Reviews: The Boy Next Door (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 22, 2015

boy_next_doorReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/23/15] | Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: Regardless of the glee I felt watching this hot mess of a train wreck, it’s not a good film by any standard.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: This howler of a movie is exactly what you’d expect from the title and its star, a cheesy psychotic stalker thriller which appears to have dropped elements of its plot on the way to the screen.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [A]t least the movie becomes more deserving of derision than of scorn.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘The Boy Next Door’ starts off steamy but gets cooler with every passing minute, and not even the hot bodies of Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman can turn back up the heat.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: With nothing psychological about it, “The Boy Next Door” is still a glossy, rudimentary popcorn thriller that pours on just enough entertaining cheese, so at least it’s never a dull one.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Call the Lifetime Network and tell them one of their made-for-cable women-in-distress movies has escaped to the big screen.

Reviews: Mortdecai (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 22, 2015

mortdecaiReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/23/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Mortdecai is the stuff that inspires stipulations in wills, as in, “Have some basic decency on the event of my passing, and don’t let people bring up that one movie.”
  • [New – 1/22/15] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: This painfully unfunny spoof of teddibly British nonsense couldn’t be less amusing if it were actually calculated to be totally laugh-free.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Even silly, harmless, goofy films premised on mustaches jokes have limited mileage, though, and Mortdecai milks Depp’s snot mop for every laugh it can get and then some.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Arch, artificial comedy…a thoroughgoing disaster.

Reviews: The Wedding Ringer (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 22, 2015

wedding_ringerReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/22/15] | Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: Think of “The Wedding Ringer” as a symbol of a wedding you have to go to. It’s better than most, and if you aren’t afraid to let your hair down and hop on the dance floor, you can have a lot of fun.
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “The Wedding Ringer” isn’t actually a shock comedy. There are nods to “The Wedding Crashers,” but this is a surprisingly good-natured movie that takes its cues far more from “Hitch” and even “The Wedding Date” more than it does “The Hangover” movies.
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: When a joke does land … it’s more a matter of luck than of craft.
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Kimberly Gadette @ doddle
    • Excerpt: Unbridled fun …
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Fumbling and un-funny…
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: The Wedding Ringer is a mixed, but overall enjoyable, dramedy – one that includes a number of laugh-out-loud scenes couched in an often clumsy story.
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: It only took fourteen days into the first month of the new year to confirm a so-called comedy as one of the most deadening experiences of 2015 so far.
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: This ‘Wedding’ is by no means a classy affair, but in the post-‘Hangover’ era it’s not the worst comedy to come along.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Sarah Ward @ artsHub

Reviews: Cake (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 22, 2015

cakeReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/22/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Aniston so completely dons the scarred skin, battered bones and deep depression of Claire, one forgets one is watching the former star of TV’s ‘Friends.’ With the Oscar-nominated Barraza in a strong supporting role, Aniston is the frosting this misshappen “Cake” needs.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It puts us at a disadvantage for comprehending Claire, and it puts Claire at a disadvantage for becoming a recipient of our sympathy.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Pass up this flaky, underwhelming confection…
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Has a brilliant lead performance from Jennifer Aniston, yet that performance is surrounded by tiresome clichés and contrivances torn straight out of the Independent Filmmaking 101 handbook.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Going from the darkest horse of the race to the number one snub isn’t an easy feat and Oscar/film history might be kinder to Aniston’s turn in Cake since she missed out with the Academy. Enjoy Aniston’s work in Cake as a strong performance in its own right and not simply as another box to tick off on the Oscar cheat sheet.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Many fine ingredients–not least the performances of Aniston and Barraza–have gone into making this ‘Cake,’ but it leaves one wishing that the end result had been more uncompromising.

Reviews: Last Days in Vietnam (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 22, 2015

Reviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 10/9/14] | Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • [New – 9/11/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Although Kennedy follows the standard documentary format of archival footage and stills edited with current day interviews, she has constructed her telling of the story so expertly that her work is both moving and riveting.
  • [New – 12/11/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: In the film, the morass of strategic confusion, political convenience, and stubborn personalities pushing an agenda is the prelude to a story of startling moral clarity.
  • [New – 9/11/14] | Ron Wilkinson @ MonstersandCritics.com
    • Excerpt: Emotion packed thriller of America’s Southeast Asia Dunkirk.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Last Days of Vietnam’ is a commanding Oscar-nominated documentary recounting the events just before the fall of Saigon, including evacuation efforts.

Reviews: Blackhat (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

blackhatReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/22/15] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Complaints about narrative clichés — and seriously, a movie is not defined by its clichés, but what it does with them — and visual crutches miss the point; this is not a film about tight plotting or slam-bang action, but about style. Pure, hypnotic, mesmerizing style.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: The ongoing struggle to make cyber crime an exciting time at the movies continues with Michael Mann’s Blackhat, a ridiculous mish-mash of genre stereotypes.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: most notable for highlighting the human toll of high stakes hacking in far bloodier terms than Sony recently experienced and a few well executed action scenes.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: That it is cold and unfeeling may be the point, but that doesn’t change what it is.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: Michael Mann’s ‘Blackhat’ is a film fraught with problems as it tries to tell the story of a Chinese-American collaborative effort to apprehend a cyber-terrorist.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Oktay Kozak @ Oregon Herald
  • Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit
    • Excerpt: This is little more than The Social Network: Marvel Edition.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Blackhat’ is a dull, drab affair that, while occasionally slick, with a few moments of nice tension, carries little more than that to recommend it. And Chris Hemsworth can’t find a shirt that will stay buttoned anywhere. Poor guy.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: Relentlessly broad, stillborn and as annoyingly distracting as unwanted spyware ads embedded in your unprotected hard drive, ‘Blackhat’ is so wooden and unimaginative in its tepid action-packed indifference.
  • Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: An exhilarating Johnnie To-like procedural ripped straight from the headlines yet unceremoniously dumped in a mid-January release and hidden behind a critical embargo, Michael Mann’s Blackhat will likely prove just as divisive as his previous two films, Miami Vice and Public Enemies.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: You have to pity poor Chris Hemsworth, actually. He looks like he’s trying really hard and taking all of this talk of intrigue and data very seriously, but so serious that he appears silly.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Old-hat, an unimaginative take on a cutting-edge subject that comes off both ludicrous and boring.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Ron Wilkinson @ Monsters and Critics
    • Excerpt: James Bond grows a brain but the audience is not buying it.

Reviews: Human Capital (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

human_capitalReviews for this film from our members:

  • Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
    • Excerpt: plays like an icily precise neo-noir, but it’s really an acidic black comedy as concerns the overriding selfish nature of humans.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: A vivid portrait of the decadence of the wealthy.
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: An inventively structured, compelling study of two families irrevocably brought together. A string of impressive performances and a unique approach to storytelling ensures this is a film worth catching.
  • David William Upton @ So So Gay
    • Excerpt: Human Capital is a valuable idea running through narrative structures that are simply too tired, and that here, unsupported by limp fades as events repeat themselves, don’t particularly benefit the story. It doesn’t need to wind itself up because the society being depicted is tangled and twisted enough as it is.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Sarah Ward @ artsHub

Reviews: Paddington (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

paddingtonReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Predestination (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

predestinationReviews for this film from our members:

  • Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
    • Excerpt: Perhaps more ambitious than its means, it’s a film that manages to intrigue and engross with a narrative that virtually creates the odor of the musty, yellowed pages of the writing style it’s been borrowed from.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Those who were floored by “Looper” need to check this out – it’s a far better film, despite a lower budget look and features a breakout performance from Sarah Snook who’s like a cross between Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan in this role.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It’s a neat trick.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: A highbrow entertainment with something on its mind but never forgetting to entertain, “Predestination” is the kind of smart, strange, uncommonly ambitious genre piece that used to not come around until recently.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Predestination is definitely not the movie you expect to see going in, but is one worth checking out if you’re looking for an interesting, rewarding piece of hard science fiction.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A cerebral sci-fi time-travel puzzler that proves consistently engrossing and, for all its contrivance and complication, satisfying.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Sarah Ward @ artsHub
  • Ron Wilkinson @ Monsters and Critics
    • Excerpt: Put the time-travel gibberish into the background and the result is a great, gritty Aussie noir flick not to be missed.

Reviews: Taken 3 (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

takenReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/15/15] | José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: La tercera aventura de Bryan Mills, el asesino que trata de ser buen padre y ex-esposo enrollado, baja el nivel aún más que su hermana previa. Aburrida, mal presentada, con una edición demencial y un reparto en modo ahorro de energía. Luc Besson en horas bajas.
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: While the first “Taken” was a surprise hit that was generally enjoyed by critics and audiences alike, this second sequel loses most of the elements that made the series unique.
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: They’ve run out of ideas and the threequel is tired and tiresome – an unimaginative affair from beginning to end, even to the point of adding yet more crazed Russian gangsters, surely the most overused cliché of modern gangster movies.
  • [New – 1/9/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Taken 3 isn’t just superficially lazy. That quality is the core of the movie’s being.
  • [New – 1/9/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Tediously trifling domestic melodrama, punctuated by a discordant series of screeching, seemingly endless car chases, careening around the Southern California freeways.
  • [New – 1/9/15] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: This is a movie as its own death wish. To call it cheap, lazy, and perfunctory grants it a dignity that implies there was another path it could have taken.
  • [New – 1/9/15] | Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Taken 3 takes the franchise past the point of absurdity – purely for the sake of selling a third series installment.
  • [New – 1/8/15] | James Marsh @ Twitch
    • Excerpt: Liam Neeson’s third outing as over-protective family man Bryan Mills sees him on the run for murder after his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) turns up dead in his apartment. Forest Whitaker heads the investigation, which soon enough uncovers the involvement of nasty Russian gangsters, but Olivier Megaton’s uneven, anaemic direction ensures Taken 3 fails again to recapture the magic of the original.
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film
    • Excerpt: Nothing makes a lick of sense, with a hackneyed script that so often makes leaps of logic and jumps to conclusions to the point where the suspension of disbelief snaps in half, and it doesn’t have the effective action-packed goods to work in spite of that. It once again proves that the whole Taken saga should have retired after its first assignment.
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Liam Neeson is back in action as retired ex-covert operative Bryan Mills in Taken 3, a preposterous but entertaining sequel that tops the previous outing but fails to come anywhere close to 2008’s lean and well-executed original.
  • [New – 1/15/15] | Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: Kinda makes me want a bagel.
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
  • [New – 1/9/15] | Sarah Ward @ artsHub

Reviews: The Green Prince (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

green_princegreen_princeReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 10/9/14] | Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • [New – 12/12/14] | David Upton @ So So Gay
    • Excerpt: Cinematically, Schirman’s filmmaking feels limited; the recreations are hampered by the awkward framing provoked by a need for distortion and vaguery, while the two men are framed in rather morbid black rectangles, their faces square and confrontational.
  • [New – 1/9/15] | Sarah Ward @ Concrete Playground
  • [New – 9/11/14] | Ron Wilkinson @ MonstersandCritics.com
    • Excerpt: A real life spy thriller proving the truth is stranger than fiction.
  • [New – 10/17/14] | Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: The film’s overall effect is undeniably pulpy, and even tacky at times, but Mosab’s haunted agitation and Yitzhak’s matter-of-fact affability keep the film grounded in the overwhelming risks that double agents face on a daily basis.

Reviews: Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

supermenschReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Winter Sleep (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 15, 2015

winter_sleepReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 8, 2015

woman_in_black_angel_of_deathReviews for this film from our members:

  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: There’s building tension, and then there’s cheaply toying with us. This movie is a prime example of the latter.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Feeble fright flick, punctuated by a creepy, predictable sound track.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Thinks it’s hitting notes of subconscious dread, but it’s just swinging a sledgehammer of tropes and hoping one of them sticks. (Spoiler: None do.)
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death is yet another example that not all successful horror movies have what it takes to become successful horror franchises.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: If the woman in black wants to continue haunting “ye who enters,” she better come with more rules and better scares. Move along; you’ve been goosed before and better.
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: Back in black…
  • Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: Admittedly, ‘The Woman In Black’ was not what one would call a gory groundbreaking showcase in its designated genre but it did register as a literate and edge-of-your-seat spooky spectacle that held its own in slow burning thrills, It is too bad that one cannot make the same claim for director Tom Harper’s sluggish, by-the-dots ghoulish follow-up ‘The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death’.
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • [New – 1/16/15] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
  • David Upton @ So So Gay
    • Excerpt: Angel of Death doesn’t just repeat the first film’s scares; it relies on them. Shots of the decrepit Victorian toys punctuate scenes, supposedly terrifying in and of themselves because of how the first film cleverly used them to accentuate the escalating claustrophobia and terror.

Reviews: At the Devil’s Door (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 8, 2015

at_the_devils_doorReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: A Most Violent Year (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: January 1, 2015

most_violent_yearReviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Il film di Chandor è un piccolo capolavoro, che guarda ai grandi classici del cinema degli anni ’70, costruendo la figura di un antieroe solitario, che lotta contro il suo destino e contro la sua stessa famiglia, non lontano dal Michael Corleone di Coppola.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Writer/director Chandor (‘All is Lost,’ ‘Margin Call’) convincingly recreates early-‘80s New York with this story of an immigrant (Isaac, great as always) and his wife (Chastain, ditto) finding themselves drawn into the increasingly dangerous and legally dubious world of… heating oil sales. It’s an odd hook, yes, but it makes for compelling viewing, with Chandor drawing richly shaded performances from his gifted cast and masterfully invoking the corridors-of-Gotham-power aesthetic of ‘80s Lumet.
  • Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: An immersive drama about a businessman who stays calm in the midst of a dreadful series of setbacks.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year is a compelling exercise in minimalist intensity, drawing power from characterization and well-paced plotting.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Isaac is great as a decent man trying to hold his ground on quicksand, but Chastain’s absolutely fierce.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The feeling that violence could erupt at any moment is real … and it lends an air of menace to the most mundane of discussions…
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year’ Tries To Hide A Tediously Wordy Story Behind A Bunch Of Gloss…And It Almost Works
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Gritty, savvy and impeccably crafted, it evokes a turbulent time.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Writer/director J.C. Chandor proves he was not a one-and-done flash in the plan, he was not a two-hit wonder, he is the real deal three-time quality film creator, this time with hands down one of 2014’s best films.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Richly scripted and methodically carried out, this character-based morality drama cements itself as the writer-director’s strongest piece of work, and while many will find a shortage of thrills they might be expecting, it calls up the mature restraint and sedate, slow-burn pacing of Sidney Lumet and Martin Scorsese back in their heydays. This is one of those “thrillers for grown-ups” in the best of ways.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year’ is a quintessentially American saga about trying to succeed while every external element wants to tear you down.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year, more than any other film this year, truly feels like it’s about something…
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: Chandor is essentially making a “gangster trying to go legitimate” picture but he’s skipping right over the standard gangster part and takes us straight into the numbers game of cooked books and backroom handshakes. That’s his lone wrinkle on the material.
  • Cole Smithey @ colesmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Writer-director JC Chandor’s first three films (“Margin Call,” “All is Lost,” and “A Most Violent Year”) reveal a masterful auteur building a singular filmmaking career that overshadows Hollywood’s relentless barrage of garbage.

Reviews: Maps to the Stars (2015)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

maps_to_the_starsReviews for this film from our members:

  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: There’s something a little off kilter about this tale – and not in a good way. For a comedy-drama set amongst the politics of La la Land, the ambiance is surprisingly lethargic.
  • Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]
    • Excerpt: While it may not quite equal the brilliant tour de force that was ‘Cosmopolis’, ‘Maps to the Stars’ still finds Cronenberg in fine form, deconstructing celebrity culture with sardonic ruthlessness.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Fucked up in every best possible way.
  • Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
  • Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Biting Hollywood-skewing satire meets David Cronenberg weirdness in the director’s Maps to the Stars, an occasionally vicious portrait of contemporary life in Beverly Hills that goes off on a few too many oddball tangents to succeed along the lines of a classic Hollywood satire like Robert Altman’s The Player.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Sarah Ward @ artsHub
  • Budd Wilkins @ Slant Magazine
    • Excerpt: Cronenberg’s latest, Maps to the Stars, doubles down on the dysfunction with its tragicomic take on the intersecting fortunes of two Tinseltown dynasties and the hidden histories of violence that continue to haunt them.

Reviews: American Sniper (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: December 26, 2014

american_sniperReviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: E’ un cimitero di occasioni sprecate questo American Sniper, un brutto infortunio, che bisognerà dimenticare in fretta.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Though the climax indulges in flashes of rah-rah simplicity, and its supervillain is a bit overcooked, ‘American Sniper’ has a psychological complexity that transcends typical “war movie” tropes; it’s never as simple as being just a “hero” or “patriot.”
  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: From its first scene, in which Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is faced with killing an Iraqi child or allowing American soldiers to come to harm, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper gives a powerful impression of the daily trauma of modern warfare. Yet, like Bill O’Reilly shouting down one of his dissenting guests, Eastwood refuses to allow any reflection on the subject or on Kyle himself.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Matt Brown @ TwitchFilm
    • Excerpt: Destroy All Monsters: Faster, AMERICAN SNIPER! Kill! Kill!
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: What impressed me the most about “American Sniper” is that it is unlike any war movie I have seen in recent memory, and we have Eastwood’s gentle and deliberate hand to thank for this.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Robert Cashill @ Popdose
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: American Sniper is at its freshest and most insightful when examining the physical and mental effects warfare takes on a soldier.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: While some unsettling reports…have resurfaced in pre-Oscar jostling, Eastwood’s depiction of the toll war takes on the men who fight it and Bradley Cooper’s transformative performance are still worth celebrating for their craftsmanship.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The film does not say anything revelatory about the subject, but it says its piece with a precise clarity of narrative and an appropriate degree of moral uncertainty.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Sad, serious, if stilted study of the effects of brutality and violence.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: American Sniper is a solid well constructed effort. The ongoing effect that war has on an individual’s psyche as well as his family are thoughtfully addressed, but there’s never anything particularly revelatory added to the conversation.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A banal, bland tribute to things no one questions as laudable (though it has to misrepresent its subject to do so). But Bradley Cooper is very good.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Director Clint Eastwood shows us the unimaginable grit and fortitude it takes a man to stare through a scope for hours on end waiting for that miniscule millisecond when his trigger finger decides to end a life.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New – 1/23/15] | James Marsh @ The Society For Film
    • Excerpt: Clint Eastwood’s latest military drama documents the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, reported to be the deadliest sniper in US history. A committed performance from Bradley Cooper anchors the film, which looks at Kyle’s life during war and peace time, but the end result has proved incredibly divisive and occasionally troubling.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Patrick Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Henceforth known as ‘Murrican Sniper.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: Eastwood handles human emotion in American Sniper with all the subtlety of a bear trap, and you’ll end up wishing he’d just stop stepping in it. The stateside scenes are worse. Cooper and Miller valiantly try to make it work, but they’d be better served acting the scenes out with just a bunch of grumbles and grunts than actually speaking Hall’s wooden dialogue.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A respectful, and more than respectable, attempt to celebrate Kyle’s service while also taking account of the effect it had on him and his family.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
  • David Upton @ So So Gay
    • Excerpt: Realism or no, the script makes no attempt to understand the other side of the fence. American Sniper is brainwashed because it comes from a mindset that has a hierarchical view of society.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Sarah Ward @ Concrete Playground
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Ron Wilkinson @ Monsters and Critics
    • Excerpt: Although the book paints a better picture of Chris Kyle as a man, this is one RPG of a war story.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Less than a decade ago, it would have been difficult to imagine Clint Eastwood directing a film as shallow, undistinguished, and alarmingly jingoistic as American Sniper.

Reviews: Big Eyes (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

big_eyesReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/15/15] | Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Big Eyes non è un film particolarmente interessante o riuscito, lo sviluppo narrativo non ha mai una svolta, ma forse è l’inizio di qualcosa di nuovo per Burton. Una rivendicazione di autonomia e di libertà. Lontana dal mondo “burtoniano” e dai suoi attori feticcio, Johnny Depp e Helena Bonham Carter.
  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Tim Burton recupera al creador que lleva dentro con una película que se salva de la quema de sus últimos trabajos. Una propuesta luminosa con un trasfondo oscuro y trágico, un cuento sobre la pérdida de la identidad y el menosprecio en función del género. Muy bien.
  • Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
    • Excerpt: at its most prolific moments, a first-wave feminist sort of film.
  • William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: An incredible return to form for Tim Burton, who once again has found an outsider hero worth filming, and who here does some of his finest work in bringing her to life.
  • [New – 1/8/15] | Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery
  • Robert Cashill @ Popdose
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: As a kid, I had a couple of framed Keane prints hanging in my room…at the time they were regarded as kitsch, but “Ed Wood” screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski unveil the fascinating story that lies underneath
  • [New – 1/8/15] | Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Call it a well-intentioned but half-hearted and misguided vindication.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Big Eyes’ tells the unbelievable yet fascinating story of Margaret Keane, who was literally the woman behind the man as her husband claimed credit for her popular artwork.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Intriguing but curiously shallow – revealing art as identity theft.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The script presents this all in a most appealing way that eschews the campy derision many have for her compositions in exchange for sincere affection. Tim Burton clearly identifies with Margaret Keane and his depiction of her comes from a place of love.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Big Eyes sucks all the life out of its talented cast, its cult-followed director, and should be avoided by all prone to disappointment in great artists who stumble into a mistake.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: At first, “Big Eyes” doesn’t feel like a recognizable Tim Burton picture with a welcome lighter touch, but his warmth and humor, fondness for kitsch, and surreal visual eye are certainly present. While a grinning Christoph Waltz is the show, a blonde-wigged Amy Adams is the heart.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Big Eyes could have been a return to form for Burton had the director excised every frame of the film featuring Christoph Waltz, but it’s a stroke of genius for Amy Adams.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: A lack of soul is what plagues Big Eyes as a whole. Throughout the movie, different characters, including Margaret and Terence Stamp’s icy art critic, debate the meaning of art, insisting that expression must come from somewhere deep within the artist herself–which is a big reason that Walter can’t keep up the charade. He’s only good for empty jiving.
  • Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: It’s a nice breath of fresh air from Burton, who shows that he can still create rich, lively characters without needing to rely on enhanced cinematic trickery.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Represents a solid return to form for Burton, even if it never attains the dizzying heights of ‘Ed Wood.’
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt:

Reviews: The Gambler (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

gamblerReviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Tras hacer gozar a crítica y público con “El origen del planeta de los simios”, Rupert Wyatt opta por el ejercicio de estilo para reafirmarse como creador, pero cede demasiado a las delicias de la industria. No es mala película, desde luego, pero no es notable.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The Gambler’ is just shy of a great movie — it doesn’t quite add up like it should — but it is a reminder that there’s a very fine actor lurking in Mark Wahlberg. It’s just a matter of pairing him with material that matches his intelligence, and ours.
  • Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: This remake of Karel Reisz’s 1974 film…features a great performance by John Goodman and falls together well enough as its anti-hero keeps shuffling his deck the more he’s backed into a corner, but …never really gets us into his protagonist’s head.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It is easy … to observe this character with a certain degree of fascination. It’s enough.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: You can’t win with a weak hand.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • [New – 1/8/15] | Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: The Gambler doubles-down on characters and moments that the filmmakers must have thought were pretty slick, but this movie is ultimately not nearly as cool as it pretends to be.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: It’s not hard to understand why Wahlberg and friends were drawn to remake ‘The Gambler,’ but they botched the job badly.

Reviews: The Interview (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

interviewReviews for this film from our members:

  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The Interview’ isn’t quite a great comedy — some of the jokes are cheap (even for this kind of movie), you can’t buy it a female character worth a damn, and poor Lizzy Caplan disappears for so long in the second half, I forgot she was even in it. But it’s funny and strange, with an admirably gonzo sensibility, and it approaches the job of mocking Kim with the appropriate degree of joy-buzzer delight.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: Though overlong, The Interview elicits a good number of laughs from its go-for-broke execution and boundless energy.
  • Michael Dequina @ The Movie Report
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: v“The Interview,” which reportedly has Kim Jong Un foaming at the mouth, would have hit Red Box by New Year’s and been in the cutout bins at WalMart by the Fourth of July without the free publicity he’s given it. The controversy is far more entertaining than the movie.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: If anything, The Interview is too obvious in terms of its insights and too imprecise in terms of the humor it uses to bolster them.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Silly, sloppy and sophomoric – to paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s much ado about very little.
  • [New – 1/8/15] | Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: It could have always been more clever, more subversive, and even more outrageous, but “The Interview” is a ballsy-enough goof, nothing more and nothing less, that packs on the guffaws like nuclear missiles.
  • Matthew Lucas @ From the Front Row
    • Excerpt: The Interview is much more (and much better) than it is being given credit for.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Fun and enjoyable enough, ‘The Interview’ will ultimately only be remembered for reasons other than the film.
  • [New – 1/8/15] | Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

Reviews: Into the Woods (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

into_the_woodsReviews for this film from our members:

  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: When I heard that Disney was behind the show’s film adaptation, I assumed they were just doing the first act. That’s not what happened — but what they have done is nearly as detrimental, turning over the text’s complexity and darkness to the empty-husk filmmaking of director Rob Marshall, who quite clearly doesn’t get this thing at all.
  • Sarah D Bunting @ Tomato Nation
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: If you love musicals and adore Sondheim’s work, you’ll likely love “Into the Woods.” However, if you’re not looking for the Broadway-on-screen experience, this is one to skip.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: Into the Woods is eighty minutes of energy and joy followed by forty more of tiresome, by-the-numbers visual effects. The drop-off in quality is notable.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Chris Pine sends up his golden boy image as the Prince who’s charming if not sincere, his singing amusingly exaggerated with trills and flourishes, but his shared number with Rapunzel’s Prince begins the film’s mid section bog down.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “Into the Woods” is a surprisingly humorless adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical known for its sly humor. As a movie, this is a disappointingly straight-faced morality tale that simply doesn’t seem to want to be entertaining.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The central problem of the movie is one of redundancy.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: Into the Woods’ Captures The Spirit Of Sondheim In A Fun Hollywood Mashup
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk Online
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Into the Woods’ merges several fairy tales into an unexceptional musical about a baker and his wife tasked with collecting four magical items for a witch.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Tuneful and enchanting – dare I say it’s even better than the stage version? Because Stephen Sondheim’s intricate music and insightful, tongue-twisting lyrics are crystal-clear.
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: It lumps along to a complete bummer of a conclusion that essentially undoes everything wonderful in the first section. Rarely has a movie gone so quickly from a whimsical delight to a dispirited drag.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The Never-ending Story
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Into the Woods struggles in fine tuning prior iterations for the big screen, and finding its own identity as a film, but it’s still an overall enchanting and entertaining musical experience for all ages.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Theatre brats can calm down. Before running out of steam a bit, “Into the Woods” is a vibrantly staged, musically ebullient, and wonderfully subversive screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s show, carried out by an excellent (and vocally trained) ensemble.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: When Johnny Depp is the most subtle thing in your movie, you know you’ve maybe gone a little too far over the top.
  • Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film
    • Excerpt: For all its own gothic glamour and undeniable bravado, there’s something messy and even distracting about the approach to how it mixes its music with the plot and characters.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • [New – 1/22/15] | João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: Um musical competente mas sem magia ou fogo.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: It’s light and airy to watch, but still somehow too much. Soulless and frenzied, and yet still kind of effortlessly entertaining.
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: It was a visual achievement for sure, but this time, the shoe just didn’t fit.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: It’s heartening at a time when movie musicals remain an endangered species, such loving care has gone into bringing one of Sondheim’s most ingenious, affecting works to the screen without unduly compromising what makes it so special.
  • Sarah Ward @ artsHub

Reviews: Selma (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

selmaReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Still Alice (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

still_aliceReviews for this film from our members:

  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: It’s full of forced, false moments (including, God help us, a Big, Moving Public Speech) and boilerplate storytelling, and their desperation is particularly rancid at the end, when in lieu of saying anything moving or profound, they simply shoplift the ending of ‘Angels in America.’
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: A caring and compassionate portrait of a linguistics professor stricken with early onset Alzheimer’s. carried home into our hearts by Julianne Moore’s mesmerizing performance.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: In this adaptation of Lisa Genova’s novel, one is left wondering why anyone would want to be Alice at all.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Still Alice works and, at times, with assured, depressing clarity.
  • [New – 1/23/15] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: Julianne Moore delivers an outstanding performance in ‘Still Alice,’ in which she portrays a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Profoundly eloquent and empathetic…
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Julianne Moore renders an extraordinary achievement in a drama that sits comfortably in the sudsy water of a sentimental tearjerker.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Certain ‘Oscar-bait’ moments could easily have led to overacting and tear-jerking manipulation, yet both the filmmakers and actors recognize they shouldn’t overdo it. There is not much else to Still Alice other than Moore’s performance, a very strong yet only reason to see the film.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: With beautifully understated direction, true writing and, of course, Moore’s fearless, deeply empathetic performance, “Still Alice” strikes a tough but sensitive chord that reverberates longer than any manipulative TV movie on the same subject ever could.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com
    • Excerpt: Julianne Moore’s towering, Oscar-caliber performance elevates this mediocre film above its melodramatic trappings
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Julianne Moore continually amazes me.

Reviews: Two Days, One Night (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 26, 2014

two_days_one_nightReviews for this film from our members:

  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A triumphant drama by the Dardenne brothers about a heroine who demonstrates grace under pressure.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: Two Days, One Night is a focused, frankly heartbreaking take on personal morals, selfishness, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for others.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: By the end of “Two Days, One Night” we’ve not only met an unusual heroine and her dynamic husband, but feel like we’ve gotten to know a small French town whose denizens offer various shadings of a simple moral issue with complex ramifications.
  • Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Repetitiva, pero con buenos elementos y una gran Marion Cotillard.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Cotillard’s is a tremendous performance of delicate variations, and it elevates Two Days, One Night to another level of compassionate observation.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Two Days, One Night’ is the turbulent journey of one woman who balances desperation and determination as she attempts to convince her co-workers not to fire her.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Compassionate, suspenseful drama, posing an intriguing ethical dilemma…
  • Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films
    • Excerpt: The film correlates depression, an invisible state of crippling, with the equally hard-to-discern nature of financial distress in a modern Western state, where the accoutrements of suburban life give an illusion of stability that can become a perpetual goad to anxiety.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Whether people get hired or fired is not left to one’s peers to decide. The premise is so contrived and far fetched that it makes the nature of the tragedy seem kind of ridiculous.
  • [New – 1/22/15] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Perhaps Cottiard and the Dardenne brothers were meant for each other. They seek raw emotion and no contemporary actress pulls that off better than Cottiard.
  • Carson Lund @ In Review Online
    • Excerpt: In Two Days, One Night, the perspective is strong and clear: Life can be a constant string of challenges, but what’s less vital than succeeding against those hardships is surviving them with dignity intact.
  • Marty Mapes @ Movie Habit
    • Excerpt: Dardenne brothers and Cotillard elevate writer’s-exercise storyline
  • Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]
    • Excerpt: The Dardennes lose some of their radical documentarism but gain new political relevance.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Tiago Ramos @ Split Screen [Portuguese]
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Awards Announcement Schedule

Nomination Announced:
Monday, December 8, 2014

Award Winners Announced:
Monday, December 15, 2014

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