBS. Many of the comic set pieces are sort of half-thought-out, and the climax makes the mistake that police comedies have made since ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ of taking their shoot-outs and crime plots seriously (as if anyone actually cares).
  • [New – 8/21/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: So rotten that you have the right to refrain.
  • [New – 8/15/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Enthusiastically performed at best and exasperatingly unfunny at worst. Watching it in a theater of smart, discerning moviegoers will be like witnessing the sound of a pin drop or crickets chirping.
  • [New – 11/13/14] | Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • [New – 11/20/14] | João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: Não vale a pena ser visto

Reviews: The Liberator (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

liberatorReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 10/2/14] | Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: The Liberator is a nicely framed, highly romanticized, and undeniably dry portrait of a revolutionary.
  • [New – 10/9/14] | Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • [New – 10/9/14] | Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: While it’s disappointing the film never gets as in depth as it could, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that The Liberator leaves us wanting to learn more.
  • [New – 10/9/14] | Ron Wilkinson @ MonstersandCritics.com
    • Excerpt: The lavish war epic comes back to life is this swashbuckling tale of treachery and charisma.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Director Avelo and screenwriter Timothy J. Sexton are plainly focused on creating a Latin American version of that cinematic chestnut, the Oscar-bait historical prestige epic.

Reviews: Starry Eyes (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

starry_eyesReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: V/H/S: Viral (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

vhs_viralReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 11/20/14] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
    • Excerpt: http://www.ioncinema.com/reviews/vhs-viral-review
  • [New – 10/24/14] | William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: Every installment is a mean-spirited little treat for horror fans, and in a genre that is largely defined by inconsistency, that’s a tiny little triumph in and of itself.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Mark Harris @ About.com
  • [New – 10/24/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: While there is no pleasure in taking down a filmmaker, the shockingly piss-poor efforts by these so-called “visionary directors” (the one-sheet’s words) manage to turn the “V/H/S” series into a complete joke.

Reviews: Wild (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 20, 2014

wildReviews for this film from our members:

Happy Birthday: Nicholas Bell

Categories: Birthdays
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Published on: November 20, 2014

OFCS member Nicholas Bell celebrates his birthday today, November 20. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Ion Cinema.

Happy Birthday: Leo Goldsmith

Categories: Birthdays
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Published on: November 19, 2014

OFCS member Leo Goldsmith celebrates his birthday today, November 19. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Brooklyn Rail, Not Coming, Reverse Shot and Moving Image Source.

The Grab Bag (Nov. 18, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
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Published on: November 18, 2014

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Best of Lists

12 Seriously Underrated Christmas Episodes

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

12 Things We Learned from the ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Commentary

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

All 92 ‘Step Up’ Dance Sequences: Ranked

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

Take 5… Comedic Actors Who Went Serious

Ross Miller @ Scotcampus

  • Excerpt: To celebrate the release of The Skeleton Twins, I take a look at 5 other comedy actors who have taken on more serious roles.

The Top 12 Nostalgic Christmas Commercials

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

Interviews

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Nov. 17, 2014)

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Published on: November 17, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Daybreak

Budd Wilkins @ Slant Magazine

  • Excerpt: “Daybreak typically gets shoehorned, along with a handful of other collaborations between director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert, into a filmic historical movement known by the oxymoronic catchall “poetic realism.” But, in many ways, it’s more productive to view this relentlessly dour and disillusioned masterwork as a feel-bad forerunner of film noir.”

Everlasting Regret

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Glory Guys

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Go Go Tales

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

It Happened One Night

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

Journeys From Berlin

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Killing

Stacia Kissick Jones @ Next Projection

The King of Comedy

Aaron Pinkston @ Battleship Pretension

The President

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Recent Home Video Releases

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This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Nov. 14-16, 2014)

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Published on: November 15, 2014

Because of embargoes (those happy little restrictions on when critics can post reviews, good or bad), a lot of our critics aren’t able to share links with you until release day. Here are some last-minute reviews for this weekend’s upcoming films. We’ve kept in all the reviews posted yesterday as well so you can have more help in deciding what to see (if you haven’t already).

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: Nov. 14-16, 2014

Wide (United States)

Beyond the Lights

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Dumb and Dumber To

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Foxcatcher

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Homesman

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: Sturdy, bleak and understated – or, as one wag said, it’s No Country for Crazy Women.

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Rosewater

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Wolves

[New Today] Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal

  • Excerpt: ‘Wolves’ is a coming-of-age story about an uninformed werewolf accepting his true nature, meticulously constructed by a first-time director.

Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: A bloody, brutal bore…

Carson Lund @ Slant Magazine

  • Excerpt: At its best, the film is a whirring, eclectic oddity without a clear target audience, which is why its eventual turn toward muddled father-son hokum and strained commentary on the duality of human psychology (good and evil impulses exist in us all, but we must learn to tame the evil!) registers as a disappointment.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Nov. 14-16, 2014)

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Published on: November 14, 2014

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: Nov. 14-16, 2014

Wide (United States)

Beyond the Lights

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Dumb and Dumber To

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Foxcatcher

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Homesman

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: Sturdy, bleak and understated – or, as one wag said, it’s No Country for Crazy Women.

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Rosewater

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Wolves

Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: A bloody, brutal bore…

Carson Lund @ Slant Magazine

  • Excerpt: At its best, the film is a whirring, eclectic oddity without a clear target audience, which is why its eventual turn toward muddled father-son hokum and strained commentary on the duality of human psychology (good and evil impulses exist in us all, but we must learn to tame the evil!) registers as a disappointment.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Happy Birthday: Jerry Roberts

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: November 14, 2014

OFCS member Jerry Roberts celebrates his birthday today, November 14. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.

Happy Birthday: Jason Bailey

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: November 14, 2014

OFCS member Jason Bailey celebrates his birthday today, November 14. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: DVD Talk, Flavorwire and The Atlantic.

Reviews: Beyond the Lights (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: November 13, 2014

beyond_the_lightsReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: November 13, 2014

dumb_and_dumber_toReviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Dos décadas después, los hermanos Farrelly demuestran que hay resortes del humor que no pasan de moda con una comedia muy divertida que conserva el espíritu de su predecesora. Por Jim Carrey y Jeff Daniels no pasa el tiempo.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: There’s an air of desperation about this film, not just by the directors but by Jim Carrey as well. (After all, when was the last bona fide hit this guy had?)
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: It’s not that there’s nothing funny here, but it will help if you check your brain at the door. Post- lobotomy patients will have a distinct advantage.
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The characters were never particularly endearing, but at least they never became too annoying in the first movie…
  • [New – 11/20/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Disappointing and tedious, as the Farrelly brothers ineptly try to reprise the vulgarity and sophomoric humor…
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Dumb and Dumber To is not required viewing but, with Carrey and Daniels back in the starring roles, the sequel delivers a fair number of enjoyable (though moronic) laughs.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Chances are better than one in a million that if you liked Harry and Lloyd twenty years ago, you’ll like them again, but “Dumb and Dumber To” will not endure. Perhaps the first time was dumb enough.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com

Reviews: Foxcatcher (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: November 13, 2014

foxcatcherReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Mr. Turner (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: November 13, 2014

mr_turnerReviews for this film from our members:

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Welcome , today is Sunday, November 23, 2014