view counter

Movie Reviews

Even a brilliant foil can’t save this weak entry in the Marvel series

When the universe began, light spread throughout the cosmos. Light is usually a good thing, but it did not please a race called the Dark Elves. Their leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston: Doctor Who) responded with Aether, a weaponized energy source, to bring back darkness and destroy the universe.     It didn’t work.     King Bor of Asgard and his son Odin (Anthony Hopkins: RED 2) led a successful war against the Dark Elves. But instead of destroying the Aether, Bor hid it.

Survival is a lonely business in this gripping drama

Some people dream of setting out on their own to sail the vast oceans of our world. It seems like a grand adventure, until something goes wrong and you find yourself slowly taking on water hundreds of miles from help. What to do when your grand adventure turns into a disaster?

An extraordinary man must rise to extraordinary circumstances

Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor: Dancing on the Edge) was a man of fortunate birth. He wasn’t rich, or noble, just a black man born free in the time of slavery.     12 Years a Slave begins with the family enjoying a normal life in Saratoga, New York, where Solomon takes odd jobs and his wife works as a cook. Known in the community, they believe that they have nothing to fear from whites.

How many geri-action stars does it take to escape from prison?

No prison can hold Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone: Bullet to the Head). He’s literally written the book on prison security, breaking out of dozens of super max facilities to prove his point.     Yet he hesitates when a CIA operative asks him to test the security of a black site holding facility. They want him to go in blind. His team won’t know his location, and he’ll be out of touch with the outside world. It’s a risky deal, but the money is good, and he enjoys a challenge.

Not every pirate story features Johnny Depp and treasure chests

Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks: Cloud Atlas) worries about the future. In 2009, with the country facing more years of economic downturn, the freighter captain is concerned about how his kids will manage in this new, leaner America. But he’s still got a job, and it takes him from his home in Massachusetts to Oman for a routine delivery on the Maersk Alabama.

You’ll cringe, gasp and hold your breath. Just remember that your oxygen isn’t running low

What do you do when all hope is gone? How do you keep trying when you know that no help is on the way?     Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock: The Heat) isn’t having the time of her life on her first trip into space. After training for six months to install her communications system on a satellite, she is awkward in zero gravity and nauseated in the vacuum of space.

This rare romantic comedy is both funny and romantic

Massage therapist Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Veep) is a divorced mother with a comfortable routine. She treats her clients in their homes, deals with their quirks and comes home to her daughter. Facing an empty home when her daughter moves away to college, Eva decides to expand her social circle. She’s not looking for a man; she just doesn’t want to spend her nights alone stewing that her baby girl lives across the country.

A beautiful movie shackled to a terrible script

Two little girls go outside to play and never return. That’s the chilling premise for Prisoners, a beautiful, artistic film that unfortunately stole its overlong script from a low-rate episode of Law & Order.

The scariest part is knowing you paid to see this ludicrous sequel

Picking up where the last film ended, Insidious: Chapter 2 begins with the return of the Lamberts’ son Dalton (Ty Simpkins: Insidious) from The Further, a spirit realm filled with evil ghosts and demons. It’s great that Dalton is back in this Earthly realm, but a price was exacted for his return: A malevolent spirit has possessed Dalton’s dad, Josh (Patrick Wilson: The Conjuring), causing him to strangle the family’s psychic aide Elise (Lin Shaye: Crazy Kind of Love). The demon abandons Josh, leaving the Lambert

True love means you never have to pull your punches

In the age of dynasties, Kung Fu was as regional as dialects. Masters from the north battled masters from the south, all seeking to perfect techniques and create new and deadlier arts.     Among the Southern Masters, a rising star, Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai: The Silent War), is chosen to take on the Northern Grandmaster. A rich man with time to practice his craft, Ip Man is the embodiment of Kung Fu: he is confident and kind with a good sense of humor.