Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Hail, Caesar (2016)
Half Nelson (2006)
Hall Pass (2011)
Is it bad when a film is overshadowed by its soundtrack? The answer is yes, yes it is bad. Hall Pass falls into the category of tired and beaten to death. It could have been a really fun and hilarious film, but it was boring and forgettable. Take a film like The Hangover, take out all the fun and excitement, and pretend that the boys just go to a Las Vegas Applebees for their exciting weekend, and you have Hall Pass.
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)
Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989)
When I saw the trailer for this film, I truly thought I had seen the entire film. So skeptical upon going in, the middle of the film did not disappoint. The final minutes of the film are by far the best part of the film and had the entire film been of the same intensity I would have enjoyed this film much much more.
The Hangover (2009)
Went into the film with low expectations and was blown away by how well they accomplished what they set out to in making this film. Absolutely hysterical. So glad that comedies can still be made well enough to be one of my favorite movies.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
Compared to the first installment, Hangover Part II drops the ball. The characters and plot structure are still there, but the night’s events lack any sort of “wow” factor or time-crunch. Every step of the original journey felt cinematic and unique, whether the wolfpack was getting tazed by revengeful cops, getting attacked by naked Ken Jeong, or transporting Mike Tyson’s tiger. Part II lacks any sort of impact and each new discovery feels lackluster and glazed over. Though there are laughs, nothing pushes to the level of tears produced by the original.
Laced with incredible acting from Saoirse Ronan, a personal growing favorite in the young actress pool, and a stellar soundtrack from The Chemical Brothers, Hanna fits nicely between my original expectations and the hype it received from fellow critics. Ronan rocks this part, bringing to life a character beyond her years. The stylistic visuals throughout the entire film are hit or miss, but drive home the uniqueness of the film.
Hannibal Rising (2007)
Thank God this wasn’t the first hannibal movie that came out, otherwise I wouldn’t have stuck around for the others. Gaspard is an extremely awesome bad guy, but I’m afraid that’s all it’s good for. Yay! for getting an audience to cheer for a demented hero. Gotta love movies that do that. Overall, not the best, but great as a small piece to a bigger puzzle. If all the Hannibal movies were one movie, it would be bumped up a few stars for me.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
While partaking in “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” I had a few revelations. For starters, there are not enough R rated fantasy films being made. As tawdry as this film could sometimes come off, there was enough blood, nudity, and violence to satisfy in the most menial but effective ways. Also, the use of actuals for the creature the Troll was a nice addition and proves that actual effects still outweigh CGI in quality. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are beyond talented, which helps keep this fantasy film from falling off the deep end. Arterton is as gorgeous as always, nabbing the spotlight in all of her scenes, while Renner keeps his role grounded and commands most of his fast-paced action sequences. Allowing the film some self-awareness, with characters often speaking for the audience (“you’ve got to be f***ing kidding me”), keeps this film from becoming too serious. And an intense score from Hans Zimmer gives the film some class. Obviously this is a film about a fairytale, but to completely spin it into a killer, adult-oriented action film, and do so effectively was quite the risk and to me it pays off. And at a run-time of 88 minutes, who can complain with an action film that picks up and never lets go?
The Happening (2008)
Happy Christmas (2014)
Happy Gilmore (1996)
In Josh Radnor’s directorial debut, “HappyThankYouMorePlease” is a subtle drama about a writer taking in a young, African American boy left on the subway. The film never quite digs as deep as we hope, floundering with three love stories, when it should stick to one, yet it delivers Radnor in a new role, hopefully opening up roles outside of “How I Met Your Mother”, even if the persona of Ted Moseby is engrained in his image. Kate Mara is stunning, as the high point of the film, begging the question of why her career hasn’t entirely taken off yet. Zoe Kazan also delivers an endearing performance. Radnor’s writing and directing may not have reached its peak with this film, but it screams independent film in the best of ways, hitting its mark without slapping us with romanticism.
Hard Candy (2006)
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
There’s not enough going on in this stoner comedy to push it over anything but average for my liking. Kal Penn and John Cho handle these roles well and without them (Penn in particular), this marijuana-induced film would be far less enjoyable.
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)
Fairly predictable, this sequel is less humorous and less attention-grabbing than the original, yet is still ridiculous enough to be somewhat entertaining. Neil Patrick Harris is by far the funniest part of the film and adds a sophisticated humor that the rest of the film lacks. Rob Corddry adds absolutely zero personality to this film and if I didn’t like John Cho and Kal Penn so much, this film would be much harder to enjoy.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Not quite living up to the image I created from the book, Sorcerer’s Stone falls into the much-too-kiddie side of the story, not capturing nearly enough of the urgency or sinister nature that the book tends to express. This film does however masterfully bring to life many of the key moments of the book and assembles an absolutely perfect cast.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Still very childish and much like the first installment, the only part of the Chamber of Secrets that rings true to the tone of the book is the sequence in the chamber. The rest comes off far too much like a fairy tale for kids, which is arguably what they are, but only to a certain degree. The only character I feel stays consistent is Snape (Alan Rickman) whose wild card aura and menacing glare make him the perfect reflection of his novelized character. Ultimately, this film does not do its book justice and continues the childish nature that the cinematic saga started out on.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Sadly, one of my favorite books of the series becomes one of my least favorite of the films. Contrary to the popular vote, this film simply skips too much of the book’s story lines and is more or less a poor excuse for a grab bag of plots. Why they made these films look and feel like that Lemony Snickets film I will never know, but once again, it comes off kiddie instead of sinister and exhilarating. Gary Oldman is a perfect addition as Sirius Black and David Thewlis works great as the newest Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, but as perfect as the casting gets, these films just do not feel right.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
The last thirty minutes of Goblet of Fire are what the entire series should be. Finally, the true darkness of the stories reaches the films. The rest of the film is pretty much in line with the previous three, though the subject matter gets heavier, there are still too many hints of the childish nature that plagues the original trilogy.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
By far the best film of the first five, finally a director handles the subject matter with a more adult approach, with the type of ferocity and fatality that this series deserves. The death-eaters and Voldemort carry a sinister nature that is not reached by any other villains from any of the films. The character arcs come together nicely (besides Cho’s) and the end fight scenes finally reach the epicness that I have been waiting for the entire film series. Thankfully, these films only continue to get better.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Half Blood Prince takes Potter to the next level, with the best graphics yet, more adult themes, and enough fight scenes to rival an action film. This book was one of my favorites and Yates handles the subject matter far superior to his predecessors. One could hardly ask for a better prelude to the grand finale.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
The series continues to get better as the finale looms nearer. There is such a style to this film, with the hunt for horcruxes driving the film. Though Potter’s venture through the woods drags extensive, the payoff is well worth the overabundance. Yates definitely has an eye for action sequences and the chase through the woods evading the snatchers steals the show. Also, the ending is a perfect resting point-slash-segue for the final film. One has to commend Yates for creating a two and a half hour film that does not feel anywhere near that.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
By far the best film of the series, with stunning action sequences and heart wrenching emotional peaks and valleys. The gang and their endeavors come full circle and even for the avid Harry Potter reader, the writers and director find ways to enhance the viewing experience for those that already know what transpires. Though the ending comes off a bit stale and anti-climatic, the rest of the film holds enough weight to let it slide. A perfect balance of humor and maturity is reached, which has been my biggest complaint pertaining to this series. A final props has to be given to casting for a) assembling one of the most striking ensemble casts in cinematic history and b) keeping the entire cast consistent throughout the entire series (besides the role of Dumbledore, which was devastatingly unavoidable). Severus Snape, who is the deepest and most memorable character from the series is handled with the prestige that he deserves and it saddens me to see Alan Rickman lay this role to rest. Despite my lack of affinity for the first four films, as a whole, this body of work ranks high in the annals of film franchise history, and for once it will reflect in the box office as well.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
The Haunting (1999)
Haywire is an artist’s action film. First of all, props must be given to Soderbergh for finding Gina Carano. Her performance is enhanced, not only by her exquisite look, but her ability to fight and to sell it. Now, name the last action film that employed the use of silence during its big fight sequences. You would imagine Carano and Fassbender’s hotel punch-fest to be conducted by some sort of loud, rock-em-sock-em music, but instead, Soderbergh chooses to let the audience endure the fight, with the crashing and smashing providing enough score to be entertained. The fight sequences alone are far superior to the normal Hollywood blockbuster. You can tell that the actors are apart of the action and not being replaced by stunt-doubles, which happens all too often. Instead, you get takes where the actors will do a tumble and in that same take, we are allowed to see the faces, assuring us that these actors are willing to go through the trouble so that we can get shots like that. The cast is stacked, and they all work wonderfully, especially Ewan McGregor, who gets a villainous role for once. Though I feel there were several good ending points in the film, where it does end it quite satisfactory.
Heartbreaker (L’Arnacoeur) (2010)
Easily described, “Heartbreaker” is the reverse plot of the film “Hitch” with Will Smith. Romain Duris is the master at breaking up relationships by becoming irresistible to the ladies. Of course, it backfires when he falls in love. Duris has the same charm as Smith and really carries some truly funny and endearing moments throughout the film. It is very easy to enjoy this foreign film and all of its characters.
The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
Pretty funny for the most part. Normal Ben Stiller movie but the funny parts are hilarious! I hate Carlos Mencia but I loved him in this movie. Nice to see Rob Corddry acting debut of sorts. He was probably the funniest character in the movie. Nice ending too. Different than what I thought it would be. Check out the bonus footage at the end.
Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (short) (2016)
Hell And Back Again (2011)
Much like Restrepo of 2010, Hell And Back Again gives a glimpse into the life of a soldier, both during active duty and through recovery of injury and post-traumatic stress. With some bloody imagery, including the witness to the aftermath of a graphic fatality, this is, for better or worse, an unforgettable film.
For having a world of potential, Hellboy is rather average and not because the elements weren’t there, but because there was too much bringing the film down. Rupert Evans and Selma Blair are amongst my list of lower level actors. To be matched with Ron Perlman and the role that feels tailored to him, to then instill a cast of bad acting, it tremendously takes away from the film. I wanted more sinister and depth and less hokey love story and lighthearted comic book adaptation.
Hell Or High Water (2016)
The Help (2011)
With superb acting across the board, The Help is one of the best surprise films yet this year. The depth of the script carries this film from regular drama to extraordinary storytelling. Emma Stone nails the film down with her presence, but is out shined by Viola Davis, who completely impresses, Bryce Dallas Howard, who delivers the best villainous performance that I have seen in quite some time, and Jessica Chastain, who won me over and became my favorite portions of the film.
Hemingway’s Garden of Eden (2010)
Consider me in the minority, but I actually really enjoyed this film. The acting fits better than I had originally thought and it works on the perfect period piece level of looking and feeling out of this century.
Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
“Here” embodies its subject by delivering breathtaking scenery as a backdrop for passion in the unlikeliest of places. Ben Foster takes a step away from his Hollywood films and proves why he will stand the test of time as an actor, with a subtle and powerful performance as a lowly land surveyor traveling the roads of Armenia. Here (no punned intended), he crosses paths with a photographer, Gadarine (Lubna Azabal). Azabal is a talented and attractive Belgian actress who easily becomes the object of affection with her ability to look gorgeous even when angry or sad. Foster and Azabal’s chemistry is undeniable, delivering the perfect antiquated love story, with emotions bubbling over, even through the heartfelt conclusion. The real star of the film, however, is the cinematography, which displays both a wide view of beautiful landscapes and a close and intimate view of the two lovers, traveling the countryside. “Here” is a labor of love, and in the process, produces something original and fresh, all while striking the same similar chords that we’re accustomed to in a dramatic love story such as this.”.
The film was better than I anticipated, but was far too much of a dry drama for my liking. Had they cut the “hereafter” visions, the film would have been much more interesting, forcing an audience to question whether Matt Damon’s character actually had a gift or whether he was a very good fraud like the others. Instead, the film is cut and dry, with more emphasis on the dry.
Here Comes The Boom (2012)
A film lacking a distinct genre, “Here Comes the Boom” tries to be a heartfelt comedy, but more-or-less comes off like a goofy ploy to get UFC into a widely released film. While Kevin James looks and acts the part, it is hard to get behind any character in the film due to the ridiculous nature of the plot; a teacher becomes a UFC fighter to raise money for his school’s art programs. Though the film does achieve several heart-warming moments, that doesn’t change the fact that the rest of the film is filled in with lame, half-cocked ideas that hardly belong on the big screen (i.e. grown men getting hit in the head with yoga balls, food fights in Vegas, and public vomiting).
Here Comes The Devil (2013)
Here On Earth (2000)
In the annals of romantic drama films, “Here on Earth” is a slightly watered down, mildly acting-challenged film. I do enjoy Chris Klein, Josh Hartnett, and Leelee Sobieski in their parts, but they just do not come off as sincere and noteworthy than say Shane West and Mandy Moore, or Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The ending is a bit laughable (a knee injury that becomes life threatening), but overall, I believe people get out of the film what they need. Where is Nicholas Sparks when you need him?
Heroin(e) (short) (2017)
Hesher was everything I wanted it to be and more. The humor is rich, the emotions run deep, and there is always something going on that entertains. Gordon-Levitt and Portman play roles far outside their normal ranges and they prove just how stunning they both can be. The film gets out of hand at times and their is very little back story apart from the mother and the car accident, but the film still works on a much higher level than expected.
Hick has a lot to prove and, for the most part, holds up just fine. Chloe Moretz plays leading lady and at only fifteen years old, that can be a daunting task, especially in a mature subject matter such as this. Moretz proves once again that she’s the best actress her age and often shoulders the entire film. Eddie Redmayne plays the villain, who often tiptoes the line between love and hate throughout the film’s duration. Blake Lively and the rest of the cast fall off the deep end, coming off fake and overdone. But with strong lead performances, Hick takes on a life of its own and sets itself apart from it independent peers.
Hidden Figures (2016)
The High Cost Of Living (2011)
Though the baseline of the plot has been done before, the raw nature of the film as well as the performances from Zach Braff and Isabella Blais make the film very enjoyable. The film could have done without the attempt at a love story, as it came off a tad awkward. If you enjoyed “Rabbit Hole” last year, “The High Cost of Living” is comparable, though with less budget and filled with up-and-comers.
High Tension (2005)
Following in line with the gruesome torture films of Hostel, High Tension holds true to its name until the bizarre and unwarranted twist at the end that negatively effects the view of the film as a whole.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)
Who’s glad they didn’t pay 6 to 8 dollars to see this one in the theaters? This guy. Pretty much sucked. Let’s have 15 characters and KILL THEM ALL. It wasn’t even funny. The best part of this movie was the movie poster.
A History Of Violence (2005)
Hit & Run (2012)
Dax Shepherd’s passion shows through in his pet project “Hit & Run”, in which he writes, directs, and acts, alongside his lovely wife, Kristen Bell. An almost perfect blend of comedy mixed with action, the humor is well-paced and laugh-out-loud while the car chase scenes are a sight to behold. Heading into the film with somewhat low expectations, I enjoyed almost every second of this film. Released by a major distributor (Open Road Films), Shepherd’s film has more of a look and feel of a heartfelt Indie.
Without Will Smith to make this part believable, Hitch would have no draw. Fitting into the same-old romantic comedy storyline, much like that of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, the ladies’ man who falls in love routine is completely overkill. Having only slight moments of sophistication, what’s missing from Hitch is the ability to re-invent this played out genre which Smith could easily pull off given the right amount of attention and re-working of the script. With a drawn out ending that resembles a fish floundering on land, this film fails to reach any level besides mediocre, at best.
“Hitchcock” works splendidly, mainly due to the principle cast that makes it so. Anthony Hopkins immerses into the role of Hitchcock, while Helen Mirren creates her own depiction of the great woman behind the man. The biggest surprise for me was a knock-out performance by Scarlett Johansson, as leading lady Janet Leigh, which will not go unnoticed. However, this comedic-drama exists only for the sake of reminiscing about the man we all consider a cinematic genius, Alfred Hitchcock, as the film holds little merit besides taking us on a cinematic journey through what the production of “Psycho” might have been like. And may I emphasize the phrase “might have been” as this film rarely feels authentic or truthful in almost any regard, especially with the odd choice to make Ed Gein a psychological mentor to Hitchcock throughout the film. I wholeheartedly enjoy Hitchcock and his personality and antics, on pure face value, I would have taken any film depicting his life, especially a film with so many well cast performances, but ultimately, there will be future Hitchcock films that will reward light years ahead of this one, containing more heart and more historical merit.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Not the greatest film. Book was far better but that goes without saying. The depressed robot and the sighing doors are my favorite.
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014)
Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)
Painfully funny, Hobo With A Shotgun is gory and ridiculous, but absolutely worth it.
Hollow Man (2000)
“Hollow Man” is a simple yet interesting take on the average horror film, led perfectly by Kevin Bacon as the scientist turned madman after being altered into invisibility. Begging all the right questions, the film takes all the turns you’d hope it would, never being afraid of embracing its ‘R’ rating. Elisabeth Shue is gorgeous and strong-willed enough to step up to the invisible homicidal manic and Josh Brolin proves to hold his own. Despite its multiple ending marathon of close calls and just-one-more-fight mentality, Verhoeven proves he has what it takes to dabble in the horror genre.
Holy Motors (2012)
Apart from its extreme surrealist nature, “Holy Motors” is an unexpected, visual masterpiece with a strong sense of voice carried wholly by avant-garde director, Leos Carax. Creatively presented like several short films starring the same lead actor, the film’s loose narrative follows the “appointments” of actor Monsieur Oscar. Often humorous, more often baffling, “Holy Motors” simply has to be seen to be believed, crossing a new line in the surrealism movement.
Home Again (2017)
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Hope Springs (2012)
As much as I love Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, seeing them get intimate is not on my bucket list. Streep effectively plays the victim of a regular woman in a stand-still marriage and Jones, the grumpy husband who is content with his humdrum life, but the leads get sucked into their stereotypical roles and are never released. Topped off with a creepy performance by Steve Carrell as their therapist, the entire film is far too emotionally draining to develop any real sort of emotion. Though I can definitely see the Foreign Press eating this film up during Golden Globes season, I do not see any Oscar nominations coming from this film in the slightest.
Horrible Bosses (2011)
The best part of Horrible Bosses is the cast, especially Charlie Day, whose comedic style comes off much like I feel a modern-day Charlie Chaplin would be portrayed (coincidentally, Day was even dressed like Chaplin in Going The Distance with Jason Sudeikis). There are several funny moments, but the film does not quite carry the laughs I had anticipated from the hilarious trailer. Being used to recent comedies like The Hangover and Scott Pilgrim, I set a standard for comedies to contain tons of story and tons of laughs, and Horrible Bosses really just touches on what the trailer already provided. The pairing of this cast, both the men and their bosses was excellent, but the execution could have been much funnier.
The Hot Chick (2002)
Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)
Hot Rod (2007)
Hilarious! Pretty much the next Napoleon Dynamite except much much funnier. Cute lead girl, awesome stunts, and perfect quotable lines all throughout the movie. See it and see if you can get through it without laughing.
The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)
I actually truly enjoyed this film. Once Christine Lakin turned into the woman she was meant to be, I wanted to see her more. I’m really surprised she hasn’t been in anything else. Paris Hilton wasn’t bad in her part either. Even though she didn’t really have to act, she still did an awesome job of playing herself. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing her in a bikini in movies more often. Otherwise, the story worked for me and wasn’t the “happy” ending you expect. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed a Paris Hilton film. Craziness.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)
House at the End of the Street (2012)
On paper, this sounds like your run-of-the-mill thriller, but “House at the End of the Street” works quite wonderfully, made possible, mostly by Jennifer Lawrence adding a touch of sophistication to the entire film. Packing its punchy thrills with the style you expect from a good horror film while keeping its secrets well preserved, lands this film on the plus side. However, it loses points with its blatant explanations, taking most the guesswork out of the twisted situations. Rarely taking the easy horror gimmicks, “House at the End of the Street” leaves the audience with some fresh ideas to keep them thinking about the story, even after the thoughtful credits.
The House Bunny (2008)
House Of Wax (2005)
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Without the stellar cast, this film would probably fall into the straight-to-DVD bin, but with Geoffrey Rush at the helm and Ali Larter, Taye Diggs, Chris Kattan, and Peter Gallagher filling out the cast, the film comes off much higher budget than it actually is. The jittery spirits and gory violence help add an unease to the film that makes this film a favorite.
How Do You Know (2010)
“How Do You Know” really wasn’t that bad of a film. Reese Witherspoon, though kind of a generic character, holds the film together by sheer beauty. Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson can do no wrong which always helps, and add just enough quirk to make this film at least average on the overall scale of romantic comedies. Just in general, the cinematography of this film is above average for the genre. Go in not expecting much and you might actually enjoy it.
How I Live Now (2013)
Soulful and poetic, “Howl” becomes exactly what it portrays; art. With several different mediums interwoven into a story of a poet before him time, James Franco leads a cast of greats through a strong and insightful true story.
How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Great voice acting, stunning visuals (even without the 3d gimmick), and overall just a great family film. Definitely takes you through the full range of emotions and succeeds in once again getting you to root for the underdog.
Marketed as more of a children’s film, Hugo steps outside of itself and becomes more about film preservation and the history of film rather than a child’s jaunt through a train station. With some above average cinematography and visual effects, Hugo becomes a highly enjoyable story with some great values.
A Hulk film without much Hulk. Not as bad as I remember, but the attempt at comic book graphics is detrimental to the style of the film. However, if Jennifer Connolly could have taken her role to The Incredible Hulk, that film would have been almost perfect. The same cannot be said for Eric Bana.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
The Hunted (2003)
The Hunting Ground (2015)
The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)
The Hurt Locker (2009)
Deservedly cleaning up at the Oscars, The Hurt Locker takes a look at war that we usually do not get. Instead of being in the heat of battle, we get to see the men that seek and disarm IEDs (bombs). Jeremy Renner gives a perfect performance and director Kathryn Bigelow creates a shifty world of war where no one is to be trusted.
“Hysteria” has several entertaining and humorous moments, as any period piece about the invention of the vibrator would surely have, but where the film fails in the constant overshadowing of the talented supporting cast, over the leading stars. Not to say Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal do not carry themselves respectably, but with Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett radiating the most humorous and thoughtful portions of the film, it is hard to justify the casting choices of the leads. The most memorable parts of the film involve Everett on his telephone. Instead of forcing the eventual couple of Dancy and Gyllenhaal, I much more leaned towards Everett and Gyllenhaal shacking up and Dancy ending up with Jones, but instead, we are force fed this strange coupling, where no one really wins. “Hysteria” marks one of the most sexual period pieces I have yet encountered (apart from the film “Garden Of Eden”), and ends up being quite enjoyable.