Category: One Minute Reviews

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One Minute Review: When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

When The Game Stands Tall One part spiritual drama, one part “Varsity Blues,” neither quite lands their footing in “When The Game Stands Tall”. Based on the true story of the De La Salle Spartans high school football team who had a record-setting 151-game 1992–2003 winning streak, the film picks up around their eventual defeat and the emotional and spiritual journey that follows when … Read More One Minute Review: When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

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One Minute Review: Frank (2014) [4.5]

FRANK Release Date 5 September 2014 Director Lenny Abrahamson Screenplay Peter Straughan Jon Ronson Comedy, Drama, Mystery Rated R for language and some sexual content 96 minutes — 4.5 out of 5 stars The mythos of the Midas Touch tells the story of a king that is granted the power of turning everything he touches into gold. Obviously this sounds like an awesome idea, … Read More One Minute Review: Frank (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) [4.5]

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Release Date 11 July 2014 Director Matt Reeves Screenplay Scott Z. Burns Rick Jaffa Amanda Silver Action, Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language 130 minutes — 4.5 out of 5 stars “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” is the perfect sequel. Not only does … Read More One Minute Review: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The Giver (2014) [3.0]

THE GIVER Release Date 15 August 2014 Director Philip Noyce Screenplay Michael Mitnick Robert B. Weide Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence 94 minutes — 3 out of 5 stars Even Jeff Bridges cannot save “The Giver” from being a young adult retread that comes off even less inspired than its predecessors. The problem is, the Lois … Read More One Minute Review: The Giver (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: The Expendables 3 (2014) [2.5]

THE EXPENDABLES 3 Release Date 15 August 2014 Director Patrick Hughes Screenplay Sylvester Stallone Creighton Rothenberger Katrin Benedikt Action, Adventure, Thriller Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language 126 minutes — 2.5 out of 5 stars Sylvester Stallone continues to help write and star in his bombastic action series, this time delivering the first PG-13 endeavor, … Read More One Minute Review: The Expendables 3 (2014) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014) [3.5]

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Release Date 22 August 2014 Director Robert Rodriguez Frank Miller Screenplay Frank Miller Action, Drama, Thriller Rated R 102 minutes — 3.5 out of 5 stars A decade ago, films like “Sin City” and “300” were revolutionary, delivering cinematic sequences straight from the pages of graphic novels with a style over substance monicker that made them thrilling … Read More One Minute Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: 22 Jump Street (2014) [4.5]

22 JUMP STREET Release Date 13 June 2014 Director Christopher Miller Phil Lord Screenplay Michael Bacall Action, Comedy Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence 112 minutes — 4.5 out of 5 stars Remember that kid who got picked on in middle school? (I do, because I was one.) Now, remember how eventually they just owned the … Read More One Minute Review: 22 Jump Street (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: If I Stay (2014) [4.0]

IF I STAY Release Date 22 August 2014 Director R.J. Cutler Screenplay Shauna Cross Gayle Forman (novel) Drama Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material 106 minutes — 4 out of 5 stars As similar as they are, “If I Stay” and “The Fault In Our Stars” are worlds apart. Of course they are both based of widely popular young adult novels, … Read More One Minute Review: If I Stay (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: The Wind Rises (2013) [4.0]

THE WIND RISES Release Date 8 November 2013 Director Hayao Mayazaki Screenplay Hayao Mayazaki Mike Jones (english version) Animation Rated PG-13 126 minutes — 4 out of 5 stars Marked to be Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, “The Wind Rises” delivers an animated feast of colors beyond any of his previous films including “Spirited Away” (2002) and “Howls Moving Castle” (2005). Delving more into the … Read More One Minute Review: The Wind Rises (2013) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Let’s Be Cops (2014) [3.0]

LET’S BE COPS Release Date 13 August 2014 Director Luke Greenfield Screenplay Luke Greenfield Nicholas Thomas Action, Comedy Rated R for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use 104 minutes — 3 out of 5 stars How are people not familiar with Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. yet? Johnson has been the supporting player in several high profile comedies … Read More One Minute Review: Let’s Be Cops (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: The One I Love (2014) [4.0]

THE ONE I LOVE // No one is pulling off independent science fiction better than Mark Duplass. In 2012, Duplass starred in “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a psychological sci-fi that played more on relationships rather than the time travel element that made it unique. This year, he stars in “The One I Love,” with Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) as a couple that heads off to … Read More One Minute Review: The One I Love (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: A Most Wanted Man (2014) [4.5]

A MOST WANTED MAN // Marking the final leading role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, “A Most Wanted Man” is an espionage thriller from the same author as “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”. Intricate and complex in design, Hoffman delivers a powerhouse of a performance as Günther Bachmann, adding a fervor to an otherwise extremely dense subject matter. Much in the same way that Gary Oldman … Read More One Minute Review: A Most Wanted Man (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Maleficent (2014) [3.0]

MALEFICENT // The rise of the anti-hero story continues with “Maleficent,” the retelling of the Disney animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” this time focusing on the villain of that tale and her fall from grace origin story. Angelina Jolie steps into the role of Maleficent, bringing to the surface the conflicting emotions that make her such an interesting character. One of the biggest challenges of … Read More One Minute Review: Maleficent (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Hercules (2014) [3.5]

HERCULES // Never has marketing been more misleading than it was for the new Dwayne Johnson vehicle “Hercules”. With trailers touting the legendary character of Hercules and his Twelve Labors from the Gods, which involved fighting several different monsters including a giant lion, a three headed hydra, and massive boar, most people stepping into the theater to see this film would have assumed this … Read More One Minute Review: Hercules (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Wish I Was Here (2014) [4.5]

WISH I WAS HERE // After a decade since his directorial debut, Zach Braff returns with his crowd-funded darling “Wish I Was Here”. Once again starring as lead, Braff trades in his college student naivety for a more weatherworn adult role, as Aidan Bloom, husband and father of two. Playing the out of work actor, everyone in Aiden’s life continuously asks him when he … Read More One Minute Review: Wish I Was Here (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Deliver Us From Evil (2014) [3.0]

DELIVER US FROM EVIL // Some day, hopefully soon, horror filmmakers will realize that certain tropes are not scary anymore. One of these tropes is checking under the bed. “Deliver Us From Evil” leaned heavily on this scare in their marketing campaign. Even messing with expectations after checking under the bed is now an overused motif. If there was nothing under the bed, something … Read More One Minute Review: Deliver Us From Evil (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Begin Again (2014) [3.5]

BEGIN AGAIN // John Carney trades in his delicate musical touch for celebrity appeal and a bigger budget; $150,000 versus $9 million. “Once” was a love story told through the passion of music with its main ballad, “Falling Slowly,” going on to win the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song. “Begin Again” has a love story buried in it somewhere, perhaps for a … Read More One Minute Review: Begin Again (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014) [3.0]

“Traffic is building rapidly downtown as citizens rush to get home before commencement. If you’re not purging, we advise you to get off the streets as quickly as possible. It’ll soon be a war out there.” -News Anchor THE PURGE: ANARCHY // And with these words, “This is your Emergency Broadcast System announcing the commencement of the Annual Purge. At the siren, all crime, … Read More One Minute Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Sex Tape (2014) [2.5]

“Who has sex for three hours? That’s the length of the movie Lincoln. You did the full Lincoln.” -Robbie (Rob Corddry) SEX TAPE // The first thing to wrap your head around in the raunchy comedy “Sex Tape” is that the smoking hot Cameron Diaz, at 42 years old, is married to Jason Segel, who is 34 years old. The next is believing that … Read More One Minute Review: Sex Tape (2014) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Earth To Echo (2014) [2.5]

“I’m going to tell you a story and I’m not supposed to tell anyone so keep it between us. We were normal kids until we discovered something.” -Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley) EARTH TO ECHO // Here is my theory: director David Green saw “Super 8” and heard critics call it a mix between “E.T. Extraterrestrial” and “Cloverfield,” pairing beings from another planet with children … Read More One Minute Review: Earth To Echo (2014) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014) [3.0]

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST // Seth MacFarlane set the bar high with his successful comedy “Ted”, reminding why “Family Guy” has been pushing the envelope for as long as it has. However, given the reins to produce his passion project, “A Million Ways To Die In The West”, a comedic period Western, MacFarlane falters, proving the same fifty-fifty hit-or-miss percentage … Read More One Minute Review: A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Chef (2014) [4.0]

CHEF // Jon Favreau takes to independent filmmaking with his food truck film titled “Chef”, in which he writes, directs, and stars in. The quintessential definition of “food porn,” the story Favreau weaves takes professional chef Carl (director Jon Favreau himself) from the kitchen of a high end restaurant owned by Riva (Dustin Hoffman) to a food truck that ventures from Florida to the … Read More One Minute Review: Chef (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: The Signal (2014) [3.5]

THE SIGNAL // Actor Brenton Thwaites has been on a roll lately. Most recently you have seen him as the leading role in “The Giver”, playing Jonas alongside Jeff Bridges’ title character, before that he made a brief appearance in “Maleficent” as the prince, and the first thing I saw him in this year was Mike Flanagan’s horror film “Oculus”. Add to that science … Read More One Minute Review: The Signal (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Rover (2014) [5.0]

THE ROVER // Post-apocalypse has become so many things in cinema. Whether it is zombies or the fallout of some catastrophe, Hollywood seems obsessed with the idea. Flooding the theaters with these films, it becomes rare for any of these them to stand out. What becomes key is subtlety. Parring down, focusing on the characters rather than the changing world around them, and “The … Read More One Minute Review: The Rover (2014) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: Neighbors (2014) [4.0]

NEIGHBORS // Unlike Adam Sandler, who, as he has gotten older, has gone from raunchy comedies to watered down family comedies, Seth Rogen continues to take steps deeper and deeper into the world of dirty comedies. As Mac, who is a loving husband to Kelly (Rose Byrne) and caring father to their little baby, Rogen pulls off this nice balance between competent adult and … Read More One Minute Review: Neighbors (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Palo Alto (2014) [4.0]

PALO ALTO // Believe it or not, but actor and director James Franco is also a published author. His 2010 published collection of short stories titled “Palo Alto” is based somewhat on his life of growing up in that area of Southern California. Centered around different high schoolers and their bouts with drinking, drugs, and violence, the collection spawned a film; the directorial debut … Read More One Minute Review: Palo Alto (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Belle (2014) [4.0]

BELLE // Having starred in countless television movies and adding small supporting roles to recent films like “Larry Crowne” and “Odd Thomas”, actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw makes her first breakout leading performance in Amma Asante’s first film in almost a decade, the period piece titled “Belle”. Based on a 1779 painting of the real life Dido Elizabeth Belle next to her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray, … Read More One Minute Review: Belle (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Blended (2014) [1.5]

BLENDED // Looking at the progression from “The Wedding Singer” to “50 First Dates” to the newest installment in the pairing of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, “Blended”, it is made painfully clear how far off base the quality of the films have fallen. Where “The Wedding Singer” had likable characters and somewhat edgy jokes, “Blended” has flat, one-dimensional characters and is about as … Read More One Minute Review: Blended (2014) [1.5]

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One Minute Review: The Quiet Ones (2014) [3.5]

THE QUIET ONES // If I were to say that “The Quiet Ones” was creepy, since it is a horror film and you would hope for the best, you may assume it is a startling and hair-raising sort of creepy. The truth is, however, that the legendary Hammer Films Productions release is a different type of creepy. As with most horror films these days, … Read More One Minute Review: The Quiet Ones (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Locke (2014) [4.5]

LOCKE // Following in the footsteps of a film like “Buried”, which was shot entirely in one location with only one actor ever present on screen, “Locke” takes its single character show on the road. Starring Tom Hardy and an extensive voice cast, this simple idea sees character Ivan Locke (Hardy) taking a two hour long night drive from work to London all while … Read More One Minute Review: Locke (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Muppets Most Wanted (2014) [3.0]

MUPPETS MOST WANTED // Losing most of the magic instilled by the 2011 reboot of “The Muppets” and even with three years between productions, “Muppets Most Wanted” still feels like a lesser quality product with less humor and less soul. Do not get me wrong, I am entirely happy just to see the Muppets back in action on the big screen and will obviously … Read More One Minute Review: Muppets Most Wanted (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: A Haunted House 2 (2014) [2.0]

A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 // After having five “Scary Movie” horror parodies thrown at us, the biggest fear now is that “A Haunted House” will become a franchise. The first film was an answer to the “Paranormal Activity” craze, basically just changing the name of the parodies and letting Marlon Wayans step out on his own to make fun of that one set of … Read More One Minute Review: A Haunted House 2 (2014) [2.0]

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One Minute Review: Breathe In (2014) [5.0]

BREATHE IN // With 2011’s “Like Crazy”, two things happened: Drake Doremus became one of my favorite directors and I developed a huge crush on actress Felicity Jones. A few years later, we are once again graced with their presence together in the independent drama entitled “Breathe In”, an emotionally complex study of a family which faces its breaking point after welcoming a beautiful … Read More One Minute Review: Breathe In (2014) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: The Other Woman (2014) [2.0]

THE OTHER WOMAN // If I wanted to see Kate Upton running in a skimpy bikini, I would just Google it. When it comes to most romantic comedies, I can get on board. Despite almost all of these films having the same plot and story structure, there can be a sincerity brought out by stellar actors and actresses. “The Other Woman” is not one … Read More One Minute Review: The Other Woman (2014) [2.0]

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One Minute Review: Under The Skin (2014) [4.0]

UNDER THE SKIN // Over the years, it has become apparent that Scarlett Johansson will not be giving up her independent acting roots anytime soon. She has become a household name with her role as Black Widow in “The Avengers” but she continues to produce small titles which is actually where she got her start, with films like “Lost In Translation”, “A Love Song … Read More One Minute Review: Under The Skin (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Enemy (2014) [4.0]

ENEMY // The doppleganger storyline has never been more intense or more confusing than in director Denis Villeneuve’s latest film, “Enemy”. In “Prisoners”, Villeneuve directed Jake Gyllenhaal to one of the best performances of his career, so it was only natural for these two to pair up again. This time around Gyllenhaal plays a lowly history teacher named Adam who lives a boring life … Read More One Minute Review: Enemy (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014) [4.0]

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE // Eva Green is a sexpot. Taking on the role of the villain Artemisia in the somewhat sequel to “300” (more of a side-quel as the timelines run parallel), “300: Rise Of An Empire” proves that Eva has the sinister vivacity that makes her a highlight under the right circumstances. Without her, the film would have been extremely lacking, … Read More One Minute Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) [4.0]

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 // “How To Train Your Dragon 2” is a sequel with gravitas.  There is a weight to the characters and their situations that builds off the first film almost perfectly. Director Dean DeBlois and his writers recognize what makes a franchise special, by raising the stakes and injecting new life into not just the original characters, but into … Read More One Minute Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Joe (2014) [5.0]

JOE // David Gordon Green returns to form with his latest drama, “Joe”, about an ex-con who finds himself in the tough position between a young, innocent boy and his twisted, abusive father. Proving that his best days may still be ahead of him, Academy Award winning Nicolas Cage produces one of his best performances ever, as the title character. Joe runs a tree … Read More One Minute Review: Joe (2014) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: Walk Of Shame (2014) [2.5]

WALK OF SHAME // Urban dictionary defines a “walk of shame” as “the walk home after a one night stand”. Further extrapolated, “one usually wears either the clothes they went out in (i.e. short skirt and heels) or the clothing of the person they slept with (i.e. a large white t-shirt) the morning after”. In the film bearing that title, Elizabeth Banks is the … Read More One Minute Review: Walk Of Shame (2014) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) [4.5]

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL // One will often hear that when their favorite artists come to town, everyone wants them to play the hits. Director Wes Anderson is content with playing the hits, delivering yet another truly unique comedy in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Like in the world of art and painting, one can tell a Wes Anderson from the rest of the artists … Read More One Minute Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The LEGO Movie (2014) [3.5]

THE LEGO MOVIE // Everything was not awesome, at least for me, upon seeing “The Lego Movie”. Akin to being the only person at a party that is not having fun, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s latest animated feature simply never clicked for me while landing for what felt like absolutely everyone else. All around me, adults and children were laughing at the jokes, … Read More One Minute Review: The LEGO Movie (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Non-Stop (2014) [4.0]

NON-STOP // Flying is nerve-racking enough without someone terrorizing your airplane. However, in the latest entry in the thriller sub-genre taking place on planes (“Flightplan”, “Snakes On A Plane”, etc.), director Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown”, “Orphan”) sets up an U.S. federal air marshall (Liam Neeson) as the potential antagonist on this flight. Neeson plays Bill Marks, a troubled, gun and badge carrying frequent flyer, getting … Read More One Minute Review: Non-Stop (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Pompeii (2014) [3.5]

POMPEII // Mount Vesuvius is the star of “Pompeii” and it never lets you forget it. Always looming in the background, the history of the volcano is quite exceptional, and allows us to recognize that it is a ticking time bomb in the film, ready to take out the entire city of Pompeii when it finally erupts and encasing the inhabitants of the city … Read More One Minute Review: Pompeii (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Grand Piano (2014) [4.5]

GRAND PIANO // Elijah Wood is not a piano playing prodigy. But from the looks of director Eugenio Mira’s new feature film “Grand Piano”, he looks exactly like he has been playing piano his entire life. Basically the premise of “Phone Booth”, which saw Colin Farrell stuck in a phone booth taking orders from a sniper that we never see, but whose presence is … Read More One Minute Review: Grand Piano (2014) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: In Secret (2014) [3.5]

IN SECRET // Sexual repression in the 1860s is not a subject matter often discussed, but in Charlie Stratton’s adaptation of Émile Zola’s scandalous novel “Thérèse Raquin” (1867) titled “In Secret”, this tale is given a shot of rejuvenation thanks to its young and aspiring cast. Elizabeth Olsen is enough reason to view any film these days, with an impressive control over her deliveries … Read More One Minute Review: In Secret (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Monuments Men (2014) [3.0]

THE MONUMENTS MEN // On the surface, “The Monuments Men” looks like an Oscar-worthy World War II drama. Directed by George Clooney, he has already proven to be a successful director on previous films like “Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind”, “The Ides Of March”, and the Academy Award nominated “Good Night, and Good Luck”. Along with an impressive ensemble cast, including himself (Clooney), Matt … Read More One Minute Review: The Monuments Men (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Bringing Up Bobby (2012)

BRINGING UP BOBBY // Many questions arise from watching “Bringing Up Bobby”. First of which, why did actress Famke Janssen decide to write, direct, and produce this film as her first directorial venture? A somewhat successful actress in her own right, you would assume either this was a passion project of hers or something she felt very strongly about. But the premise of the … Read More One Minute Review: Bringing Up Bobby (2012)

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One Minute Review: Veronica Mars (2014) [4.0]

VERONICA MARS // Ten years after the first season of this cult classic appeared on television, “Veronica Mars” makes its crowd-funded feature film debut. Bringing back almost all of the notable cast members and weaving them into another whodunnit murder mystery, Kristen Bell once again leads the pack as the tiny blonde detective for hire, the role that basically put her on the map. … Read More One Minute Review: Veronica Mars (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Devil’s Due (2014) [3.0]

DEVIL’S DUE // With the creativity and ingenuity found in their “V/H/S/” anthology short film, “10/31/98”, about a group of guys who find themselves in an haunted house by mistake on Halloween, one would imagine that directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett could bring the same level of genius to their first feature film. Unfortunately, “Devil’s Due” proves to be yet another stale exploration … Read More One Minute Review: Devil’s Due (2014) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Cutie And The Boxer (2013) [3.0]

CUTIE AND THE BOXER // “Cutie And The Boxer” is the story of the artistic couple, Noriko and Ushio Shinohara, living in their Manhattan flat attempting to make ends meet through their art. Having moved from Japan to the United States, Ushio found slight stardom from his transition into the New York art scene. His sculptures made from recycled cardboard and his paintings made … Read More One Minute Review: Cutie And The Boxer (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: A.C.O.D. (2013) [3.0]

A.C.O.D. // Adam Scott leads a stellar comedic ensemble cast in a not-so-funny jaunt through exactly what the title suggests, “A.C.O.D.” or “Adult Children Of Divorce”. When you see a cast list filled with Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler (playing against type), Clark Duke, Jessica Alba, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Jane Lynch, chances are high that most people will be driven to see … Read More One Minute Review: A.C.O.D. (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Philomena (2013) [3.5]

PHILOMENA // Human emotion is a complicated yet beautiful thing. Captured like lightning bugs in a bottle, the Academy Award nominated “Philomena” displays these complicated emotions in full force. Based on the true story of Philomena Lee, whose baby boy was taken from her by the nuns in the convent that took her in and adopted him away without her permission, Dame Judi Dench … Read More One Minute Review: Philomena (2013) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Primer (2003) [4.0]

PRIMER // “Primer” is a dense, low budget, science fiction film that sets out to explore the bare bones of time travel and the relationship between friends in discovering the ability to travel through time. Solidly produced on a $7,000 budget, Shane Carruth writes, directs, produces, edits, stars in, and scores this little American Indie that could. After stumbling across the discovery of time … Read More One Minute Review: Primer (2003) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: 47 Ronin (2013) [3.0]

47 RONIN // Too often does Hollywood take the path of overindulgence, expanding so much on one simple idea to the point where you hardly recognize the original story. “47 Ronin” is this epitome of a simple story masqueraded with so much flare and convoluted with so much mythology that the studio fails to see the golden story that they original had. Based on … Read More One Minute Review: 47 Ronin (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: The Great Beauty (2013) [4.0]

THE GREAT BEAUTY (LA GRANDE BELLEZZA) // Having won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Great Beauty” or “La Grande Bellezza” was one of the only foreign film anyone was talking about this Oscar season. Setting the bar high for foreign film contenders, with amazing visuals and memorable performances, this French film is filled with breathtaking sequences and … Read More One Minute Review: The Great Beauty (2013) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013) [3.5]

MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM // Timing is everything. And in the case of “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” and its release date occurring very close to the actual passing of Nelson Mandela is simply a coincidence and an example of perfect timing as far as biopics go. I will always remember driving down Sunset Blvd and seeing huge advertisements for a film that … Read More One Minute Review: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Saving Mr. Banks (2013) [3.0]

SAVING MR. BANKS // “Saving Mr. Banks” is a film about Walt Disney made by Walt Disney Pictures, so anyone looking for a rich and dynamic look at the man’s life and especially his involvement with getting the rights to “Mary Poppins” from author P.L. Travers, will be sadly mistaken. Were there animated dancing penguins involved, this would feel much like the film that … Read More One Minute Review: Saving Mr. Banks (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Bad Words (2014) [4.0]

BAD WORDS // Believe it or not, first time director and star of “Bad Words”, Jason Bateman, was not the first choice to play the leading role in the film. Explaining in a Q&A following the screening of his film over the weekend, Bateman stated that he approached several other actors for the part and all of them declined rather emphatically after reading the … Read More One Minute Review: Bad Words (2014) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Need For Speed (2014) [3.5]

NEED FOR SPEED // Basically 2014’s answer to the first “The Fast and the Furious” film, following the same underground street racing lifestyle, along with high level emotions coinciding with very little substantial dialogue, “Need For Speed” runs a little hot, at over two hours long. Suffering from dead end plot points, elements that exist to only serve the plot, and the overuse of … Read More One Minute Review: Need For Speed (2014) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013) [5.0]

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN // Coming out of the Belgium and nominated at the 86th Annual Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Broken Circle Breakdown” is a passionate love story filled with young love and young loss that tears at the heart strings and leaves you on the verge of emotionally drained by the time you walk out of the theater, a … Read More One Minute Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: The Grandmaster (2013) [3.0]

THE GRANDMASTER // Kung-fu is not a genre of action film that I am often drawn to. Even when I saw the trailer for “The Grandmaster”, I wrote it off slightly, but the pacing, the storytelling, and the lore of Ip Man achieves greatness no matter what the genre. Nominated for two Academy Awards, in Best Costume Design and Best Cinematography, the film reaches … Read More One Minute Review: The Grandmaster (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Rendition (2007) [3.0]

RENDITION // Before “Zero Dark Thirty” caught everyone’s attention about the treatment of terrorist suspects in other countries, “Rendition” explored the same basic idea six years prior to a much lesser audience. But what’s the difference? Were people not ready to hear about the idea of “extraordinary rendition” back then, which was a very real thing that occurred under the go ahead from the … Read More One Minute Review: Rendition (2007) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: The Square (2013) [4.0]

THE SQUARE // If there is one thing I learned about myself while watching “The Square”, it is that I am completely out of touch with the worldwide news. Taking a candid look at the Egyptian population fighting their government for freedom, this political struggle has been transpiring since 2011 and I literally had no idea it was happening. Originally led by a dictator, … Read More One Minute Review: The Square (2013) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: The Missing Picture (2013) [3.0]

THE MISSING PICTURE // Cambodia’s foreign film entry “The Missing Picture” is a multi-media exploration of the Kampuchean Revolution in 1975, of which very few images remain. To counteract these “missing pictures”, the filmmaker creates clay models of himself and many of the surrounding Cambodians to reenact the damage done by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The real marvel of the film is … Read More One Minute Review: The Missing Picture (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Ernest And Celestine (2013) [4.0]

ERNEST AND CELESTINE // For lack of a better term, “Ernest And Celestine” is cute. It is cutely drawn, reviving the hand drawn animation style, the characters are cute, and the voices (in French) are cute. Having made it to a preview screening of this foreign animated film in the theaters, I can easily say that the audience loved it. Adults and children alike … Read More One Minute Review: Ernest And Celestine (2013) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: The Act Of Killing (2013) [3.5]

THE ACT OF KILLING // A once-in-a-lifetime documentary about paramilitary leaders (also known as death squad leaders) in Indonesia, “The Act Of Killing” interviews these men about their practices and even has them reenact some of the vicious things they have done, all while unconsciously unraveling them to the point where the film ends with the main death squad leader, Anwar Congo, dry heaving … Read More One Minute Review: The Act Of Killing (2013) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Hunt (2013) [4.5]

THE HUNT // Evoking one of the most emotionally conflicted responses I have ever had during a film, Thomas Vinterberg’s latest foreign language film, “The Hunt” will have you yelling at the screen in no time. Some films benefit from keeping its secrets until the very end, playing close to the chest, and shocking audiences with reveals. “The Hunt” is an example of a … Read More One Minute Review: The Hunt (2013) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Spirited Away (2003) [4.0]

SPIRITED AWAY // Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winning animated film “Spirited Away” tells the story of a little girl who follows her parents into a strange amusement park and gets lost in the world of the spirits. Following the helpful young man, Haku, the young girl takes refuge in a bathhouse, run by a witch named Yubaba. In trying to free her parents from the … Read More One Minute Review: Spirited Away (2003) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Plush (2013) [2.5]

PLUSH // Without the talented Emily Browning, “Plush” would almost be unwatchable. But with her innocent style mixed with the precarious nature of her character, she becomes the focal point of this feature as Hayley, the rockstar that loses her brother/bandmate to drugs. Following a poorly received second album, Hayley begins an intimate connection with her new guitarist Enzo (Xavier Samuel) rather than being … Read More One Minute Review: Plush (2013) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: 20 Feet From Stardom (2013) [3.0]

20 FEET FROM STARDOM // Following the story of some of the most prestigious back up singers in music, “20 Feet From Stardom” pleasantly surprises, providing a relatable and insightful look at the music industry. Including interviews with Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry, and spanning decades with these women lending their vocals in some of the … Read More One Minute Review: 20 Feet From Stardom (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Omar (2013) [5.0]

OMAR // Five years ago, I started participating in what I call the Oscar Challenge, where I watch every single film nominated for an Academy Award that year, and it was for films like “Omar” that I started doing it in the first place. A Palestinian love story between a young man and his best friend’s sister, “Omar” was one of the most impressive … Read More One Minute Review: Omar (2013) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013) [2.5]

DESPICABLE ME 2 // Toss all the minions at me that you want, “Despicable Me 2” does nothing for me. Expanding off the original film, former super villain Gru (Steve Carrell) turned foster father is taken captive by the Anti-Villain League, headed by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), to consult for their latest case, a missing laboratory stolen by a giant magnet. Building in a … Read More One Minute Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Forrest Gump (1994) [4.5]

FORREST GUMP // Chances are most people recognize the phrases “run, Forrest, run” or “life is like a box of chocolates” even if the film that they come from is a mystery to them. Having been seven-years-old when “Forrest Gump” came out, it was not a film I was familiar with until much later in life. But these phrases were often expelled during gym … Read More One Minute Review: Forrest Gump (1994) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Dirty Wars (2013) [2.5]

DIRTY WARS // Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, known for his book “Blackwater”, tells the story of his trip to Afghanistan, as he delves into the mystery of unsanctioned U.S. Army night raids. Despite his over-dramatic voice-over narration, the interviews he has with many of the people involved with the war are very informative. The Army veteran that he interviews states the premise best when … Read More One Minute Review: Dirty Wars (2013) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) [2.5]

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES // To sum up “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” into one word; derivative. Copying just about every horror and possession device in the book, this detour in the franchise adds basically nothing to the narrative yet tries to attach itself desperately to the previous installments. Once again we meet new characters who are simply living their lives until their … Read More One Minute Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Magic Magic (2013) [3.5]

MAGIC MAGIC // If you’ve seen the trailer for “Magic Magic”, then you’ve successfully been duped. Not to say “Magic Magic” isn’t an exceptional thriller with fine performances, but anyone expecting a sinister, psychological thriller where everyone is out to get the leading lady will be sadly mistaken. Juno Temple plays lead Alicia, vacationing from the States to Chile to visit her cousin Sarah … Read More One Minute Review: Magic Magic (2013) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: August: Osage County (2013) [4.5]

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY // Not surprisingly adapted from a stage play by Tracy Letts, who also pens the screenplay, “August: Osage County” is a character piece if ever there was one. Set in the Oklahoma home of Violet Weston for most of the run-time, the characters are simply allowed to blossom and mold in front of our eyes. Pulling away the layers and showing … Read More One Minute Review: August: Osage County (2013) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The Wall (Die Wand) (2013) [3.0]

THE WALL (DIE WAND) // An interesting premise, “The Wall” sees a woman trapped in the wilderness behind an invisible barrier, left to fend for herself and face solitude, with only animals to accompany her and give her purpose. If you haven’t read Marlen Haushofer’s 1963 novel in which the film is based, you’ll likely get an inkling of the same type of story … Read More One Minute Review: The Wall (Die Wand) (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Alice In Wonderland (1951) [3.0]

ALICE IN WONDERLAND // Trippy is the best descriptor for the animated Disney classic “Alice In Wonderland”. To children, it’s just an innocent and curious blonde falling into a rabbit hole and discovering a whole new world. But watched as an adult, Alice steps into a very psychedelic other world that would likely best be enjoyed while on some sort of drug. With talking … Read More One Minute Review: Alice In Wonderland (1951) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Sweetwater (2013) [2.5]

SWEETWATER // A Western at heart, “Sweetwater” loses its footing on more than one occasion, arguing whether to be a serious, full-on wild west revival or an eccentric stomping ground for its colorful cast of characters. Most of the characters in the film are cartoonish in nature, especially the villain, Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs) who preaches to his congregation one second, kills innocent men … Read More One Minute Review: Sweetwater (2013) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Frozen River (2008) [4.0]

FROZEN RIVER // Having been acting since 1984, “Frozen River” marked Melissa Leo’s revival, bringing her an Oscar nomination and an a continued impressive career to follow. Bringing to life the white trash life style in New York, Ray’s (Melissa Leo) dreams of getting a new double-wide trailer with a jacuzzi tub are dashed when her gambling husband runs off with all their money. … Read More One Minute Review: Frozen River (2008) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: My Week With Marilyn (2011) [5.0]

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN // Michelle Williams wholeheartedly pulls off the role of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn” capturing not only the bubbly on-screen beauty that we knew and loved, but the innocent and mysterious side of her character as well. Williams has never been more attractive and wholly engulfed in a role than she was with Marilyn, bringing the icon to … Read More One Minute Review: My Week With Marilyn (2011) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: Redemption (2013) [3.0]

REDEMPTION // “Redemption” is not completely what you’d expect from Jason Statham. A man that basically has his own brand of action films, Statham steps into a much more dramatic role as Smith, an AWOL Special Forces soldier that has taken to the streets of London, living homeless to avoid being detected. After a young homeless girl is taken into a prostitution ring and … Read More One Minute Review: Redemption (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Requiem For A Dream (2000) [3.5]

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM // Proving almost immediately in his career that he had a distinct eye for the surreal, Darren Aronofsky set the stage for his legacy with one of his first films, the unforgettable “Requiem For A Dream”. Starring the ultra talented Jared Leto as the lead, Harry, his performance offers up one of the many best of his career. In fact, … Read More One Minute Review: Requiem For A Dream (2000) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Far From Heaven (2002) [3.0]

FAR FROM HEAVEN // More like an episode of “Mad Men”, Todd Haynes’ period piece drama “Far From Heaven” tackles some racy issues including homosexuality in the late ’50s, interracial relationships, and divorce, all on the backdrop of a picture perfect ’50s family. Julianne Moore plays the matriarch of the family, Cathy Whitaker, a stay-at-home mom with more on her plate than the average … Read More One Minute Review: Far From Heaven (2002) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: What Dreams May Come (1998) [3.5]

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME // “What Dreams May Come” presents an intriguing take on what happens to someone when they die, presenting a visual representation of the afterlife. Starring Robin Williams in the leading role, for the most part, he fits the role just fine, except for when playing his younger self, to which he comes off hokey and out of place. Williams plays … Read More One Minute Review: What Dreams May Come (1998) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Braveheart (1995) [5.0]

BRAVEHEART // Mel Gibson not only proves he’s an amazing actor in “Braveheart”, he also proves to be a high caliber director, versatile enough to star as the lead in an epic film while directing what will remain a cinematic classic. Extremely dark in the nature, the story continuously surprises, catching the viewer off guard on multiple occasions. Hooking me within the first few … Read More One Minute Review: Braveheart (1995) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: Jack Frost (1998) [3.5]

JACK FROST // For some reason, whether it was because it was always on cable around Christmas or because it had Michael Keaton in it, I’ve seen “Jack Frost” more times than I can remember, and to be perfectly honest, I really enjoy it every time. Keaton plays a musician father that is just about to break into the music industry with his band, … Read More One Minute Review: Jack Frost (1998) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Polar Express (2004) [3.5]

THE POLAR EXPRESS // Perfect for children, Robert Zemeckis really sets the stage for the motion capture animated films to follow with “The Polar Express”, where Tom Hanks shines through as many of the characters in the film. Taking a young boy whose belief in Santa Claus begins to falter on an epic train adventure to the North Pole, this heartwarming film will become … Read More One Minute Review: The Polar Express (2004) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) [4.5]

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY // “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” is a balance of memorable moments and sincere performances from most of the main cast, especially Ben Stiller and Sean Penn. Stepping into the director’s shoes, Stiller takes on double duty and does not disappoint, playing title character Walter Mitty, an easygoing daydreamer living a reserved lifestyle. Facing the last days … Read More One Minute Review: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) [4.5]

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET // Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his best performances of his career in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, a brutally honest look at the life of real life New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, who scammed rich people out of their money to live his lavish, no holds barred lifestyle. Almost pornographic in nature, the film brings out … Read More One Minute Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Jingle All The Way (1996) [2.5]

JINGLE ALL THE WAY // Despite now being a classic Christmas film and despite being set in my home state of Minnesota, “Jingle All The Way” is not a great Christmas film. Capturing the angst of a parent needing to get the most popular toy for his child on Christmas Eve, the morals of the film are really down and dirty, not providing for … Read More One Minute Review: Jingle All The Way (1996) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) [4.5]

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION // Still hilarious to this day, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” never gets old. Thanks to impeccable comedic delivery by funny man Chevy Chase, the imagery of the Griswold family Christmas sets the stage for millions across the country to enjoy their families and sit down by their Christmas trees for the holiday season, watching one man’s strife to make the … Read More One Minute Review: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Home Alone (1990) [4.5]

HOME ALONE // One cannot deny the classic status of “Home Alone” as one of the most watched Christmas movies of all-time. Written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, the story of a boy accidentally left at home by his family headed on vacation left to defend his house against pending thieves is now recognizable to anyone with a television set around … Read More One Minute Review: Home Alone (1990) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The Lion King (1994) [5.0]

THE LION KING // An absolute classic, Disney’s “The Lion King” is one of the very first films I remember latching on to as a child, watching the VHS in constant succession, learning every line and every song, and the film still does not get old to this day, with a brilliant remastered version that makes the film look like it just came out … Read More One Minute Review: The Lion King (1994) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: [Rec] (2007) [3.0]

[REC] // Found footage zombie horror at its best, “[REC]” takes an interesting approach at the idea by sending in one camera man and a reporter as they follow a group of firemen called to a scene, only to be quarantined in the apartment building with unexplainable attacks by humans. Much eerier than the American remake titled “Quarantine”, Manuela Velasco, an actual reporter from … Read More One Minute Review: [Rec] (2007) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Violet & Daisy (2013) [2.5]

VIOLET & DAISY // The idea of “Violet & Daisy” was likely much more interesting than the execution. The idea of two young girls, interested in lollipops and pop singers, doubling as assassins is quite the tale. But as most of the film takes place in one living room and the actresses aren’t totally allowed to shine, the entire film falls flat. As touched … Read More One Minute Review: Violet & Daisy (2013) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: In The Valley Of Elah (2007) [4.0]

IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH // Heartbreakingly real, “In The Valley Of Elah” tells the story of a veteran father looking for his AWOL son after his return from Iraq. Paul Haggis, best known for his directing in “Crash” delivers yet another emotionally charged drama, where every clue and every interview with a suspect leads the characters further and further down a rabbit hole, … Read More One Minute Review: In The Valley Of Elah (2007) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Howl’s Moving Castle (2005) [4.0]

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE // Full of interesting characters and Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful animation styling, “Howl’s Moving Castle” is an awesome feat of Japanese film making, setting the cornerstone for anime that plays across to a much larger audience than most iterations. The film follows Sophie, a hat maker and oldest daughter of a flighty debutant mother, as she toils with the Witch of the … Read More One Minute Review: Howl’s Moving Castle (2005) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Her (2013) [5.0]

HER // I have never smiled so much or felt so much emotion during a film this year than I did with “Her”. Feeling the presence of a smile while you’re watching a film is a rare thing, at least for me. The immense glow of emotion coming from this film is brought on, not just by the lavish performances, but by the eclectic … Read More One Minute Review: Her (2013) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: Ghost Team One (2013) [1.0]

GHOST TEAM ONE // Not funny enough to be a complete satire and not serious enough to be a healthy evolution to the haunted house genre of film, “Ghost Team One” takes the found footage, “Paranormal Activity” approach to what can only be described as a failed raunchy comedy, with very little raunch and almost no comedy. With so much potential for comedy and … Read More One Minute Review: Ghost Team One (2013) [1.0]

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One Minute Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) [3.5]

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES // Not quite capturing the magic that was the original “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”, the sequel, “The Legend Continues” takes the next logical step in the progression of news reporting and steps into the world of the 24 hour news. Will Ferrell does little to improve his stint as Ron Burgundy, but continues in enough fashion and … Read More One Minute Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: American Hustle (2013) [4.5]

AMERICAN HUSTLE // A collection of David O. Russell’s top players, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams collaborate in one of the best ensemble cast films of the year, “American Hustle”. Taking a spin on the ‘70s FBI operation known as ABSCAM (Abdul Scam) in which an apprehended con artist was used to set up members of congress by using the … Read More One Minute Review: American Hustle (2013) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) [4.0]

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG // Where Peter Jackson had a distinct vision and fleshed out story with an appropriate ending point in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, he somewhat loses that vision with the sequel, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. We all wondered how Jackson would make this short children’s story by J.R.R. Tolkien into three films and now we know, … Read More One Minute Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: Zodiac (2007) [3.5]

ZODIAC // As dark and dreary as a David Fincher film can get, “Zodiac” delves into the true to life unsolved crimes of a serial killer known as the Zodiac Killer. Unfolding like an actual mystery, Fincher lays out the entire ground work of this real life story and involves the audience in a manhunt that took place from the late ‘60s to present … Read More One Minute Review: Zodiac (2007) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Adore (2013) [3.0]

ADORE // Bringing new meaning to the Oedipus complex, “Adore” revolves around two best friends who grow up together from a very young age, spending most of their time swimming out to a raft in the stunningly gorgeous Australian seaside. All grown up, Lil and Roz, played by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, continue their relationship, practically coming off like sisters or even lovers. … Read More One Minute Review: Adore (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Babel (2006) [3.5]

BABEL // Intertwining stories and lives across multiple countries and cultures, “Babel” covers its bases on almost every type of person and ethnicity that you could think of while weaving together a complex tale to which they all connect. Whether its two harmless young boys in Morocco who are given a rifle to watch over sheep, only to accidentally shoot a white tourist (Cate … Read More One Minute Review: Babel (2006) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005) [3.5]

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN // “Brokeback Mountain” lives up to its expectations by being a highly homoerotic love story between two cowboys working as ranch hands for a winter and the spiral that follows. Lead tremendously by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is unforgettable because of the performances turned in between the two. Ledger plays the grisly Ennis Del Mar who is cowboy through … Read More One Minute Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008) [4.0]

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON // David Fincher delivers his most sincere venture yet, with the almost three hour epic drama “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button”. Centered on an infant born with the qualities of an old man, complete with cataracts and arthritis, abandoned by his father, and taken in by a black woman named Queenie (Taraji P. Henson), the story of … Read More One Minute Review: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008) [4.0]

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One Minute Review: The Collection (2012) [2.0]

THE COLLECTION // Before “The Collection, there was “The Collector”, a mostly tight-knit and grounded horror film with a more than interesting plot; a man (Josh Stewart) stealing from a family is caught in the middle of a killer’s game of collecting his prey. Josh Stewart was fun to watch, there were heightened moments of violence and sex, and the entire film was memorable. … Read More One Minute Review: The Collection (2012) [2.0]

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One Minute Review: Homefront (2013) [3.0]

HOMEFRONT // Jason Statham’s patented brand of violent thrillers have become a sort of art form, with strategic fight sequences built around a loose narrative that allows Statham’s characters to always be the good guy, looking like the underdog, but using his endless skills to take down villains much in the same vein as a less debonaire James Bond. In “Homefront”, penned by actor … Read More One Minute Review: Homefront (2013) [3.0]

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One Minute Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) [5.0]

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS // Every year, I feel like we get at least one truly phenomenal music-based film, and the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” is that one. The music throughout the film is performed by the actors themselves, and comes from Oscar winner T Bone Burnett collaborating with Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. Catching you with folk ballads like “Hang Me, Oh … Read More One Minute Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) [5.0]

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One Minute Review: The Reader (2008) [4.5]

THE READER // Nothing short of brilliant, Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader” is a twisting turning drama with stunning performances and constant surprises, delving into an interesting structure in which to tell a story with. Ralph Fiennes plays brooding lead man Michael Berg, whose thoughtful performance bookends the film, as the rest of the story is told through flashbacks of his life, encountering the love … Read More One Minute Review: The Reader (2008) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013) [3.5]

OUT OF THE FURNACE // Tent-poled by an amazing cast, “Out Of The Furnace” is nothing if not an exercise in excellent casting choices. Say what you will, but Christian Bale is a huge draw. Even with his Batman days behind him, his Oscar winning performance in “The Fighter” is enough proof to say he can get people in a theater seat. Playing nice … Read More One Minute Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: The Haunting In Connecticut (2009) [3.5]

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT // At first glance, “The Haunting In Connecticut” comes off much like your typical haunted horror film, complete with the based on a true story, the purchase of a creaky old house possessed by spirits who roam around at night, and a sick young man left to experience these otherworldly beings on his own. But director Peter Cornwell’s haunting story … Read More One Minute Review: The Haunting In Connecticut (2009) [3.5]

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One Minute Review: Paradise (2013) [2.5]

PARADISE // Diablo Cody has more than proven her worth as a screenwriter, with “Juno” and “Young Adult” under her belt, but taking on the role of writer and director may have been too far of a stretch. In her latest satire, “Paradise”, Cody’s paper thin veneer is almost hard to stomach at time, feeling less like a script written by an Oscar winner … Read More One Minute Review: Paradise (2013) [2.5]

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One Minute Review: Crazy Heart (2009) [4.5]

CRAZY HEART // “Crazy Heart” is a one of a kind drama, presenting Jeff Bridges in his best role to date as fading country star Bad Blake. Blake is an alcoholic, whose been married four times and is on the road again at the age of 57. Once a huge star in the country scene, he’s now playing tiny bars and bowling alleys while … Read More One Minute Review: Crazy Heart (2009) [4.5]

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One Minute Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) [4.5]

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY // Visually enthralling, grandiosely captivating, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” proves that fans are safe with Peter Jackson at the helm of Middle-earth. Martin Freeman is by far the most enjoyable portion of the film, with the look and charisma to deftly carry this latest Tolkien franchise, as lead Bilbo Baggins, while returning faces like Ian McKellen as Gandalf, … Read More One Minute Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) [4.5]

One Minute Review: Oldboy (2013) [3.5]

OLDBOY // Nowhere near the masterpiece that is Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy”, Spike Lee gives an admirable attempt at bringing the 2003 cult classic to life in American cinemas. Josh Brolin embodies the drunken misogynist, Joe Doucett that we eventually root for after he’s framed for his ex-wife’s murder and imprisoned by an unknown person for 20 years. However, his revenge rampage that follows is … Read More One Minute Review: Oldboy (2013) [3.5]

One Minute Review: Disney’s Frozen (2013) [3.5]

FROZEN // Entering the annals of the Disney collection, “Frozen” takes the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen” and gives it the classic Disney touch. Working in its favor are the strong female characters in Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) as they sing and dance their way through Elsa’s unwanted ability to freeze things. This was fine as she grew … Read More One Minute Review: Disney’s Frozen (2013) [3.5]

One Minute Review: The Canyons (2013) [3.5]

THE CANYONS // Not intellectual but ultra sexual, “The Canyons” takes a down-and-out Lindsay Lohan and delivers a novelty in the form of nudity and sensuality. Gone are the days of “Herbie Fully Loaded” and “Mean Girls”, Lohan has completely obliterated her former Disney charm and has set on a course of rehab and full on nude scenes. And from a very heterosexual man, … Read More One Minute Review: The Canyons (2013) [3.5]

One Minute Review: Great Expectations (2013) [4.0]

GREAT EXPECTATIONS // A truth must be faced when dealing with an age-old tale like “Great Expectations”, you cannot change Charles Dickens. No matter how much you want to make a current adaptation or a period piece that expands on the 1860’s novel, if you were to tamper with the material, you would face a backlash that you’d never escape. But with that comes … Read More One Minute Review: Great Expectations (2013) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Prince Avalanche (2013) [4.5]

PRINCE AVALANCHE // David Gordon Green’s return to form, “Prince Avalanche” sees Paul Rudd and Emilie Hirsch give some of the most dramatic and spot-on performances of their careers, as two men in the backwoods painting yellow dividing lines on an all but abandoned road. With Green’s patented mix of comedy and drama, to which they become one in the same, his latest film … Read More One Minute Review: Prince Avalanche (2013) [4.5]

One Minute Review: Nebraska (2013) [3.5]

NEBRASKA // Several questions occurred to me during “Nebraska” that both attribute to the positives of Alexander Payne’s vision and the negatives or shortcomings of the material. The first question, why black-and-white? Researching this, Rotten Tomatoes brought me to an interview with the cast, and their thoughts, with someone stating that Payne’s mother had replied “it would look stupid in color”. My thoughts were … Read More One Minute Review: Nebraska (2013) [3.5]

One Minute Review: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) [3.5]

WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE // Before the David Gordon Greens of the film industry were making the strong dramatic independent films of our current generation, there were film-makers like Lasse Hallström who directed “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” that delivers on the same level as those current flock of off-beat dramas. Featuring a much younger Johnny Depp, who had already turned in several iconic roles … Read More One Minute Review: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) [3.5]

One Minute Review: Elsewhere (2009) [2.5]

ELSEWHERE // As dismal as this film looks and sounds on the outside, “Elsewhere” really rises above it’s straight-to-DVD packaging and delivers a somewhat provocative and engaging thriller. Led by the gorgeous Anna Kendrick, her command of the character Sarah comes off very much like the turn Kristen Bell gives as Veronica Mars, using the assets around her to figure out the case, including … Read More One Minute Review: Elsewhere (2009) [2.5]

One Minute Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) [4.0]

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE // Embodying many of the same issues I had with the original, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” does take a step up from its predecessor and delivers plenty more suspense and a much better cast with much stronger performances. One key aspect to focus on is that Jennifer Lawrence now has an Academy Award between this and her previous … Read More One Minute Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Delivery Man (2013) [1.5]

DELIVERY MAN // Sadly, Vince Vaughn’s star is falling, or plummeting if you will. Once on top and in the spotlight of his comedic heyday, “Delivery Man” proves that he’s just not the comedic genius we once thought him to be. Now, most of this can be placed on the material, with the exact script from a French-Canadian release titled “Starbuck”, written and directed … Read More One Minute Review: Delivery Man (2013) [1.5]

One Minute Review: Kill Your Darlings (2013) [4.0]

KILL YOUR DARLINGS // The Beat Generation has always been fascinating to me, with the Allen Ginsbergs and Jack Kerouacs of the world, who can deny this revolution in poetry and self-expression. As the story of Kerouac becomes more and more publicized, I’ve gotten even more invested in his story and have begun to seek out his work. “Kill Your Darlings” takes a step … Read More One Minute Review: Kill Your Darlings (2013) [4.0]

One Minute Review: I Give It A Year (2013) [3.0]

I GIVE IT A YEAR // A British romantic comedy meets humor the likes of “The Office”, the phoned in “I Give It A Year” stars a welcoming cast with nothing to show for it. Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, and Simon Baker lead this strange rigamarole of a comedy, where Nat (Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) fall in love and get married, while Nat’s … Read More One Minute Review: I Give It A Year (2013) [3.0]

One Minute Review: Manic (2003) [4.0]

MANIC // Filled with breakthrough performances and an edge of emotion that never quits, “Manic” brings Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel into the world of independent cinema in a way never seen before. Gordon-Levitt’s anger infused Lyle is undeniable, to the point that one cannot take their eyes off of him. With each scene he grows and becomes more entertaining to watch. With Zooey … Read More One Minute Review: Manic (2003) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Bernie (2012) [3.0]

BERNIE // Mixing reality with fiction, “Bernie” takes the true story of Bernie Tiede, assistant funeral director in the small town of Carthage, Texas, and his love affair with the very much older Marjorie Nugent, whom he eventually shoots in the back and is taken to trial for, and brings in a comedic touch headed by Jack Black, who dominates this role. Likeable and … Read More One Minute Review: Bernie (2012) [3.0]

One Minute Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1984) [3.5]

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM // Immediately tossing the viewer into the harrowing world of Indiana Jones, “The Temple Of Doom” is a literal roller coaster ride of action and adventure, highlighting the characteristics and mannerisms that audiences loved in the original film. From the opening sequence of an antidote vial being kicked around to a car chase to escaping a pilot-less … Read More One Minute Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1984) [3.5]

One Minute Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998) [5.0]

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN // Easily one of the best war films of all time, Steven Spielberg brings to the screen a representation of WWII’s D-day that overwhelms and captivates in the most emotional, realistic, and unforgettable 24-minute opening sequence that blows you away while opening your eyes to the loss of war. “Saving Private Ryan” brings an all-star cast to the screen, led by … Read More One Minute Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998) [5.0]

One Minute Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013) [4.5]

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB // “Dallas Buyers Club” is a transformation for all those involved. The only film of director Jean-Marc Vallée that I’ve seen is “The Young Victoria”, which garnered minimal Oscar attention a few years ago, and to which I enjoyed, but his latest endeavor is so much deeper and rich and a passion for this story breathes from the writing and the … Read More One Minute Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013) [4.5]

One Minute Review: Taken 2 (2012) [3.5]

TAKEN 2 // Just as decent an action film as the first installment, “Taken 2” finds an interesting way to follow-up the original plot and keep the story fresh and exciting. Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, as he sets off for work in Istanbul. Reconnecting with his daughter (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife (Famke Janssen), they again find themselves in an exotic location only … Read More One Minute Review: Taken 2 (2012) [3.5]

One Minute Review: About Time (2013) [4.0]

ABOUT TIME // For lack of a better term, “About Time” is simply sweet. Simple and sweet. And whether you accept this or not determines your feelings toward this film. Its simplicity comes from being a film about time travel that never explains the back story, but simply defines its premise and locks in from the start. The audience is never quite sure what … Read More One Minute Review: About Time (2013) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Girl Most Likely (2013) [2.5]

GIRL MOST LIKELY // Much in the same vein as “Orange County”, where a writer embraces his wacky family and finds true inspiration, “Girl Most Likely” handles the same subject matter. Imogene (Kristen Wiig), a former playwright, is living the stylish life as a debutant in New York City, on the brink of marriage with a Dutch man. But when he leaves her with … Read More One Minute Review: Girl Most Likely (2013) [2.5]

One Minute Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013) [4.0]

THOR: THE DARK WORLD // Progressing along wonderfully is the Marvel Universe with its latest success for “The Avengers” in “Thor: The Dark World”. Building perfectly off the previous films and adding an entirely new level of character development, the sequel delivers in all the right ways, bringing fantasy, action, and comedy together in a gorgeous kaleidoscope. Chris Hemsworth returns triumphantly as Thor, much … Read More One Minute Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013) [4.5]

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR // Brimming with raw emotion, the winner of this year’s Palme D’Or, “Blue Is The Warmest Color”, takes the viewer inside a living, breathing relationship between young Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and an older, artistic spirit, Emma (Léa Seydoux). With strong tones in discovering one’s sexuality and the great human connection, this is a sexual coming of age film, where … Read More One Minute Review: Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013) [4.5]

One Minute Review: Ender’s Game (2013) [3.5]

ENDER’S GAME // This review may act as a spoiler, so stop reading now if you wish to be completely surprised. Occasionally in working for the industry and passionately partaking in the marketing for feature films, there comes causalities like “Ender’s Game”, which completely telegraph their ending. Ask anyone who actively avoids trailers and they’ll tell you that they give away too much of … Read More One Minute Review: Ender’s Game (2013) [3.5]

One Minute Review: All Is Lost (2013) [4.0]

ALL IS LOST // Starring only Robert Redford, “All Is Lost” wastes no time settling the viewer into the lost at sea adventure that awaits. As Redford tackles a hole in his boat, giant waves from unbearable storms, and the loneliness that comes from be stranded by one’s self, director J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) explores the human psyche and the ever shifting breaking point … Read More One Minute Review: All Is Lost (2013) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Midnight Cowboy (1969) [4.0]

MIDNIGHT COWBOY // The star of “Midnight Cowboy” may be Jon Voight, but the one that steals the show is Dustin Hoffman as Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo, who delivers one of the strongest character performances of his career. Voight is brilliant as the pie-eyed small-town cowboy moving to the big city to be a hustler, but without the rich and dark turn from Hoffman, this … Read More One Minute Review: Midnight Cowboy (1969) [4.0]

One Minute Review: Days Of Thunder (1990) [3.5]

DAYS OF THUNDER // Capitalizing off the success of “Top Gun”, director Tony Scott and actor Tom Cruise reunite to bring about another strong drama, trading Naval aviators in for stock car racers, in “Days Of Thunder”. Cruise plays Cole Trickle, a nobody racer without a sponsor brought in by Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) to get them into the business of racing. The real … Read More One Minute Review: Days Of Thunder (1990) [3.5]

One Minute Review: Elektra Luxx (2010) [1.5]

ELEKTRA LUXX // “Elektra Luxx” is a mess of a film, never landing on comedy or drama, bordering the line between legitimate and pseudo-pornography, the only thing saving the film is an enormous cast that is almost more enjoyable to watch than to listen or engage. The gorgeous Carla Gugino plays the pregnant pornstar of the film to which we basically just follow her … Read More One Minute Review: Elektra Luxx (2010) [1.5]

One Minute Review: Fifty Dead Men Walking (2009) [2.5]

FIFTY DEAD MEN WALKING // Delving into a true life story of an IRA infiltration, “Fifty Dead Men Walking” is well acted and mostly engaging, but does little to differentiate itself from any of the film’s in its genre. Unless this subject matter thoroughly interests you or unless you’re die hard fans of Jim Sturgess or Ben Kingsley, chances are this film will be … Read More One Minute Review: Fifty Dead Men Walking (2009) [2.5]

One Minute Review: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa (2013) [2.0]

JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA // “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” succeeds at recreating the real people, real reaction skits that we know and love from the “Jackass” series, posing Johnny Knoxville as his 86 year-old alter ego, Irving Zisman. All would have been well had the film just been skits and even some behind the footage in between these moments. Instead, the creators decided to … Read More One Minute Review: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa (2013) [2.0]

One Minute Review: Grown Ups 2 (2013) [1.0]

GROWN UPS 2 // With zero laughs and more bewilderment than anything, “Grown Ups 2” squanders the first film’s good fortune and makes it absolutely dreadful. Adam Sandler brings back the group of friends from the first film, including Chris Rock, David Spade, and Kevin James, as Sandler’s character Lenny has moved his family back to his hometown. It’s this setting that brings Shaq, … Read More One Minute Review: Grown Ups 2 (2013) [1.0]

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One Minute Review: The Counselor (2013)

Release Date October 25, 2013 Director Ridley Scott Screenplay Gary Whitta Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $80 million Action, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated R for brutal violence and language 117 minutes The Counselor Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy team up to deliver “The Counselor”, one of the most underrated ensemble dramas of the year. McCarthy, an 80 year old Pultizer Prize winning author … Read More One Minute Review: The Counselor (2013)