Machine Gun Preacher (2011)
Had Machine Gun Preacher not been based on a true story, I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. The evidence during the credits that this indeed was a true story made the film for me. Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, and Michael Shannon were the perfect cast for this film, though the writing often fell through the cracks. The emotion of the entire situation was handled poorly with only one really memorable moment when Monaghan tells Butler to keep pushing for the church in Sudan. Though the film takes some awful turns into melodrama, the true story aspect of the film is enough to keep the story interesting.
Machinist, The (2004)
Madame Bovary (2015)
Madeline’s Madeline (2018)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Magnificent Seven, The (2016)
Majestic, The (2001)
A near perfect period piece, with solid, emotional performances from all involved, especially Jim Carrey, delivering one of the best serious roles of his career, next to “the Truman Show”. Along with Laurie Holden, who is the perfect embodiment of beauty in the 1950’s, proves she deserves to be in many more starring roles. “The Majestic” treats you to several different story lines, all with wonderfully crafted arcs and characters who ask almost every question that could come to mind. The plot progression happens naturally and key moments occur exactly when they should. Had this film been more of a commercial or critical success, it could have easily (and still could) become a classic, but for now will remain a strong contender in my list of favorite films.
A sexy and fun foreign coming-of-age story about one boy’s obsession and a town and its rumors. Malena is both painstakingly beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, delivering a love story with a punch. Monica Bellucci embodies the character and ultimately makes this film work as well as it does.
For the most part, Guillermo del Toro and his team get it right with “Mama”, creating a truly unique and classic-tinged horror film. Centered around two feral young girls who are found in the wilderness and taken in by their uncle, the eeriness about the children in their new living situation along with a woman (Jessica Chastain) who is definitely not ready for children, is horrific enough to keep the film fresh and endearing. Whether the girls are crawling around in the dark, singing in the middle of the night, or smiling evilly into a corner, the kids sell this film to its utmost potential, while Chastain basically holds on for dear life, reacting with painful ease through the twists and turns of the plot. What then kills that potential is the need to give Mama a face. At first, we are allowed to imagine what Mama could be, as one of the girls plays blanket tug-o-war with an unknown entity. Out of focus and creeping in the nether regions of the frame, Mama is terrifying. But as soon as she’s given a face to which we see constantly, it refrains from being scary. The screenplay gets so convoluted that by the end of the film, you are shaking your head and wondering where the formidable horror film ran off to.
Man Called Ove, A (2016)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Man on a Ledge (2012)
Man On A Ledge has a good enough cast, with Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, and Jamie Bell delivering the film’s only real potential, but the action and performances are weak, the plot is methodical, and there is nothing gripping about the film, which is void of any real ambitiousness.
Man on Fire (2004)
Man with the Golden Gun, The (007) (1974)
Despite not entirely enjoying Roger Moore as James Bond, Christopher Lee as the man with the golden gun, Scaramanga, is perfectly cast and he nails the role wonderfully, as does his counterpart Nick Nack, played by future Fantasy Island star Herve Villechaize. Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) is yet another knock-out Bond Girl and though most of her efforts are ill-conceived, she definitely pulls off looking gorgeous in a bikini. All in all, this is probably Roger Moore’s best showing in his stint as Bond.
Man With the Iron Fists, The (2012)
Props must be given to RZA for stepping up and delivering a giant punch in his directorial debut. Even without Quentin Tarantino’s endorsement, “The Man With the Iron Fists” translates similar to the essence of “Kill Bill”, with the loose, gravity-defying martial arts mixed in with a down-and-dirty style of bar fights and carnage. Uneven performances plague the film, as does a lack of foreign languages and subtitles, but with Russell Crowe adding a sense of sophistication, Lucy Liu providing a strong female lead, and RZA anchoring the score down, including an excellent original song with The Black Keys, “Iron Fists” is just strong enough to be enjoyable, while landing just short of something original.
Maps to the Stars (2015)
Marc Maron: Too Real (2017)
Margin Call (2011)
A truly sobering piece of film-making, the ensemble cast sells this film far better than I expected. Paul Bettany steals the show, which says a lot surrounded by the likes of Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, and Demi Moore. The dialogue is superb in staying true to the subject matter yet avoiding alienation. The characters are brash and quick-witted, and come off authentic and completely believable. J.C. Chandor proves he has a long career ahead of him as this was only his first feature film.
Marguerite (short) (2018)
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Rent it. Gotta love real old school looking movies with big hair and big dresses. Dunst is an awesome actress, enough said.
Marine, The (2006)
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Elizabeth Olsen proves to be superb in her first outing, bringing a naive and down-to-earth tone to her entire performance and the film as a whole. The film comes off eerie, filled with plenty of paranoia and well placed flashbacks. John Hawkes steals the show with his creepy yet stable performance as the leader of the commune/cult. Martha Marcy May Marlene spans so many genres, it is hard to pinpoint the one best suited to describe this horror/drama/coming of age/thriller.
Martian, The (2015)
Martian Child (2007)
Loved this movie. It’s cute and really heartfelt. John Cusack rocks. Stuck to the main story instead of veering off. This kid can act!
Mary Poppins (1964)
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Mary Queen Of Scots (2018)
Mask, The (1994)
Master, The (2012)
Paul Thomas Anderson has a way of telling a story that both challenges and entertains its audience in the most unique and interesting ways. Not to mention Anderson’s ability to extract exquisite performances from his leads. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers what could be his best and most convincing performance to-date while Joaquin Phoenix matches him in complete insanity. At briskly over two hours, the relationship between the two men could carry on much longer, with a constantly changing dynamic, in new and exciting ways. Although the supporting cast often gets lost in the shuffle, there is little need for them, besides backdrops for the unyielding lead performances. There are several key moments of the film, including a powerful, audio-recorded session between Hoffman and Phoenix, that highlight the essence of “The Master” and will live on beyond the viewing of the film. I feel many will take this at face value and regard it as a social piece aimed at Scientology, but this subject matter is merely a vessel to transport this story worth telling. As much buzz as this film has gotten, it will definitely be a contender come awards season, with performances, directing, and cinematography at the top of its game.
Matrix, The (1999)
One of the most original concepts in the recent history of film, Keanu Reeves, along with the entire cast, turn their careers around in an instant game changer. The graphics are state-of-the-art and the fight scenes are top-of-the-line.
Matrix Reloaded, The (2003)
Despite the criticism, Matrix Reloaded is a worthy sequel. The fight sequences match the first film nicely and the story expands just enough to hook you into the last one.
Matrix Revolutions, The (2003)
As a whole, The Matrix Revolutions ties up the trilogy nicely. On its own, however, the film lacks compared to the earlier additions. The biggest reason stems from lack of the actual “matrix”. The begin and end of the film contain small portions of the “matrix” but otherwise the entire film is set in the “real world”. The complexity of the surrounding problems are too easily solved and the ending is rather light for delving into such an intricate plot for three films. The fight scenes are great as always, though best to stick to the ground. The graphics are amazing and the end scenes in the rain with the epic battle restores the film to its previous grandeur. Overall, a great film that ties off splendidly.
Maze Runner, The (2014)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Me and My Moulton (short) (2014)
Mean Girls (2004)
Me Before You (2016)
Mechanic, The (2011)
One of Statham’s best action ventures yet, Ben Foster is able to hold his own against the gun wielding, killing machine that is Jason Statham. The man has really honed his own niche in the industry and “The Mechanic”, though lacking in creativty or a proper story arc, is entertaining as hell.
Meek’s Cutoff (2011)
More like stepping into an actual Oregon Trail expedition rather than watching a compelling film about one, this film grows tiresome and bleak. Most of the film has the viewer follow along as a family travels behind a mountain man named Meek who guarantees them safe passage through the mountains. None of the performances warrant any attention and when the film isn’t leaving you in silence in the POV of the women as the men deliberate or forcing you to watch as one of the wagons takes a long, arduous fall down a mountain side, it is boring you with long walks that mediocre cinematography cannot even save.
Meet the Fockers (2004)
Though Meet the Fockers had more laughs than the original, I feel as though Meet the Parents was an overall more memorable film.
Meet the Parents (2000)
Watching Meet the Parents is like watching someone beat a dead horse. It stays down and shit just keeps on happening to it. Stiller practically invented the modern age underdog ‘beatdown’ stories and he works them perfectly. It is just hard to follow an improbable series of events such as these. I don’t care who you are, this level of your life sucking just does not occur. De Niro plays his role perfectly, and in comedic history, this film will stand the test of time, I am just not a huge fan.
“Megamind” did not overly thrill me. Perhaps it was the voice acting or the average storyline, but the film did not do much for me. The animation was handled well but for the most part I could not get into the film. I love Will Ferrell but his jokes were watered down and, unlike most animated films these days, this film felt more for the kiddies than for both kids and adults.
I just watched this again in my time and lit. class. I remember the first time I watched it, I was so confused, but after a few times of watching it and this time of talking about it with others, I finally have a grasp on it. Very creative work. I wish more films were as creative as this one.
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Men in Black (1997)
There’s something classic about the original Men In Black, bringing to life a whole world of secret agents and aliens. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith make up one of the best odd couples in the past few decades and with enough comedy and solid performances, Men In Black sets the bar high for the franchise.
Men in Black II (2002)
Somewhat lacking compared to its predecessor and basing itself off of the remnants of the original, Men In Black II is able to hold up by adding a sexy new alien and Rosario Dawson as a love interest to Will Smith. The Tommy Lee Jones/Will Smith dynamic still works, and this sequel offers some of the more funnier moments between the two.
Men in Black III (2012)
Men In Black III suffers from inconsistency but still delivers a worthy sequel and at least infuses an entirely new level of materials in the MIB world. Act I of the film come off too cleaned and polished. The actors, especially Will Smith, come off playing versions of themselves instead of the deep and interesting characters we’ve come to know. Tommy Lee Jones looks aged and Smith looks too old to act the way that he does, so the film doesn’t actually build momentum until the time travel. Josh Brolin completely nails his performance as young Agent K and breathing new life into the down-trodden looking Jones, recreates the dynamic originally shared by Smith and Jones.
Men Who Stare at Goats, The (2009)
Men, Women & Children (2014)
Scott Caan does a good enough job writing, producing, and acting in this emotional drama. The film loses steam progressively throughout the first three-fourths of the film, but the shocking end is completely worth the exposition. Didn’t quite live up to expectations, but still a nicely done piece.
Messenger, The (2009)
Messengers, The (2007)
Hitchcocks’s The Birds meets Amityville Horror meets The Shining. Meh.
Meyerowitz Stories, The (New and Selected) (2017)
Michael Clayton (2007)
There’s really not much to this film besides great acting and a loosely interesting subject matter. After a few viewings, it still isn’t the thriller that it was made out to be even though it did/does hold strong throughout.
“Micmacs” has absolutely stunning visuals. This was everything that “Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” failed to be. It was interesting, original, and funny. The plot drags out towards the second act but for the most part I really enjoyed this.
Middle Men (2010)
“Middle Men” actually surprised me. Though there was room for improvement (the film was extremely predictable), the acting was high quality for such a small production. This is a low-buzz film in a big budget package.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Midnight In Paris is a film I feel only Woody Allen could have made and had it be successful. I refuse to give away much of the plot, but the unique aspect of the film, disappearing at midnight each night in Paris, really worked and made for some truly original and fresh storytelling.
Midnight Special (2016)
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
Million Ways to Die in the West, A (2014)
Dated and blatant, Where The Heart Is basically tries too hard and mish-mashes far too many events and ideas into one film. A critic said it best when he referred to it as “a great big ol’ commercial for the Wal-Mart”.
Minding The Gap (2018)
Lacking for the first forty-five minutes, “Miral” should simply have focused on Freida Pinto and her character instead of venturing off into back story. The entire film before her appearance is forgettable, but Pinto’s performance is emotionally powerful and would sell an entire film.
Mirror Mirror (2012)
Despite the lovely Lily Collins, her portrayal of Snow White is not enough to save this film from falling into the unbearable, thanks to some odd choices from Tarsem Singh. Although the costume design is brilliant, the rest of the film is utter garbage, with Julia Roberts’ worst performance to date, an odd choice in casting for the seven dwarves, and half-hearted performances (and who can blame them) from Nathan Lane and Armie Hammer. “Mirror Mirror” is best left unseen on all accounts.
Miss Bala (2012)
With tons of long take tracking shots and a subtle performance from Stephanie Sigman, Miss Bala displays the height of a war between a Mexican gang and the authorities through the docile eyes of a wanna-be beauty queen. There is a deep seeded humor in this film, which escalates throughout the film. Had there been better casting, this film could have been exceptional.
Miss Congeniality (2000)
Mission: Impossible (1996)
A tight-knit spy thriller with enough going for it to warrant multiple viewings. Tom Cruise commands the stage beautifully and makes this film his own, even delivering one of the most iconic break-ins in cinematic history.
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
For the action sequences, this film succeeds. For the overwhelming amount of “face changes” and incomprehensible storyline, this film mega-fails. Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt progresses well in this sequel and Thandie Newton pulls off the bombshell part just fine but every situation and every other character is flat and lifeless.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
MI3 succeeds at being the best action film of the series, finding the right balance of stunts mixed with espionage. Philip Seymour Hoffman is the perfect villain. Tom Cruise as loving husband is like watching James Bond become domesticated, it just does not work, but in this case, that’s the point. Cruise continues his role as super-spy Ethan Hunt splendidly. Even though there are still very cheesy twists, the film works much better than the original two.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
By far the best of the series, Ghost Protocol drives furiously from mission to mission, with each standing out in their own significant way and each leaving a lasting impression. The chase sequences are some of the best I’ve ever seen, the graphics are surreal, and the performances rival most any action film to-date. I wholly consider this franchise the next generation’s 007.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
Mist, The (2007)
Frank Darabont cleverly takes the reigns of yet another Stephen King adaptation and delivers a truly horrifying experience in both the monster movie sense and in taking a look at the dark side of human nature. Many of the characters are placed into stereotypical roles and often fall into oversimplified banter amongst one another, but overall “The Mist” plays out effectively, with a poignant exclamation point at the end.
Dated and blatant, Where The Heart Is basically tries too hard and mish-mashes far too many events and ideas into one film. A critic said it best when he referred to it as “a great big ol’ commercial for the Wal-Mart”.
Mod Squad, The (1999)
Not quite the hip, engaging thriller it was made out to be, this TV adaption begs the constant question of “Why?”. Besides starring Giovanni Ribisi, who never disappoints, The Mod Squad telegraphs its twists and remains unconvincing and uninspiring through its entire run-time.
Molly’s Game (2017)
Moneyball has a depth that isn’t apparent from just reading about it or seeing its advertisements. Almost effortlessly, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill make up this unconventional dream team that brings these based-on-a-true-story characters to life. The suspense is built perfectly, the character development is some of the best of the year, and overall, this will become a classic sports drama.
Money Monster (2016)
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
Monster House (2006)
“Monsters” does for extraterrestrials what “Jurassic Park” did for dinosaurs. This film has a very “District 9” feel to it with a first feature director in Gareth Edwards. The aliens take some getting used to, but the film’s plot falls perfectly into place with these two fresh new actors.
Monsters And Men (2018)
Moonraker (007) (1979)
Go figure that James Bond would face the final frontier. Points go to Ian Fleming for the continued brilliance of creating new and different themes for 007 to face and “Moonraker” is no different, but the problem it faces… it’s no different. At times sickening, with the flight simulator sequence and the lack of both a good villain and stellar Bond Girl, there is nothing besides the space shuttle launch that separates this from the previous films.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
With Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson proves he is at the top of his game, with stunningly choreographed cinematography, brilliant set pieces, and some of the best child acting in recent memory, proving that first-time actress Kara Hayward and first-time actor Jared Gilman both have long, fruitful careers ahead of them. The love story is ripe, with writer/director Anderson never being afraid to delve into young romance in all of its glory. Tied together nicely with Anderson’s trademark quirky humor and an award-worthy score from super-composer Alexandre Desplat, Moonrise Kingdom is one of my favorite films so far this year.
Most Violent Year, A (2015)
Mother (Madre) (short) (2018)
Mother and Child (2010)
Nice quaint insight into the world of adoption. I enjoyed the subtlety of the different plots and the down-to-earth acting from all parties involved, especially Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington. The twists at the end were unexpected and well worth the journey.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith(2005)
Mr. Brooks (2007)
This was seriously one of the best movies I’ve seen…surprised the crap out of me…. until the end. It built up so well and ended poorly… that’s what kept it from being the best. Awesome though. Dane Cook rocks.
Mr. Deeds (2002)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Mr. Turner (2014)
Mr. Woodcock (2007)
Mr. Woodcock was one of those films where you know exactly where they’re going with it. Don’t like Seann very much, so it didn’t have much going for it. It’s fun to see Billy Bob play the same character he plays in every film and Amy Poehler was a nice touch. Otherwise the average underdog comedy.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Muppet Movie, The (1979)
Easily one of the greatest and most memorable films ever made and, by far, my favorite of all the Muppet films. With the most consistent musical numbers, the cheekiest wit, and plain and simply just an over all good film, The Muppet Movie cannot be matched or duplicated.
Muppets From Space (1999)
Murder On The Orient Express (2017)
My Best Friend’s Girl (2008)
My Girl (1991)
My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)
My Nephew Emmett (2017)
My Sassy Girl (2008)
This film was more than I could have imagined. It had the plot of every chick flick ever made, but had such a style and such a great cast that it has become one of my favorites of all time. Elisha Cuthbert is brilliant and I really enjoyed her character. It’s nice that we can finally see he “act”. The story is very strong, and though it seems done before, there is a nice spin. It reminded me of Wicker Park mixed with Serendipity. Messes with the idea of fate and destiny. There are twists throughout and heartbreaking themes. Guaranteed you will cry.
My Soul to Take (2010)
Pretty much the “not very good” horror flick I saw it being. However, I do have a crush on Emily Meade now. She had a huge part in the film “Twelve” and apparently appears for a short time on “Boardwalk Empire”. Kind of excited to get to see her on screen again sometime soon. Besides the pleasure of her appearance, this film really has nothing going for it. A bad mix between “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Final Destination” without the star power and with more repetitive and generic storylines and characters.