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Worst of 2014
 
Poster
Poster
Poster

Inherent Vice: One of the Worst of 2014

I wanted so much to like Inherent Vice because it was made by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) and based on a Thomas Pynchon novel. But there’s no denying it: Inherent Vice is a disaster...
 
Indie Drama
 
WHIPLASH
WHIPLASH
WHIPLASH

Whiplash: Wildly Over the Top

Remember Oz? The prison drama that ran on HBO from 1997-2003? Imagine one of the craziest inmates from that show getting a job as a school teacher. That’s what the new film Whiplash is like. J.K. Simmons, who memorably st...
 
Best of 2014
 
Belle650
Belle650
Belle650

Belle: One of the Best of 2014

I have to admit, I didn’t expect much from Belle. It looked to me like standard costume drama for middle-aged housewives. But Belle has real content. In fact, it is packed with ideas and is one of the best films of 2014. ...

 
Thin Drama
 
LoveStrange645x350
LoveStrange645x350
LoveStrange645x350

Love is Strange: Another Average Film in 2014

My God, 2014 is turning out to be the Year of Mediocre Cinema. Add Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange to the long list of average films that have been released commercially in the United States thus far in 2014. What we’ve ...
 
Indie Dramedy
 
FrankSide650
FrankSide650
FrankSide650

Frank: Indie Dramedy about Music and Mental Illness

Frank is a lovable but flawed dramedy about an avant-garde noise-rock band fronted by a musical genius named Frank, who may or may not be mentally ill. While it has many weaknesses, Frank has moments of uncommon tenderness and ...
 
Woody Allen
 
DSCF9550.RAF
DSCF9550.RAF
DSCF9550.RAF

Magic in the Moonlight: Allen on Auto-Pilot

At times while watching Woody Allen‘s new film, Magic in the Moonlight, I wondered if Allen intentionally made it awful as some kind of avant-garde experiment — an interrogation of the script-writing and filmmaking ...

 
Hoffman's Last Completed Film
 
r_feature2
r_feature2
r_feature2

A Most Wanted Man: Snooze-Fest

I wanted to like A Most Wanted Man so much because it was Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s last completed film. He was such a committed actor and brought brainy, serious work to the mainstream. He also directed a special and high...
 
Linklater's Latest
 
Boyhood Big
Boyhood Big
Boyhood Big

Boyhood: Superficial Exploration of Childhood

Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood is not much more than a filmmaking gimmick. It’s a great gimmick but a pretty shallow film. It has its charms though. The most interesting aspect of Boyhood is that it took more than 10 y...
 
Indie Thriller
 
BruinBig6502
BruinBig6502
BruinBig6502

Blue Ruin: Gripping Thriller

The ultra-low-budget Blue Ruin is a tour de force of brutal realism and a stunning filmmaking debut from Jeremy Saulnier. Note Saulnier’s name; you will be hearing more of him in the future. He is a major new talent. Maco...

 
Mediocre Arthouse
 
Only6501
Only6501
Only6501

Only Lovers Left Alive: Great Look, Great Characters, No Story

Only Lovers Left Alive is a storyless new film from Jim Jarmusch about hip vampires. It has a two-hour running time, which feels like three. At the 90-minute mark, I wanted to drive a stake through its heart. The film does have...